The new year has already proved to be eventful for alternative death metal outfit Medeia, who released their latest full-length, “Xenosis”, worldwide on January 18. The Tampere-based group, comprised of Frans Aalto (lead vocals), Samuli “Sampe” Peltola (guitar, vocals), Pekko Mörö (guitar), Laura Dziadulewicz (piano, synth, vocals), Samuli Kuusinen (bass, vocals), and Janne Putkisaari (drums, vocals) celebrated with two shows this weekend in Jyväskylä and Helsinki.
Prior to Medeia’s explosive set at Metal Crane Festival, Peltola sat down with Metal Solstice to discuss the “Xenosis” creative process, challenges along the road to releasing the album, and his thoughts on the band’s creative trajectory.
Q: Medeia played at JKL Metal Festival last night; how was it?
A: Tanssisali Lutakko is a classic venue; it’s homey, familiar, and we were happy to see over 300 people in a club that size. It was also myGRAIN’s first show in four years now, but you couldn’t tell!
Q: How are you feeling now that “Xenosis” is out in the world?
A: In early January 2018, we had a contract that expired with a label, but it still took a lot of struggle and bureaucracy to get out of it. We played four shows with [Swedish hardcore punk band] Raised Fist and that’s how we met our manager, Rowan Rafferty at Nem Agency. He worked for an intense three or four months to find us a record deal with Playground Music.
So, I went from depressed as shit to ecstatic, because I thought “Xenosis” could have lived on my laptop forever. It was good, but we didn’t know how to get it out. I was dead tired last night so I went to bed, but the rest of the band was still up at 7:00 a.m. partying to celebrate.
Q: Tell me more about the “Xenosis” creative process.
A: Long! When we got started, this was meant to be an album trilogy, and it took 10 years to do that. The last of the three was in 2011, and we’re coming back to it. I have a love/hate relationship with the trilogy, because we spent so much time on it. “Xenosis” is meant to be the prologue, like a twisted Genesis. It provides answers to the trilogy, builds out the concept, and provides a deeper base layer to how the story got started.
Q: How did the band grow musically with this release?
A: Well, in the early days, we wrote short, stinging songs with less melody. Then, as the album trilogy progressed, we tuned down and lowered tempos. The music got heavier, pressurizing. Then, with “Icon”, we wanted to make a melodic album that was personal to us; there was room to breathe, and an uplifted sound.
For “Xenosis”, we’ve taken the best parts of both styles, but with a bit of direction. It’s fast, rough, and you’ll hear our signature riffs- but there is also balance.
Q: What was the inspiration behind “Insectia”, the first single from this album?
A: It’s a metaphor. The last album was about someone hallucinating that he was about to die, and he descends into the layers of hell. When he dies, insects inherit the world.
It also ties to a concrete idea that as humans, we’re overpopulating the earth. If you look at us from a satellite, we’re covering continents and seas like insects, so there’s a relevance to the big picture.