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Let's talk a Finnish icon: The Ismo Alanko primer

2020.09.19 17:52 creatinsanivity Let's talk a Finnish icon: The Ismo Alanko primer

I was challenged into writing a primer on one of Finland's primary songwriters of all time by u/Zhanteimi at the LetsTalkMusic discord. So here's an album-by-album runthrough of his career!
No artist's career begins with the first album, so naturally nor did Alanko's. Long story short, he was born in a highly artistic family (mother a poet, all siblings musicians), picked cello as his instrument of choice, found rock (especially the Hurriganes debut) and picked a guitar, wrote his first song 'Suck and Fuck All Night Long' (no recordings of this exist, but apparently one of his bands named itself after the song), and formed a number of bands with varying levels of success. His most succesful pre-Hassisen Kone band was a prog band called Sight, which got on the second place in the prog section of Finnish Rock Championship competition (in 1977 or 1978). After he finished high school in the spring of 1979, he moved to Stockholm for the summer. This turned out to be the decision that became the catalyst for huge parts of his career, including...
Hassisen Kone - Täältä tullaan Venäjä
While in Stockholm, Alanko caught wind of a new wave of rock beginning in Finland. A breath of fresh air in the previously stale rock scene. He returned to Joensuu and put together a band from his bandmates from Sight (Reijo Heiskanen and Harri Kinnunen), and Harri's then 17-year-old brother Jussi. They eventually named the band Hassisen Kone, after a sewing machine store in town (the deeply religious shopkeeper was not amused).
The band recorded an album-length demo in 1979 and were signed on a label relatively quickly. They were also qualified to enter the 1980 Finnish Rock Championship competition (even though the judges nearly disqualified them, for they thought they might be professional musicians performing under fake names), which they won, gaining reputation preceding the recording of their debut album.
In August of 1980, the band released Täältä tullaan Venäjä. Propelled by arguably the biggest hit single in Alanko's career, Rappiolla [which was hilariously covered by Metallica recently (which was spontaneously responded to by Ismo Alanko himself)], the album became a smash hit. The album provides variety from straight-up new wave punk to talkingheadsian grooves, schlager punk, simplified swing jazz, ska-infused rock, to whatever you'd categorise 'Viimeinen rock ennen aivokuolemaa' as. It's an ambitious yet consistent whole but, in my opinion, the weakest of the three Hassisen Kone albums. The youthful anarchic feel it has can be refreshing every now and then, but this burst of energy from an obviously young (only two of the bandmembers even in their 20s, band only half a year old) band is redirected better on the follow-up.
Hassisen Kone - Rumat sävelet
Following the release of their debut, the band found themselves in a position that many acts today would both fear and envy: they played hundreds of gigs in the second half of 1980 and the first half of 1981. The gruesome touring around the country took a toll on the young band, but that's only barely comparable to the toll that the audience took on them. For example, as time went by, the band grew tired of the audience drunkenly demanding 'Rappiolla', so they stopped playing the song altogether. This time of maturing and growing more and more cynical reflected on their sophomore effort.
Rumat sävelet should not necessarily be described as bleak per se, but it is certainly darker, tighter, and more mature than the band's debut. The band tackles sounds ranging from quasi-prog expression to post-punk, punk, psychobilly, and they take the talkingheadsian qualities into a sharper direction. The lyrics touch upon issues like love, exploitation, and sex (it's curious to think that probably the most explicit Finnish song about sex before this album was about "curly armpit hair", while Alanko dares to sing about penetration itself). I have to admit that I have a bit of a bias when it comes to this one though, as it's undoubtedly my favourite album of all time.
Hassisen Kone - Harsoinen teräs (and High Tension Wire)
In 1981, the band participated on a riverboat tour with a couple of other punk acts. During this tour, the bassist broke (drugs), Alanko met "Safka" Pekkonen, and the band was generally put under huge stress as the diet consisting mainly of alcohol began burning them down and their every move was documented by either film makers Mika and Aki Kaurismäki or the columnist documenting the tour for a zine. Despite all this, some of the better live recordings of the band come from this tour, and both the live album and the Kaurismäki documentary are worth digging up for the music.
After the tour, the band expanded into a septet with the addition of a keyboardist (Pekkonen), a saxophonist (Antti Seppo), and a percussionist (Hannu Porkka). The final form of the band was shaped during the rehearsals by the departure of guitarist Heiskanen, who was replaced by the guitar wizard Jukka Orma.
Released in March of 1982, Harsoinen teräs is the band's most artistically ambitious work. It's an album combining the band's prog leanings seamlessly with the band's new wave leanings, a polished whole that takes cues from I don't even know where. Reggae at least on a couple of tracks, prog and new wave on most, but the general sound is unlike anything I've ever encountered. The album was re-recorded in English as High Tension Wire later on in the year, after a tour had slightly tightened the band's sound. The decision to do so apparently came after the decision to disband the band, which makes it a very baffling addition to Hassisen Kone's discography. You'd think that they'd release an album in English as an attempt to break into international markets, right?
Sielun Veljet - Sielun Veljet
After Hassisen Kone was disbanded (in August 1982), Alanko had a schlager rock project that eventually turned into Sielun Veljet by December. The band was comprised of Alanko, Orma, a drummer veteran Alf Forsman, Alanko's Stockholm contact Jouko Hohko on bass, Vinski Viholainen doing lighting, and a future cult legend Jouni Mömmö doing "weird noises".
Sielun Veljet were signed in early 1983, but they refused to record a studio album because Viholainen's lighting work wouldn't show in a studio recording. Instead, as a compromise, they agreed on recording a live album where "the lighting would affect the ambiance". They set out to do this on a tour they began on March, planning on recording the first show and the last one. However, fate interfered and Orma accidentally cut tendons from his fingers during the tour while cutting bread, which made the recordings from the last show basically unusable due to his difficulties in adjusting to the situation (a very punk move to finish the tour even with torn tendons, by the way).
The live album is punk/post-punk goodness. It's noisy, no-wavey rock that really shows how the band took all the drugs in the process of writing these harsh, repetitive songs. It also shows that Alanko wished to abandon messing around with intricate compositions in favour of a more stripped and primal expression.
Sielun Veljet - Lapset
In summer of 1983, the band brightened up a bit to record this odd EP in a style following directly from the debut. It's angular and distorted, yet the melodies are more melodic and jamming less bleak. It's also the home of the only a capella punk song I've ever heard.
Sielun Veljet - Hei soturit
In 1984, Sielun Veljet took their first coherent step toward a pop/rock idiom with their first studio album. Hei soturit is the awkward outlier between the band's grimy punk era and commercial rock era. It feels like a punk band working with a producer who doesn't understand punk, but even the clumsy production doesn't entirely hide the fact that some of these songs are absolutely iconic. From punk to garage rock, general oddness, and flirting even with metal, this selection of songs does provide good variety for anyone digging deeper in Alanko's body of work.
Sielun Veljet - L'amourha
The Sielun Veljet breakthrough album! The beginning of their rock era of albums, an only mildly angular affair with anthemic choruses and a muscular production. It was recorded after the band had toured all over Europe, honing their sound and Alanko finding a lot to say about international affairs and the human condition.
There are a plenty of anecdotes from the time of release of this album. The song 'On mulla unelma' was written by Alanko in Spain, when he was recovering from a disease (can't remember which one. Dysentery?) and bitter about nationalism, and it caused quite a scandal when the band unexpectedly debuted it on live television. They performed an impromptu Red Riding Hood play on their album release party instead of playing music. One of the members went missing in Russia for days after the band found a corpse. All of their instruments were stolen in Spain. There'd a lot to unpack from 1984-5 alone.
Sielun Veljet - Kuka teki huorin
The follow-up to L'amourha takes the band to a funkier place. It's a minor downgrade from the previous effort, a slightly directionless and overpolished effort that has diverse variety from RHCP-like funk rock to tango-infused rock, tribal chants, and what's essentially watered down imitation of their earlier work. It's an easy album to criticise, yet I don't find ever to be outright bad. A lot of it is extremely forgettable though
L'amourder - Ritual and Shit-Hot
Sielun Veljet recorded a bunch of their songs in English as L'amourder. Most of them follow the originals very closely, but there are a few surprises. The biggest change is on the translation of 'Tuulelta vastauksen saan', which has been turned into a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind'.
Sielun Veljet - Suomi - Finland
Suomi - Finland begins the last era of the band, as this album brings more acoustic instruments to the mix and begins to flirt with psychedelia in a way that will culminate on the follow-up. It feels like a breaking point for the band, as it sprawls on multiple directions at once, the musicians seemingly having lost focus. It feels like a band slowly drifring apart, yet it remains consistently captivating as the different influences come together in this chaotic work.
"Various Artists" - Onnenpyörä
Sielun Veljet performed under a number of false identities on their Onnenpyörä-tour, four of which make an appearance on this recording. All of these are cover bands of sorts, and each one of them had a different repertoire of songs they played on these wildly differing sets. The most noteworthy of these personae are the pavillion dance band Kullervo Kivi ja Gehenna-yhtye and the rock band Leputation of the Slaves, the two having the most songs on the record.
Sielun Veljet - Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars
Who would have thought that the noisy punk band in 1983 would eventually release what could be called a psychedelic flamenco album in 1989? Many factors come together here, as the band continues on their effort to sell their music internationally by making the biggest left turn in memory. Orma's fascination with flamenco combines here with influences Alanko picked up in India and what could be called a somewhat logical progression from the budding psychedelia of Suomi - Finland. It's a weird album, that's for sure. A bit inconsistent, but easily among the strangest albums I've ever heard.
Ismo Alanko - Kun Suomi putos puusta
In 1990, Alanko found himself in a situation where Sielun Veljet had almost run its course and he could finally start building a solo career. He recorded this solo debut as a quasi-concept album about rural flight, combining the various interest he wasn't able to pursue with the band into a unique singesongwriter album of sorts. It's a classic album and, in some ways, an ideal entry point into Alanko's work as it feels like it's his personal expression in its purest form.
The music on the album sounds mainly like pop rock of sorts, but it also takes cues from melancholic singesongwriter stuff, joyous showtunes, post-punk akin to Nick Cave's work, and some field recording experiments. It finds a good balance between artistic ambition and catchiness, and it's home to some of the most iconic tracks in Ismo Alanko songbook.
Sielun Veljet - Musta laatikko
Do you know Tom Waits' Orphans? This one is kind of like that. Three discs filled with random stuff recorded over years.
The first disc, "Muistinmenetys", is one third a new studio album (very weird new direction to take, something that feels like a cross between chill hippie jamming and 80s dance pop), one third music from some production, and one third short excerpts from live performances. The second disc, "Taudinkuva", is mainly live performances of late 80s Sielun Veljet songs, Tuomari Nurmio covers, and some other oddities. And finally, the third disc, "Isältä pojalle", is a full pavillion dance set, the band LARPing as a suave and jazzy house band playing waltz, tango, schlager, and anything that's really expected of them.
This album is definitely a skippable one, but there are a few gems that an Ismo Alanko fan might get a lot out of. The flamenco pieces are cool, the Tuomari Nurmio covers are nice (more about those later), and that pavillion dance set is unexpectedly fun, especially if you're not already familiar with the tradition.
Ismo Alanko - Jäätyneitä lauluja
Alanko goes electronic! This album was originally lauded as cutting edge and a sign of significant artistic growth, but it has definitely fallen in popularity over the years. It sounds extremely like a product of its time, so if you like non-industrial synthpop-y rock from 90s, this is exactly your thing. Overall, it's still very surprising how many Alanko live staples come from this album though, and how some of his live bands have improved on all of them.
Ismo Alanko - Taiteilijaelämää
If someone doesn't think that Kun Suomi putos puusta is Alanko's magnum opus, they usually pick this one. Taiteilijaelämää feels like a combination of the first two solo albums (acoustic, electric, and electronic joining hands in harmony), but brought into the mid-90s rock idiom. The result is an interesting album that lacks real highs but remains consistently accessible, and the one Ismo Alanko work I've heard to have resonated with Beck fans for some reason.
Ismo Alanko - I-r-t-i
I made the mistake of learning that this album was written in only two weeks (because Alanko wanted to test himself), and now that's all I can think of while listening to it. This does feel halfbaked. The accessible rock sound it has is underproduced and covers up lazy songwriting more than once. That said, Alanko has later on proven that some of these songs can be absolutely amazing live, and the demo-like quality many of these tracks have can be seen as a feature instead of a bug. Pushing its flaws aside, I feel that it is underappreciated as an album, and feel like its high points deserve more attention.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Pulu
Säätiö was an interesting group. I'm honestly still a bit unclear whether they should be considered Alanko's backing band, a band that just happened to capitalise on his name, or a fullblown collective of musicians. Alanko's statements concerning the group together with the changing lineups on Säätiö albums both point to all three options. What I do know is that the band has two distinct eras, the first one kickstarted by Pulu.
I genuinely believe that the first iterarion of Säätiö is the most important band Alanko worked with. The amount of pure talent in that band is staggering with Jussi Kinnunen (Hassisen Kone) on bass, Teho Majamäki (HC Andersen, Tapani Rinne, Ismo Alanko Teholla) on percussion, Kimmo Pohjonen (you will want to check his solo stuff) on accordion, and Marko Timonen (Värttinä, Tuomari Nurmio) on drums giving Alanko's songwriting a fascinating folk rock spin, reeking of schlager and eastern mysticism. Pulu is an album that seeps nostalgia, is radical enough to upset traditional folk nerds, is accessible enough to have produced multiple Alanko live staples, and is significant enough a twist on Alanko's tropes to sound fresh even in his eclectic body of work. Yet, I feel like it's so self-referential that I feel like recommending it as anyone's first Ismo Alanko album could be a mistake.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Luonnossa
Säätiö playing acoustic renditions from the entire Ismo Alanko songbook, from Täältä tullaan Venäjä to Pulu. An exciting set, and definitely one of the best live albums I've ever heard. The band reworks this wide variety of songs into captivating folk rock, transforming the music into forms that defy expectations. There are some duds though, but not all fan favourites can sound great with just one band.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Sisäinen solarium
This is possibly the weirdest Ismo Alanko album to this date. It continues with nearly the same lineup as on Pulu, but takes the music in a radically new direction, exploring what modernised folk could be rather than wallowing on nostalgia. This means updating the largely acoustic instrumentation with both electric and electronic instruments, and creating an unpredictable tapestry of music with influences that are surprisingly difficult to pinpoint. Some say this kind of experimentation cheapens traditional folk (which is something I can agree with regarding some songs on this album), but I'm not sure if such a clearcut statement can be made of the full album. It's certainly aiming for a sound of its own.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Hallanvaara
This is where Säätiö's status as a band becomes complicated. There's absolutely no reason to call this anything but an Ismo Alanko solo album, so marketing it as an Ismo Alanko Säätiö album is baffling to say the least. I mean, the only constants on this album are Alanko himself, the producemulti-instrumentalist Riku Mattila, and various symphonic elements (I don't want to downplay the work the symphonic orchestra and the string section do on this album, but they have been used quite haphazardly). There are three members from the previous Säätiö albums involved in this project: Marko Timonen on nine tracks, Samuli Laiho on seven tracks, and Kimmo Pohjonen on one track. In addition to this, there's the bassist of the next iteration of Säätiö, Jarno Karjalainen, on six tracks. Thus, there are Säätiö band members playing on the majority of these tracks, but never as a full band.
That all being said, I believe this to be the best Säätiö album. The melancholic pieces are beautifully fragile, the pop tracks are catchy, the massive songs are massive, and the atmospheric pieces are chillingly well-arranged. And even the weaker songs here are excellent live, making this album probably the richest one to mine for a live set of any kind.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Elävää musiikkia
Honestly, this feels like a bit of a throwaway live album. On one hand, these rock renditions of a great setlist of songs are unique but, on the other hand, none of these performances improve on the studio recordings. 'Kansallispäivä' and 'Julkinen eläin' come really close though, both being sharper and meaner than the 80s versions.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Minä ja pojat
The first album with the second iteration of the band. Fuzzy rock in similar vein to Smashing Pumpkins and their kin, but played through the lense of Alanko's style of songwriting. It's never as hard-hitting or catchy as an album by a great rock band would be -- all of the songs soften up during the chorus -- but the youthful and slightly naivistic touch is welcome after a string of artistically ambitious albums. That said, I'm only attached to a single song on the whole album, which is definitely not a good sign.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Ruuhkainen taivas
The second (and last) studio album of the second iteration of Säätiö is a different beast than the first one, taking the rock approach to a slightly more complex direction. It's more mature and chromatic than the first album, yet I personally find it to sound slightly less inspired. However, at the same time, it does have more tracks that I would consider keepers and the general sound is harder to define. Thus, it's definitely a divisive album, conflicting.
I'm not sure how to describe the sound of this album. It's unmistakeably early 2000s rock, sounding like an average Finnish rock band from the era, yet the songwriting and the production also remind me of the band Wire out of all things. It's a digestible alternative/indie rock sound, whenever it doesn't abruptly go in a new direction.
Sielun Veljet - Otteita Tuomari Nurmion laulukirjasta
Remember those random Tuomari Nurmio covers on Musta Laatikko? Turns out, Sielun Veljet recorded a full album of those in (I assume) late 80s. They didn't end up using those recordings for anything, so they were packed away and stored somewhere. Years went by and a good portion of those recordings were destroyed due to poor storing conditions, but someone was eventually inspired to put the surviving songs to good use.
You'll be in for a treat, if you like Sielun Veljet and have never heard anything by Tuomari Nurmio. Most of these covers are originally from Nurmio's early 80s albums, his strange new wave turned into the angular rock Sielun Veljet perfected. Some of these songs only barely work, some sound like Sielun Veljet originals, but most are just serviceable covers. It's still a good album though.
Ismo Alanko Teholla - Blanco spirituals
After putting Säätiö on hold (perhaps indefinitely), Alanko joined forces with Teho Majamäki, the first iteration Säätiö percussionist. Together they stripped down a number of Ismo Alanko songbook staples to a form they could perform as a duo, essentially bringing the strengths of Alanko's live performances alone together with the strengths of him performing with a small ensemble. This endeavour proved succesful, so the two recorded two albums of original music as well.
The music of Blanco spirituals is surprisingly full. The two musicians fill space well, with Alanko singing and playing chord instruments (mainly guitar and piano), while Majamäki stretches himself as thin as possible, working a drumset, vibes, an array of percussions, an oscillating delay pedal, and singing backing vocals. It's usually at least two of those at the same time, often three. Him working in a live environment is a sight to behold.
This is honestly one of my favourite Ismo Alanko albums. The stripped down arrangements bring the most out of Alanko's songwriting. The selection of songs highlight very different sides of his style, from theatrical piano ballads to singalong acoustic guitar romps, silly pop songs, and trance-inducing rock. It's by no means a perfect album, but these simple songs all work in one way or another.
Sielun Veljet - Kansan parissa (1-4)
Archival live recordings of sets recorded around 1989-1991. The first one is a typical Sielun Veljet set, the second one filled with Tuomari Nurmio covers, the third one is material from Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars, and the fourth one is a mix of subtle experimentation, new tracks, and deep cuts. Quite a comprehensive collection of live music. However, only few tracks are really worth keeping, including the electrifying high-tempo performance of 'Lammassusi' and the prototypical version of Alanko's 'Don Quiote'.
Ismo Alanko Teholla - Onnellisuus
The simplicity of the previous album is gone, replaced by a polished and highly produced pop sound. The DIY duo sound gives way to a more layered style, where synths, samples, and doubled vocals are added to the band's sound. Acoustic instruments are largely replaced by electric guitars and synths, turning the folksy garage band sound to a sleak and radio-friendly beast. If the fact that I just phrased the same exact thing in three ways didn't clue you in yet, I'm not particularly fond of this change of direction. However, I've seen this ridiculously often called the best Ismo Alanko album since the 90s, so it does appeal to the masses.
If you like 2010s pop and are looking for a decent gateway to Alanko's music, this could be the album to start with. It's accessible.
Hassisen Kone - 20 vuotta myöhemmin
Hassisen Kone had a reunion in 2000. They played a show that was both filmed and recorded. It's an interesting document of musicians playing music they wrote 20 years earlier. However, it ultimately sounds a bit tired compared to both the tight playing on their studio recordings and the energy levels on their 80s live recordings.
Ismo Alanko - Maailmanlopun sushibaari
Remember when I said that most pick between Kun Suomi putos puusta and Taiteilijaelämää as Alanko's magnum opus? Well, this is that one for me. I'm not saying that to imply that it would be his best album, but it's the album where he finally brings his disparate influences together in a coherent but eclectic way. If Kun Suomi putos puusta is where Alanko's artistic voice is at its purest, this is where it is at its maturest and most representative of the multi-faceted artist he has become during his career.
More or less incidentally, this is also Alanko's midlife crisis album. It's not entirely thematic -- who even knows what 'Kuusilmä' is about? -- but it does touch upon themes like growing old, dying, passing the torch, losing one's touch, and liking the colour grey. It's not quite on the nose, but you don't exactly have to dissect the lyrics to find those undercurrents.
So what does the album sound like? It's lighter than you'd imagine based on the central themes. There's rock, funk, subtle latin feel, a capella, pop, traditional folk, and even an ambitious rock opera about what sounds like a zombie apocalypse. It's fairly eclectic, making it a nice first solo album to release in nearly two decades.
Ismo Alanko - 33 1/3: Kolmannesvuosisata taiteilijaelämää
This is the Ismo Alanko live album I recommend people to start with. Are these performances as exciting as their studio versions? No. But I'd argue that they don't have to be. The main strength this recording has is its uniformity. The songs are played in a generic rock band style, but it doesn't change the fact that the setlist is good and diverse. There's no compilation that would dive this deep in such a digestible manner. Essentially, this is the middle-of-the-road pick that gives an excellent cursory look into a prolific artist's entire body of work (up until 2013).
Ismo Alanko - Ismo Kullervo Alanko
Considering how introspective and self-reflective the previous album is, it's surprising that Alanko decided to name this one after himself. It works though. The songs are produced sparser and airier than on any other Ismo Alanko album, making the music feel intimate and almost confessional. It feels like you're sitting in the same room with him, as he opens up to you. Amazingly produced album.
Ismo Alanko - Pannaanko pakasteet pieneen pussiin?
To be frank, I don't think this EP is an essential release. It's noteworthy for the modern hobo blues feel it has, and for having one of the very few covers Alanko has recorded so far, but none of these songs have an iconic feel to them. The best I can say about it is that none of the songs are bad, but neither are they memorable.
Ismo Alanko - Yksin Vanhalla
I wish more band-focused artists performed live alone every now and then. An arrangement stripped down to just vocals and an instrument (in Alanko's case, usually acoustic guitar, piano, or cello) turns every song into something entirely different. However, the lyrics grow in significance as instruments are dropped, so your mileage may vary with this one. I still enjoy it though.
Pohjonen Alanko - Northern Lowland
Alanko collaborates with Kimmo Pohjonen and Tuomas Norvio to bring us an electronic neon-shamanic album. Primal chants and vocalisations blending together with beats ranging from harsh to chill and breakbeat-y. It's a fascinating EP, even if highly gimmicky and lacking a sense of direction. Besides, this stuff will always be better live than on a studio recording.
Ismo Alanko - Minä halusin olla niin kuin Beethoven
And finally, the latest Ismo Alanko album, where he takes yet another left turn. This one was mainly recorded by Alanko alone in a studio, but eventually a drummer and a keyboardist were brought in to round up the sound. And what a sound it is! Youthful indie rock with a production that's stuck somewhere between the 00s and the 80s. If it were not for 58-year-old Alanko's vocals and eccentric riffing, I could very well believe this to be a debut album by ambitious 20-somethings.
Since Alanko's full albums are not readily available on many countries (especially the US), I'll provide a summary that's somewhere between a longish TL;DR, a series of recommendations, and a quick-glance overview of his career.
Album:: Täältä tullaan Venäjä (1980) [new wave punk] Representative track: Rock ehkäisyvälineitä vastaan (a bouncy high-tempo punk track)
Album: Rumat sävelet (1981) [new wave/post-punk] Representative track: Jurot nuorisojulkkikset (a gloomy post-punk-infused rock track)
Album: Harsoinen teräs (1982) [new wave/progressive rock] Representative track: Kupla kimaltaa (a well-flowing new wave track with a progressive song structure)
Album: Sielun Veljet (1983) [punk/post-punk] Representative track: Pieni pää (a noisy punk track with groovy tribal drumming and metallic guitar playing)
Album: Lapset (1983) [punk/post-punk] Representative track: Elintaso (an angular punk track)
Album: Hei soturit (1984) [post-punk/alternative rock] Representative track: Tää on tää (a straightforward punk track with a catchy hook)
Album: L'amourha (1985) [post-punk/hard rock] Representative track: Peltirumpu (a hard-hitting rock song with dissonant guitars)
Album: Kuka teki huorin (1986) [post-punk/funk rock] Representative track: Kristallilapsia (a funk rock track with screechy guitars and an unfunky bassline)
Album: Suomi - Finland (1988) [post-punk/psychedelic rock] Representative track: Totuus vai tequila (a ferocious folk punk track)
Album: Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars (1989) [psychedelic rock/flamenco] Representative track: Life is a Cobra (a psychedelic track combining flamenco rhythms and Indian string sections)
Album: Kun Suomi putos puusta (1990) [singesongwriter] Representative track: Kun Suomi putos puusta (a gentle organ-led track with subtle folk influence and field recordings)
Album: Jäätyneitä lauluja (1993) [electronic rock] Representative track: Pornografiaa (a slightly industrial-tinged electronic rock track)
Album: Taiteilijaelämää (1995) [art rock] Representative track: Nuorena syntynyt (a 90s sounding rock track with a freeform looseness to it)
Album: I-r-t-i (1996) [alternative rock] Representative track: Kriisistä kriisiin (a rock track with a steady dance pulse on the actual rock sections)
Album: Pulu (1998) [folk rock/art rock] Representative track: Rakkaus on ruma sana (a track with pseudo-shamanistic verses and catchy choruses)
Album: Sisäinen solarium (2000) (art pop/folk rock) Representative track: Kirskainen hyvätyinen (a largely electronic and pulsing track that feels one part a strange rock experiment and one part a traditional Finnish folk song)
Album: Hallanvaara (2002) (art pop/symphonic rock) Representative track: Paratiisin puu (a smooth pop track with significant classical influence)
Album: Minä ja pojat (2004) [alternative rock] Representative track: Joensuu (a straightforward and fuzzy rock song)
Album: Ruuhkainen taivas (2006) [alternative rock) Representative track: Paskiainen (a rock track alternating between manic psychobilly and catchy radio rock)
Album: Blanco spirituals (2008) [minimalistic art pop] Representative track: Päästänkö irti (an acoustic rock track with an interesting chord sequence)
Album: Onnellisuus (2010) [art pop] Representative track: Onnellisuus (a danceable and atmospheric pop track)
Album: Maailmanlopun sushibaari (2013) [alternative rock] Representative track: Vanha nuori (an accessible pop track with a funky brass section and theatrical choruses)
Album: Ismo Kullervo Alanko (2015) [art pop/singesongwriter] Representative track: Lintuperspektiivi (a melancholic and sparsely produced track with airy ambience)
Album: Northern Lowland (2018) [glitch hop-y tribal electronic music] Representative track: Northern Lowland (a track with primal chanting and glitchy beats)
Album: Minä halusin olla niin kuin Beethoven (2019) [80s flavour indie rock] Representative track: Transsioletettu tanssi (a funky rock track with a somewhat generic 2000s rock chorus)
What is your opinion on Ismo Alanko? I personally enjoy how prolific and eclectic he has been, and I find it a shame that most of his work has never left Finland. I can especially imagine punk fans easily getting into his 80s work.
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2014.06.24 17:22 tabledresser [Table] IamA Finnish-American who just completed Finnish military service, AMAA!

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Date: 2014-06-24
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So i know you cant go into specifics but how was boot camp like? And how does it differ from the typical image of FMJ american movie bootcamp? Also what are the main weapons used by the Finnish army? By and large, it's a lot more chill than what you see in movies (and probably what one experiences in the American military) since 99% of the people that come to serve are compelled to do so. I like to imagine that the more hardcore troops that use conscripts, like the Special Frontier Jaegers, have something closer to crazy drill instructors the likes of which you can see in movies, but I still doubt they're as bad because the Finnish Defence Forces forbids, to use an American term, "cruel and unusual punishment" (such as "You didn't address me as 'Sir'?! Drop and give me 50!" or "Oh, Private Gona, you say you can't last? Just for that, you get to run an extra 10k on top of what you're doing now! Enjoy!").
Boot camp was really just dropping us into the normal routine with strong discipline. It's shock enough. Wake up, morning run, move in order to the shower, go eat, start the day's service. We spent a lot of time in marching drills (which I use as a catch-all term to mean marching, ceremonial and practical weapons handling, and other formation and order practicing) and the auditorium (the FDF has this system of education that goes, essentially, "learn the theory - this is the auditorium part -, see how it's done in practice, practice it yourself," which is how we learned to use RPGs, track mines, claymores, etc.). We had some intelligence/aptitude tests (used, in part, to determine if you were suited for going onto a junior officer track), and in general a lot of studying and tight discipline. After we got out of basic, we started specialising in our units, which meant about the same amount of studying, but we also ended up having less ridiculously tight discipline, since everyone knew what they were doing. And now that we were out of basic, it was easier and made more sense to start really bonding with the guys in our units.
You can see the main weapons here, but we use the RK 95 TP as our AR, and got training on the KES 88 and APILAS (which are the only two current weapons on that list that are small enough for us to transport dozens of kilometers on foot). The Frontier Jaegers are a light and quiet type of troop, which means we don't use any of the vehicles on that list except for some trucks for transport and the occasional chopper for supply drops.
Actually NLAW is almost as heavy as APILAS and it will replace it in following years. Also NLAW is much better technology wise. We never used the NLAW, just the APILAS. I doubt that we'd be carrying it around behind enemy lines during wartime, anyways. 66 KES 88, I imagine, would be the most we would use.
Hi, I actually did pretty much the same thing as you did. I'm a full Korean but I've lived in Belgium for my whole life so I have dual citizenship as well. I got into boot camp on 11 March 2012 and got discharged as a sergeant on 12 December 2013. That's 21 months of blood, sweat and tears for my country :) Props to you for doing this, serving your country is really something you should be proud of. As I was in a similar situation I am very interested in this topic, therefore the excessive amount of questions. Please excuse my curiosity. *Do you have honorific language in Finnish that you are required to use to superiors ? *How are the ranks divided among conscripts themselves ? I'm wondering if you were allowed to "talk back" to superiors. In Korea, we have to strictly obey all orders whichever they were from ALL superiors. (everybody in your batallion that went to boot camp 1 month or more sooner than you were considered as superiors, also everybody with a higher rank were superiors as well.) *What kind of job were you assigned after basic training ? Is it according to what your field of study at higher education or is it just random. *Did you shoot moving targets as well? And would you consider yourself a good marksman ? *Did you make a lot of friends on base ? Would you consider them friends for life ? For us, there were just Border Jaegers and Over-Border Jaegers (the second one is just a fancy version of the first), and there's a rule in the Finnish military (or at least on our base), that you don't have to use honourifics and such with people from the same "class" (saapumiserä) as you. We didn't have the time to set up and shoot moving targets, unfortunately. Six months is a short time. And I'm an OK marksman. Some days I shoot REALLY well, some days not so well. I would have liked to have more time to practice my shooting form. So, I finished as an Over Border Jaeger (In US terms as Private First Class, in Finnish as Ylirajajääkäri), which was the higher of the two ranks you can get as a "grunt". The junior officers in the company start as Corporals (Alikersantti - Under Sergeant - in Finnish) and can get up to Sergeant (Kersantti), which is just the next step up. And the officer cadets (upseerikokelas) almost always get promoted at the end to Second Lieutenant (vänrikki), which is the highest they can go. We had a small company, so we probably have a smaller range of ranks that you can get (because there are a few ranks between Sergeant and Officer Cadet), but there ya have it. The promotions are essentially merit-based. How well have you done in the field examinations, in field exercises, etc., based on what the instructors have seen and what your direct superiors tell them.
*Were you allowed to go home during the weekends and were you allowed to go on leave? And did you have alot of free time? *Are you physically better in shape than you were before ? *What rank did you get discharged at? And how does your promotion system work ? And is there a ceiling you can reach as a conscript? We usually had weekend leave. Friday at 1400 we were allowed to leave base, and had to be back by Sunday before midnight. So I managed to go home (Finland home, not US home) for a day and a half or so, since there was travel time. In the evenings, assuming we managed to do cleaning service before dinner, we usually had from roughly 1730 until 2115 for free time if there was no extra service. I personally chose to become the assistant to the unit's radio operator, so I learned how to use the radio just as well as him. I think I was the only conscript on base who had had time to go to university, and it didn't affect my service at all. There were some people who had prior experience in medical things, and they chose and were usually accepted to be the assistant to the unit's medic. I'm in a LOT better shape than when I started. So many muscles, and so much better running. My endurance is a lot higher, it's great.
There were only a small handful of women in our company. And I should note that we weren't professionals, but just training to join the reserve.
I did make a lot of friends, and I definitely will keep in touch with them.
Aww yiss, another rajajääkäri (serving at Onttola to boot). Did you guys freak some delicious havoc at the loppusota? Yeah, it was great. I had a friend who took a Vekaran viestimies prisoner. Here's how it went down. (Let me preface this by saying that we were using blank cartridges.)
They were doing some scouting, and they were heard by a guy on watch, who challenged them. They said 'Suojatkaa kuulonne!' and watched as the guy had to take off his helmet, put on his ear protection, and then his helmet again, and by that time, my two friends were there in front of him. 'You are our prisoner now.'
They start walking, and after a few hundred meters, he says 'I can't do it anymore! (En jaksa enää!) Please let me go! If you let me go, I'll give you cookies.' They laughed and told him that they still had 72 hours of walking to go. He didn't like that.
Later, they get challenged by another guy on watch. They give the prisoner his gun back and order him to march toward the guy on watch, who didn't yet see them. They ran to cover and watched as the prisoner walked toward a guy that was his ally. The prisoner got shot at by his own ally. And my friends laughed.
And here's another.
I had a friend on a scouting turn early in the morning. He's getting near a small outpost: a tent with an anti-air machine gun nearby for defence and strengthening the place. He found that there was no guy on watch. He sneaks up and turns the gun toward the tent, which is probably where the watchman is. He didn't know how to shoot the gun, but he left a nice note telling them to have better watchmen and generally messed around in the area, marveling that no one noticed. Just amazing.
Why is the time spent in the military so short? Did you ever consider staying in longer? Do you think the US should adopt a similar program, why or why not? They've been slowly decreasing the maximum time (back in the day, it was 12+ months even for the grunts) as the perceived need lessens. Currently, 6 months is the minimum you can serve, and the amount of time you serve is related directly to the place and company you choose to serve in, as well as whether you choose to go onto any kind of leadership track. Some service places have 9 or even 12 months of service for the grunts, and in the Frontier Jaeger company, the junior officers and officer cadets serve 12 months (347 days, to be exact).
I didn't consider staying longer because that would have put me on a leadership track, and I didn't, at the point that I had to choose, consider my Finnish to be good enough to do it. Now I almost regret it, because I've had such a good time, but it's a different experience in the two officer courses, which are finishing in a couple of months for our company, so I wouldn't have had the same thing.
In my opinion, the US doesn't need conscription. Conscription is good for a small country like Finland, which can't afford to maintain a large standing army, but can, by conscription, field a larger military force if necessary. The US has both a ridiculously large military budget and and a large population. So no need.
How long was your training? Wiki page says basic is 8 weeks, was there more training before you got to your actual duty station? 6 months is crazy short, my training alone in the US Army was seven months and some jobs require a whole year. I think the minimum total contract is 3 years. The other comments here are totally right. We had 8 weeks of basic, then roughly 8 and 7 of more training before being sent off to the reserve. That's actually an interesting difference, and I should probably write in the title that I'm not and wasn't a professional soldier, but just a guy training for the reserve.
It probably comes down to money and the fact that a 12-month minimum service period would push a lot of people to non-military service or trying to get a full exemption due to "mental problems", which isn't all that hard. Sad but true. Maybe I should have gone to the erkkarit after all.
I've heard that Finnish is one of the most difficult languages to learn. How did you find it? I've grown up with it (I fit the definition of an heritage speaker, someone who has just an incomplete/non-native acquisition of the language), so I don't think it's necessarily too difficult. The thing is just that it's very different. For me, I have issues with which case to use where, and adapting the morphology to the word I'm trying to use. By this point, after 6 months in Finland, I speak well enough to get my point across, but it may or may not have a few errors in case usage or word form.
That said, I wouldn't say it's any more difficult for English speakers than any other language that shares few similarities to English. I mean, the Romance languages and the other Germanic languages are nice for anglophones because they share a good deal of vocabulary, word order, and grammatical features. And all told, that accounts for most of the languages of Western Europe and the Americas. I think a lot of speakers compare Finnish to these languages when thinking bout languages. TL;DR - "Finnish is one of the most difficult languages to learn" is seen by linguists as BS.
My first question is: How do you feel about finnish army. Was it rough? How were the people? I wish you all the best with your future! It was fun. Especially when we weren't suffering. But it was pretty rankka, as to be expected. We would have end marches of 30km on average at the end of our field exercises, which was really fun if you had rakkoja or something else wrong with your feet. But generally, I feel like it was just the right amount of difficulty/roughness. I wasn't in very good shape at the beginning of it, so the way they ramped up the difficulty worked out well for me. The people were generally awesome. Friendly, interested in hearing about the US and how the food/people/weatheenvironment was compared to there. I made many good friends! Good stuff, good stuff! Were you called a Korpraali? I'm an Ylirajajääkäri, which is fun to try to make my friends who kind of speak Finnish say.
Second and last question: What are your plans from now on? Will you go back to US or maybe start serving in Finnish army? I have almost no plans right now. I didn't manage to apply for university here, unfortunately, so my only plan is to apply next spring. I'm going back to the States in July, and I'll find some work there until I get some pääsykoe kutsunnat.
So, how many pieces of you are still in Hiienvaara? So many pieces. Saakelin Paha Oinasvaara. I miss Hiienvaara, it was so nice and calm there.
Which of the marches was your favorite (I know it's difficult to pick a favorite - they're all so fun!)? Do you still have lots of explosive/mine/IED training? I've heard that Onttola training has been transformed to be more scouting/recon based. We actually have almost none of that. We trained a little bit with telamiinat and kranaatit, but mostly the pioneerit in the unit handle the explosives and we all do a lot more tiedustelu. It's fun to do it when going up against gonahdanut tykkimihet during loppusota.
I'm facing "intti" in a year myself. Was the Frontier Jaeger training hard/difficult? My grandfather and uncle both completed the same training and I've been wondering about that myself. It was, not gonna lie. Mostly because I wasn't in all that great shape. I had only 2700m for the Cooper at the beginning of basic, which was on the lower end of what people had, and my strength was pretty poor, too. I don't, unfortunately, remember what I did on my lihaskuntotestit in basic, but at the end I had 40 pushups and 41 crunches in a minute each, which was below average and average for the company respectively. I'd recommend at least 2800m and some 40 and 40 for the tests if you're coming in so that you won't suffer for being out of shape, but as long as you have sisu, you'll be fine.
I should say that Onttola is an AWESOME place to serve. Small company, good food, excellent instructors, cool things to do. Watch out for Ltn. Mäkelä if you go, he's the tarkka-ampujien kouluttaja, and he's super ankara ja vihainen, but also the best shooting instructor in Finland.
Does the US actually recognize your dual citizenship, or is it just that both countries recognize your citizenship unique to them? I hear people say they are a "Dual US citizen" frequently but I was always under the impression that the US honors no such thing, and that if you are a US citizen you are expected to be loyal to our government alone, and choosing to fight for another country would see your status here rescinded. As someone who has actually enlisted in a foreign military, it would definitely seem to put you in a grey area. Can you explain more about what steps you went through concerning gaining approval of the US for this undertaking, any assurances you received or had to give, etc.? Also, you say it's your dream to live in Finland. You are 23 years old. What are the road blocks you have experienced from living this dream if you already maintain Finnish citizenship? What is holding you back? You know, I can't say for certain what 'recognising my dual citizenship' would look like. In practice, I suppose that both countries consider me to be, in theory, a loyal citizen. There were no issues with the States, and I'd done research and seen how many other dual citizens had done it, and that it was fine because Finland and the US are allies/not in tensions. When I went through US Customs during leave, the officer simply asked how the service was, and then sent me on my way. No issues whatsoever. And this may have to do with the fact that I wasn't a professional soldier, but just training for their reserve.
Well, I went to university in North America first, since my Finnish at the time wasn't really good enough to go into any kind of program in Finland that interested me. And after a bit more dawdling, I figured it might be a good idea to go through intti to get my foot in the door. So, really, nothing except for the things I was doing. I should note that only until recently was this a very vague dream, which is why I didn't more actively go for a Finnish path.
Hypothetical here. Would your service prevent you from joining the US military if you wishes? I know it would affect your ability to get specific postings and clearances, but I'm unsure about just enlisting or commissioning. Yeah, I wondered the same thing. I think that I would probably have to avoid enlisting altogether because I know a good deal of sensitive information, and I wonder if any of how I would work in an American unit would be influenced by my Finnish training. Furthermore, I think there would be issues if I got called to fulfill my oath in Finland during the threat of war. How would I get out of any kind of American military service in that case?
And yeah, I've looked at government work in the States, and my dual citizenship prevents me from going too high with security clearance and the like, unfortunately I'm wrong.
Edit for clarity: I would personally not enlist so as to avoid any conflicts between my two duties.
Also, my Finnish is terrible, so I was nervous about how that would be for me. Was it harder for you given that your Finnish was weak going in? Heh, I was in the same situation as you. I was working a job that was easy to leave, and had already finished my Bachelor's. It was possible to leave, and the government paid for my plane ticket, so it was almost no hardship on my finances.
How does your military service fit in with school/work plans and whatnot? My Finnish was terrible, but immersion and forced usage is the best way to improve. If you can follow orders (or at least learn what the words mean somehow to follow them) and memories the things you have to say, you should be fine. We had few things that required a lot of reading (one kind of aptitude test which had a language section that was rough). So it was hard and exhausting at first to learn Finnish and the things they were teaching us both at once, but it's doable.
Did you just put everything on hold? I messed up and wasn't proactive enough with my post-intti planning, so for now I'm headed back to the States for work until the next step.
Wow, I was considering to do the same thing. I too am a Finnish-American from North America with a Finn mom and US dad, and have visited my moms family.a fair amount. Although my choices went different as I am currently 24 and in the Air Force. But I have contemplated moving to Finland when I get out. Any experiences or tips you would like to share? Would doing the intti in later 20's be possible/benificial? Or should I just skip that part? It all hinges on how good your Finnish is, I'd say. If you don't have any other skills to contribute, then at least your Finnish should be pretty good. Intti is a great way to get your Finnish and your body into shape. And I found that I profited from being a little older because a lot of the guys were still kids and immature, so I had a bit of a leg up in that way. But if you were to do civil service, that would probably be beneficial in the same way, and give you some contacts. I'd say that you'd have to plan out a bit and line up what you wanna do before you get there, because otherwise it'll be a bit rough, because you really will be in a foreign country, no matter how much your family may help. (A little devil's advocacy/pessimism for ya.)
Mostly. To be honest, I haven't seen a whole lot of "FUCK YEAH FINLAND"-type stuff, but maybe that's because I'm used to seeing crazy American nationalism. Certainly, a lot of the guys serving with me were happy to serve, and proud to be Finnish, but it wasn't the kind of negative nationalism where you set it up against another group. There was no "Fuck the Russians/Swedes" kind of stuff (except in a joking manner, especially with hockey). But maybe that had to do with the fact that we were so close to Russia and everyone knew someone that was Russian or had Russian heritage?
Finn here checking in. Everyone is proud but no one talks about it. Only some skinheads like to boast. Just as in every country, I suppose.
As an American citizen serving in a foreign army, does that cause any problems in the US? Are you always pulled out for extra screening or something at airports? Actually, I went back to the States on leave in late April, and I told them at Customs that I was serving, and there were no issues. The guy asked me "How is the Finnish army compared to ours?" and I told him "More chill, really fun," and he sent me on my way. Easy stuff. I imagine it'd be different if there were any tensions or friction between the two countries, but Finland's been moving toward the West slowly since the 70s, so I'm sure there's plenty of good feelings between the countries since we weren't getting too buddy-buddy with the Soviets.
What do you mean, Finland has been moving slowly towards the west? Finland has always considered itself a western country. Its coat of arms is the Finnish Lion wielding the straight sword of the West while trampling the curved saber of the east. Indeed, Finlandisation. Finland has always realised that it occupied a very precarious position being so close to a large and important city to the Soviets/Russia. For this reason, and to avoid a repeat of the Winter War, Finland sought in the post-war period to make itself as non-threatening to the Soviets as possible while still maintaining its sovereignty. Hence not joining NATO and a number of Nordic organisation and having good (and at times, preferential) trading relations with the USSR. As the threat the USSR posed began to wane, the later terms of President Urho Kekkonen saw the country begin to move toward the West, as it had long wanted. I wrote a paper on Finlandisation and Finnish-Soviet relations in the postwar period back in university, which I could dig up and share with you, if you like.
Hi, a native Finnish guy here. What was the reception for you in the army? Did you have a good time with everybodyelse or did they take you as a stranger? I came to intti with the idea that Finnish men are generally quiet, sober, and ankara, and my experience broke that idea. Everyone was curious about why in the world would a jenkki come to intti willingly, and wanted to know how what I was experiencing compared to my experience in the States. Everyone was super friendly, and the only thing that ever prevented me from becoming friends with people was my language skills. That said, I did make friends, and at the end, the company voted me as the rehtisissi. So, it went surprisingly well.
I work for a US defense contractor and I got to spend some time with the FDF Armoured Brigade near Hameenlinna. It was interesting to see the conscripts out for ski and snowmobile training. Their winter uniforms are super badass. We used to try and greet the guards in Finnish to see if we could get them to respond in kind. We considered it a win if they didn't come back with "Have a nice day" thus proving our obvious Finnish language deficiency. I assume you got to do some of that winter training? If so, how was it? Well, we started in the beginning of January, so yeah, though we didn't have any crazy cold weather (that is, -30 Celsius). Basically, it was just 'wear more clothes, change underclothes and socks frequently, stay warm, but not too warm.' So we otherwise did our normal stuff. Clear an area for the tent, set it up, find firewood and set up the stove that warms the tent so we don't freeze at night. It's easier to do our scouting jobs because of the snow and it's uncomfortable to be a watchman when the wind is blowing in your face and it's really cold. We skiied a good deal, built fancy and compact snow forts for defensive positions at our camps, and generally tried to stay warm. The darkness sucks, though.
If I recall in January, it got dark around 3:30PM and the sun didn't come up until about 9:30 AM. Yeah, that's about right. A few hours of sunlight if you're in the southern half.
Why do you have a dream to live in Finland? I've lived all my life visiting Finland during the best parts of the year (the month or two of summer), I've read/heard/learned a lot about the government, the society, and especially the social security system, and I've always thought things work a lot better in Finland than in either Canada or the US. I've always been proud of my Finnish heritage and very interested in the language and the country in general. And my love for the country and its people has only grown in my experience here.
How is your Finnish now compared to what it was before the service? Insanely better. At the beginning, I understood NOTHING about the casual banter in the bunkroom (because in Finnish, formal and informal language are much more different than in English) I understood barely half of the orders and commands (which are not particularly complicated language or syntax) and relied on copying what others did and asking all the time what was said.
Here's a nice little anecdote: At the end of basic, we had a field test on everything we'd learned, and I got to one stage where an officer cadet ordered me to march forward. After a few paces he said "Taivas alkaa viheltää," and I had to stop and ask "What does that last word mean?" He responded in English "whistle," at which point my training kicked in and I dove into cover, yelling "Suojaan!" I think I lost points because I had to ask what such a simple word means, haha.
But now, I understand 99% of everything. My biggest issue now is vocabulary, but with immersion, it's expanding all the time. So it worked out really well.
Were they really chill about translating stuff into English for you or was it kinda snobby? I'm an American living in a country where not speaking the local language is split between taboo and accepted. That was one of the few things that they actually put into English for me. I generally figured it out or they defined it in Finnish.
If need be, could you raise a family of three off the salary? I can't say on a professional military salary. We were really just guys training to be sent off into the reserve, and I think we're lucky to get 5 euros per day during our service (and it's slightly higher for junior officers and officers). Fortunately, for those that need it, the government covers other expenses during that time, but I think you'd be better off just working if you can.
Hi, another sissi here, II/12! Congrats for your TJ0. Did you have to go through some sort of a test/challenge to earn your sissihavu? If yes, what was it like? I got my sissihavu right after the tiedustelijan tutkinto. Which was cool because I had just come from leave in the States, and as soon as I got back to base, I went to the tutkinto. And then somehow won. Maybe that was my challenge, to do the TieTu while jetlagged? But in general, there was nothing too special to do, just do your job and do it well in the perusharjoitus!
What did you have to do?
What was your most "sisu" moment during training? We had one end march where my 'battlebuddy' (taistelupari), the unit's radio operator, had been evacuated because he got pretty sick, and I ended up carrying all the radio equipment on top of all the stuff in my pack, adding about 10kg to my already heavy pack. That was fun. I developed some hardcore chafing on my feet and it was rough, but I made it to the end.
How/why did you choose the Frontier Jaegers or did they assigned you there? Funny story. I studied Russian in university, and asked my aluetoimisto if there was anywhere that I could end up using it during my service time. They said that Onttola was possible because it was near the border, and generally recommended it. I said 'Eh, good enough for me,' because I didn't really care where I served. It was fortuitous that I had such a good experience!
Does the Finnish military only really consist of going on a 6 month long fishing trip and talking about how you wish you were really a Swede? Probably in Ivalo or Vekaranjärvi, but where I was, we were too busy going on forced marches and avoiding bears. Most of the people were wishing they were Russians so they could more easily get cheap cigarettes, snus, and gas. (Admittedly, when we had weekend leave, most of the people lived close enough to the border that they went and bought that stuff anyways.)
Did you try snus yourself? And if you did, how would you rank it on a scale from "loved it" to "best ever"? Nah, I couldn't be bothered to.
Ivalo's jaeger company is one of the most toughest places in FDF. Tjue Alik 1/08 Jääkäriprikaati. Jee, hölmöilin, heh. Tietysti työ ootte kovempi ku myö siellä Onttolassa.
Jee, hölmöilin, heh. Tietysti työ ootte kovempi ku myö siellä Onttolassa. Yeah, I fucked around, heh. Of course you are tougher than me in Hollowby. Whoa, that's pretty damn close. Though instead of 'me,' it should be 'us.'
I'm considering buying a Sako TRG-22 - made in Finland and used by the Finnish forces (I believe). Did you have any experience with this rifle and if so do you recommend it? I think that's the civilian model, which is probably just about the same as their TKIV 2000. I haven't fired it personally, but I have spent a lot of time with it (my unit's sniper gave it to me sometimes when he didn't want to carry it on marches, and I understand, because it sucks to carry 30k). That being said, I can't speak for any of its qualities other than that my unit's sniper loved it.
Can you tell me about the field knife you were issued and how you liked it? I find it interesting to hear not only about military approved and issued knives, but how someone who has used them feel about the knive. Thanks! Hrm, I don't even remember, it was some Swedish company. It was an OK knife over all, sharp enough for splitting wood and cutting ropes and such. I wouldn't recommend it if you're gonna be using it a lot and a lot. But it might be that one that you're looking at is better than the ones we have. I ended up just buying a so-called sissipuukko, sissi knife, which is a nice 8 inch blade, nice and solid.
How did you feel at TJ 0, exited? Sad? Both. It still doesn't feel real that I'm not going back to base next Monday. It feels like I'm just on a nice little leave. I already miss the really interesting things that we were doing, and especially the camaraderie (ryhmähenki is definitely a better word for it).
Even less than a year after my service I still sometimes dreamed that my TJ 0 wasn't done correctly and I had to serve another 9 months. Haha, I bet I will have dreams like that. People have the strangest dreams relating to intti.
Hello! I just left Finland. I was there visiting for a week with my mom. We went to helsinki, rovaniemi, and kuopio. I'm half Finnish and I wanted to see the "homeland". Where are you from? What's your favorite thing about Finland? I'm from New England in the States and Pohjois-Savo (for which Kuopio is the capital) in Finland. I don't know if I have a favourite thing about Finland. There are so many things. The nature, the culture, the fact that everything works (more or less - I don't want to be too political here), the people, and so on. It's just a nice place to be, in my opinion.
Last updated: 2014-06-28 09:26 UTC
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Kehitysaputyöntekijä Pohjois-Koreasta: ”Pjonjang on taivas” www.youtube.com talk [weiss] stiles and elena  no scrubs Kirjavuosi (vol. 1) Susanna Rantanen Favorites - YouTube Arttu Wiskari - Suomen muotoisen pilven alla ... - YouTube Blueface - Bleed It (Dir. by @_ColeBennett_) - YouTube

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  1. Kehitysaputyöntekijä Pohjois-Koreasta: ”Pjonjang on taivas”
  2. www.youtube.com
  3. talk [weiss]
  4. stiles and elena no scrubs
  5. Kirjavuosi (vol. 1)
  6. Susanna Rantanen
  7. Favorites - YouTube
  8. Arttu Wiskari - Suomen muotoisen pilven alla ... - YouTube
  9. Blueface - Bleed It (Dir. by @_ColeBennett_) - YouTube
  10. GIRL. you use drugs. drugs use you.

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