Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Grandmother Corn

Photo courtesy of Grandmother Corn Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

With a reputation for high-energy stage performances around the United Kingdom and Europe, Finland-based rock quintet Grandmother Corn had their biggest challenge in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the live music industry dead in its tracks.

Their track “Help Me” was the second single to drop from their upcoming fourth album. With a modern edge on a vintage tune, it was originally written and released by Sly Stone in 1962 as “Help Me With My Broken Heart.”

Grandmother Corn are vocalist/guitarist Teo Hirvonen, harmonica player Pan Hirvonen, drummer/percussionist Henri Lintula, bassist Rasmus Ruonakoski and lead guitarist Max Somerjoki.

The Music Bugle had the chance to chat with the band about “Help Me” and more.

Music Bugle – How did you decide the band name?

Teo Hirvonen – The name of the band came while we were on our way to our very first gig. Max was eating corn from a can and we all thought at that moment, he looked like a grandmother. 

Music Bugle – What inspired your recent single “Help Me”?

Rasmus Ruonakoski – The arrangement for “Help Me” came together when a taxi cab driver in Manchester asked us to play something for him on acoustic guitar while he was driving. We were mostly jamming stuff and some of it ended up being the basic arrangement of “Help Me.”

Music Bugle – What’s the biggest challenge of being a quintet?

Pan Hirvonen – Fitting everybody into a one three-person tent while trying to save some accommodation money on the road. 

Music Bugle – How would you describe Finland to someone who has never been there before?

Henri Lintula – Sort of a mashup of Scandinavian and Baltic countries and then some.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?

Max Somerjoki – There’s a lot of room for improvization. We don’t have to play the same stuff the same way every night.

Music Bugle – Of the shows you’ve played, which is your personal favorite?

Pan Hirvonen – In February 2020, we played our Manchester debut at The Twisted Wheel & The Night People. If we’d have to pick one, then that’d be it.

Max Somerjoki – Maybe it’s because we have such fond memories of that mentioned taxi driver?

Music Bugle – How would you compare your new music to your oldest?

Teo Hirvonen – We’d all agree – Track four of Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Rasmus Ruonakoski – We were supposed to be touring around Europe and UK for the most part of 2019 and then spend 2020 writing and recording new stuff. Now, it’s going the other way around. We’ve recorded enough material for a double album already.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape? 

Teo Hirvonen – Narnia?

Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about the band? 

Henri Lintula – Max, Pan and Teo are brothers and the whole band has known each other for the most part of our lives.

*Photo Credit – Mikael Uimonen*

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