Vincent Lefrançois of interviews Jussi, Pore's guitar player and song writer. - Jussi

Published 2006-03-22. Direct link to the interview.

When and how was your band created?

We started in 1994. Our bass player Pasi and Drummer Pete, who are brothers and have therefore played together all their lives, needed a guitar player and asked me (Jussi) to join them. The current line up with singer and guitarist Miikka has been working since 2002.

Where is the name of the band coming from?

The name Pore is an anagram of the last name of the two brothers who formed the band. We like to play with words and wanted a short and simple name.

What musicians or artists did have a major influence in your life / work?

As a teenager when I started playing I used to listen a lot of guitar based rock like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen and Led Zeppelin, and I think that Led Zeppelin and Metallica were the most influential in those early days. Later on I stated to get into pop artists like Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega and Paul Simon. I also learned to listen Rush, which is Pasi's and Pete's all time favourite band. Nowadays I listen and enjoy all kinds of music that I find meaningful in some way.

What are the positive and negative aspects of being a musician in Finland?

I suppose that the negative aspects are related to the fact that there are only about five million people living here, so the local market for professionally produced music is quite small. On the other hand there are lots of talented semi-professional musicians and bands doing what ever kind of music they want, which I think is valuable and very positive.

Also I think that our few internationally known bands like HIM, The Rasmus, Nightwish and Children of Bodom have opened some doors for other bands too. And the Finnish education system is also very good, giving chances to study classical music, jazz and pop/rock at a very high level.

How could you define your style of music?

Our music is guitar based melodic rock and pop music. Vocals, two guitars with bass and drums.

During the years how has your musical style changed?

We have moved from progressive and hard riff-rock to a bit softer and warmer direction. Today we tend to process and analyze our stuff more than we used to do when we started in 1994. Back then we had plenty of ideas and we wanted to use all of them, today we try to find one good idea and take the most out of it.

How do explain these changes?

We are twelve years older now than when we started. We have changed and the world has changed and all this shows in the things we do. I think it's only a natural process and would like to see it as progress.

What are topics you treat in your songs?

I think that the main topics are person's relationships to other people and the world.

What is your favourite song in your repertoire and why?

I'll choose one of the four songs that can be downloaded from our homepage and it's called "Stronger than you thought". I think it quite well gives the idea of our music in general, it has some nice dynamics and hooks and it's fun to play.

Do you actually prefer performing your music live or in a studio?

Well, I think that our band really exists when we get together and play. The few recording sessions that we've had so far have pretty much been attempts to capture that live feeling. If we had our own studio or permanent access to some decent recording equipment the situation might be totally different.

During the process of making a song, what is the moment that you prefer?

I like the moment when all the pieces seem to fall in to the right places. Sometimes it happens during the song writing, sometimes it happens when the band begins to work on a new song, and sadly with some songs it doesn't happen at all.

A stupid question but... what is among all the songs you've been listening in your life the BEST song?

This is not a stupid question at all, the best song ever has got to be "Let there be rock" by AC/DC.

What is your opinion, as a musician, regarding internet?

I think that internet offers many possibilities for musicians. This can be something really practical like trading equipment with other musicians or reading articles about music or other topics which give you new ideas and make you do some thinking. Or for a band it can basically be a relatively low cost channel to promote yourself.

We've had our homepages since 1998 and we have tried to actively use the internet as a tool to promote our music and I think it has worked quite well for us. For example I wouldn't be giving this interview without the internet.

But of course there is also the difficult question about copyrights and piracy that has to be dealt with somehow. In my opinion services like Apple's iTunes and Microsoft's MSN Music are steps to right direction, as they offer a legal channel to buy music files.

I'm also a great admirer of Mr Robert Fripp and I like the way he and he's company Discipline Global Mobile use the internet to promote and sell music directly to the consumers.

What are your projects?

I don't personally have any other musical projects besides Pore. With the band we are working on two new songs by Pasi the bass player.

What "image" do you have of French music?

The image that I have of French music is rather narrow and is based on the few internationally known mainstream artists who have got some radio play and publicity in Finland like Air, Patricia Kaas and maybe even Vanessa Paradis. I suppose that most of your music has something so characteristically French that it doesn't fit the mainstream format that is mostly set by American, British and European Euro-pop artists that dominate the radio and the MTV. I guess that the same goes with most of the Finnish music too and of course with the huge amount of music from all over the world by artist who never make it to the international top-lists. There would be so much music in the world, if one only had the time and enthusiasm to explore it.

Is there one French song that you prefer? If so, what song is it?

Well, right now I would choose the song "Venus" by Air from their album "Talkie Walkie".

Last update: 2006-03-27