When and how was your band created?
Back in the 80’s me, our singer Mikki and our former drummer Osku had a trash metal band called Vibration that sort of started this whole thing. We quit playing in the beginning of the 90’s. I guess we all just grew tired of playing aggressive music. It wasn’t really in our hearts anymore.
I wanted something completely different. So I started writing lyrics in finnish and trying to broaden my songwriting as much as possible.
Me and a couple of guys from school, Thomas and Skele, started to try out the songs in our school’s bombshell. Soon Mikki and Osku started to get interested and joined the band.
We rehearsed and wrote songs for about two years. Our bassplayer Aakku joined the band a couple of months before our first live show in the fall of 1993.
We made demos and did gigs as much as possible and got our record contract in 1994. Our debut album was released in 1995
Was the choice to become professional difficult to make? Why?
I don’t think of myself as being a professional. Professionals get paid, don’t they? Just kidding. No, it was more like an accident really. It just kind of got to the point where there was no time for anything else. It was like that for about five years. I now actually work as a freelance graphic designer on the side. I didn’t want to write music and do gigs just to get the bills paid. There has got to be heart and soul when we do it.
What musicians or artists did have a major influence in your life / work?
There are too many to mention really. I suppose I could name artists like Elvis, the Beatles and Dylan just because they have had such an impact on almost everyone else I admire. I have a really wide taste in music. You could say I admire anyone who does his/her own thing regardless of what other people may say.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a musician / singer (in Finland)?
I can’t really think of anything positive.
For example when you’re an artist singing in finnish you can only sell a quite small amount of records even if you’re succesful.
There is no hope of ever getting your video to show on MTV and right now there are no programs on finnish tv that show music videos.
For a rock group there are not that many venues to play in. You have toured the whole country in one or two months (and that includes the pizzerias).
For artists that sing in english the chances are not that good either. The record industry are only now getting some sort of contacts around the world and that is largely because of the work of independent labels, but it is still small potatos. Also I think the record companys are too focused on the so called “hit music”, I suppose it is always going to be up to the small indie labels to do the ground work for “good music” that will last a little bit longer than six months. I would love to see a finnish band that would actually have some artistic value make it big.
So why do I still do it? I suppose it is a calling.
How could you qualify your style of music?
Pop/Rock sung in finnish. I don’t want to categorize it more than that.
Have you ever considered the possibilty to change totally your style of music? If so, what style of music would you choose?
No. The music I make is such a big part of who I am. I couldn’t change that and I would’t even want to.
What are stories/topics you tell/treat in your songs?
I try to keep a positive view of things when I write. There has always got to be some sort of light whatever the topic is. There are too many songwriters dwelling in misery already.
I don’t want to be a part of that.
What is your favorite song in your repertoire and why?
I don’t have a favorite song right now. There are times when I’m particularly fond of some song, but it changes daily.
Do you tour regularly? Do you actually prefer performing your music live or in a studio?
We usually tour regularly but now we’ve had this break that has lasted for more than a year and it is going to last until the next album is finished. I don’t compare touring and studiowork
I love them both.
During the process of making an album, what is the moment that you prefer? Why?
When the album is finished and we have a party. I still haven’t made an album that I didn’t love at the time and the feeling of making something good as a band is such a natural high.
It requires very hard work and tempers usually fly but if the result is good, it is worth it. Our aim has always been to make our best album yet and I think we have succeeded everytime.
What kind of music / What artists do you currently listen?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Beatles and Wings lately. Oh yes and Blondie. I just got their whole catalog. J. Karjalainen (finnish singer/songwriter) has also visited my cd-player a lot.
What are your actual and future projects?
We’re currently working on our fifth studio album and it is the most important thing at the moment. We have put so much blood, sweat and tears in it that I can’t think of anything else at the moment. We still have to write and record some songs.
A stupid question but… what is among all the songs you’ve been listening in your life the BEST song? Why?
That question is far too hard to answer. Sorry.
Internet is something interesting for musicians because it gives them the opportunity to touch a larger audience but it is also a threat for them (regarding the copyrights). What is your opinion regarding this medium?
I think the internet is a great thing. I don’t consider it as a threat at all. I don’t see people stop buying records just because you can get them as mp3:s.
I think we should consider the opprtunities it gives more than focusing on the negative. I have found great bands and artists through the net and went and bought their albums.
Do you use computers or home studios during the process of making an album or a song?
We have made all our demos and some of our forthcoming album tracks on our drummers home computer. The technology and knowhow has become so good that we needed a real studio just to record the loud drumtracks and the guitartracks that you can’t record in a one room apartement.