Suiciderock: You are the owner of “ProPromotions”. What are your main tasks, the main functions of your job?
Taija Holm: My main target is to
make stars out of my artists. I want to see them as big stars one day. I want to
make people to buy their records. I`m responsible for the releases on the
national market and hopefully on the international market as well.
Suiciderock: ProPromotions exists since 2006. When did you decide to
open your own company and was it difficult to open it?
Taija Holm: I was
thinking about this for two years before I opened ProPromotions. I actually
wanted to be the person behind the artists I like. When you work for a record
company you just get the artists right infront of your nose. They are from all
genres from Hip Hop to Metal and you can`t choose with who you want to work.
With ProPromotion I`m happy to be able to choose the partners I like to work
with by myself.
Suiciderock: You work for some big Finish names, such as
Popeda. What criteria do the musicians have to bring with them to get your
attention and interest?
Taija Holm: Well, it depends on many many things.
The band or the artist has to be interesting in many different ways. I mean for
me the persons in a band have to be interesting. There has to be an impressing
story behind the persons, this is an aspect that is very important for me. I
can`t work with insane people. That`s why I have a few meetings with them
beforehand. It`s very hard to work with guys who are kind of “out of this
world”. I tried to say that very nicely now *smiles*. I think this are the main
Suiciderock: Was it always your intention to work in the music
Taija Holm: Yeah, you must know that my dad was a musician and my
mom is a marketing lady, so that`s why I always have been related to this
music-marketing stuff. Music has always played a very important roll in my
Suiciderock: Have you ever done something else than dealing with
Taija Holm: Yes, I wasn`t born in a record company *smiles*. I was
working for Tamperes Trade fair for about four years. I was responsible for many
different events here in Tampere. My work included many different fields from
handicrafts to some kind of security – themes, it was covering a wide spectrum.
But after a while I just found out that this is not me at all! I wanted to have
a job which is more related to music. I didn`t want to play or sing in some
band. It was clear that I want to work behind the artists and help them to push
themselves further. I wanted to be the lady who helps pushing their career step
by step into the next level.
Suiciderock: Have you ever tried how it is
to be on the other site? Did you ever play in a band yourself?
Oh I did. I had a band together with my little brother. We were playing some
Guns `n Roses songs in the very early 90`s. I was singing and I also played the
keyboards. Our dad was the one, who was most exited of our project. He was too
exited in my opinion. That was also the reason why I left the band later on
*smiles*. I was so ashamed of the whole situation that my dad was on every
of our gigs and so on. Imagine you are a teenager and you can`t go anywhere
without your father. He was carrying our instruments, he was our driver and also
the fact that I was playing with my little brother made it very difficult `cause
this was just too close for me. But I guess this was a good experience for me.
Suiciderock: Does this help you to understand your artists better?
Taija Holm: Yes, as I can understand my artists nowadays. I know what it is
like when they are rehearsing, playing gigs, preparing for them and so on
because I tried that myself before, too.l It`s like “been there, done that”. At
least they can`t come over to me and tell me that I don`t know what it is like.
Suiciderock: What are the positive and negative aspects of your job?
Taija Holm: Positive is that I can work with nice people everyday. Every day
is a different day. There is no day a like or similar to the other. I can be
creative, it`s a very enthusiastic job for me. The negative aspects are that I
have to care very much for the appointments of my artists. Most of them don`t
know what they have to do. I`m organising their schedules and they don`t know
their own schedule, even if I sent it to them. I have to remind them all the
time a lot. They call me and ask me if they can go to their grandma or whatever.
They don`t want to have anything to do with their schedules. Not all of them are
like that but if you have ten guys asking you all the time what`s going on it
feels a bit ununderstandable for me. It`s the character of some musicians. You
can`t change them. It`s quite hard for me to remind all those guys all the time.
That can be very negative sometimes.
Suiciderock: You have so many
projects going on besides ProPromotions. How do you manage to combine
Taija Holm: I show you my calendar. Luckily it`s big enough so I
can collect everything in it.
Suiciderock: So you don`t need someone to
Taija Holm: No, not at all. There`s everything in there, my
business life as well as my private life, also if it sometimes feels like I
don`t have so much of private life nowadays.
Suiciderock: Isn`t that
hard sometimes to work so hard all the time?
Taija Holm: I don`t take that
job as hard work. I would be depressed if I had nothing to do. I`m a workaholic.
I feel important while doing this. Of course, I can`t take care of everything as
also my days have only 24hours. That`s why I have my assistant Laura. She helps
me very much. I have to admit that I don`t have the time to do everything by
myself. I`m just a human beeing like anybody else out there.
Suiciderock: What characteristics does a good promoter need in your
Taija Holm: You have to be patient and you have to be a very social
person. A good promoter needs good connections. You have to collect those
connections so that you`ll get a wider and better net-work. You have to keep
your ears open, you have to stay interested in the things around you. It is also
very important to find the best partners to work with. I mean clients,
musicians, record companies and so on. It`s depending very much on the choices
you make. You have to be nice even if you are fucked up, you have to keep
Suiciderock: You received the music and media award 2008 two
Taija Holm: I think that I got this award because I`ve been very
nice to the people and because I`ve done my job good, I`ve done what I`ve
promised to my bands. I think I keep up the good spirit and that`s why all my
bands and partners like to work with me. They don`t have any border to call me.
They can always reach me and they`ll always find an open ear whenever they have
something in their mind. I do everything for them. I`m just there to hold their
hand, they have to walk their own way.
Suiciderock: How did it feel to
receive that award?
Taija Holm: I was so amazed `cause I didn`t know
anything beforehand. The organisers knew that I will be there because I was
working at the Music and Media event, so I had that pass to get in. We were
sitting on a table during the gala when the named the 3 nominees. When the host
said my name I was so surprised and overwhelmed. I only had 12 seconds to think
of my speech. It was the first time that this award went out of Helsinki. There
was a hell of a party afterwards.
Suiciderock: Please describe yourself
by using one word.
Taija Holm: Oh, that`s hard. I`m a quite nice person, I`m
good to work with and I have learned to be a better boss. I`m not giving up that
easily, I have that kind of fighter personality.
Suiciderock: Is there
any band, dead or alive you would love to work with?
Taija Holm: I admire
all Finish bands because they`ve done such a great job on the domestic market as
well as on the international market. That`s why I`ll name two Finish bands now:
These are HIM and Nightwish. I`m very sure that they know me already. I`ve spoken
with Nightwish´s Tuomas Hollopainen several times. We know each other, now we
have to see what happens in the future.
Suiciderock: Is there any band
that is not known yet, but you would recommend as kind of a secret tip?
Taija Holm: Yeah there is one. I would recommend a band called “RAW”. It`s a
trio and the bandmembers are all in the age of 12, so they are still teenagers.
They still go to school, they are very cute and they`ve composed all their songs
by themselves, they`ve written all their songs by themselves. They are very
talented guys, it is something new, something different if you compare them to
all this rockbands where all guys are about 25 years old. Plus they are singing
in Finish! They will also perfom at some festivals next summer.
Suiciderock: Your opinion about the Finish music industry at the moment?
Taija Holm: The decline of the album sells isn`t that much as forecasted.
It`s about 2%. The whole business hasn`t become as big as expected. There is a
big gap. The life-show business is growing very fast here in Finland. The people
prefer going to the shows instead of buying the cd´s. They buy the albums but
there is a big increase of the life show thing. It`s kicking!!!
Suiciderock: What kind of advice would you give to a young band or a
Taija Holm: If you make good music and you have good
partners who work hard with you along the whole way, than your future will be
Suiciderock: Your future projects?
Taija Holm: There is this
American promotion company, called “Mama Trash” who will hold their own
festival, the “Mama Trash Festival” in Helsinki next year and she asked me to
promote the whole event in March. She is a nice lady, I really like her. It will
take place in March in Helsinki and the club is called “Gloria”, so be there!!!