Spiha interview (28.10.2003)
One of the hottest bands in Finland right now is Spiha from Helsinki.
These guys have played their hard rock for many years now, and they are
starting to get a bit wider success with their recent releases. Timo Paavola
(aka Demon P.A. Volume), the original guitarist of the band, answered my
questions through email in October 2003.
When and why Lotus transmuted into Spiha?
Timo: Lotus had drifted musically into a too improvisational style, which
created some problems in rehearsing. All the tracks were different
every time at rehearsals, and it was oppressing for me as a singer
to constantly try to get the melody right when the guitarist Juvonen
was travelling through unknown territories of the musical universe.
The recording of the album was pure pain and the result wasn't satisfactory.
We thought with Bomber, that we want something more planned and
straight forward. We both had a heavy metal background and we felt
like brothers when it came to musical expression. After we got
Mike Camaro to play drums and Henry Lee Rock to sing we realised,
that we had a really good rock group together.
How did the early music of Spiha differ from the Lotus stuff?
The music of Spiha was clearly more finished, and the songs were
rock, not improvised prog. Lotus was experimental, Spiha more planned, psychedelic blast.
How has the music of Spiha changed since the early days?
We're now better players and have arrived into the 2000's.
The crazy rock has transformed into more intensive, picturesque and tighter.
How about your taste in music? What bands do you like nowadays?
The guys in the band dig Mokoma, Slayer, 69 Eyes, Queens of the Stoneage,
Kyuss, Pink Floyd, Soundtrack of Our Lives, Ozzy, old blues, AD/DC, techno, old Maiden,
there's so fucking many...
How do the Spiha songs come to life?
Somebody brings a song to the rehearsals and we create a whole of it
with all the players and the singer, using the talents of everyone.
How often do you rehearse? Do you have the whole band together often?
About two or three times a week. We see each other regularly. We have
a Spiha Sir Club, but that's a secret.
What's the best thing about playing in a band? How about the worst?
Loud noise and insane going. Low salary.
How would you describe the music of Spiha? Stoner rock?
Inner visions of six maniacs.
If Spiha was an intoxicant, what would it be?
Well, if Spiha was an intoxicant, it would be the strongest of them all: life.
How has the change of musicians affected your band?
The changing of the drummers from Camaro (now in Dark Sun) through Snoopy
(now in Amorphis) into Pätkä (ex-Him) has made the drum department tighter,
in the same time the jazzy picturesque jamming of Camaro has warped into
strength and accuracy. The guitarist Allroots in his own right was a very
idealistic and inspirational, Juntza, on the other hand, is more technical
and nothing seems to be impossible for him, he also plays the comp in a lead way.
Your first CD EP has now been re-released on LP with bonus tracks.
How does that feel? Are you still proud of Tooth Helmet?
Your own vinyl is a dream-come-true, of course, Tooth Helmet is one of
the most important happenings in my life, I think.
Are you guys happy with your new Egoreactor album? The recording and
mixing were done quite rapidly, as far as I know?
Timo: I think that the album is good for a debut album, and there's no reason
to be ashamed. All the tracks are cool, but there might be some more bass.
On the other hand, we can speculate that the album would have been better
if we'd have more time for playing, singing and mixing. All the sound effects
we had planned had to be dropped, as well as some of the percussions.
What has been the reaction to the album? How much has it sold?
The reviews have usually been excellent: nine, ten, four stars out of five etc.
It has received some praises all right. About thousand copies so far.
How about outside of Finland?
The foreign release will be on the first week of January, it will be released
in Russia, former countries of the Eastern Block and Benelux Countries, Germany,
and in Spain and Portugal.
Promos have been sent abroad, and the German ASTAN magazine has made a DVD
compilation including our video. The same magazine also had a review of Egoreactor,
and it was chosen as the album of the month.
How did you end up for the Low Frequency label? Have you been happy?
After the long negotiations we decided to choose an uprising label in stead of
the exploitative, multinational companies joke, joke. We're happy.
If you got to choose, with what band would you like to tour with and where?
With Pink Floyd and via Moon a couple of times round the Tellus.
Would you like to make music for a living? Do you think that this could be possible?
I would like to make music my job and I'd like to do it as diversely as possible.
I also believe, that the whole band would agree, essentially.
Some of the tracks on Egoreactor are already quite old. Have you written any
new songs recently? What kind of stuff can we expect?
We've almost got a new album together, so we have already worked on new material.
It's heavier and more psychedelic. There are more melodies and killer riffs.
What are the future plans of Spiha? Any gigs abroad in the pipeline?
Good songs, a lot of rehearsing, a lot of gigs, high spirits and to go outside of
Finland as soon as possible.
Any regards to the friends of Psychotropic Zone?
Love life and people and you will be loved.
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