Oh yes, the longest day of the year, in Swedish tradition called Midsommar, is over again. Which means that winter is coming. (Sorry for the #got reference but it’s true, we live in Berlin.) Which is why we shall not miss to report from our latest Midsommar experience with our new tropical friends from Aves. These jolly musicians from Helsinki say about themselves that they paint in tropical tones about reveries, baffled moments and the mercurial line between dreaming and reality with bubbly textures, hazy motion and fresh pop-hooks. So as we sat there at Berlin Midsommar Festival, eating cactus ice cream and listened to their sun-drenched yet melancholic chords, we desperately wanted to get lost with these guys. Aves will release their debut album “Sun Sky a Floating” on July 4th – so I sat down with lead singer Eino Anttila to have a proper chat about it all.
Julia: So I heard you are inspired by the Beach Boys…
Eino Anttila: I am probably their biggest fan in Finland. I am crazy about them. A big theme of our new album is childhood, my dad used to always play Good Vibrations to me. Of course I never understood. But five years ago I heard Pet Sounds for the first time. Mostly I am inspired by their crazy story, I can relate to it in a way. They had a lot of hardships but they still make a positive kind of music. There is also this melancholy and sad side, especially on the later albums. There are some real tear-inducing songs. And then in the middle there is this crazy psychedelic phase. So I enjoy all of them, they often sound like a different band. That is really inspiring, renewing your self all the time. Everybody thinks they are just a surf band, but they have 27 albums. And only the seven first ones are like that. And then there is all this other stuff.
There is this wall of sound thing that Brian Wilson produces. There is so much going on that you cannot really point out one thing. It washes over you like a cohesive experience. So this is sort of what I have been after with this album.
Julia: Are you writing all these songs by yourself?
Eino: We write some songs together, this song Shoreline consists of Anttis melodies and my chords. But actually we stole our bassist Joonas’ demos. And later on we asked him to join the band. In the later stages I have done a lot of writing on my own. The album is really personal. There is a fast A side and slow B side. This is sort of a Beach Boys thing to do, too. We will have Vinyl too.
Julia: So did you write the song “Elise” as well? It sounds so poetic…
Eino: The theme of the album is higher powers. Like for instance addictions, relationships and faith. It is about the point where you loose yourself. All these higher meanings that affect us. The album is called “Sun Sky a Floating” – and that is a place. Sun and Sky are these higher beings, like a metaphor for addictions or relationships, all these higher things that affect us.
It is also about medicine. I used antidepressants for a year and it is also a lot about that. It was really contradictional for me – one the one hand it helped me getting through that phase, but as well I was not being myself. I could sense the higher power of the chemical. I knew it was doing good to me, but at the same time I was really tired, and I knew I should actually quit immediately. And then I did.
At the same time I had a sugar addiction. I was really addicted to sugary coffee and candy. And had such a sweet tooth. But also that made me really tired. I was basically addicted to Star Bucks coffee. So this song is about that too.
Julia: Your sound is really happy though, and you have many fans in tropical places like Mexico and Argentina, and a huge social media following. Do you have a social stragety?
Eino: I used to do our image tumblr, called you lucid. Now it is broken for some reason. We had about 1000 followers there. All the pictures are missing now and I cannot really post anything properly. So that was a part of it, maybe not a big one, but still. We were laying low for a while now because there was so much work on the album. But I used to post something everyday. Also it is because Aves means bird in so many languages. So I guess there are a lot of people who do not even realize we are a band. And who just like birds. From time to time I check our fans because this is really interesting for me. So there are a lot of people who actually listen to our music but there are also bird fans. I suspect half of these fans are of that type.
Julia: I really don’t think so! Anyway, what is Midsummer in Finland like?
Eino: It’s a lot of drinking. A lot of fun. Some people go crazy some are chilled. But everyone tries to stay up all night. The sun does not set and it is kind of absurd to see that. It is really fun. I remember countless after Midsummer days and mornings, without any sleep, with the same people somewhere in this weird state of mind. After being up for 36 hours, playing soccer in parks.
Julia: Will you be able to enjoy the Berlin summer a little bit?
Eino: We will be here for three days. Then we will continue to Prag and chill out at Lake Garda. Then we’ll go back to Finland for our album release party. We will be busy but also chill out for a while. Lake Garda looks amazing in the pictures. We were trying to figure out where to go for a long time, then finally our bassist Joonas showed us the imaginary and we wanted to leave right away.
Julia: Will you visit any festivals?
Eino: We will be playing a little city festival in Helsinki called Kallio Block Party which will be a lot of fun. Kallio is translated to a rock. Because the festival takes place is on a rocky hill.
Julia: Will you go to Flow Festival?
Eino: I have been to Flow for about five times, I am not sure if I go there. I am not sure we will play there, but there are some last minute announcements. Maybe not though because are kind of late. But that’s ok since we were doing the album. Flow is getting really expensive too. But two years ago, it was so crowed it was almost not fun anymore. It was originally supposed to be a smaller festival. It is all in all still a great festival.
Julia: What bands have you been listening to recently?
Eino: The last three months I did not manage to listen to anything else but our own album. Ok and to some Beach Boys. Also, the music scene in Helsinki got also a lot better. All the time new surprisingly good bands are popping up. I used to think Finnish music was shit. But all of a sudden there are French Films and Burning Hearts. It is getting really huge and I get a feeling of a united scene. This will be exciting to watch in the next few years.
Thanks a million for the interview dear Eino!