Hanna Tsepesh: Moro Reijo! Thanks so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! For those who do not know Minea could tell us a little how it all started?

Reijo: Hello Hanna! Minea is Finnish hardrock band, which was established year 2004. Actually three of us have played together in other group between 1999-2003. We took a little brake, but after that it was easy to start a new project with old mates. That’s shortly how we started with Minea. Our first album came out 2005 and after that band have had some changes in crew. Nowadays we have five members in our group and we just enjoy a lot to play together.

Hanna Tsepesh: Your lyrics are all in finnish so I would like to ask you: what are the inspirations to create the lyrics for Minea and if the band writes the lyrics first or first the band creates the riffs and the melody to comply with the lyrics?

Reijo: In our last album ’Sota’ we have done melodies and riffs first. Hannu Nissinen (guitar) has done 5 songs to this album and they came quite ready ones to me. We did a little bit arrange work together and after that I wrote down lyrics. I have also done some small changes in melodies after I have done lyrics.
Inspiration to write lyrics arise from everyday life to me. I process my thoughts how I see world around us and it motivates me to write. You can find different moods from experiences and lived life in my text. Some of lyrics are quite strong and we are ready to speak out for things, we just see right. Love and true friendship can be an issue also.

Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? You have any singer that you admire the most?

Reijo: There are so many good singers, but I personally admire John Sclitt. When I started to listen hard rock in my early teens, this guy was one, whom I had remembered all these years to nowadays. It’s same thing with bands. Starting from Finland there are so many good bands in the world, that it’s not so easy to name one or two. I think Van Halen, Steve Lukather and especially Giant has influenced mostly, when we have composed songs to this new CD. So, if You have found some marks from 80’s and 90’s melodic hard rock there, we have succeed. ?

Hanna Tsepesh: This bands that you already told us make you decided to play hard rock?
Reijo: Hard rock and metal music bands have always been favorites of mine. I like rich, strong melodies and stadium rock attitude. It has been easy to choose hard rock.
I hope, we have caught those rich melodies and strong rock attitude with modern rock influences in our new album.

Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to say that I liked a lot your voice! You had or have any singing lessons or any other preparation?

Reijo: Thank you Hanna. I’m admired. Actually I haven’t taken any official training or lessons in singing. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t practiced. I have done my home works just like other band members. I have always loved to sing, so it has been natural choice to me to be a singer in a band. I’m very satisfied the sound of my voice in new album, because it’s so near the natural sound of mine.

Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome Reijo, it is really my opinion! Minea have a new album out now called “Sota”. I liked so much this album and I am really sad that I can’t understand the lyrics! I really don’t have anything bad to say about this album for me you and your band make an excellent work! For people who don’t listen yet can you talk about this album and what the band wants to accomplish with “Sota”?

Reijo:Desirable things are something we want to speak out purposefully. We are not old ones but we have got some experience of life. I personally have lived quite rough teenage years and be happy that I’m here where I am today. Things could be much worse. Therefore we are ready to stand for good things and values, which are not self-evident in our world today.
At my daily work I meet about 15-20 thousand youngster per year, so I have quite good touch what are aching issues in their lives. In our songs we want to tell people, that everyone’s life is valuable. We also want to live sincerely likewise.

Hanna Tsepesh: One little curiosity: what means Sota?

Reijo: Sota means War. In our album it means The War for hope, peace and justice. Normally we struggle our personal wars in mental level, which are most difficult part to almost everyone. We tell about decisions in our lyrics. Small decisions, which can change our world and give us possibilities to live our live a little bit happier and more equal.

Hanna Tsepesh: The band feels proud with the final result or you think that miss something? Everything went well at recording studio? It was an easy process for you and the band?

Reijo:I think we all are satisfied. The whole process took quite long, because we had some problems with time schedules. We had to move some recording sessions later, which we have reserved beforehand. It took quite a lot work to found new, suitable times, which were ok both recording studio and band members. But when we were at studio everything went exemplary and quickly. We had two young artistic producers in our recording process. It was easy to co-operate with them. They had lots of fresh ideas and they also had good vision how we should arrange songs. So they took part also in pre-production.

Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?
Reijo: Response from our fans has been excellent. Especially live concerts have been awesome. We have enjoyed a lot to play new songs and I think we have had open atmosphere in our concerts to share all this joy we have got from our new songs.
Despite of it, that Minea use our mother language, we have got great reviews from Europe. Therefore, it has been great to read that new CD has been successful, not only musically, but also the sound/production of the record has been rated very high level. So we are actually little bit proud of it that our independent production has done so well.

Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album/EP safely, what they can do?

Reijo: Our distributor here in homeland is Maanalainen Levykauppa, which has a division called Bullroser Records. They have quite good contacts to European wholesalers and we are just waiting to get our album to music shops in different countries.
Before that You can order our CD straight from Maanalainen Levykauppa (www.maanalainenlevykauppa.com) or send an order through our websites (www.minearock.net). We will also update a list of places later, where the album can be bought physically outside of Finland.

Hanna Tsepesh: what is your favorite music in this album and why?

Reijo: To me personally best ones are Sota, Tulessa kasvaneet and Valoon. All of these songs have strong lyrics, rich melodies and they personally rock to me.

Hanna Tsepesh: The band is thinking about a European tour? You guys have plains to include Portugal in your tour or something?

Reijo: We definitely hope that we got some valuable contacts from Europe that enables to negotiate new gigs outside of Finland in future. So, we are looking forward, but still with both legs on the ground.

Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who going to read this interview?

Reijo: First of all thank you for your support! We are happy that you have found this interview and also our music. We hope that our new songs will give you good feelings and keep you rocking on. Right now we are living in the middle of the Finnish summer here in Finland, so we wish You light and sun shine to your life.

Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. THE GATES OF METAL wishes the entire band a great success with “Sota”! We hope to see Minea very soon in here…

Reijo: Thank You Hanna. It was pleasure to answer. We have already got some victories with ‘Sota’. I also hope we will see in future, so we are just waiting the order to start packing luggage.

Hanna Tsepesh: We really hope the same too! Thank you so much for the words! All the best...

By: Hanna Tsepesh

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