Get ready for Boyar! An amazing funk-rock and blues band with music that easily catches your ear - and your feet in a dancing frenzy. As a band of students coming from the same music conservatory, each of Boyar's members have strong independent musical inclinations and ideas. But to be able to get together and play their own songs live, according to the band, the best thing there is as songwriters and musicians. Check them out on Spotify!
What does Boyar mean? Any story behind the name?
"Boyar" is the surname of the keyboardist's mother (Pajari) in English. I (Petra) am the founder of the band and I wanted some really personal name to it. The name has caused some confusion, because "Boyar" is some kind of caste in some cultures. But our name purely comes from my family.
How did you get together as a band? What made you want to play together in a band with your other bandmates?
We all met when we started to study music in conservatory, Joensuu. I had always wanted to play my own songs with a proper band and I asked the others to join me. At first it was supposed to be only one gig in the school, but then we decided to continue. Later the lead vocalist (Taavi) started to make songs to the band, too.
What does music and being an artist mean to you? Can you name some of your biggest musical influences?
Playing my own music has been my dream since I was a child (we often played games with my sisters and friends where we played in the band). I think the biggest influencer has been my own father, because he has played guitar as long as I can remember. He also listened music, that I listen nowadays. But Bon Jovi was the band that made me wanna do my own songs.
Nowadays my greatest source of inspiration is absolutely Bruce Springsteen. Taavi named The Beatles and The Queen as the greatest influencers. We get lot of inspiration from many many band, such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, although it's not so obvious when you listen to our music.
Can you tell us about your background as musicians? When you started, and how you got to this point where you are right now?
Taavi (vocalist) had sang and played guitar on his own until he was 23 and realized he could study it for real. I had played classical violin and also piano on my own for years, and then I heard about the school where I could study music full time and I thought it could be the way to make more own music. Visa, Mikko and Anu had all played their instruments for some years in their own home towns. Suddenly we all came to the same school and noticed it was cool to play together.
Can you recall your earliest memory about music? That one thing that made you want to be an artist / musician?
My parents took me to the music camp when I was 8, and it was so much fun, that I wanted to take piano lessons and there was no turning back.
How do you guys go about songwriting? What are your principles when it comes to writing songs?
I make most of our songs, and write lyrics with a little help from other people, and Taavi makes his own. We rarely make songs together, because we both have so strong vision of our own songs and we want to do it alone. I often start with finding some nice harmony or some nice groove or drum beat, then usually comes the melody, and the lyrics come last.
I usually make a demo by a computer. Taavi makes songs by playing chords or riffs by guitar and sings at the same time. The songs usually change a little when we start to play it with the band. That is by the way the most exciting step in the process.
Have you ever tried experimenting with different sounds in the studio? Can you mention one interesting technique you've picked up when it comes to studio recording?
We've always liked to play together in the studio, in separate rooms of course. That is how we get the right feeling. We also like kind a traditional band sound but maybe we could try something new some day. Fortunately we have one reliable sound engineer so I don't actually know much about recording techniques.
Can you describe your best gig so far? Whats the best thing about playing live?
When we play our own songs and people gather to hear us and dance, that is the best thing I could imagine as a musician and songwriter. But maybe the most meaninful gig was our very first gig. My biggest dream came true and that made me realize what we can reach together.
Any memorable, weird, interesting, embarrassing or funny incident that ever happened during a gig?
We had a gig in one bar and there was honestly about three people in the audience. Then there came one guy with his friends, he knew most of our song's lyrics and sang in the audience. That is also incredible feeling and it makes us feel that our music matters.
If each one of you were a fruit, what would you be and why?
Petra: lemon, I may look tender but under the shell there's lots of flavour
Taavi: mango, because he has lot of energy
Anu: grape, she doesn't know why
Mikko: grape, he wants to be same than Anu
Visa: dragon fruit, because it's so cool