Stala & SO

Glam rock might not be as sexy as it was in the 70s but there are still those who hold that banner high. Finnish Stala & SO do so. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

What is it with Finns and hardrock/heavy metal? Is the rest of the Finnish music scene so bad that the only other option is hardrock?
-We have a lots of different kinds of music in here. But I guess hard rock/heavy metal is so well made, so the world is interested about it more. And I think it’s a good thing. Who cares about hip hop anyway… 😉

When Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest did that change the way people in general view hardrock/heavy metal in Finland or did they laugh it off as a novelty?
-Yes it did change a lot. Suddenly rock and metal was more mainstream. Ages 3 to 99 liked heavy rock. And of course it got a little boring. Luckily everything is more normal now. You don’t like your parents to like the same music as you do.

When you use your own name to front the band does that add extra pressure had you guys been behind a band name?
-No it doesn’t. Stala is a same kind of an alter ego as Ziggy Stardust or Alice Cooper. So it’s easy to get behind it and play that rockstar personality.

That makes me wonder what the SO part is all about?
-We formed the band with Nick back in -97 and we called it So. (dot included)
At first I was about to make a solo album. Then I asked the So. guys to play in it. So it was natural to be Stala & So. after that.

It is hard not to think back to a more glamorous period of time when you see the band photos and art work. Was it better back in the days of Sweet, Slade, T-Rex, Ziggy Stardust?
-Image wise yes. I love that era. I like the 80’s style as well, but more the 70’s stuff. Back then the sky was the limit and I like to think that way still.

You too have been part of the Eurovision Song Contest. Is that a good way to promote your band or can it be complete career suicide?
-That was a perfect start for us to start the band again, especially in Finland. I was afraid to get more Eurovision stamps in my forehead of course, but luckily it went well. That was a needed kick in the ass for me to start to do what I’ve always wanted.

What is it about music that is still so much fun that you keep doing it year after year?
Well tell me about it. When I was younger, music was an obsession for me. I’m lucky that I can do music for a living. I haven’t done any real jobs in almost 10 years. When it stops to be fun then I’ll quit.

Do you as a band from Finland notice the globalization in the responses you get from people into your music? Where have you had the most impact so far?
Yes I do. Being a Finnish band is a good promotion. We have a nice fan base in Germany, Czech Republic and Japan for example.

When you go up on stage is there something you absolutely need to have for it to be a good concert?
-Everytime before we hit the stage we have a group hug. That helps to get in the right mood for the show. When I hear our intro tape rolling, I know it’s time to have fun again.

Where do you see this adventure ride take you?
-Around the world and back again. I hope we could do this full time until we die.

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