K-X-P are a trio from Finland (although they would rather you tell people they’re from Alaska) that really need to be on your radar if you want some mean beat music to move to during Airwaves. Their music is kinda difficult to describe, but what we will say is that it’s ‘intense,’ and that their songs are stuffed with brooding, perpetual beats and paranoid synths. It’s darkwave psychedelia based on a simple formula that’s lean and taut. There’s no waste or flab on this beast.
So with that in mind, we contacted band member Tuomo Puranen to find out his thoughts on cultural overload, Finnish stereotypes and offering free beer to people who come to their shows (allegedly).
Hi There Tuomo! Tell us about yourself. For example, who are you and what do you get up to in your daily lives. Remember, no detail is too small or banal….
I´m sure there are plenty of band bios around that can tell you all the basic who, what, where and when-stuff…
Daily life? When not touring or otherwise involved with making music, my daily life consists mostly of staring into space and thinking. That makes me feel alive.
What got you making music in the first place? What kept you playing?
At the time I started making music, it felt to me like some kind of synthesis of all arts—a total aural/visual mindfuck, during which everything became one. It seemed to include philosophy, sex, religion and politics, with no way to tell which was which. Those first experiences were strong enough to get me hooked for life. So here we are.
We won’t have you pin yourself down in a genre, but we had fun in the office describing your sound, from death glam disco to afro kraut sludge. But maybe you can tell us what musicians you hope your fans also like. What music inspires you?
That´s the advantage of having been doing this for so long; you’ve been influenced by so much music, and those influences have had time to become subliminal. There´s no more thinking involved, no decision-making. The shit just happens.
Speaking of current listening habits… I’ve found myself listening to more and more classical music. Only because it utilises this one thing that is such a taboo in our world: dynamics. In popular music, that´s the greatest sin of all. You have to be louder than the competition, all the time, and that´s it. No dead air. What used to be art has become advertising. And advertising is a form of warfare. So, you start out to be an artist, and end up as a soldier. It’s a sad and beautiful world, eh?
It makes us want to weep. Tell us what’s currently on your cultural radar at the moment. What do you feel we need to check out at the moment?
My personal cultural radar is at the moment making weird noises and I think I see some smoke rising from it. Overload. There’s too much of everything, and it’s all so… available! I hate that.
You need to check out the sea and the mountains. If you pay close attention, they have some pretty amazing shit to say about the relevance of culture.
You come from mighty Finland. While we at the Grapevine don’t like to foster stereotypes, is it true you can all drive as well as Mika Häkkinen in the snow and wrestle bears? Can you give us some fun facts about your home country?
Have you ever seen Mika Häkkinen drive in the snow? I haven’t. I would imagine he can’t even walk without at least two inches of asphalt under his feet…
Fun facts? Did you know that in the Finnish language there is no word for ‘foreplay’? And did you know that one word is used to describe both sexual intercourse and wrestling bears? The stereotypes about Finns as some kind of noble savages used to be such a great publicity tool, not to mention a very real source of pride… until recently, when one particular Finnish political party managed to sort of ‘hijack’ the whole mental image of a Finn. They also officially changed their English name to ‘The Finns.’ So if anybody asks, we’re from Alaska, OK?
But yes, Finland is full of strange and wonderful things: McDonalds, KFC, Apple, Luis Vuitton, Facebook… there are no words to describe the weirdness that goes on here. You have to see it yourself.
Is there anything you know about Iceland at all before your trip up here? Do you have anything special you want to accomplish by coming to Iceland? Are there any other acts playing at Airwaves you want to get a chance to see??
Been there only once before, a long time ago. The main thing I remember, aside from the obvious ‘landscape-gasms,’ is how proud the people were. And the delicious hotdogs… they were the only affordable food.
I´m really looking forward to seeing how Iceland is today though, because you’ve been through the dreaded collapse, the very thing that is supposed to bring on the apocalypse, according to current econo-religious dogma. Have you seen the four dudes on horses yet?
Other acts? Haven´t yet checked who´s playing. I´m afraid to. I´ve heard someone mentioning the B-word. Christ almighty, don´t let me get into this exhausting ‘must see this, must see that’ state of mind. Are the whale safaris still outrageously expensive?
Make a five track playlist for Festival goers to listen to while they are here in Iceland during Airwaves. Your scenario: You’re getting your party face on as you’re about to head out to Airwaves on a Saturday night…
1) Speed Queen – Suicide
2) Rock On – David Essex
3) Galaxy Around Oldumare – Alice Coltrane
4) Den Sista Veckan – Philemon Arthur And The Dung
5) Anaklasis For Strings And Percussion – Krysztof Penderecki
K-X-P played Saturday 01:20, at Gaukur Á Stöng