Finnish foursome Deep Insight today announced the departure of their second drummer Ville Kinaret due to 'musical differences and all that shit'. They are set to play a local festival this evening and Music News rock up at a leisure centre on the outskirts of Helsinki to find the sticksman working the merchandise stall. However being April 1st it is no surprise Ville does appear for the interview as arranged - nobody really fell for it anyway!
Completed by founders Johannes Ylinen and Jukka Nikunen - guitarist and vocalist respectively - and bassist Miska Holopainen, Deep Insight are one of those truly exceptional rock bands tucked away on the continent who continually attract new fans with their mix of succulent guitars and exquisite vocals.
In the run up to their European spring tour - which unfortunately will bypass the UK - we grabbed a quiet moment with the band before they unleashed their lashings of live brilliance to an arbitrary, though appreciative audience in Finland.

MN: Johannes and Jukka, you have been friends for years.

Jukka: Yes, 12 years I guess. We go way back and then we started the band four years ago. After rehearsals we went to a studio to make a demo. It was really crappy. Then Miska wound up to the band (replacing original bassist Kaj) and we found out that he is my cousin!

Miska: I found you!

Jukka: Yeah he found me. Then one year and three or four months ago our drummer Pooki decided to leave and we found Ville.

Ville: The band was supposed to be acoustic.

MN: You recorded your first EP 'Julia' after a road trip.

Johannes: Yeah we had quite a funny road trip. We were supposed to go to a show in Germany. The show was cancelled and we figured we had three or four days so went to Paris. On the road we had a guitar and we were planning the songs.

MN: Then you released your debut album 'Ivory Tower'.

Johannes: After the recording sessions we went on a European tour. We sent out the record and a couple of places wanted us to play there. This was when Miska joined the band. He actually played his first show in Germany. It was quite weird.

MN: Next was 'Red Lights, White Lines'. We've seen different versions of this album available.

Johannes: We released it then after a year Portugal and I guess Germany wanted to have different covers with pictures of the band.

Jukka: Originally we were quite dark but we had to make it in a hurry because we were under pressure to release it fast. So we re-released it with a different cover.

MN: Was it well received?

Jukka: Yeah. It opened doors for us. It's hard to say as we've just recorded the new album so it's hard to talk about the previous one.

With producers Jonas Olsson and Jens Bogren back at the helm Deep Insight spent six weeks earlier this year holed up in Örebro, Sweden. They've already touted their third offering as 'rock music with a lot of heart', 'rockier and straighter' than previous recordings, 'maybe slightly punky' and having 'amazing guitars'.

MN: The new album sounds like a treat! When will it be released?

Ville: Hopefully in the autumn but at least during this year.

Jukka: It depends on the record deal we get. We're 'shopping' at the moment.

MN: And which territories will you release in this time? There's nothing available in the UK as yet.

Johannes: It depends on the record company.

Ville: England is also a really difficult market for rock bands. There is a lot of good music.

Johannes: Hopefully it would be nice to have albums out there as it was a nice place to play.

Jukka: Hopefully with the new deal. The last deal was with an indie label and they only have so many people working there (etc).

MN: Last summer you headlined at various venues around the UK. What was the reaction?

Johannes: A couple of places were really nice actually. London was good. The tour was much better than expected.

Jukka: We thought there would be nobody but people were there and they seemed to know our band. It was a nice surprise.

MN: Is it important to have recognition from the UK?

Jukka: Not at the moment. The main target is to get things going in Finland and Germany because these are the countries we've had releases in. Of course we'd love to get things going elsewhere.

Johannes: The whole of Europe would be our main target.

MN: You've also released 'Red Lights, White Lines' in Japan and played a few shows in Tokyo. How was that experience?

Johannes: That's the best place to play, I think. I believe the last concert was fantastic.

Ville: Everything works over there!

Jukka: It's weird. After those shows we were at a diner and people were talking and pointing. That was a new experience. Nobody does that in Europe.

Johannes: The weird thing is that town never sleeps.

Ville: All the lights and those huge advertisements and everything.

Jukka: And the toilets.

(Culture Ed: Japanese toilets are a whole new experience boasting bidet, shower and dryer functions.)

Ville: That's the fun part.

Jukka: We had a good laugh. The first time we were in a room with Johannes. he was in the toilet and I just heard this scream: 'Where does it stop? Where does it stop? Where's the button? Where's the button?'

The band laugh and Johannes shakes his head. But from first-hand experience Music News fully understands!

MN: Who are your musical influences?

Ville: We have totally different backgrounds. There are bands we all like: Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eats World, My Chemical Romance.

Johannes: (Recently I've been listening to) Camel and a Finnish band called Liekki. Weird stuff. at least I have.

MN: You have some magnificent lyrics. What's the writing process?

Jukka: Usually it starts with these guys making the songs then I make a melody and lyrics to them.

Ville: We started to work more and more as a team lately. The last album was really great to do together.

MN: Is your Christian faith influential?

Jukka: I think it has an influence but I don't think the regular audience know about it. It's not out there like that.

Johannes: Each member of the band has a personal faith but we do music, that's our job. Things in our hearts and personal lives of course can influence our lyrics but we never want to pressure anybody to believe in the same things if they don't want to. That's the main thing for us.

MN: You're about to play on a makeshift stage in a sports hall! Is this a random date?

Johannes: It's a show like any other. The only weird thing is there are seats.

Jukka: We will kick some ass! It's good to warm up before our tour as we haven't played in three months. We had rehearsals yesterday and I had to remember the lyrics.

Ville: I'll have this déjà vu thing (on stage). I think I've been here before!

MN: Is it good to be out of the studio?

Ville: Well being in the studio's great; it's great and frustrating. And doing the tour is great without being frustrated.

Johannes: The whole band from the start to here is about touring and playing live. I think we're definitely a live band.

Jukka: We've always had trouble capturing the live to the record. I think on this record it's the first time we've captured it.

MN: Are you expecting to see more fans on this tour? You seem to have an ever-growing fanbase.

Ville: We've had good news (about ticket sales).

Johannes: We haven't had that before, we're going to Europe and there's definitely people coming to our shows. That's a good feeling.

Jukka: Some people from France, The Netherlands, Germany and England have sent us mail that they're coming to three to ten shows!

MN: Do you feel pressured by that?

Jukka: It's a healthy pressure.

Johannes: In that case you have to improve every night and do something else. We kind of do the same thing.

Ville: When you know there's the same people in the audience every night you have to be better than the last night.

MN: You played the new HellDone festival last December underneath HIM. How did that go?

Ville: It was great. We played a show in Helsinki and I think there was not a single Finnish person there! It was really weird.

Jukka: Before soundcheck we saw girls from Japan. That was crazy.

Ville: Yeah totally weird. They came from Japan to see our show in a small, small venue.

Johannes: Also it was nice people found us on the Rasmus tour then came to HellDone.

Jukka: It was nice to get to speak English on stage because it's much easier for me. It's weird to talk in Finnish. I don't know what to say; I have nothing to say. In Germany or Japan you can speak pretty much anything and convince yourself they won't get it anyway. even if they did!

MN: And what about the 'Hevikaraoke' (metal karaoke) you participated in after your set?

All: (unanimous groan)

Ville: We tried to tell (the fans) don't put this stuff on the Net, don't spread it around please!

MN: But Johannes, Iron Maiden's 'Run to the Hills' has never sounded so good!

Johannes: The most important thing is to get it really high.

MN: We're dealing with a new generation of music lovers who refuse to buy CDs. What are your views on downloading?

Ville: That's bad. Buy the CDs, buy the CDs. No downloading!

Jukka: I like to download. For some people like myself I download then if I like it I buy the album. I don't see it's that much of a problem if you use it for yourself. But when people download and start selling - like piracy - that's the biggest problem.

Ville: Damn pirates!

MN: Ville, you're a drummer with a penchant for the odd solo.

Ville: When we toured a year ago I did it at some shows. It was just for fun. Looks like lately I have done it quite a lot.

Jukka: We figured that it'd be cool to do as Ville is a good drummer and he could pull it off. No bands do it except if you're really huge and then we thought what the hell! It's not that serious. It's all about having fun and people like it. More bands should do drum solos. There are a lot of good drummers out there.

Ville: Do those solos! The point is to have fun - that's the funny part. It's not supposed to be where you show you are a great technician and it's really rare nowadays.

MN: Finally, we didn't catch the name of your new album...

Jukka: It's not to be revealed. We have ideas.

Ville: You know it when we know it!

Later on Jukka, Johannes and Miska took to the stage with the indispensable Ville and his solo genius! Music News can report ass was indeed kicked and on the strength of encore 'Rhythm of the Beat' we're champing at the bit for the new album, whatever it's called.

Essential listening for now: 'Red Lights, White Lines' on Fullsteam Records.