View Full Version : Wintersun Time II Update/Controversy

08-01-2014, 09:42 AM
So if you missed it, Jari posed a huge update/rant about Time II yesterday.

Reality Update About Crowd Funding, TIME II And Future Albums

Iīm very happy to see that we have so much dedicated fans that would be willing to pledge and be a part of funding a studio for Wintersun, so I could make the next Wintersun album without it taking another 10 years again.

Iīve been thinking about this Kickstarter/Pledge crowd funding thing for a while and Iīm very confident now that there is enough of you guys that would help us raise the money for the Wintersun studio! This would give me the freedom to make music efficiently and nonstop. It would eliminate lot of the problems Iīve struggled with all my life and still continue to struggle everyday. For example right now I need a studio to reamp guitars for TIME II. And not just any studio, my own studio where I can craft my sounds exactly like I want them. 3rd party studios have never worked for me and Iīve never gotten satisfactory results for the insane prices they charge.

I live in a small shitty apartment building and I have neighbors. It is very very hard to work like this. I canīt record vocals, I canīt practise my singing, I canīt record guitars, I canīt record guitars even with modelling amps, because the electricity is so bad in this shitty building so I get lots of interference, I even play and practise the electric guitar acoustically without an amp 99% of the time in my home, I canīt record drums or basically any acoustic instruments, I donīt have the room or cool space for a big computer farm which is a must for the orchestrations for the next album (the place is too small and hot even for the one computer I have), I canīt mix properly, īcause the room is so bad and thereīs always ambient noise in and outside the building. Thatīs why I usually turn my sleeping rhythm around and mix at nights, but that causes problems in my everyday life. I canīt do pretty much anything properly in this situation. Building a professional studio for Wintersun would erase all this and give us the freedom to make music nonstop. It would upgrade our album sound significantly and most importantly speed up the album making process significantly. This would even raise our live game. With proper preproduction, able to tweak our live sounds and setup properly we would sound pretty incredible live. We would also be able to rehearse more and that would allow us to be able to play live more often and come to places where we normally have not been able to come. The studio would allow us to have more time for everything.

But the problem is this. I have a record deal with Nuclear Blast. If I would do a Kickstarter with a downloadable album for example, they would come with lawyers and take % share (more than half) away from the money that is your money meant for the Wintersun studio and the album production. Would you even want to pledge if Wintersun didnīt get 100% of the money youīve pledged for the album production? Then our management would take their % share away. Then thereīs taxes of course. The Finnish government would take something like 40% away. This would leave me nothing. I would be totally screwed. Iīve been trying to have a discussion with Nuclear Blast about crowd funding, but they are totally freaking out. They see the crowd funding as a threat to their business and they would rather see Wintersun dead, than me doing a crowd funding. I think this would not hurt them at all, only benefit them, but they cannot see the big picture of Wintersun doing well. They actually told me point blank that I should just stop making music and they will never release Wintersun from the contract. Itīs really like this, because they canīt or wonīt loan me enough money to build a studio and fund an album, they donīt want other people (the fans) to fund it either… unless they get a crazy big cut of the funding (for doing absolutely nothing).

This is the way a record deal works: The label gives an advance to make an album. This is a loan and they will recoup every penny back from the record sales. The reason why TIME I&II has taken so long to make (and still is taking long to finish TIME II), is because I havenīt gotten enough advances (money) to make these complex albums. Not even close. So Iīve been struggling all these years and sacrificed everything to make these albums. I have never really made any money from Wintersun. All my money has gone to album production, but you can guess who have made tons of money from Wintersun. The point is that I need my own studio to make the future albums, but Nuclear Blast wonīt be able to loan enough money to make that happen and then they wonīt allow me to do a crow funding campaign either that would make it happen. And even if Nuclear Blast would be able to loan me the money for the studio, our management would take their share of that money and I would get only part of the money, but I would still have to pay back 100% to Nuclear Blast from the record sales. So I would actually lose big chunk of the album production money straight away, which makes no sense at all. And then thereīs the taxes. So thereīs no point of taking these “loans” either.

This all is stressing me out very badly and itīs slowing my workflow. Iīve got enough technical problems to deal with making these albums. I just want the freedom to make music, but I guess it is what it is. Honestly, I feel like Iīve signed a deal with the devil and Iīm just a slave in the system.

Iīve got probably 5 long albums worth of new insanely good material! And thereīs no filler material at all! The music is much more refined, much more advanced in arrangement/composition/productionwise. Itīs diverse and beautiful, heavy, chaotic and exploring different styles&themes and some new dimensions I feel no band has explored before… The stuff is simply on another level, in a different universe than the debut album and the TIME albums combined. I wrote the TIME albums around 2006 and before, that was a lifetime ago. Think of the stuff Iīve written ever since to this day! And I just keep on writing, I feel like Iīm on fire. The music is just flowing out of me. Iīm so excited about all this new music and I canīt wait to start recording and sharing it with you… BUT I canīt without a studio, thatīs the problem…


p.s. Should have stayed working in the post office!

Today, Nuclear Blast put out a statement as well.

Hey Everyone,

We are aware of Jari Mäenpää's recent statement on his current situation and business experiences with Nuclear Blast regarding the most anticipated Wintersun album "TIME II". We highly appreciate the massive response that this statement caused as it once again proves how much the Metal community cares about their fellow metalheads, especially the musicians that go through many hardships to give us what we all enjoy the most: A good blast of METAL.

We have always been Metal fans at heart and continue to strive for the same goal we have since the formation of Nuclear Blast 27 years ago: to support our artists the best way possible and to get the music everybody deserves out to our fans worldwide.

With this being said, the business side of music can often be rough and especially with a project as extensive as the TIME series, compromises have to be made to make an album both beautiful and feasible for all parties involved - the musicians, the fans and the label. This process includes many details that should not be discussed in public as debates sometimes get heated and misunderstandings occur, but we take great pride in the relationship with our artists until this day.

Be assured that we all love Wintersun as much as you do. Nobody at Nuclear Blast wants to see them gone and we are working together with Jari and his management to find the optimal solution for his concerns.

Stay true,
Nuclear Blast

This is fascinating on so many levels. The questions of whether crowd funding is fine for big releases, the idea of how ridiculous the delays have been, how it seems like Jari is putting his own perfectionist attitude above making a compromise. Really interested in seeing where this goes.

08-01-2014, 10:19 AM
I've never listened to them but he comes off as a bitch.

08-01-2014, 11:42 AM
Dat perfectionism

08-01-2014, 01:04 PM
The Tom Scholz of metal.

08-01-2014, 08:00 PM

Jari has it so much easier than thousands upon thousands of other bands out there, who can all record and release albums from their fucking basements and still manage to have them sound pretty good. I know Wintersun's music is complex and very layered, but there seriously isn't a single studio on the planet that can give him the sound he wants?

Also, would his own studio really speed things up? Given his record of making stupid excuses endlessly, I seriously doubt it. Part of me thinks he was fired from the post office. People need their mail, and can't wait 8 years for their parcels to come:tp:

Hey Jari, maybe the label won't give you enough money for a studio, or to allow a Kickstarter because they've already given you a fuckton to record the music, only to be given delays and excuses? Either way, when Time II comes out in 2020, I'm sure it'll be pretty decent at least.

John The Drummer
08-01-2014, 09:09 PM
Think of what would happen if he had his own studio......


08-02-2014, 03:59 AM
It's natural to want to release the best product you can, but sometimes you have to work with what you've got. Jari seems unwilling to make any sort of compromise in order to put out new material. Does he really expect the record label to pay for his personal studio? Maybe his fanboys / fangirls will side with him, but any sensible person can see that he's making completely unreasonable demands.

08-07-2014, 07:56 AM
It just gets better:


I feel like I need to explain the situation more clearly as some people seem to be a bit confused. So letīs get more into the details…

Letīs get one thing clear first, I donīt live in a fantasy world. You might say Iīm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to album production. Fine, Iīll give you that. But I do make compromises, lots of them. TIME I was all a huge compromise. The melody guitars are all old modelling amps (not the new Axe-FXs and whatnots which sound pretty decent actually). There simply was not enough budget to record them properly in a professional studio, so they sound pretty horrible and are very hard mix and fit in with the rest of the instruments. The vocals were all recorded in various rehearsal places just with my laptop (the reason why it took so long to record them and also because of the hundreds of vocal tracks I needed to record for these albums). They are certainly not the best quality vocal recordings. Again, another compromise for not having enough budget for a 3rd party professional studio. I also wanted some time to practise my vocals while recording, which Iīve never really done before, but you can hear the improvement. Also I do some of the vocal arrangement work and experiment with different things while recording, this would be impossible in a 3rd party studio. The rhythm guitars were actually recorded in a 3rd party studio, but I didnīt have enough time to craft the sound exactly like I want it. Rhythm guitar is the thing Iīm the most perfectionist and passionate about. Thereīs only a handful of rhythm guitar sounds I like from the millions of heavy metal records out there, so you can imagine how hard it is for me to be able to produce the guitar sound of my dreams in few days in a 3rd party studio. Impossible. And to fit it in with hundreds of orchestration & synth instruments, to not muddy the bass, to be able to scoop the mids so the whole mix doesn't sound like a kitchen radio (I donīt like mids in metal guitars plus the orchestra instruments already eat a lot of the mids space), but still keep the upper mids smooth and not harsh, to not mask the drum overheads, but still having enough modern highs and upper mids attack to have it cut through the mix. This is almost a mission impossible, but I know I could do it in my own time in my own studio... So the time ran out from the studioīs “taximeter” and I was left with unsatisfying guitar sound and very hard to fit in the mix (still had to pay the studio bill though). I was very unhappy about this, but still released the album! The orchestrations were made with just one computer which forced me to use time consuming workarounds and was very stressful. I wonīt even get into the technical problems Iīve had to deal with over the years. It took 3 years of sweat and tears to make the orchestrations the way I had to do them. This was the hardest task and it nearly burned me out. Never again this way! I would need a computer farm to do the all the orchestrations in realtime without slow workarounds.

Iīve mixed the albums in my apartment and you ask why it takes so long to mix? Well, because my room is not a professional studio ment for mixing. Thereīs also always some noise issues inside and outside the building, Iīve had even some scary hearing problems due to this for having to raise the volume and having to mix too loud. Never again! Thereīs also insane amount of tracks to mix (which is very difficult), but my computer is having hard a time handling them well. Very unstable and slow. But the main thing why the mixing takes so long is because the recorded sounds are pretty crappy due to lack of resources to record them properly. So itīs very hard to "polish a turd", if not impossible. Good sounds would mix themselves! And I wonīt even get into other health problems Iīve had due to stress which has slowed the mixing process too (not mental problems, although maybe Iīm a bit crazy :P). So again, I simply canīt afford a 3rd party studios to mix in or to record. Not even close. Nuclear Blast gave us just enough budget for only to record the drums, bass and rhythm guitars in 3rd party studio, thatīs it. Which all turn out unsatisfying due to lack of time to tweak the sounds right for massive projects like the TIME albums are. Thatīs why Iīve been struggling with the mixing. All the rest of the instuments, vocals, orchestrations, melody guitars etc... was left up to me to record on my own however possible and getting quality recordings in a "DIY bedroom studio scenario" is not easy. Sure they gave us few additional advances, īcause we begged them for faster computers and better gear (and all that money has been paid back already), but still not nearly enough for a task like this. The rest have been basically financed by yours truly with touring, merchandise and just simply sacrificing my own time doing lot of workarounds and recording in rehearsal places or where ever I could due to the lack of funding, but I had to make these albums a reality no matter what! But my point is, as you can see, I do make lots of compromises. TIME I is far from perfect, but still released the album! Would a perfectionist do that?

I certainly can make music renting a 3rd party studio for one month and release an album, as I have already proven that many times in the past. But I wonīt do that again, that is my decision. Iīve never been happy with those albums and the results I get from 3rd party studios. Waste of money. There simply isnīt enough time (with our budgets) to craft the sounds the way I want them in unfamiliar space with unfamiliar gear, monitors and under the stress of the “studio taximeter" running. Itīs usually just, letīs throw a mic there and wish for the best! “Weīll fix it in the mix... maybe!”. Making music makes me happy. The feeling you get when you first get a new idea, a riff, a melody, a vision of the song is a great feeling and you just want to make that vision come out from the speakers exactly like you hear it in your head. Releasing music that doesn't represent that vision and is compromised makes me unhappy. Why continue to do something that makes you unhappy? Those past albums were like demos to me and nothing like the TIME albums or the future material are in their complexity. I just want to get the production right for these albums! I know some people don't care about the production quality that much, but I do. I wouldnīt be able to ever do these albums in 30, 60 or 90 days in a 3rd party studio “like all the other bands do it”. Sorry, but Iīm just not that skilled of a human being! I would need to rent a 3rd party studio for a year or two or even three years depending on the project and live there 24/7. But obviously who can afford that? You could invest and build your own studio with that money and make many albums until you die. The main thing that people need to understand is that the TIME albums and my future material are so much more complex to make than my previous albums were and I just canīt continue to do them like Iīve been forced to do them for the past 10 years. I think weīve all established by now that this isnīt working. You have to also remember, I do these albums basically alone. Produce, record, engineer, sing, play, mix, master, write all the music & lyrics... Who else does that? Anyone in Finland? Anyone in the world? Well maybe Devin Townsend, but heīs fucking Devin Townsend! Iīm just nobody from Konala, Helsinki.

During these years Iīve been already acquiring studio gear and started doing most of the stuff myself and I love it! Iīve gotta pretty good DAW and monitor setup, so basically I got most of the studio gear already. But thereīs still one major thing that is missing and that is the studio space. A place to work without interruptions, where I can crank up guitar amps 24/7, 365 days a year without the neighbors calling the cops, to record and practise my singing everyday, to record drums and so on… Having everything always set up ready to record and to mix night or day in a good mixing room would speed up the whole process immensely. It would be also great for the whole band, īcause weīd have our own rehearsal room for the first time, sort of “Wintersun headquarters”. This would really free us to make albums much faster with better quality and able us to tour more often, which then would open the possibilities financially to other things like upgrading our live shows, doing ten minute music videos for our long songs, a live DVD maybe even with a real orchestra...

It is a fact that without Nuclear Blast I couldnīt have gotten where I am today and I'm certainly grateful of that, but they have really made the most money of Wintersun. What have I made? Well Iīve gotten some better equipments to do my job which is nice, but Iīm still struggling and Iīm missing the main pieze of the puzzle, the actual "work place”, which is a huge roadblock to continue forwards. Iīm in a dead end. All my money has always gone straight to the album productions. I donīt go on vacations, I donīt have a car or anything fancy, which Iīm totally fine with! I work and do these albums basically for free and that would be actually fine with me, if I could do my work at least in good conditions. Iīve been struggling and Iīve sacrificed everything for over 10 years and gotten pretty much nothing out of it, except the love and support of the fans, which I appreciate very much!

But to continue to make more albums, I need my own studio. Iīve had enough making albums in rehearsal places and in a bedroom studios, it just doesnīt work. Enough is enough. Iīve reached the breaking point. I donīt owe Nuclear Blast or anyone anything. I donīt have to make or release albums. I donīt have to release TIME II, if Iīm not happy with it. I can make music (demos) just for myself for fun and just show them to my closest friends. Or I can do something else, for example teaching like Kai and Teemu... doing anything else I would actually earn some money. I will continue to always make music like I did before any record deals, but whether I will release the music depends totally whether I can record and mix it properly. Iīve made piece with myself that if I wonīt be able to ever release another album again and I have to take my songs to the grave, that is ok with me, but I do not wish it. Nuclear Blast and everyone around me has made profits of Wintersun and all my debts are paid. So no harm done. Where to go from here? The future is unknow.

I must point out that our manager is a really good guy. Always has our best interest at heart, he actually gave me a big personal loan to finish TIME I. I couldnīt have done it without him! He actually renegotiated a better Nuclear Blast deal for me after the TIME I release. Iīm actually ok with the new deal. Except for the fact that I canīt make albums, because they wonīt fund them enough for me to actually be able to make them and at the same time they are denying me doing a Wintersun crowd funding which probably would finance the studio. So they are really holding us hostage. Our manager actually renounced himself from the crowd funding and wonīt have any part in it unless I want his help. He wants to see Wintersun succeed. The problem is still the same though, without enough funding there wonīt be Wintersun albums. And Iīm pretty sure I would not be able to gather enough finances on my own with just “Jari Mäenpääīs studio crowd funding” without any meaningful perk like TIME II high quality album download for example. It would have to be a big Wintersun campaign with a team of people helping me to realise this dream. But I will try to figure something out, Iīm not giving up!

TIME II is now in a good place mixwise. Iīm pretty happy with the drums, bass & the orchestrations. The whole thing is sounding so much more powerful and clear than TIME I. Really proud of what Iīve been able to achieve with these “not so perfect" recordings and with the intense orchestra layers. Itīs so difficult to mix stuff like this, especially with my mixing conditions. But I wonīt ruin the hard work Iīve done so far by throwing a crappy guitar sound on top ruining the whole mix. Thatīs one compromise I wonīt make anymore. And I wonīt be spending anymore money for 3rd party studios either. I will save and invest every penny for my own studio. Actually for those who complained not hearing the guitars enough on TIME I, the guitars were left purposely little bit back in the mix, because they were so crappy. Or those who critized the production otherwise, now you know the reason why it wasnīt top notch quality. No money = demo quality. And for those who doubted me having written already 5 albums worth of new material, Iīve written actually more. That was just a conservative estimate.

Bottom line, if people want me to make music and release Wintersun albums, I need enough funding for my personal studio where I can craft my music, record and produce my sounds in piece. It is as simple as that. I canīt make this complex music any other way anymore. I am just one man with limited resources and limited skills. I canīt magically pull albums from thin air. Maybe other bands can do their albums “the usual way” renting a 3rd party studio for one month and are happy with the results, I certainly respect that! Iīve been there, done that. I know that many metal bands have all got their own hardships and I am not certainly underrating anyoneīs situation. But every situation is unique and mine certainly is. Iīve seen some comments saying that “You donīt deserve your own studio, because other bands donīt get to have their own studio either and you should just do your music like everyone else does it!”. Would it be somehow bad for the other bands if I would build my own studio? Would it somehow hurt the other bands, if I could make more Wintersun albums in my own way? Or are these comments just based on jealousy or something? “What makes you so special to get your own studio?” Nothing and maybe I donīt deserve it, but that is for the fans & financiers to decide and I know thereīs lots of dedicated fans that want to support us! It really isnīt about who deserves what. Iīm just saying what I can and canīt do. I have my own way of doing things. Sorry, if my previous update sounded like whining or somehow entitled for some of you, it wasn’t ment to be. I am just trying to illustrate the difficult situation Iīm in. I definitely understand the realities of life. The crowd funding was actually suggested and brought to my attention by the fans. In fact people have been wanting donate to us since the debut album, but we don't feel very good about it. We always would like to give something back. That's why we make merchandise for example. I admit that Iīm a little bit frustrated with the situation, but Iīm fine with whatever outcome. But if someone finds it offensive that Iīm looking for funding for my studio project and for the Wintersun albums, then they got some personal problems. Most of the comments have been really encouraging, supportive and positive though and I appreciate that!

Currently Iīm negotiating with Nuclear Blast and our manager how we could make this work for all parties… Weīll see if we can work this out.

I certainly hope that weīll find a solution, so we can release more Wintersun albums and share them with the world. It is my dream and passion to make music and it makes me happy to see that so many people care about Wintersun. Iīm very grateful!!! All your supportive posts have given me lot of hope and Iīm certainly not quitting the fight!

Thank you and thanks for listening!


p.s. Everyone enjoying their popcorn?

08-07-2014, 08:02 AM

John The Drummer
08-07-2014, 08:17 AM
I. NEED. TL;DR VERSION!!!! :bouville:

08-07-2014, 08:59 AM
Not even bothering reading that Jari needs to get over himself. I understand his perfectionism I am that way myself but I don't blame everyone around me when things don't go my way.

08-07-2014, 01:09 PM
Basically he said he compromised to get Time I out, in which he stated he hates the way it sounds (I think it sounds fine). Had Jari not had to do that, the album probably wouldn't even be out yet. Really needs to get over himself.

08-07-2014, 03:26 PM
Basically he said he compromised to get Time I out, in which he stated he hates the way it sounds (I think it sounds fine). Had Jari not had to do that, the album probably wouldn't even be out yet. Really needs to get over himself.

The compromise sounds great to me. Bring on Time II!

Having read all of the statements though, the guy is nuts. He's by no means obligated to give us music, but he really doesn't understand the music business very well.

John The Drummer
08-07-2014, 03:29 PM
Sounds like a Spinal Tap moment to me.


08-07-2014, 03:32 PM
Seems like a lot of shit from a band I've never even fucking heard of. Who does this guy think he is, Bono?

08-07-2014, 03:38 PM
Seems like a lot of shit from a band I've never even fucking heard of. Who does this guy think he is, Bono?

>never heard of Wintersun

F'real? You might actuary dig them.

08-07-2014, 03:47 PM
>never heard of Wintersun

F'real? You might actuary dig them.

Link me some good shit.

Didn't dude used to be in Elvinstdhendjdmen? With the Finnish flag kilts? I wasn't into them. But the one time I saw them they went on between Belphegor and Amon Amarth, so yeah.

08-07-2014, 03:55 PM
And that whole spiel reaffirms my stance that he is the Tom Scholz of metal.

08-07-2014, 05:23 PM
My friend had written a blog post basically saying Jari is fucking stupid and ungrateful not too long ago in response to the inital post from Jari, and now he's on metalsucks.


It's incredible. Read the blog post too, it's hilarious and awesome.

08-08-2014, 02:22 AM
Let's start a kickstarter campaign to pay for the pussy he needs.

08-08-2014, 03:49 AM
what a bitch

John The Drummer
08-08-2014, 03:40 PM
Nuclear Blast gave us just enough budget for only to record the drums, bass and rhythm guitars in 3rd party studio, thatīs it .... All the rest of the instuments, vocals, orchestrations, melody guitars etc... was left up to me to record on my own however possible and getting quality recordings in a "DIY bedroom studio scenario" is not easy.

LOL! I recorded my drums for my latest recording in my spare bedroom and they sounded GREAT. I'm sure he can manage those other things, especially since he doesn't have an actual job (from what I hear) in any sort of location.

I certainly can make music renting a 3rd party studio for one month and release an album, as I have already proven that many times in the past. But I wonīt do that again, that is my decision.

Here is his first issue, it shouldn't take that long to record an album. Rent a studio for a month (why so long?), get it done. Mix at home.

Dude needs to budget himself. Figure out what he can record at home easily, DO THAT, then figure out what NEEDS to be done in a studio. Drummer obviously has a practice space, he can set up some mikes and record there....

08-08-2014, 05:01 PM
On one hand he's a big bitch and should consider himself luckily to even be in this position in the first place that I'm sure 99% of bands would kill for 1/10th of

On the other hand, I definitely understand when you want something done absolutely perfect and will take as long as you need to make sure that happens.

Not saying it doesn't outweigh the bitch-reasons though.

John The Drummer
08-08-2014, 09:03 PM
From now on, when I think of Jari, I think of....

08-08-2014, 09:19 PM
Rent a studio for a month (why so long?), get it done. Mix at home.

It would probably be better if you recorded at home (if you got the right set up and all), then rent a studio to mix and master.

08-09-2014, 03:18 AM