Interview with Face Of God

Face Of God, an explosive rock trio from Helsinki, Finland are on their way to a promising career. Gigging like crazy all over their homeland, they recently landed an opening spot supporting the love metal rockers HIM at their legendary Helldone Festival in Helsinki at Tavastia. I contacted Face Of God’s frontman, Leo Stillman to ask him what he thinks about all of that and where he hopes the band will be heading in the future.

Leo Stillman-Vocals and Guitar. Photography by Anssi Rantanen.

Leo Stillman – Vocals/Guitar, Benjamin Lehti – Bass (left), Oscar Kuusto – Drums(top)

Lady~A: First of all, I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Congratulations on being invited to play the Helldone Festival at Helsinki’s famous venue, Tavastia where Face Of God will be opening the festivities for legendary Finnish rockers, HIM. This opportunity gets your music out there to a worldwide audience. Are you excited and how did you land the gig?

Leo: Hello! Thank you for doing this, our pleasure! We are really excited about the gig and really flattered. It’s a big honor for us. I grew up listening HIM’s music and they are one of my favorite bands. It has also been nice to see that many HIM fans from all around the world are interested in our music. We’ve met couple of HIM fans on our gigs and they’ve told that they are really excited about seeing us on Helldone, that’s lovely!

Lady~A: When Face Of God was announced as an opener for Helldone, I had to check you out and I am looking forward to your set. Your style of music reminds me of The Clash, mixed with a touch of U2, throw in a little Interpol, Alkaline Trio and an old school Sex Pistols kind of punk vibe with a metal bent. There is a lot going on in there with a unique, interesting and energetic mix. I think you’re a great choice to open up for HIM. What were your earliest musical influences as a band?

Leo: Haha, cool! Good bands, not our favorites, but of course we dig them, in a way, at least.
We all listen pretty much same kind of music, and mostly it’s rock or metal. We really want to bring lot of different genres into our music. We’re not thinking “Is this too metal or is this too funky?”
What ever feels good for us. We like weird things and we try to put them more and more. We don’t wanna sound like a boring pop band.

Lady~A: How did the three of you become Face Of God? What is your evolution story?

Leo: Well it all started about 5 years ago when I met Benjamin, our bass player. My mom forced me to some music camp where I met him. We started to hang out and stuff. In that time I was playing drums, so we made a band where I played drums and he was playing bass. It didn’t work out and I wanted to learn more guitar. We just wanted to have fun and we played only together. At some point I started to sing some melodies and I remembered my brother saying “that actually sounds pretty good” after that I thought that maybe I could sing. Well, we needed a drummer. We both knew Oscar before. We thought that he is weird and crazy enough that we have to ask him. He came to rehearsals and it was awesome. It was the first time when I was brave enough to sing for somebody else who is not my brother or Benjamin. We started to work some songs and in two months we were in the studio. We just wanted to play and have fun. I can’t imagine my life without our band anymore.

Lady~A: Face Of God is a pretty new band, having been formed in 2010, yet you’ve been playing gigs like crazy. What country do you want to conquer next? Where do you want to be in the next few years?

Leo: Would be lovely to go to other countries, hopefully soon. After Helldone we’re still gonna practice some new songs and at some point record the album. We don’t wanna rush or do anything that feels uncomfortable. And at the moment we feel really creative, so the best thing is to play. We don’t wanna think too much. You never know what happens but hopefully in few years we have our first album done and lot of upcoming gigs.

Lady~A: I read that you have plans to record a double album, Illogical Psychology/ Dead Ballads and Forgotten Love Songs. I love the title. When do you plan on it coming out and do you have label representation at this time?

Leo: We’ve been recording a lot of demos and still thinking where we wanna go with the sound and the songs. I think we will still “think” for 1.5 months and then we go to the studio for 1-2 weeks, get wasted, lot of tears and blood, fighting, laughing and good beer and make the album done.

Lady~A: Acoustic albums seem to be a growing trend among musicians. One side of your new double album plans to be acoustic. Why did you decide to go that route for your first full length debut?

Leo: We really have two sides in our band. We also like the acoustic thing, and most of the songs are done by acoustic guitar. Would be cool to have some fans singing on the album and stuff. The idea just feels good. We wanna show two sides. And we also have lot of songs that could never work as “rock” versions, but they are really good songs and we wanna show them.

Lady~A: I just have to know….what is a Paranormal Whorebomb? It’s a kick ass funny track and my current favorite. Sounds like an inside joke or an interesting story.

Leo: Yeah well…it’s about going insane. I was really mad and fighting with one human being and I couldn’t say anything that could have described my anger and pain, so I thought in my head “She is a paranormal whorebomb”. The song is about people who are pretending to be happy and want people to think that they are happy, even when they are not.
And it’s also about letting go of someone. Lot of bad things were happening in my life when I wrote the song. But it’s not a sad song, as you said it’s funny. People should not take life too seriously. Some days are shit and some not.
Sometimes I find some paranormal whorebomb inside of me, it’s stunning.

Lady~A: It’s been written that Ville Valo urinated on the door of your rehearsal space. Have you enacted any revenge yet?

Leo: It was a funny thing. I think the revenge was when I told that story for Ylex (Finnish radio station). Cause now people all around the world knows that thing. Now I’m really afraid what happens next, his turn…

Lady~A: Speaking of Ville Valo and the band HIM, they have a song called The Face Of God from their album Dark Light. Is that where you got your band name? If not, where did it come from?

Leo: It’s not from that song, even though I love the song. The name came when Benjamin got in jail and the cops thought that he is an angel. They let him free cause they saw the Face Of God in his eyes. And it’s crazy cause one of the cops was our drummers uncle…aaaand the uncle is my really good friend. So the uncle said “Guys, you should call your band Face Of God”, we were like “really?”
Here we are…

Lady~A: What would be your dream tour? List three bands you would kill to play with.

Leo: Em, I boring if I say tour anywhere else than in Finland would be cool? HIM, Soundgarden, Dimmu Borgir.

One down, two to go guys! Thanks Leo! I can’t wait to rock it out at Helldone in Helsinki. See ya there!

Click the links to this interview for more information and check out their track Paranormal Whorebomb.

Interview with Leo Stillman, vocalist of the band Face Of God by Alex “Lady~A” Savage, December 10, 2012. All rights reserved. Please link this site interview directly and do not copy and paste. It promotes the band and this site. Thank you.

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