In a new interview with I Ask No One With Kevin Re LoVullo, APOCALYPTICA lead cellist Perttu Kivilaakso spoke about the recent departure of longtime drummer Mikko Siren. Siren laid down his drum tracks on APOCALYPTICA‘s upcoming album, “Apocalyptica Plays Metallica Vol. 2”before officially exiting the group.

“It was time that we continued like this,” Perttu said about APOCALYPTICA‘s decision to part ways with Miko. “And that’s also one of the reasons why we wanted, in the new video, to also go back to the times when we were only the cellos, kind of seeing and showing the positive spirit that we still have.”

Perttu added: “I wish all the best for Miko. he really was“At least, my best buddy.”

Siren started performing live with APOCALYPTICA in 2003 but didn’t become a full-time member of the band until 2005, after playing over 200 concerts with APOCALYPTICA and recording an album with the group.

Due on on June 7 via Throwdown Entertainment, “Apocalyptica Plays Metallica Vol. 2” was produced by longtime collaborator and studio supreme Joe Barresi (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, SOUNDGARDEN, NINE INCH NAILS, TOOL). The LP continues the journey that began in 1996 when cellists from Helsinki’s world-renowned Sibelius Academy played symphonic tribute to the biggest of the big four–heavy metal titans METALLICA. For their ninth record, the classically minded dynamos are returning to their roots to bring a legendary story full circle. It also features a host of surprises beginning with a unique collaboration. lead single “The Four Horsemen”a song that originally appeared on METALLICA‘s 1983 debut “Kill ‘Em All”features METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillosetting the scene for a compendium of deep cuts and brilliant highlights spanning METALLICA‘s staggering 40-year career, and there are more surprises to come.

APOCALYPTICA said: “The first single we want to present to you is ‘The Four Horsemen’. And we couldn’t be more excited to have a great feature guest on it: Robert Trujillo himself, who is probably THE greatest bass player in this whole wide world! We’ve always enjoyed sharing our love for METALLICA. Now, this is next level for us as well!”

APOCALYPTICA leader Eicca Toppinen commented: “It’s the coolest thing. We didn’t push; it was offered. We played the first album live and it was so much more fun and exciting than we expected, so we got the idea to do something like the first album, but we couldn’t do it in exactly the same way; we needed to challenge ourselves and bring a totally new perspective to the original energy and emotion of METALLICA

Kivilaakso added: “We’ve been talking about making another METALLICA album for around 20 years, as there were still so many great songs we wanted to play! We waited for the perfect moment to do it. Thinking of that teenage me who is now getting to play his favorite tracks gives me goosebumps!”

“Plays Metallica Vol. 2” track listing:

01. Ride The Lightning
02. St. Anger
03. The Unforgiven II
04. Blackened
05. The Call Of Ktulu (in memory of Cliff Burton)
06. The Four Horsemen (featuring Robert Trujillo)
07. Holier Than Thou
08. To Live Is To Die
09. One
10. One (Instrumental)

In a 2019 interview with Australia’s Heavy magazine, APOCALYPTICA‘s Paavo Lötjönen spoke about the impact of the band’s 1996 “Plays Metallica By Four Cellos” debut. Consisting solely of METALLICA covers, the album cast a spotlight on the group’s classically trained abilities, setting the stage for them to release their own material in ensuing years. Since the 20th anniversary of “Plays Metallica By Four Cellos” in 2016, APOCALYPTICA you have been playing the album in full at select live dates.

“It’s been really fantastic,” he said about playing “Plays Metallica By Four Cellos”. “If we are talking about music in common, if you listen to music you used to listen to 20 years ago, it’s a weird thing somehow, it brings all the same feelings back. Like, you are feeling when we were 20 years younger. I would call music a time machine in that sense. The same happens for us when we play those songs. Somehow the same feelings come back to us when we felt like we were 25 years or 20 years old and touring with a shitty van around Europe playing venues. This time, all the venues are bigger and really portioned nice. There’s lots of people, and it’s not too hot and shitty on the stage. It’s a lot of joy and fun to play those songs. The magic of METALLICA has not disappeared anywhere. It’s still really strong and passionate music. It’s a lot of fun to play. We have never played this well as we are playing at the moment. I’m happy to see we have learned something during these years.”

In 2015, Lötjönen and Kivilaakso spoke to Austria’s Mulatschag about what it was like to join METALLICA on stage at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the week-long celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary in December 2011. Perttu said: “Of course we felt very privileged being included among all those amazing artists. And after the thing, what we have done during our career, it has been pleasant to realize and notice that, actually, the METALLICA guys, who are the reason for us to start to do something like this, that they do respect us at least that much that they wanted us to be part of this big celebration of their career. Of course, it was crazy. I remember that when we started to play ‘One’, I’m starting this song and James Hetfield is just next to me, and I’m thinking, when I was 13 years old, he was my biggest idol and now we are playing together. So it’s absurd, but just natural and logical in other terms.”

Added Paavo: “You know, the connection to METALLICA you have been really super great all these years. We played first time as a support to them already in ’96. It was actually our fifth show for a proper rock and roll audience, and we were supporting METALLICA, so it was quite crazy. And since that, we have played many times with them at the same festivals and… Let me tell me that the connection with METALLICA “It’s really cool and really nice.”

Photo credit: Riki Murto





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