The band

Biography

The CrashTeemu Brunila and Samuli Haataja, two boys from Turku, Finland, first met each other at confirmation camp in 1991 and decided to form a band. Samuli's friend Erkki Kaila and Teemu's friend Dani Aavinen joined to complete the quartet. The band was first named Ladies & Gentlemen, but later changed its name to New Deal. The pre-Crash recorded some demos during the early 90s. In 1993 New Deal got a fifth member, Tommi Rapeli, and the old simple guitar pop was spiced with synthesizers. After two years, however, the band split up due to various reasons.

After a one year break Brunila, Haataja and Kaila started working together again. They abandoned the old immensely digital sound and also had to let go of the other members. This time the band aimed at simplistic Britpop. Toni Ahola, a skilled keyboardist and an old friend, joined the orchestra to play the analog synthesizer.

A promoter, Johan Hollstén, happened to hear a New Deal demo, loved it and wanted to hear more. The band convinced Hollstén of their talents and a "gig selling contract" was soon signed. Now the band changed its name twice, first to Crush, then to Crash and finally, because of other bands called Crash, to The Crash. The first gig of the renewed group was played in the summer of 1997. The band recorded a demo later in the year. Sugared, the opening song of the now legendary black EP, was picked up by the Finnish radio station Radiomafia. It got into powerplay and so The Crash made their first fans.

An actual recording contract was signed with Warner, one of the many companies that had shown interest. Hannu Pikkarainen became the producer and Comfort Deluxe, the debut album, was recorded quite quickly. It wasn't a great commercial success, but Comfort Deluxe still sold remarkably well considering that English guitar pop wasn't at all fashionable in Finland at the time. The video for Sugared, directed by Tommi Pietiläinen, was filmed at a tennis court. It was well received and the clip was even awarded with several prizes.

There was some success outside Finland, too. Sugared became a minor hit in Austria, for instance, where it topped the listeners' chart of the radio station FM4. The band played some concerts in Austria, Germany and Sweden, but Sugared didn't get enough airplay to be a real breakthrough song.

Ahola didn't have time for both his studies and the band, so he left The Crash early in the year 2000 and was soon replaced by Jussi Lehtinen, a well-known restaurateur from Turku.

Due to tours abroad and a heavy workload, the recordings of the second album were delayed time after time. After giving thought to all the options, the band decided to produce the album itself. When the recording sessions should have started, Jussi Lehtinen told the rest of the band he had to leave because he had too many other projects going on. The Crash was left without a keyboard player - again. In the end that didn't complicate things too much, though, and the group entered the studio without further problems.

Most of the music and sounds were carefully thought of before recording the album, but Teemu Brunila spent over three months fine-tuning the songs. The result was nevertheless an album that sounds as "Crash-y" as possible.

Brunila played keyboards in the studio, but a keyboardist was still needed for live performances. This gap was filled by Tomi Mäkilä, who had played with The Crash once before.

The Crash's comeback happened in its hometown Turku in October 2001 and the response was superb. During the band's Finnish tour most concerts were sold out. This was largely thanks to Lauren Caught My Eye, the ingenious first single from Wildlife. With its catchy and original French chorus it became an instant hit in the autumn and spent 17 weeks on the top 20 singles chart.

In 2002, The Crash concentrated on touring abroad supporting bigger acts: Eskobar, Weeping Willows and A-ha. The biggest success was in Sweden, Denmark, the Baltic and German-speaking countries as well as in Poland. The videos for Lauren Caught My Eye and Star were played quite a lot in several countries.

Early in 2003, Mäkilä - who had been praised as the best keyboard player in the Crash's history - finally became an official member of The Crash. After a pretty silent first half of 2003, the four-piece released a new single, Still Alive, in September. It was a hit in Finland, of course. The video for the song, Tommi Pietiläinen's Hill Street Blues-like masterpiece, catches the atmosphere of the song perfectly and has been played on MTV and elsewhere. It even got Pietiläinen his third Muuvi award for a Crash video (gold for Star and Still Alive, silver for Sugared).

Melodrama, the third album of The Crash, came out in October. Melodrama is a big step away from the old Britpop style and towards an 80's sound. The band has told this is the first time they have found their own true sound. This time the album was recorded "live" in the studio, with the exception of Brunila's vocals.

After touring in Finland for a while The Crash supported Reamonn in January 2004 during a quick tour in Germany. The audiences were filled with hard-rock enthusiasts, but The Crash managed to impress even some of them.

Melodrama was released in many European countries early in 2004. The song that got the greatest success was the three year old Star, which was played a lot in German eBay commercials and was included on the German version of Melodrama. The song was even released as a single and made it to the charts. The Crash toured in Germany twice more, first in May/June and then in August.

In 2005, The Crash started recording new songs. They also played their first ever concerts in the USA in March. In the summer The Crash shrunk to its original trio lineup, when Mäkilä left the band - that seems to be the fate of every keyboardist. To finish off their recording contract with Warner, The Crash released a hit collection called Selected Songs 1999-2005 in October. It features three new songs, one of which, Thorn In My Side, was a moderate radio hit. Tommi Pietiläinen designed and directed an animation video of Big Ass Love, which was played a lot on MTV. The animators were Aleksi Hyvönen and Janne Pellotsalo.

In 2006 the band played some gigs, but mainly concentrated on finishing the new album. Grace, a concert favourite, was released as a digital single in the summer. The album was named Pony Ride after its opening track and it was released in Finland September 27th. A lengthy Finnish tour featuring the band's new keyboard player, Samuli Jokinen (often called JJ to avoid confusion) followed in October. Another critically acclaimed video, Pony Ride was played a lot on MTV Finland.

This year The Crash have been signing deals with foreign record labels, meaning the new album will be released at least in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland and Japan. Samuli the bass player has been on paternal leave while the rest of the band visited USA and Japan to do some promoting.