Finally you have released your first Blu-ray/DVD with two shows of the festival Master Of Rocks in Czech Republic with a great setlist. How fans and critics have received it?
Very well. I haven’t seen any bad reviews or heard negative critic from the fans, so I think it is quite relevant release. We are happy with it as a band.
Do you think that although there are many bands of folk metal Korpiklaani stands out for its musical quality, using real original instruments in its folk lines and the happiness that transmits during the shows?
I think we are quite unique band in the metal scene but also in our own folk metal scene. It is good that this one scene (folk metal) can offer bands and styles for so many taste of music. Most of the folk metal bands are using black metal vocal style but I’m singing using my own voice, just distort it as same style as ancient throat singers did. For me it is important to use authentic instruments but many other bands don’t think that it is so important and that’s ok too. I think everyone’s goal is the same. To write and play as good music as possible.
You seem to recreate Finnish traditions incorporating its concept to your music. Do you think that Korpiklaani sound has changed from its early beginning?
Our sound is changing all the time and there are many reasons for that. We are still learning things even that age. Weak musical gifts guarantees a long musical career Recording technique developed during these years a lot and it is not so expensive anymore. Everyone can do now world-class sounds if you have “know how”. It is not up the high-end studios anymore. All the touring around the world and playing together makes us stronger and tighter all the time. Then life itself and years change us and our music. So yes, I think our sound has changed a lot from its early beginning.
Is still the most difficult thing for you to write the lyrics than the music, as you said once, or in the course of time you have found the taste to do that? What is the main source of inspiration for Korpiklaani songs, how much do you rely to your imagination?
We are still using Tuomas Keskimäki as main lyric writer and I put my focus on writing music and arrange the lyrics on that. We have been talking very much lately about where we want to go on our lyrical world on a next album and it will be more down to earth things. There are many songs, which are more like countryside romantic and journeyman style yearning for a freedom. On the previous albums it has been lot of Kalevala inspired lyrics but now we put that inspiration down at least for a while. Shamanistic themes are also on minor attention this time. Other hand the album seems like to be more down tempo than before but it is still too early to say so much about it yet.
You had the opportunity to tour in Latin America a couple of years ago, did you find some difference with the European fans. Generally all the bands said that Latin American fans are more demonstrative, noisy, passionate and that the best mosh happens there. What do you think on this matter?
I think the same and actually because fans in Latin America are so passionate we had a plan to record the DVD over there at first. We had film crew and recordings arranged in Buenos Aires, Argentina but unfortunately because of technical problems we couldn’t use it for the DVD release. Anyway they were really good gigs with that good way crazy audience.
Since your last album “Noita” you have been very busy touring. Fans want to know if the band has intention of returning soon to the study and if next album be still more folky or more metal?
Hard to say is it more floky or more metal but it will be very strong and good album. We have already more songs, than what we can put out on the album, so everything looks very good right now. We are going to start recordings December and we are still in the middle of the songwriting process.
Do you think that you have not done your best album yet?
I’m sure I haven’t done it yet. I’m lucky to say; “this is the best album” after every and each albums so far. I hope I can continue in that way.
On april you have edited your second folk music album titled “Kallohonka”, via Playground Music Scandinavia. Although it started out as a solo project “Jonne” has now became a fully active live band with ten musicians from the Finnish rock, metal and folk scene. How do you manage with this solo project and Korpiklaani?
Not so good. I’ve been terrible tired because the Kallohonka album took way more time and mental resources than what I first thought. Then I also was as a guest singer many other band’s albums and I co-produced and mixed Oceanwake Earthen album. Then also mixing of this new Korpiklaani DVD took some time, so it’s been busy year for me. Now I made a decision to put my full focus only for these two bands, so I won’t take producer or mixing work with other bands anymore. JONNE- band and Korpiklaani can goes actually very well hand in hand if I don’t have any other works because they feed each others. They are so different kind of bands and whole atmosphere is different on the gigs of these two bands. Both are very “me” and important. I have many sides in my person as well. I can be very wild but silent and calm. Very stupid boy but a wise man.
With which Finnish bands do you feel more identified with and why?
We are long time friends with all Finnish folk metal bands. There is even the saying of Finnish Folk Metal Mafia, which s drunk idea on tour with Moonsorrow many years ago. Of course we tattooed the text our hands at the time. I was with Finntroll two years as a guest singer 1999-2001 on every gig and after every now and then when we’ve been at the same places.
With Turisas we have a good co-operation because Olli has been replacing Tuomas when he couldn’t do the shows and their bass player jumped the stage some months ago, just for fun.
Valkeat is a good new folk metal band, which is maybe most close with Korpiklaani. They are using kantele on their music.
We have a good scene without any bad vibes or jealousy feelings as you can see on many other scenes between the bands.
What do you consider are your memorable moments with the band?
Most memorable moments are things what we’ve done at the first time. First album, first tour outside Finland, first time in America…and so on. It’s little bit same thing like with life in general.
You have some drinking songs in your own repertoire, Beer, Tequila and Vodka. Do you ever consider as other bands to have your trade mark of beer or wine?
We are actually in discussion now with local beer company. We are having them brew our own beer so to speak, not just adding a label. We will announce the details when we are ready. But I can tell you it is international, they have distribution in North & South America, Japan and obviously here in Finland. Nice thing is we are not just planning one, but a few different ones.
Any closing words for your fans over the world and readers of this publication? Thanks once more.
Thank you and see you all on the gigs!
Andrea Bermúdez/MHF Magazine