Jonne - Korpiklaani
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Your latest album Ukon Wacka was released in February. Have you been happy with the CD's success?
I have no idea yet how much it is sold right now. I hope all the best for the album like a father to the son. We still are thinking now after many months, that we managed to put out a very good album and in our eyes it will be always one of the most legendary Korpiklaani albums. We have been played live all of the songs from the album, which is very rare thing for any band.
In which countries did the CD reach the highest placing chart position?
As far as I’ve heard it went charts only in Finland and in Germany. In Finland was better result. It was 9# and in Germany 72#.
Why did you decide to write the lyrics for Ukon Wacka in Finnish only?
We didn’t decide to write the lyrics only in Finnish. We noticed it afterwards, that there are the songs only in Finnish. We are not planning things before and I like our way to be quite “naïve” as band in this kind of things.
Jarkko, our bass player actually mention the fact to me, that it is all Finnish and was little bit worried how people going to react. I wasn’t worry at all because I’m sure, the feeling and atmosphere is easy to catch from the album. No matter do you understand the lyrics at all. Then again there is translations of each songs on the album booklet, so if you buy the album and not download it, you will find out what it is all about.
Tuomari Nurmio sang the titletrack with you. How did you get to working with Tuomari?
Tuomari Nurmio is like a Finnish counterpart of Tom Waits and he has done for over thirty years of career at the forefront of Finnish rock music scene, almost the whole of my life-long career. His songs are already familiar from childhood car trips, but also on tours we tend to listen to a lot of principles of Finnish music, which is something other than metal, which we are hearing all the time around anyway.
We listen to a lot of old Finnish music like Agents for example and of course Tuomari Nurmio. Then, when our ex-sound engineer, Paukku Jääskeläinen recorded and mixed by Tuomari Nurmio live DVD: Vastavirtaklubi, it came to my mind to ask him to join to our album as a special guest. Ukon Wacka song itself had already been written at that time but I was not made a demo recording out of it yet back then. Then I made the final arrangements and vocals thinking Tuomari Nurmio’s scale and way to sing. After that I sent the demo recording of the song to him by e-mail. He replied that the idea is new and interesting thing for him, and he would be interested to do it. Here's how it worked out easy by its own forward, and when I finally heard the end result we were more than satisfied. Tuomari Nurmio has incredibly shamanistic power, which is also present in his vocal track on the album. He will be with us on some gigs but I don’t know about the tour yet. Maybe if the time schedules for both of us gives the chance.
The limited edition contains the song Iron Fist from Motörhead as a bonustrack. Why did you choose this song?
I’ve had been huge Motörhead fan with our bass player Jarkko since early 80’s. We got a chance too to see Motörhead gig 1988 here in Finland and the show blew my head… and ears. It was so great. Then few years ago we were thinking about some cover song for the UK tour and we wanted that the song is somehow connected to England. There is no better band for that reason than Motörhead. We just picked the best song from them and it got very good feedback. Then when we wanted to record a cover song as a bonus track for the new album it was easy to pick this song, which was already so familiar for us.
You wrote the song Tequila after you were on tour in South-America. Could there also be a track named Jägermeister in the future, after playing concerts in Germany? ;-)
I actually just wrote a song called Jägermeister last week. Let’s see are we going to release it or not. At least it is a very funny drinking song. I think, they would might like it at Jägermeister marketing office?
What are the most important inspirations when you are writing new songs?
Cold beer and hot women… and Jägermeister. Also fresh forest is good inspiration for writing new songs.
We know from some other Finnish bands that they are extra-creative during Finnish winter – does that go for you, too?
It is true. So long cold and dark season keeps you inside at home more than sunny summer time. Also this dark season makes you feeling more melancholic and it is good fuel for the song writing.
Does it take long for you to write songs, to come up with ideas for a song?
No, it doesn’t take long because when I get the idea, I must start to work on it right away. Most of the times I write it, arrange it, learn to play it and record the demo out of it all and once. Otherwise I can’t sleep anyway if I have a song unfinished.
How do you see the possibility to release a CD as digital download only – would it be okay for you or do you say "No, thanks!"?
I would say “No thanks”. I’m the man who would be so happy to get back to vinyl and cassette era.
Korpiklaani's music is both, party and fun. But we miss something - will there eventually be a DVD for partying in our living rooms, too?
It’s been on the “do” list of Korpiklaani already for some time. It will come but don’t know yet when.
You were on Paganfest tour together with a lot of other bands – what's your resumé?
Can’t remember, so I have a feeling, that it was more than fun. In fact it was hell of a good tour with good people all the time. We founded also Finnish Folk Metal Mafia during the tour. We will never forget the tour. FFMM tattoos, which we took on tour makes sure of that. Funny thing is, that there is also some people from Sweden and Israel, who has Finnish Folk Metal Mafia tattoos… we done also some mafia attacks. Biggest hit was when it came 4 police cars sirens howling to the crime place where we tried to burn someones wet stage underwear’s at the parking place near the venue. Later it found out, that the underwear’s was actually one of the mafia member’s own long johns and t-shirt, so he was burning his own stuff and laughing to it. Good tour, good tour. Lot of things to remember and share to friends at old peoples house later.
Relating to the atmosphere on and in front of the stage (audience, etc), what's your favorite type of venue - do you prefer to play in large halls or in tiny clubs?
I like large venues full of people because many times a large venue has better conditions. I mean bigger stage, better sound system, better backstage and showers. Conditions come up very important thing on long tour when we are living at the tour bus. Then again I like more club gigs than festival gigs. Even the big club venue you can get more easy contact to audience than festival where the people are so far from the stage.
The band exists for a long time now – could you please name some very special moments in your career?
First global album release 2003 was the first special moment. Then first bigger European tour 2005 and first time in Wacken 2006. Many times when you do first time something important and “huge” for yourself it is very special. Second time is never the same. There is been so many special moments in our career, that it is quite difficult to pick those up in some order.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
I have right now very creative period of time and I’m writing and recording songs daily. Also early preparations for the next album keeps me busy. Then we have some gigs here in Finland at October. St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia October as well and then November/December we have a North American tour if everything goes as the plans are.
What are your Top 3 albums of all time?
Whoa, difficult question because Top 3 is different every day and depends of the mood but Piece Of Mind from Iron Maiden, Defender Of The Faith from Judas Priest and No Sleep ‘till Hammersmith from Motörhead are always good choices for my Top 3.
Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
If you don’t have our newest Ukon Wacka album, go and buy it. We are still very proud of it!
Kiitos ajastasi. Toivotamme teille kaikkea hyvää!
Vielen Dank und wir sind nie zu alt zu rocken!
Jonne / Korpiklaani