Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are very pleased to bring you an interview with Finnish earthy americana roots rockers, Joensuu Riihimäki.
1. How did you get started as a band?
Everything really happened accidentally. I met Kari in Turku one summer day in 2013 and asked him to play guitar for a project I was doing at that time. We recorded one song and soon we had been doing for more, everything worked fine and we began to think about a sequel. We played a few gigs and we started to find our own voice.
The first single ”Joe’s Café Blues/ A Pale Wind Comin`” was released in 2014. The first album ”Greetings From The Edge Of The World” was ready for next spring 2015.
We were very active right from the beginning and knew we had something to offer. Moilu joined the band well in the early stages, we started to need a percussion to a band and Moilu was a natural choice, he is a versatile and eccentric drummer.
2. How would you describe your sound?
I think our sound is very much from the 60’s to 70’s. Honest sound without any artificial-ness, you know. Roots music is such a broad term that it can accommodate so many kinds of sound on this day. You will be hard to stand out but we think that it has succeeded very well.
Kari Riihimäki has always been a great sense of style in terms of sound, relentless. No, we have never had to think about them much, they have always been self-evident, I guess. Well, Strong, eloquent, passioned, full-bodied, sharp, yes that’s JR`s sound.
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
I’ve always liked strong songwriters who have something to say like Bob Dylan, Rory Gallagher, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, JJ Cale, Esperanza Spalding just to name a few.
I listen to music from side to side, I believe that the influences can also be heard in our music. Joensuu Riihimäki is a broad mix of different styles, I think. The greatest influences are the singer songwriter stuff really.
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?
Videos and music streaming has helped us a lot. YouTube more. The first interest JR abroad came right through the video. Our video ”Freefall” on debut album ”Greetings From The Edge Of The World” found somehow through its way to Australian TV. It started to rotate there and interest increased to the band. Life is a nice coincidence sometimes.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
Most of the time I paint or write. I also watch a lot of movies and series on TV. Mainly British series. I also read lot of history and I believe that I am well within the Tudor times and Henry The VIII. I also like travelling, it will enlarge the world.
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
We will see what new shades will be coming to the music of Joensuu Riihimäki. At some point, new music will surely come. Now we start a ”Highwater” tour, we look forward to it. Touring throughout the year in Finland and abroad.
It will be a great year I am sure. Live album would be great to implement at some point too but we’ll see. Let’s keep our minds open.
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We’d liked to thank Joensuu Riihimäki for taking the time to speak with us. You can find out much more about them by going to their website here. You can also stream or buy their music on Spotify & Apple Music below. Also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.