“Metal de Facto” – The Finnish way of making Power Metal great again!

(PHOTO: Mikael Karlbom) With their debut album
(PHOTO: Mikael Karlbom) With their debut album "Imperium Romanum" the Finnish metal band "Metal de Facto" wants to make Power Metal great again!

The idea of making just one themed Power Metal album expanded into a totally new band: Metal de Facto! I talked to “Metal de Facto” guitarist and sound engineer Esa Orjatsalo (Kiira, Ex-Dreamtale) about their new band project and the debut album „Imperium Romanum“, which was released at the end of december 2019. Moreover, I wanted to know, how the guys came up with the idea to realease a Japanese edition of the new album, why they have such a big fan base in Japan and if corona has affected their album release tour 2020 in Finland and Japan.

Make Power Metal great again – Interview with “Metal de Facto” guitarist Esa Orjatsalo

Esa Orjatsalo
(PHOTO: Mikael Karlbom) Esa Orjatsalo is talking about the new band project “Metal de Facto” and the first album “Imperium Romanum”

Finntastic:
Moikka guys, nice to meet you! Just tell us a bit about your band project. Who is on board and when did you come up with the idea to found „Metal de Facto“?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Hello and nice to meet you too! The idea of “Metal de Facto” started long time ago, but became reality in September 2017, when me and Sami Hinkka, the current bass player of Metal de Facto and Ensiferum, discussed about Power Metal backstage on an Ensiferum show somewhere in Germany. The idea quickly expanded into a real band, the first person recruited after me and Sami was Mikael Salo who is the vocalist of Metal De Facto. He brought in Benji Connelly who plays keyboards. Atte Marttinen (drums) and Mikko Salovaara (guitar) were recruited in the following months and then we started working on the debut album.

Finntastic:
What do you want to express with your band‘s name „Metal de Facto“?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Well, I can’t even remember, where the name came from originally, probably it was some joking at first, but then I really started to like the name and I think it actually encompasses the essence of the band very well. We are in fact metal, or you can see, that we are actually metal… it works a bit differently how you want to see it, but what we want to say is: We make Power Metal great again!. *smiling*

Finntastic:
What do you like about Power Metal? Why did you decide to focus on this music genre with “Metal de Facto”? And what do you want to express with your motto: Make Power Metal great again?

Esa Orjatsalo:
I have always liked the epicness and the heroic motives and themes in Power Metal. Being a musician is in many ways being a story teller and I’m a sucker for heroic stories too. I suppose, that’s the reason why Power Metal came naturally to me. Of course other metal genres also have epic and heroic themes, but I like how Power Metal combines all the elements, that I like in metal music into one. Our motto is seen a bit with humour, but then again, I would love to see the third wave of Power Metal to rise and make it again as big as it was, when I was younger.

Metal de Facto - Imperium Romanum
(PHOTO: Metal de Facto) The first themebased “Metal de Facto” album is called “Imperium Romanum”.

Finntastic:
How would you describe Power Metal? What are the characteristics of this metal genre? And would you say, that Finnish Power Metal has its own touch in reference to Power Metal in general?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Description of Power Metal depends a bit from where you are from. I suppose nowadays it is mostly recognised with the high pitch singing, fast paced songs and the typical Power Metal use of double bass drums, when bass drums play steady sixteenth notes and snare hits on the second and fourth beat of the bar. Finland has a strong history in the second wave of Power Metal, bands like Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and in some essence Nightwish defined the sound, what people often refer to as “Finnish sound”. Finnish bands tend to use a bit more keyboards than many other Power Metal bands, but this of course varies band by band…

Finntastic:
How would you describe the sound of your first album „Imperium Romanum“, which came out in autumn 2019? And why did you select this title for the album?

Esa Orjatsalo:
The album is a bit of a mixture of Heavy Metal and Power Metal. We decided to a bit different production, than the modern trend of heavily processed metal sound, in favour of a bit more how to say it organic production. The name of the album references to the theme of this album which is the Roman empire.

(VIDEO: Metal de Facto/Rockshots Records) “The Conqueror” is one of the powerful songs of the album “Imperium Romanum”.

Finntastic:
Who has written all the songs? And where did you record your first album “Imperium Romanum”?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Every member of the band participates in the song writing process, that’s the reason why we decided not to credit the songs separately to individual members, but to the whole band. We recorded the album in Goodman Studios (now Sveet Music) and in Tadaa Music studio, the album was mixed and mastered in Tadaa Music studio by me.

Finntastic:
Which is your favourit song of the album?

Esa Orjatsalo:
It’s always hard to pick favourites, but I like the ending track of the album Germanicus a lot. It has everything… I also like how the song follows the story of the Roman general Germanicus with music, the themes evolve around his life story.

(Music: Metal de Facto) The song “Germanicus” is a a song about the Roman general Germanicus and his life.

Finntastic:
Why did you decide to create a music video especially for the song Bacchanalia? What is it about? And why did you decide to make a caraoke version of Bacchanalia?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Bacchanalia is a bit different storywise, than the rest of the songs in the album, it’s also a bit different musically. I think it’s a good party song, so why not release it and get some more positive vibes to people in this dark period of time, especially in the music industry because of Covid. The song is about the Roman fest of Bacchus, where people engaged in various festive activities. The karaoke video was published, so that people could sing their own versions of the songs.

(VIDEO: Metal de Facto/Rockshots Records) The song and music video of “Bacchanalia” is the Roman answer of the Finnish kalsarikännit!

Finntastic:
Great idea! Your band consists of several musicians. Most of you have other music projects besides “Metal de Facto”. How easy is it to have enough time for your band project and how did you manage to go on tour together at the end of 2019?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Well, it of course requires some planning and time management, but all members are committed to the band, so it hasn’t been too difficult to find the time. With good planning almost anything can be achieved!

Finntastic:
How would you describe your first tour? Are there some special moments you will remember? I saw, you started also touring in Japan? What‘s your connection to this country? And could you finnish your tour in Japan in March 2020, or was it cancelled due to Corona virus?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Well, I suppose the most special thing about it was, that it got to be a lot shorter, than originally anticipated, because of the covid situation. We only did one show in Finland, which was the album release show, and all other shows basically got cancelled because of covid. The Japanese tour was more of a promo tour and didn’t consist the full band. It was also cut a bit short because of the virus. Our vocalist Mikael has lived in Japan and speaks Japanese and my old band Dreamtale has some followers in Japan, so I suppose it was natural to reach into that audience also.

Make Power Metal great again
(PHOTO: Metal de Facto) Make Power Metal great again is the slogan of the band.

Finntastic:
What are your plans for the future? I heard you already had a new album ready while touring with your first one. What can we expect from the second album and when will you release it?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Yes, we have started the process with the new album. From the second album you can expect even better songs and even better production! We hope that we can release the album next year, but everything is unpredictable in music business so far, so we will see. We will definitely work on the album so it will be ready to be released next year, after that it depends on the labels and business people.

Finntastic:
Do you have plans for the future to make concerts abroad? And are there some concerts in Finland coming up?

Esa Orjatsalo:
Absolutely yes! As soon as the situation with the corona virus gets better, we will start working on booking new shows and performing live shows as much as we can! We are really looking forward to it since the best part in a musician’s life is playing live shows, feeling the energy of the audience and seeing people singing your songs with you

Finntastic:
That’s true! I’ll keep my fingers crossed, that you can get on stage again soon!

Esa:
Kiitos, we hope that too! And if you will be in Finland next year, let us know, so that we can invite you to one of our future concerts!


About Metal de Facto

“Metal de Facto” is a Power Metal band project of several Finnish metal musicians like bass player Sami Hinkka (Ensiferum), guitarist Esa Orjatsalo (Kiira, Ex-Dreamtale), drummer Atte Marttinen and keyboard player Benji Connelly (Everfrost) and guitarist Mikko Salovaara (Leverage). The idea was to create one themebased album, but then it ended up in a totally new band. Their first album, which has been released at the end of 2019 is called „Imperium Romanum“ and has the Roman Empire as its topic. That’s why you will find powerful songs on the album like „The Conqueror“, „Colosseum“, „Germanicus“ or „Bacchanalia“.

Metal de Facto in Japan
(PHOTO: Metal de Facto) The Finnish Power Metal band “Metal de Facto” already has a big fan base in Japan!

By the way „Bacchanalia“ is probably the Roman answer of the Finnish„kalsarikännit“, that’s why the band came up with the idea to release a caraoke version of the song with a fantastic music video, consisting of epic footage from the first show in Februar 2020. Moreover, there exists a Japanese edition of the debut album “Imperium Romanum” with the Bonus track “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”, which is a cover version of the American gothic metal band “Type O Negative”.

More information about the band you will find on www.metaldefacto.com as well as on Facebook and Instagram. And if you want to listen to the songs of “Imperium Romanum”, check out the band’s profile on soundcloud!

(VIDEO: Metal de Facto Fanpage/Soraya Ghomari) A big “Kiitos” (thank you) also to Soraya from the “Metal de Facto” Fanpage, who connected me with the band! And if you like to know even more about “Metal de Facto”, check out Soraya’s fantastic interview with Mikael Salo, the vocalist of “Metal de Facto”.


Some more Interesting Links about Metal de Facto and Esa Orjatsalo

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