Could you please introduce the band and the band members?
We are Primal Maze, a four member rock group from Finland. The band includes Ville Lamminmäki, Jussi Turtiainen, Janne Siirilä and Hannu Pölönen. Ville is the singer and second guitarist, Jussi plays guitar, Janne bass and Hannu drums. We are sauced in grunge, alternative and stoner rock. The band is fifteen months old!
How did you meet each other, and when and why did you form this band?
The band was created because each of us had the need to create our own music. Thus, the band formation was rather painless. All began from an ad Ville had put on a website for Finnish musicians, to which Jussi replied. Ville and Jussi then met and tried out some songs. Both seemed to enjoy playing together (though these days it’s all egotripping and rock and roll antics… just kidding!) so the next step was to begin writing their own material. This was 2017.
However, it became clear that the songs they had written needed a complete band. Jussi remotely knew Hannu, a drummer, and asked him to play together. After this, things started moving along rapidly since Hannu asked his friend, bass player Janne, whether he wanted to join in. Soon the bassist slot was filled. Altogether, it is highly important that you find right comrades to work with.
How would you describe your musical style, and how did this style develop? What are your musical roots and influences?
Primal Maze is a kind of an alternative or grunge band but we don’t want to label ourselves very tightly because we believe that we have an original and versatile sound that’s constantly developing. Of course, you can hear certain references in our sound. We try to combine roughness with beauty, or the other way around. As in any band, each of us has our own preferences but luckily there are numerous common influencers for us: Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Deftones, or such legendary bands and artists like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin or Neil Young. Just to name a few.
Was it a particular incident or song that inspired you to become musicians?
We feel musicianship as a process and a gradual development which is a result of intensive listening to rock, going to gigs, practicing and later playing in bands. Each of us has experienced gigs and listened to records that have had a huge impact both musically and personally. All in all, in our youth, teenage boys were highly vulnerable to loud rock music and metal. In short, it made us tic.
In which bands have you played before? Do you all still have other side projects?
We have played or are currently playing in non-label bands. Janne has played in stoner-rock groups, like Dryasdust. Ville is currently the lead singer of the grunge band Matara.
How do you write your music and lyrics, is it teamwork?
Ville writes all the lyrics but in terms of music, it’s teamwork. Usually Jussi and/or Ville introduce riff or the part for the song. The band is the real touchstone for which material will go into further processing and it is typical for us that songs undergo changes, rewriting and arranging. Even though we are not trained musicians, there is a lot of potential in the band and we have found that cooperation is the key to achieving the best result. Everyone should be happy and proud of the songs.
Is there a particular philosophy behind your works, or where do you get your inspiration from?
Naturally, the main sources of inspiration are other bands but any art or cultural item that helps you into a creative state of mind is invaluable. For his lyrics, Ville draws from observations, past experiences, drunken ramblings and his therapy sessions. You can actually hear footage from those in the upcoming track “Erase you”.
How did you come up with the band name – is there a story behind it?
We looked for a name that would be striking yet ambiguous. After a few proposals, Jussi came with the word “maze” because it seemed fascinating. We ended up with the name Primal Maze because it sounded neat and is open to various ways of reading. It is also visually imaginative.
What are your goals, dreams, what do you want to achieve with your music?
Make music that matters for us, play gigs and gain ground in the alt/rock scene.
What are you doing ”in real life”, when you are not making music?
Ville is a cinematographer currently working in therapeutic art/filmmaking, Jussi reads and writes, Janne is a railtech geek and Hannu, when not playing drums, hits and punches computer keyboards.
Are you looking for a record company or would you prefer to stay in the DoItYourself mode?
As a very fresh band, we need to release more songs, play gigs and gain ground. These are primary targets for us. If the right record company would collaborate and thus support our goals, we would not say no.
What should an ideal record company do for you?
Ideally, a company which is innovative in music promotion, has sufficient resources and contacts and at the end of the day, would share our musical passion.
What are your live shows like? What´s the perfect venue/show for you?
Our live shows plunge you headfirst into the depths of Primal Maze and make you forget your earthly woes for the duration of the gig (after which they return with a vengeance.)
At this moment, a perfect opportunity would be to perform as a warm-up act to some bigger name locally and internationally.
Do you have a weird /absurd story to tell, e.g. about mishaps at a gig/tour?
Maybe the time our rehearsal space was burglarized. We train at this big complex housing numerous bands. Someone left the outer door open and it didn’t take long for some seedy gentlemen with a crowbar to notice it. We lost the gear of 10k worth, but more than that, it was just a horrific experience because we were robbed of our means to make our music. A big nod goes to the Finnish police, because in the end they caught the offenders and returned most of the stolen instruments.
If you could freely choose a band to tour with, who would it be, and why?
Warming up Mötley Crüe in the late 1980s would certainly be an incredible experience – if one could survive…
The invention/ innovation you would still need in your life, and why?
Peace of mind and the perfect stout. One does not exist without the other.
What are your plans in the (near) future?
Release new songs. During the summer we will shoot our very first music video. At the moment we are preparing and recording new material so there is a lot to come! Stay tuned!
Primal Maze on Spotify, and more band pages: