The Creative Process #25 Fog Light

 

When did you start making music and what was the contributor factor that made you to do so?

Jarmo: I started the electric organ back in -88 when I was about 10 years old. Afterwards in -91 I got my first drum kit. I was very influenced by some of the heavy metal bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Sepultura. I think those were the contributor factors to my musical career.

 

How hard was it for you to create, record and release your first material?

Jarmo: As soon as I started playing drums we had also our very first band going (not Fog Light). We spared some money to get the Fostex 4- track recorder. We had one mic and that tracker. Lots of demos were done with that equipment. Nowadays, I have my own home studio with modern mics and interface. Fog Light albums have been created, recorded in our own studios. We have released albums, songs and videos by our own, but the last two albums were released by Inverse records from Finland.

 

What is the main art form that influenced you in creating? Was it only music or did movies and other forms of art influenced your creative process?

Jarmo: It is mostly music what influences us. There are so many great musicians and bands out there. It is important listen to different kinds of music and take influences from everywhere.

 

What are the steps that an idea takes before becoming a fully fledge song? And how does that idea affects the way you build an album from the ground up?

Jarmo: Hakuli bros compose all the songs and they send me the demo tracks without drums. After that, I will mess around with different arrangements and we send those demos back and forth. When we think we are ready, we soon record the first full take of the song and leave it be like that. We can afterwards go back to that and re-arrange it if necessary.

 

What do you consider the most important traits that a song and an album must have before you consider it to be completed?

Jarmo: In instrumental music what we play, I think it is important to give a listener lots of “tension” and “release” moments. We like to include popular music structures in our songs but filled with some solo spots for every instrument. That is the way we create the tension and release. I think in our albums it is important to go from another mood to other, be it different tempo or chord change etc.

 

What are the actual steps that you take when you are creating? Do you need to enter or go to a certain setting in order to get creative?

Jarmo: My best time is the early weekend mornings. I think my stress level is the lowest then while the physical body is ready for the day. Of course, this varies for day to day, some days you don’t have nothing “creative” in your mind and sometimes it just feels very easy to create and play.

 

Except art are there any other external or internal factors that influence you when you create, if so what are they?

Jarmo: Very hard to answer this, but I think every choice and situation in your life will somehow affect your creativeness.

 

What is your main motivation to create and be creative?

Jarmo: I want to discover some new musical paths in every song or album we create. With Fog Light it is possible to try and play something different. Sometimes it is a trial and error, sometimes not. The main point is to have an open mind and ears.

 

How long does it take to go from a song to an album from scratch to the fully recorded version?

Jarmo: Sometimes this takes time but sometimes you can have a song ready soon when it is composed. The last record “New element” was composed and rehearsed within about 10 months. So, you can say roughly, that each song takes one month to have a full shape: composed, arranged and recorded.

 

Do you take multiple takes of the songs before settling on the final version or do you go with the flow and just do one take?

Jarmo: This depends on the song. If we have a groovier song going on, where the feel has to be same thorough the song, then we maybe go with one take. In some songs, we have some solo spots which we may double take if we are not satisfied with the first take.

 

During live shows what do you like to do more, experiment and improvise on the basis of the existing album and songs or you are more likely to recreate the recorded material as faithfully as possible?

Jarmo: Unfortunately, we haven’t played live so much, yet. But on those live shows we have done, there are moments when we improvise but we stick always to song arrangements. I mean, the song has the same parts as we have recorded but we sometimes lengthen the solo spots.

 

What are the main ingredients that makes a live show special for you?

Jarmo: The connection between the audience and the band. It is nice to see when people are digging the music and that also affects to the performance in positive way. Also, the chemistry between band members is special, when everything just locks together.

 

Do new ideas appear during live performances? If so how to do you proceed in order to materialize them?

Jarmo: In some improvised solo spots there can be moments when new ideas appear. Sometimes they materialize and go as planned.

 

What is the perfect time of day and weather that makes you creative?

Jarmo: As I said earlier that weekend mornings are the best time of the day to play and to be creative.

 

What are your future plans and what advice do you have for people that want to get into creating music?

Jarmo: Our plans are to book some gigs to promote “new element”-album. Also, we are whole the time writing, playing and arranging new stuff. We also love to play covers from other artists. The advice for others could be that trust yourself and make music you love.

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