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SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

todayMarch 30, 2013 56 3

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“The Punk Syndrome” : Contagious and Outrageous

Punk rock is...punk rock is in -your-face issues, punk rock makes you lose yourself in the crowd, in the energy; it does not bow down to anyone or anything. This is the essence of Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat, translated as Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day, a punk rock band reining from the Nordic lands of Finland. The band consists of Pertti Kurikka(guitar), Toni Valitalo
(drums), Kari Aalto(vocals), and Sami Helle(bass), four  men that sing about the societal stigmas of mental handicaps, of their own experiences with it, of politics, of anti-authority, and with angst and confidence, they take center stage in the punk rock realm.

Documentary “The Punk Syndrome,” directed by J-P Passi and Jukka Karkkainen, chronicles the journey of the band  as they move from hole-in-the-wall venues to hole-in-the-wall venues packed with moshing and adoring fans. The documentary depicts the shared experiences of pain, doubt, relief, creativity, inspiration, aspiration, and those in-betweens of both shows and recording sessions, in true punk rock style — raw and unapologetic.

Check out the trailer here :

I met with all bandmembers- Pertti Kurikka, Sami Helle, Kari Aalto, Toni Valitalo and director J-P Passi while they were in Austin for their SXSW premiere of “The Punk Syndrome.” The meeting with the guys did not disappoint – translator and all, we had quite a few moments of understanding and the message was clear- “The Punk Syndrome,” did not disguise a thing – these guys were honest, strong, and well, rockstars. Getting to converse with these guys even though most of us did not speak the same language (Sami and Kari spoke some English in addition to Finnish and Toni and Pertti, strictly Finnish), we broke a lot of communication barriers through a genuine interest in music and just talking. I formally invite you to take a dip into some of my conversations with whom I deem to be the most modern and in-your-face FACE of punk rock today – Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat, and director Passi who spotted the invincible energy early on.

What does that band name mean? (Pertti, Sami and J-P) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

“Everyone has a nameday – it’s a Nordic tradition.” – J-P Passi

Why this band? (J-P) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

Who inspires Pertti Kurikan’s Nimipaivat? (Sami, Kari, and Toni) (Sidenote: Kari says “do you like,” meaning “I like” – also he is a library of music genres, take a listen!) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

Rewind, now recap: some of Kari’s favorites are Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Eminem, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Public Enemy, Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel, and Steppenwolf

How do you deal with the label of mentally handicapped? (Sami) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

“…I want people to call me Sam because I’m a person.” – Sami Helle

How does it feel to make the music you do? (Pertti, we understand what the other is saying here before translation..awesome) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

How long have you been playing? (Toni, sidenote: band formed in 2009) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

How do you find your style in music? (Toni and his bandmates talk balancing out their expectations) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

What should people understand after seeing “The Punk Syndrome?” (Sami and Kari) :

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    SXSW Film 2013 : “The Punk Syndrome” chat with Finland’s Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat

The Punk Syndrome,” won the SXSW film Audience Award for the category “SXGLOBAL.”

-Monica Solis, KTSW reporter

(Media – Monica Solis/KTSW 89.9, Celia Black/Silversalt PR, and SXSW)

 

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