Festival season is coming to an end and winter concert season is just around the corner. What’s a band to do in this little respite? Promote their new material of course. With a new album, a book and a tour on THE RASM‘ horizon, we catch the singer Lauri Ylonen booming promotion. “I get really frustrated and anxious when I have nothing to do,” comes with a light chuckle. “Because I love my job – I can’t even call it a job. It’s just my hobby.
The last release of Laurithe hobby of To go up. Album number ten in THE RASMThe franchise, like many other recent endeavors, has felt the effects of the pandemic. The band went from playing together in the living room of a Spanish villa to breaking up indefinitely. The time booked in the studio at Eastbourne, right here in England, fell by the wayside. “It was really fucking difficult” Lauri tells us that we touch To go upof the registration process. “We are used to being so interactive. Good ideas don’t come when we play together but rather when we go out for a drink or, you know, in the sauna.
With THE RASM being separated for an indefinite period, the group was faced with the choice of moving forward with To go up or pending. All over the world, from Hawaii to Australia, To go upThe formation of has some interesting stories. “I was recording my voice in my car. It was degrading in a way but I really enjoyed it. I was just driving to the top of a mountain and starting to sing there. The views created a way inspiring to work.
As the conversation begins to unfold, this need to adapt is not only a central theme within THE RASM‘ Material. The motivation for its opening Live and never die or the title song’s encouragement may not be for the listener at all. “We were very close to stopping” Lauri admits, referring to the departure of the guitarist Pauli Rantasalmi. “He didn’t enjoy it or touring anymore. It’s really hard to be away from home for months and live out of a suitcase. If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t. This approach resulted in the recruitment of Emilia ‘Emppu’ Suhonen and a new breath of life was brought to the group. The difference inside THE RASM was monumental as Lauri Explain. “Everyone is so full of life and happiness. When we play live, everyone leaves the room smiling and there are good vibes everywhere.
The Deformed Sound the confessional opens before we can get to the reasoning behind Lauri Branding THE RASM‘ music as “positive sadness”. “Some people can’t stand this lifestyle, sometimes I have a hard time,” he says. “There are days when I walk the streets with my feathers, my makeup full and my head held high. Then there are days when I just wear my hat, try to disappear and not even leave the house .
For some reason we didn’t know at the time, it’s oddly comforting to know that a man who is perceived to have everything going for him is also struggling with his feelings. We struggle with feelings of inadequacy, but when these are piled high by internet commentators who have nothing better to do than spew negative nonsense, it’s no wonder there are times Lauri wants to hide from the world. The answer seems obvious when you ask yourself what its roots are. “It looks like the balance is back in the group now,” he beams. “I feel that I am surrounded by love on stage. They are there for me and we had good conversations about personal issues within the group. It makes us stronger when we know what’s going on so we can take care of each other.
This isn’t the first time the comparison between being in a band and being in a marriage has come to the surface. THE RASM‘ trip to Spain was a last ditch effort to salvage the relationship with Rantasalmi. The memories of cooking meals together, swimming, and just enjoying each other’s company are those Lauri look back fondly. Although the sadness tinting the laughter and smiles is still visible. As we start joking about the divorce rate of dozens of marriages Lauri attended, including his own, the album’s pain-filled lyrics suddenly make sense. A hurting heart is the most creative.
To go up isn’t the only example of an exposed soul. positive sadness Lauri alluded to earlier is arguably the entire premise of THE RASM. An extension of these therapy sessions comes in the form of a biography simply titled THE RASM. What started as a “we’ll do this when we stop” joke between the band is now a full-fledged track written by Ari Vantanen. Only in Finnish at the moment, a language Lauri offered to teach it to us, the book details not only the life of the group but also that of its members. Much of this book has taken shape in the most Finnish way possible; “naked in the sauna”.
Our new friend wishes to express that the work of the group is not only an acknowledgment of pain; “There is a whole other side to THE RASM which I hope people will see. It’s the story of the bond we have but, in a way, it’s the story of how I became myself.
Rise is available now through Playground Music.
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