Sometimes something too intriguing to miss out on, so when Telenovelas, a so-called Sci-Fi rock band from Turku, Finland, got in touch with us here at Backseat Mafia – we couldn’t resist following it up.
What we found a band made up of a strange set of characters, certainly judging by their names – Singer Von Hö££e, Roswell on Guitar and keyboards, Guitarist Criswell, the intriguingly named Bácchus Övermüch 6½ on Bass, with Space Salaud on Drums. They just released an album, I am the Destroyer. It’s packed full of catchy indie rock, with some psych elements and a definite 70’s feel, but filled with stories, influences and quotes that back up the bands Sci-Fi claims.
We caught up with Singer Von Hö££e to find out more…..
Hey, Telenovelas – can you introduce yourselves to those people that may not be familiar with you?
– We are a group of five – at least for now – physically located in Turku, Finland. We play music which we decided to call Sci-Fi Rock. Mentally we are located everywhere between the Big Bang and a final sigh of the last black hole.
And how did you meet? Was there a plan at the beginning of the band? Or did you just go out to make music and have fun?
– Most of us had already known each other for decades. Some of us had been in same bands before. Some of us are even relatives. So, we had kind of met hundreds of times before we met in this band. The basic plan was to find a suitable group of players to give life to a bunch of awesome songs Roswell had written – and to add some otherwordly or ”off-the-orbit” lyrics to them.
So, Sci-Fi Rock? What is Sci-Fi Rock?
– It’s just rock, really. Indie rock, perhaps. But the lyrics are based on themes usually concerned as science fiction. Of course our arrangements and soundscapes in general sometimes flirt with cosmic connotations, but Sci-fi Rock is not really a musical category. It’s just telling you the topic of our songs.
And are there any tracks that have influenced you – and sci-fi Rock?
– Yes, lots. For example 2000 Light Years From Home by the Rolling Stones, Space Trucking by Deep Purple, Not To Touch the Earth by the Doors, Space Oddity by David Bowie… and every post-Pepper Beatle song! And actually every single song on this planet that is written about alienation. I can speak only for myself as a lyricist, though.
So you’ve made an album ‘I Am The Destroyer’, tell us about that – are there any themes that run through the record?
–Yes, I think so. The main theme might be leaving. Leaving the Earth, leaving one’s own self… for what, I don’t know. Leaving for the sake of leaving, I guess. Some songs are about being somewhere already, but not feeling quite comfortable about it.
How was the recording process?
– Long, because it was mostly done by one man only. Roswell, that is. But he had a strong vision from the very beginning plus time and willpower to pursue it.
Are you pleased with the result?
– Yes. The record sounds just as it is supposed to sound. I wouldn’t chance anything in it.
What the songwriting process within the band?
– Usually like this: Roswell composes a song, records a demo version with most of the instruments but without the vocals. Von Hö££e writes the lyrics to the melody and song title given him by Roswell. The vocals are added to the demo and it is presented to the rest of the group. Then the song is rehearsed by the band. During rehearsals it gets some extra flavors, perhaps some chord changes etc. Finally it’s given the final test – played live at a gig.
And you’re from Finland – is it hard to get you’re music ‘out there’ when your from somewhere that’s not thought of as being ‘mainstream’?
– Depends what you mean by out there. It’s not hard to get it heard by people with the help of the internet and social media, but its very hard to do anything more. No-one buys records these days and travelling is expensive.
What is the scene like over there in Finland – any bands we should be checking out?
– I don’t know if there is one. At least we’re not part of any kind of scene. But there are some new bands worth checking, though. Death Hawks, for instance. They’re more gloomy, hippyish and 70s than us, but the I like the element of otherwordliness which they caress beautifully.
And touring – is this something you enjoy? Or would like to do more of?
– As I hinted earlier, we’re too poor to do long tours. Or we’re just afraid to be abducted by aliens if we poke our noses too far from our home base! Just kidding. We’d like to do more of it, but at the moment it’s pretty hard to arrange – for financial and some personal reasons.
Any plans to come over here to the uk in the coming months?
– Unfortunately no. We truly hope, though, that it could happen one day.
Is there anything else you’re going to be up to in the coming months?
– Maybe some new songs. Maybe a keyboard player. Maybe some videos. We’ll see.
And finally, the best record I’ve heard all year is…
– I Am The Destroyer by Telenovelas. Honestly.