Tenhi Interview

Good evening Suomi Finland and Tenhi team.Lets start with a boring but necessary one;a brief history about Tenhi,releases,apst activities etc…

Year 2006 is Tenhi’s 10th aniversary, as the band was formed back in 1996. We did one demotape ‘kertomuksia’ in 1997, and signed a contract with german label Prophecy shortly after that. First release by them was ‘hallavedet’ ep in 1998, which was followed by debut longplay album ‘Kauan’ in 1999. ‘Airut:ciwi’ -ep was released in 2001 and it’s successor, the second longplay album ‘Väre’ in 2002. Now, almost four years after ‘Väre’, the third longplay album ‘Maaäet’ is released in February 2006.


What are the Tenhi’s main musical influences?

All three of us have grown up with metal music, which has affected the way we think about music and the way we make music. We have drawn influences from several music styles such as folk, metal, ambient and progressive rock etc, and I think we have created a personal mixture out of them. For me the most influential band is maybe 70’s Pink Floyd, but it’s not the only one of course and the other members have their own favorites, which differ from mine.


The new Tenhi album,namely “Maaet” is already our through German Prophecy Prod uctions.How are the feedback to this albums so far?

The first press reactions are looking great. We’ve got some album of the month -titles and a bunch of really good reviews. We’ve been quite excited about the feedback, as we think the album is more difficult to approach than it’s predecessors.


On the other hand,how was the recording period for “Maaet”?Did you record it in Finland or in Germany?

We recorded it in our own UTUstudio in the heart of Finnish countryside. This is the first time we took care of the whole production from recording to mastering by ourselves.


Tenhi’s “artwork” view is wuite original indeed,i mean as far as i undertsand you give big importance to the album artwork as well as band photos etc.So what is the importance of the “image” for you in music?

Like with all our previous albums, also with Maaäet we had the feeling that it’s somehow incomplete until we have the album graphics to ‘summarize’ the concept. We see the albums as entities, in which music, lyrics and artwork fulfil each other. Everything begins with the music, but the process of creating the songs is rather subliminal and lyrics and pictures help us to visualize and concretize it.


Besides your own work – what do you think were the best metal albums of the last few years?

Concerning metal music, I’ve got a conservative taste and I haven’t been following the scene for many years… I used to listen to death and black metal ten years ago, but I lost my interest in that stuff. For me, the best metal albums are still ‘Master of Puppets’ by Metallica and ‘Reign in Blood’ by Slayer. Compared with those masterpieces, there hasn’t happened anything remarkable in metal scene since 1986. Well, ‘La Masquerade Infernale’ by Arcturus is really extravaganza but it is a fascinating album, I have to say.


And the best recent non-metal albums?

‘And the glass handed kites’ by MEW.


Are any of you family people? You know, spouse, kids, fido, and the white picket fence etc.?

Not yet, but you never know what life is going to be like in twenty years… I’m not engaged or married but I have a girlfirend. No-one of us has kids or anything, every generation seems to think about family matters later than previous generations.


And,related with the previous question;;Are you married? And what kind of effects could marriage have on the creativity of the artist? Have you ever thought of this? It sure one may be more creative when he is alone,yet what about a man married with children!?

As I said I’m not engaged or married but I have a girlfirend. I don’t know whether marriage and having children would affect the creativity of a person, moreover they just affect the use of time, and maybe you wouldn’t have the same possibilites for rock’n’roll lifestyle anymore…


Are you satisfied as a musician with the music you create in Tenhi? Have you ever through that something like you have to create something else in order to satisfy your ambitions?

Personally I am satisfied with Tenhi, but earlier I was involved in some other projects and maybe I’ll do something else in the future. At the moment I couldn’t just find the time for anything else. Tyko and Ilmari have their Harmaa band, which released the debut album ‘airut:aamujen’ a year ago. Ilmari also plays in a ‘doomy’ metal band Mother Depth.


How much time does the band actually spend together – writing, in the studio, or even socially?

We see each other quite often even though we weren’t particularly working on something with the band. We’ve known each other for over ten years and have been really good friends from the beginning. It’s important to know the people you operate with on such profound level like we do. We don’t have any regular schedule for rehearsals etc, we do things when we feel like it. UTUstudio is in the countryside, so usually when we go there we spend several days doing nothing but music.


When writing the songs for the Tenhi- it is music first, then the lyrics, or is it concept first then melody then lyrics, or … how do the songs come together?

The process starts when one of us comes up with the idea for a song – the feeling and most of the riffs. Then the others give their own support for the idea, and it is processed further. Thinking of the creative process of Maaäet, we constructed the songs as if we would’ve been doing a painting or a piece of sculpture. When we worked on a small detail, it changed the whole composition. When we added or took off a layer, it changed again the details. We felt that the ‘painting’ wasn’t finished until the very last brush strokes had been laid on the ‘audio canvas’. The process is intuitive and subliminal, and most of the songs on Maaäet went through a long process of changes.


What elements of metal – or of music in general – would you like to try in the future?

I think we have clear traits which to follow, there’s always going to be a continuum through all Tenhi albums and the sound will we recognizable even though we want to develop it all the time. Whatever we add to the concept, it has to serve the aims we have. We might well use for example distorted guitars, but that would be for achieving a raw feeling to a song, not just for using distorion. All three of us have grown up with metal music and I still listen to bands like Slayer and Metallica. I think we’ve inherited many traits from metal music to our way of doing music, speaking for example of attitude and sincerity.


Your songs tend to be very dark. Is an expression of your personality, or is it just for the music?

The feelings we disentangle into the music are the emotions, which otherwise might be hard to express. We turn them into music and thus create a sort of positive aura from them. It’s easy to present happiness by laughter, but it’s much harder to express the sombre emotions or to talk about them. For us it feels natural to express those feelings through music, while silent melancholy is typical for the Finnish disposition.


What do you think of the fact that more an more people in Northen Europe commit suicide?Could it be a kind of phenomenon?It’s in our disposition. People aren’t able to handle the melancholy the’re born with and the sombre moments and feelings in their lives. At least Finnish people and specially men aren’t capable of talking about their emotions, which usually leads to silent withdrawal, heavy use of alcohol and eventually suicide. And the fact that it’s really dark here in autumn and wintertime doesn’t ease that pain.


Meantime Where did the title “Maaet” come from?

Maaäet in Finnish dialect for ‘Mother earth’. One of the album’s themes is accepting life as a cycle and giving back the energy to the earth. The title refers to this. It’s about finding ourselves and our places and understanding that giving away something means moving on at the same time.


Ok. If you have some other side projects then mention about them here. I have a strange feeling that you have some I haven’t heard about yet…

As I told earlier, Tyko and Ilmari have their Harmaa band, which released the debut album ‘airut:aamujen’ a year ago. Ilmari also plays in a ‘doomy’ metal band Depth. We have a studio collective ‘UTUstudio’ for which Ilmari and Tyko are also mostly responsible. Besides music, we do creative work in our daily jobs.


What do you think about changes in the zines creation? I mean changes that are caused because of the computerization and mainly slow decay of the dedicated printed zines. Do you think that the situation will turn round and we will desire xeroxed zines not webzines in the near future?

I think webzines are great as you reach a lot more people with them and distribution and access are very easy. The problem is that the info gets easily lost in the web, and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.


Are all the members of Tenhi full-time musicians? What kind of day-jobs do you have?

Besides music, we have our daily jobs in the creative fields of architecture and design.


Thanks Tenhi a lot for your majestic help.Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most please?               

 “Silence is consent.”


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