On the road with Roope Salminen ja Koirat

So what is life like on the road?

Long time ago I got to know a very cool kid called Ossi. Then I got to know his also cool brother Mikko. Then after a while, I got to know the, also cool, extended family, which brings us to an awesome band called Roope Salminen ja Koirat. They are a collective who play hip hop covers and generate good vibrations like Marky Mark in his “musical prime”. That’s understating things though – these guys rock the shit out of the songs the play and get the crowd crazy. I love hip hop and a good live performance and how awesome is it that it’s your friends who deliver a great gig after a great gig and I get to be there most of the time to enjoy it?

So the band had two gigs in the city of Turku here in Finland. Turku is an awesome coastal city that also held the Ruisrock-festival during the same weekend. It was my birthday earlier in the week, so I thought why not go along and celebrate and also help the crew out by driving them to the gig and spend the weekend in Turku.

Well, more than that I like to organize and just take care of things for people so they can concentrate on the real task at hand. I get a lot of pleasure out of making sure things work as they should, taking care of the those little details that I feel are important. So I sort of decided to half-jokingly become the Road Manager. I created these plastic cards that you see artists and the road crew having when on tour, gotta have those right ? Then you know, making sure everybody gets to the venue on time, doesnt end up doing stupid shit, get water bottles to the guys, make sure there’s enough clean towels, keep things flowing, act important around the backstage area and just make sure everything runs smoothly.

Not that I’m actually that useful. These guys might be young, but they are pro’s. I’m just lucky I get to hang out in the background and try and be useful.

Music and me and is weird in the way that my parents were professional touring musicians for quite a while when I was a kid. I played the guitar for a while and one of my biggest regrets is that I quit playing. I do love being on the road though.Way back in the day when I was active in the demoscene, I was always the guy who setup things, picked up people from the airport, housed them etc since I could not code or make music. Somebody’s gotta take care of the boring stuff right?

I’m also fascinated by band dynamics. Part of is that I worked for a long time within an editorial enviroment with friends and that’s one of the toughest things you can do. The dynamics between people at work, under pressure and people who you know well – that’s a very complicated enviroment to operate in. Playing gigs, travelling, lugging equipment, not getting paid much, working other jobs – that’s hard and that brings pressure alongside with it. Then of course there are ego’s and in this case, people are still young and and look at things in a very different way than when you are more experienced. Of course, this was only a weekend instead of weeks and months of being together on tour. That’s a whole different thing.

So being able to be with the band and having been there since almost the inception is exciting. I’ve read so many biographies on bands and invidiuals that surely if one has read those books enough times, you’d know how to avoid problems huh? So it’s fun to see these young guys and gals doing their thing. I’m grateful I get to be there.

Backstage second gig. Spirits were high! And quite sweaty.

Rolling to the gig. I tell you, getting this many people to move at the same time – not easy.

Having breakfast and getting ready to roll out and get back home. Everybody in good spirits since the second gig on Saturday went smoothly and there were lots of people watching and enjoying themselves.

We drove to Turku on Friday, set up, rehearsed and just waited for the gig. Most of Saturday was spent recuperating and just hanging out about town at the river. Turku is really a very beautiful city and it’s main feature, the river Aura that runs through the city is a great hangout spot. There’s lots of  restaurant boats alongside the river – it’s very chilled out. So we spent Saturday mostly chilling and then eating well, getting some rest and some of us went to watch a local soccer match against the Helsinki team, which was good fun. After that, it was time for the second gig which went down supremely well.

Onto the next one.



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