Who are you and what do you do in your band?
- Hi, this is Olli, the guitarist of Rippikoulu. Band member since 1991.
When/where was your band formed?
- I think that the band was formed in 1988 or 1989 in small town called Valkeakoski. And our rehearsal place was in suburb called Ulvajanniemi. First the band members were only Toni Valtanen (drums) and Marko Henriksson (R.I.P.) (guitar). I don´t know who was the singer or were the both of them. And the band name was even then Rippikoulu. Janne (bass) and I came to a band in 1990-1991. After Anssi joined the band (1992) we were ready to develop as a strong death metal band.
Why did you choose to play Death Metal?
- Rippikoulus music was first something between hc and punk metal. The music evolved to a death metal like step by step. I think everyone of us listened death metal back then. That was the easy and natural way to start playing death metal. And I think I was the final reason to our death metal sound because I wrote all the songs back then and I loved bands like My Dying Bride and Autopsy.
How do you compose your music? Does only one guy do everything or does everyone contribute?
- Well, there are not just one way. Usually someone (basically me) brings some new material to rehearsals. It might be a whole song or just couple of riffs. And then we start to think what to do with that. If song is good enough, then it is worth to play, if not, then I throw it to the shipyard. One of the songs in our newest EP is a good example of that. It had a good ending but in the first part we did like 10 – 15 different versions and finally threw them away with their crappy structure. It took like 2 years to make it good enough. I want all the riffs be perfect.
Tell us about your lyrics, writing, inspiration etc.
- Anssi (our singer) writes all lyrics. I think the lyrics are some kind of poems about life and death. Love, hate, sorrow and so on. I think Anssi feels more like a poet than a traditional singer even though he loves strong singers who has something to say like Jim Morrison or Lana Del Rey for example
Is there an ideology behind your band?
- Hmmm, actually no. We don’t have any religional, or social statement or ideology in our band. We have just fun and we like to make some music. There might be a slight different if we think about the Rippikoulu in 1990`s and Rippikoulu today. Of course we are more mature and our ideology of life have changed through these years. That might have some influence in Rippikoulus music and lyrics too. But is there some kind of “Rippikoulu ideology”, no!
How do you see the state of Death Metal music these days in your country and in general?
- Well, I don’t follow the death metal scene so much in these days. I know there are some good new death metal bands in Finland. And many old school death metal bands have made some kind of come back and that is really good thing to a finnish death metal scene. Only (death) metal I listen in these days are old bands like My dying bride, Moonsorrow, Purtenance and so on,
What are your long term plans as a band? What do you want to achieve?
- That is a hard question. I thing we don’t have any plans for future. We just continue to making music and playing together. We have other things in life too, so Rippikoulu is more like a nice hobby. Of course we would love to go to studio in near future (2016) and make more gigs…but we don’t have any pressure or schedule for that.
Name an other Death Metal band from your country that everyone should hear.
- Like I said I don’t follow too much the death metal scene but I would say Purtenance and Vainaja.
- Thanks for this interview and for your interest.