Interview: May, 29th 2018

Because of the release of the album “The Gale”, we talked with Pauli Souka from Coldbound. Pauli plays on the album guitar, bass, vocals and keyboards. And was responsible for all the composing, production and layout.

First a short introduction of the band. Coldbound is a Finnish band, started by Pauli Souka as a solo project back in 2012. Next month, the 10th of June, Coldbound gonna release its fourth full-length album “The Gale”. Coldbound started as a Black Metal band, and on the new album the description melodic death metal is more appropriate. It is not quite a solo project anymore, Pauli get help from Paulina Medepona (vocals on a track) and Andras Miklosvari (keyboards on several tracks).

– The band is independent. Is that freedom pleasant and perhaps a conscious choice, or would you prefer a label?

Coldbound has been working with almost 5 labels throughout the last years. For a change I wanted to go as “indie” and challenge my own potentials. Of course is not easy to reach all the potentials of promotion while being alone but it leads somewhere at least. I would appreciate some help with all this but so far nothing to complain about. It’s a rather interesting approach which only will teach me even more how this whole “machinery” works.

– The sound of the band has been developed in a natural way over the years. There is more melody in the album “The Gale” than in the previous work. But you could still call it Black Metal in my opinion. This is mainly due to the beautiful desolate atmosphere that is in it. The band made Black Metal, but now the new album is presented as Melodic Death Metal. All those labels do not really matter to me, but you thought Black Metal would no longer cover the music entirely?

Hmm, interesting question. I start recording the album out of the blue so to speak, so as a matter of fact I finished a couple of songs and was considering to start a new band with a new name and new imagery. Instead of doing that, I just included it on the Coldbound discography. As name “Coldbound” can resemble to melodic death metal so I am quite satisfied with this decision so far. Is really important to me to have a diversity on the music that I am creating and make all albums sound different. So far I think that I have achieved it with all the releases. From Funeral Doom, to Doom Black, Black Metal and here we are on Melodic Death Metal. I think I will stick on that cause I have so many nice melodies that I am about to release sooner or later.

– You have had help from Paulina and Andras. You also play the keyboard on the album, just like Andras. What does he add to you as a musician? And for the album?

Correct. Paulina did all the artwork layouts (handmade work which is incredible) and Andras helped me really much with some keyboard arrangements. The reason that I also contribute on the keyboard arrangements on some songs, is due to the personal respect to the precious time of Andras (which he hasn’t as he is busy with his band “Earthgrave” check them out they are amazing). So instead of trying to squize some time out of Andras, I decided to do whatever I can with the keyboards. Not even as close as good as Andras’ playing but could work for now.

– I read in a 2015 interview that you never saw the band as a solo project, but the circumstances made it. You could not find good, motivated people in your area. Are you still looking for new band members, or are you satisfied with the line-up as it is now?

Back then in 2015 , my music was way too “poor” and I was quite naive and excited. This couldn’t allow me have any potentials on finding skilled guys to share these ideas.

3 years later as we are on 2018, right now I am considering on setting up a live band for Coldbound and do at least one concert in Helsinki (where all started). So far I can say that I have positive feedback from the people I have contacted. And Andras as mentioned above is one of them.

– At the first albums, you did not want to disclose the lyrics because you described personal struggles and wanted to keep them private. Fair enough! On the new album you also state personal struggles and the texts have been released. What makes the difference for you that you release the lyrics and not with the first albums?

On the first two albums I used to do a work that required some social discipline. Especially when I was working for some time at a daycare in Finland as assistant. That time I read an article about a member of a swedish band called “Blodsrit”. One of their members was fired from his education-related job because of his relation with the scene.
Because of my age and my need of a work, back then I was scared to reveal outside from my own walls the fact that I am musically involved. I even had an alias in the first albums.

Later on careers changed and had no problem on telling to my colleagues and bosses back then, the who I am and what I am doing. The reason that lyrics aren’t published up to date is simply because some time has passed ever since. I don’t like looking back to the past and have this bitter-sweet nostalgia feelings. Back then, the people who know me can confirm that I was through some really weird and hard times. Therefore personal struggling. I was allowed to say whatever I want pretty much on my own form and way of expression. Still I am, but as age and some life experiences have crossed my back, I am more into the poetic aspect and metaphors nowadays.

– What do you think is the biggest succes with the band so far?

I think that The Gale so far has been the milestone of Coldbound. The whole process of promoting it and the feedbacks. I see my “child” growing every single day. More and more – unknown to me – people approach the page of the band on facebook. Views on Youtube towards the new songs multiplying every day. I have nothing to complain about. It goes as good as I ever wished.

– In an interview you gave in 2014 in response to EP Superior Lakes of Sorrow, the question was asked where you saw the band in 5 years. It is not 2019, but you indicated that you expected to have released 4 to 5 albums, because your goal was to release an album every year. You will not be able to do that any more, I guess so. You have released 2 albums and a single from 2014 onwards. Were you ambitious when you gave the answer or did you has some issues in recent years and do you expect to be able to release an album on an annual basis?

This though crossed my head recently. On the opposite I am happy that I didn’t kept my goal plan as it is. 2015 was the year that I released the last album of Coldbound and right away on 2016 I was working on the new material. This time also I had to do vocals for Arvas, do a small tour and record for the new album. As well as the same year I relocated with my fiancé Paulina to Sweden. So the whole process of Coldbound had to been put on a hideous  (without letting this to be public). On April of 2017 I start recording the album and now I can say that I am done with it.  It’s bette to do things slowly and put emphasis on quality rather than just release albums. Back then I was really excited as mentioned above so I just wanted to release albums just for the sake of it.

– How do you view digital music and streaming? Does your life make it easier to promote the band?

Definitely. Instead of spending lots of money and countless visits to the post office or after-parties handling promos, all this can be done online and that’s super handy and beautiful!

– You are not touring with the band so far, but if that happens in the future, which band would you like to travel with? Totally free to choose!

Oh boy, I will sound really mean to say that touring is not my thing. But that’s the fact. Touring with Arvas (Norway ) made me hate the whole touring process for various reasons. I rather prefer individual gigs and if I am allowed to twist your question, I can proudly say that I would love to open for Insomnium or Swallow The Sun . Or any melodic death metal titan from Finland or Sweden.

As for touring, if it would ever happen, I would just care to do it with good friends or people who I don’t even know. On tours rather you will hate people or bond forever. (I hope for the second).

– You are also active in the band Winterthroned, as a vocalist. What is the status of that band?

Hmm. With Winterthroned we did a concert back in last October, opening for Korpiklaani. It was a great experience playing with such talented fellows.
Right now I honestly have no idea what is the whole status of the band. Almost all of us are too busy with our own projects so I really can’t say what is the current status.

And now some questions of your personal background.

– Do you still know your first contact with Heavy Metal? How was that like?

It was Scorpions and Iron Maiden. I remember asking my cousins to record cassettes for me with Scorpion songs so I could blast on my walk-man device.
While kids in my age where into playstation 1 -2 or Nintendo game boy devices, I was so into my walk-man device.
Later on, I fell in love with the illustrations of Iron Maiden and “Eddie”. First album I purchased was “Dance of Death“. In fact, it was a Christmas present from my parents back in 2003.
I still remember this moment. The scent of the amazing home made food, the Christmas tree and my parents coming back home from an evening stroll, holding a copy of Dance Of Death. Still I think it’s an amazing album.
Kiss also has been my childhood heroes. I guess the reason was the whole make up thing. And the tongue of Gene Simons. Back then I was thinking that they are something beyond-human. Out of this world.

My biggest antipathy was Marilyn Manson. I somehow never liked his music.

– Which album had the biggest impact on you as a teenager?

Dance of Death” (Iron Maiden) and a best off from “Kiss“. These albums are barely intact. Completely destroyed jewel cases, ripped off booklets and the actual CD’s I think aren’t playable at all. Big loves!

– Maybe the same album as the question before (not in my case), but which record has formed your heavy metal taste the most?

I think that it was the “Reload” of Metallica. Amazing record which gave me lots of goosebumps. “In Utero” of Nirvana also and In Bloom are albums to blame.

– What is the first metal album you ever bought?

First rock album was AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock” , on a early morning flight from Athens/GR on a duty free shop. Had no idea what this album is all about. Just saw a canon, a thunder, cool font . When we landed and I had the chance to play the album on my disc-man device inside the shuttle to the hotel, I was so happy to listen electric guitars (on the intro of the first song).  First heavy metal album that I got as a gift was as mentioned “Dance Of Death”  from Iron Maiden.

– What was the first metal tune(s) you learned?

Haha.  Alright I am going to be honest with you, but I guess you won’t believe me. First tune I ever played on a really expensive and old classic guitar (First guitar I ever owned when I was 8 or 9 years old) was the intro of Seven Faces from Slayer’s “God Hates Us All“. I bought this album randomly as it was suggested as “good” back then. I guess that it was released that time. Honestly I really had to go back to metal archives and Youtube to check if that was the song. It has been more than 15 years ever since. Wow.

– If you take a maximum of 5 albums with you, for example to an uninhabited island, which ones would you definitely take with you?

Your question doesn’t complies on exclusive metal albums so this allows me to choose my ultimate play list.  So here we go : 1) Kingston Wall I 2) Kingston Wall II 3) Kikka – Mä Haluun Viihdytää 4) Carola – Främling or Pernilla Wahlgren – Pure Dynamite 5) Cathedral – The Carnival Bizzare.

– On which album ever recorded, would you’ve liked to play yourself?

Doing bongos on any of Kingston Wall albums. Or something. Just a frequency, just a tint of sound.

– What do you think is the best live album?

Kingston Wall – “The Real Live Thing“. Probably best band coming from Finland, mind my words.

– Which album do you play the most in recent weeks/months?

I think you know the answer already. Yes it is Kingston Wall.

– Which album do you like best so far in 2018?

Hmm . So far I can say that Ihsahn’s “AMR” album is amazing. As well I really enjoy the new Dimmu Borgir and the new Amorphis. The biggest discovery of this year for me at least is a Finnish progressive rock band called “From Grotto“. The most promising band coming from Finland. Definitely anyone should check these super talented guys. Cheers Riku!

– Do you have any more interest besides Heavy Metal?

I love designing illustrations, album artworks etc. I have some work uploaded on Inertia F.A page on facebook and instagram.
I also am really into sound engineering, trying to maintain my semi-pro studio with equipment that is necessary. On the next album I will replace everything to analog this time for a more original approach. As well gardening is interesting. Steaming against the grass in the summer days can be gold.

But priority in life has my beloved fiancé and music.

– And we’ll finish off with the most happy question of all, which song should they definitely play on your funeral.

It’s wiser if I link you somehow in person my Spotify playlist. Haha. It’s a big list.

Let’s pick the top 3 of my funeral songs. First will be the Gollimar from the notorious “Michael Jackson of Bollywood “, Taher Shah – Angel / Eye To Eye (check it and thank me later) and third, come on, any song from Rick James or E-type.

– Is there anything else you would like to say?

I would really like to thank you for this opportunity. It’s always interesting doing interviews and sending them to people who actually did a research before sending any questions. This was a really nice experience and I really wish more and more journalists such as you will be that precise and straight to the point.
Our new album will be out on 10th of June on all digital platforms such as “Spotify , iTunes, Deezer, Google Play, Youtube , Tidal etc. “.
If you want to show some extra love and become a friend for a lifetime, you can always pre -order straight from us a copy of our new album , as well part of our new merchandise from our Bandcamp link : merch..
Thank you so much once again and remember, living is an act of courage.