Why do I write these liner notes, a swedish trombone player with little connection to Finland? Simply because I love the music made in my eastern sisterland and I respect the musicians living there. They have their own sound, their own style and they are proud of themselves and what they do. Tomi Salesvuo is no exception to this rule. Being an extraordinary drummer is not enough for him, he wants to expand into writing, arranging and producing and that’s exactly what he has done with this album in a very successful way. Tomi has a sense of melody and groove that is not heard everyday and he manages to combine catchy vocal lines with funky hornlines and his own smoking rythm-keeping, making this album a very fine example of music- not just made in Finland but made for the whole world to hear.
Enjoy, I did!
NIls Landgren (Singer, Trombonist, Funk-Artist from Sweden)
IT ALL STARTED FROM A GIG.
We were playing a Funk show in front of a full club, a tribute to some of my heroes. The band was on fire and the crowd in the club was really getting in the groove! That music felt so good, it made me see that this was it – this was the direction that I wanted my music to go!
During the last couple of years, I have really opened up to all musical ideas. I’ve been looking for what would be my own thing and the opportunity to do it. It was kind of like being able to hear the target sound but I just didn´t quite know how to reach it. I am a jazz musician who also loves to play rock songs with melodies and power that people can feel and sing along to. I wanted to mix those ideas. It was my goal to somehow re-write the rules, like what you can put into a song, and how musically different tunes you make may collect into an album. I love the energy and unpredictable feeling that improvised jazz music has. It is one of the best playgrounds for a drummer like me. When you do music with a nine-piece orchestra like East Funk Attack, you have a great chance to really lock in the groove and make your moves tight. Playing a steady Funk groove with just one chord and breathing the hypnotic beat with your band mates is an unbelievable feeling!
When I got off stage after that gig, with a red face and feeling totally melted like in a Finnish Sauna - our future singer Anniina was the first person to speak with me. "Can I join this band!?" I think my answer was something you can´t even translate or explain. While heading backstage, I explained to her what a pure instrumental orchestra it was and that I had no thoughts about any lyrics etc. I didn´t even think that I had a band. How wrong I was! When I started to write these songs, I realized that with vocals, I had an opportunity to really push my music in the directions I wanted to go. Past co-writing experiences with my dear friend and great vocalist Julia Vuorinen encouraged me to ask her to work with me again on these new songs. And yes - it worked out well! When I finally had the lineup for the band, my top-musician friends from Helsinki, I just simply started to write new songs for the orchestra. I never could’ve imagined that I could write these types of melodies, rhythms and yes, even lyrics! It was incredible to watch the process develop and to see how I have reached my personal goals. Meeting deadlines, feeling speechless after hearing the songs played for first time in rehearsal, seeing the great effort put forth by each musician… It’s been incredible! It has been a real journey for me as a musician!
Now my first solo album is ready and in your hands. I´m hoping that it will do the same thing for you as listener as it´s doing for me as a musician - make you smile and get you feeling good! I enjoyed the whole trip. I loved our studio sessions last January in Porvoo with temperatures falling to -20 Celsius outside of the building and us burning up inside like maniacs! In those three days and nights, we were able to catch some takes that I really think are some of the best tracks I have ever played as a drummer in my career. My recording engineer Hannu Hattunen pushed the studio limits to the top. Even after 4 AM, when we hit the Sauna before calling it a day, I still saw the smiling faces of my band. This same vibe continued during all of February and March when we worked with the Horns, Marzi´s guitar parts and vocals with Anniina at my Musala II studio in Helsinki. I will never forget the nights we spent at Lerin Paja Studios with my Mixing Engineer Tommi "Masterfader" Vainikainen. We were mixing and makin’ the Funkiest sounds for the album! But with two guys - drummers like us, we just had to set up Tommi´s drum kit and jam! Play the drums and just fool around like kids, just feeling good and smiling! With our full focus on the music – that’s how I think we did it and why it sounds like it sounds.
I´m proud of the result. We did grab onto something new, with a respect for Funk music history. East Funk Attack´s live show is pure funk with full power!
The band has hunger for new club gigs and festival performances. Please, feel free to check out our upcoming live dates, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
"Funk with full power!" (1/2015)