WÖYH! - One of the most unusual bands
“WÖYH!” – I tell you, “WÖYH?” – You ask. Yes yes, you didn’t mishear “Who’s it?” – you’ll ask, “One of the most unusual bands” – I’ll answer.
Idea of the band came into mind of these Finnish guys a long time ago – in year 2000, but to transfer it in something real they managed just in year 2012 when they released their first album “Ikkillyk”. It didn’t bring global fame to them, but it was unordinary and obtains people’s hearts.
This spring WÖYH! released their second album «Dwzyrek» which sounds more perfect and interesting in my opinion.
All songs of WÖYH! are connected by one story, but it’s not just words, it’s feelings that come from the songs. For me it’s chirp of the gulls, water noise, whisper of the sand, riffle of the turning pages and music of the stars. With this music you can go towards adventure, change something in your life or you can just mourn…or to dance.
And let the band’s name keep a secret, about everything else read below.
- I know that idea of the band appeared a long time ago. Why it took so much time between the idea and the stuff like recording albums, videos and so on?
Jussi: I think the beginning of all this was when Antti made song called “Lokki”, it was in year 2000 or so. When I heard it I thought it’s a great song, it should be done in a very good way, like in the studio someday, but it took some years just because we had some other things to do. But anyway it was close to year 2010 when we went to Astia studio in Lappeenranta.
So when we recorded this song and also made a video it appeared that quite many people liked it and we thought that it would be a good idea to make more songs, to make a whole album. So it was like a dream for many years and then we made it.
- So it’s Antti who wrote the lyrics and music of “Lokki” song?
J: Yes, “Lokki” is the only song that Antti has made both words and the music, but after that Antti has made most of the music and I have written all of the words. Mostly it’s like my project. I’m the leader of the band because this time I don’t have any other bands so I have time and I like to arrange things , but Antti also of course likes to be with us, but he has Stam1na and it takes a lot of his time.
- Do you remember the second song you wrote for WÖYH!?
J: Yes, the second song that we recorded was “Hieho”. When we made it, it was like an improvisation at some party, but we thought this could be a good song to record also. So actually it was that after we made “Lokki” and “Hieho”, we decided to make more songs.
- Except you in the band there are Antti, Antti Pitkäjärvi and Anssi Nykänen. How did you find these guys?
J: With Antti Pitkäjärvi who’s a keyboard player, I’ve been playing in the same cover band Redux from 2004. We have been playing mostly foreign songs in skiing centers: in Levi, Tahko, Ruka, those kinds of places where people want to hear songs that everybody knows. I have done a lot of stuff with Antti, so I knew that he’s a great keyboard player and he’s also an excellent singer. First I asked him just to play for the album. It was that only me ant Antti my brother who were in the band and we asked somebody to play in the local. So I asked Antti Pitkäjärvi and also in the same way I asked Anssi. Because I knew him, we had some common friends, we have been playing somewhere so I thought he could be the best drummer I could ever get. In Finnish drum scene he’s counted to be one of the best drummers, he has been playing in many records in different bands. So he has come and after that we made our first record.
- I suppose it’s not easy to find the people who could understand you and so on.
J: Yes, but these guys: two Antti and Anssi, I think that in second album we found the way our band should sounds like. So I think that the 3d album it’s gonna be maybe much like our second album, sounds maybe the same. Of course the songs are different, but anyway we gonna continue the same line.
- The title of your first album is Ikkillyk, but it comes from reading this word opposite way – it’s Kyllikki, right?
J: Yes, it’s Kyllikki. It’s a women’s name. It comes from the lyrics, because in it it’s the name of the ship and if you stand on the shore and you look to the water on the boat - it’s like a mirror, you see the letters other way, it comes from that.
- After release of Ikkillyk album which kind of reviews did you receive?
J: Quite many reviews were positive, but anyway it has been surprising that about second album almost everybody has said it’s better than the first one, I think also it’s better. So almost everybody liked it, but last week I read one review in Inferno magazine where writer didn’t like it. He said it’s something he hates. But it’s good when people like it very much and they hate also. It means that it makes them feel something.
- If to say about the recording of the second album. It was different from 1st album recording? And how did you manage it? You came to the studio with everything ready, or you like to improvise?
J: With the first album I did plan more precisely what it should be like, I had very precise demos what every instrument plays and we did it like that way. But then the 2nd album was different: we had a lot of demos but we made a lot of changes in the studio, even with the words. Just a minute before we recorded we had changed some of them. When we’re in studio it’s mostly me and Antti who decide things, but Antti goes more easily than me, he tries and makes very big changes and I’m more afraid of doing that. I like to plan things in advance. We’re a little bit different persons that way
- You filmed your video «Kamppailu Merellä” in Iceland. Why did you choose this place?
J: We were talking with our photographer Aki-Pekka Sinikoski (who has took all the pictures in first and second albums and the promo pictures) and with our graphic designer Jussi Karjalainen (who has made covers in first and second albums and almost all of our t-shirts), and we were thinking where should we go to take good looking pictures. And we thought that maybe to go to some other countries would be nice. And then Aki-Pekka said that maybe Iceland would be good, because it takes just three hours to fly and nature looks totally different then in Finland.
So it was just a crazy idea, I thought that maybe okay we should go to Iceland, but what should we do? And I had an idea that maybe we could have space suits like astronauts, and then everybody thought it’s a good idea and as you can see Antti is wearing this astronaut suit and I’m wearing the «normal» suit. So we were one week in Iceland, we were driving around the island searching for right places to shoot pictures and a video and had two days from morning to the evening to make it. It was very cold and it’s interesting, because it looks like you’re on the moon. It’s like in space. But actually we have no idea what the next pictures are going to be. Maybe some warmer place would be better.
- What is the idea behind the video and the song?
J: The song is a part of the story where the Kaihu goes to an island and he steals some stones that used to be there and then takes a boat and tries to escape from there and go to his hometown. Then there some woman who is Aphrodite, she’s on the boat to catch the thief. “Kamppailu Merellä” in English means “The battle in the sea”, this is what is story comes about, but in the video there is a different story. Aki-Pekka, who made a video, he has added some other story and we’re doing something strange as you can see: Antti is talking with the horse, for example.
- Why Antti Pitkäjärvi and Anssi never took part in your videos?
J: Actually the main reason that it was made in Iceland and it would be more expensive to take them there, but also they had some other things to do. I don’t know, maybe in next video they could be with us.
- In many of your videos there are the dancers. How did you come to this idea?
J: First it came when we were talking about the pictures for the first album covers. Aki-Pekka said that on the pictures except me and Antti should be something like maybe three people who look like the same. For example three policemen or three taxi drivers or something. He didn’t know what it would be, but also it should be a strange machine on the pictures. So I don’t know, maybe it was me or Aki-Pekka who had an idea that three people could be ballet dancers. It looks really strange: near the sea, we’re there and it’s very cold and also ballet dancers. It looks great. So we decided to ask them for this project. And also he asked our friend Jouni to make this strange machine which you can see on the pictures also. So ballet dancers appeared on the pictures then we asked if they want to come also to the video. So things just happened, sometimes by an accident.
- Or it’s not an accident…
J: I think it’s when some people are excited about something, for example me: I’m excited about making music. It’s something that I really really want to do, and then it’s just that things happened, things happened by an accident but almost any time in the right direction then you get these chances to make something with the people who also thinks this is good. That’s the way it goes.
- In the song “Afroditen Saarella” you sing about dream island Shangri-La. Why do you sing about it? Would you also to be someday in the place like that?
J: When you write a story, you think about what to be happened here: man goes to an island then he does something and so. It’s always that the writer writes something maybe from his own life. I think it’s every time when somebody tells something or makes a movie, writes a book it’s about his own life so I think that this also has happened to me somehow. Anyway I haven’t ever been in this island but it means something for me and there is this Aphrodite, I think she’s a woman from my past life, an ex girlfriend or something. So everything in the story has a meaning, I don’t know exactly what it means, but anyway it comes from something deep in my mind. About an island: maybe it’s a place everybody wants to be happy, they try to achieve it in the life, but they never get in there.
WÖYH! - Hieho
- From where do you take your inspiration for writing songs?
J: For the first album there was a story, but anyway maybe it was not so clear because it was like that: something happening and somebody is going somewhere. And I had an idea that second album could be a story that happens before the first album. So last summer I wrote maybe three pages. It was like a short story where man goes to an island and then takes statue, three stones that used to be there and goes to his home harbor. So first was the story and then I began to think what kind of song should coming from each part of the story, then I wrote the lyrics that fitting in the melody.
- If it’s not private, what is the main idea behind of this story?
J: Second album and also first album it’s something that comes from my life. But as I said I don’t really exactly know, maybe it’s something for me, but it’s like fairy tales that you read for kids 3 or 5 years old before they go to sleep. It’s great because I think it’s easier to write in that way. I can write some sad things and frightening things or something scare but it’s the stories that you can read to children. And children can listen to the records. Actually quite many people have said to me that their children 3 or 4 years old listened to it and liked it, maybe it the future they will grow and will come to listen to us.
- It’s a good sign that children like to listen to your music
J: Yes, I also think it’s good. I didn’t think it was my goal to do music for kids, I don’t want to play in kids park, I want to play in Tavastia, it’s rock music. But anyway I don’t put any bad words, I don’t need that kind of thing. And it’s interesting that quite many people who like our band like it very much and many people have made some great pictures and somebody has made some dolls. It’s very important because it mean that our music has meaning to somebody. I think it’s mostly important thing. It’s not important we would sell 20000 records if somebody listens to record just one time and then forget. So maybe we will sell 2000, but almost everybody listened to it many times and they’re inspired then.
- The last question: if you could change one thing in the world what it would be?
J: It’s difficult, I don’t know. I would stop wars, maybe fighting between the people.
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