House Tech  / FHO
Tampere 2011

"When the tourbus leaves, you can leave all troubles behind"

Suiciderock: Your main job is doing the sound, but there are so many other tasks around this, can you tell us something about your job?

Peve: Yeah that`s true my basic job is doing the sound with band`s I`m on the road with. But I`m also working as house tech here at Klubi which includes lots of other duties than just doing the sound. Together with our promoter Tero I work as host for the bands who come to play at Klubi and I`m the stage manager. Of course, there are always lots of questions when foreign bands come to perform here. I`m responsible for the so called Front Of House sound, the sound the audience hears and of course the sound for the stage as well, sometimes I`m doing the lights, too.

Suiciderock: And when you are on the road with the bands?
Peve: Than I`m their driver, tour manager, doing the sound and the lights, I`m a friend and some kind of mother for the bands if needed *lauhgs*

Suiciderock: What kind of questions do come up to you for example?
Peve: Well, they ask about the basic stuff like internet access, where they can have fixed their instruments when they get broken. We had once this legendary reggaeband, The Wailers playing here and the guitar of their guitar player was broken so I drove all around on the same day of the gig to get it fixed.

Suiciderock: When did you start with the whole thing?
Peve: That was back in 1988. Back then I was still in highschool and I really wanted to do something with bands and that included music itself. The only problem was that I didn`t know what. First I thought it would be great to be a band manager, but I was only 16 years old so this was quite impossible. I mean have you ever met a 16-year old manager? So I had to think about something else. In the same year I found this one book from one second hand book shop here in Tampere. I won`t mention the name of the store now cause it still exists… I was totally broke so I stole this one book written by a very famous finnish rockjournalist, Juho K. Juntunen. He wrote stories about Bands like Popeda, Juice Leskinen, Eppu Normaali and their Crews, so I found out that there are guys like roadies and such. So I thought to myself that this could be what I want to do.

Suiciderock: Why didn`t you join a band? That would have been the easiest way to get involved.
Peve: Actually I didn`t have the courage to do that cause I don`t have any real music background, I can`t play any music instrument. I played some bass in my music class when I was in the 9th grade in school but that was not for me.

Suiciderock: How do you become a roadie or light tech? You can`t really study that…
Peve: When I started there were no schools for that existing, nowadays there are some institutions where you can learn the mixing and doing the lights and such.

Suiciderock: You are also teaching some “Lightengineers to be”. Right?
Peve: Yeah that`s right. I have had lots of students here at Klubi doing their rehearsals. I still think that practise is the best way to learn the whole thing. Nothing is better than the good old learning by doing. It`s definately the best way. You can`t teach anyones ears to find the right sound when mixing a band for example.

Suiciderock: Is it difficult to find the right sound when you have to work in so many different venues, cause the sound varies from club to club?
Peve: Actually at least for me it is kinda difficult. Of course it depends on the person who is doing it but I always have been doing my best. During the years I adapted myself to the different sound systems and venues but personally I still find it difficult as not only the sound system changes but also the bands I`m working with. So I have to adapt myself every time in a new way.

Suiciderock: So it never gets boring?
Peve: Well sometimes it does. I mean when you are on the road with a band for a certain period of time and you have heard their set like 80 times you get a bit used to it. Then the idea to do something else comes to my head at least for a while.

Suiciderock: Did you ever work in any other job?
Peve: When I was 13 years old I did my first summer job. I started to work as a construction worker as my father was the boss of a big construction company. I saw my dad waking up 6am and then he had to go to that construction site no matter what the weather was. I`ve always hated to wake up early in the morning. So this was not my future job. The next summer I worked for a cleaning company which was neither my cup of tea. Later I was working on a garbage truck with the guitar player of the first band I was working for. Actually it was quite nice when you get used to the smell you were surrounded. After that I started my studies at the university and I also started to work as a DJ besides working for bands. I was also working as a chief for the technical department of this disco company which booked djs and stuff like that.

Suiciderock: What makes Klubi so special as a workplace?
Peve: Well, I have a very long history with this place. When I started to go to see concerts there was no place like this in Tampere. The only Music Club in Tampere back then was Yo-Talo and you had to be 18 years old plus you needed a student card to get in there . Five days a week I had to take a bus to get to my high school and I always passed this building and I tried to imagine how this place will turn out to be. My first workday here at Klubi was in 1994. I was dreaming a very long time to get a workplace like this and I fullfilled that dream.

Suiciderock: Can you choose which band you are working for or who you go on tour with?
Peve: Yeah, I mean nowadays I wouldn`t work with a band that I don’t like. That makes no sense. I can make my living from working here as a housetech but the reason why I still go on tour is that I love it. Nowadays I only work with the people I like. I couldn`t see myself on the road with one of those idols winners for example. There should be some deeper meaning in the music. I like to work with artists.

Suiciderock: Positive and negative aspects of your job? What do you like and what do you hate about it?
Peve: Hm, it`s not everybodys job. It´s one of the positive aspects but it is also always a golden cage. Everytime you make yourself free of something you make it your prison at the same time, I think. At least the feeling that you are a bit out of the society and you have your own rules. Everytime when the tourbus leaves Tampere you can leave everything that bothers you behind, all the worries, money troubles, troubles with your girlfriend and all that kind of stuff. What is not so good about this job are the long hours you have to wait. Sometimes you drive 5 hours then you wait another 5 hours and then you play 45 minutes and drive 5 hours back. That`s not so nice.