The gothic and death metal legend Paradise Lost play their only gig in Finland this summer at Ilosaarirock. Waltteri Väyrynen, a Finnish 21-year-old drummer, has big shoes to fill as the legendary band’s tour drummer. We interviewed Väyrynen in May before Paradise Lost’s summer tour, and it turns out he’s been a frequent visitor at Ilosaarirock himself.
Waltteri Väyrynen. Photo: Terhi Ylimäinen.
During the last two decades, Paradise Lost have unquestionably become one of the most legendary bands in gothic metal. That’s why it’s not an exaggeration to say that in the case of Waltteri Väyrynen, a metal fan’s dream has come true. Paradise Lost guitarist Gregor Mackintosh hired Väyrynen first as the tour drummer for his solo project Vallenfyre, which eventually led Väyrynen’s way to Paradise Lost itself. The young virtuoso has been touring with the band for a year now.
But how is he doing now?
–I’m fine. We haven’t had that many gigs this spring. The summer will be more busy, but for now I’ve sort of been on a vacation.
Well, how does it feel? To play with Paradise Lost!
–It’s awesome! Paradise Lost have been one of my favourite bands since I was a kid, so of course it felt great to get to play with them yourself. Me and the rest of the guys get along really well and the gigs have been great, too. Can’t complain!
When touring with a world-class metal band you also get to see the world, of course. Last year Paradise Lost toured in four continents and this year they’ll play in many new countries.
–I’ve played over fifty gigs this past year, so I’m getting quite used to it.
In June 2015, Paradise Lost published their 14th album, The Plague Within. The tour that followed didn’t reach many summer festivals, but this summer Väyrynen gets to play many festival gigs.
–For me, this is the first summer when I get to play festival gigs properly. I think we’re going to do about fifteen festivals. At the end of May we also play one gig in the US at Maryland Deathfest. That’s pretty cool.
Do you have time to enjoy any summer festivals outside the stage?
–I always try to, when we’re playing at a festival. But I think this summer I won’t have much time to go to festivals purely as a member of the audience.
When the conversation turns to Ilosaarirock, turns out that Väyrynen himself has been there many times.
–The funny thing is that Ilosaarirock is the most important festival for me in Finland. It was the first festival I ever went to as a kid, and I think this is the fifth or sixth time that I get to be there. Of course there are other great festivals in Finland, Tuska, for example, but somehow Ilosaarirock is special to me, because I’ve been there since I was a teenager. It’s really great to get to play there myself for the first time.
Väyrynen is looking forward to play in his home country.
–Last autumn we played at a club in Helsinki, and that gig is the most memorable one of the whole tour. So Ilosaarirock will also be special, because you sort of get to play for your own people.
Väyrynen also mentions his first Ilosaarirock as one of the best summer festival memories.
–The whole experience of being at a summer festival for the first time has particularly stuck in my mind. I think the year was 2008. Cult of Luna was my absolute favourite that year, the gig was just awesome. And Heaven Shall Burn was also great.
Do you have any negative festival memories?
–Probably something like it’s been really rainy or the toilets have been really disgusting. Otherwise I haven’t had anything really bad happen to me.
Väyrynen’s recommendations for this year’s bands are the Finnish metal band Moonsorrow and the British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding.
–I’ve got to check out Moonsorrow. Goulding would be interesting, but I think she’s playing on a different day than we, so I doubt I’ll see her. The whole line-up seems great as usual. Can’t wait!
Maybe in Ilosaarirock Väyrynen can find some time to enjoy the festival atmosphere among the audience.
–We’re playing in the afternoon, not too early or too late. So there’s plenty of time to party after the gig.
Waltteri Väyrynen’s final greetings to the festival audience: