1. New album UTU is already released. You recorded it in totally new composition of the band. How the changing of the band’s members affected on democracy in the group? If it’s easily or harder make the album with less members?
– When some band member leaves the band it always change the balance inside the band. At first, it’s kind of small death but after short time band starts to breath again. Something new has borned every time when this has happened. Also when new member comes to the band he or she brings something from his past and music history. That might be one reason why Värttinä is still alive. It might be boring to say but it’s also easier to decide example band meetings and gigs with smaller group.
– For many years Värttinä has recorded instrument tracks first with the help of singers. After that we record vocals. Värttinä has used guests many times also in this new album. Our own players has played also many different kind of instruments in studio album. Our new member Matti is real multi instrumentalist.
– Utu was easy to do and we recorded in short time. We singers have been singing together almost 12 years now, so singing together is almost like breathing at the same time.
2. Besides being a place to work Värttinä is a group of friends over years. Do you ever have bore or enough to be with each other?
– It’s always great to go to gigs or tours! Without good team spirit it would be a lot harder. Our concerts is usually about 75min and rest of time is travelling and waiting. Good relationships with the other band members is very important. You can imagine how often (and loud) we laugh together.
3. On Utu you working with famous Finnish world music artist, like Wimme Saari or Sakari Kukko. Who from all famous world musicians all over the world you dream about to play / co-operate with?
– I think girls would like to work with some Bulgarian choir or Goran Bregovic
4. Värttinä plays with lot of musicans through all this years in different projects (LOTR musical, Ho Orchestra, Waltari, U&N) Which is your favorite and why?
– Every project has been very interesting and important for us. We have learned so much from each of them. Some projects has been shorter and others longer. Lotr we made over 4 years and with Ho Orchestra we started to work in 2004. Our co-operation with that is still going on. U&N was really intensive session (6 weeks travelling and 32 shows) with circus and variety artists. Waltari was interesting because of so different kind of music style. We have also had concerts with symphony orchestra. That wasn’t easy first We are happy we have had opportunity to work in those projects. It’s hard to pick up only one of those great projects!
5. Soon will be the band 30th anniversary. Any ideas on celebrating? Big tour, live album, another archive dvd or maybe something completely different?
– We are waiting for next year! We have so many ideas on celebrating, and we`ll see what will happen.. We are planning tour in Finland and Europe in spring, we have new songs for the tour, big thoughts for the next album.
6. Mari always says, that it would be great to be able to perform in Africa. It is still your little dream? Africa is the mother of world music, maybe tour there could be good idea for celebrating 30th of the band.
– Yes, we are still waiting for having concert in Africa! Africa is truly the mother of world music and there is so many incredible musicians, it would be great to co-operate with some of them.
7. Finns are really serious people. You usually are very active, energetic and open on live performance. Are you the same in daily life?
– Oh, yes we are. We all are lively persons and thats why it is easy to go to the stage and be yourself. I think that some musicians are like actors but we dont have to do that. In funny way we say many times to each other “act normal”
8. Every of your gigs is not only simple performance on stage is like kind of theatrical play. You dance in some orders dressed in specific clothes, presents the meaning of the songs with body language, everything is in wonderful lights arrangement. Who is the originator of this brilliant idea?
– That´s true, our performances are comprehensive. We want all elements fits together with the music, clothes, lights, choreography and how we act on stages. We have used professional choreographer few times but mostly we make our movements and choreographies ourselves. Often some of the ideas arise on stage, somebody starts to do something and then the others follow, that´s why we always want leave space of the improvisation on the stage too.
Because we are performing mostly in abroad we try to intensify lyrics with body language, we hope it helps audience follow the stories of the songs.
– We have design our clothes together with taylor. Now we are planning new stage clothes for the next year, we want our stage clothes are unique and support our music.
9. Back to UTU album, the lyrics are similar to previous. Still the women in the lyrics are strong and independent, cast the spells on men, charm and play with them. Are you equate with your lyrical characters? The woman position in Finland always was stronger then in every other country, Finnish women were the first in Europe to gain the franchise. But even today in lots of countries all over the world women position are still very bad. Do you want to give some particular message for this woman through your lyrics?
– Yes in Finland women and men are equal, it should be the same in all over the world, but unfortunately it´s not. If our performances gives power for the women we are happy about it! But characters what we are on the stage is not the same we are in everyday life, we are not casting spells on men everyday! We only render and empathize the stories of the songs.
10. By press and fans you are often compared to witches, sirens, elfs or fairytale creatures. What do you think about this?
– It´s great if our renditions of the songs has worked so well!
11.What do you think about this, that you fans learning finnish or travelling to Finland inspired by your music?
– That´s amazing! That proofs how music can connect people! Welcome everyone!