Friday, July 14, 2023

Neon Blood Fire with Matias and Marcus of LAMORI

In this episode of The Rock Metal Podcast, we're chatting with Matias Juselius and Marcus Pellas of the band Lamori about their new album ‘Neon Blood Fire’ out now via Wormholedeath Records.

During our chat we touch on a lot of great tips for musicians, such as what Matias and Marcus learned trying new things to get a heavier sound on their latest record.

'Neon Blood Fire' was Produced, Mixed, Mastered by Jonathan Mazzeo at The Grid Productions Europe (

The band Words That Burn is for fans of: The 69 Eyes, Lacrimas Profundere, Entwine, Charon, For My Pain…


Guest Resource

Lamori Homesite - Connect with Lamori!

Guest Music Video

3 Heavy Hitters

1. Try new things in the studio and in the songs to spice things up.

2. Work with a producer who also plays the instruments so they know how each instrument works, sounds, behaves, and what defines its purpose in the music

3. Work with a team that you know, and who loves and supports your work.  Together the team vibe produces something greater than what could've been without the support.


Asher Media Relations: Doing PR for everything loud! For your band needs to be seen and heard in print, online and radio!  Let Asher know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Tue Madsen: Tue Madsen is responsible for producing, mixing, and mastering some of the best metal for over the last 20 years.  Let Tue know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Syndicol Music: A full service agency for musicians, offering record label services, marketing, branding, production and management.  Let Charlie know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Wormholedeath Records: WHD is a modern record label, publishing and film production company fit with global distribution, publishing and marketing using a roster of global partnerships. Let Carlo know The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Show Notes // Transcript

Jon Harris: All right, well, Marcus, Matias, thank you so much for coming on. Go ahead and say Hi to all of our beautiful listeners. 

Marcus Pellas: Hello. 

Matias Juselius: Hello!

Jon Harris: Like we practiced. Is it the same time? It was so good. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah. 

Marcus Pellas: Excellent. 

Jon Harris: Beautiful. All right, so we have this new record that's gonna be coming out. Wormhole death records neon, blood fire We've got three singles that are released for it already, complete with visualizer videos. Requiem. Dark messiah. The Eye of the Storm. Let's talk about this record, Neon Blood Fire. What was the greatest moment for you producing this record and maybe share from each of you? 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, I think the new direction, the new sound one of the best things for me, a bit more heavier sound. So that's one thing I really appreciate with the production and the whole process with the songs. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah, the new sound. And it has more of an industrial sound to it. Heavier also with the vocals. And we got to try some new stuff, so that was cool. And also the recording, we did it in a new studio that our friend Johnny has, so that that was really nice experience to be there in the summer and having a good time eating pasta and drinking wine and doing music all day. So that was really fun. 

Jon Harris: Wow. And you still got work done. Drinking wine, eating pasta. Yeah, that's how it came out so industrial sounding. You didn't even go in there pretending. It just came out that way. You're just too drunk. 

Marcus Pellas: It's the pasta 

Jon Harris: and bloated from all those carbs. You're just like, okay. Very cool. So we've got a couple of things here, and I'm pretty sure that's the Johnny we both know, recording engineer, I believe, still based out of Italy. Am I wrong? Am I right? 

Matias Juselius: That's right.

Marcus Pellas: That's correct. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. It's been a hot minute since I have touched base with him. But his sister production facility is with Donald Christensen in Montreal. Very cool. Very cool. And I know that he has the production chops. So I guess my follow up question is we have a new direction, we have a new sound, a bit heavier sound, a more industrial sound, even getting heavier, not just with the guitars, but getting heavier with the vocals as well. What was the decision to do that? And how did you do that? For example, how do you make a guitar sound heavier? Is it actually just a chainsaw? It's not actually a guitar. It's a chainsaw. How do you make the vocals sound heavier? 

Matias Juselius: What do you do with Marcus? 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, we have to push our dear little singer a bit harder. So he screamed a bit more. 

Jon Harris: Yes, of course. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. Now it was a decision within the band that we always liked the more heavier sound, the harsher vocals. And we always been like middle ground, not heavy and not light, but somewhere in the middle. And we felt like stuck in the middle there. So we wanted to go to the more heavier direction with this. 

Jon Harris: How did that start? Did it start in the demo stages? Was it more of a production choice? 

Matias Juselius: It started already in the demos. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. 

Matias Juselius: I remember I did some vocal stuff and I sent it to the guys and asked them could we do something like this in the songs? And the reaction was pretty good. I did a couple of more with a bit more like the growling stuff, and they liked it. We continued to work on that. It's not all songs, but a couple of songs. 

Marcus Pellas: It's a good mix with the clean vocals singing and all the harmonies, but then the harsher vocals, too. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, I'm giving it a relisten right now in this very moment. And I'm remembering now what I was reminded of. What's interesting, and I hope you guys take this as a compliment, but it actually comes across almost more gothic. I'm getting, like, 69 Eyes vibes, like, that kind of vein of stuff. I don't know if you were going for that or if that's a compliment, but that's kind of what I'm hearing right now. Like if Type O Negative and maybe --.

Matias Juselius: One of my biggest inspirations was this German band, Lacrimas Profoundere.

Jon Harris: Tried getting them on. Bastards would not say Hallo. Wie geht's dir, ja. Back.  I was a very sad little boy, yeah.  

Matias Juselius: Ah, genau.

Jon Harris: Ah, genau so, ja!  Danke.  Okay. Very cool. So, new direction, new sound, bit heavier. Heavier production. Always been somewhere in the middle, but really wanted to take that plunge. And we started getting there by doing the vocals, actually, and saying, hey, could we do something with this? Now, that leads me to my next question. What was the biggest challenge on the record? Was it working through the carbohydrate overload? Was it –

Marcus Pellas: I think it went pretty smooth overall. We know Johnny, we know the label, and we know each other. 

Mattias Juselius: What we can do the third album we do together now. 

Marcus Pellas: So we felt pretty comfortable with each other. Yeah. No major hiccups or something. 

Jon Harris: Wow. 

Marcus Pellas: We had a clear idea –

Matias Juselius: The biggest obstacle maybe was to learn the song, I guess. 

Jon Harris: Okay, take us through that. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah. Because we did the demos and this is how we would like to sound. And we send them to our label and the producers, and they check them out and they have some small suggestions or they add some things to make them a bit more spicy, and they send them back, and then we have to learn it. Sound really good, but maybe sometimes it's not the way we play. Or we are used to play so we have to challenge ourselves to get to that new sound so I think that's maybe the biggest challenge. 

Jon Harris: These demos are pretty good guys but I need a single, so... 

Matias Juselius: Something like that, yeah, because we write in one type of way and after you've been writing songs for very long you usually get a bit narrow sighted, can you say that? And a producer steps in then can maybe broader that a bit and come with suggestions but it's a new way of playing, a new way of singing so yeah, you have to challenge yourself to explore new things. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, a new way of playing, a new way of singing.  How is that translated live? Has it become an interesting thing live? 

Marcus Pellas: I think it has been interesting, yeah. But it's worked very well also live. We have managed to get the sound the way we like it to be live and it's not 100% as the CD or what do you say, but almost the live versions. 

Matias Juselius: A live version, yeah, of the sound, yeah. 

Jon Harris: Now sometimes a new sound bothers the fan base, their feathers get all ruffled and they start clucking.  Usually not this direction though, usually like fans of rock and metal as it starts to get heavier, it's usually a good thing. But how has the fan reaction been to the new sound? 

Matias Juselius: Great. I haven't heard a bad thing yet, actually. 

Marcus Pellas: Only compliments regarding the heavier sound. So seems to go well with the audience. 

Jon Harris: I figured when you go the other way, you know, like, 

Marcus Pellas: That's no good. 

Jon Harris: No good. No good. No like yeah, there's clean singing in a piano on the record. What? 

Marcus Pellas: Can't do that. 

Jon Harris: No, but the piano is in a minor dissonant key. It's sad, but we're singing about death. No, speaking of singing of death, so we've got this new sound, we have this heavier sound, industrial sound, harsher vocals, but the sound without the content doesn't usually make much sense. Let's talk about the content. What went into the themes on this record? And maybe this is more of a question for Matias. What was that inspiration to get harsher on the vocals? Was it independent of the themes, or were you thinking of lyrical themes and thinking, I got to do something different here?

Matias Juselius: A bit of both, actually. But, yeah, some songs were in need of something heavier, I thought. So the theme of them needed to be like a punch in the gut. So I needed to do something with the vocals to get that through, I thought. So. Definitely that. But also just to make it a bit more spicy, to add a bit of something extra to them, a bit of growl and scream at some part, just to make it stand out and or just a part of the lyrics that I wanted to make a bit special. 

Jon Harris: Right. Some Arrabbiata. Put some Arrabbiata on it. 

Matias Juselius: Exactly. Yes. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. Okay. Fan-freaking-tastic. What was the pasta of choice when you guys were over in Italy? 

Matias Juselius: I love penna. Penne. 

Marcus Pellas: Our drummer made a kick ass Bolognese. 

Matias Juselius: I didn't get the taste, like, because he left before I got there. 

Marcus Pellas: It was a good chef.

Jon Harris: Beautiful. I'm a chef as well, so we could go on for days about – very cool. Carry on. You were saying? 

Matias Juselius: No, I just said that the Italians are very picky with their recipes, so have to be careful. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. 

Marcus Pellas: I don't know how long that was approved by Johnny, so... 

Matias Juselius: It was okay, then. It's cool.

Jon Harris: Good, yeah. It shouldn't have any spices in it, which is a key thing about bolognese. Without getting too particular. But yeah. No oregano, no basil, no rosemary, no thyme. It's just maybe some salt and pepper. But you got to taste the milk, the wine, and the ground meat, whatever it is. Usually beef and veal or veal and pork, something like that.

Matias Juselius: I just told them we're from Finland. We just throw everything in there in the pot and eat it. They were like, oh, my God. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. For example, here in North America, it's like, you go out for pasta, and it's like, okay, I'll take that kind of pasta, like spaghetti and that kind of sauce, like, I don't know, a cream sauce. In Italy, it's like, no, it's spaghetti Bolognese. That's what it is. Spaghetti. It's spaghetti carbonara. It's not penne carbonara. Like, why would you do that? That would never happen. 

Marcus Pellas: No. 

Jon Harris: In the village where that came from, that never would have happened.

Marcus Pellas: No, no.

Jon Harris: Okay, but I want to do that now. Okay, but then it wouldn't be – I got it.

Marcus Pellas: No.

Jon Harris: Cool. What kind of themes did go into the record? Like take us through Neon Blood Fire, is this a sentence? Is this three things? What is this record about?

Matias Juselius: Yeah, it's three words and it's really what the songs are about. Actually. That's where their title came from. There's. Neon Blood Fire. It's a bit of a dystopian science fiction, horror themes, something like that in there somewhere. But also there's some personal stuff as well. So it's a mixed bag of things from, from my head. 

Jon Harris: Okay. Now, because there was a new sound involved, maybe Johnny had more to do with this. But was there any gear that was used on the record that maybe surprised you? 

Matias Juselius: What do you say, Marcus? 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, we had some different cool effects for the guitars. To spice things up, get some new sounds and make it more brutal.  So that was really nice. As I'm a nerd for guitar pedals and stuff myself. 

Matias Juselius: You use more analog stuff this time, right? 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, more analog stuff. And try mixing different amps together to get a correct Lamori sound.  But real nice. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. See, we're careful about our pasta recipes. We're also very careful about our amp and pedal recipes. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. Had to keep it a secret for that because I was going to select few. 

Jon Harris: That's right. My next question is, like, how much Soldano 100? How much Rectifier? Like, where were we at on the guitar tone? But you can't tell me other than more analog stuff. So that's cool, because in today's day and age, you could have done this whole record, we say on a laptop. Are you kidding? You could have done the whole record on the iPhone that you're currently doing this Zoom call on because of the plugins, the drum machines, everything's available now in a compact form. But the decision was made to do analog gear. Why take us through that? 

Marcus Pellas: I guess it's a different sound. I mean, the plugins are great. We used some of them, of course, and they are sounding better and better every day. But there's something about a real tube amp that's pushed by a tube screamer and you know, you feel the air moving that's you can't beat that. 

Jon Harris: No, no. 

Matias Juselius: I guess it's also a bit something for ourselves to use the analog stuff. When we listen to the music, we know it's analog. So for us it makes a bit of a difference too. So it's something for us too to use analog stuff. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, it makes sense. I remember back in the day, the tube versus solid state debate. Now everybody's all about the plugins and it's like, well, the plugins aren't tube, so I guess solid state just won. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah.

Jon Harris: I know the computer screen looks like tubes. There's no tubes in there, friend. 

Marcus Pellas: Not at all. 

Jon Harris: How would you guys define success at this stage of your career? I've got some notes that it's at least with Wormholedeath, looks like quite a few album releases. Potentially ten years. Maybe even longer, I would imagine. Longer trying new things. How would you guys define success at this stage of your career? And it could even be on a personal level. 

Marcus Pellas: One thing would be we were recently on a tour in Europe for nine days, and the reception we got from the people we met, that's like a big proof of success for me, at least, because everybody was so happy and so welcoming and loved the music and the show and bought merch. So I think it was fantastic experience for us as a band to go to a different country and meet people who can't hardly speak English, and they were just so happy to see us. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah. Yeah. Anything. 

Jon Harris: People bought merch. That's the only important thing right? Now you can go home. Thanks for buying a T shirt. I can go home now. 

Matias Juselius: We have enough money for gas now. 

Jon Harris: Glad you love the music, but could you buy a T shirt, please? 

Matias Juselius: Yeah.

Jon Harris: What are the only two things you need? People to buy merch and get white girls to dance? And then they'll buy some more merch. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, correct. 

Jon Harris: Perfect. Recently, on a tour in Europe, reception from people that we met don't even speak the same language. But I think that's the cool thing about music, and I think maybe, Matias, that's where you were trying to think about something. But that's the cool thing about music. And Marcus, in your side. These six strings just took me someplace where we can bond together on a level that doesn't require spoken language. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah.

Jon Harris: And Matias is just like one day you were singing into, I don't know, something that wasn't a microphone. Pretending, and now you're singing. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah.

Jon Harris: Probably still pretending, but now into a microphone. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah, still pretending, but getting there. Yeah, but getting there. 

Jon Harris: Cool. Okay, let's head back to working with Johnny because I want to get some follow up questions on working with Johnny. What do you like most about working with Johnny? 

Matias Juselius: Do you want to start, Marcus?

Marcus Pellas: I guess one thing would be his level of expertise, so to say, with he plays instruments himself, and he's done it for many, many years. He knows how to get the sound and how to maybe push us a bit. So he's a very good producer to have by your side in the studio and easy to work with. Easy going. It's not I'm the boss. I know. Everything is more like shill dude and easy going, so to say. 

Matias Juselius: Yeah, easy going with something I would say to you very relaxed, and you feel relaxed around him. It's no rush or hurry with anything. You just take your time and do your thing. 

Jon Harris: He's getting paid by the day, so I wouldn't blame him. 

Matias Juselius:  Yeah, of course. 

Marcus Pellas: That's why.

Matias Juselius: He's always late.

Jon Harris: No, he's Italian. He was on time. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. He's on Italian time. 

Jon Harris: I hear they're worse in Spain. They might not even show up at all. I thought it was tomorrow. Cool. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. 

Jon Harris: Easy-going, knows how to play the instruments. That's an important thing, right? So he's not just coming at it from I don't know, from a perspective where he went to school. Yeah he knows audio engineering, but he doesn't really know what a guitar is or what a drum is or whatever. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. No, he knows his way around everything. So I think that's important. You can understand a bit more our side of it, too. 

Jon Harris: You mentioned that initially the label and Johnny had made some changes to the songs. What kind of changes were those? Did they adjust tempos? Did they adjust keys? Did they shorten, lengthen? What kind of things went into the additional process, I guess, other than just putting a mic up to the Lamori secret sauce amp collection? 

Matias Juselius: I think, actually this time there were smaller changes. There was like some maybe tempo change, maybe add, add something. Mostly they took away stuff. They wanted to have it more clean, they said, So cut that part, take that away. 

Jon Harris: How do I make my song better? Where's the mute button?

Matias Juselius: Yeah, like that. Usually when you write, you just want to have everything in there. But sometimes you have to keep it more simple. And that's the thing with this album. Just keep it simple, straight to the point. No bullshit. Just make it interesting. Yeah. I think that's the key of the album. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah.

Jon Harris: Yeah. Makes sense. Yeah. My son and I are part of a mixing group where we get tracks, we mix them, we meet the producer and maybe you've heard of it. Nail the Mix. The URM Academy

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, I heard it. 

Jon Harris: Occasionally, we get quite the zinger that comes down. And the latest zinger to come down was the new Nickelback album. We've got all the Nickelback tracks now, and I think what surprised me the most was how sparse it actually is. What's there is there and what isn't there is definitely not there. They've definitely cleaned out. They've done that process to clean out what needs to be there and what doesn't need to be there. It's mostly just double track guitars all the way through. There's a point where they have, like, six tracks of guitar, but. But at certain points and there's reasons for it and they all have different tones and so it's like there's reasons for things, but yeah, to just slam all for some reason, I was thinking it would just be like the whole thing. The kitchen sink. There'd be like 1000 tracks in there. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah. No, you have to have the dynamics, which you can't have, like you said, all the guitars all the time. It doesn't sound good. You have to calm down sometimes and go harder another time. It's all about dynamics and make it feel alive. 

Jon Harris: I just imagined you on a date saying that. It's all about dynamics, baby. You got to add a little spice, keep it spicy. But you got to come down and you got to bring it up. You got to know when to do it. 

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, it's there also. 

Jon Harris: What's the number one thing you boys would like people listening to the podcast to do? This can be the place where you do the drop that you're supposed to drop. It can be something spiritual. It could be something that you're just feeling in the moment. It could be all of the above. 

Marcus Pellas: What do you say, Matias? 

Matias Juselius: Well, it's typical to say, yeah, go out and listen to our music. 

Jon Harris: That's what you're supposed to say though. That is that's where you go. Neon Blood Fire out now via Wormholedeath Records available everywhere you stream music, including on CD. Come out and check us out on tour. Go to whatever your website is and order tickets so that I can finish my basement. 

Matias Juselius: We're from Finland. We don't like to brag so much. So we just say if you if you feel like it, you can go and listen to one of our songs maybe.

Jon Harris: Call me, maybe. Okay.

Marcus Pellas: Yeah, follow us on Spotify. Stop by our Facebook and write a comment. Listen to the music, and we're happy

Jon Harris: If you want... Yeah, I love that. Follow us on Spotify. So everyone listening in right now. There's some incredible ways to connect with bands on Spotify that I think are being under-utilized by the platform, by people in general. Even as a podcast, I got comments on Spotify just like it would be on a social media site on Spotify. It's cool, and I want more of that because that's where we're communicating with people. That's where people are listening. And then go and head over to You'll get the show notes for today, all the extra candy, such as the visualizer videos for the singles that have been released. Boys, thank you so much for coming on to The Rock Metal Podcast today. 

Matias Juselius: Thank you for having us. 

Marcus Pellas: Thank you for having us.


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