A few days ago, I consider myself lucky to listen to Saol‘s latest single Hue. Check out my chat below with Miika Arvola the mastermind of Soal.

I noticed that you started in late 2019, but tell me when this music passion started?

I think everything started when I was like 11. My big brother was always listening to music which affected me a lot I guess. He started playing guitar at that time and I kinda wanted to start learning too but gave up on it at first. After all, I got the spark for learning after getting my own guitar when I was 12. Looking back at it now seems like the second time paid off! Never been that interested in anything other than music ever since. I also started playing in bands quite soon after that. It makes me laugh when I’m thinking of these first bands me and my friends had, everything was so terrible because none of us could really play our instruments, but at least it was fun! After years have passed, it seems that the spark was so strong that I even ended up studying music in different schools for almost 8 years.

Although you classify your style as metal, still, I can see different influences in your tracks, am I right?

Absolutely! Metal was the first genre of music I fell in love with and it will stick with me forever I guess. I remember listening to a lot of Nu Metal as a kid because it was the big thing back then. But if I have to name one example, the first band that had a huge impact on me personally was Katatonia when hearing their album Viva Emptiness for the first time. It’s like that album opened up a new world for me, having a very intense, dark, and twisted vibe from start to finish. But speaking on a more general level, my musical palette broadened over the years while growing up and I, for example, got more into progressive and alternative rock and metal, post-rock, all the way to even trip-hop like Portishead to name a few. If music is good it is good no matter the genre. I’ve also studied jazz guitar for several years so I’ve developed a thing for modern jazz guitar music as well. I’ve been digging some electronic music lately, and that’s another different world again. Recently my most played album might have been Impulse Voices by Plini, that’s a perfect example of how wonderful instrumental prog/guitar music can sound. Anyway, the list could go on and on… I mean I’m influenced by so many genres! I’m not saying you can hear all that in my music but yeah, I’m sure metal will always remain as the backbone for Soal, it just feels so natural for me.

Also, I’d like to know what do you mean exactly by atmospheric music, and what makes it different from any other genre?

I don’t think it necessarily means that it’s a genre of its own, but I somehow believe it describes my music pretty well. I just try to maintain an intense atmosphere throughout every song, no matter what the underlying vibe is. And I just like music is that way, so hope I succeed in doing it the best I can.

I noticed that each single provides a different atmosphere and vibes. How do you manage such variety while songwriting and recording?

Every song I make reflects what I’ve been inspired by at the moment, whether it be a movie, an event in life, music, or anything, and trying to mix it all up in an audible form. I don’t have any restrictions for myself musically, just trying to do something a bit that’s a bit different every time, so it doesn’t feel like I’m repeating myself. I record my ideas instantly 99% of the time so I won’t forget them right away. It’s way easier to see and hear what works and what doesn’t. Some ideas end up turning into a full song but most of them don’t!

So are these singles part of an album soon?

Who knows! I could see them being a part of an album, but I think the time for it is a bit later in the future. There is more music coming later this year anyhow!

Music fans these days prefer lyrical songs more than instrumentals, don’t you think this may affect your popularity over time?

I’m pretty sure it will. But for me, there is something beautiful in instrumental music that can’t be beaten. Don’t get me wrong, I love having vocals too but when music is all instrumental, it lets you really focus on the little details and instrumentation in a different way. It lets your mind wander and makes a lot more room for your imagination to make your own interpretation of the music and how it makes you feel, which can be way more adventurous in general if that makes any sense. Still, I can also reveal that one of my upcoming songs will have vocals too, just when I find the right person to do them! We’ll see if it’s the case with some other songs in the future too.

Finally, tell me more about your promotional plans in 2021 especially since the live scene isn’t active enough recently.

I’ll be releasing more music, not sure if it will be in form of more singles or rather an EP. Maybe both. There’s a lot of material that’s almost finished so you’ll be able to hear more new music soon. I hope that the live scene will get better because everyone misses live music. After things get better, maybe we can also see Soal on stage as well, sooner or later.

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