Crannk Interviews As I May
As I May remember that name because this Melodic metal band from Finland are here to stay and their second album “My Own Creations”
is an absolute crusher of an album that well and truly stamps As I May on the metal scene. I have been Crannking the hell out of this album and recently took the opportunity to have a chat with As I May about the roots of As I May,the evolution,and the new album “My Own Creations“which is due for release via Rockshots Record on July 26th and Spiritual Beast for Japanese release on July 24th. Check it out then go Crannk up some As I May.
Jai Q: Ok first off can you tell us about yourselves who are As I May?
As I May is a four-piece modern melodic metal band from Mikkeli, Finland. As I May consists of Tipi Nokelainen (clean vocals and bass), Lasse Hiltunen (scream vocals and guitar), Jani Valhola (backup vocals and guitar) and Marko Korhonen (drums)
Jai Q: How and when did As I May form?
As I May is formed in 2016. It started from one demo song “Disease”. Finnish national radio station YleX started to spin Disease on their channel and it got 100k spins on Spotify quite fast, so it seemed that we might have something in our hands.
We started to look for guys to the band after that. As I May was formed by Lasse Hiltunen and Ville Aulaskoski and the first guy who came to their mind was Jani Valhola. They both knew him from the previous bands. Ville moved to Helsinki, so we had a need for a new drummer. Marko Korhonen joined the forces at that point. It took almost 2 years to get a full line up to the band. After guys heard Tipi Nokelainens singing, they knew right away that this is the last piece they need to the band. Of course, there were many guys staying in the band short period of time, but keeping the story short. The first song from ‘My Own Creations’ tells about that. End of the beginning means that the band is fully formed.
Jai Q: I love the sound of As I May it feels like it has its roots in the Swedish Melodic Death scene with bands like In Flames, Soilwork, and bands like that, but how would you describe the sound of As I May?
Well, those are bands which we grow up listening. Also bands as Amorphis etc. from our country. We think that those bands have a huge influence on the whole Scandinavian music scene, but truly that might be that we sound more Swedish than a typical Finnish band. But there’s a lot of similarities in Scandinavian sound.
We think our sound is a combination of melodic metal, metalcore, maybe little death metal. It might be some kind of new core or post-hardcore music. We don’t think so much about that or what we should sound of. If we find something that we like, we go with that. If it’s melodic it works for us. We build a song around melodies.
Jai Q: How and when did you first start playing music?
I was 8 when I heard first-time Anthrax album and it was love from the first listen. I started to play guitar when I was 11 years old.
Jai Q: And how did you first start playing music?
I had older friends that played guitar and they taught me also. The first time that I heard Metallica’s Enter Sandman, I was blown away. I asked my father to buy me a guitar for my 12 birthday and he bought me 15w amp and if I remember right, the guitar was a single coil and the mark was Vantage.
Jai Q: Who are some the people that have helped influence and inspire you as a musician?
Quite of many influences. Name of few. Mark Knopfler. He has an amazing style to play guitar. Kurt Cobain. Songs don`t need tricks to be great. Iron Maiden. What melodies they have.
Friends helped to get started, but no music school or anything. I borrowed Metallica’s tablatures from the library and started from there. But honestly, I can`t read any notes or have any knowledge from music theory even today. I play from the ear and make music the same way. Other guys on the band are more skillful from theory etc.
Jai Q: My Own Creations is the second release for As I May and follows on from 2017’s “Speak No Evil” album how do you feel the band has evolved since that release?
As I May:Well, that`s quite a story. Album Speak No Evil is written to be an album with more clean singing, but the guy who was a clean singer in the band at that point didn’t have any time for a band. We even thought that we won’t release it at all, but there was too much work in that, so Lasse and Jani finished that album. We were surprised that it got good reviews after all.
Almost a month after Speak No Evil was released, we were already making “Hero” single and back in the original plan. Speak No Evil has good things going on, but it ain’t using the whole potential that this crew has, but it has a place in As I May:s story.
Jai Q: The first single off the album is the track “Pride Goes Before A Fall” and has an awesome film clip with it, Can you tell us about this track and clip?
As I May:Lasse came up with the main melody for the song when he was driving home from work. Song is written in some kind of flow. After 8 hours song was ready and it stayed pretty much the same through the whole album process. The melody to the chorus was too high for Tipi, so Lasse cut the main melody from Tipi`s main track and harmony tracks.
The idea of lyrics came from a documentary. It tells a story from WW1 fighter pilot that was awarded victorian cross after he died. His biggest fear was that he would burn with his plane. After he shot German pilot down, he flew near the ground to see if the German pilot died and got shot from a German sniper. The plane came on fire and hit the ground. German troopers buried his body and his grave hasn’t been found even today.
Jai Q: And the second single was the track “Cure Is Worse Than The Disease” what does this tack mean for you?
As I May: Well that track almost didn`t end up to this album. We threw it almost in the trash, but Stefan (our producer) said that he has an idea from arrangement to cure. So he arranged it little different and boom, it started to work after all.
Jai Q: How did As I May approach the songwriting and song creation on “My Own Creations”?
As I May:Lasse wrote all basics to the album and then the whole band developed those further. All guys give ideas to songs and then we chose the best ideas to songs or if we had many good ideas then Stefan chose those for us. But those were pretty unanimous decisions. After we got preproduction done, then we sent songs to Stefan and he suggested some improvements to those or then not.
Jai Q: And can you tell us about the recording and production process for “My Own Creations”?
Lasse and Tipi have own studios. After pre-production programming and synths were made in Lasses and Stefan’s studio. Guitars were recorded in Lasses studio. Stefan reamped guitars in his own studio. We used Revvs generator 100p amp and Peavey’s cabin + multiple stompboxes, so no plugins used.
Tipi recorded his bass in his own studio and Stefan reamped that also.
We had vocal sessions in many places. Lasse and Jani recorded their own parts in Lasses studio. We stayed one weekend in the cottage also and developed melodies.
Choirs we recorded in a nearby motorcycle club.
Tipi recorded his vocal parts in his own studio.
For drum recording, we used our friend Anssi Kippos Astia Studio. Those where recorded so analogy as those could be.
Jai Q: Are there any shows coming up for As I May and what does the rest of 2019 hold for As I May so far going into the rest of the year?.
As I May:We are doing on some festivals and FHMF Modern Metal Circus tour with three same types of modern metal bands. Then we are also planning a baltic tour in Europe. We started also pre-production for the third album. So we try to stay busy.
My Own Creations is due out via Rockshots Records for worldwide release on July 26th and Spiritual Beast for Japanese release on July 24th. Check out the links for more info regarding all things As I May
For more info:
Official Website: www.asimay.com
Check out As I May On spotify but if ya really want to support the band and scene don’t forget to buy the album digitally or merch and go out and support the scene that supports us.
Check out any of the other great articles by the melodically gifted team at Crannk .