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AMORAL - Ben Varon
15 October 2009
Online Rock Radio Tangra Mega Rock "Ha ha ha Eurovision, I think the whole contest is a joke! And the songs are just fucking terrible. Bad music all around. I don’t want anything to do with that!!! "

Finnish metallers AMORAL got to be even more popular since they were joined by new singer Ari Koivunen earlier this year!

Koivunen is best known as the winner of the 2007 Finnish national TV talent competition 'Idols'.

AMORAL's fourth studio album 'Show Your Colors' was release last Summer through Spinefarm

Amoral, Before the Dawn and AMORPHIS will play at the Blue Box club in Sofia, Bulgaria on 30 October. The show is promoted by radio Tangra Mega Rock! We caught AMORAL guitarist Ben Varon on the phone, somewhere on the tour.

an interview conducted by Vassil Varbanov

BEN VARON

HEY BEN, HOW ARE YOU?
All good, thank you very much!

HOW HAS THE TOUR BEEN SO FAR?
The tour’s been great actually. A lot of really cool gigs all the week now behind us. All the bands get along great, the shows have been good, a lot of people, so can’t complain.

IS BEN VARON YOUR REAL NAME?
Yes it is.

IT DOESN’T SOUND VERY CONVINCINGLY FINISH?
Yes, it doesn’t sound completely Finnish. My dad is from Israel. Actually my grand father from my dad side is actually from Bulgaria, from Sofia!

REALLY?
Yes, so that’s why I am really looking forward to play and visit Sofia for the first time ever…

OK, YOU MAKE ME THING OF THE VIA DOLOROSA AND NOW I SHOULD ASK YOU ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT MOMENT IN YOUR BAND HISTORY? WE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THEN TEN YEARS NOW, AND THEN YOU CHANGED THE VOCALIST AND STUFF…
I don’t know if we actually really had anything like a really difficult situation. Because loosing the original singer we felt for a few minutes “Oh my god, the band is over!"

But it took us only a few hours to realize that we really want to continue and that we can do a whole new thing with a melodic singer. Because we got the best one. And other then that I don’t really think we had any big problems so far. So knock on wood, you know, who knows what’s going to happen in the future but I can’t complain. And slow but surely we are going upwards.

AMORAL

NOW, GOING ON TOUR IN A PACKAGE OF THREE – AMORPHIS, BEFORE THE DOWN AND YOURSELF,  DO PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO THE FIRST OPENING BAND?
Luckily in this tour yes. There’s a lot of people coming already for the first band which is us. And that’s something we were a bit worried about, because in Finland for example people don’t come very often for the first band and only come later for the main band. But luckily on this tour when we go onstage there is a good pile of people waiting for us. And with every song there are more and more people walking in and by the last two songs it’s always pretty full so we are really happy about that.

YOUR NEW SINGER ARI WAS THE WINNER IN THE FINNISH IDOLS TV CONTEST IN 2007. WE HAVE THE SAM TV SHOW DOWN HERE IN BULGARIA, BUT MOST METAL HEADS SEEM TO HATE IT…
Yeah, it’s pretty much everywhere, but in Finland metal is so popular that even on Idols there are some guys who try to be in the contest with rock and metal…

WAS THE GUY YOUR FIRST CHOICE FOR A NEW SINGER?
Yes, definitely our first choice. We didn’t even think about asking him. We knew his as a friend from a few AMORAL gigs. He came to see us with the old line up. When he heard that we were looking for a singer, he actually volunteered himself. He liked the band so much he wanted to try out. When we realized he was an option he was definitely our first choice and the best thing we can dream of having.

ACTUALLY, ARI IS THE SECOND NAME TO COME OUT OF THE FINNISH IDOL AND TO BE INVOLVED IN METAL, THE FIRST ONE WE HEARD WAS THAT LADY THAT RECORDED WITH END OF GREEN’S VOCALIST MICHELLE DARKNESS..WHAT WAS HER NAME, UMMM, YEAH – HANNA PAKARINEN DO YOU KNOW HER?
Yeah.

ANY GOOD?
Well, she’s a good singer. I don’t know her, I am not a fan but I heard a few songs on MTV and stuff like that. She’s really famous, she won the first Idols in Finland. But I don’t know, you know probably more about her then I do.

TALKING ABOUT TV SHOWS, YOUR FELLOW FINNISH BOYS OF LORDI WON THE EUROVISION CONTEST A FEW YEARS AGO, WOULD YOU GO ON THAT ONE?
Noooo! Ha ha ha Eurovision, I think the whole contest is a joke! And the songs are just fucking terrible. Bad music all around. I don’t want anything to do with that!!!

BEN VARON

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU NOW. YOU SOUND LIKE BEING A PRETTY GIFTED GUITARIST YOURSELF, SO IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GUITAR HERO WHEN YOU WERE A KID?

REGARDING HOW PROLIFIC THE MUSIC SCENE IN YOUR COUNTRY IS IT COULD EASILY BE A LOCAL GUY. OR IT WAS ONE OF THE BIG FAMOUS GUITARISTS?
My biggest influence, the guy who made me start to play guitar and still to this day is my biggest hero is Slash from Guns N’Roses. He’s the reason I started to play and he sounds and he looks and everything about him is so cool. This really made me get into rock’n’roll in the first place.
And besides him I really like Roope Latvala who plays in Children for Bodom now but used to be in Stone and Sinergy.

He gave me some guitar lessons back in the days a few years ago and that was really inspirational for me also. And of course Dimebag Darrell from Pantera both in the lead and rhythm guitar playing.

AMORAL backstage

SO WHAT ARE THE OTHER TOW BANDS ON THIS TOUR LIKE, THEY ARE GOOD OR THEY REALLY SUCK?
Oh, they are really good. We know both of them from Helsinki and the Finnish scene. We played with both of them, we know them personally. And especially Amorphis – we really love the guys. I used to listen to Amorphis all the time back in the mid 90-ies with the ‘Elegy’ album and ’Tales from The Thousand Lakes’ album. So they are really inspirational for us.

No, they do not suck, we are really good friends so we are really happy to be on the tour, so I think it’s actually the best band package to be on and a really good musical package for the fans.

AMORAL in the bus

ESA HOLOPAINEN FROM AMORPHIS IS USING QUITE A LOT OF DELAY IN HIS GUITAR PLAYING, DO YOU USE A LOT OF GUITAR EFFECTS YOURSELF?
Not that much. On the rhythm songs we use nothing, just distortion and nothing else. Straight forward guitar! But on the solos I like a little bit of delay, maybe a little chorus, but nothing too fancy.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE THINK WHEN THEY HEAR THREE FINNISH METAL BANDS ARE TRAVELING TOGETHER? AND WITH THE CREW IT MAKES AROUND 24 PEOPLE. WE THINK THAT YOU MUST DRINK LIKE CRAZY IN THAT CROWDED TOUR BUS….
Nah. I think that some bands do it, but  some not that much. On this tour it has been pretty much under control. Everyone is having a good time and there are parties all the time but nothing crazy. No one is puking in the bus.

We know how to party but we also know how to take care of this and the show comes first. I don’t want to do a show with a hangover. It’s pretty easy on this tour actually. 

SO FAR!   
Yeah, ha ha ha, so far! Let’s see in two weeks!
    

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