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A Dirty Dozen with TEPPO from XYSMA – April 2023

| 5 April 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Xysma started in 1988 as a grindcore band (some say Finland’s first!), evolved into a more rock n roll version of a death metal band and then moved into even more accessible rock waters before breaking up around 1998 and pretty much staying disbanded, aside from some live shows, for the last 25 years. Their new album, No Place Like Alone is a fairly accurate depiction of that evolution in sound with some straight up rock’n’roll, catchy riffs, edgy vocals and toe tapping melodies. With a whole lotta history behind them, Xysma are a new take on classic sounds determined to keep you listening from start to finish.” We get Teppo to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

No Place Like Alone is good taste of Xysma in 2023. Lot of old and familiar stuff. Hard riffs with melodies. Straight forward rock. No apologies. There is no hidden messages. Or is there? If you know the history of the band, you will be certain that there is.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I really don’t know what got me really into music. Maybe then when all the kids where into soccer or ice hockey, I realized, this ain’t my cup of coffee or what ever. That point Stray Cats and Kim Wilde came into dark corners of Finland. I was sold. I was 10 years old back then. Soon after that I found punk and heavy metal. And a good future was gone, hah.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Yes for sure. Like I said, first Kim Wilde and Stray cats albums were the first ones. Then came Finnish punk band Lama. Then the British new wave heavy hit me. Few years later I found out that there were lot of music made before my time. I had to search and find out what the hell was made back in time. And still searching. Endless hobby for me.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

It’s got be some of those who has gone to another dimension. It would be blast to work with somebody whose  been gone a long ago. Like Waylon Jennings.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

I like to riding bike. It is my way to unwind. And have a glass of wine with good music. Not at the same time, hah.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Xysma is based on traditional way of writing music. We do it like it use to did back in 60’s and 70’s. Sort of vintage music if you like. Of course there is some technical aspects of modern days. Sad but true, best music is done decades ago. We try to get there where music sounds real.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We have our rehearsing place close to  my home. When we have time to get to together and rehearse is like 3 times in a year. After that we go in my place and I do the dinner or breakfast or what ever the time is. All the guitars and drums and microphones are left really far beyond in backyard at this point.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I’ve been working in a hotel a quite a long time. I have seen kings, queens, presidents, ministers, pop stars, sport stars, even dead people. There is not that much anymore who really moves me. But one was back in 2006. Lower east side in New York. Club Living Room. I had a hug  from Norah Jones. I was a huge fan back then, and still am. Anyway, I got a hug from her and still haven’t had bath then.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

This is funny question. I’m not a really musician. I’m a chef. It’s not my dream job, but I like it every now and then. Playing in a band is my dream job. I’m lucky that I can do it as often as we do it.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

How do you cook you’re chicken? Well, first you marinate the chicken with oil and spices one hour. While it marinates, heat the oven to 260 degrees celsius. When heat is up, put the chicken in to oven. 10 minutes and then lower the heat 160 degrees celsius. Heat and steam together 10 minutes. It’s ready to eat. Tell me what was the reason why it took so long to get this album done?

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Simple said, nothing. We did what we did.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

There is so many. First what came to my mind when I thought a bit was Deep Purple In Rock. It changed the whole game. And in same year came first Black Sabbath album. Both were and still is like nothing to compare. Oh, man, what they did! Change the whole world in few hours.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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