Disco Ensemble is the band that dominates the indie rock scene in Finland. Their latest album is selling really well and soon they will start a tour in the United States after playing at the Ruisrock festival this weekend. Right before the start of their tour Finland, FREE! met Lasse Lindfors (bass) and Miikka Koivisto (vocals and keys) in the backstage at Klubi in Tampere. Their music edgy, with hardcore and punk roots, but Lasse and Mikko speak calmly, almost shy of their success. They are just some normal guys from Pori.
You just played in Germany
Miikka: Yeah, we came a couple of days ago. We just had the time to make the laundry at home. It was good there.
Who does it feel to play the first gig of the tour in Finland?
Miikka: We are a bit more nervous. In Germany we were the supporting act and here we are the headliners. The audience know us better, so it feels like they expect more from us.
Lasse: It’s a different feeling. We have a history here. It’s easier to make an impression when nobody knows you and doesn’t know what to expect. Here it feels that we have to push it even further.
How do you think the audience will react to the new songs?
Lasse: We have to see. We don’t know.
Miikka: We are happy with the album, of course. But we haven’t played any shows with the album being released. The reaction is different when people don’t know the songs, like it happened in Germany.
Lasse: In a way we don’t want to think about the audience too much. We are happy about the record is out.
You kept a video blog while recording the album, how was the experience?
Lasse: We didn’t plan it much. We just kept the camera there and try to capture something so we could give people a taste of how working in the studio is. But it came pretty weird.
Miikka: We speak Finnish to each other, so it feels weird to change to English in front of the camera. That’s why the videos were weird. We didn’t say much.
Lasse: We just don’t have the genes to be in front of the camera.
Will you repeat with the next recording?
The artwork of Magic Recoveries is pretty special. It even includes a poster. How did it come up?
Miikka: It’s made by a designer we met some time ago, Inka Järvinen. We had some discussions about the meaning of our music and the lyrics and he designed some ideas.
What is that meaning?
Miikka: Nothing really specific. We wanted to reflect the attitude.
Your schedule for the next months looks pretty busy.
Lasse:That’s what we do. We’re excited. We don’t get shows for granted. We are excited and grateful.
What about playing in the United States?
Lasse: We’ve played in a couple of showcases, but this are going to be the first real tour there.
Do you prefer playing festivals or clubs?
Miikka: Both have good and bad things.
How is playing early in a festival?
Miikka: It’s strange to set your mind to play that early. It’s difficult to get in the mood in the daytime.
Could you tell me a little bit about the early days of the band?
Miikka: I joined the band in 2000 and Lasse in 2002. The other two guys (Mikko Hakila, drums, and Jussi Ylikoski, guitar) have played together longer. It seems like it’s a long time, but it’s not that much. In the early days, the music was hardcore punk, with shouting lyrics. As a hardcore punk band from Pori , we just played, we didn’t expect instant success. It has evolved pretty slowly, very naturally.
What is your favourite venue in Finland?
Miikka: The obvious answer is Tavastia. Lutakko in Jyväskylä is good too. Both Klubis in Tampere and Turku.
Lasse: It’s different if I’m going to see a show. I prefer smaller places like Semifinal or Kuudes Linja
What is the funniest festival you have played?
Miikka: It was up North, in Tornio. The stage was high up on a hill, the sun didn’t set at all. Really surreal.
What is the craziest band you have toured with?
Lasse: Gogol Bordello. No doubt about it. It was fun to see them every night and mess around.
Did you get to meet groupies while being on the road?
Both: We don’t have any groupies! But there are beautiful girls in every country.
If you would have to pick up only one record…
Miikka: On the band’s behalf that would be The Shape of Punk to Come by Refused.
What band would you like to see in concert nowadays?