Greetings fellow citizen, and a pleasurable spring to you. How are you going to celebrate the upcoming summer?
H > This summer is going to circle around me getting married. Weddings, honeymoons and all that. In other words, I’ll try to focus on that for now and get back to the music in early autumn. Painting and writing a script for a shot film is also consuming my spare time at the moment. Things are bubbling under the surface. Eruption-time is drawing nearer by the minute.
To start this off, what are you and where did you come from?
H > I’m a humble servant of the riff from Finland. I’m the ordinary guy with the ordinary job, but my spare time is a whole other thing. Since music is a passion for me, I intend to keep thing simple and clean. To achieve this, I keep to myself and release my material over the internet for anyone willing to listen. This also gives me the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want to. I surf around ideas and concepts and execute when the time feels right.
I love being involved in the whole process around music, from the first notes to the final product. I have only one rule in my creation process: “make everything yourself”. You could say, that I am DIY incarnated. This is my gospel.
While you're picking up the pace, would you mind summarizing your career to this point?
H > My “musical career” started with a four track mods back in the 90’s. I was around 18 when I discovered the magic of electronic music through MODs. I started programming drum and bass and instrumental music I was very much into at that time. A few years later I acquired my first guitar and was completely sold. I am not a great guitarist, in fact I actually suck pretty hard, but it is great fun. Anyway, the guitar brought in completely new aspects to my music. The evolution had begun. When I met Kenneth of ówt krě things really started happening. We started experimenting with lots different ideas and set up bands and projects. We still do projects together, but mostly operate on our own.
Now to the main subject, Rízes. Would you call it more of a project or an actual band?
H > Rízes is definitely a project. Making it a live outfit would be a time-consuming project and the crowds for this kind of music is not optimal in Finland. You know what I mean? I intend to keep Rízes strictly web-based and open to all ideas.
How did you get started with Rízes and do you find it to be something of a continuum in your creations?
H > I was getting really tired of all my old projects, mostly gestaltpsychologie and Ontelo, and really wanted to start anew. Not to make the transition too harsh, I made the first Rízes release: “V – the five rivers” in the same vein as earlier gestaltpsychologie and ontelo releases, avant-garde being the main influence.
How would you describe the output of Rízes to the ignorant?
H > Rízes builds around the theme of ancient Greek culture. The vast amount of myths and legends in this rich, enchanting culture is a bottomless well of ideas and highly inspiring. The first release circles around the concept of the five rivers if Hades and utilizes Homeric exodus as a theme. The songs are instrumentals with a post rock backbone and plenty of avant-garde limbs.
Where do you draw the main musical influences from and in what kind of direction are you waiting to take the coming releases?
H > The next release will be a folk-music output of the themes already started. I am looking into classic Greek instruments and intend to make a very neo-folk inspired record. This will take some time and I might even have to recruit some singing back-up to build up a story.
What inspires the themes of your music? Do you feel there is an ongoing red line throughout?
H > The thing that inspires me the most is lost civilizations and cultures. I love hollow earth theories and high flying concepts of lost cities hidden in the mountains. It’s very motivational stuff and leaves a lot to the imagination of the listener. I also wish to keep the music and lyrics vague enough so there’s room for interpretation. Chewed out concepts are of no interest to me. I draw inspiration from classic literature like Milton and Homer and throw in some popular culture a’ la Neil Gaiman, Mike Mignola and Alan Moore and good film art. Old sci-fi mostly.
How would you describe your creative and recording process?
H > It’s a mess. I record stuff, forget about it for a long time; get back to it by accident and record new stuff. I’m a very unorganized person in this sense. I intend to streamline my way of doing things for the next release, though; take this game to a new level.
There have been some collaborations in your past, are there any particular artists, or people, you would like to collaborate with now?
H > It would be cool to make a snappy little tune with David Bowie, but since that’s unlikely to happen, I’d very much like make cross-media collaborations, visual arts vs. music, mimics and circus clowns. I’m open for anything.
You release your own material throughout the Internet, how did you come to this solution?
H > The main reason is the ease of it. This is on the other hand the problem. There’s a lot of stuff out there and it’s a real challenge to get noticed. I’m in this for the good vibrations. If someone listens to my stuff and likes it that’s just great! If no one gives a shit, that’s ok as well. As long as making music keeps me a happy camper, everything is the way it was intended.
Are there any other subjects you wish to address while you have the whole world’s attention?
H > I read this excellent book by Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go, they actually made a pretty decent film about it as well, and it got me thinking about the roles each of us lead in society. Are we supposed to categorize ourselves and lead through our lives doing certain things to keep the system up and running or do we all have a chance to change our part? What is the cost of living and how severe sacrifices can be made to uphold our way of life? Deep shit, but very thought provoking. I guess I’m trying to say that people should spend more time trying to keep themselves happy, and not worry about futile shit. Don’t be a douche, start writing music instead.
Many thanks for your time, any last regards to our readers?
H > Enjoy the summer and try not to behave.