Janne Väätämöinen is a Finnish guitarist and the main composer in a progressive metal band Fireproven. Here is “Ten Questions” by Janne Väätämöinen!
What made you want to become a musician?
It’s a tricky question actually. Maybe my dad was the first real idol that drove me to the field of music. He played guitar and I wanted that too! I was 3-5 years old when I started to dive into guitar playing.
How would you describe your music?
My music isn’t only an auditive experience. It’s important for me that when I compose I try to think that there is a visual side as well. When you hear my music you’ll definitely see it too — like a music video. It’s hard to describe but I try to do music that is at the same time rich and unique for its musical way but it has its visual dimension too.
Feel is also one of the founding qualities that I try to reach in my musical ambitions. I fell in love with blues music back in the days and since then it has been haunting me more and more. I really dig that feel that blues music has. It’s so intriguing that you can play a note but how do you play the same note so it’s so filled with emotion!
In a melodic and harmonic way I don’t want to be a slave to music theory. I do music that I like. When I compose I don’t think about music theory or anything like that. I like to be free and trust my ear and do the decisions through it. I try to live in the moment too during the process!
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
I don’t like the trend where the bands or artists try to do music that is already done. Being a clone is the most stupid thing that I can ever think about. Being pure and unique means a lot more! Try to find your own voice. It is the most important advice that I will give to the young cats out there!
What is the saddest song you’ve ever heard?
I really like classical compositions but maybe Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms is one of the saddest songs out there. But yeah I know that there are so many sad songs out there. But Brothers in Arms was the first song that crossed to my mind.
What is your best music related memory?
Hmmm. Let’s see. Maybe it was when I heard Pink Floyd for the first time ever. When I was a child we had a Filmnet cable channel and my dad said that there will be one of the best live concerts via that channel. It was quite late in the evening or maybe it was even at night at that time. I can’t remember.
But yes my dad was right. It was the Pink Floyd’s Pulse live gig concert and I was blown away. The round video screen and green lasers… Wow! And how great sounding David Gilmour’s guitar was. Also his playing was top notch. And yes I think the same way today. It left a mark for my musical identity that never will fade away!
What is the most useless talent you have?
My poor imitation skills and my great and catchy left hand too! That said, it is great to catch things with my left hand.
What’s the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
Try to listen to the music — even if it’s poor — in a way that you are constantly trying to find what are the good things in it.
Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?
There are so many great moments but maybe one of the most memorable is when we (my band Fireproven and music video director Miska Karioja) went to Norway to the Grønnskjerm short movie days where we were invited. Our band’s music video single ‘New Born Truth’ was chosen in some kind of competition where there was a chance to be chosen to the NMVA aka Nordic Music Video Awards final. It was great to be in Oslo even though it was such an expensive city. But the atmosphere there and the cultural field was so astonishing. It was also great to meet one of the greatest music video directors in the world!
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
I am a hard worker. That said I really like physically challenging work. I’m not an office worker type of person at all even though I have spent thousands of hours in my home studio with my computer’s DAW. And on the other hand I have also been training the guitar millions of hours.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Hmmm. It’s a tricky question too. I haven’t been abroad so much. That said, I can’t think where it is nice to live. I really like Finland and its four season variety.