(Teräsbetoni, Northern Kings, Jarkko Ahola -solo, Raskasta Joulua, Oulu All Star Big Band goes Heavy etc)
– Vocals, Guitar –
“AHOLA is something I’ve been working on for a long time. I’ve always written rock songs in English but being a musician, you find yourself doing something unexpected, like singing and playing in a huge act called Teräsbetoni or participating in a cool project called Northern Kings. I guess that’s part of the fascination! To me riff based rock is the heart of my musical world. I wanted to add some spice to the mix and do something musically that I wasn’t so familiar with. Something that was super tight, fast…with a hint of punk rock, I guess.”
“My vision for AHOLA’s music is to have songs that are approachable with catchy choruses, but more depth and loaded with layers that you can further discover and dig into. You may hear echoes tracing classic rock, alternative rock, metal, punk, and general pop music from the 70’s, up to the present. Have a listen yourself; I’d say the sound of AHOLA is pretty original.”
The singers and albums that have most influenced J.’s style include: Glenn Hughes, Eric Adams, Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale and Freddie Mercury.
Some early favourite albums were:
Manowar – Kings Of Metal & Triumph Of Steel,
Rainbow – Long Live Rock’n’Roll & Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow,
Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell & Mob Rules,
Deep Purple – Burn & Stormbringer,
Glenn Hughes – Addiction & Building The Machine,
ELO – A New World Record & Time,
Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime
There were many others but these albums are the roots of his development as a musician and songwriter.
These days J. listens to a wide selection of music which allows him to tap into a variety of new influences all the time without even noticing it. The culmination of all this has led to his own unique style of rock. Vintage Rock Nouveau!!
This is what J. has to say about the others:
Antti Karhumaa (Lead Guitar): “Anza is a natural born guitarist who also feels at home on the stage. He has the ability to understand and translate the essence of a song with his skilful guitar playing. I also like the way he approaches guitar solos. They’re different in a good way. Very pro dude all in all”
Antti Mäkelä (Drums): “Antti is a multi-talented musician who has taught me many things, like basic vocal harmony when I was still learning the tricks of the trade. Antti is well known for his ability to play many instruments and build great song arrangements. I think his intelligent approach and impeccable judgment are the core of his talent.“
Jari Laitinen (Bass): “Jamo is the type of guy that any band would want in their lineup. First of all, he does his homework. He is never there saying “Oh man, I didn’t have the time to check out these songs” or “These songs are so easy for me that I just listened them once – I’ll just follow along,” or any other kind of bullshit that too many musicians seem to do. Maybe you can fool a drunken audience, but you can’t fool your fellow musicians. Secondly, he and Antti have been playing together for a long time, so the foundation for this band is fortified. Thirdly, this guy is a diplomat! Enough said.”
Antti “Anza” Karhumaa
Lead Guitar / Backup Vocals
Like with so many other axemen, the first time he heard his friend play the Smoke On The Water-riff, the magic happened. And just like that, he had to get his first guitar. And so it all started. He has been an “all around guitarist” in music for several years now, and teaches guitar techniques as a profession. Antti ended up being in AHOLA through his “doppelganger” Antti Mäkelä, who recommended him to J. Luckily, he really liked the songs that J. had written for the band.
Jari “Jamo” Laitinen
– Bass / Backup Vocals –
At nine years old Jari found his inner bass player while living in Äänekoski in the shadow of local paper factory. He chose bass because all the other instruments were already taken in his first band. He made his first TV appearance when was only 13 years old. The band was called “School Haters”, which is kinda ironic since nowadays he works as a teacher!! Jari started with heavy metal music but later grew to play blues, soul and funk styles as well. Like Antti Karhumaa, Jari was also recommended by Antti Mäkelä during the time J. was forming the band. (Who actually started this band anyway???)
Jari says: “I was chosen to be in this band because I’ve got a trailer.
I’ve been on TV – Can I say hi?”
This is what Jari has to say about the others:
Jakke (one of J’s nicknames): “I heard about him through Antti M. He is a very talented songwriter and musician. The most unforgettable moment with J. was in Viiala’s “Rossi”-bar where we were having a screaming competition to see who could reach the highest note. No one else around really enjoyed the moment. J. is an honest, straightforward and thankful man. There’s so much hair on him, that it’s hard to find the man beneath. He must be using some kind of special shampoo.”
Antti K: ”(Funny-Antti) (the story for this name is pretty long!) plays guitar in a virtuoso fashion and performs like a star. A young man with lots of energy and he also handles the bass guitar very well. A nice guy who is easy to work with, also when those not so happy moments occur. He never loses his nerve, even if the walls were to fall around him. Funny-Antti’s hair looks like liquorices, and he probably sleeps his nights in a pencil case.”
Antti M: (MC-lite, Anti-looppi, Tavallinen-Antti….) The reason why I am in this band. We’ve played together in many various compositions (like J. Lucifer’s Studio-Orchestra and Henno’s live version). He is multi-talented in the field of music. If you want someone to listen to the core, the message of the story, you should put your hand on his shoulder (He is the guy to go to). He likes to eat and also likes to talk, but only after eating. MC is rarely in a bad mood, only when he is hungry. He likes to repeat his jokes as long as someone laughs (this can be tiring for the listener). He is also known as Tentti(exam)-Antti, and sometimes introduces himself to a table of totally unknown people and won’t leave until he hears a full life-story. …We met for the first time in 1999 when studying at the same university, and this guy is my soulmate. (…We are sure no one missed that fact!)
– Drums / Backup vocals –
Antti began playing drums at the age of five and he put his first band together at the age of twelve. It is because he had an awesome music teacher in junior high school that things started to evolve fast. Actually Antti and J. are from the same “hoods”, so during those years at school Antti asked J. to join his band called High Voltage. What kind of music they played is pretty easy to guess from the name itself. At this point J. was just starting his singing career, but Antti was already pretty capable of playing drums and writing songs.
Antti went to Tampere Conservatoire to learn more about drumming and music theory in general. After making new acquaintances different bands followed. Later Antti moved to Turku to begin his studies to become a school teacher. During those years he formed a band with his mates (Jari Laitinen was involved) called J. Lucifer’s Studio Orchestra. They played new innovative arrangements of rock classics (like country version of “Ace Of Spades” or the funk version of “Welcome To The Jungle”). Sometimes when he visited his hometown he’d play with J. and Kristian Leppänen in a band called Helmisetti. Later he recorded two albums with Virpi Kamppuri under the name of Henno (Antti played all the instruments and Virpi did the vocals).
Antti has named a few drummers that have had some kind of impact on him, and they are: Ian Paice (Deep Purple, Whitesnake), Phil Rudd (AC/DC), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) and Laust Sonne (D:A:D).
This is what Antti has to say about the others:
Antti K: ”Antti is a young and hungry bloke who has lots of talent. He handles many styles from rock licks to jazz. Actually his specialty is country music – imagine that! His rock predisposition is reinforced by the “drawings” in his arms. Maybe they are some kind of guidelines? ;)”
Jari: “The senior member of the band and a pure rationalist and trusted defender. This skilful and stylish player handles his bass with the basic finger style, plectrum style and funky slap style if needed. We are awed by the fact that his first TV appearance was when he was only 13 years old. There he was head banging and playing live in a TV-show. Afterwards he calmed down a bit (luckily?) in the field of rock aesthetics.
Jakke (Also Antti’s reference to J.): “A living example of how a shy computer enthusiast can grow into rock singer who can hold an audience in the palm of his hand. This multi-instrumentalist handles all the areas of making music (composing/lyrics/arrangements) and has a vocal range that goes all the way up so high that the “taivas lyö tulta” (the sky strikes down fire).