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TENHI (ILMARI ISSAKAINEN)

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ANLÄSSLICH IHRES NEUEN MEISTERWERKS „MAAÄET“ (PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS) HABE ICH MICH UNTERTÄNIGST MIT TENHI IN MAILKONTAKT BEGEBEN, UM MIR EIN PAAR FRAGEN BEANTWORTEN ZU LASSEN. HERR ISSAKAINEN HAT SICH MEINER ANGENOMMEN UND SOMIT DEN TERRORVERLAG MIT INTERESSANTEN ANTWORTEN BEGLÜCKT. FIRST OF ALL: THANK YOU, YOUR NEW ALBUM IS AWESOME AGAIN. HOW LONG DID THE SONGWRITING AND RECORDING TAKE? ARE YOU – AS ARTISTS EVER – SATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS? Thank you for your words. It took enormous amounts of energy and time to make Maaäet – we started soon after we finished Väre 2002 and finally got everything in their place in the end of 2005. The process itself was fragmented to four day sessions in our UTUstudio house in the country side. Our aim was to make a bit more “band” record but eventually the songs took control over us and started to grow in strange directions. Now we are quite content with the result except the booklet which is in the first edition faulty (and is possible to change thru Prophecy). Of course there are things that keep annoying when I listen to Maaäet but they are minor things only. During the time between Väre and Maaäet Tyko Saarikko and I recorded a sequel to Airut:Ciwi as well. Airut saga continues now under own title Harmaa. Harmaa Airut:Aamujen was first released by our UTUstudio but it will be now relauched thru Prophecy. YOUR ALBUMS ALWAYS SOUND SO NATURAL AND ESPECIALLY “MAAÄET” APPEARS TO ME HIGHLY ORGANIC AND INDEED ‘EARTHY’. SEE, I’M FATALISTICALLY CONVINCED THAT THE MUSIC YOU’RE PLAYING AND PUBLISHING HAS EXISTED SOMEWHERE AND TENHI IS THE HONOURED VALVE, THROUGH WHOM THE SOUNDS ARE SPREAD – AND BANNED ON SOMETHING PROFANE LIKE VINYL OR A CD. SO, WHERE DO YOU ‘GET’ YOUR SONGS FROM? You are right there. I have the same feeling as well. Sometimes I think that our songs are lost somewhere and are to be found or discovered. Sometimes I think even that they are something that is forgotten and waits to be remembered. Personally I write often things that even I don’t understand immediately. Things happen first in a subconscious level and after I have written it down I start to develop it and finally putting it into a form that can be used in a song. THE TITLE “UUVU ORAVAN LUU / EASE SQUIRREL BONE” TRIGGERED MY FANTASY. THE SONG IS BEAUTIFUL, YET POSITIVELY STRANGE AND GROTESQUE. IT STRENGTHENED IN MY OPINION YOUR STATE AS ‘SHAMANS’ – PICTURES AND SMELLS OF NATURE, DEAD ANIMALS, CHANTING AND STUNNING VISIONS APPEAR UNQUESTIONED. DID YOU FALL UPON A DEAD SQUIRREL AND DECIDED TO MAKE A SONG ABOUT IT? The lyrics for ”Uuvu oravan luu / Ease squirrel bone” are written by Tyko Saarikko so unfortunately I cannot ease your fantasy triggered mind for this matter. But personally I think strange and grotesque are quite good words to describe it. THE TRACK LIST OF MY PROMO CD HAS YET ANOTHER SONG LISTED, “KAUSIEN RANTA / SEASONS SHORE”. IT SEEMED TO BE ORIGINALLY SOME KIND OF INTRO, BUT WHERE HAS IT GONE? WOULD THE CLOSED CYCLE STRUCTURE HAVE BEEN TOO OBVIOUS, INCLUDING THE LAST SONG “RANNALTA HAETTU / FROM THE SHORE” (BY THE WAY: I LOVE THIS SONG WITH ITS SUBTLE LITTLE WAVES DRIVING ME SLOWLY FAR AWAY)? “Kausien ranta / Seasons shore” was taken out in the last minute. It is a really strong song and it gave a wrong feel to the record so eventually we decided that the song had to go. Secondly Maaäet would have been some 70 minutes long if the song would have been on the album. I am sure that it will be released in some form in the future. IN AUTUMN 2001 I WITNESSED ONE SHOW OF THE FAMOUS AND UNFORGETTABLE TOUR WITH :OF THE WAND AND THE MOON: AND DORNENREICH – AND, YES, TOTALLY FELL FOR YOU. I WASN’T THE SAME AFTERWARDS AND SIMPLY NO WORDS COULD DESCRIBE THE LIVE FEELING OF YOUR PERFORMANCE. IS THERE A NOT TOO FAR (IN TIME AND PLACE) POSSIBILITY FOR YOUR (GERMAN) FANS TO SEE YOU (AGAIN) ON TOUR? DO YOU LIKE TOURING AND/OR PLAYING IN FRONT OF AN EXCITED AND DEVOTED AUDIENCE? We have been discussing about touring a lot, but unfortunately everything is still open. Possibly after the summer we will do some gigs. Of course it would be fantastic to come and play in Germany for our fans there, but live performance requires a lot from us and from the venues where we play for there are seven of us usually on stage bringing the songs to life. The practical reasons such as rehearsing, flying seven people to Germany and accommodating them etc. has been limiting our eagerness to come perform there. Maybe it would be different if we all would do this for living. PUTTING “MAAÄET” ON A PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYER AND ROAMING OUTSIDE OF DAILY LIFE’S SWAMP IS ASTONISHINGLY PURE AND INTENSE – EVEN THOUGH I CANNOT SPEAK FINNISH, NEITHER UNDERSTAND IT. YOUR MUSIC TOUCHES THE LISTENER ON ANOTHER LEVEL AND PROVOKES FASCINATING MOODS AND IMAGES – IS THAT YOUR FINAL GOAL WHEN YOU MAKE MUSIC? You said it there better than I ever could. WHO DO YOU THINK ARE PEOPLE LIKE, WHO LISTEN TO TENHI? I STUMBLED OVER YOU, YEARS AGO IN A METAL MAGAZINE AND WONDERED WHY THIS QUIET AND UNIQUE MUSIC WAS PUBLISHED THERE. FOR EXAMPLE THE STILLNESS BETWEEN THE TONES IS UTTERLY BEAUTIFUL. DO YOU SEE A SPECIAL CONNECTION BETWEEN (EXTREME) METAL AND TENHI? I really don’t know our audience that well, but I guess that most of our fans are related to metal, goth or such scenes. I think that there is same kind of melancholy in our music that is present in metal and gothic genres. Some have said that our music could easily be doom if we would add some distorted guitars… YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC AS ‘FOLK-INFLUENCED PROGRESSIVE MUSIC’. WHAT’S FOR YOU THE ‘PROGRESSIVE’ VEIN IN IT? I am bad person in analyzing our music but to me the progression means that we seek new ways of composing, writing lyrics or doing the art work – we do not settle for conventional solutions. We try to challenge ourselves constantly. DO YOU HAVE ANY ‘IDOLS’? WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO IN PRIVATE? In private I don’t listen that much to music. I got my daily doze of music from sitting in front of the piano or with guitar. When I put a record on it might a album from Nick Cave, Eric Satie, Joy Division, Led Zeppelin, Doors, Tool, Anathema etc. IN GERMANY WE’RE CONFRONTED WITH THE FACT THAT METAL IS RANGING AMONGST THE TOP OF FINNISH CHARTS – DOES YOUR ‘MAINSTREAM’ ALSO LISTEN TO TENHI? OR ARE YOU LESS KNOWN IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY THAN ELSEWHERE? LAST YEAR I MET TWO FINNISH GIRLS WITH A VERY GOOD TASTE OF MUSIC BEYOND MAINSTREAM – AND THEY NEVER HEARD ABOUT YOU; THAT ALMOST SHOCKED ME. Yes, we are fairly unknown in Finland and totally out of the mainstream here. Partly this is because we want to concentrate on writing and producing music than doing publicity stunts but gradually more and more people – even in Finland – are finding us. But I guess that this type of music that we play will never be popular mainstream music. ONE LAST QUESTION: ON YOUR HOMEPAGE YOU CAN LOAD UP SOME MARVELOUS BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOS NOT ONLY DEPICTING YOU, BUT ALSO A STUDIO (?) WITH SCATTERED INSTRUMENTS AND THE HEART WRENCHING HINT OF GLEAMING SUNLIGHT FLOWING OVER ALL. I MUST ADMIT, I COULDN’T IMAGINE YOU RECORDING OR REHEARSING IN SOME MURKY AND WINDOWLESS CAVE. WHERE ARE THESE PICTURES TAKEN? The pictures are mainly taken during our sessions in our UTU studio which is in the countryside. It seems to be the only place for us to do music – somehow it affects us in a very good way. The house is an old school building from the early period of 1900 and it has a great feel for doing this type of music that we do. Studio rooms were two huge class rooms with big windows so there was nicely space for sounds and thoughts to fly. Maaäet was composed and recorded in 4-5 day sessions there during 2002-2005. It was not the fastest way to do it, but there was really no option because for a while we tried to work in the city center of Helsinki but this was a catastrophe and the only results from this were few nervous breakdowns and tons of unusable material. THANK YOU VERY MUCH – AND I WISH YOU AN NICE WEEKEND. Thank You.

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