Animal [Rock / Alternative]

RELEASE: 13.07.2007

LABEL: Fullsteam Records

VERTRIEB: Rough Trade


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The current line-up came together in Turku, Finland, 1998 when the singer-bassist Sasu Mykkänen was asked to join the band. Before that the drummer Matti Kallio and guitarist Mikko Luukko had recorded one demo with Mikko singing. There was some motivational problems with the original bassist, and it didn't make it any easier for the beginning band that the bass player wanted to play solo all the time.

The first recording with the new line-up was "Firemen of Love", a 7" EP, which was released by Brown Records. The head of the "label", Marko Brown, being Mikko's flat mate at the time. The singing and songwriting was divided between Mikko and Sasu, both singing the songs they'd written. After this record the band decided it may be better to concentrate the vocal duties to one person, and Sasu's voice would be better suited for the music they wanted to make.

Early influences for Sweatmaster were Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, MC5 (era "Back to USA"), James Brown, Misfits, AC/DC and a lot of Finnish bands they'd been influenced to, like Xysma and Radiopuhelimet. The main idea was to make stripped down catchy rock'n'roll with guts and soul, and the grand idea hasn't changed on the way.

The second recording with the new line-up was a CD-R "Lust For Heat" (2000). The CD-R sold 500 copies in Finland in a short time with no pushing whatsoever, and got the band a reputation in the Finnish rock'n'roll underground as something to keep your ears open for. As Jay Burnside from The Flaming Sideburns put it short after hearing the CD-R: "Best Rock'n'Roll from Finland in five years". The five year period maybe something to do with when The Sideburns started out...

Sweatmaster was received extremely well in the Finnish Rock'n'Roll scene and media almost right from the start, and it didn't take long until Danish Bad Afro Records, known for releasing vinyl singles for Scandinavian rock bands like The Flaming Sideburns, Hellacopters and Turbonegro, wanted to release one for Sweatmaster also. "Hold It!" (also on the debut album "Sharp Cut") was released in 2001, and got rave reviews. The sleeve design on "Hold It!" as well as all of the Sweatmaster records is done by the drummer Matti Kallio. After trying out on a vinyl single, Bad Afro records and the band signed a deal for an album.

"Sharp Cut", the debut album, was released November 2002 and got great reviews on the continent but in the UK also, where Must Destroy records had licensed the album. The album was reviewed in Kerrang (KKKK) , NME (8/10) and X-Ray (4/5), to mention a few. Sweatmaster did a small tour in England, played some shows with The Darkness, did a live-session for BBC and X-Fm, got interviewed by Bruce Dickinson and made a lot of fans and friends on the isles. The good press in the UK didn't go unnoticed in Europe and especially their homeland Finland, where the band did a good bit of touring and all of the biggest festivals. In Europe Sweatmaster toured Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

"Song With No Words", released 2004, shows Sweatmaster acknowledging their roots. The 8 track EP has two Sweatmaster originals and a collection of cover songs from some of their favourite bands and artists, like Misfits, The Wipers, Music Machine and The Modern Lovers. The bands' long time visual collaborator Tomi Malkki made a video for the track "Song With No Words" together with Kalle Kotila. This video is included on the CD-version of "Tom Tom Bullet".

"Song With No Words" gave some time to get everything ready for "Tom Tom Bullet", release date 4.4.2005. Co-produced by Jürgen Hendlmeier, "Tom Tom Bullet" is a record where Sweatmaster expand their views, but still hold on to the basic principles of the band", the singer and bass-player Sasu Mykkänen explained. The album got rave reviews in Finland and elsewhere, but as it had a different approach to the Sweatmaster sound it got a little lost in the record shops. The album was licensed to France and the band did tours in France and Germany.

After Tom Tom Bullet the band decided it was time to try something new. As they had made almost all of their recordings to the Danish Bad Afro Records, they wanted to try out with a good Finnish Record label. And really, the only one that came up in the bands’ mind was Fullsteam Records, an up and coming, hard working indie label. The band and producer Jürgen Hendlmeier decided on some basic principles on the following album: no sound that is particular for any decade, more hooks and melodies contrasted with rawer approach on some of the songs and punchier low frequencies. During the fall and winter of 2006/2007 the band and Jürgen recorded 17 songs from which 12 were chosen for the album "Animal" (out in Finland on Fullsteam Records 4.4.2007). The album got great reviews in the Finnish media: 10/10 in SUE, 4/5 in Soundi, 4/5 in Rumba…) and got the band for the first time on the playlists of national radio channels. The band followed with a tour in Finland and it was obvious that the buzz was not going on only in the journalists heads.

(Quelle: Fullsteam Records)


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