Llions Interview – TEA Volume 13

Phillip Hong
28 April, 2009

Casual “jamming” into realization

llions1To distance themselves away from the predator of the African animal kingdom (if you live in Toronto, more like Cambridge and their African Lion Safari), LLIONS had no choice but to duplicate the “L” in their name. That created a very exotic “ull” sound in my mouth as if I was speaking Korean.

The diverse genre set of this group is as diverse as the group’s origins. What I thought was Malaysian was actually Finnish… but regardless of the ancestral origins of names in general, one could easily forget these little details for a type of music that brings comfort and uniqueness to a listener’s day.

How do you get rid of this “ull” sound, you ask? Listen to their music and this tongue-twister shall cease.

PHIL: What got you into music? Is it a natural part of you?

MATT: My parents enrolled me in piano lessons at age 5. Due to my piano experience and my ability to read music I was selected to play the drums in Jr. High, and the rest is history! I have many relatives with the “musical gift”, so I’d say it’s pretty natural for me.

SATU: I think I was just born this way. And if not, my family (parents, siblings, and extended family) are all very musical and have had a huge influence on me. It’s just like speaking another language.

SUVI: Like Matt, it was my parents that put us into music. Satu and I began with piano lessons, then later on we began violin lessons as well. Add to that a musical family, and presto! I’d like to think that it is a natural part of me. My entire family is musical and has a deep love affair for music, so I’m pretty sure that it is embedded in my genes (though maybe not in the jeans that I am wearing right now)!

JARKKO: Music was a part of my family growing up, and I just picked it up. I went through the motions with some piano lessons, but even when I started to figure out the guitar I just took it for granted that music is, always was, and always would be a normal part of my life.

PHIL: How did you guys become a group?

MATT: Well… it was a rainy night in September…

SATU: 1 Satu plus 1 Suvi plus 1 Jarkko plus 1 Matt equals 4 LLIONS!!! We simply started jamming and realized we could make something out of us.

llions2SUVI: It all began one fall (right Jarkko? My memory is a bit foggy and patchy). Satu, Jarkko and I were playing around with this idea of becoming a band… then one day, our brilliant Matt joined us!

JARKKO: I always wanted to play and create music with my sisters, and one day in late 2006 it all lined up: Matt and I already were already playing together in another band, I had developed some songs for a new project but didn’t know yet what to do with them, Satu and Suvi were excited with the ideas that I was getting… the opportunity was there and everyone was game… I think we just realized that we all were on the same page with respect to the sound and style we wanted to explore.

PHIL: What is the inspiration behind “One More Left”?

SATU: …Jarkko? Really influenced by our Finnish heritage I would say.

SUVI: …Jarkko, wrote it. He is Beethoven reincarnated. Satu agrees. The rest of us simply added our own touches to One More Left. Plain and simple.

Check out the rest of the interview with Llions at TEA on 148.ca

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *