Want to be Wintersun’s new guitarist? Jari Mäenpää is moving to vocals
Wintersun frontman Jari Mäenpää is going to stop playing guitar live so he can focus more on vocals. The band are therefore holding open auditions to find a new guitarist. They posted the following to Facebook:
“We’re mainly looking for a Finnish player over the age of 21 and the closer you are located to Helsinki the better, but we are not ruling out the nearby countries. Besides having professional-level playing and performance skills, we’re looking for a cool and relaxed guy to add to the Wintersun family.”
Longtime guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari will take on Jari Mäenpää’s parts, including his solos, so the new player will be playing Teemu’s parts. He also does a mix of rhythm and lead parts so if you want the spot, you better be versatile!
Wintersun want new guitarist hopefuls to play their “Meshuggah riff”
The group asked prospective guitar gods to record sections of the following Wintersun songs: Sons of Winter and Stars, Battle Against Time, Death and the Healing and Starchild. Amusingly they described the section they want guitarists to play in the last song as the “Meshuggah riff”, which occurs at 1:08-1:18 in the studio version.
Jari Mäenpää is quite clearly an amazing guitarist, so why would he want to hang up his axe? Well, we can still expect to hear his playing in Wintersun’s studio work. The day before the guitarist search was kicked off Mäenpää explained his motivations for quitting live guitar playing. He commented:
“I will solely become 100% live vocalist. This must be a shock to many, but this is something that I need to do. I want everyone to know that I will not stop playing guitar (ever!) or recording guitar on the Wintersun albums. On the contrary this decision will give me more time to play the guitar and learn new stuff in the ‘studio side of things’. I can focus the playing on writing and recording new Wintersun material.”
Rings of Saturn guitarist has a crack at Jari Mäenpää’s sweep-picking
It seems the competition for the spot will be stiff. Rings of Saturn guitarist Miles Dimitri Baker commented on the announcement on the band’s Facebook.
“Dang, awesome choice doing what you feel is best! I’ll totally fill in for you guys if you need someone and I’m not too wrapped up with Rings of Saturn!”
The Bay Area deathcore shredder posted a video of himself playing the pre-verse sweeping part to Wintersun’s Beyond The Dark Sun, and he’s certainly no slouch on the fretboard.
Fans go nuts over Wintersun guitarist search
Fan reaction to the news has been mixed. One commenter said he “felt betrayed”, which is perhaps a little dramatic. Another fan said:
“Gotta say, this band makes poor decisions at every turn. Jari is a much better guitar player than singer. They should just find a singer and Jari stick to guitar!”
Nonetheless, most commenters seemed to understand Mäenpää’s reasons though, which he articulated very clearly in his post. Everyone else was just losing their mind that literally anyone could become the next Wintersun guitarist.