Tag Archives: Finland

“Keep the Black Flame Burning and Fuck NSBM” – Interview with Qwälen

If you follow this blog closely, you’ll be well aware of my passion for black metal and the attention I pay especially to those records and bands that are openly anti-fascist, RABM (Red and Anarchist Black Metal) or take a clear stand against the racist, sexist and homotransphobic scum that infest the extreme metal scene. If you have all that in mind, the following interview is definitely for you! Released a year ago by Time to Kill Records, Unohnden Sinut by Finnish Qwälen was literally a blaze in the northern sky, a devastating Nordic black metal record capable of mixing the second Scandinavian wave and the most modern sounds in an interesting and personal way. I recently managed to interview Qwälen, talking not only about their personal approach to black metal but also about their hardcore punk attitude and background and their sharp stance against NSBM. “Keep the black flame burning and fuck the NSBM”, this is the clear and unequivocal message screamed in the Nordic sky by Qwälen!

Hi guys! Would you like to tell us some biographical notes about your band? Most importantly, what does it mean and what inspired you to choose to call yourselves Qwälen?

Ville: The name is derived from the German verb quälen (“to torture”). I think Ari, our original bass player, came up with the idea to change the u to w. We thought the word would be quite suitable for a black metal band and well, here we are with a name that doesn’t mean anything so we’re quite happy with that.

Eetu: When I was asked to join the band, I thought the name Qwälen was twisted from the Finnish dialect word “kualen” (I am dying). Samuli, Ville or Henri can tell better about the birth of the band because I joined the band later.

Henri: Haha, I too have heard someone say “What is this mää kualen (I´m dying) band”

Samuli: Yeah, the start of the band was a rather boozy night when the idea came together. I have always had a drive to create something that I feel strongly about musically and thus had a strong drive already to start creating this kind of music. Six or so years ago Ville, Henkka, myself along with our former bass player Ari started doing music together and few of the songs of the first album were written already then. We had a different vocalist in the beginning but then Eetu was asked to fill that position and once Ville switched to bass, Antti was invited by Eetu. By then Qwälen started properly rehearsing with a goal to create an album.

As I’ve been able to read from a variety of places, you primarily come from a hardcore and punk background. How much does this connection of yours to the hardcore punk scene affect your way of playing and being a band?

E: We all have very different musical backgrounds. My background is in hardcore punk and grindcore. With my grindcore band, I’ve been doing gigs for over a decade, so it’s natural to bring Qwälen to those same venues as well. We have done gigs in free art facilities, bars and various D.I.Y events. The punk background is reflected in my performance and in that I have no need to obey the rules written in black metal.

Antti: In my case, the background is shown by accepting the equipment I already have. I don’t want to buy new instruments just for black metal.

Ville: I think it mostly shows in trusting more in power and pure aggression, sort of attacking your instrument instead of being technically that talented. In Qwälen, I switched from guitar to bass sometime around 2017 or 2018 and I think it can be heard on our recordings. Coming from hardcore background, I think it shows that I care more about the people I’m playing with than their talents and treat them as my equals.

Samuli: Punk is what I started with but that was a long time ago. I’ve been hanging in the local scene sidelines most of the time I’ve played in bands but the more I age the more I’ve been drawn into different kinds of music. I guess unconsciously the attitude and musical approach still remains. Simplicity, danger and aggression both in songwriting and in our live presence.

Henri: I myself come from more of a trash/melo-death metal background, but punk, hardcore and black-metal has always been in my playlists. In my opinion, our differing musical starting points is one of the things that gives Qwälen the twist that differs us from the traditional Finnish black metal.   

Starting from a purely hardcore background, how did you develop your passion for black metal sounds that refer as much to the second Norwegian/Scandinavian wave as to more modern sounds of the genre? Which are the bands that influenced your music the most?

Ville: I used to listen to more black metal during my teenage years, mostly Emperor, Darkthrone, Immortal and Bathory, so the passion definitely comes from there. I think at some point when I was diving more into grindcore, hardcore and crust punk, I noticed the similarities between the earlier black metal stuff and the crustier stuff, so in some way I guess the passion was somewhat natural and always there for me. Considering Qwälen, I’m as much influenced by Anti Cimex (think of Scandinavian Jawbreaker era) and Darkthrone. I think Young and in the Way’s “When Life Comes to Death” was also somewhat of a big thing for me and Samuli, but Immortal’s “At the Heart of Winter” was probably the album that made Samuli start the band.

Samuli: I wouldn’t say that “At the heart of winter” was the album that made me want to start Qwälen, but it was one of the albums that really opened my mind into the sounds of black metal. Darkthrone and Immortal we’re the ones that opened the genre to me, but from those two Darkthrone has remained a constant influence. Qwälen started out of a passion to create black metal rather than going after certain bands.

As a late-discoverer of black metal in my 20s, I felt a really strong connection with the genre from the start. The extreme aural aesthetics, connection to spirituality, raw emotionality and embracing the inner darkness felt real and meaningful. There was much more beyond the songs themselves, and for me music was at that point a long time ago gone beyond mere songs and notes. The core concepts in BM resonate very deeply to me still and the spiritual side has helped me evaluate my own philosophy and spiritual history. The music itself made me interested, but the deeper aspects started my passion.

Scandinavian first and second waves have always been the main reference points. I would not say that our sound or expression references modern sounds per se, but there are definitely bands whose influence might be heard. Young and in the way is definitely one. However, being a rather stubborn person musically I tend to gravitate towards primitive, raw, old and dusty sounds. One of the driving ideas was to go back to the very basics of playing as a band with Qwälen and approach everything with simplicity in mind. I still look for the same thing in black metal that I listen to and modern renditions rarely work for myself. There is however a fresh movement that captures the right sound in the raw US and UK BM scenes. The rise of both scenes is a rather modern phenomenon.

Henri: I grew up listening to 90s groove- and “cross-over” metal bands (such as Pantera, Machine Head, Sepultura and Biohazard) but got really into black and death metal in my teens (Immortal and Children of Bodom were the shit back then).  The rawness and multilayered dark and honest self-expression were the things that got me too into black metal in the first place. And hey, we live in a country that is dark and cold for 9 months every year.

Talking about black metal, you know better than me that the international black scene is full of overtly Nazi bands or ambiguous bands that sympathize or collaborate with openly racist, homophobic or far-right bands. What is your position on this? Do you consider, also because of your past in the hardcore and punk scene, Qwälen a political band or at least openly anti-fascist?

E: Our music is not political, but we strongly bring out that we stand with anti-fascism. In our lyric sheet you can see our statement “FUCK OFF NSBM SHIT” and we have merch with ANTI-FASCIST BLACK METAL -print. There’s no room for misogyny, sexism, homophobia, ableism, racism or any shit like those in any scene. We are very precise about who we work with, so do not contact us if you do not stand behind these ideas.

Ville: Sometimes it feels a bit hard for me to talk about Qwälen as a black metal band since our sound and mindset is quite far away from the black metal scene. It’s hard to even consider us or at least myself belonging to any black metal scene, since that’s something I definitely don’t identify with. Probably the traditional black metal scene wants us to stay out and I’m totally happy with that. I come from a small town and there was a neo-nazi wave going on in many small towns in Finland during the late 90s/early 2000s so my disgust with any fascist or nazi ideology comes from there and for me, hardcore and punk has also had a big impact on taking a stand against fascism/nazism.

Henri: Ditto. We don´t like assholes.

Over the decades Finland has been extremely fertile ground for a lot of more or less extreme genres, from black metal to hardcore punk of bands like Kaaos and Riistetyt, how is currently the situation of the underground and DIY metal and punk scene in your country? Which are the most active and valid realities (clubs, fanzines, bands, collectives) from your point of view?

Ville: I guess the overall situation is pretty good, even though there hasn’t been that much going on due to the covid situation and I’ve been a bit lazy about following new bands during the last couple of years. I think the biggest problem might be that there’s not that many small or mid-sized venues, even DIY-venues, for bands to perform and many of the existing places are quite overbooked. New Yleiset Syyt and Kohti Tuhoa 7”s just came out and Stolen Kidneys just released their new album “Maailma loppuu”, those are definitely worth checking out.

E: The D.I.Y scene has grown in Finland in recent years. There is a D.I.Y venue in almost every big city, where you can arrange performances for small bands (Tukikohta, Kenneli D.I.Y, Mäkitorppa, Hoi Sie!, Kirjakahvila, Oranssi). When I started touring with bands over a decade ago, gigs could only be held in bars. The number of distros has also risen in recent years.

We made a Spotify playlist some time ago where we collected songs from our friends ’bands. Definitely worth a look! It’s called FULL SATANIC SPEED WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS BY QWÄLEN.

Continuing to talk about Black metal, do you notice any similarities and differences between your approach to the genre and that of more classic Finnish bands, from Beherit to Sargeist?

Ville: I guess the approach was originally to just play and do something new. I think we’ve managed to develop our own twist on black metal and not just replicate something that’s already been done. So there might be similarities and differences, but I don’t have that deep thoughts about it…

Samuli: The main idea might be the same. A great desire to express what we have inside. Soundwise the cold atmosphere is something shared, but then again that is a general trait of the genre. Also I guess there are some similar approaches to riffing in utilizing melodicism together with power chords as a starting point? One becomes rather blind to things written by yourself and I’ve always thought that the ones outside are better at pointing out similarities etc.

The finnish black metal scene is heavily coerced by unwritten rules of what black metal is and thematically limited in the sense of what is accepted. We do not care. We can do whatever we want. Fuck your rules. In this sense we might have more similarities thematically and approach-wise with the modern raw BM of the US or scenes outside Scandinavia which tend to look at BM in a thematically broader context.

What does it mean for Qwälen to play black metal in 2021? What do you think is the potential of such a controversial, hostile and extreme genre nowadays?

Antti: When Qwälen plays live, the band offers something new and extreme that hasn’t been heard in the DIY metal and punk scene.

Ville: Taking a twist on the traditional sound and mindset. The potential is huge, for example the new Pan-Amerikan Native Front with its approach from an indigenous person’s point of view is a great take on black metal and opens up discussion for current problems, even though the album deals with a historical event and persons (Little Turtle, Blue Jacket and the Battle of the Wabash).

Samuli: Playing black metal means to look inside. Bands in my opinion at times point too many fingers and my idea of black metal is looking into the spiritual mirror within. It is not ours or the point of the music to tell what to do or think, but hopefully to spark thought. It is self-expression both lyrically and  in instrumentation. Black metal in a way is a tool for reflection. Destroy your temple, build anew and in the process lift yourself up. Life is the ultimate oppressor and the answer for moving forward is within.

Your first record “Unohdan Sinut” was released this year and it is absolutely devastating! How did you get in touch with Time to Kill Records for the release?

E: We contacted a few labels when we got the record ready and Time to Kill Records were selected from those who were interested. We didn’t know much about the label but the choice has proven to be the right one. The collaboration with Time to Kill Records has been really smooth and we look forward to the future. We are really grateful for this opportunity. Thanks to Time to Kill Records and Enrico.

What are the songs contained in “Unohdan Sinut” about? What are the songs you are most attached to and why?

E: The last few years have been quite heavy for me mentally, so the lyrics are based on my inner world. ​The songs eschew the usual anti-religious black metal themes and focus instead on self-portrayals. Temppeli is the most important song from the album for me because it was the first text I wrote for Qwälen. It’s also the last song of our set list.

Future projects for the Qwälen? Have you been able to play live during these last months despite the difficulties due to the pandemic situation? What difficulties did you have to face releasing a record in a period when it was not possible to play live in many European countries?

Samuli: Future projects include a second album and possible a shorter release, but the shorter release is still on an idea-level. Second album is coming, but no timetable is yet agreed and we’re not going to hurry anything. Most of the members in the band have multiple things musically going on and that also affects how things work and when things can move along. Not to mention family obligations. I have been focusing solely on writing Qwälen for a long period of time and there is quite a lot of demo material written already! I think Henri had some ideas for music videos as well.

The album release without playing shows has gone better than we hoped. Time to kill records did an amazing job in promoting the record and people who have interest in this music have found it. I would hope to be able to play outside of Finland in the future as there have been interest from abroad as well. We’ve been able to play a few shows in Finland this fall and reception has been overwhelming. A lot of people have come to the shows just to see Qwälen, which feels very weird. Album release was many months ago and the hype has died, but I guess people have been waiting to see us live. I am weirded out by the fact that people care, but am at the same time extremely grateful.

Henri: As Samuli said already, I think we all are still baffled and confused about the positive feedback from our first album (and extremely grateful too). Live shows have suffered but the covid situation might have worked a bit in our favor since most of the world had to sit home, listen to music and reflect on their inner worlds that might not have been so rosy in the past times.

And yes, new music videos are coming.

E: I haven’t received such good feedback on any of my previous music projects. It’s great to see how warmly our music has been received around the world. People have bought records, shirts and cassettes. The most important thing, of course, is that people have also come to our gigs. Thank you.

I look forward to the moment when we get to release new Qwälen songs for the world to hear. Be prepared.

We have come to the end of this interview. I leave this space at your complete disposal, feel free to add anything you think might be interesting for the readers!

Samuli: Support the underground and keep the black flame burning. HAIL SATAN.

Henri: Don´t be an asshole, drink beer and hail satan.

E: Support the D.I.Y scene, hate the police, spit on the face of the fascists and remember that NSBM is for the losers.

“A Sign of Times to Come” – Interview with Civicide

Any self-respecting good punk has surely had some kind of infatuation with the Finnish hardcore punk scene of the 80’s and historic bands like Kaaos, Riistetyt and Terveet Kädet throughout his life. That seminal hardcore scene today is also kept alive by bands like Civicide, the protagonists of this interview. A band that manages to revitalize that primordial soup typical of the British scene of the 80s in which echoes of thrash metal and anarcho-hardcore punk coexisted and mixed, giving rise to crust punk. Keeping faith with an apocalyptic imagery, perhaps a bit abused in the crust punk scene but perfectly in line with the dark times we are living because of the hunger for profit of capitalism that is destroying the ecosystem and condemning our lives to extinction, Simon, Stefan and Kakekaaos reaffirm that punk can and must still be a means to take a clear position and attack all this. Because using Kakekaaos’ own words: “punk and politics are one thing, one cannot exist without the other”. I leave you with the words and answers of Civicide in an interview full of reflections on punk, on the current political situation (both in Finland and in the rest of the world) and on the apocalyptic visions caused by the environmental devastation and plundering produced by capitalism. A sign of times to come…

Hi guys! Let’s start the interview right away with some biographical notes about you guys. When did you decide to form Civicide and what was the idea with which you decided to start the band? Where did you get your name from?

Simon: Hi! The idea to form Civicide was in my mind for many years. Maybe since the beginning of 2010th I wanted to play some stenchcore metal punk etc. Mostly it was only drunk discussions with everyone and there were never enough actions by me. In 2016 I started to look for people and try to play something. All this confusing situation was until the moment when I heard how Kake plays a guitar and it was obvious for me that I found a second guitar and my goal was close. Soon we were drinking together and found a bass guitar and in the beginning of 2017 after finding a drummer we started. After some time we were playing our first show in August with Fatum, Tanator and Hergian. Idea of the name belongs to Stefan.

Stefan: Yeah what Simon said. A very stereotypical origin story. I can’t remember exactly how I came across the name, but it was something that I thought fit the kind of music that we wanted to make and it sounds cool. Pretty easy to remember too.

Kakekaaos: It went somehow that way, details are fuzzy, I trust Simon’s memory better with this one.

On your facebook page you define yourselves as “multinational heavy crust chaos”. What does this “label” mean?

Stefan: It was jokingly put there when we didn’t really know how to describe ourselves yet. It’s a reference to our different ethnic backgrounds (i.e Russian, Mexican, Finnish-swedish and Finnish). I suppose it also works as an ironic reference to multinational corporations and global capitalism. Never bothered to change it.

Kakekaaos: The multinational part comes from our ethnic backgrounds yeah, the rest is probably the first thing someone typed in a hurry.

When I first listened to “A Sign of Times to Come” I was immediately fascinated and enraptured by your sound which reminded me of that primordial soup known as stenchcore, in which thrash metal echoes and hardcore punk impulses are mixed to perfection in the style of the primordial British scene of the 80’s. How do you define your music? Which are the bands that influence your sound?

Simon: As a Moscovite I have grown in our quite dark and heavy sounds as most of this kinda music from Russia. It pretty much affected my influence on our riffs. I was always inspired by the British scene of the 80’s as you guess and I’m a huge fan of Japanese crust. All this multiplied with other guys’ style and a bit of finnish harcore. As a result we have a cocktail of pain, speed and mayhem you call Civicide.

Stefan: I don’t think we had that much of an idea of how we’d define ourselves and just did things we like to make this primordial soup. I think there was a vague idea of “something like Sacrilege” at the beginning. I’d say punk is the main influence, but then there’s a bit of thrash and a bit of black metal and stuff.

Kakekaaos: Influences come from a lot of shit but the main ones are definitely for me ; Finnish 80’s hardcore, metal and rock n roll like Motörhead, Deep Purple and Venom, 80’s trash like Sepultura and Kreator and of course Crass and Amebix.

You’re from Helsinki, Finland, and any self-respecting punx knows that the Finnish lands have been fertile territory for a long line of great bands, from Kaaos to Riistetyt. Do you think there is a link between you and the long hardcore tradition of your country? What influenced you about the historical Finnish hardcore scene?

Stefan: Of course we’ve been influenced by older generations of Finnish punk bands. You could say that the scene we’ve grown from is a continuation of the same scene from which bands like Kaaos and Riistetyt came from. The D.I.Y. ethos, anger and drinking is all there! Personally I like the very straight forward attitude of Finnish punk.

Kakekaaos: Like Stefu said, the scene is kind of a continuation and as a result, the music and attitude influence us. What I love most about Finnish punk is the combination of how angry and raw it is (specially 80’s hardcore. )and the D.I.Y attitude it has. Wanna play hardcore but don’t how to? who cares let’s just get drunk and try it out, that kind of attitude is probably why there were so many good bands with new ones arriving all the time.

What does it mean to you to play this genre? Is it just music or do you see punk (and all its nuances) only as a way to express your political ideas with which to denounce or attack what you don’t like about this world and system?

Stefan: It’s kind of a difficult thing to say what playing this specific genre means to me. I think it’s a very good way to express the kind of anger and existential dread one feels when looking at the world and a humanity that is racing toward ecological disaster. So in a way it’s not just music. It’s a reflection on the world around us.

Simon: I just play music I like and it means for me to take a guitar and get all the shit I can get out of it

Kakekaaos: Yeah sometimes its a reflection about our failed civilisation,the world and its inevitable and untimely fate and sometimes you just want some fast noise with good lyrics to play to. To me when it comes to punk and politics, you can’t have one without the other, even the basic idea of do it yourself is anti-capitalist at its core..

The atmospheres of your music, perfectly evoked also by a cover artwork very fascinating in its old school style, are very apocalyptic, desolate and dark, building landscapes that seem to want to tell us about a humanity condemned to self-extinction and a future that seems less and less remote because of the capitalist economic system in which we live that destroys, plunders and devastates in the name of profit and unlimited production. Do you want to talk about this too and denounce this ravenous race to self-extinction because of profit in your lyrics? Intimately related to the previous question, what do you deal with in the lyrics of your latest album?

Stefan: I think you captured the idea pretty well there already. In a way it’s very cliché, but on the other hand, it’s a reality we live in. We’re witnessing so much shit that we know is destructive for life on our planet, yet we seem to be powerless to stop it. It’s good to have an outlet for the anger and anxiety and hopelessness that it causes. Then maybe we can focus on working for meaningful change and building something positive in this sea of shit. I don’t think there’s much hope and positivity in our songs for that reason too. A lot of the stuff we deal with in the lyrics is related to this; over-exploitation of natural resources, environmental destruction, power, conflict, despair, anger. I once figured it could be defined as “millenarian visions of ecological destruction and despair”.

Kakekaaos: Stefu covered it pretty well. The ultimate failure of mankind to try to live in a peaceful relationship with nature and the absurd idea that infinite economic growth – even if it is what they love to call sustainable development – and vertically built power structures somehow are the main foundations that dictate how we measure life’s value and its importance.

What do you draw inspiration from on the purely graphic and imagery side? Who is the author of the beautiful cover artwork?

Simon: All artworks in the band done by me. You already described the visual part of it well enough in a previous question and how it belongs to music. But it’s also a parody of the classic and famous painting ‘Hyökkäys’ by Edvard Isto. Instead of a Russian double-headed eagle we have the skeleton of a three-headed dragon ‘Zmei Gorynich’ which symbolizes an old world order and dead empire which still has the sharp claws and fangs. It lives in its own ruins and protects all the conservative distractions builded by the old generation and wants to keep it and doesn’t want to change. And woman by fetters and chains fights against all these shit foundations and tries to do something new and better. Yes, there are pretty much political and social points in the drawing and everybody can interpret it as they wish. That’s the point of all of us, we see everything with our own eyes. Anyways we’re building a new world between old ruins and this process has never been different and never will.

Getting back to talking about the Finnish hardcore and punk scene, what can you tell us about it? Are there any collectives, squats (for example Kumma), bands active in the scene and keeping it alive? Which are the bands and the realities with which you have more and better relationships in Helsinki?

Stefan: Lots of active bands in Helsinki, although the pandemic has put a stop on shows for a long time now. It’s getting better now again though with restrictions being lifted, but we’re living in a precarious situation. I can’t really name any specific bands keeping the scene alive. Everyone’s doing their part. There hasn’t been any active punk squats in Helsinki since Squat Kumma was shut down, to my knowledge at least. But again, the pandemic has put everything on hold so who knows what happens in the future.

Kakekaaos: There’s a lot of active bands yeah, and like aforementioned everyone does what they can. There’s a couple of new squats but who knows for how long, the city usually shuts them down quite fast ( 15 minutes being the record!.) We’ll see in the future after this situation gets unfucked.

What is the political situation in Finland currently like? What are the biggest difficulties that politically active punx and collectives in the hardcore scene may face?

Stefan: I don’t know if there are any difficulties that punks specifically would face. Maybe the lack of autonomous spaces that punks can organize themselves, whether it’s for political action or gigs. Squatting is difficult in Finland and there aren’t that many spaces that work as squats available either, although I’m no expert on this. The rise of far-right authoritarians is a problem in Finland in general, as it has been elsewhere. It could pose a threat to politically active punks and radical leftist politics in general.

Kakekaaos: One of the main difficulties ,for anyone not just us, is the rise of the new, polished and presentable far-right, here and all around Europe. Normalizing xenophobia and racist behaviour ,and claiming its about freedom speech or that everything its a conspiracy to eliminate the ¨white man¨ its the same agenda fascist have always had, the amount of disinformation and straight out lies that can now be spread around via social medias, I think ,makes it easier for these fuckers to gain popularity among the common citizen and organise better.

In 2019 you toured Russia and Estonia, also playing with a band of dear friends like the Italians Overcharge. What are your memories of those dates? What can you tell us about the reception of Estonian and Russian punks? Which were the bands you played with that impressed you the most?

Stefan: Well the first gig was in Novgorod and it got shut down by cops right as we were supposed to play, so that was a great start haha! Then on our way from St. Petersburg to Moscow our van broke down. Luckily we had an amazing friend with us from St. Petersburg who managed to get our van to a mechanic and got us train tickets to Moscow since we were supposed to play that night. Our driver stayed behind with our friend and he drove the van to Moscow the next day when it was fixed. Luckily it was an all-night show because our playtime had to be moved from 2 am to 4 am since the train ride took so long. It was one of the best gigs we’ve ever played at. The places we played everywhere on the tour were great and the people were super nice! The traffic is an absolute terrifying nightmare in Russia though.

Simon: Yeah, traffic is a bit annoying, but basic shit for the megapolices. Maybe the biggest mistake in Novgorod was to organize a gig in the house which belongs to the Ministry of Sport. They didn’t like a bunch of wasted punks in their yard and house and called the Director of house. I hope one day we come to Novgorod again and get revenge!

Kakekaaos: yeah that tour was a nightmare I love to remember. Would do it again anytime.

Plans for the future of Civicide? Are you already planning a new tour? Are you already working on a new album?

Stefan: We’ve had to find a new drummer since Niko, our original drummer, couldn’t continue. He’s still a very dear friend to us and we’ll be seeing him around! Anyway, we’re concentrating on practicing a set with our new drummer so we can play shows again. Then we’ll continue making new songs and make a new record again some time. We’ll see if we could do a tour next year at some point too, but it’s a bit too early to say anything about that at the moment.

Kakekaaos: Practicing a set to start playing gigs soon again is the priority, a new album at some point too. Would love to tour Europe at some point also!

As we come to the conclusion of the interview, I leave this space completely up to you. You can write anything that comes to mind, tell anecdotes or even answer questions that no one has ever asked you!

Kakekaaos: I hope we can play in Italy some day! Thanks and Cheers!