A New Voice in America: Esa Linna - Page 2
EL: I studied cello for six years in musical institute when I was a kid, and bought myself one... 20+ years after I quit studying. Otherwise, there has been always music and instruments near me, so it is natural to pick up and try to play them. I have been playing guitars, bass and keyboards for almost 30 years, but never studied them.
KT: Now at the polar opposite end of the musical spectrum, “She’s Not A Human Being” is a pop tune you’ve written about your cat. My question to you is how do you know she doesn’t like Jeff Lynne (a line from the song)? All kidding aside, the tune is very catchy and reminds me of the pure pop songs of the 60s garage bands. Tell me a bit about the recording of this tune with bringing in Roger Joseph Manning Jr (Jellyfish) on backing vocals and keys, along with a great drum beat by Seppo Alvari Pohjolainen.
EL: To be straight, I don’t know if she liked Jeff Lynne or not, but I sure can say she didn’t like the loud guitar sound!
I wrote “She’s Not a Human Being” back in 2006 and the demo I made was more like country rock than 60’s garage pop. We practiced “She’s Not A Human Being” and “20,000 Days” with Seppo only for an hour before we went into the studio. I booked 4 hours from the studio and we noticed that we had recorded everything I already planned in 2 hours. I wasn’t prepared to sing in the studio, but since there’s two hours left, I sang the basic tracks for the songs.
In rehearsals our playing style somehow started to remind us of The Undertones and The Buzzcocks, so we decided to keep that style. Seppo is the former drummer of Trio Niskalaukaus, which was a hugely popular metal band in Finland, early 2000’s. Since we play together in a band called Itämaa, it was natural and easy to ask him to play drums.
I contacted Roger Joseph Manning Jr. a year ago and he agreed (to my surprise) to take part in the song. I sent the studio recordings of two songs to him, and he chose “She’s Not A Human Being”. I didn’t give him any tips but trusted Roger’s professionality. I received his recordings via internet, we put the tracks together in the mixing phase and it was perfect. The backing vocals particularly are just incredible. I am so proud of what he did to the song. The great organ sound by Roger also gives the 60’s garage pop feel you are talking about.Continued on the next page