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Freak Valley Festival Interview Nr. 6 – Kaleidobolt

(pmck) The last day of this year’s FVF. It’s sad and at the same time good, I am pretty tired by now. The festival was awesome, the interviews were great and I can’t wait to be here next year. My last interview on the FVF this year is with the rather underrated Kaleidobolt, a three piece Proto Metal from outer space band from Helsinki. They have been playing together since 2014 and played an amazing set this morning at the „Wake n‘ Bake stage“. They don’t only look like rockstars… when it somes to that, they are the real deal.

Pearl: Sitting with me are Marco, Sampo and Valtteri of Kaleidobolt. Hello! It is nice to finally meet you in person. I really enjoyed the show at the „Wake n‘ Bake Stage“ earlier on.

Kaleidobolt: Thanks! And hello.

Pearl: How did you start playing together back in 2014?

Marco: We started as strangers. We met on an online musician database, where you just put up an ad to find musicians to start a band with. Before living in Finland I was living in London and I played in a band there. Kaleidobolt is the second band I’ve ever worked with.

Pearl: Which music did you grow up with?

Marco: I was always eclectic. I listened to everything from Country to Jazz, to Hip Hop…

Sampo: When I was a teenager, I was a total Metal head. I have played the guitar since I was 11 and would only play Metal songs. I also played in a metal band back in the day, but in the last few years I have been listening to and playing mostly jazz.

Valtteri: I have played the drums for most of my life, since I was 10 or 11. I actually started playing long before I was really interested in music. I used to listen to a lot of Punk or Metal, and have always had more and less serious band projects through the years… But Kaleidobolt is the first band which I actually go on tour with, etc. Right now I have two other projects. A Hardcore band and a Punk band. Sampo actually plays with me.

Sampo: Oh yeah, man, I had totally forgotten, haha.

Pearl: Marco, as a bass player, do you listen to a lot of funk? And do you enjoy it?

Marco: I enjoy it, yes. But I don’t listen to a lot of it that often… yeah, maybe I should. Funk is a genre where the bass guitar takes on an athletic mode. It is really interesting and tasty.

Pearl: Let’s talk Kaleidobolt music. You have two released albums. How were the creative processes of both albums different from each other?

Valtteri: For the first album, a lot of the ideas and riffs came from Marco. It was stuff he had had ready even before we even met. Then in the second album we created everything together.

Sampo: We recorded our first album in April 2014, only four months after our very fist rehearsal. We hadn’t played any gigs yet. We didn’t know if we were going to release the album, we just went to a friend’s studio and recorded some stuff, and had fun. We recorded it live, so it does have a raw factor. I think it sounds great, actually. The sound engineer also did a great job capturing it. The second album ist really more polished than the first one. We got a fancier studio, the songs were a collaborative effort of all three of us… and that is the path we are trying to follow now. We don’t enjoy jamming a lot to compose songs, though.

Pearl: You are based in Helsinki. That is so awesome, I would love to go there sometime. Did you grow up there?

Sampo: I was actually born in Germany. Two years after that we moved to Finland. I was living in the countryside when I started playing music… And well, the music scene there was pretty shitty. And as I am not that big fan of Melodic Death Metal, at some point I moved to Helsinki to be able to be in touch with more music scenes. I think 5 years ago? Yeah… I just had to get away from my „home town“.

Valtteri: Well, I lived right outside the north of Helsinki until I was 19 and then I moved there. Not because of the music scene, though. I went there to study.

Marco: I am Italian. I also just moved to Helsinki 5 years ago.

Pearl: Also because of the music scene?

Marco: No, because of love, actually.

Pearl: Cute. Do you come from musical families? Did your families encourage you to make music?

Sampo: My family wasn’t specially musical. None of them played anything. But they always encouraged me to play. I started with piano, they made me play it for quite a while…

Pearl: MADE you?

Sampo: Haha, yes pretty much. When my mom turned 50, she really wanted this white relic Fender Stratocaster, which she got for her birthday. But she has never played guitar.

Marco: Where is it now, actually?

Sampo: At my parents place, unplayed. She should get a glass box for it or something.

Marco: Or you could just play it.

Valtteri: Well my dad is a visual artist and my mom is totally into art and culture as well. They encourage me a lot to do something creative. Maybe not specifically music… but of course they don’t discourage it. They listen to better music than most people’s parents. And my older brother also always played in bands, so it was all kinda organic when I started playing. One evening I just decided I wanted to play an instrument. I couldn’t decide between the guitar or the drums, but since my brother had drums, I tried them out and I liked it.

Marco: I don’t come from a musical family at all. My parents don’t play anything, but my dad does like a lot of seventies rock. I have crystal clear memories of him playing Deep Purple to me when I was a really young child. That music used to terrify me. But at the same time, it was fascinating to me. I m sure that some of that stuck with me.

Pearl: Tell me a little about the oh-so-loved music scene in Helsinki.

Valtteri: There are a lot of shows. And many venues for whatever kind of music. The people there aren’t very genre-orientated. The most people who are into music listen to all kinds of it and go to all kinds of shows. I think it is pretty common there for people to start with Punk and Metal and then expand their music taste from there, though.

Pearl: Can bands develop a good network in Helsinki?

Marco: For me it’s honestly the best scene I have ever seen for that. It is not that big of a city, so the musicians know and help each other a lot, and there are a lot of bands with awesome musicians. A lot of great Jazz musicians and Punk bands and a few good Psychedelic Rock bands. Because there aren’t that many people there, everyone is kind of eclectic and the word spreads easily.

Pearl: Are there many tours going on in Finland?

Marco: Yeah, but not like in Germany, for example. In Germany you are always within 200 km of pretty good venues to play at. In Finland, we have this enormous country with only 5 million people living there. So you drive through hundreds and hundreds of kilometers of forests and nothingness before you come to the next city. Finland doesn’t fit in many routes either because it is so far from anything else. You always have to get a ferry to get to Sweden or drive a long way to the Baltics from the east side, so it is difficult and expensive to make that work. But totally worth it.

Pearl: The only thing it is not worth it for is probably the alcohol prices…

Sampo: Well yes, the prices are pretty high, but not as high as in Norway.

Pearl: And it is socially accepted to drink a lot in Finland, as it is in Germany?

Valtteri: It is culturally encouraged, actually, yes… Not officially, but… a lot of people drink a lot of booze in Finnland. To keep you warm and to take the edge off.

Pearl: Is there a new album in the making already?

Sampo: Yes, we have material for a new album, but we haven’t booked a studio yet. We are going to record soon, though. The rest remains secret for now, haha. Other than that, we are touring right now. We are going to be playing in London for the first time now, we are pretty excited about that. And also about going back to Berlin, that is always a highlight. Best crowd and best atmosphere there.

Pearl: What is the biggest struggle on the road for you?

Sampo: I would have to say clean underwear and socks. I pretty much suck at packing. And the van’s smell. That is always awful and pretty bad already.

Valtteri: For me the biggest struggle is the lack of sleep.

Marco: I… I don’t know, haha. I think I don’t have issues on the road. Just rock and roll all the time.

Pearl: Do you have a message for the fans and the freaks?

Marco: „Keep on rocking in the free world!“

Pearl: I will. And now I will keep on rocking the last day of this year’s FVF. Thanks for the interview you guys. See you on some stage.

Kaleidobolt: Thank you! Bye and rock on!

(Pearl McKurdy, FVF Day 2, 2018)

Filed under: Articles in English, Interviews,

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