April , 2013
By Vinny Cecolini
Introducing the New Four Horsemen of Thrash
JAM Magazine Interviews Lost Society Frontman, Samy Elbanna
All Photos Courtesy of Lost Society Facebook
A blend of early East Coast and West Coast-flavored thrash, Lost Society's album, Fast Loud Death, could have stood among Metallica's Kill 'Em All, Anthrax's Fistful of Metal, Slayer's Show No Mercy and Exodus' Bonded By Blood ... had it been released 30 years ago. Frantically fast and chaotic, the brash quartet's debut is a refreshingly welcome smack across metal's complacent face. Surprisingly, the median age of the Jyvaskyla, Finland band is barely 18, which means that singer/guitarist Samy Elbanna, guitarist Arttu Lesonen, bassist Mirko Lehtinen and drummer Ossi Paananen were born more than a decade after each of the aforementioned classics were released.
When you see numbers like 17, 18, 19, 19 associated with music, you naturally assume they are the ages of another up and coming boy band who are vocalizing their way into the hearts and minds of teens around the world. Not so fast hear. This Scandinavian quartet found common ground with one another as a hard charging rock band. In order to make a name for their band they dubbed Lost Society outside of their small home town, the hard rocking teens entered a Global Battle of the Bands contest.
After Lost Society had actually won the preliminary round in their area, the group is invited to their country's finals held in Helsinki, where they were chosen to represent Finland. To make a long story short, the band finished third in the finals held in London this past December. Nuclear Blast signed the quartet soon afterwards. Not bad for a group of teens just looking for a way to make a name for themselves outside of their hometown.
JAM: Have Lost Society tired of the media's constant references to the band members' ages?
Samy Elbanna - People are interested in our ages, because we're young. Although our music speaks for itself, some people are surprised that a group of teens have already released an album.
JAM: I think it's unusual because a group of kids from the same hometown were all fascinated early on with early thrash?
Yes, it's crazy that this shared passion of ours brought us together, but we all grew up listening to '80s and '90s metal.
JAM: Young people who act mature for their ages are called "old souls." Does that make Lost Society's members "old metal souls"?
We just share a passion for thrash and love playing it. We certainly don't act older than we are. Playing thrash is simply what we want to do for the rest of our lives.
JAM: I hear early Slayer, Metallica and Anthrax in Lost Society's music. Who else have had a profound influence on the band's sound?
Megadeth and Anthrax are our biggest influences. You can hear it in our riffs and our musical attitude. Another big influence is Pantera from whom we've learned to groove and create shredding solos. A number of crossover and traditional metal bands have also influenced our sound. We've merely taken our influences, mixed them up and added our attitude to it.
JAM: How did Lost Society form?
I put the band together with a friend in 2010. Soon, we found a practice space at a Jyvaskyla youth center and started jamming. After a bit, we began writing our own songs. We went through a number of members until the summer of 2011, when my friend left and we settled upon our current lineup. We all wanted to make it as a band, so we started practicing, writing, playing shows and recording stuff. After a couple of years, here we are!
JAM: What inspired the name Lost Society?
I came up with the name years ago. We actually tried other names, but nothing stuck. Lost Society sounded so good that we decided to keep it. It's short, yet it leaves an impression. It's a reflection of current society's issues.
JAM: Did the band ever consider playing a newer form of metal?
It's always been about thrash. The band never went through any other kinds of phases and never will. It's all about playing fast and loud music. It's going to go on like that forever!
JAM: Was that the intention of the title Fast Loud Death?
Even before entering the studio, we had the title. We knew Fast Loud Death was a killer name. The album contains 14 originals, plus a cover of Kiss' "I Stole Your Love," that are pure, fast and loud aggression.
JAM: How long did it take the band to write Fast Loud Death?
The oldest song on the album is "KILL (Those Who Oppose Me)," which I wrote in 2010. The other songs were written during the summer of 2011. We've already written a lot of songs for our next disc because we spend so much time in our rehearsal place. This is only the beginning. We're going to thrash people over the head for as long as we can.
JAM: What did producer Nino Laurenne (Amorphis, Apocalyptica and Lordi) bring to the recording sessions? How did he help to shape the final product?
Nino's the man! He knew what he was doing, so the recording process came easily and naturally. He captured the sound we wanted - an old thrash album with modern elements. We hope to work with him in the future.
JAM: How did the band come to collaborate with famed artist Ed Repka on Fast Loud Death's cover?
We were familiar with his work with Megadeth and Death. He's an amazing artist. We gave Ed our initial idea and let him run with it. The cover simply portrays the band on a tour bus with the grim reaper behind the wheel speeding out of a city we've just laid to waste, like we hope to do when we visit the States.
JAM: When will Lost Society tour the states?
As soon as possible, we hope.
JAM: Who would be a part of your dream touring line up?
My ultimate tour would include Anthrax and Iron Maiden. It would also be awesome to have Municipal Waste along for the ride. That would make for a killer show!