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Reflexion interview- February 2006

       According to Mikko Uusimaa, it’s a trying process on the route to Finnish fame. However, said bassist and his perseverant bandmates have traversed this path and surpassed the crucial crossroad into the realm of imminent stardom. Within this interview, Uusimaa also describes the band’s chemistry and experiences in order to paint a thorough picture of Reflexion’s skyrocketing musical journey.

TDA: Please provide a brief Reflexion history for those who aren’t familiar with your band.

Uusimaa: Juha [Kylmänen, vocals], Juhani [Heikka, guitar], Ilkka [Jolma, guitar] and Raymond [Mattila, drums] formed the first line-up in 1996. Music style was then more hard rock oriented and bit more down-to-earth than nowadays. Reflexion name came up during year 2000 and band ended up in the current line-up in autumn 2004 when I joined the band. Since then, things went on quite fast. We signed recording deal in the beginning of the year 2005 and started recordings of our debut album in May and the first single release came out in September.

 TDA: Describe Reflexion’s music in your own words.

Uusimaa: Though the musical expression has developed radically during the years, still some hard rock influences can be heard on our music. Songs are based on the strong melodies that are composed on the top of the guitar riffs, bass lines and drumbeats. These basis are spiced up with 80’s keyboards sounds, modern sequencer based stuff and big background vocal choirs.

 TDA: How has the Finnish music scene supported and helped your band evolve?

Uusimaa: As Reflexion comes from the northern part of the Finland – city Called Oulu – it is a quite long and stony road from here to get known among the people. Though it is not impossible, it takes a time and needs hard working that have to be done mostly by ourselves. But good contacts are always important. Regardless of where you live.

 TDA: Which musicians’ style or sound influence Reflexion’s overall image and type of music?

Uusimaa: Each of the guys has their own influences - but like it was mentioned earlier – 80’s stuff is one common influence between us. Bands like AC/DC, Deep Purple and etc. were the first real rock bands that intruded to our minds and make an indelible impact.

 TDA: From whom do you personally draw artistic inspiration?

Uusimaa: Good songs and some little things that appear on them draw images to mind and these ideas came out when were working with new stuff. As a bass player, I like John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney and John Wetton style playing. They can handle many styles and they have a good sound. Also Finnish guy called Lauri Porra (Stratovarius , Sinergy etc.) rocks with his playing.

             Stylistically, Uusimaa further cites rockers Mötley Crüe and other magnetic sources. This flair is reflected in his fashion as well as stage presence, affording said bassist, similar to his five bandmates, a theatrical glam edge.

            It seems that this comprehensive affinity for quality r’n’r has been the ideal bind among Reflexion’s members. With each man’s talent harmoniously complementing the other, it was most interesting to gain insight towards the personal interaction and growth among the band through struggle, teamwork, and ultimately, accomplishment.

 TDA: Describe the relationship among you and your Reflexion bandmates. Have there ever been serious arguments or problems?

Uusimaa: Currently we have good spirit in our band. Of course there are sometimes arguments between us. But I think that it is rather good way to keep things clear for each other. Silence is the loudest gun in conflicts between band mates.

 TDA: What were some struggles the band encountered in the recording session?

Uusimaa: Actually we didn’t have any problems during the recordings. Though the schedules were quite tight, everything went even better than we have planned. Some misunderstandings and disagreements appeared during the mixing sessions, but in the end we managed to bridge the troubled waters and all parties were satisfied with the outcome.

 TDA: Who makes the final decisions in the studio, one band member or the entire group? Please explain.

Uusimaa: Most of the songs were already arranged with the band before we went to the studio. So usually there were no need for the big changes. Our producer Arttu Peljo did some minor changes for the arrangements and the whole band stood behind his decisions.

TDA: How do you feel the “Undying Dreams” and “Storm” singles improved upon Reflexion’s previous releases?

Uusimaa: Both of them are professionally produced. More keyboards, more background vocals and the arrangements and sounds are improved.

TDA: What has been the greatest highlight of your musical career?

Uusimaa: Live gigs have always been the “thing” for me. But it was great moment when our first single (Undying Dreams) was in the stores and soon after that hit the official Finnish Top 20 single chart.

 TDA: What has been the hardest challenge of your musical career and why? What did you learn from this challenge and how did it make you a better person?

Uusimaa: To get fired from the one of my previous bands. It gave me motivation to practice even more and opened doors for new possibilities. So in the end it turned out to my luck.

 TDA: What is something you’ve achieved as a musician that you didn’t know you could before?

Uusimaa: Much has happened but there has not been anything unpredictable yet. Though you have to keep in touch with the reality and the facts, you also have to keep your own dreams alive and know that you can work hard enough to reach your goals. But hopefully in the future we reach something that none of us could have even dreamed about.

 TDA: With which bands would you like to tour in the future?

Uusimaa: As we have already done some gigs with Charon, it could be one alternative. And maybe Poisonblack because most of the guys are familiar to us.

 TDA: Please tell a story of something amusing or unusual that has happened to Reflexion.

Uusimaa: In 2004 tour van caught fire at Mannerheimintie in Helsinki. Mannerheimintie is kind of main street in the center of Helsinki. Also live shows are always full of surprises and anything can happen when we are on the stage. It’s not that we just play the songs and leave the stage. Beginning of the show and the climax are in the shape of the “drama curve”.

 TDA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Uusimaa: Visit our website at www.reflexionmusic.com and try to catch us live on stage. And if you don’t have possibility to buy our music from your country you can order it from our web-shop. Thanks to you Samantha.

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