Ahead of the Finnish Eurovision selection UMK we were priviledged enough to grab Lauri from The Rasmus and ask him some questions about the Finnish Eurovision selection and the band. Learn more about how the group was formed, their journey to the national selection, and what we can expect from them on February 26th by reading below!
Hello there everyone – thank you for interviewing with us! For those who are encountering you for the first time, why don’t you give our readers a quick introduction into who you are?
So I’m Lauri from The Rasmus, we are a Finnish band from Helsinki formed in ’94. We started as a school band, the first gig we ever played was in the 8th grade when we were like 15 years old. It was a Christmas party at school, but we actually have known each other before that, since we were in the third grade. So being in the band has really been like a lifetime thing for us and uh we hope that it continues, there’s no better way of living your life than being an artist in a rock band!
Wonderful thank you! Your participation was a big surprise to Eurovision fans when they announced the participants for UMK. What has life been like since the announcement was made?
Yes we announced that we are taking part of the UMK and kinda make our way to Turin to represent Finland in the Eurovision. So this news is big news for us and we are very excited about this, we’ve been thinking about this for many years already. A lot of fans have been asking “When will The Rasmus take part in this?” But I think last summer I came up with the right kind of a song that felt like this had potential to take part in the competition and also the time was right. Because we had been struggling with COVID for the last two years, and it’s been really painful and boring and everything – but fun. We really wanted to do something exciting and something challenging, and this seems like the perfect thing to do. It has such a positive vibe and this is what we really need at this moment.
As you mentioned, the group was first formed in 1994, but I know that Emilia is a very recent addition to the group. What has it been like to bring her on board, especially right before this project began?
Yes we have been together for ages, since ’94 (chuckles), since we were just kids but recently Emilia (Emppu) joined our band as a new guitarist. She got to be part of The Rasmus last September so it’s really exciting for us, of course, to have a new member because she is a fantastic guitarist. And she has a great personality too, she is very funny and she fits the group just perfectly. She’s also played the guitar since she was five years old, and she’s played in other bands before. So she kinda knows what it’s like to be on the tour, what it’s like to travel, what it’s like to do a lot of work cuz this is what it is about. It looks easy but it’s actually a lot of work! (chuckles again).
So I think for her also its a great opportunity to do something awesome cuz we have fans all over the world, we are making world tours, and she gets to be part of that. We are excited to show her the world and all The Rasmus fans all around the world. It’s going to be so much fun.
Your music is often described using a variety of genres. If you had to describe your music to someone else what words or phrases would you use?
I think our music is a combination of a lot of things, like when I started my musical career I was five years old and my parents put me to play piano. I had piano lessons when I was really young but I didn’t really like it. But I’m grateful for my parents that they introduced me to music and I was doing something with it everyday. Later on I changed to classical guitar, and then I got really excited about it and made some progress too.
So my background is kind of classical, but my passion for music has always been rock music. So I think in our music it’s a little bit of both – there is a slight influence of classical music in there but the energy and the balls come from the rock I listen to!
Now you all have had a long and successful music career – what made you decide to participate in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2022 this year?
We have a long career behind us and we are always looking for some new exciting things to do – and like I mentioned COVID has been really bad for a couple of years now. We have not played any concerts, last show we played was in Mexico City 2020 in March so almost 2 years ago. So it’s devastating situation so we really wanted to do something and we saw this as an opportunity to do something with the band, have something to conquer and have something to aim for. Once we started this whole process it’s been so much fun – every part of it: rehearsing, building the set, the show.
So, you decide to participate, and you submit “Jezebel”. Can you tell us a bit more about the meaning behind the song and tell us how it was written?
Yes our song is called “Jezebel” and it is about this rebellious girl. She’s a strong independent woman with attitude, she’s dangerous and bad company to you but still you want to be with her and can’t get enough of her. They say girls fall in love with the bad guys but in our song it’s kind of flipped around!
I can imagine that the preparation process for UMK has been pretty busy – what has the process been like ahead of the show?
Last couple of weeks and months have been pretty busy preparing the show for UMK and every day we have rehearsals of some kind. Practicing singing of course, but also the movement on stage, everything that happens in the performance. Which is technically challenging and we’re close to the show and haven’t been able to nail everything. So it’s exciting that we are on our way there but we still have a lot of work to do!
For us with a new lineup, with Emilia (Emppu) playing the guitar, it’s a great opportunity to do something together that is challenging and in a way bringing us together as a group. And we’ve been really enjoying this ride already now – and we hope that we’d be able to win and represent Finland in Turin and the Eurovision! That would be fantastic.
And based on your lyric video for “Jezebel” I imagine that we are in for a big show on February 26th. Are there any teases or hints you can give us about what we might see on stage?
We have such an incredible show coming for the song “Jezebel”. Can’t tell you much right now but it’s technically very challenging, it’s going to look very fresh and maybe something you haven’t seen before. At least not in the Eurovision.
As you know, the winner of UMK 2022 will go on to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest this May. Are you fans of the contest?
Eurovision as a concept is beautiful – originally formed to unite the countries after the war which is a beautiful thought first of all. But I also think it’s nice that every country picks their own musical artist to represent their country in this competition. It’s a competition but it’s also very playful and about good vibes. So especially after these corona times it something that people need, something fun, something positive.
Now for those who want to connect with you ahead of or after UMK, where can they find you and your music?
If you want to follow us the best place is on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and also the website therasmus.com. That’s where all the gigs are and we’ve released some part of the tour starting in October or November, we’ll be going mostly to cities in Europe but also Russia and there’ll be a lot more gigs next year. And maybe even this summer depending on how things are with corona – we’ll see how it goes but looks pretty good right now! I’m optimistic.
Alright, one final question for you – is there any message you’d like to share with our readers?
We want to thank all of our fans who have been so dedicated to the band for many years. It’s fantastic that we are finally soon able to be on tour again and meet you in person, give you some good hugs, and have fun with you at the concerts. That’s what we are waiting for!
Well once again I want to thank you again for your time and we wish you the best of luck in UMK!