Another Finnish band that did not know of before this interview was set up. Check out RIVETTE after you’ve read this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
F.F: Well… not quite, I suppose. Not that there even were any clearly defined “intentions” to begin with, I think. Heh! I’m not sure if any of us had had any serious thoughts beyond playing some sort of heavy rock music together and having fun doing it, and maybe recording a demo tape or two in the process. While all of us had at least some background making and/or performing music, no one was actually quite the master of his chosen craft at the starting point or so to say.
As for the musical approach, some names were surely dropped while crafting the early sound, mostly in the classic hard rock/heavy metal/NWOBHM vein. They really are quite audible in our early output, too, and as several songs from the 2015 demo tape were “revisited” on the mini-LP, you can also definitely catch these initial influences there.
Speaking intention-wise, if considering that the above was where we kind of had our sights on at the very starting point, I’d say the most unintentional (while purely instinctive and natural) turn of events since then would be the significant surge of major influences from all sorts of musical genres totally outside the safe confines and boundaries of “metal” or “heavy” that most people might consider “acceptable”, at least for this broad style of heavy music we’re playing. While I think that these will be much more prevalent in our future output and things yet to come, you can already hear a whole bunch of “Knopflerisms” and other subtle tips-of-the-hat thrown about in songs like the namesake of the MLP and the opening track “Outrun the Night”.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
F.F: We’re both happy and proud of the result & already feeling sort of nostalgic about the marvelous times we had doing it during the sessions over at Tonehaven Recording Studio (cheers Tom!). I think it serves as an honest testament of its time and as a demonstration of our prowess back then. There’s this sort of a “live” feel to it that I really like. There were some subtle ad-hoc decisions made on the spot during the recording, both production- and instrumentation-wise that really ended up “hitting the nail on the head” if you catch my drift. While I personally mostly prefer a systematic and quite a strictly pre-rehearsed approach in general, you must also have room for certain spontaneity.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
F.F: Definitely. Not that the “way” itself has been too long yet (this year marks the 3rd anniversary for the band), we’ve still managed to evolve and make significant amounts of natural progress during our time together as a group from the humble beginnings described above, all of which contributes to us having developed quite the distinctive sound in my opinion. The mini-LP might best be described as a “transition” of sorts from a pretty straightforward heavy rock/metal sound towards this strange hybrid we’ve been brewing ever since. In reference to the earlier expression “future output”, we currently have a two-song vinyl EP/maxi single in the works where we really start to get on our own sound-wise in my opinion.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Esa: The lyrical content is very important in Rivette. The topics often circle around inner struggles and triumphs. I usually write, or at least end, with a positive note and sometimes there can be found a message of strenght or hope. Kode’s lyrics have so far been quite heavy-hearted which makes a great contrast.
I tend to write about anything that strikes a chord and has some sort of meaning to myself. We haven’t dealt with fiction that much but maybe one day.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
Kode: It is a crucial part of the whole record, it sets the tone for the music. Of course cool covers draw more attention and most probably lead to more sales. I’m not very intrigued about aesthetics on the digital side of things.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
Esa: I believe that I’m speaking for the whole group when I say that success for us is writing good music and then doing it again. We enjoy feedback of any kind but of course we measure our success amongst ourselves, and I think that’s the way it should be. If people like our music: all right! But if they don’t, it’s all right as well.
Sorry, but I don’t know anything about breaking big or how to achieve it.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
Esa: I may have a bit different approach to this since I do not see music as a competition, there is plenty of room for everyone. If people like the music, they tend to share it with their friends and that is more than enough for me.
We don’t have a strategy to stand out from other bands. When I look at other artists, one thing that always stands out in a positive and charming way is being genuinely yourself. I know it’s a corny thing to say but my bullshit detector is often slamming red, so whenever I see something real, I end up liking it one way or another.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
Kode: Lively? I don’t know. Don’t bond with it that much really. Wouldn’t know about “making it” either.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
Kode: There are black metal bands winning grammys and whatnot so it’s definitely an accepted part in the mainstream, like it or not. I’m not saying it’s wrong though. I don’t really care.
What does the future hold for you?
Kode: See ”future output” on question 3. In addition to that we try to get around playing some gigs. We play live as a fourpiece instead of a trio with an additional member. Find out more from our Facebook page and be sure to grab our mlp while it’s hot!