PEOPLE

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PEOPLE

IN THIS SECTION WE INTRODUCE PEOPLE FROM AND IN HELSINKI TO YOU. PEOPLE WHO WANNA TELL YOU THEIR STORY ABOUT THISWONDERFUL CITY.

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Jessika from Burning Hearts, Band / Photo by Aron Urb

1. If we go to Helsinki in summer, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible?

"Milloin lähtee juna Turkuun?" When does the train to Turku leave? And tadaa, you’ll find yourself in the middle of the Turku-Helsinki feud.

2. To hook up with the cool Finnish people at night, where do you go to have drinks?

I would probably avoid places with cool people and head for the pubs in the suburbs, such as Pub O’Gelis in Oulunkylä. That’s where you meet people with interesting stories and life wisdoms to share. And in the summer time, I’d recommend any park or perhaps the island Suomenlinna for some drinks in the urban wilderness.

3. What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days? 

My heart’s not beating for anything special at the moment, but there are some interesting singer-songwriters and lots of one-man or one-woman bands doing experimental music.

4. We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not? 

Maybe so, many good bands are located in the capital. But it seems that not many of the bands are originally from Helsinki, but from other parts of Finland. Lots of good musicians come from the Ostrobothnian plains for instance. And I must mention that the indie scene in Turku is very good, as well. All in all, I’m very glad that the Finnish indie scene has bands of a very high quality.

5. Where do the rockstars do their aftershowparties ?

I do mine backstage of the club I’ve played in, or perhaps in a hotelroom.

6. We want to take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us? 

Foodwise I would definitely recommend you “Maalahden limppu”. That’s a dark and sweet bread loaf made of rye in a traditional way. No conservatives added. Stays fresh for months. Good with tomatoes and blue cheese, or perhaps smoked herring.

7. What are your plans for this year, music wise?

We are looking forward to play some shows both in Finland and abroad. On top of that, me and Henry are about to develop a duo live concept, and then we have a secret project we are planning for this fall. Of course we are writing songs, collecting ideas and recording demos so that we are ready to withdraw to our studio again in January and start the recording process.

8. “If one wants to leave Helsinki behind and make a trip to Turku, your home town.. where would you first take them there?”

If it were a nice warm summer or spring day, I would probably take you to the slowly floating river that runs through the city. Perhaps invite you some strawberries and champagne while we sit on the grass and watch people stroll by. And then there’s the legendary Museum of Pharmacy and Café Qwensel: in the middle of the centre you’ll find a quiet spot in the garden of the Medieval wooden quarter. Service is good and the atmosphere’s outstanding.

Café Qwensel, Turku Finland

Burning Hearts will be performing in Berlin at Finnish Wave Night on the 17th of October!

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Aino Vainio, creator of I Know Why No / Photo by Heidi Uutela

If we go to Helsinki, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible?

- Missä on jatkot? (Where’s the afterparty?)

To hook up with the cool Finnish people at night, where do you go to have drinks?

- Corona Bar

What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days?

- Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Siinai and Moonface and still PMMP

Which thrill do you HAVE to see when you are in town?

- For an experience I would recommend a walk in the forest in  Kruunuvuori, where there are decayed old villas, silence and a lake.

Which area of Helsinki is the hippest to stroll around?

- I think Helsinki is so small that there’s no specific area that’s more hip than another in the city center. I live in Ullanlinna and I like seeing the ocean every day. Hernesaari right next to it is cool in a deserted way too.

We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

- Sort of agree, because we are so far apart and so few people here and maybe therefore there’s always been an atmosphere of people wanting to stand out and do their own thing here. But then again I’ve never been to Iceland and too seldom to Norway, too, to make a comparison. Definitely more indie though than Sweden and Denmark, I think.

What do you think of Helsinki street styles?

- Nice.

We want to take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us?

- I would go for the Airam thermo flask.

Where do you get your coolest outfits? What are the best places to shop? Also second hand. 

- In Helsinki Indian Summer and San Francisco Gay Nights vintage stores are my favorites.

Could you name us an interesting Helsinki personality? Can be a designer, artist, writer, musician… anyone!

- Linda Linko, who made really nice posters for Nolla and illustrations for My O My stores. I’m also looking forward to reading Kasper Strömman’s Finnish Design Encyclopedia and like his design blog a lot.

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Netta Kervinen, fashion designer and owner of ecological fashion design brand Ainokainen 

If we go to Helsinki, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible?

- “Kokoo kokoon koko kokko”, which means approximately “Please build the whole bonfire”, although it seems to be a repetition of just one word. It’s also useful, if you happen to visit in the midsummer. 

To hook up with the cool Finnish people at night, where do you go to have drinks?

- If it`s summer and not too late yet I think you should go to Ihana kahvila. It`s a relaxed small café located in a cargo container in an old industrial area near the sea.  All kinds of people go there to drink coffee or something stronger. When the night comes you can go to a tiny blues bar called Kultapalmu in Kallio.

What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days?

- New Finnish music that I like includes Yona ja Orkesteri Liikkuvat pilvet, Mirel Wagner and Aino Venna for example. These are all kind of small artists but they have a strong feeling and interesting lyrics. And these are the hottest stuff for me from Finland at the moment.

Which thrill do you HAVE to see when you are in town?

- You should definitely experience Restaurant day when you can visit countless pop up restaurants around the city. Buy a delicious cupcake straight from a suitcase or have a sandwich lowered to you in a basket from a third-floor window.

Which area of Helsinki is the hippest to stroll around?

- I recommend Punavuori and Kallio. These two city parts are very different but both of them have interesting little boutiques, bars, second-hand bookshops and they show you a different Helsinki than the city center is.

We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

- Helsinki has a nice mixture of both Nordic and European cultures so why not! 

What do you think of Helsinki street styles?

- I think Helsinki has a pretty nice scale of street styles. Styles can be trendy, vintage or some combination of everything. Finnish people are often seen as shy and invisible but I think people have become braver. Now they like to play with outfits and are learning healthy self-respect. Changing seasons from summer to winter give also a lot of new ideas to our street styles.

 We want to take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us?

- If you mean something to eat you should by porridge flakes! Every kid in Finland is forced to eat porridge by their parents when they are child. As a teenager you hate porridge and deny its existence but later on you will notice that flakes are back in your kitchen shelf again.

Where do you get your coolest outfits? What are the best places to shop? Also second hand.

- Best places to shop are little boutiques! We have our own shop Boutique 18 in Helsinki Punavuori. There you can find unique and ecological clothes and jewellerys by Ainokainen, First Crush and Belle Modeste. All items here are made in Helsinki! Visit also shops by Minna Parikka and Ivana Helsinki. Paloni and Edel City are places to see more ecological items. Best second hand places are Valtteri fleemarket in Vallila and Hoochie Mama Jane and Play it Again Sam vintage stores.

Could you name us an interesting Helsinki personality? Can be a designer, artist, writer, musician… anyone!

- Aiju Salminen is a freelance illustrator and a comic artist. She has also bands called The Seekrets and The Splits. You should go to see her blog: http://aiju-ouija.blogspot.fi/

Ainokainen and First Crush are opening a Ecodesign Pop Up Shop in the center of Helsinki in Lasipalatsi 18.-30.9.2012.

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Jyri from Paperfangs, Band

Which area of Helsinki is the hippest to stroll around?

- I’m not sure if it’s precisely the hippest, but Jätkäsaari has a tremendous appeal to me — or at least the general idea of it. A huge area right next to city centre, waiting to be built. Also, its current, post-apocalyptic state is quite inspiring.

If you wanna get your friend some place to sleep, which hotel is cheap AND chic?

- Airbnb has a few apartments that seem really nice.

Which thrill do you HAVE to see when you are in town?

- I’m a big fan of Helsinki’s architecture — especially the jugend style houses. Nothing sparks my day more than a walk in Ullanlinna, Eira, Kruununhaka or Katajanokka. 

Best place to get danced up the whole night? 

- So far, Kuudes Linja has always done the trick for me, especially if the Hang the DJ club is on. Roska is a good choice too.

What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days?

- I got my hands on the new Big Wave Riders’ album yesterday — sounds as awesome as I thought it would.

We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

- Oh I don’t know. Stockholm and Copenhagen are pretty close at least…

What do you think is special about the Finnish music scene, where is the difference to other Scandinavian countries?

- It sounds like the most worn-out cliché, but I really think you can hear the affect of nature in Finnish music every now and then.

Best club to see sexy concerts?

- Somewhere outside. I’m really liking these summer’s block parties.

Best place to blog/write a book or diary and enjoy tasty coffee?

- Siltanen or Ysibaari are always fine choices.

Where do you buy your show off outfits? Shopping mile/second hand mile?

- There aren’t too many menswear options, for my taste and budget at least. The best place to do second hand discoveries is Kaivarin Kanuuna in Kaivopuisto.

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Mia from LCMDF, Band

If we go to Helsinki in summer, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible? 

- Kyllä. Which means yes. 

In Munich, it’s Hugo, in Rome Aperol Sprizz. What’s the summer drink in Helsinki?

- Yuck. Has to be warm park beer that has been rolling around in your bag for too long.

If we feel like getting all fancy and are willing to spend some serious money on nice dinner, where to go?

- Michelin starred Luomo supports the national farmers and serves organic and modern food.

We wanna take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us? 

- Oh god, the potato! So typically Finnish. But if you wanna go hip take the the avocado - not that finnish but it has hit a strike in the collective hipster nerve so that’s what’s likely to be found in any shelf.

What bands are you friends with in Helsinki, tell us some secret story about them!

- Some of our friends include the guys from Zebra & Snake, Siinai and Bendagram.. One of these guys climbed up a very high construction during the Flow Festival in 2010 and got into trouble.. 

Where is it most fun to play a concert in Helsinki?

- Definitely the legendary Tavastia. It has left a trace in the finnish rock history and keeps on going strong. Can’t get closer to rock n roll than that place.

What are your plans for this year, music wise?

- Meditation mixtapes and sitars.

We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

- I will agree, there’s suddenly this uprising of amazing new indie bands with their own unique sound. I feel helsinki is very much with the finger on the pulse right now. Listen to: Bendagram, Burning Hearts, Siinai and Zebra and Snake.

What’s the best place to blog/write a book or diary and enjoy tasty coffee?

- I go to Korjaamo in Töölö. It’s so quite, clean and calm. They have an museum for old trams too, or that’s what Korjaamo is- an old repairshop for trams.

Is it true that all Finnish people have a cottage on the sea? Tell us more about this family tradition!

- There is something very important with having a country side cottage. I feel it’s very close to the finnish heart, this is where you really can experience the true nature of Finland. It is also very different to be next to a lake- not the sea. It feels more closed, more mystic and most definitely cleaner than the sea.

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Black Twig, Band

If you went to Helsinki now, in spring/summer, what is the first thing you would do/go to?

- Enjoy the architecture, the parks, and the archipelago. You can pick up a map showing a tour around the art nouveau (Jugendstil) buildings of Helsinki for free from Helsinki City Museum (Sofiankatu 4). Or you can take a ferry to Suomenlinna or to one the smaller islands around Helsinki. Highly recommended and won’t cost a lot. 

Where is the best place to have breakfast after a hangover?

- We like Goodpie Bakery Cafe / Galleria Keidas (Fleminginkatu 7), and Siltanen (Hämeentie 13 B).

To hook up with the cool Finnish people at night, where do you go to have drinks?

Bar Molotow is one of our recent favourites (Fleminginkatu 29). For high quality drinks check out Liberty or Death (Erottajankatu 5), and for cheap beer and weird times visit Pub Magneetti (Mäkelänkatu 20).

Which area of Helsinki is the hippest to stroll around?

- Don’t know about hip, but I guess Kallio and it’s surroundings (Alppiharju, Vallila) are still the places we enjoy most.

If you wanna take your lady/man out for dinner, but only have a small budget, where to go?

- It’s generally quite expensive to eat out in Helsinki, but we could recommend Ravintola Tori (Punavuorenkatu 2) or it’s little sister on the other side of town, Alppitori (Kirstinkatu 15). If you like thai cuisine, Tuk Tuk (Vaasankatu 19) has one of the best price-quality ratios around. For russian pancakes go to Blini (Sturenkatu 9).

If you wanna get your friend some place to sleep, which hotel would you recommend?

- We don’t usually sleep in hotel rooms here, but our friends recommended Hostel Erottajanpuisto (Uudenmaankatu 9) and Hotel Skatta (Linnankatu 3). If you’re on a budget, check Ava (Karstulantie 9) or Omenahotelli.

Which thrill do you HAVE to see when you are in town?

- We’d still say it’s the architecture and the archipelago. Of course you should also check the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma (Mannerheiminaukio 2) and the National Gallery, Ateneum (Kaivokatu 2).

We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

- We think indie as a term is quite blurry, we really don’t know what it really means. We have never called ourselves an indie band to avoid unwanted categorization. But you’re right, there’s a lot of interesting music coming out from Finland nowadays. We think it has something to do with a healthy amount of unprofessionalism and non-commercial thinking. The most interesting bands are not products. 

What do you think is special about the Finnish music scene, where is the difference to other Scandinavian countries?

- It’s maybe a bit more unpolished. In a good way. Edgy, raw, primitive, sexy. There’s a lot of really interesting stuff happening in local music here that isn’t getting written about anywhere.

Where do you buy your show off outfits? shopping mile/second hand mile?

We don’t think about the clothes that much. I can only speak for myself, but if I’m feeling wealthy I go to Beam (Erottajankatu 15-17) or Beamhill (Yliopistonkatu 15). It’s best if you happen to walk by when they have a sale. If you’re feeling experimental, check out the grab-for-free baskets at the Recycling Center (Kierrätyskeskus, Lönrotinkatu 45).

Cheers!

Aki / Black Twig

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Shine 2009 / Cup, Band

If we go to Helsinki in summer, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible? (please translate..)

- With “opeta minua kiroilemaan suomeksi” (“teach me how to swear in finnish”) you will make new friends in an instant – doesn’t apply to sober people though. That can be fun for a while. And with “saanko maistaa?” (“can i have a taste?”) you can get free strawberries, peas etc. at market stalls.

In Munich, it’s Hugo, in Rome Aperol Sprizz. What’s the summer drink in Helsinki?

Definitely grapefruit flavored "lonkero" 

If we feel like getting all fancy and are willing to spend some serious money on nice dinner, where to go?

- It’s not that expensive, but Ateljé Finne is a good place for contemporary Finnish food. And also Kuurna, but Nick recommended that already.

We wanna take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us?

Fiskars scissors  They are great for slicing cooked frozen pizza and cutting fish, and look nicer than your average scissors.

What bands are you friends with in Helsinki, tell us some nice story about them

- Zebra And Snake, Siinai, Regina (obviously), Renaissance Man… i’m probably forgetting people here. The only story i can think of now is when Shine 2009 and Zebra And Snake were playing in China, and Tapio from Zebra And Snake lost his wallet and passport. We had just arrived at the airport and our plane was about to leave in less than two hours, when he realized he had left them on the back seat of the taxi that took us there. The thought of being stuck in China without a passport didn’t sound tempting, but Tapio remained remarkably calm. I guess he liked it there. The story would be far more interesting if he hadn’t gotten his passport back in time, but that’s what happened: the taxi driver had noticed Tapio’s belongings, taken a 50 euro bill from his wallet and returned it along with the passport to the airport’s lost and found desk. So Tapio was able to make it to the flight after all. 

What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days?

- There’s a lot of new bands out there but the problem is that i haven’t heard their music. I should do something about it. The last thing that really got me excited was Jaakko Eino Kalevi's album “Töölö Labyrinth”. That was really hot. And all The New Tigers songs i have heard have been really nice, too.

What are your plans for this year, music wise?

- We’re planning to finish the second Shine 2009 album after the summer. It will be out sometime next year. Our Nation was the first taster from the album. In addition we’re releasing an album under a new moniker, Cup, this fall. The first single, I’m Just Fighting was released just last week. 

We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

- Yes, i think i can agree with that. There has been a lot of progress when it comes to new music and popular culture in general in the past few years, so it’s easy to understand why Helsinki is now more interesting than other Scandinavian capitals.

What do you think is special about the Finnish music scene, where is the difference to other Scandinavian countries?

- I think people not from Finland or Scandinavia can answer that more easily. I really dont know. I just do my own thing, and it’s great if people think it sounds particularly Finnish.

Is it true that all Finnish people have a cottage on the sea? Tell us more about this family tradition!

- I wish we had! But yes, it’s quite common for families to have some sort summer cottage located near water. It’s a good place to go and do absolutely nothing and/or practise your survival skills  – usually cottage amenities aren’t up to urban standards.

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Husky Rescue, Band

If we go to Helsinki in summer, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible?

- Saanks mä pitää sun pipoo? Can I wear your woolly hat?

In Munich, it’s Hugo, in Rome Aperol Sprizz. What’s the summer drink in Helsinki?

- Crushed wild strawberries with milk. Drink the prosecco separately!

If we feel like getting all fancy and are willing to spend some serious money on nice dinner, where to go?

- Save up some serious money, then go to Savoy. That’s old school. 

 We wanna take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us?

- A tube of Turun sinappi mustard, Oululaisen jälkiuunileipä rye bread and Bliw handsoap. That’s what our manager brought to his girl friend from his last visit.

What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days?

- The oldies are the hottest - Arvi Kemppi ‘Suomessa olen minä syntynyt’

- From the present, Tiiu Helinä ‘Muuri’

 What do you think is special about the Finnish music scene, where is the difference to other Scandinavian countries?

- The only real difference between Finns and Swedes is that we don’t try too much. Johanna disagrees!

 Is it true that all Finnish people have a cottage on the sea? Tell us more about this family tradition!

- Yes and on a lake too. It includes a lot of naked swimming and sausage frying. And too many mosquitos!

Voice in off from the “I hugged your mom in Helsinki team”: “How can you not be in love with this band after those questions?!” 

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Kiki Pau, band

If we go to Helsinki in summer, which sentence do we HAVE to learn to make our holidays as much fun as possible? 

"Missä on jatkot?" There are always some good people who wanna go crazy in some after party.

 In Munich, it’s Hugo, in Rome Aperol Sprizz. What’s the summer drink in Helsinki?

Lonkero is the local speciality but we’d go with some Bourbon and Ginger Ale. People love to hang out in parks so beer is always a good choice.

 We wanna take home a typical thing from the Finnish supermarket to put in our kitchen shelf: what do you recommend us? 

Save your money for something else cos’ Finnish supermarkets are the most depressing places in the world. If you want something good, go to the wild to pick berries and mushrooms. There are plenty for everyone and you can pick them everywhere you like. Just don’t pick the poisonous ones.

  What are your plans for this year, music wise?

 We’re probably gonna do some “bandcamping” this summer as well. It’ s a tradition for us. We’ll go to some hide out place in the country side and write new stuff.

 We think Helsinki is the new Indie capital of Scandinavia. Would you agree? And why? Why not?

Helsinki is more lively than it used to be mostly because people have been starting to organize events by themselves like block parties, restaurant days and flea markets. There is a dynamic for change going on right now.  

 What do you think is special about the Finnish music scene, where is the difference to other Scandinavian countries?

It has to be remembered that Finnish music industry has traditionally been quite isolated from what’s going on elsewhere, so indie stuff aimed at wider audiences have not had support from “the establishment”. That’s maybe why it is somehow easier to do more experimental and progressive stuff here. But as mentioned earlier there are positive changes going on, and perhaps the most special thing is yet to come.

 Is it true that all Finnish people have a cottage on the sea? Tell us more about this family tradition!

Well not by the sea… but it’s true that most Finnish people have summer cottages and most of them by a lake and all of them have a sauna. It’s a tradition here that we all love. To spend a beautiful summer day swimming in the lake, laying in the grass and listening to birds sing is the greatest thing in the world. No worries, no stress, no need to do anything …. It’s wonderful!

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Delay Trees, band

What’s your favourite slogans for us, if we wanna get down in Helsinki? 

"Heruux" and "polka saunoo" are dumb enough to sound fun coming from a tourist! The first one is used for drunk straight-forward flirting, the second one is a line from an awful ice-hockey song…You can use it anywhere, anytime.  

What’s your summer drink? 

- For Finns it’s all about cheap beer. But if you don’t feel like drinking beer, you can also check out Laitila's soft drinks. The sodas are manufactured using wind power, they have cool labels and taste great and summery.

If we wanna spend some serious money on dinner, where to go?

- I usually don’t have “serious money” for a dinner but I recently had an amazing dinner at Gaijin. Nice relaxed atmosphere, good music, tasty asian cuisine and it’s not even THAT expensive…

We wanna bring home some show off stuff for our apartment back home, tell us what to get!

- Buy Angry Birds and Moomin sodas and candies. A few packages of Marimekko napkins and a jar of “silli” (herring) won’t hurt you either… That way everyone will know you went to Finland by just looking at your kitchen shelves.


What naughty details can you whisper to us about your music scene friends? 

- We’ve played quite a few shows with our friends Black Twig recently and we’ve been joking that we could probably switch our bass players and nobody would notice it. They’re like twins on-stage but off-stage they’re not that identical… I think we should do a bassist-switch for a show at some point. Or maybe play eachother’s sets, that would be quite cool…

Finnish summer night’s dream or better realty is a cottage by the lake. Do you fancy this family tradition? 

- Well none of us in the band have one! A lot of the Finns do have a cottage near a lake somewhere in the countryside. I love simple mökki-living (mökki= the name of the cottage). Go fishing, skinny dipping, enjoy the nightless night and eat simple and natural food. After all the silence and simplicity it feels good to come back to the city among people, noise and dusty roads.

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Nick Triani, Soliti label boss


hej Nick, which sentence do we have learn if we go to Helsinki this summer! 

- ”Kolme isoa olutta kiitos” (3 big beer, please) or ”minä rakastan sinua” (I love you) will both go a long way here. 

What’s the Aperol Sprizz of Helsinki?

- As someone who rarely drinks and if I do go out at night it tends to be to gigs, i wouldn’t know. But if you’re feeling thirsty, I can recommend water. Straight from the tap in Helsinki, tastes great. Otherwise the genral public drink beer and lots of it.

We just imagine for one night to have won the lottery and dress up all fancy. Where is the best dinner spot to go?

- I would recommend Kuurna. A lovely restaurant with a gourmet take on traditional finnish food. It’s quality and not even that pricey. 

We wanna take home something special for our kitchen shelf, what do you recommend us?

- I would recommend some rye bread. It’s healthy and most supermarkets stock a wide selection of different rye’s.

What are your plans this year, music wise?

- Well, my label Soliti will have a few more releases. In August we’ll be releasing the new Big Wave Riders album. I have a new signing (cant reveal yet) who’s album drops in October. 

I’m trying to get my own band (NT’s White Trash) back into rehearsal’s so we can record new stuff. It’s been hard as me, our bassist and drummer have all had children in the last 6 months!!!
I dj everyweek at Radio Helsinki . I have had an indie specialist show called  8 1/2 which has been running for the last 12 years, so I will keep doing that through the summer.

Do you also have a cottage by the sea, like all Finns?

- This visiting cottages by the lake involves travelling to the countryside,which is something I rarely enjoy, I’m such a city boy. I also attract mosquitos and usually get seriously bitten in the Finnish countryside.

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Satellite Storiesband

Just before their album release on september 21st and their European tour, we could make singer and guitarrist Esa ours for some minutes, to write about his Helsinki experiences. 

What’s the best dinner place in town? 

Esa: “Sky Express, haha! Only taken pizza from there after a gig or after a long day, but kinda easy and fun place!”

What’s the hottest music coming from Finland these days?

Esa:”Oulu’s bands Stache and Reetta are really good! Also in the ambient scene magnificent OUS MAL.” 

When they wanna get some brunch time, they go to Siltanen, which is converting into number 1 place to be, we have figured out…

For him, even though he considers Helsinki as a very cool place, Finland is much more thant just this: “We have beautiful landscapes and a lot of really nice people all over Finland!” 

We do believe so! Watch out for a single release in august…

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Big Wave Ridersband

We grabbed drummer Pete to answer us some stuff about Helsinki, where the band hails from! They are inspired by waves and echoes, which we think is very beautiful. 

His number 1 phrase for us, to have a fun time in Helsinki this summer is: “Ny rillataan!”, which means “Let’s grill!”. The perfect summer drink there is Garage Hard Lemonade and good stuff as he promises! 

Which Finnish goodie should we take home to show off a little, we asked him:” Some design maybe: Marimekko, Finlayson, Iittala…or Angry Birds, anyone?” 

Their summer plans are huge:” We have a few gigs at Finnish festivals and are also celebrating our debut album’s release…so one more single coming out during summer and then the full-length! Lots of shows coming up after the record’s out, Finland and abroad!” 

He also gave us some hot advice on which bands to watch out for from awesome Finland: “Megaphone State and Gracias are awesome newcomers, if you’re into hip hop!” Yes, we sure like to “whoop whoop”. 

Now we all wanted to know why all Finnish people have a cottage on the sea, and though he is an expert on that one…maybe not…:” I only have cottage cheese in my fridge. There’s also polar bears in Finland. Some unicorns have been spotted lately too…” 

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Reginaband

The first thing singer Iisa would do right now is to hop into the outdoor swimming pool in Kumpula:”It’s a picturesque area of wooden houses, a few kilometres outside the downtown area. It’s small and cozy.”  When having one of those bad hangovers after drinking too much wine in the park, she shares the craving for loads of food at Cafe Fazer:”The brunch includes some really nice cakes and pralines!” Yummy. 

In her view, Vallila is gonna be the new it-neighbourhood, next to the more known Kallio region:” It might still take a few years. Nice restaurants are starting to locate there as well as bohemian workrooms and art collectives.” 

Just before dancing into the night, she loves to spoil herself with tasty food in lovely atmosphere at Lupolo. We love the homepage already, so definitely worth a visit. A plus is the decent price level! 

When tired of all the touring and being creative, Iisa chooses Cafe Esplanad or Cafe Lasipalatsi, a unique art deco building close to the Kiasma Museum, for an afternoon coffee.

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SansaMusician

Sansa’s nickname back in the days was “The America of Finland”. She was so good at football that going pro was almost the next step. But then came music…

If you go to Helsinki with her, she’ll take you to the Sibelius Monument during the day: “You can listen to the wind howling and whistling through the metal pipes!” Her dearest hobby is to rummage around second hand miles to hunt down goodies, especially on a Saturday at Vallila’s weekend market: “It’s full of treasures! My mother likes to pimp costumes and accessories for me and sometimes they turn out pretty nice.” Can you borrow your mom for us one day? 

Gran Delicato is her favourite spot to write on a new song, but also Rytmi and Lasipalatsi she adores. At night, she’d drag you down to get some Disco Feeling at Tavastia's Lauantaidisco: “Very poppy, but the djs play delicious dance music. Also you can dance your ass of at The Circus!” Skweee is a music style she totally recommends us. What she thinks about the Finnish music scene she put in this neat, poetic way: “We’ve been dipped in melancholy and sensibility. The long and dark winters inspire us to create better music.” When we’re down, we rather feel like dog-poo instead of creating such amazing music. So, thumbs up!

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Obi Blanche, Lead Guitarist

First thing Obi does when in town is to call Ossi Koskelainen and ask him what he’s up to. He’s always having cool theatre pieces running at Ylioppilas Teatteri. For picnic brunch after long night, he grabs his mates and goes somewhere next to the sea or for something more simple to organize Regatta Cafe in Töölö. But don’t worry: “here you can go alone, cåz you’ll get chatted up by the pretty girls working there!”

Obi likes it fresh, so Adams is the place he totally recommends. It is said to be the new Erottaja, and he’s got some good memories on that one:”Dj set from the boys of CTRL is burned on my retina and my eardrums are still sometimes replayin the clusters of that chaotic mayhem. One of the most post modern dj sets I’ve ever witnessed.” 

Talking of thrills, he’s got his own little plan this summer:”Check what’s going down in Kiasma and other art happenings. Go outside, go swimming, go to Seurasaari, go canoeing, stay outside the whole night and morning.”

His favourite and current hot shot music-wise is Bendagram:”not only because Pekka is having a DIY shoe box guitar with inbuilt reverb with weird tunings. Also Shotgun Club is tight, they are just releasing a new rekkurd and there’s a track called ‘Rotterdam’ that I played lead guitars into. KCMD Mafia is just plain eva green hot,”

Some last wise words about Helsinki being the new Indie capital of Scandinavia: “There’s loads of good bands coming from Helsinki at the moment, but also from other cities of Scandinavia. Just keep working your city as good as you can and it will arise other peoples’ interest,” said the man with the mighty hair and this awesome blog called DEAR DIARRYHEA

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French Filmsband

Mikael, bass player and vocals of the band loves to hang out at the new Kuudes Aisti Festival this summer! “There are lots if interesting Finnish bands and you rarely see them playing together at the same festival.”  

As a sporty boy, he totally supports the Ice Hockey World Championship this year and endulges in Finnish Hockey Mayhem! 

His favourite place to have breakfast is at Suomenlinna: picnic time! He gets his band buddies, they hop on a boat and enjoy this beautiful place with old buildings and nature scenes as found light years away in our children books! “You will definitely forget your hangover!” 

When it comes to sleeping, he prefers to take you to his place of course: “The best choice.” We sure agree on that one, Mikael…

He doesn’t like the early closing hours of Finnish bars and clubs, so the boys always have this excellent plan B when they wanna party all night long: “Buy some more beer and wine and hang out outside, cuz summer nights in Helsinki are warm!” Yes, let’s find the boys chillin’ and get wasted together..pure bliss!

We sure give Helsinki the crown for being Nr. 1 Indie Capital of Scandinavia. The music expert sees it in a slightly different, very grown up and reasonable way:” Well we got some very good bands like Big Wave Riders, the Casbah, Dead Mongoloids and so on. Also Norway, Sweden and Denmark got really good bands and we have played with really good Scandinavian bands. Any of these countries could have the Nr. 1 Indie Capital City.” Hm, we still choose Helsinki…Are you with me? 

Last question round for the cute bass player: Where can we see sexy concerts?

Sexy? Lepakkomies is the place to be. Its sweaty, dirty and dusty. That’s sexy!” 

Fingerlickin’ good. 

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Zebra and Snake, band 

Finland’s darlings Zebra and Snake are whirling around in the music scene right now! Their healing, magical sounds are inspired by whales, naked people and big dresses.

Matti loves to go to a store, buy food and drink and indulge in a sunny picnic outside in one of the parks of the city.

"To hook up with the cool Finnish people, new bar Navy Jerry or Siltanen always does a good job and brings you in the mood to later on hypie hypie at  Club Adams”, he says.

Although he is too scared to go out hung over, he recommends Ravintola Tori for a good breakfast after a party night.

If then, you don’t wanna go home and moan on your headaches, he’d take you to nice little Cafe Regatta, right on a pier to blog on the heck of a night you just had here or to read Shakespeare.

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Stiina Huhtanen, Stylist from Finland

Now in sunny Helsinki, Stiina would grab all the fine Finnish pastry she can get from the Old Market Hall and take a ferry to Pihjalasaari Island. Ideal for sunbathing, let you hair hang losse and let the wind take over your thoughts. Also highly recommended when almonst overdosed from alcohol the night before.

We love to be hip so we go to Punavuori, the Design District area, with galleries, small shops, cafés and restaurants. The studied fashion designer also recommends Kallio, a bohemian, eccentric neighbourhood, just right for us.

At night, for some delicious meal she’d take us to Bar9 at the Uudenmaankatu: simple and tasty kitchen. Her all time favourite dishes are “Pollo Limonello” and “Limassol”. Her girlfriends have often enough asked her where to go, where to hide when making out with those cute Finnish boys after partying hard. Stiina would always call Kolo guesthouse when they are too drunk to to it themselves. It is the perfect alternative to those expensive hotels.

The best place to work hard on your blogs and song texts is Four Seasons, as they serve delicious coffee and it is located close to those pastel colored houses of the city. When you are there, please take a snapshot of yourself in the intellectual pose and send it to us!

Before taking our flight back, we should definitely check out Uudenmaankatu, where we can buy our “I’ve been to Helsinki” show off outfits. The Flea Market at the Hietalahti Market Square is perfect for treasure hunting and to get your boyfriend some cheap and chic surprise. 

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Jonas Verwijnen, management and music producer at Kaiku Studios

Jonas is a Sauna guy and he loves to sweat his troubles off in there and jump in freezing water for the cool off. After this splish splash, he goes to Siltanen terrasse and enjoys some good coffee there. After a hangover, the music producer orders some yummy stuff at the Tin Tin Tango and YES, they have a sauna too!

To take your beloved ones out for dinner when you’re broke, he’d go to Bullmans in the Kallio region. When you’re not that broke, get a table at Sea Horse in the Eira region. Just for the name we go and check this one out!

Jonas lives in Berlin now and is one of the owners of Kaiku Studios. He loves adrenalin and one of THE thrill for him in town is the wooden roller coaster at Linnanmäki. “It twitches and crackles! Made in the 50s! OMG!!” Yeah Jonas, let’s do this!

We are very curious what this Helsinki born and raised one has to say about the Finnish music scene, because we do think it kicks ass and will kick even more asses in the near future: “Yes it seems Helsinki is gonna kick off all other Scandis with all the upcoming hip bands! I can tell you its been years in making this!! The new generation has come out finally and they are more hungry of making things than the older one from Finland. It’s really a new thing there, I believe in the kids!” We sure do too, Jonas.

Of course there is one last important thing we wanna squeeze out of him: where do the rockstars do their afterparties? “They used to go to Lost & Found Bar, but I think now it’s more like Bar Loose.”  Thank you very very much, Mr “We can’t pronounce your last name.” 

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Philip Arhelger, cabinet maker, student of design

Katarina Niklas, singer, artist and student of clouds

Just back from Helsinki, Katarina wanted to show Phil her beloved second home where she spent some time as a student. The artist loves nature and her greatest thrills in town are the waves at sea, the seagulls and the hidden lakes in the many forests. That’s where she finds the cheapest and definitely most stylish way to take her man out for dinner: a picknick. To make it even more original, try it clothes-less. High Five for this exquisite recommendation!

When it gets too cold to run around naked, they’d go to empty their purses at Valtteri Flea Market in Valilla, open every Saturday and Sunday. Or the Recycling Center, not only to buy clothes! But there are many other places for cheap worn treasures with longer stories, like Fida and Salvation Army/Pelastusarmeijan Kirpputori.

Phil’s favourite Café is Caneli Café. But you might easily forget about drinking that coffee, as owner Galih winds you up in some bad ass interesting conversations! We are also forever at this cute little place, as you can see on the picture below. Look closely and you might find us…

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Noora Säily, booking agent, manager of Popularista, Dj

When the lovely whirlwind arrives at her hometwon, first thing to do is drink some good apple cidre at MBar's terrace in the city center. To start a Friday night, she goes to Navy Jerry’s Rum Bar to see old friends and new artistic hotties on the weekend horizon.

Whenever a Berliner maid asks her where to go with her cutie, she says:”1. Get some romance going while eating slices of delicious pizza at Putte’s Bar .

2. Attend a WE LOVE HELSINKI party, where you dance to old Finnish classics in cute summer dresses and charming suits into the dawn.

3. Do the private afterparty action at totally red design and cheap Omena Hotel.  The Beds are good for “sleepin”. 

4. Turn your hangover into happy times at Siltanen's Brunch with a Live Dj who knows to spin some morning tunes, coffee that smells like coffee and tasty food.”

Noora also gave us some insight of the Finnish music scene. For her, Helsinki is the new Berlin: 

"Hip cafeterias, fresh tunes on the streets, frozen yoghurts, flashmobs and trendy boogie." Finland is getting away from being only the home of metal, as Noora asserts: "Indie music with flavours of Finnish, melancolic culture is the thing. Other Scandinavian music scenes should know to watch out!"

She knows best where the rockstars do their aftershowparties, namely at We Got Beef in Punavuori. it’s open until 4 am - the latest in Finland!! - and always crowded with the right folks. The hottest music coming from her home territory these days is Zebra and Snake, Paperfangs, Cats on Fire and Burning Hearts

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Emma Kemppainen, lead singer and songwriter in the band LCMDF

The blonde part of LCMDF Emma knows some interesting insights about why the hipster now hang out in the Kallio neighbourhood instead of in Punavuori:

"Since Errottaja, the den of Helsinki’s hipsters, became a Karaoke Bar, everyone seems to have pilgrimed to the eastern parts of the city center!”

The lead singer of this cool band is totally into couchsurfing and also recommends this to all her Berlin friends. Just believe it: “Finns might at first seem shy, but they are very loyal people!” Word. 

Her must do when she is visiting Helsinki is public sauna. You should so ask for the fire cupping treatment, a brilliant way to suck out the bad blood! We rather felt like in “True Blood” when I saw this…

Suomenlinna Sea Fortress is also a must see in the summer!

Now, boys and girls, listen up! Some wise words here: “Finns don’t dance unless they are very drunk…so if you wanna hook up with them cuteness of the city, head to the place where people are the drunkest: Pataässä or Pacifico, the latter known for its delicious sangria!

Emma is really a jewel when it comes to secrets! So, keep them to yourselves, will ya! Here comes another one: “Helsinki is the mecca of second hand shopping. That’s because nobody knows it yet. Prices are extremely low. There are a lot of small shops around Torkkenlinmäki. You should also try out Iso-Robertinkatu, but don’t tell anyone!” 

When Emma herself wants to check out some new bands, she snuggles up in Kulttuuritehdas Korjaamo's new loft “Vintti”, which has a nice, cozs atmosphere. 

Thanks Emma, keep them fresh sounds comin’!

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