noku Interview: “Super Metroid is the best game ever”

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noku interview

Debut Album Future Sharks Out Now.

Seems to us that noise rock bands are popping up all over the place at the moment. The latest to come to our attention are noku, who hail from Finland. Their’s is a rumbling, grandstanding kind of noise rock that also enjoys a solid amount of melody. Over the course of two EPs the trio have honed their cacophony to a point where their debut album Future Sharks feels both loose and tight at the same time. Good job.

We spoke with Juuso (guitar/vocals) about the fact that their band name means ‘penis’ in Estonian, Super Metroid, unrequited love, and the DIY music scene in Finland.

Overblown: Did you know that, apparently, ‘noku’ is Estonian for penis? Where did the band name come from?

noku: Yea, we know. But didn’t until we had done our two EP’s so the name was already stuck.

When it was time to name the band all the good names were taken. Names like Metallica and Nirvana. One day I looked down on my iPod and there it was, a song named ”No K.O.” by the most awesomest band ever, a Finnish noise rock band called Fun. With the name Noku we searched dictionaries, but at that time didn’t find that it actually means something. How wrong were we.

O: I’ve been really enjoying ‘Varia’ on your debut album Future Sharks. It has a wonderful balance between noise and melody. What inspired that song?

n: One of my favorites too. I’ve been explaining Varia for like two years at gigs before the song, but haven’t got to the end of it, I’m always interrupted. The title ‘Varia’ comes from Super Metroid, the best game ever. The song is about this Finnish female singer Milla from a band called Shake, to whom I had a crush for. It’s also about my band called Varia and a song called ‘Milla Milady’ that I’ve had years ago. I’ve combined the crush, the band, some elements from Super Metroid and also there’s some reference to a Finnish band called Zeroes.

O: The album was recorded nearly a year ago. Why has it taken until now to release the album?

n: The wheels just turn slow at our camp. A combination of mixing, fixing and basic life stuff. Our producer/studio/mixing guy has his own life too, you know. It took a while, but it gave time for the album covers and mixing and stuff to be what we wanted them to be. No sense in rushing things.

O: Did you approach the writing and recording of Future Sharks differently that the writing and recording of your EPs?

n: The writing was quite the same. I come up with an idea and then take it to the rehearsals. That’s when the work begins. Minutes or years later we have a new song! Recording though was a bit different. Future Sharks was recorded at the same place where the vocals were recorded for the EP’s. The studio is owned by our studio guy. This way we had all the time we needed. The EPs were recorded live, no overdubs. Most on first take. And then vocals later. This time the same, but most of the guitars were recorded after, some are from the live take. On the EPs you hear one guitar, on the album two.

O: The artwork for the album looks like two squirrels fighting. Where did that come from?

n: The artwork was a very slow process. That’s like the fifth version. The cover was very different originally. Don’t know what the cover is all about. I just like to do collage art. I like the smallest details.

O: Is there a strong alternative music scene in Finland?

n: There is. The people I mean. I know there are many great bands in the underground, but these days there are also so many bands in general and too few places that take on bands like us. More focused on the lighter side. Noise rock is definitely not the easiest way to get gigs or to get the buzz on. Playing one gig at the time. Slowly, but surely.

O: Tell us a bit about the recording of the video for ‘Nonko’.

n: It was one Friday afternoon that I called to Late, the bassist, that I got a killer idea!! We were planning to do the ‘Nonko’ video for a long time, but timing wasn’t right, schedules didn’t match etc. The idea was that he would ask the people of the theatre in which he does acting that if they want to come and hang with us and we’ll shoot the video. They said yes and on the next day we had the ‘Nonko’ party. One of my favorite days ever. The video is everything that in my opinion punk rock should be. DIY. We are planning a rehearsal place tour with a friend band of ours. Bars and pubs aren’t always the bestest time, but rehearsal parties are every time!

O: What is noku’s plan for the rest of 2016?

n: Gigs, hundreds of them, everywhere possible. And to get the music spread out there. And the records and the T-shirts of course. We also have new songs building up so it would be good to get them ready and finished. Studio is starting to feel like an good idea again. Touring has always been the ultimate dream.

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