TOMMI LIIMATAINEN
Hype Productions
Managing Director
Turku 2007


(Photo by Kicky / Suiciderock)

"The Career of the artist always comes first"

Suiciderock: Hype records was found a few years ago. Why did you decide to open your own company?
Tommi: I started to work with Negative about seven years ago. First we wanted a company that takes care only about management but we found a band, which is called So Called Plan and we were tyred to fight with other recordcompanies. So we decided to found our own record label. After So Called Plan we signed a couple of more bands. This bands started to work with us because they believe in our attitude and style. They like the way we manage everything on the musicmarket. We do it in a different way than for example the mayor labels would do it.

Suiciderock: Is it easy to build up your own company or label in Finland?
Tommi: No it`s not that easy. Because the Finnish music industry or let`s say the Finnish music market is not that big. We have only five million people here in Finnland and there are a lot of good bands. I think the order is like this. First comes the mayor labels like Universal. Sony-BMG and Warner, then there are two big companies when it comes to the Indie labels. It is very difficult to open up your own label. You have to work very hard.

Suiciderock: What have you done before you opened Hype?
Tommi: I worked with wines. I was some kind of a sales agent. I didn`t want to go on with this job because it was borring. I worked with Negative at the same time. It was a tough time for me. I needed to be like two persons at the same time. It was like in a bad movie. *smiles*

Suiciderock: You are working very hard. Isn`t it difficult if you haven`t any private life because you are working 24 hours in a row?
Tommi: It`s my lifestyle. It was my decision. My private life is rock music. I love it, it`s like I`m married to it. Kari and I have a big family with over 50 children. That was my choice. I`m not planning to buy a small house somewhere and get married. I want to live fast and die young. I`m not an rock artist but that`s the lifestyle that fits for me. I would say this is my destiny.

Suiciderock: What does a band need to have that you get interested in them?
Tommi: It`s always different. We don`t have a special standard how we find the bands. I see the music in pictures. If I can`t see this pictures I won`t work with the band. So it`s very simple.

Suiciderock: Both of your brothers are musicians. Did you ever consider to become a musician as well?
Tommi: No, I never wanted to become a musician. It is good if two brothers singing and the oldest one is talking shit all the time… No, I mean it`s enough like it is now. *smiles*.
Suiciderock: And someone has to take care of the money.
Tommi: Yes that`s true.

Suiciderock: What are the positive and negative aspects of being a manager?
Tommi: First of all I like my privacy. Sometimes I need one or two hours were it simply has to be totally quiet. On tour there is always somebody around. It`s the same procedure every day, so you start to get tired. And 12 guys in one bus that`s not really comfortable.

Suiciderock: What are the positive aspects of an independent label comparing to the mayor labels?
Tommi: Of course the mayor labels are bigger but it takes more time till they get in action. It`s much more easier for an Indie label, you can react faster. We can do whatever we want to do. When we get a good idea we don`t have to wait till we can use it and make it real and the most important point is that we work with human beings and not with products. I think this is one of our biggest challenge. The career of the artist always comes first and is the most important thing. After that all the money things will follow.

Suiciderock: If you could organise your own festival which bands would perform? I guess I know the answer but maybe you surprise me now…
Tommi *laughs*: Of course, Negative would be the headliner, then comes Uniklubi, So Called Plan, Dead by Gun, I think that there is only one band we would love to have for this festival outside of our family. This band would be The Ark. I like them a lot.

Suiciderock: Why don`t you organise an own festival?
Tommi: Maybe later. We could do a Hype Festival. Maybe we do this after summer. We are planning something like that in three ice halls and all the bands on stage. That would be a great rock show.

Suiciderock: And besides that? What are your future plans for Hype?
Tommi: Let`s see, when we have a good idea and the time is right we simply do it. That`s very simple.

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