Interview : Leeni-Maria Hovila – Kivimetsän Druidi (2008)




Interview by Marc “Peston” Sels


Kivimetsän Druidi is a Finnish band that plays folk/gothic metal. The name means The Druid of the Stone Forest. In 2008 Leeni-Maria Hovila (ex-Exsecratus) joined the band and they recorded their first full cd, “Shadowheart”. At this moment (November 2009) the band is on tour in the States and Canada, together with Eluveitie (Swiss), Belphegor (Austria), Alestorm(UK) and Vreid (Norway). Normally the new cd will be released in April by Century media. I had a short interview with the beautiful lead vocalist Leeni-Maria.

Hello Leeni-Maria. How is the American Tour going?

So far so good. We seem to have been a success allthough we had to make several shows without Joni – he’s got the swine flu or something. Since we have been selling an increasing number of CD’s and shirts regardless of his absence, he has said something on the lines that he’s “never coming back, you guys do just fine without me. I’m going to be your manager or something”. D, not likely, heh. OK. He’ll be back on stage in San Antonio.

Can you tell us how you became the singer of Kivimetsän Druidi?

They called me. I was currently the vocalist of Exsecratus and Kivimetsän Druidi‘s manager had made a review of exce’s first album so when Druidi wound up needing a new female lead, they basically called me at work. This was, I recall, spring 2008.

The first cd was mostly in Finnish. Don’t you fear this may be an obstacle for fans outside Finland ?

So, one would think but no one has ever actually bothered to tell us so. It doesn’t seem to be any problem to anyone. Record company has said nothing on the matter, quite the contrary. I remember them being supportive about the matter. Fans mostly come to tell us that they’ve self-studying Finnish to understand the lyrics first hand.

I saw you at the Metal Female Voices Fest this year and I found Kivimetsän Druidi one of the most impressive bands of the festival. How did you experienced it? 

MFVF was certainly one of the biggest and best organized festivals we have ever been toand it felt like the perfect audience to us although we felt we were definitely heavier and more extreme than most acts there. And Brussels was a great city – we had a day off there afterwards because of flight arrangements.

A whole lot of bands are from Finland. Is there a reasonable explanation for it?

It has to be that dark nordic mentality.

 In your bio you mention Floor Jansen as one of your influences. What is your favorite cd of After Forever, and why?

“Invisible Circles”, which is a great performance of switching between the styles.

Women are more and more placed as the face of a band. Doesn’t that divert from the music?

It depends what they’re there for. It depends on whether they go there to divert from the music or make it. There’s nothing wrong with having a great rack and a pretty face. You still don’t have to sell with them.

Can you tell us someting about the upcoming album, or is it top secret?

Well, it’s going to better than the first.There’s going to be songs composed and lyrics written by more members of the band than before. It’s going to have so much variety it’s actually a little horrifying. It’s hopefully going to be out sometime late next spring, I think in April. It’s going to kick ass!

Do you prefer to sing live on stage, or recording songs in the studio?

Augh!! Sometimes I hate them both, other times I love them. They are so different situations with such different sides that you really can’t even compare.

At last, what are the plans for 2008?

Release the album. Promote the album like our lives depend on it. Tourish-kinda-things would be nice. Another Europe, maybe? Start making new songs for so far hypothetical number three, early enough so we won’t be slightly buggered with it, as usual.

Thanx, and give my regards to Santa Claus!!!

I’ll tell him to be nice to you this year. All the best, Leeni-Maria.


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