partner: Jonne (vocals)
Questions by: Twilightheart
Time: July 2004
-Hej Jonne! How are you? Thanks for taking out time for such a little fanzine like mine!
I`m just fine, thank you. Little bit too many hang over days during this summer but otherwise everything`s just great.
-Before I start talking about your new album, I´d like to touch a more sensitive subject, due to its topicality. As you know, one of the greatest artists ever, Quorthon, has left this place recently. If you would get an offer to take part in a Tribute album or project for him, would you take part? Or do you think, things like that should rest?
Yes, I would take a part in the tribute album gladly and I think that Quorthon doesn`t want his music to just rest after him. He really deserves a good tribute album, that`s for sure.
-Now to your latest album: the reactions about “Spirit of the forest” all around the world were quite good, as I noticed. Congratulations to this success! How are you yourself satisfied with your work? Do you have any information, how many copies of the album are sold so far?
To be honest, Spirit of the forest didn`t go from the stores very well and it was close that Napalm dropped us out because of it, so we are on the edge again with our next one. I`m anyway satisfied with the album. It was a good starting for us and it`s nice to get to make anothr one. We never give up :)
-Why is nearly every Finnish album (including yours) of any Finnish Metal band mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox? Are there no alternatives for that in Finnland? (I mean, I´m sure, the man is quite expensive…)
That`s true. I wanted to use him because of his name and glamour of Finnvox studios...but if I`m honest again he wasn`t the guy for Korpiklaani. I won`t use him again I think. At least not with our next album. Glamour of Finnvox went down too, you know, I had a feeling that I`m totally in the wrong place. They seem to be big stars compared to me and our forest music.
-I hope you don`t mind me asking… but despite the fact, that the world took notice of Korpiklaani now, there were also some “voices” saying, this is not folk music anymore now (as you sing in English for instance, etc.). Did it hurt you to hear those opinions (I know, there were heavy discussions about it in your forum)? Or can you understand those opinions? What brought you to this decision to make the album more “international”? Was it a force of your record company, or just your own choice? What are you telling those people, who claim, you did it only for the money (selling records in more countries)? Or is THIS maybe the intention for you, to one day be able to live from the money of your record sales? How far would you go for that? (Just imagine your record company tells you to do an English Power Metal album to sell more… would you agree?) Complex question… sorry!
These songs just came as they are. I`m sure the reason for this was, that it has been such a long time since my "Lapland-years" and Sámi people. It became hard to make lyrics in Sami language, and pure yoik songs just didn`t come anymore. Another reason was that Hittavainen joined us and I realized how much I can use his talents for my song writing. I became more interested in all around Finnish folk music because of Hittavainen and his playing. Our record company never said what kind of music we should play and that`s a great thing.
But it hurts of course because I have to and I want to make the music that comes to me, not the music that people want. I need it, that during the gigs everyone can see in my face that the music comes pure and straight from the heart. On the other hand, the same people came to me and told me hairs full of perspiration how good the gig has been, and things like that. It feels good after all.
-Are you working on a new album already meanwhile? If so, what`s it gonna be like?
We will start the recordings 2nd of August and I hope that it will be released before the end of this year. The songs maybe are a little bit heavier, at least the guitar riffs, but it`s not so far from the "Spirit" album. Songwriting came very easy and we have to drop some of the songs. We don`t want to make a too long album.
It will be named "Voice of wilderness".At first it was named as "Spirit of the forest part ll" `cause there will be a song "Spirit of the forest", but at Napalm they said that`s not such a good idea.
Anyway, to my opinion the name "Voice of wilderness" gives a good picture to people about us and our music.
-May I ask you, how you started to interest for music very in the beginning of your life? How did you end up in a music “genre” like this (folk/ metal)? Has it been your love ever since? Did you have any lessons in instruments (or singing-lessons) in your life?
I don`t know. It`s been inside of me since I was born. I`ve always loved guitars and even the smell of them. Since I can remember I felt like in "seventh heaven" being in music stores. My dad and many of his brothers are amateur musicians (...my dad has 7 brothers...) and my grandfather was a very good folk music accordionist. Maybe it`s in my blood.
Same crazyness seems to follow with my son. He can be on the internet checking pictures of guitars for hours :)
B.t.w. my dad and nearest uncle will take a part in the next Korpiklaani album :)
-Which are YOUR favourite bands at the moment? Or which albums would you recommend?
It changes daily but recently I have been listening to Tyr a lot. I like it so much that we have done talking with them about doing some gigs together. Let`s see if it will work out...
-Before I forget! Please tell me, what “Hittavainen” means (translated)! As the real name of this man is Jaakko Lemmetty, according to your website…. And do you know, where he learned to play the fiddle so good in this extra-ordinary way?
Hittavainen means nothing. It just his nickname but doesn`t he look a little bit like Hittavainen? :) Good name to the man.
-After some changes in the band after the change of your band name, I think Korpiklaani now has a very cool line up (good musicians, nice guys caring for the fans etc.). Are you planning on staying with that line up now for the future? It would be unfortunate for me to see more changes to come…
Yes, I will keep 'em with my nails and teeth.
-There were some live gigs recently for Korpiklaani! How was it for you? How was the reaction of the fan crowd? How did you (the band members) enjoy it? I mean, the gigs you perform should become bigger each time, no? Could you imagine to go on tour also for a year or sth., if Korpiklaani should become more famous in the future? (Oh and please tell us some funny episodes happening during your gig-travels, if there were any!)
Gigs are the best part of this. I`m truly alive during the gigs, we all have a good time always, because we don`t take it so serious. We can really have fun on stage with the audience. I want to keep it like a party in the old times. I mean like the barn parties 200 years ago.
I can tell one funny episode which was such fun to the rest of us, and it tells well what kind of man Hittavainen is.We were on stage starting soundcheck and Hittavainen stood in the middle of the stage holding the violin in his left hand. The mixing guy went to him, his arms were full of cables, microphone stands and other stuff. He asked towards Hittavainen: "Where do you want to play"? Hittavainen said in his quiet speaking style: "It`s same to me" . The mixing man asked again "Where do you want that I put these microphones and other shit to you?". Hittavainen said using his quiet voice again: " It`s same to me". The face of the mixing man changed to red and he dropped all the stuff down on the stage and was gone.
It was same to our Hittavainen and that`s it.
-Please tell us a bit about the shooting of the “Wooden pints” video! Where is this beautiful place? Who`s idea was it and how long did you need to get it all ready? Is there any place in the web, where the video can be downloaded for quite another while? As I would like to link it to my website (in a new column) for the readers to download (as I love the video so much… it`s so much fun… I´d just like to see it shared with a lot of people).
I lived then near a little village called Järvelä and the shooting place is there. The place is about 7 km from where I lived. The director of the video was a student of film art school and he thought that the video would be his last work at that school but his teachers eliminate that idea for some reason. The place was in our minds from the beginning and he did just shoot it out during a few hours.
-I have studied the booklet of my Korpiklaani-CD, but I didn`t find any information about who wrote the music for this album. Is that intentionally? Please tell me about, how the process of song writing takes place in the band. Especially I´m interested in the fact, who of you wrote the lyrics, especially such lyrics as in “Before the morning sun” and “With trees”, as those really touch my heart.
You can find it on the back side of the album cover. I wrote all the lyrics and all the music except "Pellonpekko" which is Hittavainen`s and Shaman drum which is Hittavainen`s and mine. Nice that you like it despite of that it`s not in perfect English :)
-I know, it`s a bit off-topic, but to mention those lyrics, make me realise, nature is a very important influence and love in your life! (I mean, the nature in Finland anyway is exceptionally beautiful.) What else inspires you in life and what are precious values for you (beside your family of course)?
Playing guitar, beer, booze, alcohol, rom, vodka, and get drunk.
-Last question: what is your label planning for your future? Where will your tours lead you to? How are the chances to see you live in Germany soon?
I hope that we finally get some gigs in a hard way, especially to Germany :) Wacken would be a dream and Summerbreeze too. I have a good feeling that it would be easier now after the second album...I hope.
-Thanks again for taking out time! And thanx for having my website mentioned in your link section… I feel honoured! ;-)
Great, big thanks to you! See you somewhere sometime !!!
<<<back to Interviews