Lasse Hiltunen – As I May

AS I MAY is a Finnish modern metal band formed in Mikkeli back in 2016, that has already established itself with the release of the their 2016 single, “Disease”, followed by a full length debut album, “Speak No Evil” in 2017, and the driven single, “Hero”, promoted the same year.

Their second material, “My Own Creations”, has just been released on July the 26th 2019 worldwide via Rockshots Records and on July 24th in Japan via Spiritual Beast.

Click HERE or on the title for a review of “My Own Creations”,

AS I MAY means Tipi Nokelainen on Bass and Clean vocals, Lasse Hiltunen on Guitar and Scream vocals, Jani Valhola on Guitar and Backup vocals and Marko Korhonen on Drums.

As always, a huge *Thank You* to the band for their time, openness and availability!

MAtW – Hello, Lasse, a warm welcome to Metal Around the World to you and AS I MAY. What are you currently up to?

LH – Our live shows has started, so we are now focusing on them. We are doing tour in Finland with three modern metal bands. Also started to work with a next album. These are our plans to the end of this year. A lot of plans etc. to the next year, but nothing confirmed yet.

MAtW – Your latest material “My Own Creations“ has just been released released via Rockshots Record label and Spiritual Beast. How does it feel to have your second album sent out in the world?

LH – Writing that album was really exciting to us. A lot of ground work was done. When we heard the final mix, we was really happy about that, but didn’t know what to expect from it. We got many record deal offers and were little surprised. We are relieved that we got that out, but in same time little sad that it’s out now. That time period has ended to us now, when many amazing new things happened to us, but you need to move forward and we feel that we have started just with this album.

MAtW – What are some technical aspects of the album and how did the collaboration with A.I.M and Illusia Production start and go?

LH – We already knew Stefan Pommerin who runs Illusia Production from Hero single. He contacted us in the summer of 2017 and proposed collaboration. He`s really talented guy and it feels that he get more out of us than somebody else would. It was really pleasuring to work with him in this album and we will make next one also with him. There`s some chemistry which just works. Off course we don’t agree with everything, but that`s part of making music.

MAtW – And how did you start working with Jan Handzus for the graphic design?

LH – We saw some of his artworks in Facebook and fell in love with them. That cover you see was already done and it felt perfect fit to our album title, which was already decided.

MAtW – What is the story behind your band name?

LH – Hah, alcohol and one dark Finnish winter night. It was originally name of one demo song, but it felt more like band name, so we chose that after we google it, that there`s no another band with that name.

MAtW – “End Of The Beginning” speaks about how you got together as a band and became AS I MAY. Are all of the other songs just as personal?

LH – Not all, but some are. We try to leave songs that way open that it can have multiple meanings. But for example, I See You In Me is written to my father after he passed away and it told story, where you start seeing your own parents more and more every morning when you look your own image in the mirror.

MAtW – How would you describe each member of AS I MAY, both good and bad? 🙂

LH – Ou, we don`t want to go that. Don`t wanna start any drama. You start to understand your band mates better year after year. It`s same type of relationship as marriage, but you don’t get laid. �� Well, not in our band at least.

MAtW – You are a very melodic and new sounding band, taking influences from wider scale of genres without sounding in a defined way. Was it your goal or result of musical tastes to play modern metal?

LH – Well, have to say no. We haven`t think so much, how we sound or how we should sound. I think we like melodies and songs are put together around melodies. It`s cool to spice those with synths etc. and try to look for new different things also. We have strong “old school” heavy metal roots, but like to listen new waves and explore new things.

MAtW – Do you need a certain mood or environment to write songs and lyrics?

LH – In finally you must get certain mood, but we wrote lyrics at same time when we are writing songs or then after. There are many things changing in writing process and we don’t want to tide things too much with lyrics before it starts to flow in certain way.

MAtW – What do you find cliché Finnish bands?

LH – This is really hard one, hmm…We have so many different style of bands, so nothing comes to my mind.

MAtW – Is the competition between bands in Finland tight or are the bands usually friendly with one another?

LH – Well I think bands are using another bands help in here more than trying to compete with each other. A lot of tours are made with bands together. I don’t really know how you can compete with another bands. Labels etc. will try to get best places to their artist, but I don’t think that any bands are so interested to that or will get  something out of that. People are those who will decide what band they like and listen to it.

MAtW – What is next for As I MAY in terms of shows?

LH – We are doing that FHMF Modern Metal Circus Tour in this year and there are a lot plans to next year, but nothing confirmed. We have new lighting setup etc. and it looks great.

MAtW – You also started the pre-production for your third album. Any spoilers ?

LH – Well no and no. Too early for that. That I can say that we have full vision how it should sound. It will be melodic, but I think we have couple aces in our sleeve left.

MAtW – What do you find more pleasure in – interpretation or writing?

LH – Well I like both, but I think I’m writer/composer most. I like to polish songs after everybody has already quit doing that.

MAtW – What is your favorite and least favorite part in being a musician?

LH – Creativity is most fun, when you have created something that you really like and it feels that you can just listen it time after time. But in reality you get bored to that really quick and then you have to start it all over again…..Least favorite…To get things moving forward how those should move.

MAtW – What inspires you when writing music and lyrics?

LH – In music melody off course or riff or some type of sound. It can be just an idea. In lyrics many things. It can be from some documentary or story that you have heard. Even from things that you see.

MAtW – Some bands “argue” on the order of the songs on an album. Does this happen in AS I MAY?

LH – Well, have to say that it hasn’t happened to this day. There are some rules how to get best out of album, but it changes which type of songs you have in it. We think it as whole when we write it, so that haven’t been problem ever. We will leave some songs out of the album if those won’t fit to it.

MAtW – Does a song title come before the actual lyrics once you are inspired by the theme or last?

LH – I think we have mostly song titles ready when we start doing demos, so we have some kind of picture where to aim for.

MAtW – “My Own Creations“ has a live feel to it. Was it written with this in mind to fit a live representation or is it a result of the dynamic compositions?

LH – No, we didn’t have that kind of thoughts. Just songs we liked.

MAtW – How important is it to still make videos today?

LH – I think it’s really important. It`s best marketing tool for bands. YouTube is a huge platform and people like to entertain themselves by watching videos.

MAtW – Lasse, you started playing guitar when you were about 11-12 years old. Did you start playing with the thought of forming a band or did the idea grow over time?

LH – No, I don’t think so or might dream from that. I think it’s natural to hook up with same type of guys in school who were playing some instrument or liked same type of music and it was nicer to play in groups than by yourself.

MAtW – In retrospect compared to the overall process behind "Speak No Evil" do you feel more stable as a band altogether?

LH – I think this band was born with this album and “Speak No Evil” was just something we had to do to get forward. Actually we were still looking a singer when we were finishing that album, but couldn’t find one, so we had to do it by ourselves. But it was process that we had to go thru to be this band that we are today and we have just started to “write” our own story to our book, but there’s long way to back cover.

MAtW – You said that “Pride Goes Before The Fall“ was written within 8 hours and not changed much during the creation process. Does this apply to all songs or some themes were harder to shape up?

LH – Well with Pride Goes Before A Fall all marks was in right place. It’s really rare. You can write some songs for years to get those sounding right. It`s hard to explain, but you know when it’s done. To this album, I think we wrote some songs like 14 times again. In Silent there was like 24 minutes of parts and riffs before we figured it out how it should put together.

MAtW – You and Tipi both own a studio. Care to talk a bit more on this?

LH – Tipi has recorded bands for some while and he’s pretty skillful with that. He has recorded many albums, singles and EP:s. My studio is just to my own purpose or I will help bands. It was really frustrated that you could not explore sounds or you weren’t happy with the final results, so I built my own. There`s also benefits from that. You can write music when you want to do it and have an endless time to do that.

MAtW – Time for the last question, THE RANDOM QUESTION: If life were a video game, what would some of the cheat codes be?

LH – I think I haven’t pretty much ever played any video games except sometimes I have played NHL in drunk with friends and guys are also same kind that they don’t play any games. Maybe Super Mario Bros when they were younger. We like to go to gym and lift weights, at least Tipi and I. Also, we like to spend time in the nature. Go fishing etc. We are from Finland so that’s pretty normal for us.

MAtW – Thank you!

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