April 3, 2019

10 Questions: Eicca Toppinen

Eicca Toppinen is a Finnish cellist and co-founder of Apocalyptica.

  1. What’s your unmissable breakfast item?

I can easily miss breakfast on tour, but when I am home where I can decide what to eat, I eat berries, natural yoghurt and crushed linseeds. And have café latte.

  1. Which media and/or social media do you follow?

I use Facebook very randomly, mainly checking and posting stuff between my friends. I know everybody on my friend list personally. I also have a public profile but it follows my Instagram, which I mostly use. I never got into Twitter, even though I also have an account on Snapchat.

  1. What makes you lose track of time?

Whatever, I guess, as I am constantly losing track of time. I can’t remember which day it is and, many times, what the time is. Sometimes this happens because I am concentrating so much on something – it can be basically whatever: work, conversation etc. And sometimes I lose track of time because I am not concentrating at all. Usually I am late because of this.

  1. Why did you become a cellist?

I started to play when I was nine. I never thought that playing could become my profession until I got into the Sibelius Academy at the age of 17. There I realised I might have the skills to become a professional, but I still didn’t think about what it meant, I just enjoyed playing.

  1. Apocalyptica is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut album, how has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

It has evolved in soooo many ways… In the beginning we were just bunch of friends who played cello but also loved metal music. After our second album, we started to feel more like a band and it was time to start to find our own musical identity, and writing our own music was the key to that. Therefore our third album, Cult, was a very important turning point. And since we started to write our own music, we started to add additional elements like drums and vocals to our music as well. So, our eight studio albums are very different from each other because it has been very important for us to always try new approaches and ways to make music, to challenge ourselves and to get inspired by something new and exciting.

  1. What band best represents Finnishness?

Many bands do, but I would say we represent it very well. We have the combination of a raw and beautiful sound, an attitude of no fear and a mission to create something unique, original and fresh.

  1. What is the biggest challenge you have faced professionally?

It is hard to say. My career has been full of challenges that have felt impossible at first glance, so it is not possible to name one. In general, the biggest challenge is to avoid getting cynical and negative, as the music business can also be full of shit and things that are not real or good for you.

  1. Who is your hero?

I don’t really have heroes I could name. I think everyone who is living his/her life truthfully, with passion, ambition and vision, and respecting other people and nature, can be my hero.

  1. If Finland was a flavour, what would it be?

Havunneula. Whatever that is in English. (Coniferous needle)

  1. What do you like to do most when not playing cello?

Multiple things. Nature is important for me, as I spend my time either gardening, doing forestry work, boating or running in the forest. In addition, I like cooking, drinking beer and hanging out with friends and family and, of course, sauna. That’s one of my huge passions.

 

*This article was originally published in November 2018.

 

Photo: Christian Ripkens

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