QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Jarkko Koukonen (Bloodred Hourglass)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Jarkko. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of BRHG?

Jarkko: Hey! We are all doing fine and been safe, thanks for asking. If you look at our bigger picture, some of us are affected more by the circumstances than others, but in general everything is good. I’m sure it’s not really a surprise every single one of us is missing the live shows like crazy here.

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music does BRHG make?

Jarkko: We like to think BRHG represents the new wave of melodic death metal. We still carry some old school vibes in our sound as well, but our main goal is to bring in more modern sounding and fresh touch to this genre. Lyrically we have pretty much always kept it firmly grounded in the here and now, so it’s about personal experiences and everyday life that should be more or less easy to relate to.

Pix666: What was your inspiration to become a musician and when and where did you meet as a band?

Jarkko: It all started back in the days when we shared a band class in high-school with our drummer Jarkko. He played drums and I did vocals on that one. A few years later we were looking for something more serious and started to gather members and that’s when Jose joined. We’ve had a few member changes on guitar players during the years, but Lauri, Joni and Eero is the established part of family that delivers the base for most of our signature sound these days.

Pix666: You’ve been with Bloodred Hourglass for more than 15 years now. Please tell the readers what were the best or craziest experiences with the band so far that you will never forget?

Jarkko: I’m not sure if there’s been anything mind blowing crazy that should absolutely be mentioned- guess it’s been a smooth ride for us after all. One of the best experiences must have been our latest European tour with Evergrey and Genus Ordinis Dei. That was such a great time and we still tend to miss that one so much, especially these days when playing live is on pause.

Pix666: Some weeks ago you released the video clip of the song ‘Drag Me The Rain’. Where did you shoot the clip? Who was part of the team and were there any complications during the shoot due to certain Corona restrictions?

Jarkko: ‚Drag Me the Rain‘ was shot here in our home city Mikkeli, at the local university campus studio to be more precise. It was a small group of people in the production, so we made it through with no further issues. The video was shot by Riivata Visuals.

Pix666: Is there already a release date for your new album? When will it be available for pre-order and will there be special editions of the album?

Jarkko: We currently have no date. It’s not the best option to release the album if you have zero live shows to support it, so we are still looking for the best possible chance with our record label. We are confident it will be out in 2021, and there will of course be many singles before the actual album to keep our dear fans and followers occupied with some new tunes to stream!

Pix666: A few years ago you signed with Out Of Line, a German label. How did this contact come about and what impact did this step have on your popularity in Germany?

Jarkko: Thanks to Apple Music and song called “Six Feet Savior”. They picked us up on a weekly recommendations playlist and fell in love with our stuff. Ranka Kustannus was the Finnish label and we all partnered up to make it bigger. It was a step-up for us by many ways and instantly opened some doors to play the bigger festivals like Summer Breeze and Greenfield, as well as the tour in central-Europe. You could tell when we played the ‚Weekender festival‘ in Berlin that the German fanbase is real. Love it.

Pix666: Your music is listened in countries all over the world. I’m a fan of statistics of all kinds. What about you? Do you look at the numbers of streams or the views on YouTube? In which countries are you listened most often?

Jarkko: Maybe even more than we should. But it’s good to stay in the game and the statistics can be important, especially if they are rewarding. Spotify has a great platform for artist statistics and according to that the top three right now for the new single would be US, Finland and UK. Germany is number six so step it up folks!

Pix666: Unfortunately, the pandemic still has us in its grip, and in Germany we are even still partly in lockdown. You had to cancel your tour, planned for spring. Do you already know when you can reschedule these shows?

Jarkko: Unfortunately this tour will not be rescheduled at all. It was already postponed once and there is understandably too much uncertain elements to even try to do that again. We are obviously looking for something similar as soon as possible, when the world allows this to happen.

Pix666: In the past, you have already played at big open air festivals in front of thousands of spectators. What do you prefer – this huge crowd in front of you, or an intimate concert in a small club and the absolute closeness to the fans?

Jarkko: I love both of course, but I must say that a big festival crowd viewed from stage is my favourite landscape. It’s like the ultimate reward for putting your heart and soul out into these songs, to see so many people going crazy about it. I also really enjoy when there is a lot of space on stage. Even thinking of this gives me chills on these quiet days.

Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue? 😊

Jarkko: I love good food and great red wines, and I guess I need to count them as a hobby, lol. Some working out and physical activity has to be done of course, just so we can still fit through a door of a plane some day. Some video gaming as well (seems like I refuse to get old). After all, there’s nothing fancy really and we’re just screaming to return playing live these days.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Bloodred Hourglass that you would like to share with the fans?

Jarkko: Our next single “Veritas” is out on 16.04.2021. Keep it on repeat like the first one, stay safe, and can’t wait to see you all soon!

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

Jarkko: Thank you so much! Wish you all the best as well.



photos © Outo Kuva