Another from our Big List o’ Bands. Sami Joensuu of Joensuu Riihimaki tells us a little about their three-piece…
We come from Finland. From cold Scandinavia. We live in the Turku the southwestern part of Finland.
How did you meet?
I met Kari by accident and at the right time in the summer about four years ago. I needed a guitarist for a project that I was working on. Moilu joined the band a bit later. Everything happened quickly by chance, really. We knew each other but we weren’t in touch before we started playing together.
How long have you been playing as a band?
About four years now. We’ve done three albums of which I am very proud. Time seems much longer..
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Well, the name of Joensuu Riihimäki comes from our last names. At the beginning we thought we would play as a duo. Both last names are also the names of towns in Finland. The names sounded good and odd, so we took them. We know that the name is hard to pronounce outside Scandinavia.
What are your influences?
Influences will come from all sides. I’m listening to music from side to side. My greatest influences are strong songwriters such as Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Ricki Lee Jones, Van Morrison etc.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Well, I would describe our music as Americana roots rock. You can hear the nuances of different decades. Our uniqueness comes from songs and the group, we have unique energy that is transmitted through gigs and albums. It is something you must experience.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
There are no specific themes. Themes will follow the world where it runs. History comes across in a lot of the lyrics, really. Basically, songs start from lyrics, one sentence, or word. It becomes a story at some point.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
The show is energetic and different each night. Gigs are the core of the entire work. It’s always great to go to the tour. There are hundreds of gigs behind us. With this band we are doing about 40-50 gigs a year.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We use Fender Stratocaster guitars mostly and Farida acoustic guitars. Vox and Mad Professor amplifiers are in use.
What are your plans for 2018?
We started the Highwater tour just at the beginning of the year and it lasts all year. We play at least in Finland, Estonia and UK! New music is also coming at some point and the music video will surely come.