|”We started writing the album in early 2021 and even recorded the drums for a couple of songs we had ready in the fall, but then stopped the process because a lot was going on in our lives. Given a deadline for getting the album done, most of it was written and recorded in September and October 2022 and I remember writing lyrics and singing lead vocals just days before mastering. And we mixed the album until the very last minute, with Vili [Itäpelto] and Tuomas [Yli-Jaskari] taking turns between working on the record and sleeping! It was a hell of a ride, but we were able to pull through and give birth to our beloved second child, ‘Hostage’,” says vocalist Netta Laurenne.
Hailing from Finland, Smackbound’s story started back in 2015 when vocalist Netta Laurenne founded the group. A classically trained singer who has also studied pop, jazz, and folk singing, Laurenne’s powerful vocal style is also perfectly suited for hard rock and metal and she went about finding the perfect musicians to team with for the musical style she wanted to pursue with Smackbound.
Guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun), drummer Rolf Pilve (Stratovarius, The Dark Element), keyboardist Vili Itäpelto (Tracedawn), and bassist Tuomas Yli-Jaskari (Tracedawn) joined forces with Netta and the band commenced writing songs and set about playing gigs to continue to gel as a cohesive unit. Those gigs helped the band build up their rapport as musicians and live performers, turning them into a well-oiled machine by the time they hit the studio to record their debut album ’20/20′.
But before ’20/20′ was released, the band formally debuted with a string of successful singles and videos on Youtube including the hooky “Drive It Like You Stole It”, the energetic “Wall Of Silence”, and the powerful “Run”. All three singles were included on the band’s debut album, which was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios, produced by Tuomas Yli-Jaskari, and mixed and mastered by Jesse Vainio (Sunrise Avenue, Apocalyptica, Poets Of The Fall), except for “Those Who Burn”, which was mixed by Nino Laurenne.
Between the release of ’20/20′ and the band’s upcoming album ‘Hostage’, Laurenne partook in various guest appearances and also partnered up with fellow Finnish vocalist Noora Louhimo to release an absolutely amazing heavy/hard rock album under the name Laurenne/Louhimo in 2021. “The Reckoning” was released to rave reviews as it showcased two powerful, dynamic vocalists delivering stunning performances boosted by their undeniable chemistry working together.
Now, Laurenne and her bandmates return for the second chapter of the ongoing story of Smackbound with ‘Hostage’.