Anton Hibay, Tomi Perwala, and Antti Kariola of Serenade Deprived - Back
1. How did the band get started? How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Tomi Perwala: I originally met Anton in school around 1993, and we were both interested in music, so we started playing cover songs in several little projects. Naturally our musical abilities weren't too great at the time, but it was a beginning. The actual Serenade Deprived project started in 1995, when we decided on the melodic metal style that has later evolved into what it is today.

Antti Kariola: I met Tomi in high school in 1996, and he seemed to be the only metal-like person there, so we started hanging out together. Eventually he introduced me to the music of loads of melodic metal bands and even though I was mostly influenced by blues and 70's rock and the like, I joined the band as a guitarist simplu because the material kicked ass.

Anton Hibay: In 1997 I suddenly found myself in Nepal and it took me a year to find my way back to Finland. Naturally during this period the band didn't really go anywhere. When I finally got back, it became apparent that Antti had disappeared somewhere in Germany, so things were kinda slow for some time. I had a little side project at the time, and that's where we got our current drummer Mika Salmi from. The band really started rolling with a full lineup around the fall of 2000.

Tomi Perwala: Our original bass player Marko Martimo left the band due to personal reasons (he was a pothead ;)) during spring 2002, and now we have another insane 4-string maniac named Jani Metsälä in the group. People have come and gone, but the current lineup kicks big fat donkey ass!

2. How would you describe your music?

Anton Hibay: I guess the basis of our music is in the Swedish melodic metal, adding spices from other styles.

Antti Kariola: It's mainly melodic, technical metal with influences from thrash metal as well as black metal. Mainly we try to mix different elements into something new and innovative instead of doing something that's been done 1000 and 1 times already.

Tomi Perwala: Personally I find our aim to be in the contrasting nature of aggressive kickass attitude combined with beautiful and melancholic melodies. It may sound like an old recipe, but I assure you, SD does not take the easiest copycat-sellout-charthit-childrenofbodom approach. Our music will both sadden you as well as viciously boot you in the nuts.

3. What are your biggest influences?

Antti Kariola: Slayer, The Haunted, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.

Anton Hibay: Musically I don't have many influences as I'm the vocalist, but in that respect, my favorites are Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) and that Thomas guy from At The Gates (R.I.P.). Still, I think my style differs quite a lot from those mentioned, and I try to do my own thing.

Antti Kariola: Stanne is a great guy, btw!

Tomi Perwala: I'm severely influenced by bands like Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, Megadeth, older Amorphis... but currently I can't really say that we'd be doing stuff resembling any of those bands. Mika on the other hand is more into black metal than any of us.

4. What influence do you think your bands has in music and metal today?

Tomi Perwala: I have absolutely no fucking idea. Perhaps we help in keeping other bands sober with our excessive consumption of alcohol products, there just isn't enough for everybody.

Anton Hibay: I have no idea, dude. But I hope that someday there will be bands taking some sort of influence from us, as I have taken from Dark Tranquillity, for example.

Antti Kariola: The existence of our band decreases the amount of crap bands in the world by one.

5. What made you want to be in the band? And if you weren't in the band what would you be doing now?

Anton Hibay: I have a musical background thanks to my family, so making music feels like the natural thing for me to do. As a founding member, I've got such an emotional attatchment to SD that I can't picture myself not doing this. Without those other guys I'd probably be six feet under already.

Antti Kariola:
I'd probably be doing music elsewhere anyway, but I can't think of any other Finnish band I'd rather play in.

Tomi Perwala:
I feel like SD is my baby, I've been doing this for so long that I can't even remember life before. If I had never picked up a guitar, I'd probably be a computer nerd designing cell phones for Nokia or something... but luckily I did, thus effectively destroying my chances of becoming a rich family guy. What the hell, I prefer beer anyway.

6. Are any band members in side projects? If so what are they, and explain a little about them.

Tomi Perwala: There's been some talk of a very oldschool gothenburgish project with people from another Finnish band called Bleeding Harmony, but this is all very preliminary at this point. Antti may be included in this too, Anton will be the main vocalist and I'll play guitar. I know Mika and Jani have a few side projects going on, but I can't give you any details on those...

7. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and became very well known?

Antti Kariola: I'd be happy for them!

Anton Hibay:
I couldn't care less. If they get fame ripping us off, good for them. Go girls!

Tomi Perwala:
I never realized we have "a sound"... but who cares, it's the music that counts IMO, not the sound. If it works for someone, great.

8. What current bands do you like or respect?

All: Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted, The Gathering, Opeth, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Cradle Of Filth, Death, Ozzy... and Bleeding Harmony.

Tomi Perwala:
I gotta add Tori Amos and Taneli Jarva (ex-Sentenced, now in The Black League).

Anton Hibay:
The Crash, The Cure (old), Eskobar.

Antti Kariola:
Hellhammer (the drummer), Tom Waits, Rammstein (great lyrics!), Danzig and Bruce Dickinson.

9. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them!!

Anton Hibay: I don't have many albums as whenever I run out of beer or cigarettes, I sell them to get cash. I've got about 20 albums that I treasure, including Dark Tranquillity albums, for instance.

Antti Kariola:
I've got a couple of hundred albums, and I wouldn't want to lose any of them. Mostly rock and metal, but also some electronica and obscure Finnish bands, as well as German and Chilean ones.

Tomi Perwala:
Maybe 50 or so albums and a bunch of MP3 files, ranging from ridiculous punk shit like Natsipaska (a Finnish band, translates as Nazishit) to truly brilliant metal stuff like Opeth.

***At this point in the interview Antti got excited and spilled his beer all over our papers where we had written our answers. If our responses from here on seem strange or incoherent, it's due to our relatively inebriated state. Pay no mind.

10. What demo/album do you like the best?

Tomi Perwala: I can't elevate any one album above others, but if I have to say something, Megadeth's Countdown To Extinction is a classic and it really influenced my guitar playing.

Antti Kariola: A fucking hard question, but from the top of my hat I can come up with three albums. I'd say Mercyful Fate: 9, Led Zeppelin: II and Slayer's Reign In Blood.

Anton Hibay: I have to admit that emotionally it has to be Dark Tranquillity's Skydancer, 'cause without the album, S.D. wouldn't be the band it is today. So it's the album that kickstarted what we do now. Otherwise, there are too many great albums to mention.

11. What is the meaning behind the songs?

All: The lyrics deal mostly with social situations and the dark side of the human mind, all written in a poetic (gay?), obscure form. We portray situations and feelings that most people go through at some point in their lives, naturally focusing on the negative sides. This is metal, after all. The name of the game is pain, be it physical or emotional.

Antti Kariola: Total fucking sodomy! Hah!

12. What are the bands favorite songs?

Anton Hibay: Maybe for me it's one of the older songs that's never been released, called "...Of Everlasting Winds (Shades Of Fall)". The first song ever made under the name Serenade Deprived, it's sort of a milestone for us. Otherwise it's "Where Velvet Drapes Burn", 'cause there's a so much for me to do in that song.

Antti Kariola: "Clarity Through Murder". It's my favorite 'cause it contains a huge variety of different musical elements, making it very enjoyable for us to
play.

Tomi Perwala: Currently it's "Where Velvet Drapes Burn", mainly 'cause I have a personal attatchment to the lyrics. There's one unreleased sond called "The Banquet Hall" that I still love, even though it was written way back in 1997.

13. What does the future hold for the band?

All: Looking for a record deal, gigs and generally having good times doing the music we love. Currently we have new material in the works and a lot stuff is being planned, we just have to wait and see.

14. If you could play with any band who would it be and why?

Antti Kariola: At this point I'd say it would be great to support a band like The Haunted.

Anton Hibay & Tomi Perwala: Dark Tranquillity, no question about it. Stanne's live performance is just amazing, it ould be great to share the stage with our long-time... "idols", in lack of a better word.

15. Who writes the majority of the music?

Tomi Perwala: My mom. No, really, so far I've written most of the music as well as lyrics... but more and more input is coming mainly from Antti and Mika, we're striving towards making music as a group, letting the music benefit from our different styles and influences.

16. Who has been the favorite band you've played with and why?

All: Bleeding Harmony. Those guys have the attitude it takes to keep Metal. Not to mention a shitload of "pirtu" (moonshine or something, 96% proof alcohol).

17. Where did you get the band name from?

Tomi Perwala & Anton Hibay: We spent some time thinking of a name, and at some point Serenade Deprived just popped up. We wanted a name that would contain both something beautiful and something negative, describing the contrasted, tormented nature of the music. Plus we got tired of thinking about it, so we just went with this one.

18. Describe what the band is like live?

All: Anton screams his guts out, Tomi moshes like there's no tomorrow, Antti's stage antics rival those of any guitar hero, Jani is just purely insane and Mika's battering is unbelievable. To put it shortly, energy, aggression, pure hell. Experience it.

19. If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?

All: A video for the song "Clarity Through Murder". If you're familiar with a sexual position known as "The Frog", you can picture what it would contain. No, really, the song is about total pain and humiliation (among other things), so something along those lines. Sodomy represents those things surprisingly well.

20. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?

All: We've had some talks about supporting Soulgrind and/or Barathrum on their coming tours, but nothing is confirmed yet. We'll definitely be doing some gigs together with Bleeding Harmony in the near future.

21. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?

Tomi Perwala: Probably drinking in a bar like we are now. The only differences is that my beard will be longer, we'll have released 10 albums or so, and I'll have a kid who listens to hiphop and hates me.

Antti Kariola: Picking up a 17-year-old virgin girl, trying desperately to explain to her that I'm really a metal legend. Intoxicated, of course.

Anton Hibay: Probably doing "The Osbournes", driving the love of my life - my daughter - Aeda Lunar Hibay into the metal business covering Madonna in true SD style.