If you are into music and travel, the Finnish multi-instrumentalist Ukri Suvilehto may be a great inspiration.
The guy was the first Youtuber in Europe to get endorsement from the biggest drums and percussion company in the world, Pearl Drums, when he was just 16 years old. Besides playing in great bands, he likes Brazilian bands such as Korzus, Sepultura and Krisiun and he is super nice, accessible and has already lived in Brazil.
Ukri gave an exclusive interview to Imprensa do Rock.
Let’s get to know more about this musician?
Find below the exclusive interview with the Finnish multi-instrumentalist Ukri Suvilehto.
Imprensa do Rock: First of all, thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn more about your work. You are currently playing drums for Abbath, you’ve also played the drums for the Finnish band Whispered and you have a very interesting solo project, an EP called “Syövereistä” which was released in 2013. In this project, you basically did everything by yourself, including releasing it independently. So, there are a few questions I’d like to ask you about this project. How would you translate “Syövereistä” to English? I’ve used Google translator, but it wasn’t very helpful so I’d like to learn it from you.
Ukri Suvilehto: The best translation I could come up with is “From the depths”. Syövereistä is a little bit more complex word and in this context it has a symbolic meaning. However, this translation is quite accurate so I’d go with it.
Imprensa do Rock: What inspired you to start this solo project?
Ukri Suvilehto: It is a bit difficult to say how or when this project was formed. The first actual instrument I started playing is electric guitar, which always served me as a tool for songwriting. I took it up at the age of seven and ever since I have been writing my own music. I feel that I have strong musical vision over many elements – from songwriting to performance on different instruments and production. However, I never pursued my creativity in a larger context with bands I have been involved with. To fully pursue my capacity and vision, it was a natural step for me to create a project where I could personally decide over every aspect.
In 2012, I went through a major positive shift in my consciousness and well-being. As a result of this, creativity bursted open in me like a huge rush and I was determined to pursue more in my solo project. Syövereistä was a natural outcome of this process, which was my second solo release. To add a little detail indeed, in 2010 I released an EP called ‘Todellisuus‘ under the name Psykoosi. This release isn’t very familiar for many, however to me it’s personally important project I did. It’s available on my Youtube channel.
Imprensa do Rock: In this project, you do the vocals, drums, guitars. You are your own band. What were the challenges of creating such complex work?
Ukri Suvilehto: There were not so huge challenges in creating Syövereistä. Not at least as difficult and vast processes as I have underwent with my later work that is yet unfinished. In fact, creating Syövereistä was almost like magical work for me. It was so naturally flowing process, bursting with inspiration and creative madness. It would be easier to describe what were not the challenges in making this record. The biggest actual challenge everytime creating a new record is of course the absolutely massive amount of work – everything is basically in your own hands. You do all the songwriting, arrangements, lyrics, production on different stages, performance of various instruments, most of the recordings, working with featuring artists, co-working with sound engineer, even doing your part in creating the album art and releasing the record. Also finally promoting it by yourself.
Imprensa do Rock: Although it was a solo project you have had help. Could you tell us a little about the people who have collaborated with you during this project?
Ukri Suvilehto: Lars Eikind, a talented musician and fantastic singer known from the band Before The Dawn helped me with some of the orchestral material. I sent him my arrangements for different string orchestrations, which he ran through his sample libraries, worked on dynamics and re-arrarenged some of my material. Another featuring musician was Jari Haipus of Vermivore. He has a soulful touch to playing guitar and I got him to play a lead guitar part on the third track. Another artist behind the artwork was Mirka Anttonen. I found her via her work with another band and I asked her to collaborate. She showed me one of her painting scetches she had crafted heavily influenced by a dream she had. It perfectly matched the theme of my record. We post-processed the art digitally with my talented brother Otso Suvilehto. For the sound production, Juho Räihä was the responsible professional on spot. He does a full-time job at his studio SoundSpiral Audio, also plays guitar for Swallow The Sun. He recorded the drums, also mixed and mastered the EP. I joined him at his studio during mixing and mastering the record.
Imprensa do Rock: You released this EP in 2013, it is available for free on Youtube and bandcamp. You are also very active on your social media channels and really approachable to people interested in your work. How do you see the work of a musician today regarding social media interaction, easy and free access to the songs and promotion of your work through these channels?
Ukri Suvilehto: Well, I was the first Pearl Drums artist in Europe whose endorsement deal was based in activity in social media. In my teenager years I reached worldwide audience through my YouTube. I was also a guy whose career and largely even social identity was strongly dependent on social media – and quit it almost entirely for years with consequences, however with more important personal lessons learned. Social media has undoubtly became the biggest channel for artists to share their work. This naturally includes it’s pros and cons. I personally have no problem that the old modalities of music marketing are vanishing. Everything is in a constant change and needs to be. However, as much as social media can enrich and enligthen people’s lives, I think there’s is a strong tendency for people to become more dull, unaware, ego-centered and addicted.
Imprensa do Rock: You’ve been on tour with Abbath and you’ve traveled to many countries, including Brazil. Do you have the opportunity to listen to bands from the countries you visit? Do you know any Brazilian bands?
Ukri Suvilehto: Usually there are possibilities to hear music when traveling, work-related or not. Of course I know Sepultura. I also know Korzus, Andre Matos and Krisiun to name a few.
Imprensa do Rock: We sincerely appreciate you taking the time talk to us about your work and we hope to see you here soon. Is Brazil on your tour plans?
Ukri Suvilehto: Thank you very much indeed! Brazil is definitely on my touring and traveling plans, when the right time will hit!
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