pdn: Hello, Janne! Could you please tell me a bit about the reason you named your project 'Heroin and Your Veins'?
Janne: Six years ago when I was starting this I spent quite a while thinking of a name that felt right. I liked the word "heroin" and then I ran into this drug propaganda booklet called "Heroin and Your Veins". There's actually a series of them with names like "Speed and Your Brain" and "Cocaine and Your Nose". I can't tell you the exact reason why I liked the name I chose but that's the way it goes with me. If something feels right I don't feel the need to rationalize it. Intuition and spontaneity play big parts in what I do but I also spent three years working on my new album so there's some hard work too.
pdn: What and who most inspires you in the creative process? Also, who would be some artists, musicians that you love listening to?
Janne: Many things I guess but perhaps what inspire me most are sounds and other music. In a similar way how a painter or a photographer can be fascinated by colours I am fascinated by sounds and not just of musical instruments. My new album especially is full of sounds coming from different objects, nature and human body so it's not just a collection of musical pieces. Maybe this is why the words "film music" often come up when people are trying to describe what I do. I don't like that because my intention is that the music stands on its own power and doesn't require moving pictures for support. Perhaps it's just the case of the unusual sounds inspiring listener's imagination.
I'm an ethusiastic music lover and lately I've been listening to some old jazz and my old heroes Rowland S. Howard and Mick Harvey. It would be tough to list all the things I like, but I guess this kind of question is a good way for me to mention contemporary artists who I think deserve to have their albums bought. J.P. Shilo and his former band Hungry Ghosts did something similar years ago to what I'm trying to do now. The way Barry Adamson has done unique albums almost all by himself for over 25 years is very inspiring and encouraging to me. Then there's the atmospheric works of HTRK, Kava Kon, Lilium and Dirty Beaches whom all I find very fascinating.
pdn: When did you start making music and how did it happen? How many instruments can you play at this point?
Janne: I was thirteen when I first picked up guitar and eighteen when I wrote my first tune for a band I played in. I lived in countryside until I was seventeen and before that I never thought playing music would lead into anything even though I liked it. When I moved into a city everything just seemed to happen by itself. I got into a band, loved it and started to work hard for it. I learned a lot from other musicians who were older than I. Every time we were in a studio I just sucked in all the information. In the end I was fired for being so uncompromising with my ideas and I was also bitter about the band's direction. It was frustrating but I vented that into making my own music. Soon I learned that I could do it all by myself and the split-up was a good thing after all. A year later my first album Dead People's Trails was released and if it sounds hurried that's because it is.
I can get a sound out of any instrument but I don't play anything very well. I guess I'm most at home with guitars and other stringed instruments that you can pluck. I'm not afraid to pick up different instruments because I work alone and there's no one to laugh at me. With keyboards it's simply the case of pushing buttons and with percussion it's mostly hitting or shaking things. I think my strengths lay in combining simple things and making most of the skills I have.
pdn: Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming release?
Janne: Well it's longer and bigger than anything I've done before. I worked on it for three years and during quite a turmoil in my life. I can hear the memories in the album. I think in the end it got too long and too versatile to be just a pleasant listen all through. It's just that the music being so personal is the reason why this time I couldn't give in to the urge of pleasing listeners. This is my most serious work yet. Getting someone to release it ended up being quite a pain but it's finally coming out through Australian Pimpmelon Records on 26th October. It can already be ordered at http://pimpmelon.bandcamp.com/album/regret,
pdn: The other acts you are involved in, Ultranoir and Piss Ennui...what are they doing at the moment?
Janne: Nothing actually. UltraNoir is actually the band I mentined earlier and which I was fired from in 2006. Since last year I've played with them once again but with a different attitude. It's not really my band and I just play guitar not caring if I don't get to express myself. With that band things happen very slowly and we haven't played together in over six months. Piss Ennui is an album that I recorded with UltraNoir's vocalist in 2009. It was never meant to lead anything more than that and I think the tongue-in-cheek attitude makes it quite a good album. I usually don't work like that. It can be listened for free here: http://pissennui.bandcamp.com/
pdn: Have you ever played with the idea/ thought of including vocals in your music, or you think it would limit the freedom of interpretation, mindtravel of the listener?
Janne: Yes I have but not very seriously. Once I tried to write songs with a very good vocalist but our personalities clashed in a bad way. I guess I can be a pain to work with when I'm taking it seriously. At least when it's a democracy and it's not clear who has the final say. When I'm alone it's easier for me to concentrate anyway and get my mind into the place which is required for creating.
I don't have presumptions about what goes on in listeners' heads as my guideline. Making instrumental music just is a natural thing for me. Words can be very dominating and I don't want there to be clear ideas like that flowing over the music. I prefer the music to float free in space without those kind of restrictions. Also a weak vocalist can ruin the whole song no matter how good the music is while a strong vocalist can force the whole song into a certain idea. I don't want either to happen to my music. I can't imagine there to be that kind of dominating human voice but I've recorded some people when they were not aware. I also feel that I'm being most honest when there's no words involved but that's something I can't really explain.
pdn: You've performed live with other musicians until 2011. Are you intending to play more live shows in the future? And any other plans for Heroin and Your Veins?
Janne: I won't be playing live for now. The idea of it doesn't feel good anymore. It's more difficult preparing for concerts with a set-up like Heroin and Your Veins and it's not really worth the trouble if you don't enjoy it and feel that it's important. I used to think that I'm supposed to perform live to promote the albums but it never sounded as good as I'd want it to sound. This just isn't the kind of music I'd like to play in the surroundings of a normal live music venue. Instead I work hard to make my albums just as I like them. They're full of details that I wouldn't be able to reproduce live. For listening I would suggest some solitude and a good sound system or a pair of good headphones.
pdn: Thank you so much! Is there anything you would like to add for the fans, readers? :)
Janne: It means a lot to me when somebody writes to me from some far away place and tells me that my music has touched her or him. Little messages like this are vital to what I do as I know that my music can't ever become very popular. Even though I'm not trying to please anyone but myself when I'm making music I don't think I would do it if I knew nobody would listen. This is communication after all and I'm glad I'm not shouting into silence.