Features Music

The seed is fertilized

{mosimage}Toni and Antti, in a telltale
sign of the band's do-it-yourself attitude, convinced Sipe to join them on
drums. It didn't exactly matter that Sipe had never actually played the drums
before. On the contrary, it fitted perfectly into the genuine punk attitude of
the lads. As did the name Apulanta – meaning "fertilizer."

The story goes that Toni came
up with the name while lounging on his then-girlfriends' sofa, and that other
possible name candidates included Napalm Killers, Silmaläsikäärme
("spectacled cobra") and Pökäle (roughly translated as "sturdy
piece of crap") – Apulanta was to be different, gritty, and as
down-to-earth as possible.

At and around the first few
gigs, the band auditioned numerous bass players, but the right one came along
only in the autumn of '92, when Sipe met Amanda (Mandy) Gaynor, an exchange
student from the US. Again, the fact that Mandy had never played the bass
before was no problem: what really mattered was her fondness of punk bands,
such as The Misfits, The Ramones and Bad Religion. The band was soon playing
gigs, not only in Heinola, but all over Southern Finland. Time was ripe for a
record deal.

In the fall of '93, Mandy
returned to the US. Her replacement was the band's longtime friend Tuukka
Temonen. Keeping with the tradition, he didn't have any previous experience of
playing the bass, but he caught up quickly. Tuukka was also interested in
movies and videos, and became the first video director for Apulanta.

In 1994, Apulanta supported
Californian punk band The Offspring, but the grandiosity of the events failed
to impress Antti. He would have pursued a heavier, more gothic, darker sound,
instead of the catchier, punkier tunes that were the traits of Toni's
songwriting. In the fall of the same year, Antti decided to quit the band.


…and they became famous

Initially it seemed that his
departure led to a lowpoint in the band's career, but in fact it merely marked
a new beginning. The band decided not to look for a replacement guitarist but
continue as a trio, and they recorded their first LP (Attack of the A.L. people) in the winter of 1994. The EP that
followed in 1995, under the name Hajonnut,
contained the song that would become their biggest hit to date: Mitä kuuluu ("What's up"). The
rest is Finnish punk rock history…

Leave a Reply