Let me use a “timemachine” and go back for a while, see how it all started..
“In the end you’ll find yourself somehow going back.. going back in time”.
“Neuroactive” is a Finish techno pop band. It was formed in 1991 and the first record deal was with Cyberware Productions, a Finish label. Later on they moved onto “A Different Drum”. Neuroactive and their “Soundwave 2000” studio is now based in Finland, in a city called Tampere. Their studio, “more beautiful than ever”, is something Jarkko Tuohimaa has build himself, being very proud of that!
- LE : Is Finland a place suited for artists who engage themselves in the creation and production of electronic music? Is there enough audience, supportive to this kind of music scene?
- J.T : As everywhere else Synthpop is an underground movement. There seems to be some audience everywhere you go. But the answer to your question is that… nowadays when we seldom do gigs here in Finland there seems to be quite a big audience.
- LE : Does your name “neuroactive” involve any neurological implications…? How did you come up with such a name for you band?
- J.T : At that time it seemed a very good name and I thought it didn’t really mean anything specific, but at late nineties some ‘neurological medicines’ started to appear, known as “Neuroactive”. So at that time I thought I just came up with a unique name.
- LE : We currently experience the melodic synthpop enriched with dark electronic soundscapes of Neuroactive. However, there has been a time when you were experimenting with different music styles. What would they be?
- J.T : I think that the first album (Morphology) involved some Electro/ Industrial elements. Melodies seemed to be quite simple on it. Phonic Trace left Industrial elements and focused on more Electro /Techno style compositions. Fiber-Optic Rhythm showed a way to more Synthpop territories. Still there were lots of techno edges Involved.
Those different music styles were, in some ways, reflected in our music later on.
- LE : What other influences would help you form your own music character?
- J.T : I think it’s the working method that brings neuroactive it’s own character…
It’s the way I use all the devices.
- LE : How does the lyric writing play its role in the creative procedure of each song?
- J.T : Usually the lyrics and the theme come after the composition has been made.
- LE : Has the reception of your music by the European audience met your expectations?
- J.T : At the moment I really wish we had a European distributor that could push our material more to the EU area, since the reactions of the audience in Europe are quite the same as those of our US fans. European audience has been great all the time and I just wish they had better access to our material.
- LE : Wave In Head (you got involved in the mastering of their debut album “Time to speak”, if I’m not wrong), System22, Iris, Cosmicity: Those were groups that performed live along with Neuroactive in Detroit in July 27, 2002, at the Motor Pop festival. How was the festival and what were the audience’s reactions?J.T : Regarding the mastering, I do a lot of that for many bands… I’ve done it for many European bands that are on ADD. Wave In Head, Nine, Blue October, Echo Image, Sweep…to mention a few. I just have very good processors for that job.
Motorpop was a nice experience… there was a little less audience than what we/promoters expected, but the audience was playing along beautifully.
- LE : Could you tell us some things about your collaborations with other groups? How were your relations each time and in what way would those collaborations help Neuroactive advance their music?
- J.T : I have done lots of remixing during all these years. Usually It somehow helps to bring down song structures… that’s something you take away with those projects.
- LE : There is this ”Neurology” compilation with remixed songs from your various releases between 1994 and 2000…Do you think it is a good representative of your work as a whole? (Many people, here, know about you through this collection).
- J.T : It’s quite amazing to see how important that release is. Many of the mixes I had made for that release were made in rush and didn’t sound right for me… Still I think it was a very interesting compilation. But if someone would ask me to put together a CD with all the best versions of neuroactive songs, the versions would be quite different. Actually I’ve just made Space Divider CDM and it includes a megamix of the whole neuroactive career and I did just that! I chose all the best versions of the tracks and put them on one mix. The only one song that wasn’t the best version was Neuron. I used the EU album version instead of the Denatured mix… that was because the Denatured mix was too hard to mix together with other material.
- LE : K. Karjalainen: After Rainne and Brusi, initial members of the band, had left Neuroactive, you requested K. Karjalainen to sing for “Parallel”, which was later included in the album “Fiber-Optic Rhythm”. What was/is his importance for Neuroactive?
- J.T : I think he did a great job on both albums that he was involved into. He really brought life into Neuroactive’s music. I think he has the voice that really suits Neuroactive’s music. “Transients” will be an album difficult to beat on every stage for me… So that’s why I will try to shake some unknown territories with N-Gin.
- LE : Is there any chance that you two might work together again in the future?
- J.T : At the moment it seems like we’re not gonna make anything together in future. Karjalainen wanted to seek different styles of music…
- LE : You’ve already informed us about the shift in the new album: “There will be several guest singers in this new album. Some of them will be female”. Will those vocal variations give a new character to Neuroactive and what do you expect it (this new character) to be?
- J.T : Of course they will… but that is left to be heard. Right now I have a lot of tracks in my hands that require to be mixed down as tracks! Then I’ll choose the 10 or 11 best out of them.
- LE : Your new album “N-gin” is expected to be released by ‘A Different Drum’ at any moment soon! Any plans for touring and if so, where could somebody see you performing live?
- J.T : That’s a tough one… I don’t know what’s gonna happen on that field right now.. It’s an area which I haven’t really thought about, I have to figure out what kind of live set I can pull through… N-Gin will show the way; if there is enough potential interest from club audiences. Only future will tell.