Интервю с TEEMU MÄNTYSAARI (Wintersun)

Wintersun are on the top of their powers. They released the super successful and long-anticipated second album-TIME I and it destroyed the world with its incredible music. The youngest member of the band is Teemu Mäntysaari that blows the experienced guitarists’ minds and is pounding womens’ hearts all over the world every second. The release of the new album-TIME II-is the occasion to talk with him.

Hello! 🙂 First, thank you for this opportunity! Please introduce yourself!
Hello, I’m Teemu Mäntysaari. I play guitar in Wintersun.

Where are you now? How is the tour going so far?

Spending a day off in Roswell, New Mexico. The tour has been very successful so far and yet another great experience! We’ve been having good time on and off the stage and we’re very happy about the reception and reactions we’ve gotten from the audiences everywhere.

I see you give special meet n greets and access to soundchecks..even some private dinners and some guitar lessons on tour. This is really really nice. It is great that you try to keep in touch with fans. What do you think about those selfish musicians who forget how did they become famous and forget to thank fans and to keep to the ground?

I think it’s important for any band to respect their fans, because – like you said – after all they are the ones who buy the albums, come to the shows, buy merchandise and make it possible for a band to keep on releasing music and touring.
On the North American headlining tour we wanted to try something new and offer all the fans who bought their ticket in pre-sale a special possibility to win an access to the soundcheck and meet & greet. The private dinner was even more exclusive thing that we did only once on this tour. All of these things, including also my private guitar lessons, have been something we haven’t really be doing on tour before but they’ve all worked out really well and we’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback from the fans

Ok, time for some expected questions.. How did you exactly join the band?
In fall 2004, after the release of the self-titled album, Jari had a public search for a guitarist, so I applied, did two rounds of auditions and got in the band.

What was the process of making “Time I” like?
There were periods when it seemed like the album was doomed – basically everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong at some point of the process. Technical problems – mainly computer related – were the biggest struggle. But we were able to push through the hard times, solve the problems and finally get it done according to the original vision.

I bet everyone ask you all the same-  it took a long time to release “Time I”, when to expect the second part? And more important, what to expect- can you tell us something more? How is the work going so far?
Almost everything is already recorded for TIME II, only a small amount of vocal tracks missing. The mixing has been started already and when we get back home after this tour and have a bit of rest first, Jari will continue mixing the album. There’s no release date set yet, but we’re very confident to have TIME II out in 2014. It will basically continue where TIME I left off, with a similar style of production and movie soundtrack-like orchestrations. The songs on TIME II are going to be a bit more diverse, ranging from aggressive and fast to the most gentle stuff ever heard from Wintersun.

What’s your opinion on fans’ reactions during shows? Because, you know, we all love it. An absolute masterpiece, congratulations to all of you for the great work! We hope we’ll be pleasantly surprised even more this time 😉
In general the fan reactions during our shows are usually really good and people seem to really appreciate the music. An energetic audience also gives us more energy on stage. Seem like Sons of Winter and Stars, Land Of Snow and Sorrow and Time all have many memorable parts that people like to sing along to, which is always great to see!

Are there any plans to make a live album or a DVD?
There are some plans to do a live DVD after TIME II but nothing certain yet.

You’re often called the sons of winter and stars.. how has the fact that you’re from Finland has influenced your work? The mighty Helsinki; the viking island,etc.
There’s naturally a lot influence from the Finnish music, culture, nature etc. because that’s what we’ve grown up with. For example the sound of a Finnish stringed instrument called Kantele has inspired some of our riffs.
I think certain kind of melancholy – historically popular in Finnish music – can be heard in Wintersun’s songs as well but personally I see Wintersun as more of a universal mix of influences from many different cultures.

Speaking of “Sons of winter and stars” I can’t hide that in my opinion the most powerful part from the song is the choir part. I already talked with half of the participants and congratulated them. How did it came the idea to do such things and to call the best winter sons to do it?
We wanted a big chorus sound for that particular part of the song so we asked some of our friends to help us out. We did the recording session during one evening at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki and it was a lot of fun!

photo Agata Alina Sieradzka (http://fb.com/aasieradzka)

photo Agata Alina Sieradzka (http://fb.com/aasieradzka)


What is your guitar equipment /in general/ ?

I use Ibanez guitars (various models: LACS, J-Custom, USA Custom), Fractal Audio Axe-FX preamp/FX processor, D’Addario strings, Bare Knuckle Pickups (Black Hawk and Aftermath) and Dunlop Ultex Sharp 1.0 Custom picks.

Would Wintersun ever make a cover song? And if yes, which band would you choose?
We’ve actually played bunch of short cover versions on this tour, always choosing a song somehow related to the city we’re playing in. In New York we played “New York New York” by Frank Sinatra, in Boston we played “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith, in Philadelphia “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor, in Toronto “YYZ” by Rush, in Detroit “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss, in San Francisco “Orion”/Blackened” Metallica medley, in Vancouver “Life” by Devin Townsend etc.
We’ve still got a couple of surprises planned for the rest of this tour.
I think it would be fun to also record some covers later on but hard to say right now which band we’d choose.

Which band or what kind of band would you like to do a cover of your song..or maybe a few?
Would be nice to hear something unexpected like ukulele quartet or glass harp duo covering Wintersun. Or perhaps a full symphonic orchestra.

I guess you’ve never been to Bulgaria..yet. There are many fans of yours and Wintersun that wait for the day you’ll announce a show on homeland…But what have you heard about our little country, got any impressions and expectations?
I’ve never been to Bulgaria myself and haven’t heard much about the metal scene there, so I don’t really have any expectations but I hope we’ll get a change to play in there sometime soon!

You don’t have any tattoos, right? Do you have plans to have and what would it/ they be? 🙂
No tattoos and no plans to get one at the moment.

And here are some questions I ask everybody and that would be in interest for fans:

Name: Teemu Mäntysaari
Birthday: January 7th 1987
Hobbies: Gym, biking, sports in general
Favourite band/ song: There’s so many. To name just one from the top of my head: Dio/The Last In Line
Favourite Wintersun song: Sons Of Winter And Stars

Favourite book: Creative Guitar 1 & 2 by Guthrie Govan
Favourite ice cream favour: peppermint chocolate
Favourite school subject: Music, sports, mathematics

Favourite alchoholic drink: Baileys Irish Cream 
When I was little I wanted to become: a Lego engineer

The most beautiful place i’ve been so far: Tolmin, Slovenia 
If i didn’t play the guitar, i’d be playing..: drums or piano
I’ve never been to..: Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand etc. etc.
The song/band that got me into metal is: Iron Maiden
The last concert i went to as a fan: King Diamond at Tuska Open Air
My view of metal album (of all time) is: Dio – Holy Diver

And my final question: What would you like to say to your Bulgarian fans and the readers of Metal Hangar 18? 🙂
Thanks for all your support! The best way to help getting Wintersun to play in Bulgaria is to spread the word locally, introduce the band to everybody you know and kindly inquire the local venues/promoters about booking Wintersun. Keep on rocking! Hope to see you soon!

P.S Some of the qestions are asked by some fans from Bulgarian Wintersun fanclub.


  1. #1 написан от Ivan Grivata (преди 10 години)

    Евала! Откога чакам интервю с WINTERSUN!!!

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