WITH TENHI (italian version)
by Giancarlo Bolther
Can you give us an introduction to your band with the history of your
In 1996 I wrote three songs for Tenhis demo, which we then
recorded together with Ilkka Salmine inn 1997. That demo led to a
deal with our current label Prophecy Productions from Germany. Ilmari
Issakainen joined the band soon after and nowadays we are the creative
core of the band. So this is special 10th year for us.
Can you tell me more about your lyrics?
The lyrics I wrote from Maaäet are stories, thoughts and my interpretations
of certain moods. I often dress them up or at least connect them to
events seen in nature. On this album they are more person orientated
and darker than before. I try to use words also in English translations
so that the mere words and phrases evokes something in listener, I
also try to write very visual lyrics so that together with the music
create a landscape or some kind of place before listeners inner eyes.
How do you go about the process of composing songs?
I often have an idea of the songs before I start to compose. About
the general feeling or theme, or a visual idea of the songs scenery
or merely just an idea for some instrument. Many of course come just
by accident and unaware. I compose with guitar or piano but on the
result the original instrument might be dropped and replaced with
more suitable one to the feeling, it all comes clearer when we mix
and produce the album ourselves. The song might be living until the
very end, until just before it is mastered.
How much tradition and how much modernity there are into
Even though we often aim for an old and traditional feeling
on instrumentation, we are a modern band and we don't want stuck on
strict traditions, not even our own. We abuse our instruments all
the time to find new and interesting sounds.
You sang in your native language, why this choice, don’t
you think that people would prefer to hear English lyrics?
We would sell probably more if we did sing in English. But
Finnish forms one layer to our music, which is part of our sound and
people have found it exciting and exotic. We are not going to change.
It would be interesting to do something in English but not with Tenhi,
maybe some other band in the future.
Your music sometimes is very dark, which is the message that
you want to say to your listeners?
To realize what is essential in life, too study the feelings
and to value the nature more. The modern material world drags you
In your opinion, which are the differencies between your
Visually Kauan was a lake, Väre was a tundra and Maaäet
With your music do you look for an aesthetic result or for
a spiritual one?
Both in a way. I consider myself more as visual artist than
musician as i have been drawing and painting all my life while music
came along when I was teenager. So I always connect the aesthetic
side to music as well, if that is what you mean.
How much time do you spent for your band? Have you got other
jobs or do you live just playing music?
As much as possible, playing, composing and writing lyrics,
but unfortunately we are lucky to get money from the band for paying
for our instruments. We all are studying and working in the fields
of architecture, art and design, but together with Ilmari we are setting
up our own producing company called UTUstudio and hope to get it businesses
run in near future, we are interested in producing other artist as
well. We have released our second bands Harmaa album airut:aamujen
(second chapter in airut:sage, which started with Tenhis airut:ciwi)
though that collective a year ago, but now it will be re-released
by prophecy productions, which is Tenhis label.
Are you planning a tour to support the album?
Yeah, it might be a special tour with just three acoustic
guitars and violin. But nothing sure yet, hope we would get chance
to come to Italy as well. Really looking forward to that.
What is that caracterize your live performances?
It is quite similar to our albums, the general feeling is
calm and hazy, fight of dark and light moments. Not too much head-banging
or stage diving.
What can you tell me about the musical scene in your country?
Well of course Finland is loaded with great metal bands but
last two years there has been more interest to this kind of music
as well, couple of new bands like October falls, which is also acoustic
guitar driven music. Still no one does similar to ours.
Fans of the old school of progressive rock tend to consider
the bands of today as "regressive" because they lack of
innovation and creativity and they don't look to the future but they
look to the past…, what do you think about?
I understand them. I wonder where the bands get the energy
to copy other and play something done yeas ago... I mean I love the
old bands and where they have guided us on our musical path but even
though we should respect and be aware of the roots we should find
new ways for the music to bloom, though it must be a only purpose
just to find new ways and pointlessly do something just because it
hasn't been done. It is enough just to bring a little bit of yourself
to the music and make it somehow personal.
What kind of music do you listen to? What are your favourite
bands actually and what are your inspirations from the past?
I can't possible name all my favorite artist but to name
more well-known bands and persons whose career I respect and been
following for ages are such as Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Glenn Danzig,
What does it mean for you Paganism, do you are Pagans?
I have never been part of any church and my whole family
and relatives are very unreligious atheists. Pagan traditions interest
me and are a source of inspiration but I am not pagan in religious
sense. Moreover I am interested in all religious and ways and traditions
of the past in a historic view and studying of roots.
In the album there are a lot of folk/traditional influences,
can you tell us more about your interest in folk music?
I have keen on old traditional folk music as it is so clearly
connected to the history and origin of the country or even smaller
place or community. Through music they handed over the traditions
and tales to next generation, it was part of social happening and
rituals. It interest me to learn about other cultures and especially
There is a long tradition of artists that play medieval and
folk music: Jethro Tull, Gryphon and Horslips from the '70, Dead Can
Dance and a lot of gothic artists fron the '80 and so on... do you
know these bands and their records?
Some of them yes. But good folk influenced bands are rare
to find, they intend to be very lame somehow. I am more into darker
folk like the gothic bands who flirt with it.
Nowadays there is an important folk scene, can you tell me
more about that world, are you in touch with the other bands, there
are some that you like?
We are outsider in every scene I guess. Of course we are
in contacts with other bands but just every now and then... and there
are loads of good folk/neofolk artist but we just do the music as
we please. Music is the only that matters. I don't want to flirt with
anyone just to be accepted to certain circles or scenes. That is irrelevant
Which is the greatest satisfaction happened to you in your
This all. Be able to share my visions through music. But
maybe the feedback for our first album was the biggest surprise. We
came out of nowhere and with no expectations for our Finnish sung
music and it got really excellent reviews and people seemed to like
it all around. We got fan letters even from Mexico and South Korea,
What do you feel about Internet and the file sharing? Do
you fear it or do you think it will be an opportunity for the artists?
Generally I don't care, I think most of our fans will buy
the album anyway, or I hope at least. I don't think one can enjoy
our music as much as with the cover art etc and translation of the
lyrics...we do the covers ourselves to add depth to the music, it
is crucial part of it. I think artist should get royalties and they
should get paid for the work they have done. I always buy the album
if really like it, I like to have a little collection of the works
Do you have a philosophy… your vision of the world
The world is too fucking materialistic. Seek harmony.
Feel free to end this interview with a message…
For a journey in spheres get your hands on our new album
MAAÄET (earth mother). Until then stay untamed.
Reviews (in italian):