Tigerbombs are a pop/rock duo from Finland and Kido Retro was kind enough to speak to me about the band, the history and the music.
Rob-Hello from the United States! How are you doing today?
Kido-I’m fine, thanks for asking! The summer came to Finland a bit late this year, but now it’s very very warm! We’re all sweating like pigs!
Rob-Same here in Boston. Can you introduce yourself to the readers?
Kido-We’re a cheerful Finnish pop duo called Tigerbombs. I’m Kido Retro, the singer-guitar-bass-organ-drum-player, in an hot office answering these questions. The other half, guitar-bass-organ-playing Pepe Trouble, who does most of the song writing is somewhere enjoying a beautiful day! Perhaps writing more great material for us to play!
Rob-The band was formed in Tampere, Finland in July of 2001. How did the two of you come to form the band?
Kido-Our story goes back to the mid 90’s when we started playing heavy metal in our lovely small town. In the end of the 90’s we went our separate ways. We were still playing rock, pop and lots of differend stuff in our own bands but when Pepe was building his studio, he asked me if I was interested in doing some recording with him. Just for fun.. We spent the whole summer of 2001 in a tiny steaming hot studio, nowadays known as the Tiikeriluola.
Rob-What bands influenced you growing up?
Kido-Lots of stuff!! Both of our fathers are musicians, so the first influeces must have come from them. As a child I loved old rock such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top. Then came metal in all of it’s different shapes. Swedish death metal, Bay Area thrash from USA.. Then we probably softened a bit and started to listen to pop and rock music. And of course grunge. But I think we’ve never forgot our roots and the stuff we liked when we were younger. It’s all still great stuff!
Rob-What instruments do you play or would like to learn?
Kido-We play all sorts of instruments though we wouldn’t know how to play it.. On the albums I’ve played drums, guitar, bass, organ and for example self made percussion. Pepe played guitar, organ and did some programming too.. We try to do everything by ourselves. Our thing is not to be perfect musicians but to try and experiment all sorts of instruments and have a good time while writing and recording. We’ve talked about having some trumpets on our next album. Let’s see if we can blow some tunes out of those things or if we have to hire some “real” musicians!
Rob-Who came up with the name “TIGERBOMBS?”
Kido-I think it was Pepe. I’m afraid there’s no big story behind that name.. it just sounds good and I guess it also tells something about our music.
Rob-You record your own demos at the bands own “TIIKERILUOLA” studio’s. Did you have any previous recording experience or did you learn as you went along?
Kido-We’re learning new stuff all the time. Of course we’ve been doing these 4-track and 8-track demos since we were kids. The real studios have always been quite expensive and we’ve wanted to do things our own way. Pepe won’t admit it but nowadays he’s working almost like a proffesional studio guy!
Rob-Now, you got some rather immediate attention from radio stations and record companies based on your first 3 demos, “Muchos Soundos Stylissimos”, “Savage Beats”, and “This is where we come in”. That must have been flattering. Did that take you by surprise?
Kido-Of course… it was flattering and we were really surprised. The first demo we did just for ourselves and just for the fun of it but somehow it spread around and it was reviewed by Finnish music magazines and played by few radio stations. We knew that we had something a bit unique and fresh compared to the mainstream in Finland. Savage Beats was already much more the sound we were looking for and all the songs from that demo and the third one ended up on the debut album also.
Rob-How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music yet?
Kido-It’s extremely catchy, uptempo organ flavored guitar pop. And it makes you dance! That’s for sure! We’ve been told to be the most Swedish band in Finland if that tells you anything.
Rob-So after a few shows, you got signed to Pyramid by the Finnish company JOHANNA KUSTANNUS OY. Did they allow you artistic freedom or did they want changes to your sound as opposed to your earlier recordings?
Kido-Actually we’ve had so much artistic freedom it’s sometimes a bit scary! But they trust in us and they know that we know what we’re doing. They’re all great people in Johanna Kustannus and it’s a company with respected history.
Rob-So your debut album was released in May. Tell us the best part of making the album.
Kido-The best part was the hotel room parties and free breakfasts in Helsinki while mixing the album! We did most of the recordings in Pepes own studio so we had a lot of time to try all sort of things. Recording was really relaxed and easy. Then we took the material to Hitsville IV-studios in Helsinki where Janne Haavisto (Laika & the Cosmonauts, Latebirds…) took the charge. We did some drum tracks and some singing there and mixed the whole album.
Rob-How about the negative parts…if any?
Kido-Well… Since it is our debut album, the first versions of some songs were done in 2001 so it was sometimes hard to get excited about a song we had recorded three times before. I hope the next album won’t be so long process.
Rob-Now you have a few members of your touring band, Alain Maynenkey, Sepe Ace and Bubba Dukes. Just so the readers can get to know them, how would you describe them?
Kido-They’re bunch of great young men! We knew them from our earlier bands and it was very simple to ask if they’d like to join the live-bombs. Sepe and Bubba play some tracks on the album also. Alain is a crazy drummer! He has a great style. Most of all we’re good friends. We hang around a lot together.
Rob-Have you been touring mainly in Finland or are you touring outside of your country as well?
Kido-Mainly in Finland. We were in Great Britain on June for three gigs and we’re going back there on September to do 8 shows in England and Scotland. It’s very exciting! Palying live is such a great thing that we’re trying to do as many shows as possible and we want to travel all around the world spreading our message of love!
Rob-What advice would you give to kids looking to do what you do? What steps should they take?
Kido-A good tip is that you should play the music you’d like to listen to.. And don’t take it too seriously. Music should be fun and bring good feelings.
Rob-Before we end this, did you enjoy the interview?
Kido-Yes, very much!
Rob-Could you say something to me and the readers in Finnish?
Kido-Tiikeripommit rakastaa sua! Which means Tigerbombs loves you!
Rob-Thanks guys, I look forward to more music from you in the future. Best of luck!!