The Rasmus released their first single when the band members were only 16
years old. They originally signed to Warner Music Finland and put out
three albums in three years. Two went Gold and they subsequently toured
all over Finland. With over 300 gigs under their belts, they have a strong
audience base and several fan driven websites all over the world.
When the deal with Warner ran out after the third album, The Rasmus wanted
to look for a new label that could help them get out of Finland with their
music. They focused their explosive live energy into two showcases that
convinced Playground Music Scandinavia to take them on.
Playground's Head of A&R Lars
Tengroth has said "I can't remember when I last saw a performance
with such forceful playing. Yet the songs were so melodic and
With the upcoming album, titled "Into", the Rasmus are taking a
big step forward both musically and lyrically. They have found a way of
combining their touring and recording experiences with the extra energy
rush you find in very young bands. Picture pushing all the raw heat of a
huge bonfire through a welding torch and you will get close to what the
band gives their audience.
Singer Lauri Ylönen's voice is full of life, pain, spirit, and beauty. He
flies freely over Pauli's crunchy guitar riffs, and Aki's stomping drums.
Add Eero's powerful bass foundation and you get The Rasmus.
The album was recorded at Nord Studios in Stockholm. The process moved
quickly, starting in summer 2000. The Rasmus banged through the basic
tracks in two weeks. Lauri came back to finish the vocals in November. The
record was mixed December/January 2001. Producers Micke "Nord"
Andersson and Martin Hansen enjoyed the band's open-hearted enthusiasm
Lauri says "It was great to be in
Stockholm to make the record. We made the album we wanted and the
producers got amazing sounds."
The new album title "Into"
means "enthusiasm" in Finnish. It will be released first in
Finland at the end of March 2001. The rest of Scandinavia will follow
later in the spring with subsequent releases in other world territories
like Germany and Italy.
The Rasmus are:
Bass & voice
Questions and answers about Rasmus:
1. How did they meet?
Eero and Lauri have been close mates since
meeting in the third grade. Pauli met Eero and Lauri in junior high at the beginning of the
90's. The first version of the band came together in late '94. They decided to make their own music since "every other band our age
played covers but we wanted to survive on our own", as Lauri puts it.
"When our first single "Funky Jam" hit the radio things
started rolling. Our lives changed so much that year we had a hard time controlling it.
Fortunately, we found a good manager, Teja Kotilainen. We already knew him. We made a strong team, and still do. We realized early on that this
was only the beginning of much hard work to come."
The drummer Aki jumped in during 1999 after their previous rhythm mate set off to India to find peace. Aki's attitude for the music and
close personal relationship with the other guys fit the band like a "fist in the eye".
2. What is the origin of the name
The name "Rasmus" comes from the
word "trashmosh". The group name has been confused with the Swedish DJ Rasmus so they added
a definite article.
3. And what about the name of Into?
Lauri: " We wanted to find a word which has a meaning in both Finnish
and English. Into mean "Enthusiasm" in Finnish.
4. Who write the songs?
Lauri: "Usually, one of us brings an idea
to the rehearsal room. It can be a piece of melody, groove, or riff. Then we start jamming
on it and it takes on a life of its own."
Lauri & Pauli do most of the composing. "A couple of times a year
I go abroad with my guitar to make music in different environments and cultures. Many of the new songs were written in Barcelona. I am
inspired equally by Finnish folkdance music, classical concerts and the latest hip-hop albums. There shouldn't be any limits when you make
5. And the lyrics?
Lauri writes all the lyrics."It's a personal
thing for me and I take the lyrics very seriously. I try not to get lost in metaphors, I like to
keep things straight and "punkish". But, every song has a deep meaning for me. For instance, "Smash" is a story about a close
friend of mine who recently died of a heroin overdose. I think it's
important to raise these kind of issues." Since this record will be the first international release for the group,
A&R Lars Tengroth brought in Playground's own Michael Blair to collaborate on the lyrics in English. Lauri was pleased with the
result which reflected the depth of personal feeling in his stories.
6. The band's background?
The boys live in Helsinki but all of them grew up in the suburbs around
the city. Lauri says "Everybody knows the basic suburb-story. The
same uninspiring neighbourhood day after day and nothing to do but smash
things up. I've been arrested for petty crime and graffiti. But, this band
saved my life 'cos I left that dangerous cycle behind".
7. Have they toured a lot?
During the last five years The Rasmus have toured all around Finland.
"We always try to make up something new for the fans. We consider
ourselves a live band and our audience should never be on safe ground."
"While touring we usually kill our spare time by making "road
movies". We have about thirty of them and they are pretty sick."
8. Other projects?
Lauri and Pauli have produced other Finnish bands incuding rockers
"Killer" and the hip-hop group "Kwan".
Eero has written songs and played in trip-hop, jazz, and classical groups.
9. What about the Finnish music scene?
"The Finnish music scene is developing rapidly. That's a great thing.
Finally the big stupid record companies understand that this land is full
of internationally competitive acts".
10. Other info.
Eero and Lauri both have a classical background. Aki went to music school.
Pauli is self-taught.
Lauri: "My biggest idol through the years has been Björk. The way
she combines sadness and hope in her music leaves me speechless."
Eero: "I try to live in a way that keeps me in balance. I practise a
method called Sahaja Yoga and meditate daily."
Pauli: "I spent my childhood listening to gypsy music & the
Beatles because my parents used to play them to me."
Aki: "The first album I bought was "Are You Experienced" by
Jimi Hendrix. The first gig I went to see was 69 Eyes at the legendary
"Lepakko" club. Unfortunately, the amazing venue got crushed by
the new Nokia Building."
The new album, Dead Letters:
The first single from the album is entitled: In The Shadows,
released January 10th 2003 in Finland and a few weeks later in Sweden,
Norway, Denmark and the Baltic countries.
“Each song is a letter to somebody. It could be an apology,
confession or cry out for help", singer Lauri explains his lyrics on
the album, entitled: Dead Letters.
The Rasmus returned to Sweden to record, because they wanted to work
again with Mikael Nord Anderson and Martin Hansen at Nord Studios, who
were also responsible for producing the massively successful album Into.
"Martin and Micke made me smoke cigarettes, if my voice didn't
sound rough enough", Lauri says with a wink. In addition, the band
endlessly watching horror movies colored the making of the album.
"We watched so many horror movies that each of us had nightmares",
the band members laughed.
The Rasmus play rock, but in every song there is a strong melody
flavored with a catchy chorus. Dead Letters touches with its raw and naked
sounds. "The album is darker, moodier and dreamier than anything we
have done before", Eero (bass) concludes.
· December 1994 - Rasmus form at
school and play their first show.
* December 1995 - Release first single “1st.” on independent label,
Teja G. Records.
* February 1996 - Sign to Warner Finland.
* May 1996 - Release first album “Peep”, which goes Gold.
* 1996 - Play over 100 shows, including festivals in Finland,
Russia and Estonia.
* May 1997 - Release single “Blue”, which goes Gold.
* August 1997 - Release second album “Playboys”, which goes
* August 1997 – Appearance on multi band event at Helsinki
Olympic Stadium to 40,000 people and a nationwide TV audience.
* 1997 - Play over 100 shows including festivals and club dates
supporting Rancid and Dog Eat Dog.
* 1997 – Win Finnish Grammy Award as Best New Act of 1996.
* September 1998 - Release “Liquid” single – the video goes on
MTV Nordic Top 40.
* December 1998 – “Liquid” voted best song of 1998 by critics and
* February 1999 - Support Garbage at Helsinki Ice Hall to 4,000 people.
* April 1999 - Tour of 6 shows of Ice Halls headlining a multiple bill.
* 1999 - Play over 80 shows and festivals in Finland.
* August 1999 – “Liquid” wins award at Finnish Music Video Festival.
* October 1999 - Rasmus support Red Hot Chili Peppers for 2
shows at Helsinki Ice Hockey Stadium - capacity 12,000 per night.
* April 2000 - Rasmus becomes The Rasmus and signs to Playground
* May 2000 – The new album is recorded in Stockholm.
* December 2000 – January 2001 mixing in Stockholm.
* February 2001 – The Rasmus release the single “F-F-F-Falling”
in Finland. It stays Number 1 in the Finnish sales charts for three months,
and sells Gold in May.
* March 2001 – The Rasmus release the album “Into” in Finland.
It goes Number One and sells Gold in May.
* April 2001 – The Rasmus tour Sweden, Denmark, Norway
and do TV and promotion
* May 2001 – The album Into is released in Denmark.
* May, June, July, August 2001 – The Rasmus tour Finland and
do EVERY festival there.
* June 2001 – The single “Chill” is released all over Scandinavia.
It goes straight to Number 2 in the Finnish Sales Charts.
* August 2001 – The album “Into” is released in Sweden and Denmark.
* September 2001 – The album “Into” is released in Germany.
* October 2001 - The Rasmus support HIM in tour Scandinavia, playing for
* November 2001 - the Rasmus support Roxette in tour Scandinavia, playing
* 17 January 2003 – The New single "In the Shadows" is
28 February 2003 – "Dead Letters" is out
* March 2003 - "Dead Letters" 1st place in charts and 15.000
albums sold in a week, golden disc
* March-April - "In The Shadows" 2th place in Sveden,
first in MTV Up North and Finland
* Spring 2003 - Tour in Svezia and Danimarca
* Summer 2003 - The Rasmus first place in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. 12#
in the TOP 100 Europe
* September 2003 - In The Shadows out in Italy
* October 2003 - In The Shadows #6 in TOP
100 Europe, Dead Letters 36# in Italy Album Charts and In The Shadows 37#
in Singles Chart
* November 2003 - The Rasmus are BEST NORDIC ACT on MTV Europe Music
* January 2004 - In The Shadows and Dead Letters are both Gold Disc in
Italy! (50.000 copies sold)...In The Shadows is #2 on Italian Singles
Chart...It was in the charts since October 2003!
* March 2004 - In The Shadows and Dead Letters released in UK and USA