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Joensuu 1685 – religious reverb from Helsinki
They have already made up with Jesus, been burned by Bruce Springsteens Im on fire and blessed critics with noise and monotony. Joensuu 1685 is by far the next big thing from Finland. Groove went to Tampere to talk to Joensuu1685 about Irish philosophers, religion and sick sick sick city.

The brother Joensuu and Risto sits in a dressing room outside a sauna and look at a postcard that says "There is no ought from is". This quote is taken from the, during his time highly esteemed yet radically religious critic, philosopher David Hume, who lived in Ireland in the mid-1700s. It’s easy to believe that this postcard, which is part of the promotion of Joensuu 1685, is linked to the band members religious backgrounds. But the story turns out to be another.

– First and foremost, this is entirely our record companies invention, says Markus. We found the postcards in a music competition a year ago in Copenhagen.
On a table they were with our names and all on it, and we were surprised and quite angry.

And I who thought there was a bigger idea behind the quote.

– No, no. The whole thing is really from when I had a dispute with the record company and I at the end of the discussion tossed out of me: "Theres no ought from is” and walked away. They probably thought it was fun to perpetuate the whole event, smiles Markus.

Although the Hume detail is a fun and more than a half-baked coincidence, you can not turn a blind eye to the rest of the bands religious theme that is found as much in the gospel sliding krautrock, as it is in Mikkos lyrics. His monologues with God are floating on a cloud of distorsion and the parts of reverb chaos can be likened to the darkness that lurks in the horizon.

You all have religious backgrounds. Wouldn’t it be more natural to rebel against what you grew up with?

– To us it seemed quite natural to take that further into our music. We are strongly influenced by that time of our life and also by the mood that gospel music can provide, says Mikko.

– I also believe that this religious language means a little extra for us, continues Risto.
It is characterized by a strong symbolism that we feel fascinated by.

– While providing the theme of a kind of mysterious feeling that works well with rest of the music, Mikko fill in.

Do you consider yourself as believers?

– I suppose so. Then, being a believer can of course be about several different things, says Risto a bit cryptic and look at the other.

We are interrupted by a man who needs to cool off from his sauna bath. He shows shamelessly every part of his naked body and enjoy the full features of a Karjala beer
– We are in Finland, I grin a bit nervous.

– We are in Finland, Risto says.

More specifically, in Tampere and at Lost in Music Festival, which celebrates 20 years. Its main purpose is to show up Finlands next export product to the screamo, electro and hard rock scene. Many Japanese are therefore invited. But in the midst of this crazy concoction of forest crazy acts and tasteless indie hides a lot of gold nuggets. Joensuu 1685 share an already small room with several other bands, including there friends in the band Zebra & Snake, which in addition to Joensuu 1685 and Cosmobile should be considered as the most interesting bands from the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

When you sing Sick, sick, sick city is it by chance Helsinki you are referring to?

– Many times when I hear a song and when I think of lyrics these pictures appears in my head. For some strange reasons, I usually think of a particular corner of Helsinki, which is not really so sick, laughs Mikko. But from time to time get stuck there. The song you mention is not really just about Helsinki, but much of what I write about is inspired by the city. Not surprising really, the city surrounds us, that’s where we live and that’s where we have our studio.

When the band a bit later are standing on stage and delivers perhaps the strongest track on there self-titled debut, Crystal light, God leaves them for a moment. The song is broken abruptly in the middle of what later turns out to be a fuse that exploded. It is quiet for a while. Some drunk teenagerss is screaming a bunch of sneering comments. Short after that the noise breaks loose again and a beautiful kraut loop forms slowly from a untamed wall of noise and the cover of Bruce Springsteens Im on fire sets loose.

Mikko is completely dressed in white long and loose clothes. With his long hair he reminds a lot about a character from a particular holy book. Over the next five minutes, he will burn with obsession and twist in what looks like pain, while the lyrics speak for itself. "I can take you higher / Im on fire".

Daniel Magnusson
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