Hanna Tsepesh: Moi Juha and Mikko! Thanks a lot for accepting this interview, i know your work since “Journey Of Tragedy” promo in 2003, and since this year I've been following your work and i stay very happy for you guys when the band released finally your first album “Out Of The Dark” in 2005. But for people who don't know your work and band can you guys talk a little about Reflexion history and the other members?
Juha: Juha - vocals, Mikko - Bass, Juhani - guitar, Ilkka – guitar and Reiska – drums.We have played together since 1996 but Reflexion name and band was saw the daylight at 2000. We have four songwriters in the band and we do the songs all together. Arranging the songs as a band has always been one of the most important things in our music. Since now ,the songwriting has mainly been on my shoulders but we try to do music by listening who has the best song idea to offer.
Hanna Tsepesh: Mikko and Juha, tell me about your Background, what are your musical influences?
Mikko: I’ve been listening lots of older stuff like Beatles and Zeppelin but I don’t if these bands have really gave me influences. At some point I tried to drain everything out from 90’s grunge (mostly Nirvana) but that phase went through quite soon. Maybe biggest influences come from combination of all stuff you’ve listened lately.
Juha: I was introduced to the world of music by my sisters and my brother whom constantly listened the big rock names of 80´ at our house. I love 80´stuff from pop to rock. M. Jackson´s music videos and songs like Smooth criminal,Bad,etc., . Made me gaze the Skychannel and dreaming to be an performing artist. Later my brother started to play in a band and introduced me to rock/metal genre. Quuensryche,Tarot,Iron Maiden,Twisted sister,Europe got in to the picture and my destiny was sealed, I wanted to be a rock musician. At the age of 12-13 I met one guy at our local skating field right next where my parents lived and I heard that he can play guitar , drums etc. and pretty soon we formed my first own band together and started immediately to write our own songs.
Hanna Tsepesh: Juha, tell me what is your inspiration to create the lyrics for Reflexion?
Juha: I would prefer to use some other word than inspired. I get inspired to write the music but the lyric writing is more like doing a diary or a memo from an ordinary things in life. The lyrics are my daily memo where I blend in some irony,black humor, self pity,beauty and sadness.
At this point I have to say that I'm not a lyricist kind of guy. I always put the song and melody ahead. When I'm writing music, lyrics comes second and that's it. Lyrics are of course an important piece of the song but still I think that melody is the most important thing to me. The second reason is that I'm not that good of a lyric writer. Especially when English is not my mother language i try to keep the texts as simple as i can and not try too much.
Hanna Tsepesh: About your second album “Dead To The Past, Blind For Tomorrow”, when i listen it i stay very surprised by the fact that this time Mikko wrote 3 lyrics (“Embrace Of Wrath”, “Dancing in the air” and “Dead without you”) for Reflexion, and i love theme, they are fantastic and very beautiful, congratulations Mikko, Great Job! Also for the sound, is more Rock and Juha voice is more strong not so melodic, but i think is because of the lyrics right?! They are different then your first album “Out Of The Dark” the sound was more melodic and the lyrics are more sad, but in “Dead To The Past, Blind For Tomorrow” the sound is more strong and powerful and the Juha voice is more firm and strong, but we have also a romantic and calm music like “Dead Without You”. I like it very much, your album is amazing, congratulations for the other guys in band too! Tell us about this album…
Juha: Well, we did not. You have to check the facts again!! The lyrics in Embrace of wrath,Dancing in the air and Dead without you are all done by me, not Mikko. I don’t know how but some one has given you a wrong information.
Allthought the first track “Non-stop glorious ride” at our new album “ Dead to the past blind for tomorrow” is totally made by Mikko. Music and lyrics. Its a really good song.
Mikko: I don’t either know where this information have become but like Juha said, I’ve written only one song in album.
Hanna Tsepesh: Well, i think i will “cut” some heads off!!! Thank you so much for clarifying that mistake! Mikko tell us about your inspirations?
Hanna Tsepesh: When the band went on studio you all have the lyrics and riffs done? Tell us about the process in studio recording ? I know that you work with 2 names very knowed in Finland, Aksu Hanttu (Entwine drums) and Vesa Ranta (Ex. Sentenced),tell to us about their paticipation in this album and what did you feel to have this people working for you? Also you record this album in more studios in some Finland city's...right?! tell to us about that.
Mikko: Most of the stuff is already done when we enter the studio. Usually we just do changes to arrangements in studio. Aksu produced, recorded and mixed the album and Vesa took band photos and created cover art. They both did excellent work and it was pleasure to work with them. Album was recorded in three different cities mostly because we live in different cities and nowadays it’s not problem to move to different studio during the sessions.
Hanna Tsepesh: Does Reflexion have some concerts for now? Can you tell us some dates and places?
Mikko: After two weeks we’re heading to Russia to play gigs in St.Petersburg and in Moscow. Then hopefully some festivals in summer club tour in the autumn.
Hanna Tsepesh: In the future, Reflexion have some plans to come to Portugal?
Mikko: No plans for the gigs in Portugal at the moment. We’ll surely come if it’s possible.
Hanna Tsepesh: You guys have some words to tell to your Portuguese fans?
Juha: Buy the new album and be surprised!
Hanna Tsepesh: 2 Curiosities…Mikko what is your bass brand? why that chose? and for you two: When you don't work, what do you do in your free time?
Mikko: It’s hand made Amfisound custom bass and those are best ones available! Usually I try to stay at home and spend time with my seven head family. Yep, we have lots of cats.
Juha: I spend time with my family and read.
Hanna Tsepesh: It was easy for Reflexion to have a record label and have some supports? I know you signed with March XX, tell to us from who that opportunity came from? Did you have some kind of difficulty's?
Mikko: Mach XX released our debut album in Europe and it was natural choice to continue working with them cause they did great job with the first one. We had some problems with our former Finnish label but those things are now history and there isn’t much to talk about them.
Hanna Tsepesh: Can you guys tell some future projects? How are the things with Katve, Mikko? Juha, and For My Pain, you and the other guys are thinking to edit something?
Mikko: I haven’t been playing in Katve since 2006 and I don’t have any other projects at the moment.
Juha: No plans at the moment.
Hanna Tsepesh: Last questions, for the Portuguese who want to buy your album “ Dead To The Past, Blind For Tomorrow”, what can we do? Do you have some kind of link on Reflexion page on MySpace for that?
Mikko: Worldwide orders can be made from Record Shop X website at www.recordshopx.com/artist/reflexion/
Hanna Tsepesh: THE GATES OF METAL want to thank you a lot for your answers and for accepting this interview, and wish you all the success and for your new album “ Dead To The Past, Blind For Tomorrow” too! We hope to see you guys in Portugal very soon!
Mikko: Thanks to you and Moro (hello in Finnish) to people in Portugal! Hopefully we’ll see someday!
Juha: Thank you!
By: Hanna Tsepesh