Kuolleet Intiaanit, Finnish for (the) Dead Indians (as in native Americans), is a mushroom rock band from Seinäjoki, Finland. Their music has elements of psychedelia and punk, and as for Finnish music, they're often referred to as the 21st century's Sielun Veljet. Guitar rock, in any case, flavoured with surrealist or absurdist lyrics (not exactly meant to be analyzed is the message here) and elements of theater. They were formed in 2000, and as of 2008, are either on a break or defunct. Why this is hard to know will be expanded upon later. The inexistence of their website makes me lean towards defunct, however. Their label does say they are just on a break, but I've got my opinions.
Members of the band are or were Ilmari Tuulenhalkoja (vocals), Emil Topaz (guitar and vocals), Johannes Tyrannos (bass guitar and vocals) and Juhana Amadeus (drums). These are stage names, and the real names of the members have not spread outside Seinäjoki. In live shows, a synthesizer player is added (on the latest tour and album, Mikael Rynigen). They do not give interviews (except for one, which has been read by few and was done, unsurprisingly, by a person from Seinäjoki), play encores or speak to their audiences.
So, why theater, of all words to describe them? Well, their live shows could be treated as such, that is why. In a live show, Kuolleet Intiaanit are usually dressed in black suits and top hats and their faces are painted white, except for the area surrounding the eyes, which is black. Other known costumes are straitjackets and black-white-lined suits. As for the shows themselves: I only had the delight to go to one, and if only I had known more about this band before, I would've seen them before as well. In any case, my first case account of the live shows that most consider wild and eccentric, is that the singer used a megaphone (coloured like a mushroom) several times. However, more memorable than this is was that the festival area was quite small: during an instrumental part, he jumped into the crowd and visited the other end of the area. A member of the music press says that they started another show by standing behind the audience. Other reports include an amanita or a phone made out of paper pulk and arriving to the stage on a bicycle.
Hyvät naiset ja herrat. Kuolleet Intiaanit on rituaali, jonka päämääränä on vapauttaa mieli rationaalisen ajattelun kahleista. Se on myös haaste kokijalleen. Me olemme järkeilleet itsemme umpikujaan, ruokkineet aistejamme makeisilla ja vaipuneet sokeasti uskoon pullamössön vapauttavasta vaikutuksesta. Varovaisuus on turruttanut meidät ja sulkenut meidän viettimme sosiaalisen lukon taakse. Nyt on aika tarjota tilaisuus vapautumiseen, huumaan ja järjettömyyteen.
- Kuolleet Intiaanit (text)
Ladies and gentlemen. Dead Indians is a ritual, the meaning of which is to release the mind from the shackles of rational thought. It is also a challenge to its experiencer. We have thought ourselves into a dead end, fed our senses with candy and sunk into the blind belief of the freeing effect of pullamössö. Carefulness has obtunded us and closed our instincts behind a social lock. Now, it is time to offer a chance for release, ecstasy and irrationality.
Translator's note: "pullamössö" is a Finnish term that basically means a mix of pulla
, a Finnish dessert bread and milk
: in this instance, it is basically a metaphor for a drug.
Puuluuranko (The Wooden Skeleton) opens with a rather weird "Alkusoitto" ("Intro") that provides two minutes of guitars, basses, screams, children counting and knife sharping. This weirdness continues in a lighter form of the sirens and nice guitar sound of "Sisään-ulos-sisään" ("In-out-in"). The lyrics are, as typical to the band, rather surrealistic and are not meant to mean anything. Or if they are, you are not supposed to understand them by rational thinking, but rather subconscious or feelings. The rock feeling keeps up for the album and breaks are almost nonexistant before "Keinu pihaa keinuttaa" ("The Swing Swings the Yard"), an ode to an abandoned swing. This still breaks into a noisy part, unlike the synth-driven finisher, "Verhon taakse" ("To Behind the Curtain").
From the starting bells of "Se alkoi omenasta" ("It Began from an Apple"), you can tell that Silinteritie (The Road of the Top Hat) is different from it's predecessor. The mostly spoken word piece tells a story of an animal trainer and his snakes. The album does, however, continue with the rather catchy "Kuka puhuu suullani?" ("Who Talks with My Mouth?"). After this the album is mostly calm, slow weirdness with a little bit of speed injected into the mix every now and then, most notably with "Omat koirat purivat" ("Own Dogs Bit", as in these dogs could be anyone's, but they are the subject's own) which is a simple rock piece. The ending song, "Tieni" ("My Road") is like a confession before a repeating instrumental part. For some reason, it reminds me of "This Dust Makes That Mud" from They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top. This connection is not logical but neither is this music. I don't use the word "post-punk" to describe 21st century music, but those who do will probably call this it just for the kicks.
- 2005 Puuluuranko (The Wooden Skeleton, Rockhopper Music)
"Alkusoitto" ("Intro") / "Sisään-ulos-sisään" ("In-out-in") / "Joku, joka" ("Someone, Who") / "O.L.I.P.A.K.E.R.R.A.N." ("O.N.C.E.U.P.O.N.A.T.I.M.E.") / "Tulen keskellä" ("In the Middle of the Fire") / "Nostalgian lyhyt oppimäärä" ("The Basic Syllabus of Nostalgy") / "Lintu / ilma / kala" ("Bird / Air / Fish") / "Kukaan ei voi elää ilman aivoja, paitsi hullut" ("No One Can Live Without Brains, Except for Madmen") / "Migreeni minuutissa" ("A Migraine in a Minute") / "Keinu pihaa keinuttaa" ("The Swing Swings the Yard") / "Verhon taakse" ("To Behind the Curtain")
- 2006 Silinteritie (The Road of the Top Hat, Rockhopper Music)
"Se alkoi omenasta" ("It Began from an Apple") / "Kuka puhuu suullani?" ("Who Talks with my Mouth?") / "Viimeinen pari ilmasta alas" ("Last Pair Down from the Air"; the name is a play on "Last Pair Out of the Oven", a Finnish children's playground game) / "Kaikkein edistyksellisimmätkään meistä eivät voi pysäyttää historian kulkua" ("Even the Most Advanced of Us Cannot Stop the Progress of History") / "Veli Aurinko, sisar Kuu" ("Brother Sun, Sister Moon") / "Omat koirat purivat" ("Own Dogs Bit"; as in anyone's dogs, but it is made clear that the dogs are theirs) / "Ihmistivolissa" ("In a Humanfair") / "Nocturno naulaa kohtalon" ("Nocturno Nails the Destiny") / "Leikkaajan ohjaus" ("Editor's Direction", a play on "ohjaajan leikkaus", "director's cut") / "Infernon tuolla puolen" ("On the Other Side of the Inferno"; possibly a play on a famous Finnish tango "Aavan meren tuolla puolen", "On the Other Side of the Broad Ocean") / "Tieni" ("My Road")
- 2004 Ne tekevät sitä itsekseen (They Do It by Themselves, Riemu)
"Maalaan kasvoni" ("I Paint My Face") / "Kuolleita kuin kuu" ("As Dead as the Moon"; "Dead" means something dead and is plural) / "Ja matkaliput olkaa hyvä!" ("And tickets, please!") / "Asioita toimittelin" ("I Took Care of Things") / "Olet surrealisti, eikö niin..." ("You Are a Surrealist, Isn't That So...")
- 2006 4D (Rockhopper Music)
"Kun ei tiedä että tietää että" ("When one does not know he knows") / "Viimeinen pari ilmasta alas" ("Last Pair Down from the Air"; the name is a play on "Last Pair Out of the Oven", a Finnish children's playground game) / "Keskustelu tuntemattoman kanssa" ("A Discussion with an Unknown Person") / "Ramadan yöt" ("Nights of the Ramadan"; the song is by the band Käärmeet (Snakes) of which the cover artist of 4D is a member of)
- 2002 Metsä puhuu hiljaa (The Woods Speak Quietly, self-produced)
"Metsä puhuu hiljaa" ("The Woods Speak Quietly") / "Absinttilapset" ("The Absinthe Children")
- 2003 Tulen keskellä (In the Middle of the Fire, self-produced)
"Tulen keskellä" ("In the Middle of the Fire") / "Ensimmäinen antiteesi" ("The First Antithesis")
- 2003 Painajainen? (Nightmare?, Moby Disc)
"Painajainen?" ("Nightmare?") / "Kukaan ei voi elää ilman aivoja, paitsi hullut" ("No One Can Live Without Brains, Except for Madmen") / "Primitiivinen operetti" ("The Primitive Operetta")
ushdfgakjasgh says REJECTED
ushdfgakjasgh says Nah I'll think about it