Tämä on artikkeli on poimittu NKVD Recordsin nettisivuilta.
This article originally appeared in NFH #22 in the winter of 1992.
bass player Jussi Santalahti paints a picture of the Finnish club
scene of two years ago. Rap bands. Speed metal bands. And here are Pojat
playing a whole set of Boys covers with lyrics translated into
Finnish and trying to make headway. Seems like no way they'd have a
chance, right? But with help from their spiritual mates Ne Luumaet
and Luonteri Surf (not to mention Klamydia), they've
turned the Finnish scene on its ear and now it's to the point where
Jussi is ready to state that this summer will witness the entire country
going nuts for Ramones-styled rock and roll. Summer means
festival time in Finland...each weekend there are four or five outdoor
festival around the country with several bands at each. The sun's
finally out, and out late into the evening every night, it's warm enough
to wear shorts and t-shirts, and everybody tries to cram a year's worth
of living into about 3 months. Pojat plays as many festivals as they can;
usually there are about 5 really significant ones, and this summer one
will stand out above all the rest because the Ramones are due to play.
Jussi thinks this festival will blow the dikes out.
(pronounced Poy-ot) means "the Boys" in Finnish. The band was
started by Jussi and Miika in the spring of 1989 to have some fun
in some university clubs. They played a short set of Boys songs while
singing lyrics translated from the original into Finnish. It wasn't
meant to become anything serious. But a funny thing happened...they
found that this stuff was really fun to play, so they recruited a
permanent drummer (Manu Ojanen) and second guitar player (Mikko
first gigs were in Helsinki and in Tampere", says Jussi. "Today
we do some ten gigs per month all over Finland. And that's really all
over Finland...in the first year we mainly played in clubs in big cities.
Well, what's a big city in Finland...in Helsinki and Turku and Tampere.
But soon after that, about one year ago, we started playing in all kinds
of places, and during the summer we have many festivals here in Finland
and we are playing in some of them."
they still play the occasional pizzaria, they don't play so many Boys
songs anymore; now their set is mostly their own material, which is of a
similar style to the Boys or Ramones and rivals either band for
brain-eating catchiness. They keep three or four Boys songs in their
repertoire, of which they might play two in a typical gig. They also
toss out a Ramones cover now and then. Their Irti lp has
one, "She Belongs To Me", which evolves into
"Siipi Lonksuu Niin", a translation chosen not
because it makes any literal sense but because the three Finnish words
are pronounced in a way that makes them sound very much like the English
words. "We and Ne Luumaet were sitting in a bar when the dj played
"She Belongs To Me". We all agreed that it is a fine song",
says Miika. "So we decided to do it also by translating the chorus
line directly to Finnish. Makes hardly any sense but is still a fine
is Pojat's second lp; the first one is just titled Pojat.
There's also two or three singles...all I've been able to track down is
the Irti lp, and I can say that it's a great one without
reservations. Twenty consecutive songs of catchy punk pop.
a bit difficult to explain what Irti means", says Jussi.
"We thought when we got the name and the album cover that it would
be something like when you are stuck with something and people thought
that we are just another Ramones band and we have a straight line to go
that way, and we thought that that's not how it will be after this album.
Irti means something like "get away" or "get loose".
Something like that. One of the ideas was Jailbreak in English
and maybe Jailbreak and the Finnish word Irti has
something to do with each other."
the songs on Irti are sung in Finnish, but it doesn't set things
back at all...the good time feel of the music has a pull that translates
in any language. And it's gotta be helping Pojat's cause in Finland to
play this sort of thing in a way that Finnish kids can relate. For me,
it's a real kick to hear a song like the great Radio Stars hit "Dirty
Pictures" reworked with these huge guitars and strange
as I've said, their own songs, written in the same spirit, are as good
as the classics they cover. Miika translated the song titles for me and
said a bit about each...for example, there's "Sheenako Se
Todella On" ("Is It Really Sheena"), which is
about Sheena (from the Ramones songs) coming back to Finland from
California and wandering about the streets of Tampere. Then there's
"Hankeen Seisomaan" ("Standing In A
Snowdrift"), a anti-surf/summer song that Miika says he must have
written while suffering from a fever. Or "Thaimaa"
("Thailand") which has lyrics that Jussi wrote to go with the
Ramones' "Time Bomb", but they didn't like how
that worked out so they wrote new music around the words. It seems that
a lot of their song ideas come from extending themes in punk classics in
this way. It's an effective way to write a tune, judging from the
although the Ramones and Boys are such a strong influence if you ask
Jussi what other music he likes the first name that pops out is AC-DC.
He'll then rattle off the Jam and Clash, but then declares
that he's very interested in 70s heavy rock. ZZ Top gets a
mention. Very unexpected given Pojat's sound. But then Jussi has to be
broad minded as he works booking bands in a pub. So when asked about the
local scene he has this to say: "Of Finnish groups, I don't know. I
have no favorites. I have lots of things to do with music because here
where I'm sitting and talking right now I'm working here and I book
bands and I have to listen to all kinds of music. So about Finnish
groups, there are good ones and there are not-so-good ones as all over
doesn't buy the idea that Finland (and Europe in general) is suddenly
experiencing the birth of a great scene. "I think that all the time
there have been good groups in Finland and Sweden and all of Europe",
he says, "but the possibilities to get to know about them have been
poor. Today the situation is better and you are interested in European
groups, to get in touch with them. So we know a lot about European
groups today. Ten years ago there were only two or four Swedish groups
that came here to play and got a name here. Today there are lots more
and people are more interested in other music, too, not only American
and English rock and roll, but also European, French, German, Swedish
and so on. I'm sure that good bands have always existed, but today the
situation is better; bands send tapes and get in touch with other people."
possibilities for Pojat to cross pollinate within the European scene
haven't been so great yet. Miika and Jussi have played Sweden with a
previous band, but the crowd was almost all Finnish ex-patriots living
in Stockholm with the result that they felt like they really didn't get
the foreign gig experience at all...it was more like they were still at
home. Maybe that will change as their music hits a wider audience. This
summer they record a new single in August and then a new lp for release
in the beginning of 1993. In the meantime, they prepare to unleash the
summer of Ramones-punk on unsuspecting Finland. Good luck to 'em!