Jarmo Haapamäki started his first band on a very early age, before he was a teenager, in Puolanka, Finland, where he was living at the time. They called themselves a punk band but the only thing they had in common with punk rock was the attitude; they were happy to be able to start a band although no-one of them knew how to play their instruments. Writing own material was the only way to go, because they couldn't play any other songs. It was Jarmo who 'wrote' the songs. The band was actually formed by the guys who used to play football together sometimes. Some of the guys could certainly play ball much better than music. The year was 1979.
Anyway, time went by and after a while there were only three of the guys from the football field that still thought making music was much more fun than playing soccer. They wanted to learn how to tune their instruments and stuff. You know, they started to sound like a real band. And they started playing in front of audience and Jarmo wrote more and more songs. At first they called themselves Lontoo, and later Oikosulku, and then Outosulku, and then Muovikazzi. They enjoyed making music but were not that crazy about the idea of trying to conquer the world. In 1983 the band had only two gigs; one in Puolanka, Finland, and the other one in Palmanova, Italy, at the Complotto Internazionale festival. By 1985 Jarmo had written about 120 songs, all in Finnish, when he decided that he wanted to move to Sweden, "to earn some money and buy a Mercedes-Benz".
He never moved back. Instead he started writing songs in English and started a new band in Sweden, The Soul Preachers. The band is still active (sort of) after 20 years and have just released a new CD "Mono sapiens' 17 Frog Vomits", although the album contains 13 years old recordings... It's loud, fast and furious rock'n'roll, or punk rock if you prefer the expression. The album is great, but as already mentioned, old stuff. Remastered but still old.
The solo album Jarmo recorded by himself during the spring of 2006 is new stuff, though. "I was fed up not doing nothing when the band was not producing anything," Jarmo says. "I was also tired with the band members telling me which songs they would play and which they wouldn't. The Soul Preachers is a magnificent rock band but there are limits what kind of songs the band can or will play. I decided to make the whole album by myself so I could play any kind of music I like." And so he did. The album contains 13 quite different songs and it's not easy to explain how it sounds. You can hear influences from here and there but it doesn't really sound like anything else. It sounds like Jarmo Haapamäki.
"I'm happy with the results. It's not a perfect pop record, and it wasn't supposed to be that. It's just a bunch of songs I wrote; music that I would like to hear myself. It's a good start. I have already started writing songs for the next solo album," Jarmo says.
Jarmo also started a record company, Hälleforsnäs Records, named after the small village he lives in. "I made a decision. I didn't want to waist any time by working for people I didn't like and doing things I didn't really want to do. So I stopped chasing day jobs and started a record company instead. I want to work with my music and don't want anyone to boss me around. I know I'm not getting rich but hopefully it will pay my rent some day," he says.