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17th February 2009
METAL DISCOVERY: You thank Metallica….and every other band you’ve played with…in the thanks list. Are Metallica the band you’ve been most proud to share a stage with in your career?
RAINER NYGÅRD: Sure, sure, yeah. When I was a kid I couldn’t even wonder that some day we’d maybe play with Metallica. They are such a big fucking band nowadays, even in the nineties and eighties.
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(Rainer Nygård on narrowly missing meeting James Hetfield)
"...after our show, James [Hetfield] came up to our dressing room and asked where the guys are “because I want to meet them?”, and we have been ashamed a little because our manager had to tell James that “sorry James, the guys just went to the nearest bar afterwards!”"
Rainer backstage at Rock City, Nottingham, 17th February 2009
Photograph copyright © 2009 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Official Diablo Website:
Official Diablo MySpace:
Elegance In Black (2000)
Renaissance (2002)
Eternium (2004)
Sakara Records Website:
Mimic47 (2006)
Icaros (2008)
A big cheers to Rainer Nygård for his time in being interviewed.
Massive thanks to Tiina Vuorinen and Aleksi Ripatti at Live Nation, and Karl Demata at Eleven PR for their collective efforts in arranging the interview.
MD: Did you get to hang out with Metallica at all?
RN: No, unfortunately not. This is a true story because, after our show, James came up to our dressing room and asked “where the guys are because I want to meet them?”, and we have been ashamed a little because our manager had to tell James that “sorry James, the guys just went to the nearest bar afterwards!” [laughs]
MD: And you’re thinking “fuck”?!
RN: Yeah! [laughs]
MD: You could have met James Hetfield and you’re down the road drinking beer! Would you always prioritise beer over meeting James Hetfield?!
RN: [laughs]
MD: What do you think of ‘Death Magnetic’? I have to ask people this!
RN: There is a few eighties style…that blink of an eye, that reminds me of their early career, but I don’t like the record. Too long songs. The production’s much better than ‘St Anger’ - that was full of shit that record and, even nowadays, I can’t understand why they did it.
MD: Yeah, the ‘Garage Days’ EP sounds better than…
RN: Yeah, that’s true.
MD: You think ‘Garage Days’ they would give a bad production to because of what it's supposed to be...
RN: But that was good. That was punk rock.
MD: Oh yeah, ‘Last Caress’, a great song.
RN: Yeah, and ‘Crash Course in Brain Surgery’.
MD: Absolutely. Covers, but the classic days of Metallica.
RN: Yeah, but ‘Death Magnetic’, I give that record a chance. I’ve listened to it at least four times in my car, but still I have to reject that.
MD: What kind of relationship do you have with Sakara Records - do they promote you well outside of Finland because I gather they’re quite a small label?
RN: Sure, yeah, but they have been friends of ours for something like six years now and without them we wouldn’t be here tonight. Tuomo Saikkonen who is the manager of that record company said to me earlier…last summer…that if you ever get the chance to play with Children of Bodom in Europe, we will pay. And he keep his words!
MD: Have you had any interest from bigger labels since Diablo have become more popular in Finland?
RN: No, no, we didn’t even discuss with the majors like EMI and other labels. We didn’t even discuss with those because in their scale we are so little that they wouldn’t even recognise that we’ve got this band on our list. So far, this co-operation with Sakara is going very well, and I’m happy and pleased because we’re able to be here today! [laughs]
MD: Your music has a lot of old school sounding parts but a very modern edge too, and an overall original sound that I think is quite unique to Diablo - do you always make conscious attempts to not be too retro? Do you ever write stuff and think this sounds too retro?
RN: I know what you mean, but I’m not the right person to answer because Marko writes something like ninety per cent of the music. I’m sure that Marko never thinks that stuff, he just write music. If he found himself to copy some other band, he will deny it, okay, we won’t do this, but I think he’s making music just of his own point of view.
MD: Do you get much fan mail, and what’s the weirdest bit of fan mail you’ve ever received?
RN: Because of this tour our fan post has been increasing enormously, for sure, but I can’t recall any very weird messages. Maybe stupid, because some people don’t know how much it’s going to cost our band and our crew on the road. One guy asked…a few weeks ago actually…“come to our party to play for free, okay, we’ve got some beers for you”, and I’m thinking hmmm…
MD: Play for beer!
RN: Play for beer…we have four guys in the band and we have five people in our Finnish crew…nine guys, just for beer! [laughs] I said no way! [laughs]
MD: You missed meeting James Hetfield for beer, so…!
RN: Yeah! [laughs]
MD: I don’t believe in labelling music, you know, because music is just music, you either like it or you don’t, but for people who will be reading this interview and haven’t heard of Diablo before, how would you describe your music?
RN: That’s a very tricky question. That’s tricky but I let myself think that it’s…there is still some kind of a hunch of death metal, but because there’s so much melody…it’s hard to describe. But it’s definitely metal!
MD: Modern metal.
RN: Modern metal, yeah, but not that metalcore and those modern day bands - Soilwork and Avenged Sevenfold…
MD: Killswitch Engage.
RN: Yeah, Killswitch Engage and so on…we’re not into that because I like bands like Queensryche and so on…King Diamond…
MD: Classic stuff.
RN: Yeah, classic stuff.
MD: Also, for people who haven’t heard of Diablo before, what words can you say that recommends people go and check your band out?
RN: Maybe the point is our live performance just because we keep giving everything we’ve got on the stage. That’s why not only because of the music but also because of the live situation we’re so big in Finland now. People come to watch our show because they know already that they are having a great time because we are all enjoying playing metal and take some beers; and it’s not that we don’t have to be like them on stage, we can enjoy that.
MD: So you prefer playing live to recording?
RN: Yeah, that’s true, yeah. Maybe making music is a fun point but when we are entering the studio that is just hard work.
MD: But with good results at the end!
RN: Yeah, yeah.
MD: Particularly when you get to number one!
RN: Yeah, of course! [laughs]
MD: Finally, what are your future plans for the band when you finish this tour?
RN: Within a few weeks I will get my first born son and we make some, you know, holiday free from the band. We’re doing a few gigs but after summer 2009 we are probably going to think about the next record and put some stuff together. We have a few ideas but they are still hanging in the air…
MD: You have a big record to top - ‘Icaros’ is just great.
RN: [laughs] Well let’s see what happens in the next record after this.
MD: Well thank you very much for your time.
RN: Thanks.