Birth of 22PP
22-Pistepirkko was founded on the ashes of a punk rock band called “Matti Mätä & SS” at Utajärvi, a small village in Northern Finland, in the year 1980. The basic principles were surprisingly clear from the very start: Make it your own way; become professional; have an international career; try to stay open for new things and keep your act straight but adventurous; compose songs; write stories that are strong, funny, sad, happy, weird… and play them to people.
Like a bolt from the blue, 22-Pistepirkko won the Championship of Rock in Finland title in 1982. Soon after that they made their debut record, a 6 piece vinyl EP in Finnish, in 1983. The first LP “Piano, Rumpu & Kukka” was released in 1984. The music was silent, tentative, fragile and quite minimalist. Both records were strongly influenced by their leading hero band, The Velvet Underground.
Next year 22-P moved to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and changed their songs’ language to English. They teamed up with a producer-guitarist Riku Mattila to make R&R records from now on. The first fruit of their co-operation was the EP “Ou Wee!“, which featured Bo Diddley beat with the maracas-Rickenbacker-Farfisa-garageland shebang.
Happy about the creative spirit of their collaborative group, Riku Mattila, PK, Espe and Asko continued working together and made three LPs, “The Kings Of Hongkong” which was straightforwardly rocking, “Bare Bone Nest” which in turn was country and blues inspired, and their first big budget studio album, “Big Lupu“.
This happened during the years 1985-1991. After that they felt relieved: what they had dreamed about in the beginning was now almost done. The growing cult success of their records and unique live shows had suddenly made them to realise some of their early set goals: they were true professionals with an international career looming ever larger tour after tour, album after album. All this had happened simply by staying true to themselves and just working very hard to make their visions true.
Hip Hop and Electro revolution
A little bit later 22-p got very excited about both Hip Hop and Electro revolution, and hit on the original home of blues in Ali Farka Toure’sAfrican blues music. The band wanted to learn how people made great music with these new sampling machines and computers. They purchased all the modern gear needed and soon 22-p was totally immersed in them. Now they had to try and see how these new programmed elements would fit in with their sonic palette. With the help of numerous people the band cut four albums: the exploratory landmark “Rumble City, La La Land“, the bold remix-album “Zipcode“, where different artists freely mixed their versions of the 22-p songs, still more doodad-oriented “Eleven“, which was done at their own Bare Bone Studios, and finally their most sequencer-programmed album ever, “Rally Of Love“, which they recorded mainly at the Tambourine studios in Malmö, Sweden.
During those years 1995-2001 the band also tamed several electronic whizzy-gismos to serve their live act. This new turn was needed because 22-P wanted their shows to be more nuanced, more wild and a bit softer, a bit magical and ambient too. Basically they wanted their live acts to become more interesting to themselves – and of course hopefully for their audience too. Having sensed the haunting aural and visual atmosphere of their new, amazing show, someone indeed remarked that this is definitely the band that should have been on stage in the hit TV series Twin Peaks.
To stop or to continue?
After the “Rally Of Love” tour ended in 2002, the band decided to have a long holiday. Then they set up a meeting at Asko´s place. The meeting had a quite momentous subject matter: to stop or to continue?
And if they should continue, what would be the most exciting musical path to choose? The new vision appeared crystal clear in an instance: to get the trio-playing back to the center; to compose primitive, shamanistic, but at the same time solid, basic pop songs that would move, touch and sound honest in their creators’ ears. And last but not the least: to find new people to work with in both their music and their business.
22-Pistepikko released “Drops & Kicks” in 2005. “Drops & Kicks” was produced together with Kalle Gustafsson of The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Michael Ilbert (The Hives, Nomads, Roxette, Cardigans, Wannadies) and John Hanlon, engineer/producer for Neil Younga.m.o. (Mike Watt Ballhog and Tugboat, REM-Up) have been working on mixes. The basic recordings were done with mobile studio facilities in Finland at the bands own villa at the lakeshore, following to a process of writing songs as a lively playing (garage-rock) trio, with Asko switching back to bass instead of keyboards. The new songs, compared to it’s precursor Rally Of Love had a rough edge, are simple and sparse, but never miss the certain odd pop-sensibilty the band has developed steadily since their 17 years carreer. Further recordings and the mixing were done at Svenska Grammofon Studio, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Moreover they have founded their own label, Bone Voyage Recording Company, which is due to market and relaunch their back-catalogue, as well as all of their future recordings with more self-determination AND to discover fine new artists and release their music.
With the new record company and the cosy new studio & Hq Altai, 22-p went active and released these records: The Goodnight Monsters “The Brain That Wouldn´t Die” & “Summer Challenge” Kytäjä “Kytäjä”Micra Girls “Feeling Dizzy Honey ?” & “Wild Girl Walk” Anssi 8000&Maria Stereo “Kyklop vs Svesse” & “Duel“ Judge Bone & Doc Hill “Big Bears Gate” Joensuu 1685 “Joensuu 1685” + some singles & Ep´s.
All the bands are from Finland and 22-p really likes them a lot. They recorded 22-p album “The Stuff Is Like We, Yeah” together with Kramer, american producer. They made 200 gigs around Europe, visited USA & Canada too. Founded sister bands : Asko started You/Me duo with Marjatta Oja, P-k made a African/Utajärvi blues duo Pk&Janko together with Janko Manneh, Espe made a band called Double Can.
Start of the 2010 they started to sit around with the new songs at Altai to make a album for the 30th year jubilee. At the moment 18 songs have been passing the test, and now there is time to craft them ready and to record. After that hit the road with the new songs to celebrate the fact that is was 30 years ago they came up with the idea = R&R Band !!!.