We’re counting down until Ja Ja Ja returns to Berlin on the 12th March, so in the run up, we’re getting to know each of the artists a bit better before they make their way to FluxBau for a very special show!
We’re catching up with emerging Finnish artist Hisser today, who will be joined by Danish collective Waldo & Marsha and pioneering Icelandic artist Berndsen – all set to turn our home venue of FluxBau into a distinctly Nordic corner of Berlin…
Tickets for the show cost €5 for members and €7 for non-members – so make sure to sign up as a Ja Ja Ja member (for free!) now to receive exclusive discounts to all of our events, as well as offers on Nordic activities around town!
Spotlight Interview: Hisser
For those that haven’t met you yet, could you please introduce yourself – who are you, where are you from, and how would you describe what you do?
I’m Miikka, I’m from Pori but I live in Herttoniemi, Helsinki and I make music as Hisser. I’m also an entrepreneur, a dancer, and a father of six. In football i’m a center-back but can also play as a defensive midfielder.
What do you like most about the music scene in Helsinki – and how does Hisser fit into it?
The question is how will everyone else fit in with Hisser.
Music scene… I take the bus to the rehearsal room, make music, and take the bus back home. I’m not a part of anything particular. I don’t the have the time or a natural urge for that, so that’s OK really. I wish interesting friends would appear automatically. There is one potential friend that has a workroom pretty close to my house, he’s called Artturi and he makes stuff as SHIVAN DRGN and I think we’d have a good time together, taking long walks in the industrial zone at nights. Our influences aren’t a million miles apart I think, but it could be that we couldn’t make music together as we would maybe both want to have it 100% our way. I texted him a while ago but he was out of town. I haven’t texted since.
Obvious question, I know, but why did you start making music?
Some days I feel like I haven’t even started yet…
People will know you from your band Disco Ensemble. Why did you make the transition from that project to Hisser?
Well I had been making stuff on the computer for hundreds of years and then at some point I noticed I had a bunch of stuff I really liked and that maybe I had found an aesthetic that felt right, like my own viewpoint, and then there seemed to be some decent songs there too and I felt like there was this world around them that would be worthwhile and fun to create and Ensemble was taking a break anyway so I thought I’d do this. (DE is not my “previous band” btw, we’re activating with a tour and festivals and hopefully new music…)
The video for your new single ‘Alienhood’ is pretty spooky! What’s the story behind it?
Well we have this kind of quiet wing in our rehearsal complex where we can fuck about, and Lasse has a nice iPhone where you can get this slo-mo and I thought it would be great to slice things with a sickle in slo-mo so I bought one from the hardware store – but of course it wasn’t sharp enough to cut trough most items, so we had to figure out something else and there was this bat pole I made and it looked nice with the bats flying around. It’s super lo-fi of course and got rejected from a few websites I heard, but I think there’s a charm to it.
You’ve got a bit a preoccupation with bats! Why?
I don’t! Or do I? We had bats living in our house on the roof somewhere and they flew around when it got dark but last summer they disappeared cause there came a construction site next to our house and I do miss them a little bit.
There’s a lot going on in your music, plenty of samples and looped beats. How does your music translate into a live setting?
It doesn’t translate very well as it is, so we basically made completely different versions of them so we could get a “physical” feel to them. I didn’t want it to be a “guy singing over a backing track” but I didn’t also want it to be a traditional band and sure as hell didn’t want it to be a bunch of guys hitting SPD’s with sticks pretending to have a good time, so it was actually a kind of odyssey in itself for me and Lasse to find the right way to do it – and i’m quite pleased with it now. It’s very different from the record but I think that as an advantage too. Seidi, who sings on the record too is amazing, and a big part of the live setup, she was in many ways the key to us reaching a way to perform the songs in a fulfilling way.
You’re playing Ja Ja Ja Berlin this week! What can we expect from your upcoming performance there?
It’s only our second show so I don’t have a lot of feedback about how people respond to it but I just kind of hope we’ll get through it. We’ve already chanced stuff after the first one and I like to keep it moving like that. It feels super good to play the set, so I hope some of that feeling leaks trough.
Do you have any good new music tips to share with us?
The biggest and the happiest thing to happen in music lately was Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät reaching the Eurovision song contest final as the contender of Finland. I couldn’t give a shit about the whole thing before now, and the tv- show was a nightmarish feat to sit through, but everyone just had to vote for them. They are one of the only true punk bands in the world and I hope they get very far, spreading their undeniably strong message.
And finally, what does the rest of the year hold for you?
Well first the Berlin show of course, and then we have a tour with Ensemble coming up inAapril, then the Hisser album comes out in May 8th. I’m finishing a score for a short-film somewhere along the way, then gigs with both Hisser and Disco Ensemble through the summer, then in there some more Hisser gigs I think and perhaps making new stuff with DE and maybe Hisser too. It will be a great year I suppose.