Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Sami Joensuu - vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo, harp
Kari Riihimäki - Electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Moilu Moilanen - drums and percussion, vocals
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Joensuu Riihimaki? How long has the band been around?
We started JR in the summer of 2014. We met guitarist Kari Riihimäki and me (Sami) at the songwriter's club i was hosting at the time. We made a couple of new songs to the songwriters Club which I had ideas ready to go and soon we found to be looking for the same things in music and soon we played for the first gigs.
Things clicked right away. First we released the single; Joe’s Café Blues/A Pale Wind Comin’ 2014. Our first album; Greetings From The Edge Of The World was released in the spring of 2015. We released our second album ’Where’s The Fire, John? in april 2016. The Third album ’Highwater’ came out 1.12.2017. We’ve been busy!
We all had several bands before Joensuu Riihimäki Moilu used to play alternative rockband called; Russian Love and Kari´s former bands among others was Doggtown. I have almost always been a solo artist.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Joensuu Riihimäki was our first choice for the bands name. Both last names are also town names in Finland. First thoughts was to play as a duo but soon Moilu joined the group. The name of the band was working fine and there was no reason to change it even difficult to pronounce in outside the Scandinavian..
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I write mainly songs or actually kind of a basis for on which we are building together with the atonement. I usually come up with the ideas and everyone write own parts. Our purpose is to create music that will last over time, we have our own sound which we want to hold on to.
The theme is about everyday life and in history, I think that I write a pretty symbolic texts sometimes take time that the lyrics open but the time is worth the effort, you bet.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Our influences are pretty different which is a good thing. We all love roots stuff what is a broad concept. I usually inspired by music like Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Esperanza Spalding. I listen to a lot of jazz too.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
When I first time saw the Hanoi Rocks on stage, the real one with Razzle in 80´s. I was a little boy but I realized that this is a real rock ´n´ roll and that’s what I wanna do!
Now-a-days, times have changed pure rock´n´roll is rare, nothing seems to affect so deep anymore.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
I usually warm up my voice through some exercises and steps aside for awhile just to be a moment in my thoughts. Not much really. Kari usually plays on his Stratocaster and Moilu tells jokes and maybe we take a beer or two together before gig.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
I think almost every show is a highlight moment. We've played a number of sold out gigs in Finland and abroad they have all been highlights and we were glad to play our songs for the motivated crowd. The biggest highlight so far, its hard to say, really. So much has happened to the cool things and is going to happen. We are so happy that we get to do music for the people.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Tour with the late Rory Gallagher would provide inspiration to hard. It would be fun to see and experience what it was to tour around at that time. He was one of the greatest songwriters and guitar players at the time, and still is. I would like to experience that time.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We want to thanks all of the fans for the support. You can find us from streaming services and all three albums can be found in online stores. Highwater shall be published in the LP in the spring, Please be tuned and follow us in social media.