The Rasmus in Soundi

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There is a 5 pages long article with The Rasmus in the new Soundi magazine. Scans can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Thanks to whoever did that!!!!! Translation of the article can be found below! Please link back if you use it [even if for translation], thank you!

The Rasmus – after the crazy years

No more compromises. No more orders from outsiders. No more forced rock songs. Maybe not even more last minute flights to Las Vegas. The Rasmus have grown mature, but the band have also finally found the final balance.

We go back to last year , to a sunny October evening. In the studio in Stockholm we live in a high tension atmosphere. The Rasmus have returned after a few previous recording sessions to the good old city (“we came by ferry and we ate shrimps , just like in the old days”), and the band intends to start the recordings for their 8th studio album, still on that evening. About the recordings cares the old friend Martin Hansen, but the band has their own free will to realize themselves as they want. No record deal. No comments from anyone.

How did the million albums sold, and giant gigs playing band ended up in a situation like this? The search of the answer takes us even more backwards.

The popularity of The Rasmus culminated in working together with worldwide known producer, Desmond Child, almost four years ago with the album Black Roses. The album then presented a similar sound to Hide from the sun, although it was the band dark music trademark completely off of Black Roses. This came as a surprise, because Desmond have been working with names like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper and Kiss rock bands.

-Hide from the sun is the follower of international breakthrough album, Dead Letters. Back then we had such a feeling that also Hide from the sun has to be rock, although the heart of the band was more into popish songs. Halfly forced working makes its disservice, because the composing has to be fully sincere and free, Ylönen tells in the backstage of the studio.

-In the case of Black Roses we gave the bridles in the hands of Desmond, and it was in a lot of ways extreme thing to do. When the authority is enough hard, then the own opinion can be blurred. He wanted to compose with us, and surely the work with a worldwide known producer sounded very much like interesting. Desmond influenced very much the songs on Black Roses, pretty much how the purpose was too, but the working process opened our eyes in the same time. We realized only then, that we know already very well these things.

After the Black Roses tour, hands of The Rasmus were not finally locked. The relaxing moments came in handy to the band that has been working for years without a break. After the relaxing period, the working again lead to an observation that the new material does not sound at all like The Rasmus (“in the songs of a rock band it’s good to have also guitar, so the band does not have to go to dance lessons). Then Lauri had the idea to release a solo album –and so it happened, that New World soloalbum worked also as an inspiration source for the reborn of The Rasmus.

-I went to studio, made the solo material, and went to ask if there’s anyone who wants to release it. A freedom like this in the making process felt extremely good. In the same time I realized that The Rasmus also has to work the same way. In other words, we make everything including the promo videos and album cover, and if anyone wants to invest money in it, for example in marketing, then it’s surely pretty okay, Lauri describes.

-We’re not doing anymore that way that there are all kind of people in the studio telling their opinions about it. When we made album about 15 years ago, all the guys from the record label were 30something years old. Now we are those guys at same age, and we know how the things work. Studiowork is anyways a lot more free and relaxing when we’re not there to waste someone’s money. We have come back to ‘practice’ music, and it feels great. There is no anger, no musts when we do things without compromises.

Someone should anyways have the last word.

-Pauli has just been laughing about that Lauri has started to dominate more. It can be that way! But it’s great that we don’t have to tell okay to anyone’s work –besides of course the band members, but we all have pretty much like the same taste. And if it comes to fighting, then I’d rather fight with the others from the band than with some guy from the record label. And if I have to give up on my own ideas, then it’s seemingly better than subordinating myself to someone, the singer emphasizes.

-But it’s great we didn’t have to fight. I was really blissful to write and record, when no one sticked their nose in and said ‘you can’t sing like that, people don’t like that at all’. About those comments comes a feeling like, go to hell now I will sing just as I want and like; and now I just don’t want to sing about a dangerous cat woman in the Los Angeles night.

The works for the 8th The Rasmus album have actually started during summer 2011. The working name for the album was Kissa ja Hiiri [Cat and Mouse] and also Four Cocks.

-There was no planning on the schedule of the studio session, and either about anything else. The guys just came to Finland, Pauli from Singapore and Eero from Italy. We had really nice conversations and tried old riffs, but the whole thing was like open. There was also a double or nothing feeling. But if anything has been born out of this? And if there wouldn’t have been born anything out of this then we would have tried again in a year or in five years again, Ylönen tells.

-We have looked through the cards, and went to Helsinki’s Nosturi training camp everyday for a couple of months. We bought food and drink from the gas station next to it, and threw long work days among the cables. We have wrote the material for Into album the same way, and remember songs like F-f-f-falling still with a good mood. It has not taken long until the pieces started to fall into one piece. There have been born interesting songs – and really songs that worked only on acoustic guitar. We haven’t really went into a sound world deep, like it happens today usually.

-There was nothing else to do in the end than to start to plan the making of the album. I called to Martin to Stockholm and asked what kind of schedule he has in the next months. It turned out that his previous studio session ended at the beginning of october. Okay, things clear, let’s make an album!

Just a few months later, in April 2012 everything is ready. The Rasmus entitled album last touches has been long finished, and the band has focused on other pririties concerning the release of the album. The band have for example been in Tokyo to make a new video for the single I’m a Mess. Lauri Ylönen sitting in a cafe in Helsinki, he has all the right reasons for smiling widely:  the preliminary plans for The Rasmus have finally started to come true.

-We made everything ourselves – and then we got marketing support of Universal. This went just like in the old times. Then we also said in an interview „the band makes what it wants and the guys from the record laber give the money”. Back then we had Warner Music’s Pekka Ruuskaa, who has been laughing about this, Lauri remembers.

I’m a mess has been playing on the radios for weeks long at the moment of the interview. And not without impressions.

-A lot of people have noticed that I’m a Mess sounds more like my solo material. Same time it come to my mind what a rude hustle the chose of the debut single is, especially these days. The first ‚taste’ has an incredible weight. And still some song has to be given the top rate, the singer shakes his head.

-It’s surely clear that I hear our music in a very different way face to our fans. In my opinion I’m a Mess sounds like The Rasmus should, and i wouldn’t put the song to my solo album by any chance. The song opens with an A-dur, and it’s like…ordinary. It won’t bring the Moon from the sky. After my solodebut i have been continuously writing songs in two different ways, one for The Rasmus and once for my solo album. It was interesting to realize that the more i compose, the more new ideas are born.

It’s anyhow safe to say that these days The Rasmus is more pop than rock – almost seven years after Hide from the Sun.

-Really like that. Also in the studio there were comments like Aki close that hihat so that the song won’t be too rock. We didn’t wanted to make at all a new Hide from the Sun. For example in Friend’s don’t do like that it could have gone really wrong. And also previously we have gone wrong. Now the songs are based more on melancholic positivism, and encourage the sadness. Let’s take for example It’s your night –song –there can be found melodies that remind of J. Karjalainen.

We go back a little to I’m a Mess, and to it’s lyrics. The themes of a remorse are strongly present in it, and the question of ‚how personal the lyrics are’ can not be avoided! Same question can be presented also in case of a lot of other songs.

-Surely in the lyrics there are a lot of personal remarks, but there are not at all diary entries. There are also experiences of other people close or less close to me, Lauri describes.

-Surely the ritous rock life is fun in its time, but sometimes should also remember to break and take a pause. Luckily I haven’t got to oblige myself in anything. I have never had such feeling, that now i should close everything behind and end the great parties. Because of the family and also other important things, being sober in the past years have felt natural and senseful.

Aren’t you missing those crazy times?

-As i said, partying back then back cool. A fitting ‚drunkness’ brought also to the gigs a bit weird and over-energized mood. Nowadays it feels just great to being able to achieve the same feelings without anything added. Also on the tour is always hazy mood and tired feelings, even if we’re not partying all night long. And if we add to that the drunkness and the hangover…well, of that can think a lot. Like, does life goes til end like this?

Sometimes during 2003 – 04, when The Rasmus have been severely touring, the speed was the same during the tour and also while being at home, having a small break.

-We came home from the tour for a few days, but of the relaxing and fitting into the normal life, nothing happened. Wasn’t even able to sleep in own bed. All the time was a feeling like so bored, what should invent to do, Ylönen remembers.

-Happened then when left with friends to a roadtrip. One of them lasted for 6 days and that included a lot of interesting happenings. Like we went to the yard of churches to listen to Slayer’s South of Heaven while worshipping satan. I mean in quotation marks. And when we went to the shop, we went in with commando hats on our heads. At least the cashier didn’t ask for papers!

Maybe Finland has not offered hard challenges to these brave roadtrippers.

-We sometimes invented that we go for a drink to Las Vegas. And we left. Really.

Bassist Eero Heinonen have done movie in India – The hard disk of the camera does not work in heights of over 3km

Bassis Eero Heinonen has not been relaxing too much while The Rasmus was silent around. Before The Making of Black Roses documentary maker, has now spent a few months in India to make a new movie. Still in progess movie’s title is Walker / Kävelijä.

-I have been thinking about making a fictive movie, during the past few years. The final decision has been born when i read the book of Tero Tähtinen about walking. I work in the project as director and producer, but I sometimes appear also in front of the camera. In the main role, there is again my friend Leo Honkonen. Walker is made for television, but presentation in the cinema is not impossible either.

What happens in the movie?

-Getting out of the squirrel wheel  and from the aimlessness, a Finnish youngster goes to Himalaya and India to search for the truth and options. On the road the main character detects, that he has to be brave and give in to life. Walking on the mountain is a main act in the movie.

How was to work in India?

-All kind of things happen there. We could not for example prepare for the fact that the hard drive of the camera stops working higher than 3300m. Sometimes also lot of people came along with us – felt like we would have been on the stage performing. For sure also the diarrheal diseases belonged to the journey.  I threw up in the yard of a monastery right ahead when I told to the actor ‘please’.

-Generally impact have the burning bodies of the saint city of Varanasi and the Ganges river. And Ganapatipulen beach and the ocean. And of course Indian trains. We have traveled with those at least 25 times.

Does music have a big role in Walker?

-Themes are handled a lot with music and moods, less with talking. Lauri Porra composes the main score of the movie, and  the music of the movie will also be released on a separate disc, on which worked among others James Black and Nicky Wells. I might be also fit the voice tracks and the effects, but for sure I will not compose.

What is the schedule of the movie?

-The movie will be ready latest in December. It would be great to show a few minutes long trailer for example at Flow-festival.

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