What is "Lähdön Aika"? How would you label your band & style of music?
JK > Lähdön Aika is difficult to put in a genre, which I feel is a positive thing. For most of our existence we've been "too punk for metalfans, too metal for punkfans". I guess it's just that as music listeners and players our influences are so varied.
How did your band come to exist, and how did the group take it's form? Have there been any changes in the line-up? If so, why? How does your group get along this day?
AK > Me and Nynny [Marko Nyman, vocals] started to talk about putting a band together in 2002 but it was late summer 2003 when we started playing together cause we couldn´t find a drummer. We haven´t had any line-up changes, Pekka joined the band in early 2007 to play second guitar cause we wanted a heavier live sound.
JK > It's the usual story, someone knew someone else and asked them to form a band, and here we are almost 6 years later. More specifically, in mid 2003 Akseli wasn't in a band and I hadn't played at all for a year or so. Nynny and Niko had been in Earth Today for a long time, Akseli knew them and I did know who they are. I believe he had been talking Nynny and Niko for a while about forming a new band. I had played with Akseli in several bands before so he asked me to join the project.
The lineup has been the same ever since, except Pekka joined us on second guitar in 2007. I really don't know where Pekka came from, he was hanging out with us on one of our "tours" earlier and we asked him to join as a member later on.
As a group I feel the dynamic works really well. We complement each other quite nicely, some are just crazier than others :) Personally I'm actually somewhat of an antisocial person, but still I enjoy spending time with these guys, so for me it's a really good thing to have.
Is there a main songwriter and/or a main lyricist in your band? How do you usually come up with new songs? Your style has remained quite the same throughout time, is this a conscious choice? Where do you get the inspiration to make this kind of music? What are your influences? Do the members have similar or radically different tastes in music?
AK > Me and Niko do the the music and Nynny writes the lyrics. Our songwriting process usually is that I or Niko bring a song or some riffs to band practice and the we rehearse it and possibly make some changes and write more riffs and when it has some shape we record it on a minidisc so that Nynny can listen to it and write some depressing lyrics. Maybe we are so boring and lazy people that we don´t renew our style. Or we just don´t know how to do it. Hahah. Maybe the inspiration comes from the evereday life, the shit you see on the news and read from the newspapers and so on. The world isn´t a very nice place.
JK > So far Nynny does all the lyrics. Akseli and Niko have been doing all the riffs and we build songs from them mainly together. Riffwise none of us are really very active so I guess that's why so far it's been just those two doing all the heavy work.
When Akseli asked me to join LA, he said "join this project, we'll play slow and long songs and practise like twice a month". Well, we ended up being a "real" band immediately, and actually only a couple of our songs fit that description. Mainly mid tempo stuff. After that we haven't really talked about style, we just do what comes naturally. And what we can actually play. Mostly faster stuff that we've tried hasn't worked out because we can't really those so they sound good. At least I can't. So blast beat and d-beat stuff is something we just don't even try. So we've been sticking with the midtempo and slow stuff.
Our influences are TOTALLY different, which to me is a good thing. For the others I know there's punk, crust punk and traditional metal like Sepultura while I believe Pekka doesn't listen to metal or punk at all. I mostly listen to progressive and technical metal like Between the Buried and Me and Dream Theater. So I'm a true nerd in that sense. I've said this before but I actually don't even like punk! But then again there's stuff I like even less.
Personally I'd just like to be able to record songs the way I hear them in my head, which is how they really go, at least for me. We've done a pretty good job in that sense but still I feel there's lots of room for improvement. Some things are just that I can't play my parts so precisely or consistently as I'd like.
Does your band focus more on making releases or gigs, or which do you see more important? Is there something you are trying to achieve with your releases, what is the reason for their existance? How often do you rehearse?
AK > Well we have been quite lazy doing gigs and releases for the last couple of years. I think we did 7 gigs last year and 2 gigs in 2007. Hopefully we´ll be more active in the future. At the moment we rehearse about once a week.
In the beginning, was there something you were trying to achieve through making this style of music? Did you have a "mission"? Are you "on a mission" this day?
AK > I don´t think that we´ve ever had any "mission".
JK > Not really. We just try to spend our free time doing music we like and other stuff related to it.
What is your best & worst releases, and why? How do you see your past releases?
AK > The first MCD has worst songs and the sound isn´t very good either. And I´m not so happy with the sound on our songs on the split 7" with Brutopia. Maybe we should re-record those songs for our next release. Tuomittu has the best songs and best sound so far in my opinion.
JK > From a marketing point of view, I shouldn't say this but I'm least pleased with our most recent release, the 7" split. That's mainly for the quality of the recording. It's nothing personal to Heikki who recorded it, but I think he just wasn't the right person for us to record with.
What is your take on people downloading releases for free? Do you think that is harms your band in some way? Or do you maybe use it as an additional method for promoting your name?
AK > Our sold out MCD is already available for a free download and the songs from the split LP w/ Burn Again should be available soon too. When a record is sold out we put all the stuff to our website. I don´t think it hurts our band in any way cause there´s not much money involved.
JK > Personally I'd release everything for free with a free license right of the bat and not spend money on doing a physical print. And for the releases we've done, I'm promoting to the other guys to release as much as possible in the net. But we are a group, and we work as a group. But that is something I try to promote myself.
Generally for a small band I don't think it makes any difference. People who buy the releases usually do it if nothing else just for support because they know the money goes to the band themselves. Even when they can get everything the band has ever made from the net, most of those people would still buy releases for the support. And of course you can't download a shirt.
Is this the only band you people are involved with? Are any of you involved in any "scenes"?
JK > Niko and Nynny have Earth Today, Pekka has Eatog, I sometimes try to do other projects on my own and Akseli asked me to join in a new project which will be interesting.
How big importance do your lyrics have in your music? Do the lyrics carry a message?
JK > I feel that most of the world´s problems are the result of human nature, the way we are. For better and for worse. And that is something that won't change, ever. Since people don't change. Individual persons may experience change, may even change the world around them. But overall we'll just keep on going the human way. For many animals, people and natural resources, it's only going to get worse. But for some it'll stay the same or even get better. It really depends on the viewpoint.
We still don't have the power to actually destroy the planet, from a planet's point of view, so in that sense it doesn't really matter what we do. Only thing we can effect so far is things necessary for life. If nothing else, the lyrics give LA it's own distinctive feel. Even though in recent years using Finnish in heavy music has been on the rise, using Finnish in LA is the only way to go. It just feels natural.
The lyrics don't picture the world as a happy place. What is your opinion about nowdays' society? If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? How do you think the world will be in, for example 20 years? Better or worse?
JK > I feel that most of the worlds problems are the result of human nature, the way we are. For better and for worse. And that is something that won't change, ever. Since people don't change. Individual persons may experience change, may even change the world around them. But overall we'll just keep on going the human way. For many animals, people and natural resources, it's only going to get worse. But for some it'll stay the same or even get better. It really depends on the viewpoint.
As previously stated: We still don't have the power to actually destroy the planet, from a planet's point of view, so in that sense it doesn't really matter what we do. Only thing we can effect so far is things necessary for life. If all life would be destroyed, earth would still be rotating around the sun, without a care for life, or the lack of.
Your lyrics give me an image of a depressed person. What is your opinion about depression etc? Does the band's ideology have anything to do with mental problems?
JK > My view is that simply put, modern society and civilization is the reason for most mental illness. Feeling depressed, anxiety and fear are normal biological indications that something is wrong. The rules and expectations of a society sometimes causes these reactions but they also prevent us from changing what makes us feel that way. Our body tells us to do something but our thoughts tell us something else. After a while living with that conflict, it's no wonder that you develop mental illness. The mind needs to cope somehow.
Even though we have learned to live in a modern society, our biology hasn't changed accordingly. So the inner battles that eventually cause mental illness in some of us, are a price we pay for living in a modern civilization. Yes, I am a cynic.
What will Lähdön Aika be doing in the future, are there any planned releases or such things?
AK > More gigs and hopefully we´ll record our second full length sometime this year and find somebody crazy enough to release it.
Anything else you'd care to share?
AK > Buy our records and other merch! www.lahdonaika.com or www.myspace.com/lahdonaika
Thanks for your time.
JK > You're very welcome.