Exclusive Interview with Markus Vanhala From Insomnium


For the new year we got in touch with Insomnium's guitarist Markus Vanhala for a quick interview about their latest album and 2015 tour.  

With having great success with their new album 'Shadows of the Dying Sun', they are currently touring the United States with Dark Tranquillity for the next couple of months, it is exciting that we could sit down and see what else they are up to.

First off, I would like to congratulate you on your latest album release and all the success that it has had.

Thanks! We’ve been pretty damn happy for the feedback and outcome that the album have received.

Your album ‘Shadows of the Dying Sun’ was a big hit here at Metal CallOut and made our Top 10 Heavy Metal Albums of 2014. What was some of your inspiration for the album?

For me this was of course a special album, as this was the first actual record where I was involved in Insomnium, after joining the band 4 years ago. So we kind of a inspired each other with this new situation as the guy’s knew me from my another band Omnium Gatherum and I had been the fan of Insomnium already long time. I guess lyrically speaking the album was inspired and dealing with more personal things and realizing that everything in this world dies away at some point and it would be good to stop for awhile and look what’s around.

Not only did you release a brand new album, you have also recently released ‘The Candlelight Years’, which included your previous four albums from when you were with Candlelight Records. Was this a way to start a new chapter for Insomnium?

Well, to be honest we the band didn’t had anything to do with this “Candlelight Years” compilation as our previous label informed us about the release when this was already coming. Even the cover artworx of the album were decided outside the band’s brains, which was a bit funny. But glad they did the release so fans can get their collectors items…

You guys are going to be out on the road touring for the next couple of months. North American tour starting on January 4th and then heading back to Europe in March. Are there any rituals you do when preparing for a show?

Sacrifice some goats, ehhhm, beers. ;) Nothing really special to say. Learning to play and mosh I guess. It’s been quite hectic after the album release in gig front, as we did lots of festivals and headliner tour in Europe, now this North American tour with Dark Tranquillity, and it seems too it will be really active concert front for the whole year 2015. Which is nice.

Insomnium 2015 US Tour Dates

Jan. 4 - New York, NY - The Gramercy Theatre
Jan. 5 - West Springfield, VA - Empire
Jan. 6 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero
Jan. 7 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium
Jan. 8 - Quebec City, QC - Dagobert
Jan. 9 - Montreal, QC - FouFounes
Jan. 10 - Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
Jan. 11 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
Jan. 12 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
Jan. 13 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Ballroom
Jan. 14 - Kokomo, IN - Centerstage
Jan. 15 - Joliet, IL - Mojoes
Jan. 16 - Minnesota, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
Jan. 17 - Winnipeg, MB - The West End Cultural Center
Jan. 18 - Saskatoon, SK - Louis Pub
Jan. 19 - Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
Jan. 20 - Calgary, AB - Republik
Jan. 22 - Vancouver, BC - The Venue
Jan. 23 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
Jan. 24 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
Jan. 25 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
Jan. 26 - Anaheim, CA - The Grove
Jan. 27 - Tempe, AZ - Club Red
Jan. 29 - Dallas, TX - Neon Trees

What is more exciting, releasing a new album or going out on tour?

It’s like three-piece project to do an album; composing it, recording and doing it in studio and then go promoting it and play concerts. I like all the processes, as they’re really diverse. Creative process first, then producing it on tape and then redeem the prize and play it for the audiences all over the world.

What is your favorite song(s) to perform live?

At the moment my live favorites are maybe “Promethean Song” and “While We Sleep” from the newest album. They’re fresh songs and we haven’t YET over-played ‘em. From old classics I love for example “Killjoy”.

Insomnium Live

Are there any big plans for Insomnium after the two big tours?

Yes. Of course. Haha. More tours and festivals coming this year for sure for at least three continents I hope. And I’m pretty sure.

What band(s) inspired you to get into Heavy Metal?

Ordinary story of a young kid who loved Iron Maiden, WASP and Kiss and this 80’s heavy metal and hard rock thing. Then came thrash metal with Metallica, Sepultura, Megadeth and Annihilator, and after that came death metal with Death, Obituary and Entombed. Then came the more melodic Finnish-Swedish movement with Amorphis, Sentenced, At The Gates, Edge Of Sanity, Dark Tranquillity etc…. When you’re young it’s about this “gate-theory”, some band will lead you to another one and a step by step more brutal way your musical taste is going. Then when you’re getting older it’s going again more softer way….

What albums have you been recently listening to?

The new At The Gates and Arch Enemy albums really caught my ears, as also the new Foo Fighters and Anathema. Lots of good records came out last year.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t in the music industry?

Sell drugs and prostitutes. Or be a priest or plumber. I dunno where the road would’ve lead if you take different decisions in your brain. 

What is some advice that you would give new musicians trying to make it?

It’s a long road, and there’s not really shortcuts even nowadays it seems that all these Idols –things and Youtube celebrities get everything fast and cheaply. But for a long and respected career in metal you have to work hard and long and be dedicated to what you love doing. Keep the faith buddies! 

I would like to thank Markus again for doing this with us.  If you haven't checkout their new ablum 'Shadows of the Dying Sun' do so, it was one of our Top 10 Heavy Metal Albums of the Year.  You can follow Insomnium at their [Facebook page].

Average: 5 (2 votes)

About Cody Sparks

Cody Sparks's picture


Writer and Developer for Metal CallOut.  Favorite sub genre of heavy metal includes Melodic Death, Thrash and Traditional. Sparks can be found at @SparksFury or at Google+.

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