Tender melodies

Sister Flo released their first album in 2001, through their own label. Since then the band has been one of Finland's pop secrets, continuously praised by critics. Their new album, The Healer, hits the note and will make people hum the melody of the first single "Hyvinkää". Sister Flo's music has a warm and tender quality, like coming from small Finnish village without making much noise. As humble and even shy, bassist Mikko Salonen and keyboard player Janne Lastumäki explain the secrets of Sister Flo.

How does it feel one week before your album comes out?

Mikko Salonen: Anxious at least! It's taken a long time. We started with the first demos almost two years ago.

Janne Lastumäki: So far there have been two good reviews of it. We're happy then.

Why did it take so long?

JL: It took a bit longer because Sama the singer made a solo album. I played in his solo live band and we played some shows in spring and summer, so that delayed working on the album. We didn't have any strict timeline. Nobody put on any pressure.

How different is it from your previous works?

MS: We're very happy with it. The songs are a natural development from our earlier albums. They are very diverse.

JL: On this album there are much faster songs, more similar to our live shows. Our previous works had a soft general sound and then our shows were much more direct and energetic. On The Healer there is a bit more of that rock side.

{mosimage}You seemed to work hard on the mood and the melodies of the songs? How is the mood of this album?

MS: I think it's a bit darker and a bit more mystical or fantasy like.

While recording and composing, do you pay attention to someone other band's music?

JL: Sometimes, yes. For example, in The Healer there is this song, "Spirit of Christmas". We talked about getting a dark atmosphere, like Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper".

Now you have a pretty intense tour ahead of you during May. What do you expect of it?

JL: Our first gig will be on the April 28th in Tavastia with Rubik and Matti Johannes Koivu. Starting in Tavastia is a luxurious start.

MS: This tour will be special. We are excited to play in new cities where we have never played, such as Vaasa and Rovaniemi.

Are you afraid of playing in small cities?

JL: It will be interesting to see how it goes. We've heard stories that in places like in Vaasa there might be only five people in the audience.

MS: We trust our music and ourselves, so even if there are only five people we won't feel depressed.

Sister Flo is different playing live on stage. The band is much more direct. Why is there this different?

JL: I thought about this and I came to the conclusion that in studio we can build these huge sound walls that it's very hard to replicate on stage. It feels natural to concentrate on the energy. It's rejoicing.

You have had some gigs abroad in cities such as Stockholm and London. Were they positive experiences?

JL: Absolutely. All the trips abroad have been very great and brought us together as a band and friends.

Where does the band's name come from?

MS: First we thought about being just Flo, because of the Norwegian football player, Tore André Flo. I don't know why. We just thought about it. Then we found out that there was a band with this band, so we had to find something else.

JL: Adding “sister” was a bit like a tribute to The Velvet Underground's song Sister Ray. Then we even noticed that there is a David Bowie song, "Queen Bitch", with the line, "He's down on the street / And he's trying hard /to pull sister Flo".


The Healer is available in all good record stores now.

Sister Flo's first out of print album, Boys of Cat, can be downloaded from the band's website: www.hansoovoice.com/sisterflo