Artist Spotlight: The Rasmus

Rocking out since 1994, The Rasmus have shown the world that Finnish rock is a must add to your playlist. Formed in Helsinki, Finland the band has sold an average of 4 million albums worldwide, 400,000 in Finland alone. Domestically and internationally, the quartet have received many awards throughout the years, highlighting their peak moments in their career and reminding them that past struggles only strengthen their 20 year bond.

Tunes to check out would definitely include, “In the Shadows”, “Funeral Song”, “Ten Black Roses”, “Ghost of Love” and “I’m a Mess”.

Lauri Ylonen (vocals) , Eero Heinonen (bass guitar), Pauli Rantasalmi (guitar) and Jarno Lahti (drums), formed the band “Rasmus” while still in high school, with the dreams of someday becoming total rock stars . These four boys had their first gig at their schools pre-Christmas party on December 23rd, 1994. Just one year later, Jarno left the band being quickly replaced by Janne Heiskanen.

In December of the same year, they released their debut EP 1st, which featured the songs, “Frog”, “Myself” and “Funky Jam”. The boys were quickly noticed and the word on them spread like wildfire. Only a few weeks after the release, the album had already sold 1,000 copies, giving them a satisfying, overwhelming start.

Originally, the album was distributed through Teja G. Records independently. In early 1996, the quartet signed with Warner Music Finland, where the EP was re-released. That same year, the band composed the song, “Don’t Shut the Door”, which was not used until their compilation album Best of 2001-2009 was released. For this album the song was re-written and tweaked, better known today as the song, “October and April.”

In 1996, through Warner Music Finland, The Rasmus released their debut album Peep. It made its way into Finland’s music market on September 23rd where it went Gold and later in Estonia, Russia and subsequently worldwide. Later in 1996, they released two more EP’s “2nd” and “3rd”, “3rd” making it to the No. 8 spot on the Finnish Singles Chart later on that year.

With much music produced in a year alone, the band won an EMMA (equivalent to a Grammy) for the Best New Comer of 1996. Seeing that the band was becoming quite successful, Lauri and Pauli abandoned their studies and dedicated their efforts and energy on Rasmus. This lead to their release of their second album Playboys on August 29th and their single “Blue”, both productions that went Gold in Finland.

1998 was a significant year for the boys, as their third album Hell of a Tester was released and marked their change in their musical style from funk to solid rock. Their single “Liquid” instantly became the most popular, placing them on the Top 40 on MTV Nordic. The single was also voted Single of the Year for 1998 by fans and music critics alike and won an award in 1999 at the Finnish Music Video Awards.

In 1999 the band faced some darkness as Janne quit, leaving the band on the verge of breaking up. Aki Hakala was asked to become the new drummer, becoming their savior. In 2000, the band changed their name from Rasmus to The Rasmus to avoid confusion with a Swedish DJ that had the same name. The following year, the band released their fourth studio album Into which reached No. 1 in the Finnish album charts and made it to the ears of other European countries such as Spain and France for the first time.

Through the years, the band released more singles and albums that kept them on top. Their style, depending on the album, would range from heavy rock to softer melodies telling stories of forbidden love and misery. In 2011 the band signed a contract with Universal Music Finland, producing their eighth studio album. In several European countries, the self-titled album was released on April 18, 2012 and was re-issued as The Rasmus tour editiori in Autumn 2012.

The band continues to tour and celebrates their 20th year together; success as its finest. They do not plan to disband anytime soon, leaving fans with more to look forward to.

Montclair State | New Jersey

Nicole Duque

Undergraduate student with strong passion in journalism and editing. High interest in digital media and television production. Quick thinker, creative, determined and strong under pressure while maintaining organization. Hands on experience with professional broadcast production equipment, editing software, interviewing and writing for a newspaper.