QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Jani Ikonen (Verikalpa)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Jani. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys from Verikalpa?

Jani: Thank you! Im doing good, impatiently waiting for the album to come out :D. Just moved couple weeks ago, tryin’ to settle in while handling music and dayjob aside. All is good with the other guys as well. They said Hi!

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. How did you meet as a band and what kind of music do you make?

Jani: We’re Verikalpa from Oulu, Finland playing Folkish Metal with a beerful twist. I met Sami Knuutinen, our bassist, when i joined in another band where he played. And after that didn´t go anywhere, we started doing music together, well, mainly Verikalpa. And then the other guys just kinda joined in. Long story short, someone knew the other already and kinda introduced him to everyone else and everything just clicked, you know, the usual 🙂

Pix666: You just released your second single from the upcoming album. What is ‘Rautanen Herra’ about?

Jani: It’s about a fictional character called Väinö. He´s a forest man, kinda funny yet no one to take too lightly. He has a darkside which surfaces when he’s wasted, thinking he’s the King of the Forest. But it’s all delusion in his own mind 😀 It’s actually kind of a sequel to our other song called ‘’Mettäväinö’’ from our second album ‘’Tuoppitanssi’’

Pix666: Your third album ‘Tunturihauta’ will be released in mid-January 2022. Is the album already completely finished and when and where can people pre-order it?

Jani: Yes the album is 100% finished. It’s gonna be out January 21st. You can pre-order it from the Scarlet Records webshop.

Pix666: Did you decide to sing in your native language right from the start of your band or did you also try it in English? 

Jani: Yes the finnish language came pretty much automatically without even thinking about english. It somehow works a lot better and feels natural. I’ve had couple english titles looooong time ago, but those are just silly 😀 Finnish works for us.

Pix666: Even with the Finnish lyrics, you reach listeners in many countries around the world. Do you look at the statistics of views and streams and do you know exactly where the fans live?

 Jani: I haven’t look at the statistics. But yeah it’s nice to see there’s fans all over the globe!

Pix666: Social media and music streaming can be both a blessing and a curse for bands. From your point of view, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this development for your band. How much do Verikalpa use social media and where are you represented? 

Jani: Social media plays a huge part nowadays. For us it’s a good thing and we try to make the best of it. It´s quite nice to connect with people. And also promoting and all that pretty much happens in social media, outside stages ofcourse. About music streaming, ummm. Don’t really have too much to say about it. Spotify, youtube and others have been around since we started so we basically think it’s just a norm to have your album on streaming services and whatnot. And i’d say it has helped us more than hurt to spread our music all over, that’s for sure. We’re most active on Facebook and Instagram.

Pix666: Were you actually allowed to play some concerts in 2021 – the Covid situation has thrown a spanner in the works for many bands – especially here in Central Europe.

Jani: Yes we played at Nordic Metal Cruise in September with Ensiferum, Moonsorrow and Swallow the Sun. And we had just few weeks ago a show in our hometown with Wolfheart, Bloodred Hourglass, Brymir and Fatal Effect. Before those it had been about a year since the last gig.

Pix666: Next year you will play at a metal festival in Spain. Are there already further plans for gigs in 2022, maybe a tour around the release date of the new album?

Jani: Yeah there’s few booked shows. Album release show is in the works. But we gonna play at Cernunnos Pagan Fest in France in February. And then we have Metal Capital Festival in June here in our hometown after the Spain trip.

Pix666: Were there any funny moments in the history of Verikalpa that you won’t forget again, whether live on stage, in the studio or at a video shoot?

Jani: I’d say at this point while it´s kinda fresh in mind still but our recordings were quite brutally funny the whole time 😀 Both Sami K and my brother Sami playing tunes with bass and guitar weirdly off note together was the most memorable. Hard to put it in words but damn we died laughing.

Pix666: As a musician, you surely spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to distract yourself – are there any interesting – maybe typical Finnish – hobbies you pursue? 😊 

Jani: Beer drinking with friends is the best hobby. An when im not doing that, i collect and play video games. I also dig Horror movies a lot, and South Park 😀 And NHL ice hockey!

Pix666: By the way, Christmas is coming soon. Do you like Christmas and how do you celebrate it?

Jani: Yes i love christmas. We eat with the family and share presents, and just hang out. And after that we gather at someone’s place to have beers and games or just hang out with friends. The overall vibe of christmas is the best.

Pix666: Is there any other news about Verikalpa that you would like to share with the fans?

Jani: Well not really news but we already have a bunch of songs written for the fourth album. So definetily keepin’ ourselves busy!

Pix666: Do you have any advice for my next trip to Finland – what are the three best beers in Finland 😊 ?

Jani: Dress warm and any supermarket cheap beer will do 😀 Lidlin punainen, A’le coq and Koff.

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck for the future and stay healthy!



photos © by Jani Kakko. JKakko StillVid