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Download 2005: Apocalyptica

10 June 2005

Perttu Kivilaakso, one of the four cellists who make up the mighty Apocalyptica, takes time out over the Download weekend to talk about playing metal with wooden instruments and THAT Metallica gig.

Virtual Festivals: Youíve previously supported Metallica so the question on everyone's lips is whether youíre drafting them in to your set this time round?
Perttu Kivilaakso: We havenít heard anything about it! Hopefully we can play on our own now, but anyway, it was really funny two years ago when we were practicing with Metallica. We were supposed to open our set as we usually do and then Metallica would just comes to kick us out, but it didnít quite go to plan. There ended up being a long wait in between us and them but anyhow, Donington and the overall English crowd are really cool and every time we play here, it's really great.

VF: You guys are big in Germany and all over the place but whatís the British crowd like compared to the mainland Europe crowd?
PK: I would say theyíre a bit more wild than, for example the Germans. Maybe our listeners are more grown up and listen to the music more carefully but of course it always explodes in the end - both on stage and in the crowd. We have started to work more in France and the French crowd are really like the English. Itís surprising to see how they react.

VF: Journalists cant pigeon-hole you into being metal/rock/classical. Is there any kind of genre you put yourself in?
PK: Itís what happens when classical and metal influences come together and basically influences from everything in between all done on cello.

VF: Do you play other instruments apart from the cello?
PK: Yeah, I play guitar and piano ok but the cello has always been my number one instrument. Iíve been playing since I was five - too many years!

VF: A lot of bands smash up guitars but the cello is a very expensive instrument Ė do you ever trash your instruments on stage?
PK: I have broken too many of them in the past. When other bands break their instruments, we joke that we should come to the stage and re-build them Ė that would be something different!

VF: Who are you looking forward to catching out of any of the bands that are on?
PK: I would like to see Megadeth because Iíve been listening to their music since I was young. Itís always nice to see someone who you musically respect.

VF: Going back to the cello, do you ever feel like you just want to plug in a guitar and just crank it up as loud as you can? Do you ever just want to throw yourself around on stage?
PK: Actually we do run on stage with our cellos!

VF: How do you play the cello running around?!
PK: We had to learn it! At one point, maybe four years ago, the first time it happened was at a Sepultura gig where I felt that itís so stupid to just sit there so I just went off the stage to the crowd and since then weíve been moving quite a lot. The cello is not as free as the guitar to play but, in breaks between the music, we can go to different parts of the stage and interact with the crowd more. It makes it more interesting at least for us and definitely for our audience. Itís much more difficult but it makes it more of a challenge.



- Click here to discuss this on the Festival Forums!
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Thanks to: Chris McCormick

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