EICCA TOPPINEN: APOCALYPTICA will begin recording new concept album in May
In a new interview with El Cuartel Del Metal, Eicca Toppinen of Finnish cello rockers APOCALYPTICA was asked if he and his bandmates have any other collaborations planned after recently releasing a number of singles, including “Rise Again”, which came out last December. He responded: “We have one song, we are just waiting for the singer to get into the studio, to get it finished. And then we have other ideas. And actually in May we will start to record the next album. So I’ve been, all day today, in rehearsals for that. I am actually going, straight from Buenos Aires at the end of (the South American) tour (on April 30), I’m going to Los Angeles to start the recording. We’re not gonna do it at once. We’re gonna do it during this year, and it’s gonna be out sometime next year. And even we are focusing on that album — it’s a concept album; I won’t tell the concept yet — but then even we are working on the album, we are also working on other songs which we want to put out before the album will be out.”
Regarding how APOCALYPTICA plans to roll out the new music, Eicca said: “The modern world has changed so that in the old times you made the album and then you tour for three years or something. And then you have a little break and then you start to work on the next album. And that was kind of the release cycle. But now it feels like you have to, in a way, also to release music all the time, or regularly, because that’s kind of what the modern world seems to demand. You need to be active. And it’s kind of fun, Tour, make music, tour, make music — it’s not either or; you can do both things at the same time. And I like the change. I like switching from being a performing band into being a creative band. I very much like it.”
Last month, Eicca told Matías Arteaga of Chile’s Rock Legacy webzine that APOCALYPTICA‘s recent singles, including “Rise Again”, “are all totally separate” from the band’s upcoming album. “Because we realized that this modern release culture, with digital platforms, allows us, actually, to do different types of APOCALYPTICA at the same time in different formats,” he explained. “So we have an album that’s instrumental; then we do those singles that are vocal collaborations; and then we also release this classical EP. So we actually can do a lot of things at the same time.
“At the moment, there’s no plans… Those singles are not part of the album,” he reiterated. “We are just starting to work on material for the next album, which is gonna be something totally different again. And still we are going to release singles on the way before we get the album ready. So we kind of want to have continuously coming out some songs.”
“Rise Again” featured a guest appearance by Simone Simons of EPICA on vocals. Accompanied by an artistic and unique music video directed by Lisa Mann, “Rise Again” is a new version of APOCALYPTICA‘s instrumental track “Rise”, taken from the band’s most recent album “Cell-0”.
At last year’s Louder Than Life festival, Toppinen told Knotfest that a new full-length album from APOCALYPTICA probably won’t arrive before 2024. He explained: “We are kind of following different paths, because the digital world gives you the possibility that it’s not the old-school way that you release an album and then you tour for two or three years and then you make a new album. It’s not like that. The modern world requires, in a way, to deliver something new and fresh pretty much constantly. And we have this classical covers world, then we have the original instrument APOCALYPTICA world, and then we have the vocal world of APOCALYPTICA. We have kind of three tracks we are (following). At the same time when we are working on a new album, we are also working… Because an album is always a little bit more like a concept — it’s one type of full structure of an idea — and we don’t want to stick only on that. Even (while) we go for this one album structure, we want to keep these both other paths alive at the same time. So that’s why it’s very hard to say exactly what’s gonna happen in which order.”
“Metal Classic, Classic Metal” was released last September. The effort included the focus track “Flight Of The Bumblebees”, originally by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow. “Metal Classic, Classic Metal” also contained a new version of Beethoven‘s “5th Symphony” as well as a remake of Maurice Ravel‘s “Bolero”.
In March 2022, APOCALYPTICA released the “I’ll Get Through It” single, which was written for the band by American award-winning songwriter Diane Warren. It featured Franky Perez — guest vocalist in APOCALYPTICA‘s 2015 record “Shadowmaker” — as well as Geezer Butler of BLACK SABBATH on bass guitar. The song was born out of a visit Geezer and Franky paid to their friend Diane, who had already written the track “Not Strong Enough” for APOCALYPTICA, included in their 2010 record “7th Symphony”.
2015’s “Shadowmaker” was APOCALYPTICA‘s first album to feature just one singer — Perez — instead of guest collaborators. The disc was recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES, MASTODON).
Prior to enlisting Perez, who accompanied APOCALYPTICA on the band’s 2022 North American tour, the group released eight albums that melded the classically trained cello mastery of the three core bandmembers with the harder elements of the rock world, including drums and guest vocalists, such as Gavin Rossdale from BUSH, and Corey Taylor of SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR fame.
In April 2021, APOCALYPTICA released the official music video for its collaboration with PAPA ROACH singer Jacoby Shaddix on a cover version of the CREAM classic “White Room”. The track was produced by Howard Benson at West Valley Recording Studios in Woodland Hills, California and mixed by Chris Lorde-Alge.
“White Room” was the first release from APOCALYPTICA since “Talk To Me”, which arrived in August 2020. That song was a collaboration with HALESTORM frontwoman Lzzy Hale.
“Cell-0” came out in January 2020. The effort was the band’s first fully instrumental record in 17 years.