Wednesday, April 28, 2010



This time the man typing us answers is Sami Sänpäkkilä - best known from/as the influental one-man band ES and as the founder, head and heart of Fonal records. And the heart is wide, beating for obscure and sincere musical explorers in the very spirit of Finland's legendary Love records. As you can see from the photo above, he really wants to be a tree. But what sort of a tree and why?

Hello Sami, what's up? What have you been doing after the release of your latest album?

I'm fine and busy, thanks! I've focused mostly on making music videos lately. Also the record label is filled with work again after a long pause.

It's been 10 months since the release of Kesämaan lapset. What does it sound like now? What sort of relationship do you have with your old releases, do you listen to them?

10 months is still a bit too short time to be able to say much about my own work, but now I can tell you that when I heard it some time ago by accident - or parts of it - it sounded better than what I gave credit to it when it was released. I still don't consider it as my most ambitious record or the best one at all. I like its songs but they're nothing new, just same old safe. That's not always bad of course.

When was the last time you recorded something and what was it?

I recorded my gig in Italy and it sounded incredibly good! I've learned how to keep my shows minimal and straight-forward, I improvise a lot on simple melodies. I follow the lighthouses and try to get into the mood.

When is a piece of music finished?

A piece of music?

What music have you been listening to lately? Any new bands we should hear too?

I listen to music extremely seldom, usually when I'm at home I sit in silence. The latest thing I got excited about was a band called Index, it sounds a bit like my previous exciter Dead Moon.

What was the last band you saw live?

Pierced Arrows was the last one I liked enormously.

If you were a plant, which one would you be?

Some tree as tall as possible. Though trees can't see I could at least imagine seeing some beautiful landscapes.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?

Becoming a film director was my dream, and then as a teenager I realized it's not possible so then I wanted to be a musician. And now that I realize it's done I guess I have to go back to the dream of being a director...

How does Finland's music scene look in the year 2010?

A bit lifeless. In the beginning of 2000's there seemed to be some much happening and at least compared to that the sort of music culture I'm interested in seems to be quiet.

What do you think about the current direction of music industry? Do you have Spotify?

I do have Spotify but I don't use it, partly because I don't listen to music that much, like I mentioned before. But also because I don't like it that much. I've never really liked music industry. Nowadays I'm really interested in it and wonder how to deal with it all the time. For example how to achieve something inside that industry with some of the Fonal bands.

What advice would you give to someone planning to start a record label?

Release exactly the sort of music you like and that's it.

With which person in history you identify most?

Well, I have to say I'm too busy to identify with anyone! I try to identify with my friends and learn from their example. I cannot imagine identifying with anyone, in fact, isn't that the whole point that you find your own voice and then toot with it, haha.

What is your favorite color?

Today orange!

What does ES mean?

Here I'll take a shortcut and put a link to my site where I just wrote a small blog on this subject: