Elmo Karjalainen guitarist. As I listen your play...yes.....I think, there is artifical nothing. On the whole, this is the main secret of instruments. Tipycal of Elmo are the soul, and the empathy. Congratulate on your play! Well...who is Elmo Karjalainen?
Thank you! Who am I? I'm a hairy faced guitar player. That about sums me up. Other than that I like football (what Americans call soccer), Monty Python, spending time with my kids, spending time apart from my kids, sleeping and playing too many notes. I also like long notes with echo.
What was the first moment in your life when you found the guitar?
I guess I've had a few of those. Hearing Yngwie Malmsteen's Odyssey for the first time was one of those. I didn't eve play guitar back then (I was probably about 8 or 9), but the energy of his playing was really impressive. I got my first guitar at 11, although it took a couple of years for me to really start playing. What did it for me was finding Gary Moore, and especially his live solo on Shapes of Things, plus changing my guitar teacher. My new teacher, Sasa Opacic, asked me the magic question: What do you want to play?
Maybe, more important the secret of your style! How did you build your style what your own?
Brace yourself for a longer answer. The short answer is that I don't know how I came by my style. But I'll give you the long one as well. I suspect that my parents have something to do with that. They always listened to all kinds of music at home when I was growing up. That made me very open to all kinds of stuff. So much so that I would say that I don't have a favorite style of music, just many bands/artists that I like. Bands/artists that influenced me include the usual ones (Vai, Malmsteen, Satch), plus some slightly stranger ones, like Danny Gatton, Genesis, Pekka Pohjola, Devin Townsend, Frank Zappa, Mattias IA Eklundh, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Pat Metheny (not that all of those are strange).
There have also been a bunch of other influences, the list is way too long, who have influenced me in a more subtle way than those mentioned above. Basically everything I’ve listened to has influenced me. Even the ones I haven’t liked.
One important thing for me is to try to not be too serious about myself. That doesn't mean I'm not serious about my music, but at the same time, being serious shouldn't mean you can't have a laugh. Actually I think you should be able to laugh at yourself and your music. I also think it’s important to be open to all kinds of music.
Elmo, could you say someghing about your actual work?
What can I say. I've played in a number of bands over the years. The best known one is probably Deathlike Silence. We had some small success in Finland in the charts and on the radio. Sadly that band has been on a hiatus for almost as long as I can remember. That has given me the time to do my own solo stuff however. I released my debut album, Unintelligent Designs, in August 2012. That was very much a learning experience for me, as I learned the ropes in the studio etc. It was great fun, and although I could do the whole thing better now, I'm still immensely pleased with how it turned out. It's a nice snapshot of me as a guitarist, with many different genres of music and a bit of comedy to round it all off.
It would be splendid music if sounded well... Sound! Big question! I very like yours. Shortly, what could we know your riggs!
My setup is fairly simple. In the studio I usually use some kind of Strat which goes through a distortion into a Marshall head. That then goes into a Marshall cab which is miked with and AKG C414. I also use a Fractal Audio Axe-FX II. I've Tone Matched my miked sound, and it sounds absolutely killer. If you want a more detailed explanation, you can go have a look on my website, which has the whole setup explained, or you can have a look on my YouTube channel, which also features a video with my setup. (http://elmojk.com)
Elmo, you videos are very great but will we see you on stage with your band?
At the moment I don't have any plans to tour with a band of my own. That might (and I do hope) change in the not so distant future. You might be able to catch me play with Seagravethis summer when we've released our first album. You can also come check out Helena & Kalevi, the world's only three piece duo. We do acoustic covers of everything from ABBA to WASP.
What will be your next step in your carrier?
Well, there's a lot brewing. I'm getting ready to release my second album this summer, The Free Guitar Album. The digital version will be free. It's an 8 song album, all instrumental. The production on this one is better than on my first one. It's absolutely killer in my honest opinion. I set myself pretty high standards, and I think I managed to meet those standards with this one. You can get yours by signing up to my email list. There will also be a limited run of physical CDs available, with 3 extra tracks. The extras are actually 3 songs from the record, but with different lead takes. That kind of gives a bit of an insight into how I play my parts. There's a lot of improvisation going on.
Other than that I also have my third album recorded. It's being mixed at the moment. That one is going to be very different, as it's entirely acoustic. It's meant to be music to relax to. Almost no quick playing, just nice melodies and harmonies, and a bunch of reverb. At the moment I'm calling it And Now For Something Completely Acoustic. I've also finished writing record number 4, but that's still a long way off, so I won't say anything more on that topic at the moment.
Elmo, thank you very much this great interwiev, and I am very lucky man that I make it with you! Have great time!!
Udvardy Udy Zsolt