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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 02 2011 at 15:43

Anomus is a new Finnish band who sings in their mothertongue and delivers some intricate prog rock. I caught up with them for their story.


When, where and by whom was your band born ? Did any of you, past and present members, play in any other bands before joining up in your band ? Why did you choose that name and which bands were you influenced by ?

Toni: The origins of Anomus were laid somewhere in 2002-2003 in Finland in a little town called Imatra (population a little bit under 30 000) by Antti Piikki and Antti Paakki. Guys had been playing in some other “bands” before (more like jamming sessions and playing covers with friends, nothing serious) but Anomus was the first serious attempt to make own music. It didn’t take long until Matti Miettinen (guitarist from 2004 to 2007) joined in.
Then, in the winter of 2003 the guys asked me to sing in their as-yet-unnamed musical project. I said yes because I was very drunk. Otherwise I would have said no, because I didn’t have any experience and I hadn’t been in any bands before and actually I wasn’t that interested at all J So next day, when I was sober again I of course changed my mind and avoided other guys for about a year. Then they saw me again in this one bar and… well, again I was very, very drunk and said yes. But this time I acted like a man and tried the thing and to my surprise, it was very fun! And luckily it still is.
A couple of months later I met Antto in some house party and asked him to join us. Luckily Antto was very drunk and said yes. So the history repeats itself. Antto was the only one then who had played in real band before. It was a heavy gospel rock band called Isännän Nyrkki (roughly translated as The Fist of the Master).
Matti left the band in 2007 because he just didn’t feel like playing anymore and was replaced later by Ville, who was also playing in Isännän Nyrkki before. No hard feelings there, we are still good friends with Matti.

The name Anomus came from Antti Paakki in summer of 2004. It means in English something like request, solicitation or plea. The truth is that it doesn’t have any deeper meaning, it just sounded pretty good then. Of course we could say today that it means like ”plea for peace” – you know, make some sh*t up - but we weren’t that smart then J
Every member of our band has always had a little bit different musical taste than others and I think that may be one of the reasons that we are pretty hard to categorize – because we have so many influences.

First years we were pretty straight forward rock band, maybe a little bit punk rock too but it just evolved to something else over the years. EP after EP it went to more alternative and to more progressive direction. Maybe we started to listen more diverse music or maybe we just learned to play J

I can’t speak for others, but I listen to pretty much everything. I dig punkish rock like Social Distortion and The Replacements but I also love alternative like Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and Faith No More. Also artists like Ryan Adams and Tori Amos have a place in my heart. Of course influences of actual progressive bands like Opeth, Porcupine Tree or CMX (from Finland) can be heard in our band’s sound but I guess in the end our music is like a weird mash-up of everything we listen and like. There is a little bit of prog, (post) rock and also some heavier elements.

How is the music scene in Finland now ?

Toni: I guess it’s pretty much the same as in the rest of the world. Record companies suffer and panic because they don’t know what to do nowadays when almost everybody is either downloading their music illegally or listening to it from Spotify.
But from the music fan’s point of view things are pretty good. There is more music available than ever before and it’s easier and cheaper to get than ever before. I’m not worried at all about the situation because I believe that good music will be heard always, one way or the other. And after all, we’ll keep making music still if our records don’t sell – it just will be a little more difficult then, but we’ll keep making it.

And if we forget the music industry and talk only about the Finnish band scene the things are very good. Personally I think it’s great that in Finland the most popular bands play metal and even progressive rock. It’s pretty cool that bands like Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Von Hertzen Brothers and CMX are mainstream here even when the stuff the play is pretty alternative and bold. It’s good to know that there is audience for a little bit more complicated music also.

Over to your releases. Please tell us more about your singles and Eps.

Toni: We released five EPs before our first full length album. I think we kinda found our way not until the fourth one, “Oudot huoneet, harharetket”. First three were exploring different things, for example the first one “Heteromelankolia” was pretty simple rock with punk and metal influences. Second one, “Valveunia”, was more radio friendly pop rock and I think it is also our weakest effort. Third one, “Hämärästä aamunsoittoon”, gave the first hints of things to come. It was still pretty mainstream rock but we started to try more alternative ways to compose songs. Actually the opening track “Myöhemmin syksyllä” made it’s way to our new album. Of course we recorded it again but the arrangement is pretty much the same as four, five years ago. At the latest after our fourth EP our musical style had evolved pretty near to that where it is now.

But I must also say that it was never about the complexity or technical performance, you know, to show our skills - never because of that. It just went more and more alternative and progressive and we just noticed that it was the best way to tell our stories and express our self musically, for now at least. Maybe our next record is stripped down and simple, you never know.

You have just released your self titled debut album. Please tell us more about this album.

Ville: It's a bunch of nine songs, some of them being older ones in a new form and some are brand new ones, mixed together in the Anomus blender. Some of the songs are just about observing things that are included in every human being's life and some of them... well... observing not-so-everyday things. :)

Toni: I think it’s like a result of about eight years in a band. It contains pretty much everything that we have learned as musicians in those years and I guess it’s like the first serious attempt to step out of the garage and join with the “real bands” J Also it’s a compilation of songs from a five year period but I hope it doesn’t sound like that. I think this record is working pretty good as whole.

For those of us unfamiliar with your music; how would you describe you music and which bands would you compare yourself with ?

Toni: As I said earlier, it’s pretty hard to describe our music. A little bit of metal, alternative rock and progressive. I guess one can find somewhat similarity to maybe Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Kingston Wall, CMX and Don Huonot (last three from Finland). It’s a pretty hard question because I can’t hear one or two clear influences, it’s a mix of everything we listen and like.

All your lyrics are in your native language and the same goes for the language used on your website. A language spoken and understood by approx 5 million people. What is your lyrics about and why using your native language when the easy, lazy way out would be to use English ?

Ville: Our music generally doesn't come out the easy, lazy way, so why do it that way when it comes to lyrics? The lyricists themselves, Toni and Antto, probably have their own opinion on this topic. :) For me the Finnish language is the way to express myself, so I've been glad that they've decided to stick to Finnish so far.

Toni: First of all I think Finnish is a very beautiful language. I know that it’s very hard to understand and learn to speak but it’s the most natural way for me. Of course if we would switch to English we could maybe gain more audience, but it has never been about the fame, popularity or money. The lyrics mean much to me but I think one can also enjoy music without understanding the text. At least I can, when I’m listening to for example Sigur Rós or Kent.
As Ville said earlier, we write about our observations of the world. Some songs are about love (or maybe more like failure in love J) like Harhasanat and Varsova, some are with social commentary (Zeitgeist), some philosophical (Sydämenlyöntejä)… you know, pretty basic subjects in songs, nothing new there :D

What have you been up to since the release of your debut album, what is your current status and what are your plans for this year and beyond ?

Ville: At the moment Antti Piikki, the other one of Anomus' guitarists, is roaming around somewhere in the world with his girlfriend. Actually he's been doing that ever since we finished the recordings of the album. So we've had a kind of a break for a few months now, no gigs or anything. But when Piikki finds his way back to Finland, we're gonna start some furious rehearsing, create new material and hopefully do some gigs, too.

Toni: Actually Piikki sent me a sketch of new song I think from Vietnam a couple of days ago, so we are writing new material already J

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

Ville: Anomus is totally eager and ready to do some gigs abroad, so feel free to contact our drummer-manager Antto Hinkkanen in case you want to invite us to play in your birthday parties or other happenings (weddings and funerals excluded).

Antti Paakki: Ouch, English! Head hurts!

Thank you to Anomus for this interview

Their homepage is here

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