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Haastattelut:

jarmosaari (at) gmail.com

Levyt:

Tapio Korjus / Rockadillo

XL albums

Xlent (Ondine Octopus 1995)

After writing own material, getting our thing together and touring quite a bit we were determined and decided to make an album anyhow, no doubt, somehow. National Radio Station and a Finnish broadcasting company producer Jukka Hakoköngäs showed some interest in us and invited XL to make a radio tape for Radio Mafia. The result was also released as our debut album by a classical and contemporary music label Ondine. We actually made it happen! Hakoköngäs and the engineer Hessu Savolainen supported us enthusiasticly and helped us define our sound and set some of our future goals. Mixing the album at the National Opera Studio,Helsinki, was a blast. Our record release day took place the same day as the Finnish ice hockey team had its 1st World Champion celebration in Helsinki. A hell of a party it was!

Jukola (Rockadillo / Pohjola Records 1998)

The sessions started as early as in the autumn of 1995, when Michael Brecker visited Finland performing with Umo Big Band. We managed to get Michael Brecker in Finnish National Opera´s studio to record his part on Young Blood with only Jarmo´s programming. Rest of the recordings were done in Espoo during weekends in September and October 1996. We had a handful of material and put a lot of effort in programming. The leap to more orchestral sounding XL was due to the use of Zagros String Quartet. The session itself was 24 hours messing-around and bohemian life.
The album came out in the beginning of 1998. The cover art was made by D.O.G design and started our collaboration with designer and photographer Petri Salmela. Massive, quite dark album. Check out the video of "A.S.P. (Main hall mix)" directed by Päivi Eerikäinen and produced by Film Magica.

Jeti (Rockadillo / Pohjola Records 1999)

During our European tour May 1998, Jarmo and Arttu decided to start writing new material for our next album due in the autumn. Due to an unforgettable tour with the great Don Huonot guitarist and friend Kie von Hertzen, we did not hestitate to ask him join on a few tunes, not to mention the ten piece XL Strings. The partying after the sessions involved with some "injuries on a steep saunapath in the dark forest" and "bitter discussions about digest, social manners and taking responsibility in bands actions". Somehow it all turned out good the day after.
Cover design was marvellous, once again. Album was released in February 1999 and we organized a great unplugged concert show at the Savoy Theatre with 10 strings, tuba and extra percussions played by Mongo Aaltonen. Strong melancolic pop songs. Check out the video of "Pohjalla (In dirt)" directed by Harri Panula.

Live Ballet (Rockadillo / Pohjola Records 2001)

After recording "Jeti" we didn´t have much new material left. Members of the band were busy with different projects, but we still wanted to play live concerts.
Our current fifth member, El Papa, always charming DJ Bunuel came along one fine day, and we went for a tour or two. We met him for the first time, not in Helsinki, but in Reykjavik, and it made sense right away to try to do something experimental and fun together. We decided to carry recording equipments with us where ever we went. The best takes were chosen out of huge pile of material. Some of them recorded in little clubs and others in concert halls. Our marvelous sound engineer Timo "Guide" Kuisma did the live mixing and recording. Jouni "Smoju" Paju took a big part in the project of mixing the record with fantastic results. Strong proof of our live-power. Our musical guru Pekka Pohjola joins us on two tracks among other fine guests.

Surreal (Rockadillo / Pohjola Records 2002)

After serious band crisis and almost breaking up, we once again took a hold of ourselves and did some gigs to warm up a few songs we had been composing during the spring and summer of 2001. Suddenly it all felt worthy and motivating, like in the early days. Tomi had also composed a tune for us. The collaboration between Jarmo and Arttu went to new depths. New tunes emerged and orchestrations widened. Smoju engineered and mixed the whole package. Making an album like that in a three week period is basically impossible, but hey, we did it!
Bunu shows his great narrator skills and the XL Orchestra is simply wicked. Long-awaited new songs, trendy sounds and a plenty of good old romantic stuff. Our best so far? A video of "Hitta någon att tycka om" (directed by Harri Panula) to be hopefully released later on...

Visual (Rockadillo / Pohjola Records 2003)

Performing occassionally with the likes of Pekka Pohjola and UMO Jazz Orchestra, even a symphony Orchestra in Lappeenranta, had really given us confidence and a sense of cruciality. It was such a strenght to be able to orchestrate yourself. We were such a restless bunch heading to so many directions. We had conflicts happening in our personal lives and I was somewhat obsessed with "Visual". I felt this was going to be our "swan song". Raw power, limitless sonic colours and great sensitivity. Speedy Saarinen was an excellent choice for engineering and mixing. We drove to Tammisaari to have a band camp and a new record as a souvenir.