Jääportit interview in Down the Wind magazine, 2000

1. First of all, I’m really curious to know the meaning of your monicker JÄÄPORTIT. Could you please explain it?

– Jääportit is combination of two finnish words, ice and gates, so it means Icegates. I think name reflects music quite well and gives me inspiration in some strange way. Ice is about coldness of winter here in Finland. Gates is about something pompous, a place you could enter to, place you have not been before. As a band name it’s a bit difficult for other than Finnish people because there is this a letter with two points on it but I was conscious of this fact when thinking about the name. I had the name before I started whole project so there will be no change to that. However, I have heard that some distribution somewhere have been selling cassette album by band Icegates, which is same as Jääportit of course. They have changed name without a permisson to do that just to sell it easily.

 

2. Also the title of the album and all the songs’ titles are in Finnish language. Why did you decide like that? And can you tell us the meaning?

– It is easier to me express myself with the language I speak and think every day. Finnish titles also makes songs sound like more Finnish and strange “never-heard-before”.

 

3. Jääportit is your solo solo-project. When did you start it? And when did you start to get into this kind of music, so far?

– Jääportit have existed as long as I have but the musical form of it borned somewhere at the autumn of 1997. I just started to compose music that sounded quite different and strange to me. Then I heard Mortiis. He had done music about trolls lurning in the darkness and something that interested me too back then. Mortiis and other music such as Burzum, inspired me to do more music and I got my first release “Halki lumisen metsan” ready at the winter of 1998. It was self-published CD-R, limited to 50 hand-copied pieces. Suprisingly all of them are sold out these days. Well, music sounded maybe too much like Mortiis-copy, but it was a start anyway. Normendahl, main-pervert behind Noitavasara distribution, liked it much and he suggested me that they could publish a full-length album as real CD. Money-problems ruined CD-plans and we decided to release album as cassette. Album got name ”Kauan koskematon” and was out at the end of summer 1999. It sure sounds like something different than the first release and contains deeper emotions and soundscapes. Still it isn’t even near perfect album. Noitavasara have sold out all the 500 copies of cassette and that is quite a suprise when thinking about selling cassette these days when people expects to have high CD sound-quality.

 

4. Which is your musical background? Did you played in any bands before and do you have other project apart from Jääportit, nowadays?

– I have always been interested to make music but I found excellent way to do it when I had my first experinces with a computer music program somewhere in 1995. I haven’t studied making music that much, I hardly know nothing about notes, but I have done all kind of music with computer. Everything I know about composing I have learned by myself. I’ve played bass guitar few years and synthsizer also. I haven’t got involved in any that special band but there have been some smaller projects during these years, not worth of mentioning though. I have got my own other project called Funeral Entertainment but it have been under a work almost a year from now. It’s sounds more experimental and industrial even with some techno influences. I hope there will finally be some music out in the future.

 

5. To give birth to a solo-album one must have an elevate familiarity with the instruments or in this case tecnologies he employs and this requires long time. When did you begin to be fond of music and did you follow any particular studies?

– It’s a fact that the music you hear is not played by me but a computer. By this way, I can concentrate on the essential, making music, without a need to learn to play it. Everything is easier and takes less time. Of course I might play synth first to find a melody what I start to work with but finally everything ends to computer. Since I don’t have education in music I can’t get stick in basic facts and rules of music that some important person have realized before. I can do everything with the way I like and I don’t need anyone to say how this or that should be done. I’m not saying that I’m the one who makes somewhat perfect music because I am not. There is no such thing as perfect music. Nothing’s perfect. Sometimes it feels like I’m just a person who brings out the music that already exists.

 

6. Your music is a solitary journey into enchanting and evocative ambient tunes. Are you agree with my description? How you’d better describe your music with your own words?

– Yes, my songs are quite solitary. I wouldn’t call them only as ambient because ambient music is something much more what my music isn’t. If I have to, I describe my music with words melancholic, melodic, cold, darkblue, synth-ambient.

 

7. Which feelings of yours do you want to express and which ones do you want to stir up in the listeners by your music?

– Listener could try to find enter inside one’s own gates of consciousness or atleast if listener finds him/herself somewhere else that the place where is listening to music, music it works.

 

8. Which are the most important elements in your music?

– Melodies, sort of simplicity, personality, soundscapes.

 

9. Some people have written your music sounds really near to Mortiis’ one. In my opinion, and as I wrote in my review before, I don’t find this comparison completely right because except for “Født til å Herske” Mortiis plays a more “pompous” music than yours. Anyway do you think you’ve been influenced by his music in some way?

– You might hear some Mortiis-like things on my music because I have listened to Mortiis quite much back in 97-98 when I was working with my first release. I also listened to Burzum’s “Dauði Baldrs” and of course his other releases.

 

10. Any other musicians you are influenced by?

– While working with “Kauan koskematon” I was listening to Arcana a lot. Also music by Raison d’Ître, Die Verbannten Kinder Eva’s, Dead Can Dance and others that can’t remember. Also many metal-bands, Anathema and Katatonia for example. Today I am listening to all kind of music. It only matters how good it sounds to me.

 

11. Do you feel part of any scene?

– No, I don’t have need to be part of any scene. One of the reasons to start making this kind of music was to get apart from all special scenes. The problem with all scenes is that the style, content and ideology are already defined, mostly. The listener expects to hear something. I prefer to create genre, or genres, of my own and develope it as much as I can.

 

12. The cover and layout of your album is really “cold” and really suits your music. Can you tell us something else about it?

– Cover art painting was designed by my acquaintance Aslak Tolonen / Reverie Design. Somehow and way he had connection to my mind and cover looks exactly like it should. Very talented artists he is.

 

13. It also reminds me the “winter” painters as, for example, the Norwegian H. Sohlelberg. Are you into this kind of art? And are you also interesting in other form of expression apart from music?

– I’m interested about writing and creating digitad art, websites images and such. I wrote a short story for the background of Jääportit music but it’s more diary-like writing so I won’t publish it in any way for others.

 

14.In which way you give birth to a new song of yours? Do you isolate yourself from the world outside during the composition of your music?

– I have to be alone and I have to have the special inspiration to compose music. It’s not there every day and moment. Always I start to do music with playing a part of a melody. If it sounds good I work more with the music and there it is.

 

15. “Kauan Kostematon” consists of 8 tracks. Does exist a concept upon it? Does the “running order” has a particular meaning?

– Well yes there is some short of. The beginning track ends to a whip-sound where man cuts his wrists with his knife. So that he could enter the gates. A lonely man who hears whispers and sounds in the forest near the place he lives. One day he starts to follow those sounds and suddenly finds himself at the opening of the icegates. He can’t find any other way to enter the gates than by commiting suicide and so he cuts his wrists. Gates are open and man touches first time something what have been untouched for a long time. Rest of the story can be heard only from the music. It’s not written but is about the other side of the gates.

 

16. It was out in 1999 but you’re going to record a new album soon. Can you anticipate something about it?

– Well I finished four new songs at the winter 1999-2000 but they are still unmixed due to lack of time and other cute problems. I hope that songs will be released sometime but it’s really hard to say when exactly. There have been plans to release a full-lenght album at the winter of 2000-2001 but I can’t say for sure will that happen.

 

17. It will be out under Noitavasara again?

– Noitavasara, or their sub-label Act of the Devil, will be the publisher again. This time it will be in CD-R or real CD format.

 

18. How did you get in touch with this Finnish label so far?

– I have good relationship with Normendahl of Noitavasara, though I haven’t seen him, yet. We have been communicating via snail-mail, e-mail and phone always. He’s quite a pervert guy anyway.

 

19. Something else you want to add about Jääportit?

– News about the future can be found from Jääportit homepage www.jaaportit.net

 

Thank you!

NB. THE SPELLING POSSIBLE MISTAKES WILL BE CORRECTED IN THE FINAL ISSUE!

 

Written in Down the Wind magazine, 2000.

 

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