A month ago I finally wrapped my thoughts regarding “Singularity” after having postponed several times my excursion into said album’s atmospheric density. It didn’t take long for me to give in to the beautifully arranged tracks, amazed from the beginning and so I’ve played this album quite heavily for some time now. I’ve been meaning to interview the crafty mastermind behind this band, Jari Lindholm, since way back when I was writing for The Metal Observer, and now I finally got the chance. I’m an avid of the guy’s repertoire, so I lured in some questions about his other bands, his studio work and other areas revolving his musical background while talking about the latest creation of Enshine.
Hello Jari! How are you doing? I’m guessing you’re in the studio because that’s where your time is spent the most right?
Jari: Hey Fróði! Well it´s been a few days since doing any studio stuff now, I work almost full time apart from my music and this week has been a busy one. But a lot of my spare time is spent at the studio indeed, although lately I have been able to do more editing and mixing and such at home luckily and with satisfying results.
I see. So what are you working on these days?
Jari: Right now I´m focusing on preparing and rehearsing for live shows with Seas of Years, which are planned for this spring. I’m also working on recording a doom / atmospheric metal version of a classical piece just for fun.
A classical piece eh? That sounds exciting, I’ll have to follow up on that at some point hehe. Shall we switch over to “Singularity”? A fantastic album by the way. This is your second Enshine album; can you tell a bit about its creation from songwriting, conceptual development, recordings etc?
Jari: Thanks! It’s different from the debut in several ways. Firstly it was written more in collaboration by me and Seb, secondly, major parts of it were written in France and I think certainly different environments reflect differently in the music. But in the same way as on the debut I think each song captures a brief moment in time, with the foundations of each composition laid during a single day for every song. It was mostly recorded in my studio here in Sweden with the exception of the drums, this time recorded by the session drummer, Fredrik, at his own place.
It’s been getting massive positive responses. It seems that your music with Enshine reaches a lot of different listener segments. How do you feel about the album now that it’s been out there for some months?
Jari: I don’t contemplate too much on any album once it is done and it has been so for pretty much every release I have done since 2010 or so. Mainly because I get completely brainwashed with it listening to it thousands of times during the recording and mixing and once it’s out I can’t listen to it without becoming overly analytical about all the sonic details most of all. So it’s hard to say, but in general I think we achieved what we set out to do!
I personally felt that the songwriting has developed; the atmospheres are intricate and extreme in a way that they have a stimulating effect, you almost get the feeling of catharsis after listening to the album. What’s the songwriting motive of this album?
Jari: I don’t know if there is a different motive from one time to another when writing songs, it’s always just about writing the best possible music with whatever feelings and inspiration you have at hand at the moment!
This leads to an extension of my previous question. You started up Enshine some years ago; I believe it was 2008 or 2009? What was the purpose to start this band, can you tell me a bit about its “origins” (pun intended)?
Jari: Hehe. Well I had some riffs and ideas in store around 2009 which at the time didn’t fit into anything I was working on, so they had to go somewhere because I didn’t want them to go to waste.
I noticed on the band’s Facebook page there’s a description that says “…A musical exploration of the world within”. What exactly does this message entail?
Jari: Sometimes I like to dive into the universe of the mind, a sort of meditation I guess. And sometimes I just end up in this state naturally while composing.
Enshine is pretty much a studio project of yours, and obviously Sebastian involved with lyrics and conceptual planning, but who else is in the line-up?
Jari: From the beginning it was yes, but nowadays we are both main contributors / songwriters. We had different recording line-ups for both albums, on “Origin” we had Oscar Borgenstam and Siavosh Bigonah on Drums / Bass, both who I had played with in Slumber and Atoma, on Singularity we had Fredrik Widigs on drums who has played on a great amount of albums with different bands, and I recorded the bass by myself this time.
Alright, we’ve talked a bit about your latest album and the band itself, I’d like to get to know the person Jari Lindholm a bit better. First of all, when did you start appreciating music?
Jari: Oh, it’s a good question. Of course, there was music I liked during childhood, but I guess as a real passion when I discovered rock and metal around age 10 – 11 or so. I had been playing instruments (piano, accordion, yes actually!) before and thought it was so so, but then discovered I could make fucking awesome noises scratching and chugging on the strings of electric guitars and then I was really hooked.
What’s is your relation to music the past years? Now that there’s so much music available all the time, do you still find bands that amaze you?
Jari: Yes but it’s rare! I had a big gap after around year 2000 which lasted about 10 years where I found nothing new, exciting or inspirational. But then I discovered I needed to dig a little deeper into the underground to find the hidden gems! I think the new ways for smaller bands to distribute their music has helped. I often browse around bandcamp randomly to find new good stuff for example.
You’re doing a lot of studio work it seems. Do you have your own professional studio where you offer your services to bands, or do you work as an engineer here and there?
Jari: At the moment I only use the studio for my own projects since I work more time in my “regular” jobs. But I have done recording and mixing for others in the past too. It’s not really a commercial studio though but still a pretty adequate facility for the projects I do.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be more of a studio musician than someone playing on stage every weekend. Any truth to that? Do you play live often these days and how much did you play live in other bands?
Jari: Yeah that is true; I do a few gigs every couple of years or so haha. But I hope to change that eventually! However I don’t see myself ever touring during a large part of the year, it’s not really possible considering my jobs and such.
I’ve listened a great deal the music you’ve created in other bands, especially the Slumber album; I can’t list how many times I’ve listened to it. It’s ok if you don’t want to dwell on subjects from the past, but I was wondering what happened to that band.
Jari: Well the style and musical interests of the band members changed and later it felt more adequate to transform it into a new entity.
Were you a part of Atoma to begin with? I remember being a bit confused over the transition from Slumber to Atoma.
Jari: Yes, I was involved in the song writing process for a few years, and recorded most of the guitar parts. However I wasn’t present in the studio very much after the guitars had been tracked. I was involved on and off but at the time the album was released I had permanently left the band except for the Slumber / Atoma gig we did in Romania.
Your current bands include Exgenesis and another band, which I’ve yet to check out, Seas Of Years. How do all these projects fit regarding your songwriting? I mean, when do you know if a riff or an idea goes to Enshine, Exgenesis and so on?
Jari: Hmm I think it comes naturally somehow. The moods and goals are different. Enshine has a lot of keyboard atmospheres and such while in Exgenesis I try to create atmospheres with the guitar instead and keep keys to a minimum. It’s a different challenge. Also the totally different tunings used make me play in slightly different ways. Seas of Years is more (post) rock than metal, we don’t use any chuggy palm mutes etc. but base a lot of the sound on big reverbs and other effects. It’s also instrumental which makes the arrangements quite different.
Ok thanks for answering these questions regarding your musical past. Let’s go back to the present. Enshine is signed to Rain Without End Records. How’s this cooperation working so far?
Jari: Oh quite well I think, it’s a small and personal label and it has it’s advantages!
The music industry is changing rapidly almost each day; one really needs to think about what kind of setup will benefit your band these days. This leads me to ask, are labels still relevant in 2016? I mean you have home recording studios, bandcamp etc.
Jari: At least when it comes to releasing your music in physical format I think yes. Even if I do to some extent send out cd-orders myself, I’d rather spend the time making new music than to make huge investments in printing on my own expense and so on. Home recording studios I think are more or less a necessity these days for many bands as only the really big labels would provide a recording budget these days.
My interview will culminate with this one question that I think a lot of people are curious to know. Will Enshine be taken to the stage for live performances in the future?
Jari: At some point I believe yes. It would be too bad if it never happens! But with that said, I think it will take some time before it happens.
I think we’re good then. Thanks you for taking the time to answer my questions. The last words are yours.
Jari: I still haven’t really figured out what my last words will be but in the meanwhile many thanks for supporting us on EMV!
For more info about Enshine, check out their Facebook page here
“Singularity” is out now through Rain Without End Records
Extreme Metal Voyager review can be read here