Interview by Arto Lehtinen
Europe has tons of great metal festivals arranged almost in every country during the summer time. Of course bigger festivals such Graspop, SwedenRock, Wacken, FullForce, Gods Of Metal, Hellfest, MetalCamp and tons of others definitely draw bigger names and more attention. However there are a lot of smaller metal festival arranged as well. These smaller more underground oriented festivals are arranged with the passion and devotion toward the metal music despite the budgets of these festivals ain’t tremendous huge.
Jalometalli is a relative new, but damn activate and vital metal festival arranged up in the north in Oulu. The festival has grown piece by piece every year and booked more and more wellknown bands. Jalometalli definitely hit the jackpot by managing to book the legendary Bay Area thrashers Testament and of course another, but European thrash legends Kreator. However Jalometalli offers more legends such Unleashed, Candlemass and the mighty Holy Moses. What the one can wish from one metal small festival, doom metal, thrash metal, death metal. Of course Finnish metal bands play an important role giving the last shape to the line-up of the festival.
As for the tickets, well they can be ordered from the Finnish Ticket Service, Check out this link
The primusmotor and chief of the Jalometalli festival Marco Järvenpää is more thrilled about the line up of the Jalometalli festival 2007. Therefore it would be about time and to give an opportunity to the chief to enlighten more about the festival.
(pic by Timo Hanhirova)
BACKGROUND OF JALOMETALLI
Jalometalli is rather an unknown metal festival for most readers of this site living outside of Finland, therefore it would be reasonable to learn a little bit more about how this Jalometalli metal festival started out in the first place?
It started as a small metal event me and couple of my friends put together a few years ago. At the time I thought there were too few gigs for extreme metal bands in Oulu and I just felt like changing it right there and then. There was only four bands playing in the first ever Jalometalli and they were Thyrane, Monster Spank, Maple Cross and Funeris Nocturnum. The turn out was way better what we had ever even dreamt of so we decided right away to continue the event and make it annual metal party.
As mentioned, Jalometalli started out as a relative small, let’s say now, as a more underground based festival, but it has grown piece by piece tremendously within these years. Has it been a long time plan for you to expand and grow the festival in your mind piece by pieced since Jalometalli began back in 2002?
After the first Jalometalli we made the plan to make this bigger every year and not to take a too big step and destroy the whole thing the next year. I think the plan has worked perfectly in my mind, but then again someone might disagree. I´m really happy how things stand at the moment and I´m already planning the 2008 festival, that´s how anxious I am about this years festival, that it has given me more strength to work already now towards 2008.
There are a plenty of metal festivals all around in Finland ; Sauna Open Air, Nummirock, Tuska and these big mainstream rock festivals usually book metal bands. How do you see this current metal festival phenomena here in Finland, do you think there could be some kind of competition between fests to book some unique and awesome bands?
Well, I don´t really think about what other festivals do. I just book bands I feel are either great or I respect what they do even though they´re not my faves. Basically I want to make this a real metal festival and I don´t necessary follow what´s in and what´s not. This is about true metal and nu-metal bands don´t have a place on this festival. Having said that, I wish best of luck to every metal festival everywhere in the world.
Jalometalli is arranged in the mid of August when several European metal festivals are arranged as well like Wacken, Party San, Summer Breeze, Metal Heart, Hole In The Sky..Is this some kind of advantage and benefit for Jalometalli to book bands a little bit easier or on the contrary, more like a disadvantage ?
To be honest with you, I haven´t really thought about it before, but now that I´m working towards 2008 I´ll have take a closer look what those festivals do and see if there is a gem I really really want to book. I mean bands that I otherwise couldn´t afford to bring over.
Has it ever crossed your mind to start some kind of co-operation with some festival what comes to booking bands ?
As I said, I really need to think about this and find out if it´s possible. I kinda like to do things my way, but co-operation might not be the worst ever idea.
To be honest, is this your own childhood dream come true feeling to have your own metal festival in your own village ?
I´ve always put up gigs and back in the 80´s we had a small one day indoor festival and we also arrange punch of other gigs. So, you could say I´ve been built to do this and yes it has been a dream!! I just don´t jump into things without thinking about it carefully for a LOOOONG time so it has taken me this long to make this happen.
BOOKING THE BANDS
The line-up of Jalometalli has started having more and more international big names, as last year Helloween and UDO played, and now Testament and Kreator. Tell a little bit more about the booking process of so called big names, if it is either an easy job or pain in ass project, do you have some kind of back up plan if some band happens to cancel the show in the very last minute ?
It has been a long road to get to this point where I can even dream about booking bands like you mentioned. It´s been a hard work for sure, but this year it was easy because first of all I´ve been talking to Kreator management for 3 years now about bringing them over and this year they said right away that they want to do it. Secondly, last years line up helped me a lot this year. We had Helloween and U.D.O. so I´m sure Testament felt we were doing things the right way if we can bring those guys to our festival. I´m sure next year will be something different again, because I want to bring over bands I like and not just any bands. I do have a plan a, plan b, plan c and even plan fuck it I´m not gonna do this if it ain´t fun anymore or if bands that I want to bring here start to be too greedy. Not everything is about money, you know, but then again I´m not ready to lose any money doing this. Well, you know what I mean. First and foremost it´s about metal and that´s all!!!
Finnish metal bands definitely play an important role in the line-up of Jalometalli. As for the Finnish bands on the bill of 2007, there are power metal, death metal, black metal, thrash metal, Do you think the variety of different kind of metal is important to please the audience ?
The variety in the line up is because I like all kinds of metal. If it´s good, it´s good no matter what genre it is and I will keep this festival like this as long as I´m doing this. Another important thing for me is that I can give Finnish bands a good crowd to play for and especially northern bands will have a special place on the festival every year.
Frankly how much does your own metal music passion and interest toward metal influence on the decision making which bands are booked to Jalometalli ?
This one´s easy to answer, 100%!!! I wouldn´t know any other way of doing this.
Regarding Holy Moses and Candlemass – I assume Holy Moses was nothing a must have to Jalometalli and then Candlemass because of the cancelled show with Destruction, right ?
Holy Moses was something I wanted to have because I really like them. “The New Machine of Liechtenstein” and “Finished With the Dogs” are absolute Thrash Metal gems and when I had a chance to bring them over I thought to myself I can´t miss this opportunity. Last year we had Onslaught for the very same reason. As for Candlemass, you are absolutely right. I wanted to bring them over because their gig here in Oulu got cancelled due to their backline or should we say weather problems.
And then a few extreme metal bands Rotting Christ and Unleashed replacing Grave?
As you know, extreme metal has always been a fave music of mine, especially thrash and death metal. These bands represent the broader scale of music I enjoy. 90´s Stockholm DM is absolutely great and when Grave had to cancel there was only one band to fill in since we´ve already had Entombed and Dismember in the past.
How do you usually select these Finnish bands as there are quite a few ? Do they personally take the contact to you ? And I assume supporting bands coming from North Finland is also important factor for the Jalometalli concept ?
It´s a hard job, I tell you. There´s so many great bands over here that every year I end up feeling like an asshole when I have to leave out at least 10 bands I would love to have in the line up, but there´s only so many spots to fill and too many bands to choose from. Well, some of those bands I had to leave out this year will be offered a chance to play Jalometalli Festival next year. Lots of Finnish bands contact me, but most of the bands I end up booking I contact myself. Northern bands will always have a place in Jalometalli family, that´s for sure!!!
How does Jalometalli support new rising, promising and relatively unknown bands like asking them to play at the festival ?
This is always a tough one, but we do try to include up and coming bands every year or bands I think totally deserve a festival gig but other festivals won´t give them a chance.
There will be two stages, how are bands selected to play on these stages ?
Many reasons affect the decision, but of course bands like Kreator, Testament, Unleashed, Rotting Christ etc. will play on main stage. Candlemass will be the very last band on the festival and playing on the indoor stage, because I like the idea of doom metal band finishing the festival and that is only possible if they play inside. So, many things have a part to play on the decision making.
ANOTHER SIDE OF THE FESTIVAL
The security issues have always been the main issue amongst festival visitors, are these security people aware of how to handle metal heads and educated to handle the difficult situations ?
Security is very important to us and we prepare well in advance for every kind of scenario just in case something happens, so we’ll be well prepared. Our staff should be able to cope with moshing and pits are allowed. Of course I´ve told them to use common sense to stop any fighting or unnecessary violence in the pit. I hate when people try to hurt each other and I mean really hurt, so I won´t allow that on our festival.
How are other workers of the festival recruited and how many people are involved in the Jalometalli event during the two day ?
We have a good bunch of people working for us and it has taken us all these years to recruit the best possible people. We have about 100 people all in all if we take into account every area of the festival.
What is the biggest job causing a real headache for you during the festival weekend?
Hopefully nothing this year:) but usually it´s the stress of hoping that everything works and making everything work. We are one year more experienced and the area is already familiar to us this year instead of last year when everything was new. I´m sure my people know about things this year so much better that I don´t need to stress with anything. Last year I had to run and fix few minor situations all the time, but this year I´m not gonna do that.
(Pic by Timo Hanhirova)
THE FESTIVAL AREA
The whole festival is definitely the northernmost metal festival arranged in Europe as far as I know, does this bring some kind of more attention and interest from booking companies and bands toward Jalometalli ?
I haven´t really noticed that, but then again Onslaught guys seemed to be in awe last year and kept telling me that this is the northernmost place they´ve ever played at. Other than that I can´t recall anything else.
Jalometalli’s situation is quite interesting as it is almost in the heart of the downtown of Oulu and the festival takes a place in the environment of the biggest rock club Teatria. This definitely brings a lot of advantages for you as you don’t need to build everything all over again and how have the audience responded to the metal fest in Teatria nearby thew downtown of Oulu ?
Mostly people have been pleasantly surprised how well the area works. Of course there are arseholes who complain, but then again they haven´t even been here, so what do they know. From my point of view this is the best place to held this festival at the moment. It´s easy to contol, most of the things like second stage, PA backstage etc are already in place. It´s actually, the perfect place, to hold Jalometalli, until we outgrow this place, if we ever do. Of course I have one eye looking for every possible angle to find a better/other place if the need arises.
If some reader living outside Finland gets interested in arriving at Oulu and Jalometalli to taste the metal atmosphere of the most northernmost metal festival, what would you advise them to do and help to get every single travelling and ticket issues done ?
Tickets are available through Ticket Service Finland and all the major airlines have flight to Oulu through Finnair. Of course trains and buses come to Oulu because we are the capital of Northern Finland. This is an easy place to get to and accommodations over here aren´t that expensive and there is a lot of alternatives where to stay. Everything from camping to hotels are available.
Even though the line-up of 2007 looks tremendous huge, do you think the next year will look more fantastic? And don’t say Slayer will be there ..hahahah
I wish Slayer would be, but I think that ain´t gonna happen. Of course it´s my dream to have Slayer, the ultimate band, in the line-up one day, I can dream can´t I? It´s a difficult question, because so many thing can happen before 2008 and people have different tastes, but as long as I think it´s better than 2007 I´m happy!!!
The official JALOMETALLI SITE :
THE LINE UP OF JALOMETALLI 2007