Sonic Seducer Magazine | Interview with Oldschool Union

by Catrin Nordwig | Mar. 2016 |

So this is your second record. Since you are doing oldschool EBM, obviously there were no things you wanted to change regarding the style of your music 😉 But did you want to change anything else, compared to your debut?

This is actually our third album. First one was self-published album called “Vanha koulu” (Old School).   Compared to previous one we ofcourse wanted to make better production, get more impact to the sound but also seeking more melodic content aswell.   In beginning there was quite a lot seeking and thinking what we want to do. Should we go more brutal or electronic techno sound… then we stopped thinking and did what feeled good. I think that is best recipe for us. I also have to say that many people seems to think that oldschool is repeating the same things and cannot evolve. That is not true. Oldschool is style. not a definition referring to something old. It evolves and takes influences but keeps the style intact.

What do you think, what makes Oldschool Union special amongst all these new/smaller oldschool EBM bands these days?

Language and lyrics. Lyrics ofcourse are mainly meaningfull to finnish people and some swedes.   Otherwise I don’t know if we are, or want to be anything special. When you are doing music, focus should be making good songs at best you can. Always seeking the better baseline, perfect verses and create the ultimate stomping song.

You decided to sing in your mother tongue. Why?

Back in days I (Seppo) was listening lot of Swedish and german bands. I liked that they sing in their native language. I wanted to take Finnish language in to use in EBM but everybody I talked said that it will not work. It would be too humorous. Anyway, I push it idea forward and oldschool union was born. Nowdays, I think we will stick to our native language as we can use it better on lyrics wise. For our Finnish listeners, we have words with douple meanings and some content which just cant translated to example English. If we would do song in English, it would propably be to general and we would lose something.

There are many bands singing in Swedish, which is pretty much favoured by the (German) audience; most people even are able to sing along. What do you think, why are Scandinavian languages so fascinating and fitting for this genre?

I think we have to give big thanks to our brothers in Sweden. They just have produced so good music by their native language that it has broken the language barricades. This also has made it easier to many other bands to sing in their native language. It’s nice to here some polish, Spanish etc.. aswell.

And since I am absolutely not capable of understanding only a single Finish word: what are your songs about?

We don’t have any rules about things we sing but we concentrate quite a bit to things that are wrong. Corrupted politicians, bureaucracy, hard life of the working men, greed of companies and other things we see that are just wrong in Finland and elsewhere. As a counter balance we do songs about drinking and some klishe things about finland. Usually those include little bit dark humour aswell.

How do you produce your music? Are you using digital devices only or maybe analogue ones, too? (etc.)

We don’t care so much how we do it as long as we get it done. We have been using both and like experiment a lot. Lately is has been more of digital emulations but next we propably will use analog gear. We don’t usually do album with certain technique… we may change things between every song.

By now, you played at Familientreffen and on the new album, there’s an “Anhalt” mix featured. What is your relationship with the German oldschool EBM scene like? And who is responsible exactly for this remix?

This remix was done by us. It was actually the original version but then we made the other. We were happy to play at Familientreffen and we love the scene there. Happening and people were just awesome! Like a trip to a heaven filled with Oldschool EBM!

You were the first Finish oldschool EBM band. What was it like starting an EBM band in a country where EBM is not that big as it is, for example, in Germany or Sweden?

Clubs and scene may be small but I don’t think that makes so much difference. Maybe bigger problem for us in a start wast that most of scene listened dark-electro or harsch ebm, there is no “synthare” culture. We had to convince the audience to listen something that they were not used to.

In general: what is the EBM scene like in Finland? Do you have parties/concerts to go to?

Scene is small but active in Finland. However, it is often combined with gothic scene. As the amount of people is very small, we usually gather all darklings under one roof. For foreign bands Finland is nice place to play as people really welcomes bands here and showing it by dancing a lot in concerts.

What are your plans for the coming months?

We propably do couple video’s next as we have been lacking in that department. Other than that we will check what tomorrow brings us!