How would you describe your music?
Joensuu Riihimäki´s music I would call it roots rock inspired by the rock, blues, folk with a touch of country. It’s our mix of music styles. We are loyal only to ourselves and we are trying to adapt all the time.
Tell us about how the history of the band?
Joensuu Riihimäki was started way back in 2013 when we met with guitarist Kari Riihimäki at the songwriter’s club I was hosting at the time. Things clicked right away and the band evolved from there, hence the name Joensuu Riihimäki (JR). Both last names are also town names in Finland.
We made a couple of new songs to the songwriters Club which I had ideas ready to go and soon we found to be looking for the same things in music and soon we played for the first gigs. First thoughts was to play as a duo but soon we realized that we need a drummer and Moilu joined the group.
First we released the single; Joe’s Café Blues/A Pale Wind Comin’ 2014. Our first album; Greetings From The Edge Of The World was released in the spring of 2015. We released our second album ’Where’s The Fire, John? in april 2016. The Third album ’Highwater’ came out 1.12.2017.
What are you influences/ musical heroes?
Well, I grew up listening to classic rock like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. As a teenager I found Hanoi Rocks and it blew my mind. Somewhere in between I started listening to Van Morrison and that kind of stuff. A lot of influences from different styles.
What inspires you?
I’m always inspired by great musicians of any genre, I listen to music across borders. Our influences are pretty different and I think you can also hear it in our music and it is the richness of the music too. I usually inspired by music like Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Esperanza Spalding etc..The beautiful scenery inspired me too, easily I start to think about our own stories in the landscape. A vivid imagination is a gift, I guess.
Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?
I usually write all the time, I write down the text of the notebook on the phone all the time. Melodies and chord progressions too. It is one of my most important tools.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
I personally really like to perform a ballad called Farewell, So long Luanne. There´s so many different dimensions on that song and the layers will change every time you play it. A Pale Wind Comin´It is also challenging in all its simplicity. One chord and
the truth. Damn it works!
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 1987
What are you current thoughts on the music industry?
It’s a really tough these days. The music industry has changed a lot in the last few years, there is a lot of opportunities to make your own music where ever you are. You have in practice, a private studio with 24/7 these days. To be different is a difficult, originality is lost in music. You will try to find your own voice and sound and believe only in yourself.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
We had a gig in Estonia, in the middle of nowhere a really small village close to the Latvian border. We had a hard to find a club where the show was. Fortunately, it was found. We made soudcheck and we went to the backstage and we were afraid, whether there will be an audience show up at all. Then `Boom!` all of a sudden, the Club was full of crowd. It surprised us, everything is possible, really!
What are your future plans?
I look forward to future gigs. The year is going to be a busy, Highwater is published on vinyl in the spring of 2018. In the summer we make festivals and, hopefully, will publish again for new music. A live album would be a great thing at some point in time, we’ll see!