Interview with Jesse Jaksola (guitar), Kalle-Erik Kosonen (vocals, synthesizer)
Interview by Kat Knite
Pre-order Caterpillars of Creation: https://svartrecords.com/product/polymoon-caterpillars-of-creation-album/
Congratulations on your upcoming debut album ‘Caterpillars of Creation’! You’re a very new band. How did you all meet and form?
Thank you! Polymoon got started in 2018 by Jesse and Juuso Valli (bass) and their urge to create music that can be described in one word – Polymoon. In December of 2018 Otto Kontio (guitar) joined our sessions and a couple of months later Tuomas Heikura (drums) joined us as well. We think that we had a couple of those Caterpillars of Creation songs already done at the point when Jesse called Kalle-Erik and asked if he would be interested to join in this space prog band in Tampere. He was excited to join in and so Polymoon reached its final form in spring of 2019.
How did you come up with the band name and what does it mean?
It’s just like naming any other thing. We simply wanted to call this band Polymoon. It has a soft but spacey kind of feel to it. We like to think of Polymoon as “many moons” circling around the universe of our own.
Have you all been in bands previously?
For Jesse and Juuso this is the first. Rest of the guys are and have been in different bands for years.
What is the concept behind the album? How did the writing process begin and how did all the songs come together to form this full project?
The album tells a story about an attempt to climb to a mountain at the center of the universe. At the summit, enlightenment and liberation from the shackles of physical life are awaiting. Everyone is bound to climb, some for the first and some for the last time. Caterpillars of Creation is about searching your true self and the deepest essence of the world.
Songwriting for Caterpillars of Creation started in December 2018 and we spent almost the whole year creating the magical world of Caterpillars of Creation. Most of the ideas for songs came up at home. We were throwing ideas to each other all the time and most of the time our ideas formed a vague structure to work with. Most of the ground work was done by Kalle-Erik and Jesse but every member of this band brings their own thing or idea to the table and we’ll work with what we have!
Our dear friend Andy Lohner from our rehearsal community in the beautiful atmosphere of Herrainmäki was kind enough to help us make the demos in September of 2019. After the demo sessions Juho Vanhanen (Jun-his from Oranssi Pazuzu) started as our co-producer and gave us great feedback and notes in general to get everything out of our creativity, so most of the fall we spent composing and rehearsing. We recorded the album live in late November of 2019 at the Tonehaven Recording Studio with amazing sound engineer Tom Brooke, who also owns the studio. Tom understood our vision for the album and the sounds and helped to get that vision on tape.
Do you have a favourite song from the album?
It’s hard for us to pick just one but the second track from Caterpillars of Creation called Lāzaward defines the sound and feeling of this band perfectly. Lāzaward was also the first song we did for our debut album so it’s special for us in many ways.
The official visualiser for Malamalama is really captivating and cool. How did you come up with the idea for it, and who created the visualiser?
Most of the visual stuff for the band is made by Kalle-Erik. He has made the visualiser for Malamalama, album cover art, band’s promotional photos and the live visuals for the shows to come.
Kalle-Erik had an idea of the band playing in a space filled with different kinds of dreamy and psychedelic elements. The video surely is influenced by 60’s/70’s psychedelic TV performances with some liquid light stuff, but the root idea was to create this dream based place to support the atmosphere of the song Malamalama.
What is the progressive rock/psychedelic scene like in Finland? Do you have many other bands in your circle/scene that you’re friends with or play shows with?
The progressive rock/psychedelic scene in Finland is actually quite impressive. We have a lot of great bands in Tampere, not to mention the rest of Finland. PH, Oranssi Pazuzu, Dark Buddha Rising, Kairon; IRSE!, Superfjord just to name a few. There are even a couple of smaller festivals just for this kind of music.
Do you think you will continue to live in Finland, or would you like to try somewhere else in the world eventually?
Let’s start with Finland and think bigger if it would at some point be topical. We are a new band with high hopes but we are not here to decide whether our music is ”good” enough to spend time with.
What has been your favourite gig that you’ve played so far?
Because of the COVID-19 situation our first shows were unfortunately cancelled. Luckily we had an opportunity to reschedule a couple of those shows to December. The first live performance of Polymoon will take place on the same day as our debut album Caterpillars of Creation will be released – 4th of September.
What is your dream gig/venue?
We think it’s safe to speak for all of us and say that we all have been dreaming of getting to play at the Roadburn Festival and also at the Levitation Festival.
Do you have any plans for touring once it’s safe to do so again? If you do, where do you plan to go?
We will have our album release tour in Finland. We are doing 6 shows in the fall of 2020. We are just about to get into performing live so we have not made plans any further yet. In the future it would be great if we would be able to perform in other European countries and maybe even in the US. Let’s see what happens!
Who are your biggest musical influences?
There are echoes of love for the older prog/psych/krautrock in our music. Each member brings something from their own musical taste and history to spice it up – to make it sound like Polymoon!
If you could see a concert of any band/artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Jesse: Early 70’s Pink Floyd that’s for sure. Roger Waters smoking cigarettes and screaming during Careful With That Axe Eugene and David Gilmour sliding through those amazing psychedelic sounds out of his delayed guitar. It must have been intense!
Kalle-Erik: I wish I could have seen Queen in the Live Aid 1985. Fully energised 20 minutes of sex and magic.
Who is an artist or band that people wouldn’t expect you to love, but you do?
Jesse: Michael Kiwanuka’s KIWANUKA has been on the turntable lately a lot! Great album. So hard to tell what people are expecting of us and our musical habits. Good music is good music and you should listen to it – that’s it!
Kalle-Erik: I am absolutely in love with Ivan Cattaneo’s 80’s italo disco versions of those 60’s pop hits. This might be unexpected for some people, but the scale of the music I listen to is so wide that I can’t really tell. But what I can tell is that I really love those versions…
Have any new bands on the scene caught your attention recently?
Jesse: I’ve been listening to this Australian band called Stonefield lately. Not exactly a new band on the scene but caught my attention last year with their latest album BENT!
Kalle-Erik: I’m looking forward to hearing the debut album of a Helsinki based band: Underground Witch Rock.
What other creative outlets or hobbies do you have outside of music, and do you have time to do all the things you enjoy? What type of sacrifices have you had to make for your music?
We are all artists in different ways. We are photographing, drawing, painting, writing. Some of us do yoga and some of us are keeping their minds and bodies in shape in different ways. There is always time or at least a small window for everything without really compromising one cause of another.
Finally, I’d like to ask: Do you feel your music has a wider purpose? What type of impact do you hope for it to have on others?
We are making this music for us to help ourselves understand the world and our existence better. We hope that we can channel that energy to the listeners and they can relate to our feelings that we are trying to push through in our music. Hopefully our music becomes a safe haven for someone.
Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Thank you for having us!