Review Fix chats with Sami Joensuu of Joensuu Riihimäki, who lets us know what makes their music special and what 2018 has in store for them.
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Sami Joensuu: Well, It all happened by accident. I asked Kari to play a few songs on the guitar that I was doing at that moment. We did not know each other before. This happened sometime in the summer of 2013, I guess. We noticed right away that the co-operation works unusually well together, we played a few gigs more and we did a few songs together more.
Some point soon we realized that we have a whole album ready. First there was the idea to make music as a duo but we realized we needed percussionist and Moilu was the ideal choice. Fortunately, he liked the band and the music, he has been involved from the beginning and the rest is history.
Now Joensuu Riihimäki has made three albums and numerous gigs. The cooperation works nicely and, when necessary, is used by additional musicians.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Joensuu: Usually the idea of a song can be created anywhere. It does not look at time or place. I write all the time up to the lyrics to the memo and the song can originate from a single word, someone’s gaze, from any point of view, really.
Usually the melody sounds in my head at the same time when I write and I see them like the pictures, like in the movies. I make a so-called base for the songs and everyone writes their own part in the studio, this way of working works fine with us.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song? How was it written?
Joensuu: I always try to make the songs stand out. Perhaps the most recent is The Ballad Of James John Belcaire. It has sought medieval spirit with lyrics and authentic instruments. The story is set in the Highlands and I read a lot about Britain’s history at that time, maybe it got started from there, who knows. The arrangement I also wanted to find something unusual, something different.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Joensuu: I would like people to find the same feelings of my music as I felt when writing it. It is always a very personal experience when you write a song and whenever you give the song to the audience, you also hoped the audience to find something of their own.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018? What’s next?
Joensuu: The Highwater tour starts now in January and we will be playing throughout the year in Finland and abroad and video shoots will also start soon. New music comes out surely, at some point and he Highwater vinyl version will also be released in spring 2018. I look forward to it.
I believe that this year will be a busy and awesome music year for Joensuu in Riihimäki. There’s no doubt about it! Hopefully, this year the doors will open properly and gigs abroad will also start outside Scandinavia.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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