Timo P. Nieminen: Of course, we know that this is a big problem. The bands are rehearsing in a old factory and the building is owned by a private company. So the responsibility is not lying in the hands of the city of Tampere, it is up to this private company mentioned above and they are planning to build new apartments where the old factory is right now. We are searching for a solution for this problem at the moment.
Timo P. Nieminen: This is a very difficult task. I know that we have a very big and fast growing rockscene here in Tampere. We really want to help them and we are eager to collaborate with this people. We are working very hard and very intensive to find a solution that suits everyone. I`ve heard that there are about 40 rockbands who are concerned of the closing. Unfortunately we are not in the position to provide the bands with alternatives as we don`t have enough facilities in the back right now. But there are some possibilities which we`ve thought about already.
Ritva Salisma: We have this program here in Tampere bearing the name “Creative Tampere”. This program contains several projects for players and musicians as well but this won`t start before next year. That`s the problem.
Timo P. Nieminen: We have a good balance when it comes to our economy also if the economical problems are growing and growing in the whole world. We can still live a normal life here in Tampere and so we have the possibility to provide this new building.
Suiciderock: How can we imagine the new building?
Timo P. Nieminen: We will build new houses as well as a new hotel where the old factory is right now. We plan a new building where we could find a place for the rehearsal rooms for about 30 bands but this will still take some time.
Suiciderock: Is there any possibility to offer rehearsal places for example in schools or other public places?
Ritva Salisma: We already have rehearsal rooms in different schools. You can find them for example in various music classes. Our schoolsystem is very good and of course it also includes music classes as well. We have lot´s of classical music classes but some of our schools have also included rock music. But it wouldn`t work out to open a rehearsal room for a real rockband in some of this schools.
Suiciderock: We were talking about the new rehearsal rooms that will be build by the city of Tampere. How much will be the rent for this rehearsal places?
Timo P. Nieminen: Well, of course the musicians will have to pay a rent for this rooms. It`s also not a secret that the rent they pay for the rooms in the old factory is quite cheap. We won`t be able to guarantee that the new rents will be cheap as they are now. I can`t say anything regarding the amount of this rent right now, we`ll have to see and talk about that again when we know more.
Ritva Salisma: But we are defiantly in the position to help the musicians when the rent is too much for them. We could support them with a state grant. Should the bands have a problem with the rent we are there to help them.
Timo P. Nieminen: However I don`t think that this will be a serious problem. There are some worldclass bands rehearsing in the old factory and they will be able to afford the rent anyway.
Suiciderock: Are you in contact with the bands? Do they have the opportunity to talk to you about that problems?
Timo P. Nieminen: Unfortunately I don`t have enough time to talk to all of them. But our culture office is taking care about this. The musicians can come there and talk about that stuff and we are there to help them than.
Ritva Salisma: A member of our touncounicl, Joonas Lepistö, is playing in a rockband as well. I think he is taking good care that the problems of his music collegues find an open ear.
Suiciderock: You will build this new culture centre. What about concerts? Is there a place for musicians as well?
Timo P. Nieminen: Yes, there will be a big room in this centre where bands are able to play their concerts. We are planning to organise concerts from all genres. Of course there will be some space for rockconcerts as well. It will be a centre for culture only. We are planning a lot of nice events from music to photography and other interesting things.
Ritva Salisma: It will be a place for all kinds of creative stuff.
Suiciderock: Joonas Lepistö organised a demonstration regarding the closing of the rehearsal rooms. Have you heard about that?
Timo P. Nieminen: I can understand the reasons for this demonstration very good. It was a peacefull demonstration. It is difficult for this people because they don`t know where to go now. It is not easy to find a rehearsalroom close to the city centre. It is possible to find one which is 7 to 8 kilometres far from the centre. Of course they are annoyed as it was quite uncomplicated for them to get to their old rehearsal places.
Suiciderock: Some musicians are planning to make a charity song together. What`s your opnion about that?
Timo P. Nieminen: I didn`t know about that until now. It is funny to hear that information from our German guests. Of course it is a good idea but I don`t think that it will help cause there is nothing we or the musicians could do to stop that.
Suiciderock: What role play the rehearsal places in your personal opinion?
Timo P. Nieminen: They are very important in my opinion. That´s why we are putting so much effort in solving this problem by building the new rehearsal rooms as soon as possible. Once the new places are ready the musicians won`t have such a long way to get to the places.
Suiciderock: Is it important that Tampere’s youth has the opportunity to spend their time at their rehearsal place practicing songs with their friends instead of hanging around on the street...?
Timo P. Niemienen: It definatly is. It is very important to have a hobby and if young guys are starting to play in a band also if it is just a hobby it helps to protect them from hanging around on the streets and it gives their live a special sense. It is very important to have that possibility for them. It gives them a balance comparing to everyday life.
Suiciderock Many successful bands are coming from Tampere/Finland. Do you know some of them?
Timo P. Nieminen: We have so many good bands here in Tampere and also in Finland. Of course I know some of them. I have 2 sons and they know a lot about the scene.
Suiciderock: Did you talk about the rehearsal room problem with your sons as well?
Timo P. Nieminen: We talk about music at home very often and we talked about the rehearsal room problem as well. It is very important to hear their opinion about the theme.
Suiciderock: Do they play in a band as well?
Timo P. Nieminen: No, no but they listen a lot to cd`s, that`s enough *smiles*.
Suiciderock: What is your advice to all the musicians who will lose their rehearsal places?
Timo P. Nieminen: They shouldn`t be so worried, everything is in good hands, the musicians just need to have a little patience.