BAND:

Petri Prauda

Instrument(s)
Mandolin, cittern, bagpipe

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
Well, I do remember that the first song I heard on the radio or off an LP and knew by heart was a song called ‘Jätkän humppa’. Paavo Melander, the composer of the song, has actually composed another great song called ‘Orimattilan jenkka’.
My first instrument was a toy electric guitar made out of plastic. I used to strum that thing as vigorously as I now strum my mandolin. Actual music lessons began on a piano, though.

Why do you play in Frigg?
Well, firstly, former band member Antti Järvelä asked me to join the band back when Frigg was formed. I believe the rock’n’roll in my sound was something that was wanted for the overall sound of the band as well.
I tremendously enjoy how we play as a group and how the years have really welded us together. You can hear it in all the grooves, dynamics, sound and nuances.
We have worked hard figuring out in which direction the expressive arc of a song is going and in which direction its energy is flowing. It brings a sort of “narrative” to abstract instrumental music.

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
This one time we performed together with Väsen, Mike Marshall and Darol Anger. It took place at the Lotus World Music Festival in Bloomington, Indiana in 2004.
Back then we were slightly younger and less experienced than now. That was pretty much the first time we got to play together with our idols. I even got the chance to perform our song Fantomen with Mike’s rare Gibson Lloyd Loar mandolin, which is like the Stradivarius of mandolins.
The room was packed and the crowd’s response was ecstatic. It was something alright!

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
I once stepped on Alina’s fiddle on the stage of Musiikkitalo, a concert venue in Helsinki. We had just finished playing a quadrille at the Nordtrad Conference and were taking our bows.

What kind of music inspires you?
This is something that changes every once in a while. I’ve been listening to a lot of Scandinavian and Celtic folk music, some American old time and bluegrass music, bag pipe music from all round Europe and naturally some classical music as well.
I also listen to loads of all kinds of popular music, even extreme metal. I guess my background in a rock band is easy to hear in my sound, in both my playing and compositions.

sekä soitossani että sävellyksissäni.


Alina Järvelä

Instrument(s)
Fiddle

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
I associate the music of the Swedish band Forsmark Tre strongly with my childhood. I assume the band was still quite new when our family road trip to northern Sweden took place. It was actually a combination of a family trip and a tour by JPP, a band my dad plays in. My dad took the whole family on the trip. We were a family of four kids back then. The group consisted of us, the other band members, their girlfriends (at the time) and naturally Sakke, our driver. The drives were long and Forsmark Tre was listened to a lot in the car. Through the window we watched the forests and hillsides passing by. If you got bored, you could always spend time watching how chewing gum was passed from mouth to mouth on the backseat of the minibus. I still associate those Forsmark Tre songs we listened to in the car with the trip, its atmosphere and the hilly landscape of northern Sweden.

Why do you play in Frigg?
Well, back when I was a young girl, I was one of the people who started the band. And I’m so glad we did! It might be more relevant to reflect on what has kept me in the band, though. There are two reasons for that: the music itself and doing this together as a band. Folk music in all its forms is such wonderful music. It’s very touching in its authenticity. I just love to play it. Both the familiar and the more foreign folk music. I also love to play together with other people. The cherry on top is to play in a great band with which you get to play gigs in interesting countries, cities, villages, festivals, islands, concert halls and even rainforests. Going on tours, with Frigg and others, also offers an important counterbalance to my work as a violin teacher. Touring gives me inspiration, ideas and valuable contacts.

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
I think my most memorable moments in Frigg are related to the many special places we’ve visited as a band. I can’t make up my mind which memory to pick, though, so I’m going to tell this one story I still find amusing. We were somewhere in Wales and there was a flipchart backstage with the word CHEOPS written on it. Before the gig we started talking about the word and thought it sounds like Welsh, although we knew that it wasn’t. Petri, who often took care of the on-stage banter during gigs, wasn’t there yet, so we decided to play a prank on him. When Petri arrived, we all tried to convince him that “Cheops” was actually a Welsh greeting and he should open the gig with it. You know, the audience loves hearing their own language spoken on the stage! Surprisingly enough, Petri actually bought it. Then it was go time. It was like watching a movie. Petri grabbed the mic, waved his hand and said: ‘Cheops!’ What followed was an awkward silence. All we could hear were a few coughs. Isn't that how the locals say hi? He asked. The audience was still silent. The moment seemed to last much longer than it actually did. I was laughing so hard that I was unable to speak, but Tommi managed to whisper to Petri that the whole Cheops thing was purely a joke. Petri quickly pulled himself together and started over. He didn’t even get mad at us. I think.

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
My biggest mistake must be the time I laid my fiddle down on the stage at a concert venue after a performance. While we were taking our bows Petri accidentally stepped on the fiddle and snapped its neck. My insurance didn’t cover it, naturally. It wasn’t cheap, but thankfully violin maker Elina Kaljunen was able to repair the damage.

What kind of music inspires you?
Folk music is obviously very inspiring for me, but I also pick up a lot from classical music, such as baroque music. You can hear all those influences in my sound.


Esko Järvelä

Instrument(s)
Fiddle, piano and basically any instrument that needs playing.

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
The folk songs my grandad Johannes and the fiddler Arvo Myllykangas played, all recorded on these yellow and red c-tapes back at my grandma’s place. They were simply marvelous to listen to!

Why do you play in Frigg?
Originally because what could possibly be cooler than playing in a band! Nowadays because this feels really valuable.

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
Perhaps the feeling of going on a second tour to America. Our first trip was awesome, but it only lasted a weekend: two gigs and straight back home.
The following year we received a full two-week tour schedule in our email and suddenly I realized that ‘whoa, all your dreams are about to come true!’ It was an amazing moment for a young fiddler. This was 17 years ago and since then it’s been one hell/heck of a ride! There are so many amazing memories of gigs we’ve played!

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
I can’t really think of anything major, surprisingly enough. We’ve always managed to get on stage and play the gig one way or the other. That’s the most important thing, of course. There have been numerous close calls though!

What kind of music inspires you?
Absolutely every kind. At the moment I’m very much into American indie folk. My taste in music is always changing, which means the things that inspire me are changing as well.


Tommi Asplund

Instrument(s)
Fiddle

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
My family got a piano and about the same time I got a Richard Clayderman c-tape. The tape got my undivided attention and I soon started to play the songs by ear on the new piano. I think I was about 4 or 5 years old at the time.

Why do you play in Frigg?
I was already a fan of their sound and their new, fresh kind of twist on folk music before joining the band in 2004. After all this time in the band I feel we’re all welded together really tightly music-wise and I doubt I could find the same feeling anywhere else. I feel like I can really use my strengths in the band and it’s hard to imagine that I could ever reach the same level of musical connection in any other band. The many great trips and gigs also motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing.

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
There are so many to pick from, but I have to say that the Australian tour back in 2012 was extra special. Another great place we got to perform at was the WOMAD Festival in Adelaide, which to my understanding is one of the biggest or even THE biggest world music festival in the whole of Australia.

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
I once left my passport in the airplane on our way from Chicago to
Albuquerque. Luckily enough we had just got to know an American Airlines flight attendant who was kind enough to track down my passport. As a result, I was reunited with my passport in a few days.

What kind of music inspires you?
All kinds of music. I myself play mainly Scandinavian folk music and classical music, so those two are probably the most dominant influences on my sound. Having said that, I’m into all kinds of good music.


Tero Hyväluoma

Instrument(s)
Fiddle

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
Running away from my violin teacher and mom in the halls of the elementary school in my home village Räyrinki.

Why do you play in Frigg?
I had my first gigs in the band as a backup back in 2005. Slowly but surely I made my way into the band. When the other band members finally suggested that I should join the band as a permanent band member, I didn’t need even a nano second to think it through.
Frigg has been a source of inspiration to me and a band I’ve looked up to long before I started practising Fantomen for my first gig as a backup. Man, was I in a panic.

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
Performing my own music as a soloist in a symphony orchestra was something I never thought I’d be doing. That’s the first thing to pop into my mind, although my whole journey in Frigg has been full of great gigs, places and people.

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
I once literally ran through the front door of my host family’s house. It was a kind of see-through screen door and I managed to completely destroy it. I made a very flashy entrance and certainly made an excellent first impression.

What kind of music inspires you?
I write all kinds of music and I try to get as broad a range of influences as possible without restricting myself in any way. When composing for Frigg I may be influenced by some foreign folk music styles and I then try to incorporate them into our sound.


Juho Kivivuori

Instrument(s)
Bass

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
I was around three years old, sitting on the floor at home. I was leaning against a loudspeaker while the record player played Ravel’s Boléro.

Why do you play in Frigg?
You’d think my spouse Alina, who also plays in the band, would have something to do with it, but not necessarily! Actually, I’m pretty sure that my fellow Frigg member Anssi Salminen is the ultimate reason why I joined the band. Back in the year 2012, when I knew hardly anything about the Järvelä family or Kaustinen in general, Esko was kicking off his solo project called Epic Male Band and was asking Anssi about potential bass players. At the time I had just met Anssi at a relatively quirky audition session for the Grand Casino show band where we both played as backups. Come break, all the other musicians fled the scene while me and Anssi decided to move it to the nearby pub to chat about music, life and everything else. We hit it off great and that’s probably how I made my way into Esko’s new band. I had, until then, made a career for myself mainly in jazz circles, but I had harbored an interest towards folk music for quite some time. Therefore, when I was later (probably after a helping hand from Alina and Esko) asked to join Frigg as a permanent band member after filling in on some gigs, I did not hesitate for a second.
I’ve often told the other band members that touring with Frigg is, at its best, just like going on holiday with good friends and playing awesome gigs on the side!

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
It must be the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2018, where Frigg was the first ever Finnish band to perform. The city of Telluride in the midst of the Rocky Mountains is an impressive sight on its own and the festival was absolutely amazing. The 72-hour outward journey was made all the more interesting because of Alina’s temporary disability. She had injured her foot earlier and was therefore traveling in a wheelchair.
The boring airport routine got slightly more interesting when the disability gave us access to whole new areas and sped things up.

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
There’s simply no room for blunders in my case. Back in spring 2017 after a gig at a festival in Tønder, I was voted Frigg’s best band member. I can’t afford to stumble if I want to keep my title.
Speaking of titles, I also happened to win the vote for the Frigg member you’d most like to eat. I have to be on my guard for many reasons, as you can see!

What kind of music inspires you?
Although I still listen to all sorts of records, I get my biggest kick out of intimate gigs, whether I’m in the crowd or on the stage, regardless of the genre.


Anssi Salminen

Instrument(s)
Guitar, other stringed instruments, fiddle and vocals

What’s your earliest music-related memory?
The C-tapes my dad bought from the nearby town, featuring the legendary Finnish artist Kirka.

Why do you play in Frigg?
For the great music and good friends.

What’s your most memorable Frigg-related moment?
My first gig with Frigg back in spring 2017.

What’s your worst blunder during a tour?
During a gig in England I managed to break two guitar strings and a bridge pin during one song. Finishing the gig wasn’t a picnic, but thankfully Esko managed to fix the pin during the break and I was ready to keep going.

What kind of music inspires you?
All kinds of music actually, but rock music from the 70s holds a very special place in my heart.