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Interview with Korpiklaani, February 2011

The Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani has just released their seventh studio album, Ukon Wacka, and I had the great opportunity of making an interview with the accordion player of the band, Juho Kauppinen.

Korpiklaani_pressfotoIt's hard not to notice that a lot of your lyrics concern various alcoholic beverages. Are you rough, brutal and vodka drinking Finns? Or are you trying to live up to the myth?

– We are but human. Korpiklaani's music reflects what we are, rather than trying to be something that we possibly are not. Our songs come out as they are, too. It may be true that Finns consume a lot of alcohol a year, but there are several other countries with high alcohol consumption solely in Europe. Finns are not as exceptional as is commonly thought of them.

– Korpiklaani may drink a lot on tours, but while at home, anybody barely drinks. There's also one person in the band who never drinks at all.

There's no question that your music is good party music. When I saw you playing live for the first time, I said that if I ever get married I would have Korpiklaani as my wedding band. Is that something you would do? Have you ever done something similar to that before?

– We would be pleased to do that, but I don't think we have done anything like that before. We preferably play anytime and anyplace, but recently we have been forced to restrict the amount of concerts, because we certainly cannot be on the road all the time.

What kind of music do you like and what kind of records do you play on the tour bus? Or do you maybe prefer silence?

– Musical taste varies greatly in the band. The music on the tour bus varies too, but it's basically everything between Finnish evergreen songs and 80's heavy metal.

Tell me a bit about your upcoming record, Ukon Wacka. Does it differ from your previous records?

Ukon Wacka differs from our previous albums to some extent, but the band's style is immediately recognizable. As we had a chance to work with Tero Hyväluoma, an assistant producer of traditional instruments, we managed to add something refreshing to the whole.

– We only recorded the drums for the album Karkelo at Petrax Studio, but Ukon Wacka was entirely recorded there. It can easily be heard from the result.

How does you creative process look like? Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music? How much of the creative process takes place in the recording studio?

– Jonne has always written most of the songs for the band, but the majority of lyrics is nowadays written by Juha Jyrkäs, with whom we have collaborated since the album Tales Along This Road. Ever since, the amount of his lyrics and songs sung in Finnish have gradually increased. For the latest album, of which all songs were sung in Finnish, we also got four lyrics from Jonne, as he has developed as a lyricist.

Last time I saw you play in Sweden was back in 2008 at the Sweden Rock Festival. When do we get to see you play in Sweden again?

– The sooner the better!

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