One of the bands who didn’t take their extra time for granted during the pandemic was LOST IN GREY – the band released their third full-length studio album, “Under the Surface,” this year. We asked singer Anne Lill and keyboardist Harri Koskela a few questions about how they experienced 2021 musically. Read the complete interview below…
What musical goals did you set for 2021? Did you achieve them?
Anne Lill: Our goal was to release a new album this year, and that we did. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play any live shows or make a tour close to the album release, but next year looks much better on the live front and we are hoping to reveal some live show dates soon! We’re damn proud of the whole band and the team behind the album.
Were you able to dedicate as much of 2021 to your project/band as you had hoped?
Harri: Sure, we’ve been actually quite active behind the curtains too… There has been a lot of planning regarding live situations and a lot of rehearsing, which we’ve already started. I guess we’re one of those bands that doesn’t go to the rehearsal place every week to just jam or play the live set, rather we need the motivation for it from knowing that there’s something to rehearse for.
Anne Lill: Oh yes, that and then some. Because we also make our own videos etc., by the time the album was released, I was completely drained. Spending 4 weeks in Lapland resting and hiking helped some, but I’m still so run out of creative energy that I haven’t been able to write or record any new music or videos since. But I guess when you give all you have, it takes a while to heal so you can give again, to live in order to give birth to something again.
What were some of the highlights you realized in 2021?
Harri: Well, first of all, of course, releasing the new album – that’s always a huge highlight of the year. Also, like Anne said, there’s also been quite an amount of video work behind the album release and I’m happy and proud we managed to put out three music videos for the album’s three singles. It takes a huge amount of work, but in the end, it always pays off. And last but certainly not least, I finally got the chance to spend a lovely week at Kilpisjärvi during the yearly trip to Finnish Lapland – that’s something I’ve been dreaming of for a few years now.
Anne Lill: We got on a few of Spotify’s own playlists, so that helped to reach some new listeners, which is obviously a huge plus. A personal highlight was making the “Souffrir” music video. Originally, I told the band that it’s a mission impossible, but they forced me to do it anyway, and considering the amount of work and with a material budget of 180-200€, I’m pretty damn proud. And that applies to making our albums as well. We don’t have budgets like big bands, heck we can hardly pay our rent, but still, we love making music and we try to do our best with what we have.
Is there anything you learned during 2021?
Harri: Quite a lot I hope [laughs]… When it comes to life itself, I’m the type of person who tries to be open to new things and learn as much as [possible] from those things or experiences as I can. Now when it comes to music, I think I learned a thing or two about choir arrangements, as we had the biggest choir thus far in the new album recordings. That’s always been of high interest in my musical career, as well as orchestral arrangements. Also, music is itself a lovely hobby or profession – you’re never finished learning.
Have you (re-)discovered any new music during 2021?
Anne Lill: Yes I have! In October or so I found a band called KALANDRA and I fell completely in love. If you’re into folk vibes you should definitely give them a shot! Other bands that are this year on the top of my Spotify statistics are TUULETAR, a Finnish award-winning vocal folkhop group, and Ukrainian JINJER (this band I believe most readers will recognize). Last but not least, I recently saw the Hamilton musical film and whoa, was I impressed! Now I’m listening to the Hamilton songs day in, day out, so who knows if there might be more rapping on our next album, haha.
Harri: Unfortunately, I haven’t discovered that much new music or new bands to me during the year – or you could just say that I’ve been in such a limbo with our own music that I haven’t had the time and energy to discover that much new stuff. However, I’ve listened to the new LEPROUS a lot though, and it’s fantastic. Also, I’ve been listening to the Spotify playlist called Northern Spirits quite a lot – in which our song “Varjo” is also featured – and that playlist has some awesome tunes. Can easily recommend checking it out! On top of these, I’ve only been listening to this Finnish ’80s hits radio channel while driving… You could say I’ve been craving nostalgia vibes [laughs]. But let’s hope next year will also bring more new and fresh music to my ears.
What can we expect from you in 2022?
Anne Lill: Well we are super happy as it seems we will finally be able to play some live shows after this long pause. And happy to get to play the new songs live as well!!
Harri: Yes, live shows definitely! More information about these will be announced in the very start of 2022. Also, I know I’m going to start working on the songs for the 4th album of LOST IN GREY… Okay, I’ve already taken a little head start, but anyways.
Written by Laureline Tilkin