QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Jere Kuokkanen (Everture)

written by Marko Jakob

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

Hello! We are all very much alive and well. Washing hands and staying home has definitely worked and I can’t even remember the last time I have been so healthy for so long! And after finally getting our debut album out to the world all of us also feel very much relieved. The making of this album was a hard journey but also a rewarding and teaching one. We have learned a lot from this process and we are much more prepared when it’s the time for our second album. So we’re doing good and we are also excited about the future.

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

Jere: Everture does catchy and modern metal music for music fans, who like punchy, energetic and angry but also emotional music. We are trying to deliver a wide range of musical experiences for our listeners and we try to learn new ways to do metal music all the time. So if you like catchy metal with great riffs and powerful lyrics, you will probably like us!

Pix666: What was your inspiration to become a musician and did you sing in other bands before you joined Everture?

Jere: I can’t pinpoint the moment when I wanted to become a musician, but I can tell that the great experiences I had with singing in primary and secondary schools inspired me a lot. Also, when it comes to bands, Green Day’s Bullet in a Bible live-dvd was a very inspiring one for me and that definitely has impacted my decision to pursue a career in music.

Pix666: When and where did you meet as a band?

 Jere: I met with these guys originally in 2015, when the guys were doing a cover of a finnish singer-songwriter Anssi Kela’s song for YouTube. Kela had a challenge where everyone could post a cover of his song and they could win a guitar. Guys needed a singer to sing for the cover and I decided to give my vocals for the track. Later, one of these same guys, who I also knew from my high school, reached out to me on 2016 and asked if I wanted to sing in a private book-release party with their band. The guys told me that they needed a singer for the band they were planning and later on 2017 I finally joined the band, which was called Everture.

Pix666: In March your album ‚Emerge‘ was released. In which versions can the fans buy your album, and above all, where?

Jere: The album is available on every major streaming platform (Spotify, Apple Music etc.), as a download and as a CD. We are also planning releasing vinyl versions of our debut sometimes in the future, but it’s not entirely sure if that will happen though. CD versions can be found, for example, on Inverse Store, Record Shop X (also known as Levykauppa Äx) and in the future they will be also available on EMP.

Pix666: The listeners of Radio Suomirock voted your single ‘Closure’ to number 1. How does it feel to be there at the top, ahead of Blind Channel for example?

Jere: Simply put, that feels good. We are not trying to compete with other bands so it doesn’t really matter if we are higher than, for example, Blind Channel, but it certainly shows that people enjoy our music and that makes me feel thankful.

Pix666: You‘ve also released a video clip of the song ‘Closure’. 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?

Jere: The entire video was shot during a one day in an old hotel and club in Kokkola called Seurahuone. The place is very beautiful and the intimate club was very fitting for the video as we wanted that private party vibe. There was a team of 10-20 people who participated in the scenes and they did a great job.

Our camera man and director Hannu Karppinen also did a great job with the video. Hannu also sings in a band called Nicumo by the way, I highly recommend to check that one out. But luckily, the corona situation in Kokkola was so good that we didn’t have to wear masks at that time really and there were no strict limitations for the amount of people that could be gathered to the building.

Pix666: What reactions and feedback have you received so far regarding the album, but also about the video clips?

Jere: We have received mostly positive feedback regarding the album, but the division of the overall feedback is very interesting. Some people give our music very high scores and some people give very low scores. But I guess the most important thing is that our music resonates and gives people opinions. So it isn’t just boring. Our video clips have also received similar type of response in a way, because not all of the thumbs given are thumbs up. But that’s pretty normal too. You can’t please everybody.

Pix666: Your music is listened in about 80 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? Is Germany also in the leading group in the statistics?

Jere: Stats are always interesting to me as well, but they don’t control the way we do our music. We do care about the amount of streams and views when we get a lot of them, but we don’t try to do music which appeals to everyone and that way gather the max amount of streams or views. Top 3 countries at the moment, in Spotify at least, are USA, Finland and Germany. So Germany is right there! USA is pretty surprising one, but I’m definitely happy that our music resonates there the most.

Pix666: Unfortunately, the pandemic still has us in its grip, and in Germany we are even still partly in lockdown. When you release an album and then you can’t play the songs live in front of an audience, it’s a pretty stupid situation. Nevertheless, is Everture already planning some 2021 concerts or some festivals in summer?

Jere: It is definitely stupid and we can’t wait to get back on the stage and connect with audience again. We are trying to plan some gigs for the summer of 2021 but all of this is still so uncertain that I don’t know if they are going to happen. But we hope for the best.

Pix666: What is the current situation in Finland and especially the mood among the people?

Jere: I think the mood is still pretty good in Finland. The entire corona situation is pretty decent here so the people aren’t really that upset. We are still able to go out for a run freely for example and we can enjoy the nature. So I guess that helps a lot. We do have to wear masks when we go to stores, for example, but I don’t think people have a lot of problems with that. Finnish people are very adaptive when it comes to these things I guess.

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? 😊

Jere: I play a lot of video games and I like to design some own games as well. My dream job, in addition to music, is to work with video games actually. I also have a lot of outdoor hobbies including cycling, geocaching and disc golf. Those are really good things to relax your mind with and they are also great during these hard times, because they are outdoors so you don’t have to wear a mask. Or at least in Finland and in Kokkola.

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

Jere: We have already started planning our second album’s demos and I can tell already that there is some great new stuff coming. Make sure to follow us on socials though when we release new stuff. We can be found with username ‘evertureband’ from almost anywhere. So give us a follow to know when there’s stuff happening!

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

Jere: Thanks!


photos © by Henri Korhonen (https://www.instagram.com/hl.foto/)