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Interview by: Reija Myllynen
Variant is a very promising 4-man pop-rock name in the finnish underground scene we spotted at Emergenza Festival Finland. We spoke to them after their show at Louhela Jam festival in their hometown, Vantaa. Majority of their songs are in Finnish but they have something in English as well.
Singer-guitarist Elias = E
Drummer Jasper = J
Bass guitarist Tuukka = T
Interviewer = R
R: Let’s start about feelings, you have success from Emergenza behind and today you were up on the stage at Louhela Jam, what are the vibes?
E: Actually really good, we’ve had a couple of big gigs (Finale at Nosturi and Louhela) within a few weeks. Really nice getting to play on big stages.
T: I had quite an awesome feeling when we played that gig there. I feel really great just now when we’ve had those big gigs. It was kinda natural feeling on stage today. Everything went as planned.
J: Yeah, I feel really great too now when it feels like we didn’t have so many gigs in the autumn and now that we have a gig every couple of weeks. To get constantly more experienced.
R: How do you feel about playing on those stages?
E: We’ve got so much used to playing on smaller stage, bars etc. that it’s a little bit easier getting contact with friends. Now when we had this stage so big that it felt like the friends are somehow further away, that because of it it’s somehow different to play on a big stage.
R: Then about the band’s history, how did your thing got started?
E: This begun in Vaskivuori’s highschool, that we all came to a music-highschool and we were all on the first semester, and nobody knew anybody at all. And then it just… Actually I don’t quite remember how it went…
T: I do! Yeah umm, that Elias had asked Aleksi to play when he was convinced about Aleksi’s guitar skills, after having seen him play when we were on first (semester). And then he asked Jasper to play drums because he knew how to do it and then Jasper said that Tuukka knows how to play bass, even if in reality I hadn’t played bass but maybe two times before that. And then I just kinda pushed myself in and that’s how this thing started, so Elias founded this band.
R: Then let’s have a look at the future, so what do you have coming and what’s going on?
E: 20th of June we play there at Tavastia’s downstairs, in Semifinal. That it’s a bit bigger gig we’ve got coming up.
J: And we’re possibly going to Kallio Block Party too, if we just get it fitted into our own schedules, we’ve been invited there too.
R: So that’s going on… How about any albums or EPs? You have quite a lot of songs ready afterall.
E: Yeah, we really do, but then later in the autumn we’ll really start releasing our stuff, and it could be that we get a single out this summer. But it’s still a question mark, and that’s all about it.
R: Then about that songwriting process, who does and what?
J: Elias does the songs, except that Aleksi’s song, that we three did all together.
T: Yeah, our Elias is quite a hard worker in making music with a computer, so he always brings us a new demo, and we’ll agree that it’s a good one and we start playing it. Of course it still takes its form, but since we get good songs from there so why we’d be against it?
E: Yeah, that’s how it has been going for us, but they’ll form into our sounding music together. It can be like that I have an idea about how the drums go and still Jasper plays like he sees fit, which is great.
R: What about the inspiration, influences? Where those come from?
E: Gösta S, has influenced me the most when writing lyrics, is very close to my heart and absolutely brilliant lyrics. Composing is really hard to tell about because they’ve been coming from here and there.
R: Then traditionally, let the word free for a moment, so what Variant wants to say?
E: Great thanks to everyone who has come to see us, it’s a really important to us. Special thanks to the people in Vaskivuori Highschool.
T: Well now when there’s debate about are special educational paths are necessary, that it feels like the conversation is obsolete, they’re essential.
J: I’d like to thank especially our teacher Pekka Rautio, who has helped us a great deal and was watching us today.
E: Yeah and for those who heard about us for the first time, if you like, come and listen to us more on our shows.
Photos by: Juho Karila