Interviews: AITTALA

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the  Metal band, AITTALA from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

First, a lesson on how to pronounce it correctly since I know your readers are wondering.  It’s pronounced 'eye-tah-la' with emphasis on the first syllable.  It’s Finnish in origin. The band name is my last name (Eric-guitar/vocals).  But, ironically, I didn’t originally name the band. Back in 1991 when I was living in Holland while I was in the US military, I formed a band with an American singer (his wife was in the military) and a couple of Dutch guys. I already had quite a few songs written and we were learning those songs as we were organizing the band. It came time to decide on a band name. We tossed around numerous names, but either the name was taken or it didn’t seem to fit the style of music (sometimes band names immediately classify a band’s genre). Then the singer said, ‘let’s just call it ‘Aittala’ since we’re playing the songs you wrote and it’s ambiguous to a specific genre’.  And here we are!  

2. Why did you want to play this genre? 

I was a metal fan at a young age and of course, started playing guitar to be the next metal guitar god. As I got a little older and started writing songs, it was logical to write in that style; it just flows out of me organically. I didn’t choose metal, metal chose me.  

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

No. The original incarnation of Aittala was formed in 1991 while I was stationed in Holland with the US military. The band was starting to gain some traction on the Dutch metal scene, but, after a couple of years, I had to leave Holland as my military contract ended. I had intentions of continuing the band after I got settled in the US, but, it remained inactive for 15 years. In 2008, after relocating to North Carolina (USA), the time was right to resurrect the band and has been active ever since releasing 6 full-length albums (including the new album) along with 1 EP (released in 1993). The current line-up of AITTALA consists of Gary 'Zeus' Smith (joined in 2012) on drums and Ali Lugo (joined 2019) on bass.  

4. Each band member favourite band?

For me (Eric) it’s 80s metal in general. It’s what I grew up with. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate all kinds of music, but I always gravitate back to my first love.   

Ali (bass) - Faith No More because they did a bit of everything and did it very well.  

Gary (drums) - It’s impossible for me to choose a single band because at different stages in life I had many different favorite bands. Overall, I’d say Rush because I like Neil Peart so much.  

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

Lyrical inspiration comes from everywhere. I have a lyric book and constantly write down phrases or ideas that either pop in my head or I might hear someone say or just what I’m feeling.  When the urge hits, I’ll sit down and use those raw ingredients of words and phrases to start writing verses. Then from the verses, ideas and song themes or stories start to shape which get fleshed out into complete song lyrics.  

6. Where was your last gig? 

The last gig we played was at a private party in June 2022 and it’s the only show we played in 2022. We’ve been concentrating on finishing the new album and getting ready for its release.  

7. Where would you like to act?

Aittala has been on a couple of European tours in the past and we’re working on getting back there. Having lived in Japan for almost 3 years when I was younger, I would love to tour Japan at some point.  

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Aittala isn’t picky. We’ve played with death metal bands, hardcore bands, hard rock bands, etc. If the show is good and heavy in nature, we’ll be on it.  

9. Whom not?

I won’t name names, but there are some specific bands that we’ve played with in the past that I wouldn’t want to work with again because they thought their shit didn’t stink and acted like douchebags. 

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

Stage fright can be tough. I still remember the first time I played a show on a stage when I was 18, I was nervous and excited.

Luckily, I was only playing guitar, so I could just stand in one place and concentrate on playing guitar so I didn’t mess up (too much) To this day, I still get a little bit of stage fright, but after the first song, I’m fine. The best advice is practice makes perfect; just keep doing it and you should understand how to keep it in check. And if you use alcohol (I usually have a few drinks before a show) or other substances to help, just make sure you don’t overdo it.  

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

As mentioned prior, 80s metal was a big influence. For specific bands, the 2 most prevalent would be Metallica (first 4 albums) and Black Sabbath (Ozzy and Dio years).  

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

I don’t know if this classifies as ‘weird’, but a fan contacted me before we were playing a venue he planned on seeing us at again and asked if I had any copies of the original Selling Heaven EP from 1993 on cassette tape because he loved collecting everything from a band. Luckily, I still had a few copies left and was able to get him one. That’s something I would have never expected in a million years.

13. What do you think of your fans?

A band is nothing without fans, so we love each and every fan that takes the time to listen to the music, watch a video or even say hello to us online or at a show. 

14. What do you think of our site?

Your website and social media are excellent places to find and explore new bands. You do an amazing job supporting unknown/lesser-known bands. Keep up the excellent work! 

15. Something to add?

Also, support your favorite bands and keep discovering new ones by buying their music, and merch and seeing shows. Music is nothing without the fans.   Be sure to get a copy of our latest album ‘Live to Regret’ on Exitus Stratagem Records out on Nov 7, 2022 and like/subscribe/share to Aittala!

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