Vista: Hey. Just the basic stuff. Who's in the band and who does what? Also, what are your ages?
Samuli: Antti-Ville(guitar), Mikko(guitar), Lauri(drums), Toni(vocals) and Samuli(bass). Ages vary between 23 and 34.
Vista: Can you give us the history of, Lighthouse Project? Year started, ex-members? Also, what has the band released, to date?
Samuli: Our previous drummer started gathering a line-up which became Lighthouse Project in the summer of 2004 when Toni joined the band and later came up with the name. We played our first show in January 2005 and released a demo in February.
After the demo we suddenly got a deal with Combat Rock Industry and started to write songs for what was to become our first LP. Before the LP release we played a lot of shows in Finland. We played with lots of different bands and people really got interested of our sound and shows. I dare to say that we were hyped for a while and of course the hyper wore itself out after the Navigate by Heart. We did our first tour soon after the record was released and it was really exciting. We went out to mainland Europe for 3 weeks and had 12 shows. Some were cancelled and some arranged along the way. We had plenty of time to look around the cities and basically had a band paid holiday. Then we decided to do a split 7” with our friends Satura Lanx, wrote and recorded three songs for that and began to write for the second LP – Gift that came out through Combat rock ad a German label Blacktop Records. Musically a bit more focused but still quite similar to the sound we began with. I remember that we shelved the songs that sounded too much like Endstand or Modern Life is War which seemed to be the band quite a lot of people started to copy those days. We did two tours, 10 days on our own(booked by Niko Blacktop) and a month with Endstand. The month was nice but somehow it was hard on the bands. Endstand went to hiatus and our days with Niila were done. Our only line-up change happened in late 2007 when Lauri(who formerly played in Satura Lanx) became our new drummer and he played his first show with us on February 2008. Our music started to evolve when having Lauri on board allowed us to have more metal in our sound. We instantly started to write songs for Misanthropic Humanist 7” that came out with a DVD late summer 2008. With the music changing we noticed that guys at the Combat Rock weren't that interested of us
anymore. We were still talking about the 3rd record coming through them but slowly the signs showed that it wouldn't happen. Pretty weird time. I was told that our music is quite hard to sell. Started to search for a new label and continued to write new songs. 2009 writing continued. We started demoing the songs and threw away lots of stuff that didn't work. Got in contact with a new label The Hood Took Us Under and decided to do a 7” through them to see how we'd work together. In the summer we had a nice weekend in the mansion studio in Porvoo recording the Lust For Lie 7” and then started to plan touring when the 7” would come out. Onward Agency did good job booking the tour for us and we even got the seven inches on time for the tour. We were happy with the 7” but it was obvious that we'd have to once again find a new label for the 3rd LP. Hood didn't have enough money and they also noticed that our records are hard to sell. The music sure wasn't your typical hardcore punk anymore. 2010.
Here's what we have released so far:
Navigate by Heart LP(2006)
Come to Accept 7” split with Satura Lanx(2007)
Misanthropic Humanist 7” DVD (2008)
Lust For Lie 7” (2009)
Navigate by Heart LP(2006)
Come to Accept 7” split with Satura Lanx(2007)
Misanthropic Humanist 7” DVD (2008)
Lust For Lie 7” (2009)
Vista: For those people out there who have never heard you, describe your style and sound? Pretend there is NO myspace to just "click" a button and find out what you guys are about. Tell us what Lighthouse Project is all about, both musically & lyrical content?
Samuli: Our music sounds like we are trying to play Black Flag and Black Sabbath at the same time.
Vista: Where did you get the name for your band & is there any meaning behind it?
Toni: I've had an obsession for lighthouses for a long time now. Something in them just fascinates me. Couple years before the band started, my friend asked me that if I had a band what would be the name for it. For some reason I instantly replied: Lighthouse Project. Around that time I also had taken a large lighthouse tattoo on my hand and it also had the name of our first LP under it. It described my current situation in life. I was at the biggest cross road by that far.
Vista: Here in America, not many bands from Finland seem to be "big" or "known". That being said...I'd like to talk about the biggest band from Finland & I think they are actually from the same part of the country that Lighthouse Project is from! That band is Hanoi Rocks!!! Sure, they aren't part of the hardcore scene, but they were, in the 80's at least, part of the glam, punkish, hair-metal scene. I definitely remember them! Any thoughts on them?
Toni: It's cool that you ask about Hanoi Rocks cuz besides Kiss they were the biggest thing to me as a kid. And I still consider their last album before their broke up the top 5 record of all the time. 2 steps from the move is my desert island record. It's timeless piece of art , intence and tight and it's obvious to see the impact it had on bands like Guns 'n Roses etc. It's ridiculous how much I listened to their records back then and how much I watched the live videos on VCR. First time I heard the Blizgrieg Bop was when they covered it on their All Those Wasted Years live video. When I heard about the car accident where the drummer Razzle died I cried and tore down all the Mötley Crue posters from my walls cuz Vince Neil was driving the car drunk and caused the death of him. Did you now that their original bass player, Sami Yaffa nowadays plays in New York Dolls and he too played in the Myrphy's Law back in the nineties?
Vista: As a band, what were some of your goals in the beginning ? Also, what have some of your proudest moments, as a band?
Toni: The very first time when I saw someone lip sync my lyrics, phonecall about our first Lp, photo were Rob Fish was wearing our shirt, first European tour, tattoos I have seen about our band, e-mail from a kid at the mental institution who said that our shit has helped him more than any medicine, sharing a stage with so many influential bands like Cromags/FVK , Strike Anywhere , Go It Alone.
Vista: Tell us about the hardcore scene in Finland. I think some people here know of Endstand. They are an amazing band. My band was actually fortunate enough to play a show with them while we were in Europe many, many years ago. But, my question is...What's up with the scene in your area ? Bands we should keep an eye out for, clubs where shows are, record labels, etc.?
Samuli: Endstand didn't play a show since our European tour back in 2007 and now they are giave the band a proper closure in May by playing a farewell show here in Helsinki. They were and actually still are the most well-known hardcore band from Finland, except of course all the 80's bands (Terveet Kädet, Lama, Rattus, Kaaos...) that are recognized around the world. Scene in Finland is doing quite good nowadays. Younger generation is coming up with new bands and putting up shows etc.. Labe-lwise it seem to be that it's every man for themselves. It's really DIY since all the labels that once did put out records constantly have been slowing down. Combat Rock does more re-releases of old punk records than any new stuff, Fullhouse puts out maybe two records a year. So quite a lot of records come out through small labels that you haven't heard of. Here's some still active bands people should check out: St. Hood, Kylmä Sota, Bolt, Diskelmä, Eye For All, Ills, Cold Inside, Ydinperhe, Selfish.
Vista: I see that you guys have played many shows. What have been some highlight shows, that you've done. Also, how many tours of Europe have you done? Any plans for a tour of America ?
Samuli: We've done four europen tours so far and we'll see what happens when we get the next record out. Vuoritalo and TVO in Finland have been good to us back in the day. I'm looking through list of our shows and trying to remember some highlights, thing do get blurred after some time. Blacktop showcase 2007 in Rosswein Germany was a fine show. Our first time in Zagreb on our first tour. In 2009 Kokkola really surprised us here in Finland. Playing with Rise Against was also memorable event. I guess we'll never reach that much audience again and definitely not that much people who've never heard us before. So we've played some big shows and many small ones and one thing I can be sure of is that I prefer to play on floor more than on the big stage.
Vista: What are your thoughts of the current hardcore scene ? In your opinion, what are the good points, as well as bad points?
Samuli: You mean world wide? I see you're asking about America later so I'll talk about Europe then. People get to see so much American bands here nowadays that I'm afraid that they aren't that willing to support the European bands so easily anymore. Tours are sometimes harder to organize cause people are fed up with mediocre bands that tour all the time. Bigger labels slowing down. But on every tour I see couple of bands that I've never heard before that are really good and interesting. People still threat bands really good here while you're on tour and that is one of the best things I've learned while touring.
Vista: Tell us about the music video that you guys made?
Samuli: If you mean the Musta Jumala video, it was made by Iiro Tujula who said after one of our shows that he filmed it would do something with the material. Then we kinda forgot the whole thing and couple motnths later he gave us a cd containing the video. It turned out to be be quite good and we were happily surprised. The song was originally written by very legendary finnish 80's hardcore band Terveet Kädet.
Vista: Outside of playing music, what are some of your interests ? What do you guys do, as far a jobs, school, etc. ?
Samuli: Social studies and work, industrial design studies, unemployment, telephone and skateboard salesmen. Couple of us are involved in this skateboard company called Tikari (finnish word for dagger) and we just released decks for Eye For All, Bolt and Lighthouse Project. Check out tikari.com for more information.
Vista: What's your opinion on the American hardcore scene ? Are there any bands that you look at, as being decent?
Samuli: Of course there's decent bands. I think people here know more about the American bands than the European bands. To name some current bands from the hardcore scene, I'd start from Converge, Blacklisted and 108 and then I'd notice there's too many to mention.
If Lighthouse Project continues for...Five more years, where would you like to see your band ? Bigger label? Bigger shows? Does this type of stuff even concern you?
Samuli: Last couple years the labels have only gotten smaller so it's hard to see it changing anytime soon. Labels get dissapointent cause they don't know how to get people into buying our records and obviously the records won't sell as good as people hoped they would. That's what you get when band doesn't want to repeat and improve the same formula they got known for. Damn I sound jaded. Of course I'd like to see our music spread more than now. Through some European label, maybe even an American label. It sure would be nice to tour with some bigger bands as well. Oh yeah and that almost happened, but then Rob ended up leaving 108 so the tour plans got cancelled. It's understatement to say that we were very excited for a short while. Next July we are playing with Converge here in Helsinki and that definitely is a dream come true. Playing with Mastodon would be nice. So of course we pland and hope some things to happen and then stop to look back and be really grateful of all the things that we achieved already. Maybe one day I'm able to really tell how much this band has given to me.
Vista: What was your first introduction to hardcore music & the hardcore scene? How old were you & what band or bands got you interested in this music scene?
Samuli: Since our age range is kinda wide we got into hardcore through very different bands, but the route was pretty similar to all of us: skate videos, local bands and shows, thanks lists on favourite metal records, bands playing classis hardcore covers etc.
Vista: I was wondering about the artwork for the, "Lust For Lie" 7inch ? Who did the artwork & what are some thoughts about it ?
Samuli: The art is done by Sampsa Sarparanta, a finnish artist and a punk rocker who also did the artwork of our first LP. I couldn't find any proper web site of him so I recommend to just use google picture seach to see more of his work. He did the artwork for our first LP and we've played some shows with his band No Shame. We all visited one his art shows last year and were impressed once again, so when it was time to find cover art fot the 7 inch, his pictures were quite well etched to our minds already. The next LP art will also be from him.
Vista: In closing, I'd like to thank you for doing this interview. Is there anything else you'd like to say ? Also, what is the best way to contact you guys?
Samuli: Thanks to you for finding out about us, it's always nice when new people find our music and consider it relevant. To contact us, use the basic stuff, MySpace, Facebook and email (email@example.com). Give a listen to the music and if you wish to find out more go to lighthouseproject.net, there's plenty to read and see. Send mail if you'd like to get some records, I'm more than willing to get to send some packages overseas.