It has never been that quick with a STALKER Fresh Act – only a few days after rounding up the interview with Crib45 Mastermind, guitarist and vocalist Teemu Mäntynen, the band managed to get a promotion/distribution deal with SYMBOLIC RECORDS FINLAND. Therefore chances are good that their self-produced debut album “Metamorphosis” might be available after May 15 also outside Finnish borders. But first let´s have Teemu introducing the band:
Who are you? Where are you from? Please introduce all band members with all their characteristics, spleens etc.
Even though the majority of the band has always been from elsewhere, Crib45 has always been an Helsinki based band. After various lineup changes the group has found a more stabile lineup:
Teemu Mäntynen, vocals & guitar – Founder of the band, makes most of the music. Silent type who mostly keeps to himself, has the worst jokes ever. Also sings in Drive
Ville Suovaniemi, guitar – Co-founder of the later Crib45 that we know now, the other songsmith. Easygoing and funny hippie. On hiatus for a couple of months while traveling the world. Doesn´t turn down a drink.
Pasi Latva, bass – Made a short visit in the original Crib45 and at first turned down the offer to join Crib45 again. Agreed to help the band out to a start but still hangs around. Nicest guy you´ll ever meet, part of the trio that hasn´t changed from the beginning. Has been on a break for some time, due to family reasons.
Antti Hokkanen, guitar & vocals – Brilliant guitarist, who actually doesn´t get to show it in Crib45, since we are closer to Nirvana than Dream Theater. Visionary with amazing capability to learn and memorize everything on one try. Silent type. Used to also be in Drive with Teemu. Also the guitarist of The Figurines, Mental Care Foundation, Jannika B, Daddy & Winterborn to name a few.
Jussi Yrttiaho, drums – Not the new guy anymore. Very nice person with a sense of humor. Very loud drummer with a truckload of broken drumsticks.
You can also sometimes spot part time members Maija Sipiläinen on keyboards and Saija Matusiak on cello.
Is there a particular story behind the band name? A band philosophy/concept?
When the band was seeking a name, Teemu wanted something simple and if possible just one word. After the weather has gone too cold to write songs on beaches, the new place to write songs was found from Teemu´s old apartment, which number was 45. So apartment or crib number 45 is where we pretty much started this band and that´s where we got the name from. Band´s philosophy has always been to make that kind of music that we like and how we like it.
What kind of music do you play?
Today Crib45 is an experimental alternative metal band with post-metal elements in it. Combine bands like Paradise Lost, Callisto, Deftones, Tool and Cult Of Luna and you might get an image of what the music is like.
What is your dream, where does your motivation come from?
Dream? To play in Ilosaarirock and / or Provinssirock. What motivates us is a couple of loyal fans who have supported us through all these years
How did it all begin?
Crib45 started as a mostly acoustic grunge band a long, long time ago around ´99 or 2000. Couple of guys in a van on their way to Provinssirock, talking about how there´s not that many good grunge bands anymore. Couple of days later couple of those guys took acoustic guitars and headed to a beach to write songs that was about to become material for Crib45. After a while the band kinda broke up for a year and came back as Crib45 that we now know.
Who are your musical idols, what are your most important musical influences?
To name a few idols and influences: Callisto, probably the best band that has ever come from Finland. Brilliant song structures and ingeniously written music. Cult of Luna, Khoma, Isis, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, A Perfect Circle…
Who writes the music /lyrics, or are all in the band responsible?
Mostly Teemu, but there are songs that have come from Ville and songs that Teemu and Ville have done together. Lyrics are all Teemu´s.
How important is the visual aspect for your performances? Who is responsible for those videos and visuals?
Teemu is in charge of the visual concepts, but every idea from someone else is always considered. The visual aspect has always been important. If you can combine your musical aspect with a visual aspect to create something more of a whole experience, it´s worth trying. We´ve always been curious about expanding our gigs to new aspects, so what started as simple stained outfits and TV´s, turned into projectors and all sorts of different type of screens etc. Usually the visual aspects contain some sort of hints of the what´s the real stories under the surface in our songs
What are you doing besides music business?
There´s a few students, graphical designer and a chef
Who do you want to reach, or what do you want to achieve with your music?
There are usually at least two different sides to our songs, one on top and one underneath all the obvious gibberish and nonsense. If there´s even one person who sees what the real stories are in our songs and tries to see further than the surface we reached in some sort of way our goal to make people question if just the pretty surface is enough in music and demand something more than what you hear on the radio.
What would you pick if you had to choose between sex, drugs and Rock´n´Roll?
Probably Rock ´n´ Roll
What will you do if you don´t get to have a career in music business?
Then probably get back to our day jobs knowing that at least we gave it a shot instead of just dreaming about it
What was the most absurd thing that happened to the band?
Nothing absurd ever happens to us. The closest thing to absurd is that there once was this strange person that we called Miss Pear, that suddenly just appeared on the stage, wouldn´t leave and kicked everyone else, who tried to get on the stage, straight in the balls. After we finished she was still standing there on the stage for a long time.
What happened during your best/your worst live show?
It´s not so easy to say what our best show has been. It probably was this gig [in Helsinki] at Gloria´s Metal Alliance where we used a huge visual concept with a full band and loads of equipment. Of course when huge loads of equipment are involved, there are usually malfunctions. But somehow we managed to pull the show off without any major difficulties and almost everything worked as planned. There was a short malfunction but mainly everything went as planned. It was also cool to hear that even all of the staff in Gloria, that could leave their posts, came to see the show amazed.
The worst show, last year, also in Gloria. We tried to bring the visual aspects back, but there was this major communication breakdown. The guy who runs the place had promised us the same requirements than before but the third-party organizers of the event pretty much fucked the whole thing up. The press (including yours) couldn´t get in, our technicians almost couldn´t get in, our scheduled time was changed so most of our audience came after our gig, promised guitar cabinets that they delivered weren´t exactly cabinets but amplifiers. We brought a huge load of equipment with us and ended up throwing our gig without any of them etc. Just four guys on a stage, pissed, wanting to be somewhere else.
Which song are you most proud of, and why?
Right now it´s probably a song called “Last Breath” with a huge ending. Once again it´s something new for us since there´s orchestrated cellos and horn sections and everything. That will sound killer when it´s finished in the studio. Other choice would be “The Passage” since it´s written as a team.
What is the “Metal Alliance”, how are you involved?
Metal Alliance is a part of Metal & Rock Alliance events that Teemu organizes. The idea is to bring several fresh rock and metal bands that walk between the fine line of two genres, together to make an alliance and give the audience a night to remember. The bigger basic idea is to take a bunch of alternative bands with underground status that share a similar audience. The main thing is that the whole evening is planned considering the audience in a way that if a person in the audience likes some band, they might enjoy the rest of them, too. So in a way it´s a gateway supporting the alternative scene and gathering certain bands and certain audiences so that they can both introduce themselves to each other. The goal is that every night the audience that came for some other band finds one or two new bands that they like and to keep the under-aided alternative scene alive. Because, let´s face it, that is where you usually find the biggest gems, not from the overproduced and safe radio hits that have lost the true essence of music long time ago and get funded all the time.
Would you define yourselves as “Finnish Underground”, and what´s special about Finland in comparison to other countries (and their underground scenes)?
Crib45 has never been a mainstream band, so by that yes, we are probably a part of the Finnish underground.
The thing about underground scenes is that they are pretty similar everywhere. It´s the scene where most of the passion is, with many great, undiscovered bands and interesting contemporary music. Safely away from “topnotch producers” turning art into a mass product to make a buck. True music is art and art is about heart, soul and integrity, not the sales numbers. When you start to turn a piece of someone´s soul into an everyday household product, the unbelievably great art has lost its original purpose to touch you and give you powerful experiences. This passion is what combines underground scenes around the world and makes them all similar.
What do you plan in the near future?
Getting our album out and to hopefully promote and tour it as much as possible.