Posted on by Oran

When you think of Finnish metal, the last thing that comes to mind is 80’s style Bay Area Thrash! I recall double taking when I found out that fast rising thrashers Lost Society were an export from the land that more commonly produces a more symphonic style of metal. However which ever way you look at it, Lost Society are one of the best new-wave thrash metal bands to emerge from the recent explosion within popular genre. Samy Elbanna; the charismatic vocalist / front-man takes a little time from his sound-check in Dublin as part of their extensive tour with Exodus,  to shoot the shit with us. Find out all about it….

Lost Society Sammy Elbanna

Overdrive caught up with vocalist Samy Elbanna to talk about Lost Society’s current tour with Exodus, playing with legends Slayer and Anthrax in their home town and the state of thrash music today. There is also the matter of the bands latest release “Braindead” which is liable to take a layer of skin of your face, if you stand too close to the stereo speakers! Let’s get into it, shall we?

lost society band shot

OD – First off, congratulations on the new album it’s fantastic! How long were you writing for “Braindead”?

SAMY – I think it was about late 2014 until fuckin’ two weeks before we went into the studio! It was the whole time period, because we don’t like to give ourselves a certain time period to write songs, as I think it brings out unnecessary pressure and stress and shit, so basically for us, we’re at the rehearsal place so much of our time and we get inspired at some moment – we never know when it is. At the rehearsal place, we can be playing an old song, and then in the middle of the sing we’ll be like “hey – how about this?” and we can make a song in that minute. Like I said – the newest song we wrote was about two weeks before we hit the studio and it ended up being one of my favourite racks on the album.EXODUS TOUR

OD – Being on a tour like this with a band like Exodus must be hard to contemplate at times, how did it come about that you managed to get on this tour?

SAMY – It was a pretty funny story, because we kinda got confirmed for to open for Exodus for two Finnish shows that are a part of this tour. And then, I mean, basically, to cut a long story short, our manager called me two weeks after that and said “hey- apparently you have a possibility of being in for the whole tour. You interested?” We’re like “hmmm – lemme think. FUCK YEAH!! Hahaha! Let me check my calendar!!”

OD – You have already played a few dates, how have things been going, as it can be a little intimidating going on before Exodus?

SAMY – No, like, the first evening we got on the bus, we saw the guys for the first time. We had met them earlier, but now we got to know them, had a few beers, and noticed after a while that these were our guys, our brothers. It’s such a cool situation because, these guys have been physically in the place where we are NOW, like 30 years ago, so it’s more like they’re our big brothers. They’re giving us great advice and taking care of us and I really appreciate it. And the start of the tour has been amazing. It’s actually funny how the crowd really gets into our music too. We’d done tours around Finland and around the world with bands like Children of Bodom, some opening shows with Sabaton, stuff like that. Those shows were great too, but the crowd – you can always see the people who’ve come to see the headliner. But this time around, I’m sure we’re gonna get loads of new fans. It’s been great – they’ve taken us in so well.

OD – When you look back on “Fast, Loud, Death” to “Braindead” do you see yourselves as having matured in sound and approach to the way to record and write?

SAMY – Well of course, there is that one element that hasn’t changed and won’t change, is that we’ll always write the stuff we like to play ourselves, that we can sign them and say “these are our songs and we love them”. I’d say there is a huge progression from “Terror Hungry” to “Braindead”. Because “Fast, Loud, Death”, traditionally with debut albums, the have songs from the whole start of the career. So that was basically those songs. “Terror Hungry” was written whilst we were on the road and that was such a busy year (2013).

lost society terror hungry

I think it was cool that we had a longer break between the second and third album. Obviously, the fact that we’d been playing together makes a huge difference, because we’ve got this telepathic connection whilst writing and playing songs… and also the fact that we’ve really broadened our horizons on what we like to listen to ourselves and I think you can hear that we’ve given out a lot new of influences, a lot of new touches to the music, to make to make it even more diverse. We write songs that we really enjoy playing and of course make us happy. We don’t wanna turn around to each other and say “O we’ve made two really fast albums, now let’s make one really slow and dark album”. It just so happened that it became like that.

OD – Having looked back on the way that you guys were signed to Nuclear Blast, how important do you think the use of social media is not only within the music industry, but specifically within the metal genre particularly?

SAMY – Yeah definitely really important, because it’s kinda like, you can look at it both sides. On one side, it’s really easy to get a hold of new music but at the same time it’s killing the industry. But you know, for us,  it’s not anytime soon that we’ll be getting $100,000 paychecks, but I think things like Spotify or iTunes can only be a good thing for us. I personally don’t mind if someone downloads our album if it’s just not available in their country and of course I appreciate it if you download the album and listen to it and if you like it you buy it. Because I’ve done that many times – gotten an album on Spotify and if I like it I buy it and of course, going to shows and stuff. But for us, I love the social media, it’s just a brilliant way of promoting your band and it’s free, except Facebook if you wanna do the whole sponsored bullshit. Fuck that! But it’s been a tremendous help for us and I like the fact that everything is available so easily.

OD – Just last year you had the pleasure of opening up for Anthrax and Slayer, did you get any kind of reaction from the guys in those bands regarding Lost Society?


SAMI -Well my friend, it was pretty fucking awesome! It was so crazy. I mean, when I look back at the whole day it’s just, we were walking around the Hartwall Arena with Arrtu our guitarist, and he just turned to me and said “five years ago, we founded a fuckin’ punk rock band and five years later we’re here. Like, what the fuck happened?! The Slayer guys, apart from Gary (Holt), they came to the venue like, an hour before doors, and they were pretty much in their own spaces. Gary came to say hi because we’d seen him many times. That was really cool. We met the Anthrax guys. I mean the whole day was pretty surreal. I was walking around the venue like. “oh there’s Gary (Holt). There’s Tom (Araya). What the fuck? What’s happening?”


I think the best was, we were circling the venue and the Slayer crew was there, and then we were walking around and we were like “Shit there’s Tom Araya!” Every time we walked past him we were like little girls. Then at some point, an hour before doors, the tour manager is like “OK Slayer is coming to the building” We were like “What?” Then we found out that the guy we thought was Tom Araya was the bass tech! He looked exactly like him!

OD – If you had the chance to play a show in full with any band of any era, who would it be and when?

SAMY – It has to be fucking Iron Maiden man!  No doubt. Iron Maiden all the way!. The tour / album would have to be “Seventh Son” or “Powerslave”. Actually, lets get this right, it would have to be Powerslave and the show would be the “Live After Death” show in Long Beach Arena! Now that would be epic on so many levels!

ODLost Society are considered to be a new breed of Thrash that is keep the genre alive and well. What are your thoughts on the genre overall and it’s future?

SAMY – One thing that’s for sure, the thrash scene – it’s like British rock stars: they never die. The thrash scene is doing good. Of course there is gonna be a few years where it and other genres are a bit lower but then something comes and brings it to a whole new level. For us, and I’m not saying that we brought it to a whole new level, but before we released “Fast Loud Death”, there were many years in Finland where there wasn’t a thrash scene.

Finland had Stone in the ‘80s. Well, they had lots of metal but for thrash metal, Stone was the only thing, because Finland is mainly known for doom and death metal and stuff like that, but when “Fast Loud Death” came out, a bunch of small underground thrash bands started emerging, and for the time that we’ve been touring, we can see that there’s lots and lots and lots of bands out there. There’s always gonna be some id who listens to Anthrax’ first album and thinks “this is cool – I’m gonna start a band”, and he could be the next big thing. But legends that are the biggest bands that we love are dying out – it’s just natural that they make way for the next big thing. I don’t think that we have anything to worry about in terms of that. There’s always gonna be some new band that will take the headlining position


OD –  Speaking of the future of the thrash empire, do you have any particular favorite albums that you would like to give a shout out to or bands that you can recommend?

Iron_Maiden_-_Seventh_Son_Of_A_Seventh_SonSAMY – Out of new bands? Ohhh shit dude… er…… that’s always a hard question – that’s when you forget everything! The moment I cannot remember a single thrash metal band. My favourite album is Iron Maiden – “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”. It’s the greatest album made in human fucking history!

OD -So far from this tour, what has been the best show and why?

SAMY – So far, the whole tour has just been amazing! We have had a great reaction to our music and we can really see the crowds taking interest and getting involved with some crowd surfing and good healthy mosh pits. It’s just such a great feeling to be out on the road doing this and sharing the experience of this music and by that I mean ‘heavy metal’ or ‘thrash’ or what ever you want to call it. We are living the dream right now and I can only hope that we can keep this feeling. At the end of the day it’s totally up to us and the music that we write. Our main goal here is to be the best that we can be and try to stick around as long as possible and enjoy a good solid career with quality music.

Lost Society’s “Braindead” is out now via Nuclear Blast. To get your copy, simply click on the album graphic below and turn that fucker up when you get it!

LOST SOCIETY BRAINDEADlost society promo

wInterview032Interview – Oran O’Beirne

Transcription – Shaun Martin

Location photography – Down The Barrel Photography / Live shots Stock