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Back in the seventies, a band called Jethro Tull was adding folkloric instruments to their music. It was then known as progressive rock. One of their albums was called "Song From the Wood". Now in 2005, hailing from Finland is a band that calls themselves "Korpiklaani" (forest clan).

Greetings to all the members of the forest clan. I would like to give my gratitude to you guys fro bringing us such a fantastic album via the good people at Napalm Records. According to the information I got, the band doesn’t fear being called “yokels” living in the middle of forest. Do you really all share the same love for nature and willingness to live close to it?

Thank you! I'm actually here by myself (Jonne/ Vocals, guitars) but I will say your greetings to other guys.
Answer to your question is that yes, and it is not hard to us because we live in the country side and we are growed at the forest. As you might to know Finland is like a big forest. We don`t have here very big towns at all and every Finns are more or less country boys or girls.When we made our first Korpiklaani album I lived in the middle of the forest in the little cottage but now I live nearer the city called Lahti.
Anyway forest is my everyday life at these days also when I look out of the windows.I was born in a coutryside so I have to sing what I am.

I was often told about the cold climate of Scandinavian countries and being myself from Canada (Quebec) I'm familiar with cold and never ending winter. Could you give us some details on let's say a typical winter season in Finland?

It starts sometime like at the end of the September and warm comes in May. In the north of Finland, Lapland the winter comes little sooner and ends later. There is much colder than here at south part of Finland.

Your music is strongly inspired by nature, folklore and also has a party feeling as well (Beer Beer). Would you say it is your winning formula or perhaps I’m missing a secret ingredient?

I don't know about the secret ingredient :) We just want to have fun and it is easier if you are the musician. It's cheaper too. You know, someone asks us play, pay to us, gives some food and buy some beer too.

We would do that anyway somewhere without paying. ...actually you gave me our missing secret formula: Making songs like BEER BEER we try to maximize and make sure the having fun.

The nature is our biggest influence when speaking lyrics but I don't keep myself as a good lyric maker. I have to block some lines or good replics from the books or films and try to make a story around it. Like the slogan "We eat iron and shit the chain" on the song "Cottages andsaunas". It is from the Finnish war book "TuntematonSotilas" where soldier Koskela in drunk at war says to the higher offecers when they ask who dare to speak em. He answered that I'm Koskela from the woods of Finland, I eat iron and I shit the chain. Right after that he hit and beat those higher soldiers. I just translated that eating and shitting thing to English and rest of the lyrics came easily around it from my head. I never spend so much time with the lyrics. Maybe I should... I make our lyrics only because of the fact that nobody from the band can't do it even that much and somebody have to do it. The lyrics and music is as Finnish as it can be but there is no any national fury, idea or something like that.Having fun with the audience is our work in this life.

Korpiklaani is a "big band" with its eight musicians. Is it hard to bring all those souls to a common ground and concentrate in one musical direction?

Sometimes yes. Always when we are trying to practice some new songs it is very..how could I say it...chaotic.
We are decided that we practise the songs at first with drums, guitars and bass and after then with the rest of the dudes.
But always very soon it sounds cool and very Korpiklaanish. Even that we are playing some Motörhead songs it sounds like folk metal :)

Is there more than one composer or Jonne takes all the writing duties on his shoulders?

Hittavainen, Honka and our new accordion player JuhoKusti are started to made some songs as well so my diktature seems to be over.
Seriously it is very good thing. We can get more different kinds of elements and songs on the albums. I think we can make this longer time because of many other composers.

One of the aspects I enjoy the most is that the folkloric elements like the violin is incorporated into the musical structure from beginning to end compare to some other bands who just include them as intro or once and a while. Was it part of your vision of folk metal or the addition of Hittavainen made it clear it should be like that?

Hittavainen is so good with his instruments that I don't dare to say him that be quiet sometime. He don't speak much but he play like the maniac. Our sound is a good accident

This young man plays also an unknown instrument called jouhikko. What is it exactly?

Jouhikko is something like Finnish tradition instrument. It's made from the wood which is three strings. Strings are made from horses ass hairs. Hard to explain.. enter the word "jouihikko" to google and check the pictures. It is easiest way. Nice sounding thing from the ass of the horse.

On the song "Native Land" I was thrown off by the chorus. It seems to me as if the vocals were forced and not in the same musical direction as the song in general. Since you are musicians and know better than me, can you help me getting the meaning of this part of the song?

I was in drunk when sung that. Let's speak from something else... :)
I tried that direction of the song would be best at away from the album but other liked it so I lost.

My favorite song is "Spirit of the Forest". What is yours?

I like the fast ones because it funnier to play at live. We can feel strong feedback from the audience always when playing fast songs so I could say that my favourite song could be Journey man or Hunting song. But I like also the song Fields in flames because of the atmosphere of the song.

The closing number "Kadet Siipina" has a very nice feeling of nostalgia and/or sadness in it along with a sense of the days gone by. Can you tell me what is the story behind it?

It is only compose from Hittavainen on this album. I lyed in the bed hearing his demo of the song over and over again and suddenly lyrics just started to come. It took the time something like three minutes and the lyrics was finished. Sometimes it comes in easy way and some times in hard way. Now it came in easy way with this song. To me this song is very inhibitive in good way somehow.

I'm very thankful for your words, time and music. I whish to all of you guys only the best and hope for a long and successful musical career in the folkloric metal. Now the final words belong to you. If you have any thoughts or comment you want to share with our readers, it is the place to do it.

Thank you! I hope to see you at the gigs soon !!! Until then, remember to keep on rising the wooden pints and listen the Voice of wilderness album. It`s made to you !

Greetings from Finland,
Jonne

January 10, 2005
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