Doomed Nation

Sounds For The Lost Generation

Doomed Confessionary: Hannes Hietarinta & Ville Kaisla (Besra)

Photos by Aleks Talve

Change is often painful. Besra – progressive post-metal from Turku, Finland.

Born from the vision of guitarist Johannes Nygård (ex-Callisto), the group’s music has always defied easy categorisation. With all its genre-bending twists and turns, Besra consistently manages to surprise its listeners, creating wistful emotional landscapes alongside their intense aggression.

After a long writing and recording process, Besra have unleashed their bold second album »Transitions« on September 29th, 2023 via Suicide Records. They are now ready to present their energetic live show across Europe.

Besra are Hannes Hietarinta (vocals & keys), Ville Kaisla (drums), Ville Kujansuu (guitars), Mika Mäkilaakso (keys & guitars), Johannes Nygård (guitars) and Pekko Seppälä (bass).

Can you say a few words about your band?
HH: Besra is a progressive post-metal group from Finland. Our music is characterized by atmospheric soundscapes, heavy riffs, and introspective lyrics that delve into themes of human emotion and existence. We’ve released two albums and one studio live EP. We are six musicians.

What was the biggest challenge for the band last year?
HH: I think it was to get our second album, »Transitions«, released. We had a lot of work in all the areas regarding the release: finding a suitable label, getting all the material recorded & mixed, making videos for the songs, cover arts, promoting, you name it.

VK: We wanted to do a lot of things ourselves – from recording to cover art. Many of us are such perfectionists that maintaining our energy levels was a challenge. Let’s just say that it would have been nice if there had been more time for vacations last year.

What can you be most proud of so far?
HH: Of course the new album is a big thing, but also the fact that we have taken a huge leap forward as a band musically and as a group of people functioning together. Each release and live performance feels like a step forward, and the support from our fans fuels our passion for creating music.

VK: Yeah. There could always be more new fans, but what has lifted my spirits is the people who have discovered our band for the first time and have really raved about our new album. A few truly glowing album reviews have also stuck with me, as they seem to have really captured what we were aiming to achieve with our record.

What was your biggest regret?
VK: Maybe the fact that it took so long to compose this album – after all, our debut was released back in 2018 so it took 5 years to get the new one out. Now, however, it seems like we’re in a higher gear, and that’s a good thing. So, onward and upward!

HH: It would have been nice to play more gigs as well, but we’ll make up for that in the near future.

What was the best concert/tour so far and why?
HH: The best one for me has probably been our performance at the Tallin Music Week 2021.

VK: This has stayed with me as well because it was our first gig after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. It felt so magical to perform for a live audience again after such a long time. In Finland, the venues weren’t open at that time, so it felt really strange to be in a club packed with people after years of isolation.

What was the biggest surprise on the music scene for you?
HH: If you mean in general, it has been quite surprising how the business has changed to more social media driven circus where every bit of attention is needed to get your music out there.

VK: I can definitely relate to that. I manage our social media contents a lot, and it can be quite a task if you want to do it well. We don’t want to post any meaningless junk on social media, so sometimes a lot of time goes into pondering over each post. Documenting things obviously takes away time from making music. At the same time, it’s fascinating how much deeper you can dive into bands these days. Receiving messages from other bands and fans is always fun.

What is currently in your heavy musical rotation?
HH: I’m in an ambient playlist phase at the moment. Feels like every day life is a bit hectic so it feels soothing to just drive your car with some ambient tunes on.

VK: We’re currently composing new music, and at the moment, it tends to lean towards the more electronic and tranquil side for me as well. During times like these, I often find myself listening to something completely different from our own genre. However we did list our members’ favorite albums from last year and created a Spotify playlist out of it. Go check it out!

What was the best advice you’ve ever been given as a musician?
HH: Do your own thing regardless of what other people think or say!

VK: Learn the theory and practice hard, but when creating music and art, forget it all.

What are your guilty pleasures?
HH: I like to keep things in order, sometimes maybe exceedingly so

VK: I have a strong cappuccino addiction. I need to have at least one cup per day. It can get really tricky when playing in very underground venues but I try to keep myself under control! Sometimes we bring our own espresso gear with us, heh!

Can you say something more about the music scene in Turku / Finland?
HH: There has always been quite a strong punk/rock/metal/alt underground scene in Turku that seems to have been sleeping for some years now. It feels like it has finally awaken from it’s slumber and we’re getting more and more live shows here.

VK: Local venues have been more active lately and it feels like there are really good gigs here. At the moment, there are several good active bands in Turku that cross paths with us from a distance, let’s mention e.g. Throat, Sunniva, Slowenya, Svarta Havet, Mansion, Craneium, Einvigi and Oddland.

Where can we see you live this year (concerts/tours)?
HH: We have a few local shows coming, but we’re working on some dates abroad Finland this year so stay tuned!

VK: In September, there’s an especially great event happening in Gothenburg organized by our record label, Suicide Records. They’re releasing a charity compilation album as part of their work in benefit of Suicide Zero (an organization that works to prevent suicides), and we’ll be playing at the associated event.

What are your plans for the future as a band?
HH: We’re currently composing songs for our third album, but working hard to get more live shows.

VK: And before our third full-length album, you might get a small dose of our new music perhaps even this year! How about that?

How can people best support your band?
HH: Go and follow us on social media, listen to the music, buy the vinyls, come to the shows and tell your friend about it. I guess it’s simple as that.

VK: Check also out our record label, Suicide Records. They have a lot of great music coming out at the moment, every album beautifully pressed on vinyl!

Do you have any message for your listeners?
HH: There’s a lot of noise in the world, I guess we’re trying to make something worthwhile to catch your attention and focus. To make the noise a bit more beautiful.

VK: Give our music some time, and you might be surprised.

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Bojan Bidovc // music enthusiast, promoter, misanthrop and sometimes a journalist as well

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