Olimpia Splendid sound a bit like all our favourite guitar bands rolled up into one. Made up of three woman at the beating-heart of the Helsinki art and music underground – Heta Bilaletdin, Jonna Karanka and Katri Sipiläinen – they make wiry, hypnotic and out-of tune DIY punk with guitars, bass and a drum machine. Reliably brilliant weirdo imprint Fonal Records released their debut 7” ep in 2013, which was followed by a full-length debut in July 2015.
We caught up for a quick chat with them ahead of their show at Counterflows, where they will be playing the late night party on Friday the 7th of April at Saramago. Details and tickets of which can be found here.
Hey – how are you?
Jonna: I’m good. Going to play a solo-gig in few hours so I’m bit nervous… I have two new songs on the set list that aren’t really finished yet but I decided to perform them anyway… Also been working on a grant application which is painful… Otherwise, life is pretty sweet!
Katri: I´m good too. Saying Hello to Sun, to the morning light shining through the window. I am recovering from nasty flue and waiting to get strong enough to get back with the things I love to do like drawing, painting, skate….There are many wonderfull things to do.
So how did Olimpia Splendid start as a band?
Jonna: We just decided it would be nice play together. I didn’t know Katri or Heta that well in 2010 so the band was also a way for making new friends.
Katri: I think we approached music rather through sound than f.ex. popsong structures. We jammed exceedingly long and minimalistic at Jonna´s studio in Otaniemi.
How is the health of the Helsinki art/music scene at the moment?
Jonna: It’s alive and rocking! We just played at a two-day festival with 20 other bands. The theme of the festival was Turtles. It was great, lots of Turtles-spray painted cloths hanging from the walls & ceiling. There’s a lot of music happening all the time in Helsinki, it’s really inspiring.
Katri: True that. There are many non profit operators, active artists and musicians.
Are there any particular acts or artists there that are currently exciting you?
Jonna: My heart beats with the rhythm of Sahelsounds. It’s my favorite label at the moment. Last year I also dropped on the floor by the weight of my jaw when I heard Joanna Brouk’s “Hearing Music”. It’s a stunning piece of music.
Katri: If you have a change see live estonian experimental Death Metal duo Neoandertals, go for it. I Enjoyed their performance at UH-fest in Budapest last year.
What can we expect from your show here at Counterflows?
Jonna: De-tuned bliss.
Are there any other artists you are looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Jonna: LES FILLES DE ILLIGHADAD!!!
Katri: Same here!