The Official Kingston Wall -website

SOUNDI 03/92 (The release of 'I')

English translation from the original texts by The Pyg-mies.

SOUNDI 03/92
Text by Juho Juntunen

 

Wide trouser-legs, solos and jamming don't sound like the thing of the 90's. But Kingston Wall convinces that they are the thing of today. They have just found a different spirit to make music from the past.

Kingston Wall -band has been a topic of gossip for a fairly long time in Helsinki, and the band is a regular guest in the city's clubs. Outside Helsinki, the band has only been performing a couple of times - they have played twice in Tampere and in Turku, a year and a half ago Kingston Wall was invited to Estonia to a heavy-metal festival. The Estonians were confused as the band started to pull solos on the stage.

- I think they call as a heavy-metal band also. Nowadays rock seems to be quite divided into two. There's pop-music and then there's heavy. And Kingston Wall has solos also. A phenomenon that you don't run into often anymore.

Solos can be found from the bands unnamed first album that has just arrived into shops. The disc has over a hour of music with English lyrics, and all of it climaxes into a 21-minutes lasting "Mushrooms"-trip. The LP (or rather a CD and cassette, because you can't fit a hour of music into a vinyl) has been realeased under the band's own record label, Trinity, that is distributed by EMI.

- The finance-part is in our own hands and we believe madly, that our records will become a great success and we'll be rich, Kingston Walls guitarist and lead vocalist Petri Walli laughs. - I didn't do anything for a couple of months besides this LP and now it's like "yum yum".

Petri Walli is as a guitarist, singer and the maker of the lyrics and riffs the lead character of the band, but the man himself points out that Kingston Wall is precisely a band. That's why all of the songs in the new LP - of course apart from the Hendrix-cover 'Fire' - has been credited for the whole trio. The music adjusts into it's final form in the treatment of the band after all.

Petri Walli has been playing with base player Jukka Jylli for four years and the drummer Sami Kuoppamäki came to the band on Christmas '90. The record itself was started to put together already a couple of years ago but the drummer at the time left the band, so Petri called Sami, which was at the time in USA studying music and asked him to come to Finland. And Sami came. The new set-up had one training session and instantly after played two gigs. The athmosphere was outstanding.

- When Sami realized to add pure insolence into his playing, it went outstandingly good. That is when he played exactly the opposite as he was taught in Hollywood. After those two gigs Sami returned to the US, but on spring he came back and the band has been able to roll on full steam after that.

Kingston Wall's music differs from the mainstream music of today. The band itself calls it strongly emotional music, and improvisations and solos burst into the listeners hearing. Is this about the 60's-influenced progressive heavy-metal?

- Well, our music has gathered its influences from the 90's. We have just made a succesful time transport. The music isn't definetly from the 60's, but the spirit may be the same. We haven't been stiffy or brought clicks into the studio. But at least the front cover of the record has 60's influences. The band flies on a flying carpet with waving trouser-legs over an oriental city.

- Is it the 60's? Well, a slight orientalism is regocnizable. My wide trouser-legs are the most concrete thing from the past, Petri Walli assures. - We really don't sit in any times but the present. But it's true that you can't play guitar with a cool touch unless there's Jimi Hendrix-influences along. If you make a guitar howl, that always reminds of Hendrix.

Petri Walli admits, that he is thought of as a fanatic listener of older music. But that isn't the truth. The mans own things are mostly in mind because you don't have the strength to listen to music of foreign origin that much. Of course Led Zeppelin and bla-bla come to Petri's mind as old idols. Jukka Jylli on the other hand brings out names Spirit, Blue Cheer and Blodwyn Pig, which all are certainly late 60's-bands, but the man get enthusiasted to praise Ramones. Sami also has listened his Zeppelin, but apart from that he's interested more in modern music.

- It's said, that we have the reputation of a cult band. And it's also said, that we are a talented band but in our own opinion we're mostly a jamming band. Today's bands don't dare to jam anymore. It's a disappearing folk tradition. Altough we 'whip' each other to be better all the time, we still play with a smile all the time.

- We do have ambition, but our music is far away from a crumple. We yell at each other all the time "go on, let's play competing together". The audience may haven't noticed that side of us yet. Rock is dealt with too much seriousness. Our own Trinity-record label's logo describes the atmosphere, that we have when we play. I look at the logo's three characters and ask, are the lines and chunks yo-yos.

- They're auras. The picture is related to the song 'Mushrooms'. Mushrooms equals 21 minutes of music, but what's the whole idea of it?

- It's in the album's inside cover's drawing. Read it backwards.

Wow! Backwards! Pure psychedelia!

- The film was accidentally mirrored in the print.

Ok, well... Could Mushrooms be an electronic symphony, a trip into the depths of the mind?

- In some sort of way , yes. It does have a story, that isn't quite revealed from the lyrics but from the music itself. The picture series of the cover helps to solve the thing. In "On My Own"-part the drummer is the storyteller, the guitar and bass are a boy and a girl. The boy goes seeking for the truth, that is found from the desert of loneliness. In the end everybody is smiling, the answer to the questions is the end solo, which is fantastic, Petri laughs.

Kingston Wall's men assure, that trio is the best form for them, altough a band with ten men can also play outstandingly good stuff. Unfortunately trios last often only for a short perioid of time, for example Kingston Wall's common favourite, The Police.

- I'm sure that as the time goes by we make miscellaneous projects, that in which we can have visitors on the stage or in the studio. But the band  itself is here.

Kingston Wall isn't just tied into it's own material. The men twist, for example Jimi Hendrix, Kuusamo or Konevitsa's church bells on the live gigs. When a song has hit you, you can easily make your own version of it.

- This can be quite odd stuff for the youngest kids. But it's a strange concept, that we play hard music. Our record may require a second or even a third listening, but music that hits you in the first time is often disposable.

- Nowadays music is being pushed out so much that it has become consumer goods. You bump into good ideas that has been ruined with stupid performances or default producers. We couldn't have fitted along with an outside producer. Luckily we have unlimited time in the Lepakko's studio. But you can't speak about grinding. We don't play this any better, so what's the use to polish it forever.

- It's sad, that in Finland everybody's trying to make everything too quick. Everybody just want money instantly. And many people take these things too seriously. They don't realize, that rock always have some sort of clown-atmosphere in it.

- Bands ought to think about what they do and on the other hand you'd better just do it and not think about it too much. Which is in some way the same thing.

Kingston Wall's men admit that they are indeed excited to see, how will their new LP succeed. The band has been living on idle time for some time and the LP is a significant step forwards. Kingston Wall believes, that in the record's first song, With My Mind may lie ingredients for a hit song - but in Finland it's hard to get radio air time for a song, that lasts over 4 minutes.

- We just hope, that our thing is good enough for the group that is to receive it. Especially festivals at evening-time would be our places. You know, this isn't necessarily dance-stage-feeling. We haven't altough succeeded to irritate people on our gigs, and we don't get the middle finger shown at us either. I think we're so ugly guys that they're afraid we'll kick their asses.

- Of course one opportunity is to go abroad, but along comes the strange factor X, so that part is useless to try to fortell. But it would be nice, if we could just concentrate on the band. We have a lot of resources and we believe in ourselves.

- Training always brings fruit, but the gigs are the real print-out-stage. Without the gigs it's frustrating to play. The gigs are the best ways to practice, because they're the reality. Jamming is way different in a cellar than on the stage, that has total feeling of it all happening 'just now'. Kingston Wall is a different band in the finnish rock-world, and it doesn't even try to fit into existing moulds.

- I personally don't like modern guitarists Singer-sounds, these sewing-machine-men, Petri confesses. I mean, the young players of today can handle an incomprehensible technique, that I on the other hand don't have. For me the main instrument is the band and I concentrate on playing together. I have never practiced, I have just played.

- Hasse Walli's name is often pulled out when people talk about me. Okay, he's my brother and a fine guitarist. It's hard to say, how Hasse has influenced me. Of course I have the same spirit and even same stuff that he has, but Hasse plays quite different music than I do nowadays.
Piirpauke's first two records are good as is Hasse's first solo-album. I haven't listened to his other albums that much. From Blues Section I've heard just one song in some bar.

- Jukka Kuoppamäki is my father's cousin, Sami Kuoppamäki has to confess. - I have seen him once. From the radio I heard this song 'Pieni Mies' (engl. 'A Small Man' ). in that song was said about 47 times "pieni mies". Unbelieveable thing. Well, I think it might be a good song anyway.

- My father is a janitor, Jukka Jylli says. - A singing janitor? Yes, he does sing, but nobody manages to listen to him.

Kingston Wall doesn't take an attitude without reserve towards my idea of a family tour with Hasse Walli, Jukka Kuoppamäki and the singing janitor. But the different generations oddly came closer to each other, when Kingston Wall held Freak-Out club in City Marathon, Helsinki last fall every wednesday for three months. Piirpauke's leader and Hasse Walli's co-operation partner, Sakari Kukko visited the club in many occasions and Petri was there to play also a couple of times on Piirpauke's gigs. Kukko had real charisma, the man wasn't afraid of his own faults and knew how to laugh at himself.

- Those club-nights were marketed with "hippie-party"-label. Well, we aren't hippies, altough we love peace and all the people, Petri laughs - It's no use to categorize us. We might do anything. Maybe some day we'll record a disco song. Nothing is impossible to Kingston Wall.

SOUNDI 03/93 (The release of 'II')

English translation from the original texts by The Pyg-mies.

SOUNDI 03/93
Text by Juho Juntunen


Kingston Wall and it's flying carpet

Kingston Wall has brought progressive rock and guitar solos back into clubs. And for the band's own surprise, Finns have accepted the trio's electric tripping as theirs. But Kingston Wall doesn't want to get into a rut. The band's leader, Petri Walli knows how to be enthusiasted with the efficiency of a techno-beat, and the man himself isn't shy at all to persuade his group to play prog-versions of M.A.Numminen's and Donna Summer's songs.

Kingston Wall is doing well. Their second album which was just released has sold fairly well and the LP's cover song I Feel Love plays frequently in radio. The record was again released under the band's own "Trinity"-record label, which is distributed by EMI. There were some discussions about going entirely under EMI, but Kingston Wall wanted to keep it's freedom.

The band thanks itself for it's success. Kingston Wall's lead guitarist and vocalist Petri Walli is an energic man, whose ideas hurl around freely. The man himself likes to give his own thanks to the band's other players Jukka Jylli (bass) and Sami Kuoppamäki (drums). But everything is to the fact that the trio digs what they're doing.

- I don't order anybody to do anything, but i'm pretty convincing to suggest, Petri says.

Kingston Wall has been learned to know from the beginnig presicely as a progband, which is a insolent kind of expression to many. Kilometer-length solos, pompous swanking and eternal boredom.

- Yes, we used to have a prog"stamp" on us. You could notice it by seeing that no housewives came to our gigs, Sami admits. - But that's okay, at least they know what they're going to get.

- Yep, indeed there's no people at our gigs who want to see two and a half minute grunts, Petri says.

- What an odd title that prog is, when you think about the band's original starting points. Prog is something that is usually connected to unbelievable talents and gimmicking. You should have precise plans of the songs. And we just get the train rolling and push on forward.

- Prog is usually connected to seriousness, and all three of us are really serious men, Petri laughs. -Smiling too isn't allowed. At our gigs we sometimes get very serious comments from our audience. "This is a really hard thing!" seriously said. Everything else is excluded, and those guys are pretty fanatic when they talk. The song "I Feel Love" was indeed whipping to the humourless people's eyes. We don't do blood oaths and sell everything just as prog.

- Sometimes we have heard comments from the audience like "don't do this" and "you can't touch that song". But the complainers can go elsewhere, we do what we want. After all, we have played M.A. Numminen, too.

One proof of Kingston Wall's uniqueness was their last gig on last summer, in which the band played only Jimi Hendrix covers because they had heard enough hints of taking the footsteps of Hendrix. The band listened Hendrix records until their ears turned red and let it loose.

At their current gigs you hear mainly Kingston Wall's own material. But their second LP isn't even played through. The band wants to change it's concert set and play those songs that they want to play. When you're having fun, the gig is a success.

 

No kiss, no kiss

Kingston Wall's new LP's name is simply Kingston Wall II and the record's front cover is an adjustment of the cover from their debyt album. Nothing else had to be developed because the album is put together from the boys' latest amusements without any collecting message. If the next record is about woodcutting, it will most likely be titled "Woodcutting" (fin. halonhakkuu).

- But what is it in english, Sami Kuoppamäki wonders. - Hal Is Hidden?

- Hallon hakkuu, Raspberrycutting, suggests Petri Walli.

The new LP's most popular track has surprisingly been a cover song of Donna Summer's old disco-song I Feel Love. Petri used to dig the song when he was a child. He played it with his guitar for fun and noticed that the riff works, altough it's originally a synth-made song.

- When we started to build our new album, we first played the 'sure' songs away and then we started to experiment, Sami says. - We played three Hendrix songs, but then we decided to make a record version of I Feel Love.

If the band would have calculated the thing, they should have played Abba.

- That's a good idea! Abba-night to Tavastia. We have made suggestions of this sort also to other bands. You should not think about being stamped but just to make music that both the band and the audience enjoys. There has been some rumors about some group making a full Kiss-show for next fall. Nobody just
knows who's gonna play in it.

- Not me, Sami says. - I don't want to kiss nobody.

 

The ceiling is the limit

Kingston Wall is going on a longer tour on March, which lasts all the way until the end of April. They're not going to play at the smallest places because of the noise and the size of the sound equipment, but there's also no business to go on a stage in Finland without Popeda-size popularity. but it's odd how also Kingston Wall's music drags people into clubs.

- We have put a lot of effort for this band. But it's a bit of a surprise that this has hit through so well, Petri Walli admits. - On the other hand the new record is a completely different thing than the last one. There has been some progress also.

- But you can't say that this band is a "too much too soon"-thing in any way, Jukka Jylli notifies.

- Yes you can. I think this whole thing has got into your ego, Sami Kuoppamäki laughs.

Kingston Wall admits, that it's music requires a lot from the band itself and from their audience also. There's no singalongs and the whole thing requires calmness. The band may have minutes after minutes of sensitive moments and that doesn't necessarily please fans of Ne Luumäet. And everything doesn't click into the right places on the first time when listening.

- This thing interestes many of those who play theirselves. They come to ask us who did you make this and that and how much is this planned out beforehand and so on. Usually we have a lot less beforehand planned songs than people think. Maybe that's why we don't play the songs on our record so much, you somehow get stuck into them when you hear them a thousand times.

Trio has a trinity, nothing else has a trinity. It's Kingston Wall's motto. But, you can see visitors also at the band's gigs. They're expanding things for yourself and most likely interesting thing for the audience. For example Sakari Kukko has been playing with Kingston Wall. Also the world champion dancer Katja Törmälä has been performing on the stage with the pace of band.

- Of course I have a tremendous interest for expanding the show with everything visual such as lights and background textures, Petri admits. - But in that thing the numbers come to the front. A big flying carpet, on which we would play, would be great. But engineers are people with high salaries. And in Club 45 at Oulu would the ceiling be the limit very quickly. As little as ten centimeters up and we would have to bow.

 

Drummer on television


Kingston Wall received a lot of feedback from abroad from their first album, but just settles to say that it was nice to know what they think. So, no more of that subject.

Kingston Wall with its own record label swallows all the time Petri Walli has. Jukka Jylli plays Irish folk music and Sami Kuoppamäki has been playing with Samuli Edelmann's band as with television concerts.

- It's a honorary thing for me that we have a drummer in our band who you can see with a suit on in a television show, Petri praises.

- It does give variations, but it has it's negative sides, Sami sighs. - When you play Pia Nykänen... But it's enterntaining too, good players and all that sort of things.

- It's music, everything is music, Petri gets enthusiasted. - We don't miss rock-romantics. I too have the have the honour to play drums with my fathers' dance orchestra, but those concerts are pretty rare, he has more accompanying gigs. It's fantastic to play with a band where the volume is the natural volume of a contrabass. And when people dance, it gets towards the band all the time. It's not quite the same as it is in rock, where you push the audience away from you with noise. You splash it on the audience and hope they can handle it.

- You can learn a lot from that. Sometimes on rock band gigs you might have a quite an embarassed feeling when you play your own stuff and see in the between if it hits through. Relaxation is gone. And a finnish band takes influences from Metallica's gigantic-size concerts altough in reality you're in a small club and fucking happy for getting the gig. And then you try to execute the feeling with then kilo equipment. For example The 69 Eyes played in City Marathon and carried for down-ends and four up-ends there. Nobody couldn't even scream to somebodys ear a word. More
folk-musician spirit!

 

Mushrooms along

Kingston Wall wonders, how long has their longest song lasted on a gig. If you count how long has the band played without one single brake, you go up to two hours. But the single songs may last up to twenty minutes. That is a short time according to the band, if you think about the song as a story. That's just a little causerie.

- Well, the new LP too has it's own clear story like the first one, Petri tells.

- The first six songs are linked together so that they fit together by theirselves. And in the lyrics
the main theme is that the music goes on all the time. But I don't want to explain it further, because if I would tell it here with then sentences, it would mark some people off.

The idea of the last record was that when you eat fly agaric mushrooms, you find God?

Petri Walli stares at me horrified, when I tell him my view.

- Another fine example of permiting everyone to interpret the records their own way. Surely many think of it like that and many others some other way. I hope. After all there's a border-fence in our things: We do something and push it over the fence. Then we receive it from the other side. And it's not worthwhile to take that fence off, because we don't want anybody to think in one specific way.

But wouldn't it be a great feeling to go on stage when the whole audience stands with fly agaric mushrooms in their hands and starts to eat them.

- That would be a good idea for a video. But we would be on a gig in Kuopio and that would happen, one might have to think for a while. So I can say that the first LP doesn't suggest anyone to eat mushrooms, altough they taste unbelieveably delicious. Nothing beats a morel stew, altough it has it's own risks, because it's said that you can't blanch them.

In any way, the audience is unpredictable according to Kingston Wall. In East-Finland people get excited very easily, but in Turku on the other hand people just clap a bit politely, altough they dig it a lot. In Tampere there has been some really strange audience, it doesn't react at all during the gig, and afterwards they come to say how great gig it was. And then you're amazed "really?"

When we played at Tampere secondary school graduate house (Ylioppilastalo of Tampere) we almost started to punch each other after the gig when nothing seemed to work. One guy had the nerve to shout "sing in Finnish" as the others just sat after the songs like in old Adlon, clapped their hands a bit and smiled. And after the gig the boss of that place came to say something like "damn, you played so well that those people were absolutely crazy!" and that they hadn't had a success like that in a long time.

Kingston Wall admits that one thing that influences their shows is the length of it. When there's a festival, you have less time to perform and then the set usually turns faster.

 

Sound producer

Petri Walli laughs, when you ask him does he think himself as a good guitarist.

- I think of myself as a fairly talented sound producer, but not as a guitarist in a traditional way. The most important thing isn't how your fingers should be, but what sounds they make. That sound can originate from anywhere, even from a washing machine. I used to play some good songs with a washing machine...I wanted to bring it along to our gig, but I haven't managed to do that yet. My father still has it, so maybe some day.

- I have usually six pedals on gig s and by combining them you find quite exciting things. As my guitar I use Les Paul. Every effects I've used has just came with jamming, clicked into their places. Some people have time to build guitars, but I rather spend my time on something else. And I have no interest to modify my guitar, I rather work in a way that I see a new guitar and get something out of it which I haven't got before. And I must think of my resources too.

I just have one electric guitar and I work by its resources.

- Thanks to Van Halen, guitarists experienced amazing inflation. There came a whole generation who learnt that Van Halen-thing and right after came Yngwie Malmsteen.

It was precisely that line that caused the standard: even in guitar shops every kid played solos that sounded alike each other. One thing that was relevant in it was sexuality. It's very much related to the whole thing. A guitar is kind of a symbol of a woman and if you look at good guitarists, they warm up chicks the same way that they hold their guitar in their hand. I think girls see some likenesses in that thing. At this stage I don't want to speak about myself, let the chicks talk. Oh, and notice, I really just have one guitar!

- When you play a solo on a gig, it must be a physical thing too. "Hey, I play a solo now, look at this"-attitude. You mustn't walk behind the speaker to hide. The relevant thing is that you come forward and perform with the solo. You could notice that once again when Jukka Tolonen was performing with his band. You could instantly see who was Tolonen. He was the leader with his own essence and when he started to play the solo, everyone started looking at him. Nobody noticed the singer of the band.

- It's kind alike my problems with blues jams. I have a attitude of wanting to play a solo that it gets noticed too. Everybody doesn't like that. But the performers are on the stage to perform. That's why I'd like the new generation to think about that thing, especially for the solos. It's the priviledged part of the whole thing, the rest of the band back you up and you show. It doesn't work if you stand in a corner and turn the knobs of the speaker at the same time. You must get in front and show!

- I haven't studied the trick department of solos, and I can't even wave my hand like Townsend. One still must not forget that Hendrix practiced his tricks very carefully, they didn't come by theirselves. Burning a guitar every now and then would be a refreshing thing on our gigs, too. But if I burn my guitar, with what I'm supposed to play the rest of the gig?

SOUNDI 11/94 (The release of 'Tri-Logy')

English translation from the original texts by The Pyg-mies.

SOUNDI 11/94
Text by Juho Juntunen

THREE MENS TRILOGY ON SEVEN LEVELS
KINGSTON WALL DIES AND BORNS

- Trio is a triangle. It has its difficulties, but when you learn to overcome them, the force becomes triangle-force. The number three is a significant part of Kingston Wall.
- As a matter of fact we just released our first album. It contains three albums and three singles. The story also contains three basses, three guitars, three drum sets,three Freak-Out Clubs, and a lot of else in threes. Kingston Wall's lead character Petri Walli is an interesting man when he gets started. His thoughts run wild like the bands music. Unpredictable and fast. -You never have enough time to get used to Pete's way of thinking, Kingston Wall's base player Jukka Jylli says.

Kingston Wall's new album is called Tri-Logy and the three-record set is complete. The band admits that it's a tight overall. The whole trilogy isn't played on gigs, not even all the songs from the new album. The band usually doesn't make any playlists before gigs. On the stage the show rolls on freely, because the live situation is a different thing than recording an album. Even the breaking of the trinity at the gigs comes as a surprise to some of the Kingston Wall audience, who take the band seriously. Here is truly a Finnish cult band at the full meaning of the expression.

- It's worth thinking, but you shouldn't take anything too seriously, Petri Walli says. - I must say, that people take all things too seriously. It's because people feel theirselves uncertain about things and many have their axel shifted. It's useless to go into too serious thinking about our music. This isn't any church-thing after all. Well, the record-set is now finished. I don't believe that it will
have a fourth part, because it's in fact a three mens trilogy on seven leves. So this is the sixth level and next there will be a single called The Real Thing. That's the seventh level. But you never know about tomorrow, do you.

- When a life's cycle is built on three parts, it's clear that the first part is the birth. The second is developing, wondering, expanding and also a time of richness and easiness of some sort. The third part is obviously the most hard and painful, because it's the death. That's of course a symbolic issue and that's why our new album has a text "something new borns when something old dies".

- After the death comes a new birth. The fear of death has to be won, because life starts when the fear of death ends. You must understand that there's death and birth at every moment.

Kingston Wall's Tri-Logy-albums lyrics arise wondering in the listener. In many songs there is mentioned a place called the mirrorland. Also noticeable are the included Kalevala-myths. Every woman is Ain-O, every man is Sam-Po. Walli says that everyone can decide theirselves, what the mirrorland is.

-Theres references of some sort in the record about what the mirrorland is. You could philosophy about it forever. One could say that the mirrorland is where all you see on your outside is really on your inside. The eyes are the mirror of the soul.

- Can you get in there physically? That everyone can decide in their own heads. The head is for deciding about things. The head can also be used on building understanding and it doesn't just have to be used on forming decisions and opinions.

-There's a lot of stories from Kalevala in Tri-logy. We hear stories all the time. There's his-tory and her-story. When we start to believe them, you can read how some cult has again made a mass-suicide. And how people are lead with thoughts against each other. It's the power of the word. In the mirrorland the word is the game and the game is the word. Healthy questioningis the thing that everyone should try to accomplish, although it's tried to be prevented from since you're seven years old.

- I myself have traveled through a long road to get rid of unneeded beliefs. Everyone has their own thruth, and if someone believes in something, it's his truth. The most important thing is where the belief is aimed at. Beliefs are used to lead and entertain people. "Listen to this story for a moment and you'll have a nice time with it." But you should always remember, that it's all just a story.

Aren't you afraid of your audience misunderstanding the content of your albums and going mad about the mystical Kalevalan mirrorland?

- Everything can be misunderstood, Petri Walli admits. - People begin to believe in things without being able to cope with them only as stories that create understanding. After all, you can't do anything if you are afraid of that. If you are, you'll drift into making music like "I was dri-vin on a high-way with a bottle of whisky on my way to nowhere". After that you can't say anything else but it. Belief as a subject is a good topic of conversation. You should think what is worth aiming the power of will at, and what isn't. And besides, the mirrorland-thought isn't related to any mythology, it's just my own babbling.

- I went to India last spring. It was the first time for who knows how many years when I had the chance to think and be with myself. It was a fertile thing in many ways, for myself and also for the band. You need real eyes to realize.

- In india the mythology holds a huge part in the society. People in Finland have left it behind. It shows that thinking has ceased and people believe blindly in what the newspapers say. People hold prejudgements and are afraid of each other.

- The good side about unemployment is that people have time to think things over. Here in Finland there's half a million people, who should now have time to think. It's by the way funny, that a Finn must go all the way to India to find his homeland and Finnish mythology.

- And then we come to what is the difference between religion and mythology. Mythologies are god-sagas, stories, in which some kind of understandment is seeked. Religions on the other hand are things, that you must believe in. They're not for understanding, but for use of power.

- The Finnish mythology is impossible to transform into a religion, because it's basic idea is that you should not believe in it. Everything in it is just a story. Transforming it into a religion would work completely against it. Well, on the other hand that has been successfully done before. In our new album there's a excerpt from the whole story, a very brief outline of it. It explains some myths and turns the system a bit upside down. On the record there's also described the phonetical-system, that is the key to the secrets of the Finnish language. Such as what our language contains and why the words have so many different meanings.

When one reads the booklet included in the Tri-Logy, many strange thoughts begin develope inside ones head. If someone comes to tell you seriously about all the things the person has found from the album, do you giggle afterwards "that one really bought it"?

- That's a pretty funny thought, Petri Walli laughs. - No, I don't laugh at people more than I laugh at myself. Tri-Logy's first six songs have three lyrics on top of each other. It's meant to tell something about the written word and the language in general. It's the first step when you start to think things over for yourself.

- Tri-Logy contains the boths sides. Every thinking person understands that we have two sides. Moses wrote the cycle of life into six books, in which the last part contained the thought of death, the will. That book wasn't included in the piece of work that was used to take the cross forward. It was sent to a different journey and it was named The Black Bible. And that's what people are scared with all the time. It divided people into two camps, we and they. People fall into two different things. Believers go blindly into the first five books and the other half of the story is left completely away.

The other group goes into satanism, in which the main thought is completely selfishness. In the sixth book there's taught the power of will (di-vil, the will) and its processing and what can be created with it. And then you get all this people against the muslims and so on. Great thing, isn't it, Walli sighs. People should admit that we all have both sides. Everybody has wings on their back and horns on their heads.

- Moralism and self-worshipping serve everything in the end. A person, who has the inside in good condition can function completely selfish but give love to everyone around. And use the will in right things. Not in plowing one's road elbows stretched. Every old-enough way of thinking that we know of have accepted the both sides and have managed to use them for their purposes. It's the beginning of wisdom. You must accept that one plus one is one. So we all have two. It's the mathematics of the nature, fractal. In every leaf there's the whole tree. In our trilogy, every song is it's own overall and every record is it's own story and every trilogy is also in three parts it's own story.

- The whole Book of Revelations is extremely symbolic stories, but people have always been frightened with things like hel vet, whole knowledge. Maybe we're dealing with it right now. People are afraid, that some day someone walks towards them and tells them the whole story. That is what people are mostly afraid of, because then the walls begin to crumble in their own heads and it's the scariest thing that a person can face. Everyone knows in their inside, that we are far away from nature and the truths aren't thruth. It creates crossfire between people. Cross-fire indeed.

What do you think about Kauko Röyhkä?

- He's a marvellous man and I must raise my hat for him being so honest explorer. Röyhkä went also to search the other side and now he tells openly to people about what he found from there. "I thought I'd get money but all I got was pussy". Röyhkä has been doing his own thing honestly and fine so that everyone benefits from it. He went there in these things as a subsitute-sufferer.

- Röyhkä has raised conversation, which is a damn great thing. If you start telling thruths in Finland, you'll get enemies really fast. It would be good for people to look at themselves and ask why the truth hurts so much. Do people really live in a lie? Thruth should be what feels good.

-I'm not bothered if some rock players are more concentrated on rock and roll-life than thinking. But musicians are always a bit idols and it does contain a small responsibility. But everyone does their job in their own way. You know, players are basically circus clowns on the stages and outside it too. In the general, it's not my thing to comment on other peoples doings. Everybody lives their stories in their own ways.

-Of course I too sometimes get myself really drunk. That's the salt of the life, you know. Rough work requires rough fun. Of course there's many ways to have fun, but nothing beats the good old drunk except the hangover.

-But life is the best drug. It's really true, but it's kind of ironic to read it from a side of a police car [note: 'life is the best drug' -slogan is a part of an anti-drug campain in Finland]. Life is the best drug, but first you must realize what life is. Otherwise it can be quite a suffering.

Then drugs can be the best drug. Altough Tri-Logy doesn't contain as obvious drug references as the two previous albums.

- You're talking about the mushrooms that have been subject in our records. I don't know, does the whole public drug-conversation have any sense before people in Finland are ready for it. I could join the conversation by saying that the biggest group of narcomaniacs in Finland are career people, who take amphetamine in the morning under the doctor's prescription and sleeping pills in the evening. And still they demand criminalization for a plant that you grow and smoke yourself. And that mushrooms are the worst thing that there can be. They're the products of mother nature anyway and if they contain narcosive substances, isn't it the will of mother nature? And all the time people are pumped with chemicals under doctor's order and upon the request of the medicine company, altough you really don't need them.

Petri Walli admits that Kingston Wall is a drug, philosophy and a work of life for him. He has been doing it already for twenty-five years. Now has one big round been completed and we're going on to the next one. Music rewards you from time to time and also teaches you really hard. The whole meaning of life is to give lessons and rewards. Kingston Wall's musical reputation was tough even before the band had released their first album. And the respect for the band's music has prevailed all the time.

It's because of the force, that comes through us. That force cannot be dealt otherwise than with respect only, Petri Walli nods. - There's followers of the fashion and there's those, who don't care about fashions. The last mentioned could become the creators of fashion.

- Our playing cannot be thought technically, altough this is also my favorite band just for the behalf of playing. We have this chemistry, that's really brining outcome. We have Sami Kuoppamäki on drums, who is as much a drummer as a drummer can be. And a base player as much as a base player can be.

And somebody might say that Pete is so Pete as Pete can be, Jylli sighs. - We have been successful in it, that every one of us can bring out their own thing altough we're full of conflicts, Walli thinks.

- We understand, why we are together. We have been in an unbelieveable school of doing and sociality for many years. We are completely different people, but we have learned to respect each other and to accept that we have something to teach each other. Bowing before each other has begun to award us and the thing is transforming into power.

- I do the Kingston Wall lyrics and the composing also, but we work on them together. Everyone's part in the band is quite big, because every song is composed for Kingston Wall. When I write songs, the music plays in my head already before I come to the training place and along plays the bass of Jukka and Sami's drums half-fitted. The guys do their own part and we fit all the parts in their right places together.

- Sometimes when we go training I've been wondering about in what kind of mood will Petri walk in the door, Jukka says.

-For example, he interferes with Sami's playing in such parts, that I don't understand at all what's it all about. Petri explains about some weird hits and Sami doesn't either always understand. Then Sami plays the part again almost the same way and suddenly it sounds good.

- It depends on so little, Petri Walli admits.
- It has to feel right and as long as it doesn't feel good, work must be done to improve it. I'd like to say to young musicians that many things goes to consensusthings because of not trying to do it perfectly but to let everybody say their own words. Then you practice democracy in its wrong for and feed little selfishnessess.

Kingston Wall's first and second albums have been released in Japan. The new Tri-Logy will be released there for Christmas. In Japan there's strong support for the band, but there has been positive feedback from other countries of Europe. Kingston Wall doesn't want to raise a bigger fuzz about the thing.
In Finland people get too often excited about too little things. Kingston Wall has released all their records through their own Trinity -company, which is run by mysterious Pedro Cucaracha. The distributing of the records has been done by EMI.

-Tri-Logy is surely the most expensive independent-record, which has ever been released in Finland, Petri Walli admits.

- The cost of the album were never thought of while making it. And that mentality can't big firms handle these days. Realitees are always on the table there and we took it for granted that we hade to make this record like this.

-Well, I admit that the money spent on the records hasn't yet been regained. The popularity has been growing and now Tri-Logy has been showing up on different charts. Of course you should say that it
surprises you. If I tell you honestly, it doesn't. This might now sound overegoistic and self-confident, but we have been honest all the time and so are we now.

- As much as I understand, we have been successful in breaking a few boundaries. I've always been happy, when people have said that our music is difficult to categorize. Categorizing is a thing created by the
music indrusty, which does heavy harm to everything.

-Kingston Wall plays to everybody, who dig the music - not for an exact group of people. The thought is to give out what we become. We have always been after an old thing called jamming. We don't train a thing until it's ready and repeat it forever. It would be killing for us. We play and talk with our instruments and try to create some kind of next level life into the thing. I hope it has something to give the player too.

Petri Walli has cut his long hair and the man looks quite tidy today. Isn't he sad about not being able to wave his hair while playing?

- Not at all. It's my reward for getting out outside the trilogy. Now when I meet people with long hair that have known me as long-haired, they get tightened. Is it nowadays so, that when you have long hair, you get tightened? Wait a minute, have the stories now turned upside down a bit? Or is it rock that creates tightening? I have always been quite relaxed. In that way we most certainly aren't a rock thing.

SOUNDI 03/98 (The re-release of the three albums)

English translation from the original texts by The Pyg-mies.

SOUNDI 03/98
Text by Juho Juntunen

The band Kingston Wall did Finnish rock history at the first half of the 90's. Its three-album trilogy was a heavy trip, which influences still show in many heavy- and progbands playing styles today. It all just ended too early. Kingston Wall's lead character Petri Walli died on 28th of June 1995. Kingston Wall's three records had been sold out for a long time, so the reissued CD-versions came out just in time. Kingston Wall's founder member and base player Jukka Jylli has collected bonus tracks to the reissue-CD's, so now everyone can go on a new journey to the inside of this Finnish legend.

Kingston Wall is dead and Petri Walli is dead. But the memorium of the band and Pete are still remembered. What there is left of Kingston Wall are the drummist Sami Kuoppamäki and base player Jukka Jylli. Sami Kuoppamäki studies music in New York. Jylli says that he spends his time with his child and playing in a heavy-based band called Mannerheim, which will soon release a record. And on his spare time Jylli still plays Irish music, which is a relaxing thing.

Kingston Wall's original three records have risen to high prices as collectors' items. There has been also some amount of the Japanese prints for sale. That's why it seems rightful that all of the three albums are re-released on February 25th. The day when Pete Walli would have turned 29 years, if he had lived.

Jylli has selected a bonus-section for each of the albums, that consists both of live material and rare studio recordings. The first albums' bonus is dedicated to Freak Out-Club, which was run by Kingston Wall in the early 90's in three different places.

- First we had Freak-Out -thing going on at Shadow Club in the year -90 or -91, Jylli tells.

- After that we played at Pitkäsillanranta and from those times I have a few cassettes filled with sweet lo-fi -sound. I made an eight-track demo out of those and they were edited at Finnvox studios. Pauli Saastamoinen remastered also all of the three old albums. It was worth it, especially the third album, Tri-Logy, sounds much better now.

The bonus-CD of the second album consists of two single songs, that weren't originally in the album. There's also a part of a live gig recorded in 1993. The third album includes one single song a long bit of the bands last tours live playing which includes a couple of unreleased songs.

- Well, it was quite a work to to choose the good songs out from the old live tapes, Jylli says.

- There must be about 30 different live versions of "Nepal". I'm glad that none
of them were on these records.

- Now I can manage to listen to those records again and it's a nice thing to do also. When you have a bit of distance to it, you can dig that music again. When we did a lot of gigs, we had a conversation that the record versions are just one version, and we mustn't get stuck in them. We wanted to go forward all the time and that's why we didn't repeat the things what we did in the studio.

Altough Kingston Wall wasn't the most popular Finnish band and it's record sales weren't enormous, it found it's place in Finnish rock history. It's effects can't be denied.

- It was really cool to notice that Kingston Wall has worked as an influence for many artists, Jylli admits. - We had a Jimi Hendrix-night in Tavastia, Helsinki once and after that there's has been a huge number of gigs like that, where bands play their favourite artists' cover songs.

- And for example the band Amorphis is some sort a Kingston Wall-influenced band. They have played our songs on their gigs too. At some point the band asked if they could do a Kingston Wall-cover to their record. Of course they could! It would be a honorary thing for me, if a band that good really did a cover of some of our song.

Jylli says that the Kingston Wall records hasn't caused any hard feelings afterwards for him, altough some parts could have always been made in a bit different way. The second album, 'II' is Jylli's own favourite, because it's the most balanced album as a whole in his in opinion. The band's third album Tri-Logy is obviously different than the two previous ones because it doesn't have any pauses between songs. That's maybe why some people think that it's a depressing record. But luckily it has the song "Time", which gives space to the record.

When the third album came out, I had confused feelings about it and I couldn't get a grip of it, Jylli admits. - I didn't even pay attention to whether it should had been mastered again right after it was ready. And I didn't own a CD-player then, but some of my friends said it sounded incomplete.

 

Sörkkä's prison and the end

When Pete Walli committed suicide on summer 1995, it was clear that it meant the end for Kingston Wall also. Jylli saw Walli for the last time on Christmas eve '94 and after that Walli went to India. When he returned to Finland the next summer, Jylli was working on a ship on the way to America. When Jylli returned to Finland, he heard about Walli's death.

- I have no clue what happened here while I was away, Jylli says.

- And I'm kind of satisfied for it. You hear a lot of stuff, though. But I kinda knew that when autumn comes, something will begin to happen again for the band.

- I don't blame anyone for Pete's death. Pete was so tough guy that he couldn't been lead by anyone. Well, a tough guy is a stupid description.. Let's just say that his choices couldn't been lead by anyone. With a personality that Pete had nobody could have said that "do this", "be reasonable" or "don't do that". Of course you always think that what could you have done different, but pretty soon you realize that sort of
way of thinking doesn't lead anywhere.

When Pete Walli returned from India, he was ready to break up Kingston Wall. He was frustrated because the band wasn't appreciated enough. Walli also spent more and more time with his own philosphy, which grew up to be a religion. Pete was also very interested at the Kalevalan mythology which was lead by Ior Bock, a man he knew well.

- Well, we sort of broke up Kingston Wall in a cafeteria one day, Jylli admits.

- It was after the gig in Sörkkä's prison, which was our last live show, "Linnan Juhlat '94" (= The jailhouse party '94). But on the other hand Kingston Wall was a life's mission for Pete, so we didn't take his decision to split up very seriously. Pete tried playing something with Remu Aaltonen afterwards, but he couldn't have stayed as a background player. For the three of us, Kingston Wall meant the most for Pete. It's not impossible for me to live without it, but for Pete eventually it probably was quite impossible.

It's always easy to say "what if.." afterwards. Jylli admits too, that a manager which would have been organizing practical things would have helped Kingston Wall. But on the other hand Pete Walli was a man, who always wanted to do things his way. That's why he would have probably always told the manager what to do.

- I don't think that many people realized that the Trinity-record company was our own. We received some amount of demo tapes from bands and they always sounded more or less like Kingston Wall. I don't know if they would have sent us their tapes if they had known them to end up in our tour bus.

- Well, I had pretty good memories from Kingston Wall afterwards, Jylli says.

- You always think what you could have done, but at least I did something. Afterwards i've liked the records more and more. But of course it took a while to get over Pete's death. And I still can't really say, if I completely have. Everything I do seems to bring up Kingston Wall. For example drummers always know that i've played in the same band with Sami Kuoppamäki. It's weird.

 

Prisoners of reputation

- It was funny when I first started to play with Pete, we instantly had chemistry worked out together. - The stuff we played didn't need much finalisation afterwards. We grew attached to the same thing and we both thinked about the same thing. Pete couldn't really say to me how I should play the bass. When I played something, Pete thought it was good. But I think that Pete's attitude ate more of the drum section, because Sami would have had a lot of his own interests too. From the beginning of Kingston Wall it was clear that it wasn't a hangaround-band which members spend their spare time together too. All the players were very different from their characteristics and that's why they didn't create a common look or stand up toghether for some certain thing.

When Kingston Wall played live, the band didn't make playlists beforehand. There were a lot of cover songs on the gigs and often they drifted from one song to a completely different one. Sometimes you wondered yourself what you've been playing for the last twenty minutes, Jylli laughs.

- Then you just had to have a poker face. Sometimes there were gigs when we all were quite lost. But none of us knew which way to go. We were right on the edge of keeping things under control. But after those gigs people still came to explain what a strangely great atmosphere you had.

The basic system was, on the other hand, trained to be tightly intact. But between gigs we very seldomly got together to practice. If that ever happened, the time was used really efficiently. Pete Walli used to live in Pakila, Helsinki that time and the band played at the downstairs of his apartment. At some point we went to drink a cup of coffee and then we played again. When we started to work on a song, it was made complete at once. And the gig really showed, if the song had any kind of future. The band also used to have songs that were played only in one or two gigs.

- We had that difference compared to other bands that most of them used to practice their set a lot. Then you find a format for the set and everyone knows precisely what happens in every part of the songs. Then it's really hard to start jamming. If you do, the whole band is soon lost and wonders what's
happening.

Jylli says that Kingston Wall's tours were quite comfortable. It wasn't all drugs and alcohol-mixed freak-out -thing as many people thought. The band's music just gave quite a confusing image.

- I don't deny that we wouldn't have thought as a druggy-hippie-band, but I don't care if people think that way. When you hear stories about other bands' tours, they sound quite wild. We didn't have that sort of thing at any point. We had very clear rules a bout some things, for example you didn't play drunk or while intoxicated by any other substance.

- Only one time when Pete was drunk at our gigs was when we played at Uusi Ylioppilastalo. Some rack fell down and our roadie Ana ran on stage. Ana fell down and Pete too. At that point I thought that if the drums fall, I'll fall too just for sympathy.

- I don't know if our audience smoked pot. But maybe a bit more than on my Irish band's gigs. At least sometimes there was a smell in the air that gave me a feeling it could be related to something else than smoking cigarettes.

- The police wasn't interested in us, except when we had Freak-Out club at Pitkäsillanranta, you could often see two guys in leather jackets drinking water. We did have surveillance something of that sort, but i don't know if they kept an eye on the band or on the audience, or what was it all about. You just somehow learnt to regocnize a certain personality type.

- We didn't take any pressure from our reputation, except for Pete, who was clearly frustrated for the band being thought as an old-fashioned band - that we went on a gig and there's an ad in the paper saying "music of the 60's in Club 25, Vaasa". The 60's music-image was what Pete always got upset about. Somehow rock in general came a hard thing for Pete. What's the point of running away from your roots? Pete just got frustrated of the thought for rock being some sort of long-haired "yeah yeah"-thing... Drinking booze and smoking pot. He didn't want to be anything similiar to that.

- I myself haven't ever been a fand of Hendrix, Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. But a band called Spirit influenced both my and Pete's playing. It's hard to say about Sami if he ever listened to those bands. I think that he started to listen more music of that style when he began to play with us. We just started to play because that kind of music existed.

- Well, i've always been a bit punk. I've been a fan of Ramones from when I was just a kid, I used to like noisy, poorly played music. And i still do, I can't help it. I'm not even involved in the prog-association's stuff, but if there would be a punk-association, I could join it. Pete on the other hand was obsessed with techno, for him it was a really cool thing.

 

Abroad in Tallinn

When Kingston Wall grew more famous, the band had wild plans of going on tours to Japan, India and almost everywhere else.

- Our only gig abroad was in Tallinn, Estonia, when Estonia was still a part of The Soviet Union, Jylli tells. - It was on the year 1990 and then Sami wasn't in Kingston Wall yet. The atmosphere was OK and they treated us like a famous band but our equipment was horrible. And people just asked "why didn't the Sleepy Sleepers come?". When I said I don't know them I was told "huh, what do you mean you don't know them, I thought that you are the famous rock person from Finland that knows the Sleepy Sleepers".
And the next question was "do you have Marlboro?".

Jukka Jylli says he wasn't sad afterwards for the plans of going abroad to get trashed. He was more sad for the fact that they could have made more music together.

- We had Petri Walli's memoriam gig in Tavastia, Helsinki and it was a really great event. That's when I played our songs. But just yesterday Merimaa contacted me and said that now that when the three records are re-released, should we put together some new show to Tavastia. I had him disappointed by saying that I don't want to play on that gig, but if we get other bands to play our songs, it's OK.

- I live in Kruunuhaka, Helsinki nearby this guitar store called "Kitarapaja". One day I looked at the bulletin board on the shop's wall and saw an ad which said "a band is looking for a base player, playing styles are Cream and Kingston Wall". I thought that hey, i'll call to that number, but eventually i didn't. And if I would have got kicked out of that band, the depression could have been too hard, Jylli laughs.

As a matter of fact Pete Walli and Jukka Jylli had a band with four members, which had a different lead singer. When the singer got bored to the band, Pete was left with the singing part. Later on whe thought about whether or not would a fourth player help, but then we realized that a trio can't include four members. But sometimes on our gigs there were some visitors. Players such as Sakari Kukko, Tommi Lindell and Marjo Leinonen played on some of our shows as guests, but none of them became a regular member of our band.

- Of course our trio-pattern was influenced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, Jylli says. - In a trio the guitar gets to be the king. And the bottom chews and makes swinging rhythms for it. It was THE thing. It was the only right format for that sort of music. It was an impossible thought of having a second guitarist on stage.

- Pete always wanted to be the boss of the band. But I on the other hand learnt how to control Pete so that he didn't notice it himself. But you couldn't get thru to Pete by saying it right in his face. It was like showing a red cloth to a bull. But Pete did appreciate critics too. He kind of fought a constant battle against himself every time he got criticized. And that is what was so amazing about him - if he was his back against the wall, he was at his best. After a nasty critic he played a better solo than ever before.

- It was an odd thing that many people think our music as complicated and hard to play. When you ask "do you know the song Nepal?" from that sort of people, they say: "of course, everyone knows it". Then I say: "did you know that in that song there's just one chord, A. I don't think it sounds complicated. It doesn't have even three chords, just one."

Aural Innovations #6 (April 1999) (J. Jylli interview, discography etc.)

The History of Kingston Wall

Kingston Wall were one of the greatest bands to ever play rock music. The band mixed the hard rock styles of Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix with a sometimes spacey feel of Pink Floyd and ethnic sounds of India. They were lead by the incredible talent of guitarist Petri Walli. Petri played the guitar like no one else on earth, with so much melody and feeling. His solos were so well constructed. I think he learned a lot from his older brother Hasse Walli, who played in many famous finnish band like Blues Section and Piirpauke. He was backed by the great bass talents of Jukka Jylli and the incredible drums style of Sami Kuoppamäki. This guy can play the drums with such finenese, mixing the rock and jazz styles so smoothly, kind of like Apt. Q258 (Jeff Sipe) of the Aquairum Rescue Unit.

The first rehearsals were in 1987 and the band did not yet have a name at this point. The band consisted of Petri Walli on guitar, Jukka Jylli on bass, and Tinde Joutsimäki on drums. Tinde left the band soon after these early rehearsals. The first gig was played in late 1987 at Singh's Pub, Pukinmäki, Helsinki. The line up was Walli, Jylli, Kapanen on drums, Jukya Häikio on vocals. There were about 5 or 6 ideas for later KW songs and some melody lines. The band played a one hour set two nights in a row.

The first gig under the name Kingston Wall was at the Natsa Club in Helsinki in 1988. The lineup was Walli, Jylli and Kapanen on drums. Kapanen left the group sometime in 1989 and Tinde Joutsimäki returned on drums. The first Kingston Wall album was recorded in 1989 with this lineup but during the sessions Walli and Tinde has some serious fights about how to arrange the songs. After the album was completed in 1990, Tinde left the band again.

Petri had heard of a great drummer (Sami Kuoppamäki) from someone, so he sent a tape and a letter to Sami, who at the time was studying drumming in the USA. Sami listened to the tape and said ok and joined the band in 1991. They rerecorded the KWI album basic tracks in the spring of 1991 at Freak-Out Studios, Helsinki and the overdubs and mixing was finished in the summer-fall of 1991 at Finnvox Studios. The album was released in January 1992. The band would play many gigs all round Finland in 1992, 1993 and not as many in 1994. The last Kingston Wall show was on 12/6/94 in Helsinki. The band had decided to take some time off after this gig. The last event in Kingston Wall history was when Petri Walli jumped off the roof of a church in Helsinki on 6/28/95 and that was the end of Kingston Wall....

The band produced three incredible CD's and 1 single, as well as a professional studio MTV like video (Another Piece of Cake). The band held these special concerts in Helsinki called Freakout Club's in which they would do covers songs by some of their favorite bands (see set lists), such as the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Rory Gallagher, Beatles and others.. I will miss this band..one of the greatest....

I was very lucky recently to get a chance to interview Jukka Jylli, former bass player in Kingston Wall.
When the band started in 1987 did you play only original songs?

We had something like 5 or 6 tunes that we had. What the hell are we going to do, we had like 5 songs. We did a lot of jams.

Where did you meet Petri?

In a bar... I was pissed drunk. He was like usual his, talking.. a hell of a lot. I was like no way, I'm not interested. I had a band before and I felt like....ahhhhhh I am not going to do anything with this guy. Somehow I gave him my phone number.. He phoned back later and he was so convincing... Then we started playing together and found a drummer. We practiced about a month or two and we had a gig. He has to go somewhere and show everyone who the guitar hero was. It was really funny. Young asshole..

Where did the name Kingston Wall come from?

I don't know.. Next question.....

So you didn't use this name when you played the first gigs?

No.. we had a singer earlier and after he left. We started calling it Kingston Wall. There was another name, which I am not going to tell you if you don't know it. It was so stupid...(HE LAUGHS...)

When did Petri decide to do the singing. Did Jukka leave the band or was he kicked out?

No.. he wanted to leave the band. It was a good thing for the band. Petri originally wanted to have a trio, that is the main reason. We played such long guitar solos and it is quite boring to stand on the stage ten minutes...... That is the main reason..

When you recorded the first album in 1990, were the songs written in the studio or where they from rehearsals or worked out live previously?

We had played most of the stuff live so many times. There wasn't anything really new. Some songs were almost 3 or 4 years old. It was kind of a collection because we had so much material. The album is mostly live in the studio anyway. Like the 2nd one two. The third was absolutely a studio album.

After Tinde left and Sami came in and you decided to rerecord the drums.......

And everything else...

So you played live again with Sami...

Yeah... of course... We did everything again.. Which is good anyway.

Do the tapes still exist from that session?

Yeah..(laughs..) I got them. I have got almost everything.

Where did you know Kie von Hertzen, who did all the cool drawings inside the first CD?

He was an old friend of Petri's. Great guitar player himself. He has this band called Don Huonot, which is very famous here in Finland.

How did the middle east art work and themes come about in the songs and CD's.. Did you or Petri ever travel in the middle east?

Yeah.. Petri traveled quite a lot. I traveled in Europe, Petri traveled somewhere else.. I don't know maybe it's the music to.. First it was the music then the pictures.. He traveled in Turkey, Egypt and India.

Did Petri write all the lyrics to the songs?

Yeah, that was him.

What are your favorite songs from the first CD?

The opening track is quite nice..What the hell is the name anyway..With my Mind...and I hear you call.. Those two.. But the 2nd album is much better than the 1st one, that is my opinion.

Did you record any extra songs at the time of the first CD? You said that you had a lot of material built up from the previous years and it was only about 60 minutes...

Yeah... there can be something.. I have this two inch tape.. but I don't have the equipment to listen to it. So I don't know what there is in it.. Some Hendrix stuff.. Can you see Me and Manic Depressions.. There should be something like that.. That stupid Fire...

You got tired of that song?

Yeah..I never really liked that.. I liked so much the original and... all this..... (waving and wild gestures and guitar sounds made by Jukka..)

On the second CD you really developed into a tight unit. I really feel that this album has some of the best rock songs ever..

That is for sure.. I think you are right..

So where did you learn to play the Egyptian horn?

Nowhere... (Laughs) I didn't...

But you did play it....

Oh yeah... but that is different.. Very typical in this band.. don't learn anything.. just play.. try to learn anything...

Did you ever record any of the other covers you used to play live..

No.. nothing else.....

You played a lot of incredible gigs in 1993... seems that you played shows of mostly covers, some very special Freakout gigs with guests etc... Do you recall some memorable shows??

Yeah.... there were 8 gigs in Tavastia, every Sunday. They were quite similar those nights.. more or less.. very long tunes you know... Sakari Kukko, this saxophone, flute player he played with us. He is great. Strange stuff anyway..

How many copies of the original vinyl and CD's were printed on the Trinity label? Was it 1000, 10,000, 20,000?

No.. I think it more like 5 or 10,000.. I think it sold about the same in Japan.

When you guys were a band was there ever an effort to try and get the albums released outside of Finland?

Yeah.. of course.. all the time there was something going on.. but we never really went anywhere... (laughs..)

Did you feel like you guys had a reasonable following in Finland? You played a lot of shows all over the country.. I guess people showed up to the shows... and bought the T-shirts (Jukka laughs loudly!)

Yeah... I guess... We never really made T-shirts, but I saw once a mobile phone of the first CD album cover. That was really nice...

When did you start working on the Trilogy material, was that in 1993?

I think that was almost like Petri's solo album, this third one. It was the only album that we really ...just one or two songs that we had played before at gigs... so me and Sami... we didn't really know what we were doing in the studio...it was really funny.. because we didn't really have any idea what it will be.. the result.. Petri knew.. we just tried to do our best.. It was a very different album..

I really felt that there were some powerful, deep lyrics on songs like Time and For all Mankind... sort of a premonition with Petri saying stuff like: " Look out world it's time to die" on For all Mankind. He really seem to be looking deep into his mind...

Yeah.. that is true.. Petri thought that the band was going to change somehow after this third album.. Well, it changed because we split.. I don't know what he actually wanted to do.. He did not want to go on like before.. so we released the album in autumn 1994.. and I met Petri the last time on Christmas Eve, the same year.. and then he went to India and after that I never saw him again.. He tried to call be but I was not home, I was in the states.. Shit happens...

So the band at the end of 1994 after the gig in the Prison, that was when the band really broke up..

Yeah..but I never really thought of it that way..

Taking a break anyway and maybe you would be back together..

Yeah.. that is what I thought.. I knew.... I felt that Petri could not live without Kingston Wall.. And maybe that is what happened anyway..

How did Sami feel about it when the band fell apart...

He had so much to do at the time we stopped playing.. I don't think he felt bad... maybe later.. of course.. when Petri died.. He was the most busy guy.. I think he still is..

A Finnish friend had told me that he had heard on the radio of the possibility of a box set of extra live material or something...

Yeah.. maybe... I am in the bootleg business the rest of my life..(laughs)

No.. I think there is a market for it... I think you could release stuff on your own..

I don't know. I don't feel like that.. I don't know..

Did you guys regularly record your concerts..

Yeah.. later on we did. I have about 50 or 60 and about 25 on DAT tape... I have some very early stuff also. Most of the shows are from 1993 and 1994, some from 1992..

I am just glad that you recorded some of this stuff...

FIRE 50 times (laughs.....)

Have the bands you are currently playing with.. have they been recording?

I have this for you... (Saunabadh) They are an old band.. but I have been playing with them for half a year now... Yeah... I have been in the studio with Mannerheim, this kind of heavy rock band.. Let's see.. some German connections now to release the stuff.. Something's coming up.. Every band is busy now.. for two months there was nothing happening....I am almost dying....

You can at least make a living on making music as opposed to driving a cab..

(laughs) yeah.. I think it better this way.. I don't make great money but it is ok..

Do you think that Petri's family has a long history of being in music. Do you think this had a big influence on him?

Yeah.. that's for sure.. His older brother, Hasse (half brother, same father).. something like 22 or 23 years older, over 50 now.. he is one of those real guitar heroes in Finland.. He had this band in the 60's Blues Section and the 70's Piirpauke, with Sakari Kukko.. So he must have been some kind of idol for Petri when he was a kid.

Who would you say were some of the guitar players that influenced Petri the most?

Jeff Beck.. is what he usually says... and of course Hendrix..

What bass players were a big influence on you? Did you start playing guitar?

You know.. it was these punk years..I started playing with a punk band. I was a kid and the other guys were older. We didn't have to be a very great player to get into a band. It is very easy to play. I have never had anything like a teacher. Then I started listening to the WHO. That is my main influence.

Did Petri have a favorite guitar?

Yeah.. he used only one guitar. That is why we started to do these stupid fucking bass and drum solos because he broke some strings and we had to stay there on the stage so he could change his string. Nothing to do.. fucking bass solos.. nothing so stupid as a bass solo..

So you never tried to get him to buy another guitar?

Yeah.. we tried to but he liked the situation.. very nice.. changed very slowly the string.... fucking ass.... It was a 70's Les Paul.. It was a really great guitar..one of the best guitars I have ever seen..

Does his family have it now?

That's very sad.. I would like to have it... Not like that.. Guitars... you should use them.. and nobody plays that guitar anymore.. that's stupid.. I'm not jealous or anything like that.. (Laughs)

So that last gig was in a Prison (Sörkkärock).. What was that like?

It was kind of sad.. you know these prisoners.. That was the first time I had ever been in a prison.. So I meet some guys I had never met for a long time.. Oh your here.... Your here to.. I was wondering where you have been... There were like really slow... eating... zombies.. Of course, they liked when we were playing but I don't know if it was because we were playing there or if it was just something was happening. I don't remember much about the gig. We played mostly slow stuff.. then we went to the local bar and split..

And Fire of Course... did you play FIRE...

No.. I think we didn't...

Santtu: Do you have any tapes of that concert..?

There must be something in prison... (Laughs)

You guys will go down in history as one of the greatest Finnish rock bands in history whether you like it or not..

Yeah.... oh huh...

Well, it was a very special morning to hear these stories about the band. Jukka had to leave to catch a plane for a gig in Stockholm at an Irish pub with the band Boolabush, the celtic music band he plays with. He also plays in a heavy rock band called Mannheimer as well as Saunabadh. Sami is playing with a two bands, Groove Connection as well as Fisso. Fissio released a CD entitled Impossible in 1998. Groove Connection has just released a CD in March 1999. I have to thank Petri Masculin (Helsinki) for all the valuable information about the band. Thanks...Also, there is one very nice Kingston Wall web page on the internet but it does not really contatin that much information about the band but it does have all the lyrics! Http://www.helsinki.fi/~takorhon/kw/kwal..html.


Band Discography

Singles:

Between the Trees/She's so Fine 7" (Trinity TTY 0001- Finland1992)
We cannot Move/She's So Fine CD single Promo Trinity TTY 0005- Finland1993)
Stüldt Håjt / Have you seen the Pygmies? CD single promo (Trinity TTY 0003- Finland 1994)
The Real Thing, Radio edits CD single (Trinity label, TTYCD 0007)
-The Real Thing (3:27)
-Take You To Sweet Harmony (3:39)
-I'm the King, I'm the Sun (6:04)

CD's

Kingston Wall- I (Trinity TTYCD 0002- Finland 1992)
- Released in Japan on Zero Corporation in 1994 (XRCN-1084)
- Remaster with bonus CD Released 1998 (Zengarden Oy GAR 16)
Kingston Wall- II (Trinity TTYCD 0004- Finland 1993)
- Released in Japan on Zero Corporation in 1995 (XRCN-1067)
- Remaster with bonus CD Released 1998 (Zengarden Oy GAR 17)
Kingston Wall- III/Trilogy (Trinity TTYCD 0006- Finland 1994)
- Released in Japan on Zero Corporation in 1995 (XRCN-1200)
- Remaster with bonus CD Released 1998 (Zengarden Oy GAR 18)

Rumor has it that 100 copies of the Kingston Wall I were pressed on vinyl.
Kingston Wall I and II were released on prerecorded cassette tapes as well.
The remasters with bonus CD were a limited edition of 1000 copies.

Videos (incomplete list):

Live- Tampere, Finland 4/1992 (Finnish TV) 16 minutes
Live- Espoo, Finland 5/24/92 (Finnish TV) 19 minutes
Live- Vernissa Club, Helsinki, Vantaa, Finland 11/93 (5 camera/sbd) 98 minutes
TV Top 40 (Live 1994) For All Mankind 7 minutes
Studio Promo Video 1994 Another Piece of Cake 4 minutes
Petri Walli In Memoriam 47m

Special thanks to Petri Masculin and Scott (SHLL@novo.dk) for the article!

Kingston Wall - reviews from various magazines

English translations (c) 2000 The Pyg-mies. Copying is forbidden!

A review of Freakout Remixes at findance.com (in Finnish)

You can view other people's reviews and submit your own opinion of Kingston Wall's Freakout Remixes (2000) at Psychedelic Goa Trance Reviews.


Gig review in Soundi 3/1989

Kingston Wall, Helsinki
Jukka Jylli (b, voc), Petteri Ståhl
(d), Petri Walli (g, voc)

These guys were also at Nixon Club's prog-night but I was unable to go there myself, so the bands
live-stamina depends mostly on what people have said about them. When listened from tape, the band
still sounds interesting and one shouldn't be frightened of the band's prog-connections. You could as well call Kingston Wall a 60's hippie rock'n'roll band.. The guys have obviously been listening to their big brothers' old records. The members themselves have mentioned names like Spirit and Jimi Hendrix which are not bad references/musical idols to young long-haired musicians. If one would like to flatter, you could
throw in Pink Fairies: a band in which in a rare way combined those terms mentioned before, "hippie"
and "rock'n'roll". The band can play, they have their own sense of style but the fine adjustment of the material is completely undone. Could work well in an old-fashioned student party...

 

Album review in Suosikki 3/1993

Text by Juho Juntunen

Kingston Wall: II (Trinity)

Kingston Wall, the band that brought progressive rock back, develops on their second album the line created by their debut release. Even the cover picture is almost the same, but the band has developed during its existence. Therefor it's no wonder that the amazing cover version of Donna Summers old disco-hit "I Feel Love" plays frequently in Finnish radio. The trio convincinly manages their instruments, but still the songs don't fall into too much gimmicking. There's speed and the joy of inventing in the band's playing. Petri Wallis guitar playing flows beautifully forward and the music itself isn't that mysterious as one could think. It means prog isn't necessarily the same thing as kilometer-long solos and numbing pompousness. And while Walli loves to play solos, he manages to find enough point in them. Kingston Wall has effect
on live shows but as well in the new album. The CD released through the band's own label contains
music a bit more than an hour, so the cost-quality relation is good and there's nothing to complain
about in the quality either. And check out the band on live gigs. The surprise may be quite great when the guys start rocking whilst meditating.

 

Single review in Soundi 3/1993

Text by Pertti Ojala

Kingston Wall: We Cannot Move -
She's So Fine - I Feel Love -
Between The Trees (Trinity)

Kingston Wall's flying carpet flies towards new landscapes. Playing sovereignly and with telepathical detail, the trio grabs their instruments and makes their own version of Donna Summers and Giorgio Moroderi's disco classic. This time the selected Jimi Hendrix-cover is surprisingly Noel Redding's popsong from the album
AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE. On their own tracks, Kingston Wall continues their virtuous swirling in the inspiring 60's spirit.

Album review in Suosikki 11/1994

Text by Juho Juntunen

Kingston Wall: Tri-Logy (Trinity)

Kingston Wall, the master of Finnish guitar prog has proceeded to its third album which works as a sequel to the two previous long plays. We'll see what happens after this. Is the hippie-acid-story going to continue or are we going to move towards new grounds? Kingston Wall is a group of talented young men. Petri Walli, Jukka Jylli and Sami Kuoppamäki know how to handle patterns of heavy prog and their playing together is pure electricity. They are also men, who know what they want. So in Finnish circumstances the band can't rise into the top charts. Kingston Wall doesn't make music for everyone. The playing in the
musics' atmospherical depths requires concentration and knowledge of the genre. But no need to get scared. Kingston Wall makes rock and roll too.In the bottom there's the rhythm, riffs and melodies which are just refined more than usually. The band has earned its reputation in Finland of a top-class cult band, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the band was invited abroad. These men live their music.