Interview with Vesa Salovaara – Vorna

Hi Vesa, it was nice to meet you at the Dark River Festival. Vorna impressed me immediately with their atmospheric and melodic metal. Your band was established in 2008 and you released 3 albums, the last „Sateet palata saavat“ in 2019. So tell me something about your musical roots and the beginning of the band Vorna.

Hi Liz! Thanks a lot, I’m glad to hear that. Vorna was founded in 2008 – as you mentioned – when I met Arttu (Järvisalo, guitar) and Henri (Lammintausta, guitar) for the very first time. We were just a bunch of teens with very little skill but strong passion for metal. We were particularly fond of melodic black metal and folk metal scene. The line-up was complete within the first year of band’s existence and has been the same through all these years. I think our style has evolved very naturally from the obvious influences of our early years towards our rather versatile melancholic approach of today.

As a six-peace band you all brought in different musical influences. Which were and still are the main ones?

In the beginning, we sure looked up to bands like Moonsorrow and were fans of 90’s melodic black metal in general. Nowadays it’s very hard to pinpoint the main influences as there are so many and our individuals tastes in music are ever evolving. I think it’s more like that we are subconsciously aware how Vorna-songs should… feel like? The overall atmosphere. Otherwise at least I personally feel I could drawn influences and inspiration from every imaginable source. The atmosphere is the most important factor in our music, stylistic choices are secondary and only have to support the mood and message of the music and lyrics.

Tell us something about your bandname and -logo. Whats the meaning and who had the idea for it?

Vorna is a Finnish folklore character, giant man and kind of an antihero, who robbed both Finnish and Russian people until was killed naked behind his sauna by Finnish people. I came up with the name few weeks after Vorna was formed. Felt like a fitting name for a metal band and still does. Later on we found out there are also couple of villages called Vorna in Finland.

Who’s the songwriter in your band or is it teamwork? What inspires you to the lyrics?

Most of Vorna’s songs are written by Arttu, Mikael and me, but everyone contributes to the writing process more or less, so in the end it’s a true team effort. I get inspiration for the lyrics mostly by looking deep into myself. I’ve came to conclusion that topics that make me feel something, preferably on a deeper level, tend to resonate the best in the listeners as well. Aesthetically my lyrics are filled with all kinds of nature references and metaphors.

Could you imagine to sing in english too or is it something that wouldn’t fit to your melodies and lyrics? Do you have translations for all songs in english?

We actually tried using English on our first two demos, but soon thought that Finnish fits our style better. And also, authenticity has been an important value for Vorna since the beginning, I think our choice to sing in our native tongue underlines that and simply feels right. That said, I’ve written and sung in English for example in Ephemerald. I have to say I enjoy writing in Finnish much more but singing itself and making vocal arrangements might be a bit easier in English.

In Vorna, we of course acknowledge that understanding the lyrics is important to many. Thus, we translated the lyrics of our newest album “Sateet palata saavat“ in English; the translations are in the booklet and can be found on our website as well.

You already toured in Europe in 2015. How were the reactions of the audience so far?

Surprisingly great, considering that was our first time touring abroad and our 2nd album wasn’t even out yet. We’re looking forward to return to Europe as soon as possible. As for everyone else as well, our tours and gig plans has been continuously postponed or cancelled due to pandemic. Let’s hope there are better times ahead in the not-so-distant-future.

Can you remember any funny situation on tour?

I guess the funniest memories are the ones the people associated to them don’t want to be spoken of publicly. Cups of tea were enjoyed, wonderful times were had.

Your latest release was in autumn 2019 and I’m sure you wanted to go on tour with it. Will you do that maybe next year when it’s possible?

Sure did. Still, I guess we were the lucky ones as the album came out already in the autumn 2019 and we got the chance to play the first leg of our Finnish album release tour at least. Many others have had it worse, having to postpone their album release partys again and again. As the pandemic is still putting societys on their knees, Vorna’s focus is now starting to lean towards songwriting process of our 4th album. We aim to play whatever shows have already booked but are not actively making new massive touring plans before the next album.

Since you weren’t able to tour in 2020/21, did you already work on new songs?

There’s always something new brewing, but especially 2020 was fairly dry songwriting year for Vorna. I personally spent 2020 pretty much writing and releasing my other band Ephemerald’s debut album. Also I guess we’ve felt a bit uninspired because of the pandemic which put us under a major stress in our private lives as well. And I’d say it’s probably also partly because we were so strongly in the touring-mode and eagerly waiting all those many touring plans to happen which never did. At the moment, though, new song ideas are popping up left and right.

Do you have other interests/hobbies beside music?

I enjoy writing in general, spending time in nature and doing sports whenever I can. Craft beers and good whiskys are also good company every now and then.

Do you have other news you want to share with your fans?

No special news here, but a gentle reminder to all to enjoy every live event you get – it might be the last one for a while. Even if this pandemic will soon subside, it’s probably a good idea to try cherish the things you love when given the chance. Stay healthy and let us hope we’ll see you soon on the road.

Thank you for your time and see you soon.

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