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How I went from a metal-head to a folk singer in one night

I had spent my youth idolizing and emulating the loud macho culture of over the top 80’s hard rock. Then, on an airplane ride from Helsinki to London, it all changed. 

Thinking back on my story this far it can be challenging to actually pin point “the beginning” when talking about the music that has always been with me – been a part of me. But I suppose I can trace it to the moment I let go of my projected image of a rock n roll front man and really started to pay attention to the slight but demanding call within me. I laid down my beautiful Gibson Les Paul Standard (2001, cherry burst, her name is Diana), turned off my Marshall and walked out the last rock show I would play for a long time.

Later that weekend, I sat on a plane and just as we climbed over the clouds it happened. I realized that wasn’t me anymore. “What if this was our last show?” I thought, “How would I feel?”. I didn’t feel nostalgic. I didn’t feel relieved. I didn’t really feel much at all… and that was my cue. I didn’t miss a beat, I already had a plan.

Since the very first time I dragged my parents old vinyl record player to my room, hooked it up (trial and error) and put Eagles’ “Doolin Dalton” on, I fell in love with song-writing. When I formed my first band I didn’t really feel it made me cool. I didn’t think about telling girls I was in a band, of strumming the two chords I knew on an acoustic guitar at a party to get noticed. I just felt really good when I made a song. Down in the basement of our house, sitting on the cold tiled floor late at night exploring basic chord progressions to get a song together – it felt better than anything else. It was like I was a magician, as if I was in on some kind of a secret that I would get the chance to present to people but never reveal how I did it.

It must have been even better back then. Charting the unknown waters of power-chords and G major to G minor transitions, but to this day there is no catharsis greater than that perfect resonance of a moment you manage to capture with a simple strum of those steel strings. I still think it’s kinda magical.

We all take side roads. Theatricality and focus on showmanship have always been the evil twin to my artistic integrity as a songwriter. To me this explains how I got exited about Freddie Mercury, went crazy over Guns N Roses and wanted to be Lenny Kravitz. Not that I don’t consider all the forementioned to be great songwriters, but for me it sparked a hard-rock binge that inspired me to emulate Spinal Tap rather than think about whether or not my songs actually spoke to me – whether I actually meant something by them.

I always knew I wanted to have an effect on an audience. I wanted to have a room full of people in my fingertips, their undivided attention directed at me and only me. Sure my songs were snappy and well thought out, I had my mannerisms down and my energy on stage was high. I did excite people, yes, but something was lacking. I now understand that I got one key element wrong.

I was on to the right thing, making people notice, but I was looking for a reaction – not a connection. This also applied to my song writing as a rock artist. I took great care of crafting my songs, planned them out and honed them, but all the way through the first two verses and choruses I was just waiting for my guitar solo. I wasn’t thinking about the lyrics – I didn’t even remember them often times.

When I finally came clean to myself this was one of the key realizations about the last 10 or so years of my musical life. I realized I was finally ready to talk about stuff that was actually going on with me. I realized I was done with reactions – it was time to connect. From there it was easy: just concentrate on the songs you remember the lyrics to, and maybe make a couple more.

These past years have been a time of constant progress and construction. I have searched and found ways that I want to make my music and on the other hand share it with you. There is so much to tell you that I won’t even attempt to tell it all in this post, but one of the many things I want to get through is how much on the right track I feel I am right now.

We are standing at the fringe of the music industry looking in. Excited and determined as friends, fans, fellow artists… as a family. I have no idea what the future will bring and how I will feel about it… but I’m sure you will hear it in a song soon.

You can check out our latest single release below. Stay in touch, and keep up!

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