To tell you the truth, I was a bit afraid and suspicious about this interview. A young band… What to ask, how to approach, will it be good enough to represent newcomers… But in the end, I can say, this was a great interview with a musician, future actor, multidisciplinary artist. From Finland, in front of St. Aurora, Nile Nilsson.
Hi! Welcome to Abaddon! How is it in Helsinki?
It’s pretty good! Summer hit Helsinki like a freaking morning star and now I’m sweating like a pig from dusk till dawn. But you can’t complain, the weather’s pretty epic!
Today we are here to present your band to our readers. First, tell me more about the band’s name, St. Aurora?
The band name has a somewhat spiritual meaning to our founding members, Ero and Walter. I won’t get into it that much ‘cause it’s not my story but what I will tell is that there’s a hospital in Helsinki named Aurora and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have anything to do with the name.
St. Aurora is labeled as an alternative rock metal band. I would say it has a punkish vibe. But also I can hear some NU metal elements. Do you really care about labeling or just doing what you like?
I for one think labeling is there just to guide listeners a bit to the direction of what we’re going for. I mean yeah, almost everyone of us in the band have our roots in punk music so that’s bound to show in our music and same thing goes for metal in general. So whatever it is we’re working on, it always catches spices from our biggest influences. I also think our true genre will get clearer in the future when we find our groove together big time.
The band was formed by bassist Ero Lamberg and drummer Walter Kousa last year. Besides them and you of course, who else is in the band?
Well I am Nile and I do the lead vocals and write the lyrics to all the songs. Then there’s our 2 guitar bad boys. Sami, who we found by auditioning people, has the Hetfield kind of down stroking fixed up and the right energy for the band. And last but not least my best friend in the world, Oscar who I’ve known for years. A musical genius who doesn’t know it yet himself.
How did you join the band?
I knew Ero a bit as he was friends with my cousin but we had seen each other like 3 times or so. We only shared the weird enthusiasm towards wide brim hats. Then all of a sudden he contacted me through Instagram that he’d seen a couple of videos of me performing and that he’d like to start a band that plays alternative rock stuff and I was all “Hell yeah, what ya got?”
Do you have any music background, or St. Aurora is your first band?
I started doing music in a punk band when I was a teenager. I played the drums and sang on a couple of songs from back there as well. Later I found singing and screaming to be the thing for me and formed a band with my dearest friends and that band’s called Infectionist. Infectionist is still up and going with no end in sight.
As I said, the band was formed in early 2020, was it a product of Covid pandemic?
You could say that, yeah. Ero wrote and played the demos to these 5 songs from the comfort of his own quarantine cell in the beginning of all this
What have you done by now?
We’ve done an awesome EP, that’s for sure. During these times it’s vital for us to just play together and get to know each other well. As a new band we need a firm shared groove before we get on stage. So we’ve been practicing and working on new material and it’s looking pretty good!
Since you were formed in the worst possible time when we have no idea when the bands will go back on tours, how will you promote your music now?
It’s all about social media right now! I don’t mind personally, this gets us more time to hype the upcoming gigs.
Did you have any contacts with record labels?
I guess we have, yeah. I’m be honest with you, I haven’t been focusing on that as much as Ero has. He’s the mastermind behind everything.
Your debut single was “Falling Just Another Way To Fly”. Interesting title, what is behind it?
It’s a song about selfish people who can’t see beyond their personal bubble of their own saliva, blood and sperm. It’s about people who don’t know anything about what’s happening outside of their own so-called main event.
You are a very young band, you come from Finland from where we have really great bands, so would it be hard to reach their success?
I wouldn’t say it’s impossible but it will be a twist for sure. I think we have a lot of perks in this situation as I think this style of music is making a real comeback right now. As much as it would be the greatest to reach billboards and play on main stages of festivals, I’m not rushing anything. My target audience is myself and my closest friends and family and if other people start to like it uncontrollably much, that’s a huge bonus that makes me wanna dance.
As I said, Finland has a very vibrant metal scene, from rock, over glam to extreme metal bands. Is there any band from your country you could say is the one whose career you wish to have?
Of course people always wanna make it the same way as HIM, Hanoi Rocks or Santa Cruz. I wouldn’t mind that either, but I think I would prefer a tighter fan base. Like a band called Lost Society has. They do have a shit load of fans and listeners but they seem overall more passionate than the fans of huge stadium bands. So I guess I would prefer a fewer fans who knew 9/10 songs from our set than a bunch of fans who knows one or two radio hits.
Tell me something more about your influences.
Well I can only speak for myself on this one but my all time favorite band is of course Avenged Sevenfold. Other major influences include bands like Palaye Royale, Slipknot, In This Moment, Sum 41, Falling in Reverse and System of A Down. I like bands with a little bit of madness to them and I’m a sucker for melodramatics.
So, I wanted to avoid this question, but it was impossible. How is the situation in Finland due Coronavirus?
Pretty good right now I guess. Bars are open till morning again and gigs are starting to happen once again. I’ve heard some sucker doughnuts went to watch the soccer games in Russia and came back with the new mutations and those guys may be our ticket back to in doors. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
How do you spend your days? Are you preparing something new?
We actually just a week ago put together a new song and it’s almost done. We have a few other songs building up in the meantime and I’m pretty sure this stuff is gonna come out golden.
Besides music, what are you focused on in your life?
I’m still a student and I have one year left of school. I’m studying to be an actor in Helsinki so that keeps me busy as well. I also like to draw a lot, mostly caricatures and cartoon like sketches of people’s faces. I’m working on becoming the best artist I can be on various styles. I also am a huge nerd for video games and I get around long boarding and go to the gym.
I guess there were no live performances by now, but someday, when the bands hit the stages again, is there any band you would like to play with, the band that influenced you the most?
Well if I was reeeaally ambitious I would say Palaye Royale of course or like Måneskin for that matter. But I think it would be super cool to go touring with Finnish bands like Shiraz Lane, Temple Balls, Cyan Kicks or Wake Up Frankie.
I wish you all the best, hope you will find your place on the world metal scene and fulfill your dreams.
Well I’ll get back to you on the “metal” part but I’m super eager to find out myself. Thanks for the interview. Have a great summer, stay safe and get bored, for nothing is ever created if we don’t.