Aittala – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

Music video – “Collateral Damage”  at
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PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

A: We are Aittala (pronounced ‘EYE-tah-la’) from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

We’re a 3 piece all-original band that infuses elements of classic heavy metal, doom, progressive, power, thrash, and hard rock into a cohesive experience.

While we don’t care for classifications (we just call ourselves ‘metal’), we have been classified as ‘Eclectic Doom’ and have come to embrace it.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

A: The original incarnation of Aittala was formed in 1991 while I (Eric) was stationed in Holland with the US military. The band was starting to gain some traction on the Dutch metal scene, but, after a couple years, I had to leave Holland as my military contract ended and the band was inactive for 15 years (by my choice)

In 2008 after relocating to North Carolina, I decided to resurrect the band and have been active ever since releasing 6 full-length albums (including the upcoming album) along with 1 EP (released in 1993).

The current line-up of AITTALA consists of Gary ‘Zeus’ Smith (joined in 2012) on drums and Ali Lugo (joined 2019) on bass.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

A: The inspiration and drive to make music really come from that internal drive that musicians just naturally have.

As a younger kid, I just gravitated towards metal because it spoke to me. Initially, when I started playing guitar, I just wanted to be like my heroes; Judas Priest, Dio, Iron Maiden along with the rest of the 80s metal bands. At some point, when I caught the songwriting bug, it evolved from just wanting to replicate those bands to writing in my own voice.

As far as subject matter, just as metal as music speaks to me, so the traditional metal themes; the darker side of human existence.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

A: I’m realistic in this day and age about aspirations. The days of signing a huge record deal are over. On a basic level, I just enjoy writing and releasing new music and having the band play the best shows we can play.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

A: I’d say the proudest moment and biggest compliment that we get often is that Aittala has an original sound. That may seem a pretty small thing to be proud of, but, with millions of bands out there, being told you have an original sound is quite an achievement.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

A: It’s definitely tough with how easy it is to promote independently.  We’ve done self-promotion in the past with some limited success. For this album, we’re working with Asher Media and can definitely tell the difference using a professional PR company.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

A: Booking can be one of the bigger challenges. It’s about networking; sometimes you find shows or festivals and sometimes they find you. We’re hoping we can find a reputable booking agency in the near future.

At the moment (as of Sep 2, 2022), we don’t have any shows booked besides Metal in the Mountains 2023.  In the near future, we’re going to really start looking at some short tour runs for 2023 and other potential festival dates.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

A: In the days of Napster and Limewire before streaming was the norm, it had its pros and (mostly) cons. Unfortunately, people aren’t honest about music and it really was stealing if you weren’t paying for it.

Since the rise of streaming and unlimited data plans, streaming has become the norm, so people are inclined to pay for the service. But, now it’s the steaming companies that are ‘stealing’ from the artist. Getting paid $0.005 per stream (Spotify) is outrageous considering they made $11 billion in 2021….let that sink in….$11 BILLION.

But, if you don’t have your music there and other streaming services, you don’t have any chance.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

A: I thought about this question for a while and honestly, I’d have to say there isn’t another song that I’d wish I’d written because then it wouldn’t have turned out the way it turned out.

And for any artist, never be envious of someone else talent or skill, just continue to develop yourself organically and love what you create.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

A: The industry should be regulated somehow to better take care of artists so they are compensated fairly.  Whether it’s  streaming services, monopolies like Live Nation/Ticketmaster, or even venues that want to take a cut of a band’s merch (that pisses me off the most)


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

A: Our album entitled ‘Live to Regret’ will be out on Nov 7, 2022, on Exitus Stratagem Records. It has 11 songs; 10 brand new songs and a rework of a 2011 song from the ‘Haunt Your Flesh album (Juliet)

Lyrically, the album chronicles a chaotic period of time for members of the band personally as well as the global events (pandemic) happening in parallel.

Musically, the songs infuse elements of groove, sludge, traditional, doom, and thrash metal but are cohesively woven into the unique Aittala sound.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

Aittala links:
Band/Artist location – Raleigh, NC(USA).
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Links – Last Fm
Check our page for Aittala