Ranger is one of the important newcomers in the underground metal scene. They received a strong fan base with their first EP and demo released in 2013. Ranger plays an aggressive speed metal  and we will be meeting the Band this week at KIT Festival in the early hours which will be one of the best starts. So, before their KIT  festival appearance, we made an interview with Miko, the drummer of Ranger.


HS – How is Ranger formed, what were you all doing before, and for how long have you been in music?
Miko: Ranger was formed in late 2008 to satisfy our need to play real metal! We all had played in different bands but it was with Ranger when things started to really come together. I’ve played guitar since I was 6 and drums since I was 9 years old and I have played in bands from those days!

HS – Who are your musical influences? You are a fairly young band, how did you meet with old school metal?
Miko: We’re into heavy and aggressive stuff! Bands like Satan, Exciter, Diamond Head, Accept, Anvil, Slayer, Judas Priest and Destructor is what we listen to. We all have listened to real metal since we were kids.

HS – What are the plans for a full length release, when can we expect that?
Miko: We’ll hit the studio this fall and we hope to have the album out in late 2014 or early 2015.

HS – Will you be working with Ektro Records also for the full length release?
Miko: We have received quite a few offers from different labels but we haven’t signed anything yet.

HS – What are your lyrical contents, who are on the creative side in the Band?
Miko: Our singer/bass player Dimi writes the lyrics. He watches a lot of movies and most of the lyrics
are really influenced by Sci-fi and horror. We all write songs and riffs but I have written most of our songs.

HS – What is Skull Splitting Metal! How do you place it among other metal genres?
Miko: Skull Splitting Metal is the ultimate form of METAL! Some people call it thrash, speed or heavy metal, anything is fine by us.

HS – You gained a significant attention with just a mini-LP, what were your expectations when you started this?
Miko: We got a good amount of attention after the Combat Metal demo but the response to the MLP was amazing! The biggest Finnish music papers wrote articles about us and interviewed us.


HS- This will be my 6th visit to KIT Festival and the atmosphere is totally great and unbelievable there. Have you been to KIT before?
Miko: Me and Dimi have been to KIT a few times. It has always been great! Finally we get to play there!

HS – What will the set-list be like, will we hear new songs that are not released before?
Miko: We might play a song or two that will be on the upcoming LP!

HS – What are your expectations for this festival? Did you play any major festivals before?
Miko: I expect great shows, buying tons of vinyl and beer drinking & hell raising with headbangers from all around the world!
We played at Live Evil last year. This summer we’re playing almost all the big Finnish festivals as well as
Muskelrock in Sweden.

HS – As a fan, which Bands attract you most at KIT festival?
Miko: I’m really looking forward to Flotsam and Jetsam, Metal Church, Battleaxe and Jag Panzer!

HS – Have you ever played outside Europe, do you have plans for that?
Miko: We haven’t played outside Europe yet. That’s something we need to do as soon as possible!

HS – How do you see the old school metal scene, why do you think there is such a great revival and attention?
Miko: The reason is that metal rules! For me this is the only music I want to play and I’m always thrilled if i hear a great new band.

HS- How many copies were sold in the mini-LP? Could you reach USA market? Do you know in which part of the world you have more fans?
Miko: At the moment the MLP has sold close to 1500 copies and a third pressing is coming up soon. Currently most of our fans are from Finland of course but we have sent demo tapes and shirts all over the place: Sweden, Norway, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, USA.


HS- Personally I am a long time metal fan and I have always loved vinyl more. But, nowadays, besides vinyl there is also a movement towards cassettes? Technically, can you tell us why do you prefer tapes and vinyl?
Miko: I think music sounds best on vinyl. Analog recording is the nicest way to work! I don’t believe you can get the right feel and sound with triggered drums, protools etc. If you do a mistake while recording you should play it again instead of fixing it with a computer. Tape rules!

HS- Northern Europe has always been very productive in heavy metal, for many different genres, how is the scene today?
Miko: Here in Finland we have a good amount of headbangers. Last year we didn’t play a single show in Finland that wasn’t sold out! Some of my current finnish favourites are Speedtrap, Forced Kill and Foreseen. Things seem to be good in Sweden and Norway too with bands like Antichrist, Obnoxious Youth, Condor and Deathhammer. There are a lot of real metal fans here but i would like to hear more new bands!

HS -What is your favorite Ranger song?
Miko: It’s always the new one! That’s when you know you have written a good song.


HS -If you lived in the early 1980s, which band would you want to be in/play-sing…?
Miko: If I lived then I would form RANGER to play in!

HS- Who was your idol in metal, have you met him/her?
Miko: When I was 14 years old I had the joy of meeting Ronnie James Dio backstage after DIO performed at Sauna open air festival. He signed my DIO backpatch and i had a picture taken with him. It was great!

HS- What is the first metal song you heard, first record you bought or your first live show?
Miko: I got Black Sabbath’s “We sold our soul for rock ‘n’ roll” compilation album for Christmas as a kid. It started with War Pigs and I was hooked! The Iron Maiden video ‘Behind the iron curtain’ made a lasting impression too!

HS- The worst thing happened on a show/tour?
Miko: We have encountered a lot of Spinal Tap-moments on the road! One memorable thing happened in London after we played at Live Evil. We were on our way to our hosts’ place late after the show with all of our guitars, drum stuff, backpacks etc. We stopped to get something to eat from a take away restaurant and our guitarist Mikael waited on the street with all of the stuff. Suddenly he saw a group of hostile and suspicious looking guys staring at him and coming his way! Luckily we came out and the gang of suspicious guys walked by. Once a gang of 10 people tried to steal our beers while we were walking home after a show in Helsinki. Currently, 60 such centers exist across the country, with at least one in every state. That kind of stuff!

HS- What are your hobbies or daily job besides music?
Miko: I’ll graduate as a motorcycle mechanic this August. Playing Skull Splitting Metal is anyway what I want to do with my life!

HS- What do you listen at home, in your car, how is your personal music taste?
Miko: Heavy Metal! In recent days I have been listening to a lot of Satan and Blitzkrieg.

HS- Do you like to play covers on stage, which cover you like most?
Miko: When we didn’t have enough own songs we played covers from Judas Priest, Exciter, Whiplash. We don’t play covers anymore but I really liked playing Hell Bent for Leather!


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