Antipope – Interview

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

Antipope: Mikko Myllykangas (lead vocals, guitar), Antti J. Karjalainen (guitar, backing vocals), Joni Tauriainen (bass guitar, backing vocals), Tuska E. (drums)

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist? 

Mikko: That’s not an easy question to start with. Well, Antipope is definitely a metal band, for sure. The band was born in 2004 when I wanted to bring together two of my favorite styles of music: traditional medolic heavy metal and black metal. Since then we have had our excursions to different styles, but over the past couple of albums, I think we have leaned more and more on those primordial influences, which are for me 1980s heavy metal and 1990s black metal. And there’s a healthy doze of progessive rock and metal here and there, too.

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

Mikko: Well, we are all from Northern Finland and we still live in the north, maybe that’s audible in our music, too. We don’t follow trends but travel our own paths, which at times puts us at odds with what’s considered “hip” in the metal scene currently. For me, I got interested in music as form of self-expression and kind of escapism, and that’s the way I like to keep it.

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?

 [Please see the answer to the 1st question!!!!]

PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

Mikko: Like I said, music has always been a way to express myself, more than anything, to myself, a sort of means of self-discovery. That’s the goal, first and foremost. But to perform in front of an audience and to share that energy is also something that makes being a musician a real treat. I think what you can experience during a show when the audience is fully engaged with what you do is something that one just cannot experience anywhere else in life.

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

Mikko: Some 10 years ago we did a cover version of Kent’s (a Swedish pop/rock band) “Kärleken väntar” song. The national news agency – sort of a BBC of Finland – noticed that and they wrote that it was the “worst Kent cover in the world”. That was really something. Another thing that made me really feel like I’ve made was last summer at a festival where we performed. I used the same outhouse or shitter – whatever you call them – as Tomas Haake from Meshuggah, right after him. One of the coolest moments of my life!

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?

Mikko: I think it’s never been easy! Of course there are so many bands competing for attention now, but the way the music industry and underground scene is developing, I am afraid that most bedroom artists and garage bands just quit before they get any exposure as everything is measured through social media performance, or so it seems. I think the biggest challenge right now is getting gigs. After Covid, we lost so many small clubs that it is extremely difficult book shows, as the remaining clubs are all booking well-known artists and bigger bands almost exclusively.

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

Joni: We do the contacting of local bars ourself and try to book a date that suits us and them. Usually with emails, sometimes calling them directly and rarely by visiting the bar and talking to them directly. Promotions usually happen via social media and from mouth-to-mouth.
We currently have several shows coming up next year, so it’s going to be a busy spring and summer.

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

 Joni: I’d hope that there would be a bigger push back to physical albums, I don’t see a way for artists to make their living with digital platforms unless they are really big. Or there needs to be a bigger market for other physical products like band merchandise and memorabilia.

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

Joni: I don’t really ponder thinks like that. I use classic metal songs as aninspiration for my own songs and hope that some day I would write a song thats as epic and timeless as those songs are for me. 

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

Joni: Currently Spotify and Youtube algorithms are in charge of what masses are listening and watching. I would hope that music fans would take a bit more time for finding new bands and would listen and support them. This current culture is eventually going to kill most of the middle size bands.

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

Joni: Currently we are writing new songs for our next album. Demoing process has been going well and we are finishing the first part of that process soon. We are also practising every week and preparing to tour next year.

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

Joni: You can follow us on Facebook @Antipope and on Instagram @antipopeofficial. Albums and merch are available at our bandcamp site: . Also, we got new killer t-shirts at Uno Mas Collection web store: . 

Antipope links:
Band/Artist location – Finland
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – 
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Weebly – Last Fm
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