Following my review of Jykkälä’s EP, Disappearers, I decided to find out more about the person behind this wonderful music…
1) You’re very mysterious, and I can’t help wondering about the person or people behind your music… so, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I like being mysterious, it keeps people guessing and retains a certain romanticism too. I can say that my name is John Sorensen-Jones, the sole full time member of Jykkälä, there are a few other musicians who contribute occasionally to the project.
2) Where does the name Jykkälä come from?
To be honest, I like the word and the sound it makes – I read it somewhere I forget where. I think it is a rare Finnish surname.
2) What’s your musical background?
I had 10 keyboard lessons when I was 10 or 11 years old, I learnt to play Hey Jude and Roll Out The Barrel. Nothing more exciting I’m afraid. I have never studied music theory either.
3) What or who influences and inspires you in your music?
Many artist and bands have influenced me over the years, if I had to choose a few, they would be Sigur Rós, Boards Of Canada, Brian Eno, Múm and M83. There are many many more. As for inspiration, I draw from all areas of life, I make notes constantly in notebooks and in my iphone. Moments, situations, emotions and people.
4) Have you played live at all? If so, what’s your best gig experience to date? If not, do you have any plans to tour?
I have played live only once under a different name at a festival last year. I played on the main stage prior to Public Service Broadcasting, the whole thing was a really great experience. It would be great to bring Jykkälä to the stage with a full band presence in the future, we’ll have to see how that pans out I think but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
5) What has the reaction been so far to your music?
Pretty encouraging and actually better than I thought it would be.
I used to make music for other people and for certain markets. I now make music that I love making and as long as I can touch at least one person emotionally with my music then I am a success.
6) You brought out your last EP, SangeForElskere, on Valentine’s Day – are you a romantic soul?
Very much so, I actually rushed the EP out to coincide, the EP title actually translates to ‘Songs For Lovers’ I kind of felt it needed to come out on that day. I only finalised the artwork 2 hours before I released it!!!
7) You have a heavy online presence as far as releasing your music goes – this seems to be how things are now, not just how things will look in the future. What do you think about that? Would you like to branch out and release a physical CD at some point, too?
The music industry is in a pretty scary place right now, with everything digital and streaming websites destroying a lot of physical releases. I would like to get my music released physically and that is something I want to work towards with the album, if that works out and the demand is there then I might release a compilation CD of the EPs too. A real dream would be to release my album on vinyl.
8) How has your music evolved over time? Have you experimented with different instruments and genres at all?
When I first started making music back in 1998, it was very laidback and similar to what I make now. I moved to a more upbeat and dance style in the late 00s right up until last year. I am much happier where I am right now, I’ve come home.
9) What’s next for Jykkälä? I understand there’s an album pending – can we expect a tour?
Yes there will be an album ‘We Came For Tomorrow’ to be released later in the year, preceded by a single. I’ll probably squeeze in another EP in between now and then too for good measure!
Thanks very much for taking the time out to talk to me – wishing you all the best with your album, and for your musical future! I love your work, and can’t wait to hear more!