Monday, March 24, 2008

Interview with Tommi Holappa of Greenleaf

Greenleaf have been around for almost a decade and have featured a number of different members, many of who are also in other bands. I recently got to interview guitarist Tommi Holappa (who is also in Dozer) to find out more.

MM-How did the idea for this band come about?
TH-Well it all started sometime in 1999 when me and Daniel(drummer) were out drinking beer at some shitty pub here in our hometown of Borlänge(Sweden). I had known Daniel for a few years, he played drums in Demon Cleaner and we (DOZER) have done a bunch of gigs with them so we were good friends. So anyway, one night at the pub we were talking about how much we love good old 60's and 70's rock! The sounds,the grooves,the simple "just have fun and play whatever you feel". So after a whole bunch of drinks we decided to start a band.

MM-What are you currently working on?
TH-Currently there is not much going on with Greenleaf. Oskar (singer) is busy touring with his band (Truckfighters) and I´m busy working on the next DOZER album. Greenleaf has always been a side project for me...whenever I have some time over from DOZER (after tours etc etc) that's when I work on Greenleaf stuff. But no worries I love Greenleaf so there will always be time to make more music and do a couple of just might take a bit of time:-)

MM-There have been numerous musicians contributing to this band. Was that the original idea or has it just turned out that way?
TH-That was the original idea! We make the basic songs(guitar,bass,drums) and then we invite some friends over to be on the record.

MM-This band has been referred to as a “super group” or an “all-star band”. Do you think that either of those labels is appropriate or not?

TH-Hehehehe...I don't know if we can call it a super group....none of us are famous!:-) But yeah there's some members and guests on the records that are in very cool bands! Truckfighters,Lowrider,Witchcraft,Stonewall Noise Orchestra etc etc.

MM-Do you use any vintage gear or equipment when recording to help give it a more authentic 1970’s sound?
TH-Not really...Most of the stuff is recorded with cubase and modern gear...except for a couple of old amps, speakers and effect pedals. It´s all about the money...if we could afford it we would definitely record on 2" tape and only old gear but...yeah...give us money!!Hahahaha! But I think we have done a pretty good job in making it sound vintage.

MM-How do you think “Agents of Ahriman” was different from your previous albums?
TH-The core, the idea is the same...just make songs that we like and a whole bunch of cool riffs! I think we put a little bit more time into writing the songs and tried to make a bunch of songs that would still be good after hearing them 50 times. Other than that it's good old Greenleaf taking a little step forward.


MM-Whose guitar is on the album cover?
TH-That's my baby! I have 2 firebirds that I love to death! Bought my first one 15 years ago and since then I have been in love!

MM-Where do you get the inspirations for your song topics?
TH-Oskar wrote all the lyrics on the latest record I really know where he gets his inspiration from. But on the older stuff it was really simple...Fredrik(singer on the 2 previous records) comes to the studio and sings his melody idea he has and then we just sit down and write lyrics for 10 minutes and yeah...then it´s done.So the lyrics are about everything and nothing at the same time:-) On 10.000 years of revolution(from Secret Alphabets) Fredrik just improvises the whole there is a whole bunch of made up words there:-) Whole idea about Greenleaf is about riffs and grooves so the lyrics are not really that important...To me the vocals are just another instrument.

MM-What is the music scene like these days in Sweden?
TH-There's a whole bunch of cool bands if you are into 70's rock :Witchcraft,Graveyard,Elope.Abrmis Brahma,Blow Back,King Hobo(just to name a few) But other than that the scene is not so good in my oppinion...not so many good clubs to play in...if you find a club that will let you play they almost want you to pay to play...which sucks ass! Anyway there is still hope...Lately there has been some new clubs opening that bring hope to smaller ask me again in a year and I tell you if things have gotten better:-)

MM-What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?
TH-Maybe after we have recorded the next DOZER album I will have some time to concentrate on writing some new songs for Greenleaf...I have a couple of riffs ready to be made into songs so let´s keep our fingers crossed!

MM-What other bands are the current band members in?
TH-I´m in DOZER and DALI(a new band I have with Daniel). Oskar(vocals) is in TRUCKFIGHTERS.Erik (drums) was the first drummer in DOZER. Peder(vocals) is I ARE DROID and LOWRIDER(r.i.p) John(vocals) is in STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA and MOTHER MISERY

MM-How is this project different from other bands that you guys have been in?
TH-I can only speak for myself but Greenleaf is more easy going...we play whenever we have time and we do it just to have fun.

MM-Has this band played live or is it strictly a studio band?
TH-Most of the time we are a studio band but we have done a handful of shows in Belgium,Germany,Finland and Sweden. It's always fun to play live with these guys but at the moment it's hard to get our schedules to match.

MM-Pick the band from the following pairs that you prefer and tell why.
Captain Beyond or Sir Lord Baltimore
Hhmmmm....I like I´m both but if i have to choose one,,,Captain Beyond.

Lynard Skynard or ZZ top
Wow! This is even harder! How I´m I supposed to choose one! They both are awesome!

Alice Cooper or KISS
Damn! I love both! I grew up on the early KISS stuff. Ace Frehely made half of the Greenleaf solos..hahahaha!! So I guess I have to choose KISS.

Black Sabbath or Blue Cheer
Ok,,,Blue Cheer rocks like hell but Sabbath wrote the book of heavy riffs!! So Sabbath it is.

MM-Is there anything else that you would like to say about your band or your music?
TH-Yeah,,,Bengt should let his beard grow!:-)

***Thanks to Tommi for doing the interview.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blue Cheer is far and away the winner as far as who started Heavy Metal Music

5:54 AM  

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