Our new Finnish correspondant on the impact of a little known Eurovision band...
I have three words for you: hard, rock and hallelujah. If this combination of words doesn't ring any bells, then I salute you with honour and respect: you have officially avoided the Lordi-hype that followed their triumph in the Eurovision song contest –and you have somehow managed to avoid hearing their winning hit Hard Rock Hallelujah. Now, did you know, that there are over 5 million Finns that are jealous of you, and would like to know how you managed to do this? You didn't? Okay.
The thing is, whenever this small, fairly unknown country in the far-away North achieves something that has been considered to be far out of our reach, the whole nation goes wild and literally breaks out in joy—which is just as unhealthy as it sounds. Before the victorious trip to the Eurovision contest, Lordi was a somewhat unpopular band that people used to joke about. Noone, even in their wildest nightmares, dared to vision that this group of goddamn-ugly monsters would bring Finland's first victory from Eurovision, and be celebrated as national heroes who'd be more popular than old Santa himself (no, I'm not kidding). The celebration of this historically remarkable, undeniably significant, fabulous event has gone beyond any limits of reason, and still, after two months, Hard rock Hallelujah is played on every channel 'round the clock and there are statues, monuments, city-squares and cakes named after those adorable creatures.
Just to make things worse, the Finnish music industry is constantly belching new rock bands on the market, just in case we don't have enough of them already. Forget about pop-singing boy bands; they don't exist anymore. Instead, we have rough-looking, make-up wearing young lads dressed in black, playing something that reminds me of rock. The trend has probably been this for few years now, but when all the hassle and excitement with rock culminated into Lordi winning the Eurovision, at least some of us are feeling a bit...full. This feeling is very comparable to that one what you get when you've eaten way too much pizza, and you still desperately try to pack that last piece in and—oh well, you know.
As Lordi is more popular than ever, the boy bands dressed in black continue to break the hearts of young girls and the Finnish music industry makes money just by saying "rock", it sure makes you wonder. How and why on earth did this usually-so-restrained country become the 21st century crusader, trying to convert pop-believing pagans all over the world to sing 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' instead of ABBA?
It might be enough to point out that we Finns are a shy, heavy-drinking nation with the tendency for depression, and therefore only rock music has got that little something to appeal to us, but I'm convinced that there's got to be something more behind this all. In order to get some answers, I have to go to the places where rock happens, festivals and clubs, and talk to people who might have something interesting to say. Maybe the mystery of this promised land of rock resolves, maybe it doesn't—but at least I'll be able to introduce you many great bands, weird bands and wonderful events. So feel free to join the ride.