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