SONUS CORONA: Inspiring Music

Sonus Corona

Finnish progressive metal band Sonus Corona has released their new single “The Refuge” earlier this year, accompanied with a music video directed by Victor Ekholm. The sextet hailing from Turku “strives to mix soft melodies with heavy riffs in a progressive style.” Guitarist Ari Lempinen spoke for Prog Sphere about the band’s beginnings, the new single, and more.

Define the mission of Sonus Corona.

We are all about creating inspiring music. We want to challenge the listener both musically and lyricwise.

How did you go about forming the band? Why “Sonus Corona” as a name?

The band started out in 2011 as a side project between myself and Rasmus, our drummer. We initially just wanted to jam and have fun but as we played together, we came to an understanding to form a band. Aki, our bass player joined shortly after and we played as a trio for about a year. Harri our lead guitarist joined next to fill the void we felt we had in our solo and lead section. A big change was imminent when I felt I wanted to concentrate only to playing and we started our search for a new vocalist. In 2014 Timo became our new frontman and we felt that our crew was complete.

When selecting a name for the band, we wanted something that sounded different and would somehow give the idea of a refined sound. After some brainstorming Sonus Corona came up and instantly felt good. The name is latin with sonus meaning sound and corona meaning crown. So freely translated it could be Sound Crown. We released our debut album Sonus Corona the following year.

In 2016, while composing new material, I really wanted to expand the sound further with keys. I asked my brother Esa to play the keys on our single “The Refuge” and after playing with us live we asked if he would like to join the band. He said yes and thus we became a sextet.

Tell me about the musical concept behind your new single “The Refuge.”

With all the negative things going on in the world right now the idea behind “The Refuge” was to create a song with a clear positive vibe and an encouraging feel to it. The song introduces keys to our music which do expand the musical palette quite a bit. We also switched from six to seven string guitars. That is a big change when composing. Even so, the basic composition in “The Refuge” is not that different from before.

Lead me through the creative process that informed “The Refuge.”

As the idea was to give the listener a positive feel, we worked on riffs that you could easily compose melodies in a major scale to. I personally like lydian scale which is very close to a major scale but has that mysterious magical feel to it. When we started jamming and forging the riffs we ended up with a pretty straightforward structure which felt solid. The lyrics are written by Timo and myself and they insinuate a different mindset where you can find Refuge even amidst chaos.

Where does “The Refuge” stand comparing with your self-titled release?

The song has new elements and a new drive to it without being completely different. Our new material features keys in an increasingly bigger role and in general is a bit more technical than before. This track probably stands out as being most “pop”. Soundwise it is very different than the album before. “The Refuge” was recorded, mixed and mastered by professionals while we did almost everything ourselves with the debut album.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when working on the single?

The time we spent rehearsing and recording the single was significantly less than with our previous release. This created some issues trying to fit the schedules of six full time working people together. Everything else went smoothly.

Have you managed to make any new discoveries as the time passed during the creative process? Do you think that at some point of that process your writing approach changed drastically?

When I switched to a seven string guitar I had to adjust my playing quite a bit. Before the switch I played a six string guitar with a drop D tuning and now a standard seven. This involved some exciting discoveries. I don’t think the writing process itself was exceptionally different than it used to be.

What have you been listening during the songwriting process of “The Refuge”, and in which measure it shaped the song’s final structure?

Can’t really mention anything specific. New interesting bands arise all the time but it is hard to evaluate if/how they have influenced my writing.

Sonus Corona - The Refuge

What types of change this music can initiate, in your opinion?

Well we strive to create inspiring music. We channel the ideas for our lyrics mainly from our own experiences in life and we try to deliver the message with music that supports and complements the message. If our music does initiate a change in the listener I hope it is a positive one.

Where do you draw the inspiration from and how do you go about channeling it into writing?

The beauty, brutality and the fragility of life is a huge inspiration for me. I try to implement the same elements into my compositions.

What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?

We do think protecting the planet is pretty important and treating each other with respect.

What is your viewpoint on the struggle bands are facing today as they try to monetize their output?

The supply of good quality music has reached gigantic proportions and the biggest challenge is simply to get heard. Not just online, but to have their music played radios etc. YouTube is stuffed with videos that gather little attention. Sadly if you have big boobs and a pretty face it helps. None of us happen to have either. I believe the core idea is to create quality content and be consistent.

What does the future hold for Sonus Corona?

We are currently producing new material and hope to release more new music soon!

“The Refuge” is available now from CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. Follow Sonus Corona on Facebook for all future updates.

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