Megahammer’s last LP ‘Predation 2084’ had the honour of SCC’s album of the week just after its release.
His musical style is a stylish cocktail of retro-electro, thrash metal and epic synth soundtrack. SCC reporter ISTORIK decided to find out more about the man himself, asking how he achieves his unique sound, as well as discussing his numerous other side projects.
ISTORIK: I spent quite a bit of time searching for similar interviews with Megahammer and really struggled to find much. (I did actually find one interview in Finnish, and another one for Slickster Magazine.) Anyway, let’s rock! How did the Megahammer project start?
MH: Well, I think I was at home watching Married with Children, or Hands of Steel, or maybe the first Terminator when I got the idea of maybe trying to make something 80’s sounding myself. I have been a musician since I was 13-year old, and I’ve dabbled in various genres, playing guitar. Then I heard Perturbator and Flash Arnold, and they totally blew my mind and I decided to try that kind of stuff myself. I wasn’t into electronic music that much prior to that time, and I have to say that producing Megahammer has made me more open to other electronic genres as well.
ISTORIK: So, who is Megahammer? A cyborg android sent back from the future, or a crazy stuck-in-the-80s-rocker?
MH: It’s bit of both! The music, and whatever it conveys to the listener’s mind is the most important thing. I just provide a few key points to the listeners imagination. I like that in a band. Since Megahammer is mainly instrumental, the music itself must be able to tell you the tale.
ISTORIK: Share the secret with us. How do you manage to create so much atmospheric, sleazy music which gives off the 80’s spirit? (if you know what I mean?) What kind of stuff serves as an inspiration?
MH: If you listen to W.A.S.P. and watch 80’s iconic horror movies throughout your whole life, you kind of get that sort of vibe into your blood. I usually get inspired to make a Megahammer track by watching a movie. It can be anything from a bad Flashdance rip-off to an epic scale post-apocalyptic action film. As for the actual music producing, it’s a constant learning process for me. Being a writer and a producer at the same time can sometimes be frustrating. But I wouldn’t have it any other way though.
ISTORIK: According to your Soundcloud account, your first track was released in 2014 (correct me if I’m wrong) and the first album came out the following year. What would you say your main successes are after 5 years of making music?
MH: Well, albums on vinyl, great gigs, and of course that people enjoy this music.
ISTORIK: I believe you also have a ‘dungeon-synth’ side project named Old Sorcery. It must be hard to be torn between two different music projects? Which of your projects eats up more energy, and how do you prioritise?
MH: Two different projects? HAH! If I said four side-projects, I would still be lying! In addition to Megahammer and Old Sorcery, there’s my two solo-projects and I play and write music in like 6-8 different projects. I also have many other things cooking, of which I can’t tell you anything yet. Film composing is also another thing I’d like to do more in the future, and I’m pretty sure I will, if given a chance. I am not torn apart by doing so many types of music, in fact it keeps things fresh. I usually instantly know which project a certain idea or a riff is going to go into. Creating music alone all by myself is an important thing for me, but at the same time I really love being in a band. As to which of my projects consumes most energy? I guess they all do.. Hah!
ISTORIK: I’ve seen many of your gigs at various European synthwave scenes on YouTube, including your gigs in Amsterdam, Helsinki etc. Which show was the best of your career? Who would you like to play with from the scene, if you had a choice?
MH: There’s many gigs I enjoyed. Can’t name a single one. I opened up for Carpenter Brut in 2015 at Helsinki, we played at Berlin in the Tech Noir club… the Amsterdam gig was amazing, one of the most memorable nights ever. There have also been many gigs I enjoyed playing in my hometown, Lahti. Which artists would I want to play with from the synthwave scene? Hmm… Carpenter Brut, Fazzio, Powernerd, Irving Force, NightStop… Outside of the scene though, to play with Tangerine Dream, Goblin or Fabio Frizzi would be a dream come true.
ISTORIK: Describe your ideal 1980’s space! If you had a chance to move back to the 80’s, what would be the dream place for you?
MH: A penthouse near the sea. High security gate, bodyguards and servants. A big room for all the movies and records. The usual things, I guess!
ISTORIK: Ok, let’s do some blitz questions:
American Psycho or Miami Vice?
MH: Miami Vice.
ISTORIK: Gremlins or Zombies?
MH: That’s a hard one… Gizmo is the best though, I will have to say Gremlins.
ISTORIK: Ford Mustang or Ferrari Testarossa?
MH: Ferrari Testarossa.
ISTORIK: Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter?
MH: Street Fighter.
ISTORIK: Sarah Connor or Ellen Ripley?
MH: Another hard one. Christina Applegate? Okay, Sarah Connor.
ISTORIK: Have you ever taken a trip into Russia? Have you any desire to play a show here?
MH: We played with Loanshark there, a few weeks back actually. I would love to play there again, sure!
ISTORIK: Ok, one final question. What stuff will you be bringing to us in 2019?
MH: A new album. More gigs. The album will be the fourth full-length from Megahammer. What started as a little experiment of mine, grew up to be a one hell of a journey! I have big plans for the album, but I can’t reveal anything yet. Only a couple of songs are almost ready, but I do have a clear vision of the themes and the story.
Interviewer | ISTORIK
Respondent | Megahammer
Photographs | Various events
Edited and published by | Graham ‘Bones’ Jones and Jonny Farmer, Steel City Collective