When and how was your band created?
In 1994 in Vasa, Finland. Our former viola player and I gathered to play a few tunes together with a didgeplayer. First of all we had so many tunes incomman that we played the whole night, and secondly we just knew then that the didge was a perfect, powerful and acoustic drone for the nordic tunes (which were based on drones to start with).
Were is the name of the band coming from?
From the nordic mythology, the Edda. It is a horn blown in by the gods when they had thing to tell to the human world.
What musicians or artists did have a major influence in your life / work?
I listened a lot to fusion jazz, world music and music from diffeent ethnic cultures in my teens, such as Björn J:son Lindh (swedish fusion jazz flutist), Various Ale Möller projects and recordings (swedish folk fusion guru) and Norwegian traditonal music as well as Balkan music. Important influences are the old archaive recordings with people wh lived a hundred years ago.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a musician / singer (in Finland)?
The positive aspect is that people can understand what we sing about, and that we have a good income level, compared to musicians in i.e. the States, where musicians don’t get payed very well. The negative aspect is that we are so few people here, only 5 million, so the market is not big eough to support tours all year around, most festivals take place in the summer. That’s why we tour the rest of the year abroad. Also there are so few people from other nationalities here that peolpe in the country side are not used to world music, but they love it when they finally hear it.
How could you qualify your style of music?
Nordic old tonality with world music arrangements and improvisational elements
Have you ever considered the possibilty to change totally your style of music? If so, what style of music would you choose?
No, the concept is ideal for us and it supports the tunes and works very well on both big and small stages. If I would do a solo project, I would combine jazz with the Nordic sound, they use the same modes a lot.
What are stories/topics you tell/treat in your songs?
Mythical ballads about beings of nature, nordic epic stories from the folk tales and mythology and heroic ballads.
What is your favorite song in your repertoire and why?
Chere Ella has a very dramatic melody, and then Vallevan is nice tio sing, with all ornaments.
Do you tour regularly? Do you actually prefer performing your music live or in a studio?
Yes we tour regulary, almost all the time.We are off to Usa and then Holland next, but we have a break from November and onwards. Live and studio are totally different, I love to meet the audience and the music has a different feeling live. In the studio on the other hand we get inspration from creating all the sound landscapes and patterns, a very creative side of the work.
During the process of making an album, what is the moment that you prefer?
All of it, from planning the songs, the layout and the recording. It is a circle closed, not separate bits and pieces.
What kind of music / What artists do you currently listen?
Salif Keitas newest album, and a hungarian jazz band called Besho drom. Then I have some 200 tunes on my desk from the music archaive that I should play through for research…
A stupid question but… what is among all the songs you’ve been listening in your life the BEST song? Why?
it changes depending on what goes on…can’t tell. What I can tell though, is that all of the best songs for me, is when the musician in question is honest and clear and you can hear that it is music, not only produced sound material. There is a blind fiddler from Cap Verde called Travadinha, have a listen, he’s pretty much him self.
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?
We get most bookings through internet and sell cd’s as well, so that’s great. Our songs are not in full quality on the web, and most of our listeners want quality and a whole package anyway, so there has not been any trouble for us with this. Our biggest problem in Finland is probably that in Russia almost all cds are illegally printed, because no one can afford a normal cd, so they just come to Finland and buy one copy of everything and make a big dirty production of it.
What are your actual and future projects?
We are making a Gjallarhorn dvd for our 10th anniversary. It will be released next Christmas, it includes a live concert, tour features, music videos and a documentary about the cultural origin of the songs. Martin, our sound engineer is currently workin on the 5.1 sound for the concert, interesting…