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

Jussi: The year was 1999, when our bassist Roope Pihlajamaa and Johannes Ylinen (now in Deep Insight) started VIP. Music was first finnish rock, but after the turn of the millennium music started to having new progressive metal sound. That’s when I jumped in and brought guitar solos to the band. After few line-up changes in 2002-2003, I began to sing also in the band and new drummer, Tuomas Vuolteenaho, brought the intensity in our music. In 2004, we released “Sokeita” album by ourselves and it was a new beginning of VIP and introduced power metal sound with progressive elements to both our old and new fans.

Hanna Tsepesh: What are the inspirations to create the lyrics for VIP?

Jussi: We are openly Christian band in our lyrics and that have been from the start. So with that said, we have issues dealing with Christianity and God, speaking about our own personal struggles in life. There’s always hope in our lyrics even though some times they tell about sad stories about life as it is.

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

Jussi: I believe that Dream Theater has been the strongest individual band for VIP, but there’s so many others we listen and incorporate into our own sound. Our line-up is different than DT, so there’s very little or few similarities between us and them. I think we have pretty unique combination of power/thrash/prog elements with clean vocals and some screaming vocals, latter are performed by our bass player.

Hanna Tsepesh: VIP have a new album call” Maasta olet tullut”. Great album in here I liked a lot the riffs and you have a strong voice! For people who don’t listen yet can you talk about ” Maasta olet tullut” and what is the big different for you between this album and the previous one and what the band want to accomplish with this new album?

Jussi: Thank you for your compliments! “Maasta olet tullut” album went to number 40 on Finnish album charts on it’s release week. It was first time of our album on official album chart and naturally we were really glad to see it happen. Our single “Kunnes kuolema erottaa” from the album was on place 13 on single charts last summer on it’s release week. I see the album as a sum of all our previous albums and it has all the signature elements of our music. It probably also started our move to more progressive style as kind of going into our own roots with more complicated song structures. This was also a first time when our second guitarist Tero Vuolteenaho also played some keyboards on the album. It’s some thing he has wanted for a long time now and finally was able to introduce his talents on the instrument.

Hanna Tsepesh: Everything went well at recording studio? It was an easy process for the band?

Jussi: Everything went really well as this was our fifth time in same studio with same four guys. Songs were quite well planned out before we entered the studio and atmosphere was relaxed. Everyone gave their best performances on their part and Arttu Sarvanne did the mixing well also.

Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the media and fans?

Jussi: I haven’t seen any reviews yet myself, so I’m waiting for the first one to arrive. Fans have been enthusiastic about the album, some say best of ours this far and reception has been very good so far. Lyrics deal with death on the album and some have been confused about the lyrics being so dark and sad.

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

Jussi: Go straight to our label website: and buy one.

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

Jussi: It’s really hard to say. Depending on a day, it’s slow title song “Maasta olet tullut” or fast “Ojasta allikkoon” or any other song. Each have their own feeling and that way it really depends what mood you’re on.

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

Jussi: We haven’t toured outside Finland yet. I believe it’s about our lyrics being in finnish, so foreigners have trouble understanding what we’re saying. Maybe some day we’ll play in other Scandinavian countries like Sweden, there has been some interest towards that. It would be really nice to play in Portugal someday. Let’s see if that happens!

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

Jussi: Check out our music at MySpace and let us know what you think.

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

Jussi : Thank you and have a great summer! God bless!

By: Hanna Tsepesh

To listen to some VIP music’s and for future information’s go at: