The Official Kingston Wall -website

Obsession to start a rock band.

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Kingston Wall from left to right: Jukka Jylli (bass,backing vocals), Petri "Pete" Walli (guitars,vocals) [born 25th of February 1969 - died 28th of June 1995], Sami Kuoppamäki (drums, percussion)

As the base player Jukka Jylli recalls, Kingston Wall was originally born in a bar called Natsa in Finland, where Jylli used to hang in 1987. One day Pete (Petri) Walli came to speak with Jylli and demanded to start a band. "One time I had been drinking a lot of beer and then Pete came to speak to me enthusiasted. I must have gave him my phone number because he called and visited me. He had kind of an obsession to start a rock band", says Jylli. Before Kingston Wall, Pete had been playing in Finnish underground punk bands such as Backline and Sekunda. Also the band's drummer, Sami Kuoppamäki was found at the Natsa in 1990, but the two men didn't originally get Sami to join the band from the bar. First they had Petteri Ståhl in drums. After he left the band they were already recording songs to "I" with Timo Joutsimäki, when Walli and Joutsimäki got into serious arguments and Joutsimäki left the band.

Petri Walli immediately called to the USA were Sami Kuoppamäki was and somehow got the man to Finland to join the band. Kingston Wall recorded and produced on their own the band's first album, Kingston Wall - I, which was released in the end of January 1992. The first album, like the two ones after it, were released under the band's own record label Trinity which was run by the mysterious producer Pedro Cucaracha. The first two Kingston Wall albums were recorded in the basement of Lepakko (Batcave in English), an abandoned storage hall, a hangout place where bands used to play in central Helsinki - nowadays demolished. Kingston Wall's first long play also had very strong influences from India - probably because Petri Walli traveled to India on many occasions. The second album, which was somewhat more acoustic than the first one, was released in 1993 titled "Kingston Wall - II".

Mystical part of Kingston Wall.

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Jylli remembers that the 'mystical part' of Kingston Wall, like lyrics, were Pete's "own thing". "All these systems ... I couldn't ever think about them seriously. But Pete never demanded it. He thought it was okay, that we laughed at things. I have a feeling, that especially Sami wasn't interested in those things", Jylli laughs - "he's somehow like a drummer to the end". The third album (Tri-logy, 1994) indeed broke the pattern created by the two previous albums. The place of recording was new and Jylli says it was also otherwise 'a different thing', beginning from techno-synthesizer sounds that were created by Kimmo Kajasto (Rinneradio, Koneveljet) to explaining a Kalevala-like mythology (The Bock Saga) that left many of Kingston Wall's audience quite confused.

Altough Pete was always the obvious lead character in the band, especially composing and writing all of the lyrics, the songs were always credited for the entire band. Base player Jylli agrees to what Pete also always said before his death - the albums were just kind of a "one play session, not a set of routines that should be played from gig to gig". They jammed the songs freely from gig to gig - that's why Kingston Wall lived mostly as a live band. They also played a lot of covers ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Donna Summer (!). Petri Walli also described his story (his-story - history?) of a lifetime project - Kingston Wall in the album release interview of III - Tri-Logy in Soundi magazine (read it here). The original three albums and the four singles released under Trinity label (originally only in Finland) are nowadays sold out and very expensive (collectors items), so if you see the original copies, don't miss the opportunity. Kingston Wall did their last gig at the Sörnäinen ('Sörkka') prison in central Helsinki 6th of December 1994, but their last public show was in Lepakko the day before (5th of Dec), where also the Tri-logy's re-release bonus CD track "The Skies Are Open" was recorded. After the last gig, the band decided to stop playing and split up in a nearby café. Jylli said he doesn't know what happened after that. He didn't see Walli after Christmas 1994.

Complete end.

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On 28th of June,1995, at the age of 26, Petri Walli committed suicide by jumping from the tower of Töölö's church in Helsinki, Finland. That was the complete end of the three-man three-album psychedelic music journey, unlike ever seen on the Finnish rock scene. Afterwards there has been has many questions about Pete's suicide, but as for the true reasons for why he did it, Pete took with him to the underworld. Nevertheless, there's strong hints that the lyrics of "For All Mankind" (in the album III - Tri-Logy) are actually his suicide note. Pete Walli is buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery, Helsinki, Finland.

Nowadays the base player of Kingston Wall, Jukka Jylli plays in a 60's/70's -style psychedelic rock band called Saunabadh and the drummer Sami Kuoppamäki plays drums in a band called Groove Convention and also teaches drum playing in Helsinki, Finland. He has also been playing drums in Fissio, another Finnish band. You can see him also playing drums on Finnish television every now and then in a show called Hotelli Sointu.

On 25th of February 1998, on Pete's 29th birthday if he had lived, there was a re-release gig of the three Kingston Wall albums (reissued by Zen Garden) which was held in a club called Tavastia in central Helsinki. The Rasmus, Amorphis and Edrian Sun Cycle, bands from Finland, Janne Joutsenniemi (Sub-Urban Tribe), Sakari Kukko were there to play Kingston Wall covers (Jukka Jylli was also there, but he didn't play). And on June 2000, the Kingston Wall trance-remix CD, "Freakout Remixes" was released. It included techno remixes of Kingston Wall songs made by top-notch Finnish underground artists such as Texas Faggott, Squaremeat, Accu and Possible Apple.

Petri Walli's obituary.

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English translation:

Guitarist Pete Walli died

Rock-guitarist Petri "Pete" Walli is dead. Walli died suddenly on last wednesday in Helsinki.

Walli became known as the charismatic centre-figure of Kingston Wall. The trio was popular especially in their home town, where they had numerous shows and kept their own club many times.

The band recorded three albums, of which the last one was released last autumn.
Walli was 26 years old when he died.