Joviac – Interview
Interview with Viljami Jupiter Wenttola of Joviac and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
VJW: My name is Viljami Jupiter Wenttola and I’m the main dude behind the Finnish progressive metal band, Joviac. I’ve never actually been asked what “type” of artist I am so this question took me on a bit of a trip! Music has been the most important thing in my life since I was a teenager. Self expression and self actualisation are two core motivations that drive my musical process, in a way I live through music. I’d like to think that I’m an honest and genuine type of artist who doesn’t care that much about the external stuff. Money and fame (not that I’ve seen a huge amount of either) have never been factors that drive my need to make music, I just want to do my thing and grow in the process.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
WJW: I started playing drums when I was in fourth or fifth grade, but my life really changed when I picked up the electric guitar around age 14. We had a small clique of kids in my class that started playing guitar at the same time and even though it was something that brought us together and gave us a sense of community, I was turned off by the endless competition. I was never the fastest or the most technical guitar player in any group of musicians, but I found my own thing in writing music. I felt that no one can express me better than I can, so there’s no competition anymore. I’ve been writing songs ever since and even though Joviac is still a relatively new band, I chose this path half my lifetime ago.
PD: Who are your musical influences?
VJW: It’s no secret that I wear my musical influences on my sleeve. If you come from the same background of progressive metal as I do, you can pretty easily figure out who I’m vibing with each song or song part. My biggest influences in music would have to be Dream Theater, Toto, Pain of Salvation, Devin Townsend, A.C.T, Circus Maximus just to name a few in a long list.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
VJW: I learned through A LOT of trial and error that you have to figure out your own definition of success and therefore what your goals should be. To me it’s all about the journey and not the destination. The fact that I get to do this at all makes me very fortunate, but also that I get to do it with such amazing and talented people.
There is one concrete goal though, to build Joviac to the point where we can go on tour abroad. That’s the one tangible thing we’re constantly working toward and as long as our trajectory stays on that mark, I’m successful in my books. I’ll have to sit myself down and reevaluate all of this once we make it that far!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
VJW: I write the songs in Joviac, but we arrange them together. I’m very reliant on technology as recording demos is a big part of that whole process for me. I record the song demos in full with demo bass and demo programmed drums, then I send the files to Antti (bass) and Rudy (drums) so they can mould their parts to better fit their own hands and playing style.
A lot of my songs deal with challenges regarding mental illness. I, myself have a history with anxiety and depression and writing songs about those hurdles helps me grow and get to the bottom of things. While I’m in a very good place nowadays, it seems that there’s always something to write about in that subject. I was brought up in an abusive household and that doesn’t just go away, it stays with you, but if you manage to turn those challenges into strengths, you’ll be a better person for it. At least that’s what I believe.
I’m also very interested in global politics, but if I look too long at the way things are headed, I feel an overwhelming urge to vent, and that bleeds into my songs as well.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
VJW: I guess in the normal way! We try to be active on social media, but that stuff definitely doesn’t come natural to me so at times I need someone to poke me and remind me about that stuff. Nowadays you have to be your own PR guy and it’s just something you have to get used to! We have our record release show coming up here in my hometown of Tampere finally this week (it was moved from April due to corona) and I’ve been hitting the streets almost every day putting up posters etc for weeks now! Here’s hoping it’s a success!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
VJW: I don’t think it’s really a thing anymore. Streaming services like Spotify have made music listening so easy that people don’t really pirate music anymore to my knowledge, at least I don’t know anyone who does. That’s definitely one of the great things about streaming, but I think we still have a long way to go. For example as royalty rates stand at the moment, people might as well be pirating music. It’s inconceivable for me that for example the money from my streams isn’t going directly to the artists that I listen to.
The industry got hit incredibly hard once physical sales crashed, but now that it’s found some secure footing again, progress has stagnated in my humble opinion.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
VJWThere’s not really one particular song out there that I wish I had written. There are countless songs that I think are so good or so ingenious that they’ve made me go “I want to do something like THAT!” But every time that’s happened I’ve figuratively shot myself in the foot. It seems I have to learn the same lesson again and again: I have to just make the music that flows out of me, if I try to go for anything else it kills my creative energy. I have to do my own thing because no one else is.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
VJW: Oh I have loads! I know, you must be thinking “this guy must be fun at parties”! One that immediately leaps to my mind is when people try to force objectivity onto music when in truth it’s all just a matter of taste, there are no rights or wrongs. You can empirically measure some things, yes, but music in my opinion is ultimately about the human experience and can’t be quantified.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
VJW: Definitely the release of our newest album, “Here And Now”. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written and it’s a huge step forward for us compared to our earlier works.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
VJW: I’ve tried my best to use the corona downtime efficiently and write as much new music as I possibly can. I almost drove myself to the brink of a burnout this summer as I had given myself a pretty tight deadline to write an album’s worth of new material before winter, but luckily I had the sense to press the stop-button before I went over the edge. I did however manage to write some really promising stuff, and we are looking at hitting the studio this winter to record some of it! I just don’t know if it will end up being a single, EP, album or what exactly.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
VJW: We have two full length albums available on all major streaming services and a couple of stand-alone singles! You can visit our website www.joviac.com for all things Joviac. There you can find shirts, physical CD’s, music videos, social media and links to all of our digital music as well.
Thank you for this interview, it was a pleasure answering your questions!
Band/Artist location – Tampere, Finland
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