Hän

Raul Isaskari from Current on Making Honest Music

Image from Current Band promo campaign

Image from Current Band promo campaign

 

For a music lover, a night out in Helsinki is always an adventure. Underground gigs in unexpected locations, special events and night festivals are all organised to entertain the seen-it-all young crowd.

Guys from the band Current make sure to always keep things interesting. Four friends: Raul Isaskari (Bass, Vocals, Saxophone, Programming), Joel Hynninen (Drums, Keyboards), Nikolai Denissoff (Guitar, Violin) and Oskari Jakonen (Piano, Keyboards) got together several years ago. “We always had this code of ethics that we always write new music and songs for every gig”, says 24 years old Raul Silvennoinen, who also acts as a producer of the group. We’ve been doing this with Joel for I think five years”.

The guys mix up their performances, juggling between the classic concerts, where they play their recording material, special gigs for which thy write new songs as well as ordered live production for special events. Doing so many different projects means that the musicians constantly come up with new sounds. “We kind of refuse to do gigs which sound stale”, says Raul. “There are tons of musicians who will pretty much do this for a living and will do stale gigs and kind of play music they don’t really feel like playing. But this whole thing is our passion project, it’s all about doing what we want to do”.

Having studied in a conservatory, Raul is still mostly self-taught and is responsible for devising the concepts and themes, while Oscari comes with most of the choruses and melodies of the songs with which the band then works all together. The lyrics most often deal with psychological matters. According to Raul, it will be especially apparent in the band’s new album, released later this summer. “Our last EP is very different from what’s coming, it’s kind of softer songs”, says Raul. “This one has a bit darker themes”. Indeed, the new songs deal with difficult topics like racism, the media role in feeding it as well as personal struggles experienced by the young generation.

 

One of the Current Band special gigs. Image by HÄN

One of the Current Band special gigs. Image by HÄN

 

A musician at night, during the day Raul spends his time studying and working as a culture event manager. He is currently involved in the next month’s launch of the venue called Konepajan Bruno. “It’s this huge old industrial space in Alppila”, shares Raul with excitement”.There will be program every weekend for three months with food trucks, live gigs, clubs, art galleries and a flea market”. Most of the other guys are also students. Joel is in the medical school, studying to become a doctor. Nikolay codes and does a lot of programming and Oscari is involved in finance. While music is a not a full-time career for the guys, Raul believes it is the one thing that “keeps them going”. “Doing stuff like this is what gives a huge amount of energy for a long time and pretty much all about seeing people enjoying something they haven’t heard before”, says Raul.

Raul thinks that having music as a side hobby is very common in Finland. “I believe it has something to do with Finland’s economy and the accessibility of it”, says Raul. “For example, we have a music-heavy optional program in kinder gardens called “muskari” (musiikkikoulu)…. Many youth centers also hold band-evenings which were a great way to gather with a group of friends”. Therefore, Finnish kids take their love for music, adopted in childhood, way into the adult life. “I am going to continue doing it as long as I live, that’s no question”, says Raul.

At the core of the Current’s future is staying true to themselves. “I can’t see myself compromising on certain things which I don’t believe in”, says Raul. “Cause I see it as important as possible, to be honest”. And honesty is something that is always attractive, no matter how many gigs you have already seen.

 

Special thanks to Raul Isaskari for recording a song Woven for HÄN DIY video. You can watch it here.

 

Words by Kira Kolosova.