10 Questions: Petteri Sariola


  1. What makes you get up in the morning, every day?

Every day is a new adventure, I want to get out there and I do my thing. Also, I have a good coffee machine – that helps too.

  1. How did you get into music?

We have a lot of musicians in the family, we’re now the fifth generation. Music was always a part of our daily lives at home. I eventually started playing the classical guitar when I was seven.

  1. Your fourth solo album, Resolution, was released last year. How has your music evolved since you began to play your own compositions?

I started composing as early as I can remember, I was probably four years old. My third album (Through the Eyes of Others, 2013) was a cover album, but everything else I’ve done (Silence!, 2007; Phases, 2009; Resolution, 2017) has been my original material. Doing the cover album gave me a healthy break from the pressure of composing new, original material. I learnt a lot from the process, and it inspired me to write new things.

  1. You have a very unique sound. How difficult is it to develop your own style?

It’s a labour of love. You must explore, challenge yourself and learn from mistakes. I didn’t really aim to do this, it happened naturally. I still practise and try to listen to my body and the subconscious about where I need to grow, both technically and artistically. I studied formally both classical and electric guitar in the conservatories and academies here in Helsinki and graduated back in 2007.

  1. How has growing up in Finland affected your music?

Sure, the folk music and the sound of kantele have had a profound effect on me. My grandfather, Martti Pokela, was a kantele player, and quite often I find myself doing things that sound like something he would have done.

  1. You have been touring all around the globe. Are there performances or moments that stand out for their significance?

Sure, opening for Tori Amos twice here in Helsinki was a blast, playing in London and LA were unforgettable experiences, and touring in Asia is always an adventure. One fun experience was doing a surprise performance with Finnish singer Pete Parkkonen on the SuomiLOVE music programme on national TV here in Finland. We played in a pool in the middle of a dance group, with disco lights and everything. The water was up to our knees!

  1. When are you at your happiest?

Being in the moment.

  1. What kind of music do you listen to at home, when you are all alone?

It depends, I try to choose the music based on the current task and vibe. For example, I listen to rock when I need to do chores and jazz when I’m relaxing.

  1. What sole item would take with you to a deserted island?

A portable teleport so I can get back home when I need to. I could also go back there for vacations. Beam me up, Scotty!

  1. Resolution concluded a 10-year project of creating a trilogy of albums containing original compositions. What is next on your to-do list?

I recorded the concerts from my anniversary/album trilogy tour in Finland last year. I will release a live album this year.

Photo: AJ Savolainen

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