What do you mean you're not up on your Scandinavian folk metal? This band wrote my theme song – and I know I'm not alone in that. The good news is, don't know how to pronounce it to know they kick ass. The even better news is you get to see them this Tuesday at our own legendary Harpo's. The best news yet? Our own DC-in-Detroit will be there to cover all the drinking horns, fur vests, and hairflinging one girl can take. And you will feel awesome! (Now, where did I leave my antlers...)
It is very early in the morning and still dark outside. Next to two enormous heaps of luggage on trolleys which can barely hold, we find a unusual group. Some of them sip coffee; others drink the last bits of luke beer and tell lame jokes. This is the band Korpiklaani and they are waiting for their plane to catch after a long and exhausting tour.
The first for your eyes to meet is Hittavainen; the enthusiast violinist of the band, who fell asleep at the table with his head resting on his arms and with a cup filled with an unknown substance next to him. Not far off stands bass player Jarkko, flipping through a catalog in search of a fine red wine to buy at the tax-free shop. The other band members are more likely to buy cigarettes and beer though. Jonne, vocalist and lead guitar player, looks pale and not too well. As usual, he is recovering from the flue that he always seems to catch when on tour. Despite his bad shape, he still pulls off hilarious stories to Matson, the drummer, who is even now drumming with his hands on the edge of the table. Guitar player Cane, who suffers from a slight hangover, laughs and turns to look at accordion player Juho, the junior of the band. Juho does not notice, he seems to be totally occupied by his own thoughts.
Passengers walking by, turn their head to watch the unusual looking group. A single fan recognizes them and runs to them for autographs and some mobile phone pictures, which are granted friendly.
Most people however, are unaware that they just passed Korpiklaani, the Finnish folk-metal band that started in 1993 under the name of Shaman, and changed their name in 2002 to Korpiklaani (Clan of the wilderness).
Their music consists of metal with a happy folky base. So does their choice of instruments, they use a mixture of electric guitars and drums as well as violin, woodwinds, jouhikko, djembé, and the typical Finnish folk instrument: the accordion. They reject synthesizers (of course), and use only genuine instruments.
To most people their music is so cheerful and lively that they cannot resist dancing, laughing and feeling happy. Maybe that is why fans call it 'beer-metal' (it certainly has the same effect as beer), but it could be also due to the many songs about this all-time favorite drink of Korpiklaani.
The first Korpiklaani albums contained merely English lyrics, but nowadays most lyrics are in Finnish. These lyrics are often written in the Kalevala-style (a special metre, from the Finnish national epic) and tell about nature, history, partying and the already mentioned beer of course!