1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Jouni: Since we got all of the recording done, I think we all suffered a some kind of studio hangover. Now things are looking good and we have been rehearsing and writing new material, so it’s been very exciting times in camp Khiral as the album got released couple weeks ago.
Tuomo: We’ll be having an album release gig in Germany, and after that we get to concentrate on new material. Gigs will be done if interesting opportunities should arise, so like Jouni said, exciting times are at hand.
2.Recently you have a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Jouni: Heavy and crushing! I think we sound... well, fresh and natural. Not overly produced and hopefully that is what people and audience will hear too!
I don’t think that our sound really differs from the past, just evolved and the results are now there for everyone to hear.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Jouni: Tuomo might give you a more detailed and insightful answer, but I think future topics could be anything between slaying dragons and what we feel and see around us, hahah! There could be more personal feelings too.
Tuomo: The lyrics on ’Chained’ involved mainly the downsides of modern society, and I see no reason why these subjects couldn’t be handled even further. If there’s one certainty in this world, it’s the fact that ignorance will never disappear. But personal feelings, experiences and individual situations (eg. getting stuck in airport safety inspection) make good stories too, so there’s really nothing keeping me from writing about whatever I feel like writing. ;)
In a nutshell, whatever I write lyrics about, I want the listener to be able to somehow relate to the subject.
4.Originally the band was known as 'Ivana Red' what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Khiral'?
Jouni: I think ‘Ivana Red’ was more of a “pop” oriented style of music, because of Mari (singer at that time).
And when Mari left the band, rest of the guys changed the name and style! And knowing the guys it’s only natural that they started to play more and more heavier stuff.
If my memory serves me correctly, name Khiral came from chiralization, which means some kind of mirror effect, opposites!?!
Tuomo: Yeah, that’s pretty much the meaning of it, things having two sides.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Jouni: Well, best show is always the one coming up, meaning all of our shows are just pure greatness and we always try to top the previous one. 😂
We’re just getting started and all shows so far have been great and we are always excited to play live. Of course there is always something to improve. I like to think our stage performance is energetic and fun, at least we have fun on stage and hopefully it shows to audience too!
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Jouni: Well, there’s always something cooking in our Khiralpot, but they are more of long distance plans at the time.
As I’m writing this we all sit on a plane on our way to Germany to play a show in Munich.
Tuomo: Khiralpot, I like it! That’s a keeper! And yeah, there are plans, but we’ll see what happens. ;)
7.Originally the band played more of a hardcore style, what was the decision behind going into more of a metal direction?
Jouni: As I said above, I think that Mari leaving the band is the main reason that Khiral evolved into what it is today. Final touche-ups took place when Tuomo and I joined the band in early 2016 and when Markus [drummer] started to give us heavier beat in spring 2017.
8.On a worldwide level how the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
Jouni: So far feedback has been great, I think people really like what we are doing! Of course we realize that we can’t please everyone and there’s always going to be someone who thinks we suck ass. That’s just the way it is!
Tuomo: There have been many positive reviews on ’Chained’ around the world, and great number of radio stations focusing on metal have played our music, and that’s absolutely wonderful. Many people have found us and expressed their liking towards what we’re doing, and it’s just amazing to see how Finnish metal is appreciated around the globe.
9.What is going on with the other bands or musical projects that some of the band members are a part of?
Tuomo: I do vocals in this Motörhead tribute band called Iron Wrist. We’re throwing gigs every now and then. Me and Jouni also have a project band called Bloodruin, which is a sort of an outing valve for all that music that Jouni has in his head but doesn’t quite fit in Khiral’s concept. Joni plays bass in a death/thrash band Sorrowed.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Jouni: Hopefully we evolve musically as a band. I don’t want to make ‘same’ album over and over! You got to grow to keep things interesting.
Luckily, our new “in writing” material seems to do just that, it’s very interesting period going on in Khiral. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the older songs and our debut album ‘Chained’, but those songs are from the period when Tuomo wasn’t in the band, I wasn’t in the band and Markus wasn’t in the band so it’s a kind of coalition of ‘old’ Khiral and current Khiral. We all put our little stamps on the songs that made them what they are, and I’m proud of them, but now we have a whole new situation when there are ideas flying around and we’re starting to put them together and everyone is giving their 110% from the start!
Tuomo: Couldn’t have said it any better. We now have two guitarists with quite different approach to composing songs, so it’ll be an adventure in itself to see what the new material will end up being like. But rest assured, it’ll be Khiral all the way!
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Jouni: Wow, let’s try to keep it short, I think we all listen a bit different bands and only thing common I can think of is Metal, in general!
I know Matti got his kicks from Lamb Of God and Behemoth among others and Joni is our true old school death metal guy who got lost in delta blues a while ago!
Markus is a bit mystery to me on this subject and Tuomo just listens about everything from Battle Beast to Cradle Of Filth.
Personally my biggest influences were mainly in old school thrash, Metallica, Testament, Slayer, Exodus etc. but of course you gotta have some Kiss and W.A.S.P and Mötley Crue and Whitesnake in the mix and not forgetting Pantera!
Nowadays, it’s pretty much the same but also a lot of acoustic stuff like Blackmore’s Night and as a Finn you can’t forget Tapio Rautavaara!
Tuomo: Jouni summed it up pretty well there. As for myself, like JJ mentioned, I like to listen to many kinds of heavier stuff, perhaps mainly focusing on melodic death metal, folk metal, viking metal and symphonic black metal.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Jouni: Recently I started drawing again, I haven’t done it in years so it’s been really fun to try to draw something. I also like writing my feelings on paper, kind of like diary but more in a lyrical form or poem.
Tuomo: I read a lot. And I mean a lot, I have a book in reading all the time. I can’t even go to sleep without reading first! And I also study Japanese martial art tradition.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Jouni: Enjoy the album and see you on the gigs! Horns up!
Tuomo: Behave! ;)