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HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? WHO ARE YOU? Fine thanks. Well rested last night. I´m at home in Jyväskylä . Just watched Conan the Barbarian on DVD. I´m Nils Ursin, the bassist of trio Niskalaukaus. FIRST OF ALL MAYBE A STUPID QUESTION: YOU NAME YOURSELF TR & TRIO NISKALAUKAUS BUT YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY 5 NOT 4 PERSONS. HOW COME? There’s no specific reason for that. It sounds better than for example Timo Rautiainen & Kvintet Niskalaukaus. At least I think so. „Trio“ kind of softens the harsh meaning of the name. “HARTES LAND” IS YOUR SECOND “GERMAN” ALBUM. WHY IS THE GERMAN MARKET OF SUCH IMPORTANCE FOR YOU AND WHO HAD THE IDEA TO “CONQUERING” OUR COUNTRY FIRST PLACE? We are not in the mission of conquering Germany. We are in our opinion actually just making our second vacation to Germany. And within the process we are able to play some of our music to a German audience. Of course it would be great if German music lovers would like our “Hartes Land” album, but these trips to Germany are more of a vacation than business trips for us. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE SONGS THAT WILL BE TRANSLATED AND HOW DOES THIS TRANSLATION PROCESS TAKE PLACE? We sit down as a group and just pick those songs up which we think sound best. The translations for this album were made by Professor Pekka Kujamäki. DO YOU ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND GERMAN LANGUAGE OR DO YOU SING WITH SOME KIND OF PHONETIC HELP? Timo has studied German language for a few years but his language skills are fairly limited. He can provide us some food and drinks “auf Deutsch” while we’re in there but basically that’s it. We, the rest of the band are hopeless on that matter. Timo’s pronunciation on the record is based on a very skilled pronunciation teacher who sat down with Timo in a singing booth throughout the studio session. THERE ARE SOME INTERESTING GUESTS ON YOUR CD, DID YOU KNOW EICCA AND TUOMAS BEFORE AND HOW DID THE CONTACT START? We actually knew the gentlemen before this record was made. Tuomas and the whole Nightwish group are friends of ours. Tuomas was with Niskalaukaus on tour in Finland as keyboardist a couple of years ago. We are very happy that both of the guys are on this record. ONE LITTLE POINT OF CRITICISM: IN MY HUMBLE OPINION I THINK THAT THERE ARE SOME FASTER TRACKS MISSING AS THE RELEASE “IN FROSTIGEN…” DID HAVE (“FERNFAHRER”). DID THIS HAPPEN ON PURPOSE? We are not so into those fast tracks anyway. We like it slow and very hard. The slower songs work better for us as in composing and playing them. YOUR MUSIC IS HARD TO CLASSIFY, THERE ARE METAL, ROCK AND GOTHIC INFLUENCES. ARE YOUR SUPPORTERS MIXED THAT WELL, TOO? WHICH PEOPLE DO ACTUALLY ATTEND A TIMO RAUTIAINEN SHOW? I don’t even try to start classifying our music. We have always said that it’s some kind of strange sad yodelling. The people in our shows are very different. There are older and younger people. There are men and women in some fancier clothes and there are boys and girls in their all blacks. So there’s no average Niskalaukaus fan I would think so. YOUR LYRICS DEAL WITH LONELINESS, ALCOHOL, SOCIAL DISTURBANCE. IS FINLAND SUCH A DARK AND CRAZY PLACE TO LIVE? THE MOVIES OF KAURISMÄKI SEEM TO PROVE THAT, TOO. No. Finland is just a joyful place than any other. That bullshit about the DEPRESSING FINLAND is just a myth. People are maybe a bit shy, but that’s the way it just is. Of course there are sad things going on but we find it to be our job to tell people about these not so merry things that are going on. We love Finland. With its good and bad things. HAVE YOU HAD DEPRESSING EXPERIENCES OF YOUR OWN SO THAT NOW YOU ARE ON A “MISSION” TO INCREASE SOCIAL AWARENESS? We just sing about the things we worry about. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT (YOUR) MUSIC CAN ACTUALLY HELP PEOPLE GET OUT OF THEIR PROBLEMS AND DEPRESSION OR DO YOU HAVE A NIHILISTIC POINT OF VIEW? We are happy because so many people have sent us e-mails and a lot of „thank you’s“. Our music has helped many people to deal with their problems and for that we are so glad. We know that we have made a difference. YOU WILL BE THE OPENER FOR SONATA ARCTICA AND NIGHTWISH IN GERMANY, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OF THIS TOUR? ARE YOU AFRAID THAT YOU ARE NOT “HARD” ENOUGH AS THE OTHER TWO BANDS ACTUALLY PLAY METAL? We expect to have fun. As I said earlier we are not in the mission of taking over the world starting from Germany so we don’t have much of expectations about it. We are just happy to see Sonata Arctica and Nightwish so many times in a row. If we were afraid of our music being too lame, we probably wouldn’t be participating on this tour. We do our stuff and others do theirs. ISN’T IT A STRANGE FEELING THAT YOU ARE SUPERSTARS IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY BUT HERE YOU WILL HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF BOTTOM UP? OR IS IT SOME KIND OF CHALLENGE YOU LIKE TO MASTER? We are just happy to play there. This really is no glory seeking mission for us. WILL THERE BE ONLY “GERMAN” SONGS IN THE SETLIST? I think so. There’s no point in singing in Finnish as long as we have German material to perform. HAVE YOU BEEN IN FINNISH TELEVISION VERY OFTEN? AND DID YOU HAVE SOME FUNNY EXPERIENCES WITH SO CALLED “POP STARS”? I don’t know how often is “often” but we have been on television for some occasions. What „pop stars“? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LARGE FINNISH GOTHIC METAL SCENE WITH BANDS LIKE HIM, TO/DIE/FOR, CHARON AND SO ON? We are glad that Finnish rock scene has finally been recognized in the world. I don’t care if it is rock/ pop/ heavy/ gothic or what ever. It’s just huge that Finnish music is out so big now. Finnish musicians work finally pays off. AND AN OFTEN USED QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR PRIVATE INTERESTS, FAVOURITE MOVIES AND BOOKS? I love Playstation. I’m now playing “Silent Hill 3”. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is the best thing that has ever happened to the movie industry. That really kicks ass. There are so many good films that I really can’t list them. Books… what are they? I haven’t read a book since sometime like 1985. I don’t have the patience for it. ANY LAST WORDS? Check us out, listen to our latest album „Hartes Land“ and enjoy. See you! THANK YOU FOR SPENDING YOUR TIME AND HOPE TO SEE YOU ON TOUR

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