Mojo Waves are a power trio from Vantaa, Finland. Arttu (Vox/Guitar), Juuso (Bass) and Mikko (Drums) together form an unique group with a distinctive, groovy sound. You surely won’t find another band who creates music like these guys do. It was really enjoyable chatting with them and sharing some words, which you can read below:
Round Trip: Could you describe the origin of Mojo Waves? When were you guys born?
Mojo Waves: We were born into this world around a quarter of a century ago. Since late-teens we had been jamming together and with different people for years without any significant outcome like demos or even a few songs. We were always ambitious and we knew that we had the passion and talent to start a band, perform live music and create something original, and also we felt like the music scene had become a bit boring to us. It felt like nobody was playing the kind of music we wanted to hear or perform. So finally we decided to get a grip of ourselves in the late 2011 and book us our first show, and that’s how Mojo Waves came together.
Round Trip: Why did you choose the name “Mojo Waves”? Where did it come from?
Mojo Waves: We consulted and old shaman and asked him to tell us what the combination of our souls and auras sounded like, and he outbursted “MOJO WAVES”
… well not really, the true story behind the name is somewhat less mysterious, but still a funny enough mystery to left told in the midst of weird after parties.
Round Trip: You guys have already fours releases out there, right? What has been the response of the public so far?
Mojo Waves: So far we have released a demo, an EP and two full-lenght albums now, and we have had really good response from underground media such as blogs so far. People seem to get what our music is about so we are really delighted about that. It seems that people still appreciate music that is bold and original, and this will surely encourage us to keep doing what we do. The response seems to be similar when we are playing live in Finland and we played some really good gigs this spring here in Finland, and we’re hoping to pick up on that later this year.
Round Trip: What do you think of this Mojo Waves’s evolution? Did you always think about being a “genre bending insanity “band?
Mojo Waves: Each member of this band draws inspiration from their own sources, since we are three different individuals with different tastes, but all of us have grown up listening to heavy (in it’s original, 60s meaning, naturally!) music in one form or another - you can definitely hear the musical impact of growing up in the 90s and 00s. So when it’s time to make songs we all “chip in” our ideas, and in the end everything somehow seems to come together as energetic, rich and colorful, which is definitely something that certain styles of music lack these days. We never give too much, if at all attention to what genre or style we sound like. Hell, we don’t even know exactly what type or genre our music is but that can only be a good thing, right? It sure is as honest as it can be, and we find it exciting to create, play and perform.
Round Trip: As a singer and guitarist, what are your main musical influences?
Arttu:Well, if you asked me in person, I would probably say that my main influences is the lack of skill in both of these areas. I don’t like to pick out favorites, I adore musicians that have a passionate touch to their playing. And the crazier they get live, the better. To be fair, I’m quite influenced by musicians who seem to lack enthusiasm when they play live - I don’t give a shit about how you play - it’s all about WHY you play and how it shows.
Round Trip: Can you think of any other artists who you truly like, but whose work doesn’t reflect on you?
Arttu: I mostly listen to way different music that I play, be it reggae or nu jazz. I think all of us in the band listen music quite unlike our own, as it’s not really inspiring to listen to the kind of music you’re playing all the time. Let’s go with Mouse On The Keys.
Round Trip: Your vocals have been described as “peculiar”, “weird” or like “Kingston Wall on crack”. What do you think about this? Do you agree?
Arttu: Well I can’t help but agree, as they also freak me out a bit, too. The whole singing thing came about when we we’re making music with just a guitar and drums and realized that we might have to sing also. So I tried, and realized that my voice is indeed something out of this world. Still figuring out what to do with it. At least it’s not mainstream, eh?
Live @ Dubronivk 6.3.2015 // Photo: Iina Ala-Kurikka
Round Trip: “All The Right Parts Fit The Wrong Way” was released weeks ago. What has been the feedback so far? Do you think this record follows “Lo and Behold!” legacy or gives another perspective of your music?
Mojo Waves: Feedback for the new record has been really good, we have managed to attract new followers and contacts, and also sell records on our gigs. It’s difficult to tell if this record is a pure continuum for “Lo and Behold!” because we didn’t really think about “Lo and Behold!” when writing these songs. In writing we try to capture and describe that current moment so we rarely look back and think of the previous works when doing new stuff. For instance the new tunes we are creating now seem to have a more progressive feel than any of our previous stuff. So right now it seems that we are all about exploring new perspectives.
Round Trip: What’s your opinion about the Finnish underground rock scene? Is it growing day by day?
Mojo Waves:There is a huge oversupply of great bands considering how many venues and record labels there are left, and it looks like fewer people have started to go out to listen to rock gigs, which is sad. There’s gotta a be a revolution soon, rock n roll is losing its spontaneity with the way things are going.
Round Trip: Where do you get inspirations for writing Mojo Waves’ lyrics?
Mojo Waves: Have to quote the great Kingston Wall here: “Manic depression or just having too much time with my mind?”. They’re quite often about the inner conflicts that at least I feel as a person; two sides of the coin, one positive, one negative and how our life and moods revolve around theme. The good one usually wins in the end… right, guys?
Round Trip: Which is your Mojo Waves favourite song?
Mojo Waves: We all unanimously like Great White from Lo and Behold! album. Somebody somewhere called it the most dangerous surf song in the world, and we bow to that! Also, Skylights - we like ‘em big! And any song from the new album, depending on the mood.
Round Trip: What’s next for Mojo Waves? Do you think about touring?
Mojo Waves: Right now we are working on another music video for one of the new songs since we shot a ton of material on the road this spring. Touring abroad has been a dream of ours for a while now and we are planning that out on summer, we are looking for opportunities to do that this autumn. There are also tentative plans to release an EP or another full-lenght album next but it’s too soon to tell when that will happen. And of course in the midst of all this we are going to enjoy the beautiful Finnish summer while creating new songs.
Round Trip: Final question ! What have you been listening to lately?
Mojo Waves: Well it’s summer (Finally, thank god!) so summery music it is! A bit Tame Impala here, some japanese post rock (Toe & Té) there, even some Manu Chao. Also, you should check out Death Hawks from Finland for your psychedelic fix. And most of all, the new revolutionary Finnish rock group Jukka Ja Jytämimmit, might be fun to check them out on spotify!
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