Leo Stillman from Face of God (opening for HIM soon) Interview
Hey everyone, imagine my excitement when I was approached to do an interview with a Finnish rock band that is opening for the metal legends HIM. After checking out their music, I knew I had to get the interview up as soon as possible. The lead singer Leo Stillman was kind enough to offer his thoughts on my questions, and I had a great time all around with the experience.
1) OK, to start this interview I got one question, who in your opinion is the greatest guitarist in the world living or dead?
– My little brother is the best. Crazy enough to play weird tunes.
2) What made you get into music, was this something you always intended to do?
– This happened when I was three years old and it is my first memory of songwriting : Me, mom and my brother went to a grocery store to buy the daily basics. When we were leaving I took a chocolate bar from the candy stand and put it in to my pocket. Outside of the shop I started to eat that chocolate and my mom asked ” Where did you get that ” ? After telling 1000 lies to my mom, she wanted me to go back into the shop to tell what I did and ask for apology. I did it and it was so embarrassing cause I knew it was wrong what I did. My mom told (me) stealing was bad and if you’d steal then you might have to go to prison to learn that you can’t steal. After that whole thing I was so afraid of prisons. There was really an unpleasant picture in my head of me being in the prison and I didn’t wanna steal ever again. Then 5 days after the situation I wrote a song about the whole thing. It was about the fear and if you screw up then you have to figure out
your mistakes. For me, writing has always been a way to get away and also a way to see things more clearly.
3) I hear so many different rock styles being infused into your music, could you talk about some of the bands or musical genres that influence your work?
– Our drummer and bass player are really an awesome couple. They are really good with their instruments, but mentally they are totally crazy. So usually I come with a song which is boring (For them) and then they wanna put some weird things there. It’s fun cause I’m not that good with my instrument so it’s good way for me to learn. I’m the depressed guy the with guitar and some weird poems, they are the ones who have the rest of what we need. We are huge music fans and for us it’s all about the music. We just wanna play and get wasted by our crazy ideas and music, and beer and blaa..
4) Face of god is a three-piece band, which for a hard rock/metal band is unusual (as they are usually at least a four-piece band), what made you decide to use this set-up?
– By accident I guess. First it was only me and our bass player Benjamin. We were looking for a drummer and we remembered our old friend Oscar. Oscar came to rehearsals and it was obvious that he’d be the drummer. He also liked the music and he wanted to be in this band. Before that I was playing guitar and not singing. After Oscar came I started to sing and here we are.
5) I notice that your songs are in English despite you guys being a Finnish band. Is there a specific advantage you all see to not singing in your native tongue (such as reaching a wider audience)?
– It just the way it is. We’ve always been into the music that is in English.
6) So tell me how you came to open for HIM?
– I think we are really lucky to have that chance, HIM is really great band! Ville the singer of HIM liked our music and he wanted us to play in there.
7) What is your process of writing songs? Is there a formula?
– There’s not any formula. It’s always different and you never know what comes. I’ve tried to make a song out of nowhere but it’s impossible and always sounds like s***. All the melodies and lyrics have to come from your heart and soul and you have to have some inspiration. Always when I come up with new idea I am really surprised that where the hell did that come from. It’s also same when we are practicing and trying new songs. The creative process is the best thing I think and without that there’s nothing. It’s hard to explain and everyone has their own way to write songs.
8) I listen to your songs and I hear lyrics that could be allusions to philosophy or issues within society, am I wrong to draw this conclusion?
– Well hard to tell. Most of our songs are about love and how f***ed up you or the others can be. I write about things that touch me in the moment. I always find myself writing about love and everything what comes to love. Maybe it’s because love is such a mystery and I know nothing about it. It’s good to write about your feelings and after a while see how you felt; it’s a good trip inside of your own head.
9) I talk often as a writer on my blog about the future of music (something that is very important to me as both a composer and musician), where do you see music heading in the years to come?
– I don’t really know where we are heading with the music, it’s always a surprise for us also. We don’t wanna get stuck. We’re pretty bored of the new pop sound that everybody uses. So back to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, that’s what we try.
11) If there is one thing you would like for people to know about your band, what would you say?
12) Anything else you would like for the world to know regarding what you guys are doing before we close this interview?
– We are now making our first album and it will be out ( Hopefully ) next year. Some songs for loners.
Thanks for the experience Leo, and I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
Face of God can be found at: