2021 IN MUSIC: Kappe Koutonen (Dirt)


We’ve been waiting for quite a while for heavy metal act DIRT to release some new music and now it seems that our prayers have been heard, as the band released a brand new single in November and were also signed to a Ranka Kustannus. It seems like 2022 is going to be DIRT‘s year, so we thought of asking them how 2021 was for them. Read our interview with guitarist Kappe Koutonen below…

What musical goals did you set for 2021? Did you achieve them?

DIRT’s main goal was to sort out the album release, to find a solid label to work with, and to take the next steps out of the pandemic “hibernation” and get back on the saddle after not releasing music in over 2 years. I’m glad to say we hooked up with Ranka Kustannus, released the first single off of the upcoming record, and got to do some gigs as well in very good company. Slowly things are falling into place and it feels very good, especially after spending quite some time in the grey zone.

Were you able to dedicate as much of 2021 to your project/band as you had hoped?

Music and the band are everything for me, so that’s kind of the center point of my life and everything else revolves around that.

What were some of the highlights you realized in 2021?

Music-wise, obviously all the DIRT stuff I mentioned earlier. Beginning 2021, me and the guys didn’t really know what to expect because everything is changing so rapidly all the time (speaking of COVID). But our plan was to do the things we also achieved during the year – to make a good bed for ourselves for the coming year with the record and all, [for] when things are hopefully even better. The show at Tavastia, Helsinki, with SHIRAZ LANE in August was a light beam in the dark and something we looked forward to so much. And once it happened, it just blew everything through the roof in our lives for many weeks to follow. Sadly, we haven’t been able to gig that much this year, but we’re leaving 2021 with a bang on December 26th at On The Rocks, Helsinki at Hoarsefest. We also just added a new date in Tavastia, Helsinki on December 13th, opening up for LOST SOCIETY.

I also joined my uncle’s band this year and we’ve been playing quite a bit here and there at restaurants, weddings, and parties… You learn a lot and find out what you need to work on by playing music you usually don’t do, which in turn makes you become better at what you do.

Another highlight, totally unrelated to music, is buying my first motorcycle. Turns out not hanging out at clubs every weekend saves a long penny, and realizing lifelong dreams outside of music is also very much an okay thing to do. Our drummer Allu and I have been riding quite a bit together with Arde from TEMPLE BALLS and Hurska from WATERY and it’s just the best.

Is there anything you learned during 2021? 

There’s a number of things, but one thing in particular, is that being a person who gets his fuel, his “life” out of inspiration and good times, it’s incredibly important to try to find a solution for this wherever possible and hold on to it during a time when there’s not much inspiration and good times on the table. Another lesson, although not a new one, is that patience is worth gold.

Have you (re-)discovered any new music during 2021?

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to work with what I do in the music industry because I’m exposed to new music all day every day. My absolute favorite new band of this year is HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER. The first song I heard from them was “Sanctuary,” the first single off of their new record “Quietly Blowing It,” and I was hooked after that. Curtis Harding and QUICKSAND are also great. They both released great albums. EVERYTIME I DIE and ARCHITECTS too, and the list goes on.

The best re-discovers this year are OBITUARY and EXHORDER, from the days when I was a teenage kid only listening to death and extreme metal.

What can we expect from you in 2022? 

All the things we couldn’t do this year. Release lots of music, play live as much as we can, shift things into the next gear.

Written by Laureline Tilkin