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Cozhe: using music as tool to express our life.
Harri Kokkonen - drums
Janne Nevalainen - keyboards,
Joni Seppälä - guitars
Sami Järvinen - bass
Yes, our style is somewhat combination of traditional prog rock
and hard rock, but we have no specific goal to sound any "other"
band, just our self. Perhaps we - and you too - should drop the
words "prog" and "hard", thank you.
COZHE, what does it mean ? I must be honest, I had to think for a
while. It was late 90´es when me and my friends had a sort
of a loose jam-session type of band in Espoo, Finland. I had
moved away from my hometown to Helsinki-area, and all my previous
music projects ended.
I was living in old soon-to-be-demolished house which was
"commune" type of household, three residents, and 30 friends :) We
played a lot of jam-sessions, and we called our self "Cosmic Haze
Blues band". From these sessions we also created band called
"Ragablaster"..a ska/reggae band, which is of cource another story
I tried to move forward from the cover songs to our own material,
but due some reasons I don´t know, my mates were not
interested to progress with the style I was interested. I had
already bookings for the summer festivals etc...but it failed. One
thing what we managed to do was several demo songs in my
friend´s studio/training place, and one of the songs was
"Unhero"...the first one. Later this "Unhero" story had second
song, which is now part of the "Pressure Fractures" album.
Of Of cource I am grateful for the every session we had in Espoo
under name "Cosmic Haze Blues Band". But just to be clear: COZHE
as we now know it, started from the beginning with Harri and
I believe that name Cozhe was some kind of acronym of Cosmic
Haze...but generally the name have no meaning, once I managed to
Google that the word should mean "nothing" in some American Indian
language. Let me know if you find more information. It is also
almost same than some Tibetan village, but this is pure
co-incidence. Read more about from the Wikipedia:cozhe. if you
Harri Kokkonen, drums:
Janne had an idea, and Harri had an vision how to make it true.
Janne recalls: "It was total chock for me when I first time heard
Harri´s playing. It took about two to three seconds and I
realized that this is what I´ve been waiting for whole of my
life. Soon we understood that together we will be able to make our
musical dreams to come true.
First years, 2002-2004 we managed to play several times together,
but when I got married and babies appeared, time to continue with
intensive training was impossible. Harri had a lot of work with
his company, so we had a sort of decline in our project. We had
quite close relations between Harri and me, but training together
just didn´t work. My parents had to sell their house, I had
to transport my sailing-ship project about 100km to another
ship-yard...so there was a lot of other things to do.
In late year 2009 Harri called me and said: "I´ve had enough
this business that nothing progress. I´ve decided that I
will create a band that will DO something...just a one question,
Janne: do you or do you not want to create music ? Yes or no ? " I
senced in positive way that now Harri must have realized something
that has to be sort out. I said "Yes, I will want to
continue. I have only one favor: we have to have tight schedule
due the fact that I have small kids..."
Then we started to clear our schedules so that we could start to
play again. Several people attended occasionally our sessions, but
seriously we found only one promising talent:
Our guitarist: Joni
As I had no guitarist around, Harri suggested a one guy whom he
had known several years but they had not played together ever.
Harri was convinced about his talents, based on the listening
session they had in some car ! Harri realized that this guy really
knows and understands the music. So we arranged that Joni would
attend to our training, and we played our songs, like Far Away,
and Cave. I remember that Joni said "this is terrible song, this
Cave..." when I told the story. I was a bit afraid that Joni would
have depressed feeling about our songs. Well, they do have some
gloomy stories, but as I have always said: not without empathy.
Soon Joni adapted our line, and started to have more and more
creative role, I had no guitar-lines in my mind, so Joni got free
hands to play in his way. In several months, during the year 2010
we started to react to each others playing and a lot of free ideas
evolved. I started to compose new songs that were more for each of
us, and since now the basic sound and ideology behind the band
sound was created, I managed to create songs like: "Unhero2" (
which will be named now "Unhero" ) and "Symphony of the fools"...
During our sessions, Harri demonstrated his own songs, of cource
very rhythmically created, and Joni started to play riffs over
them. One of these songs is now "Backstabber". Since the song is
composed by Harri, it has more "hard-rock" style than the other
songs. We had discussed several times about "backstabbing" in
figurative context, so I asked from Harri could I create lyrics
for this theme. Now the lyrics belong to main theme nicely:
Backstabbing is something we´ve had experienced a lot in our
life, so this song has special place in our minds.
Joni has the "ultimate sound" in his fingers....I had now second
time this "wow" feeling when Joni started to play....instant
expression from the mind and heart to the speakers. Several times
Joni came to training with bleeding fingers ( repairing a car in
high-way with pocket knife and iron wire...what ever needed to
carry on. ) but managed to play full session through. Nothing
Harri said many times: "this whole thing is going to be
hard...believe me, everything has always been hard. But I
don´t mind. We just have to continue, ok? " I promised to
cut of my other projects ( some solo work has been under
construction now for 6 years, I will let you know about that
later. ) and just to bang my head along yours, no problem.
Our first bass player: Rude
I knew Rude from our reggae band Ragablaster, where we had played
together few jam sessions and few gigs together. I asked could he
join us. Rude attended several times, but due the fact that he has
his business running, I was too difficult to arrange common time
between us. We sincerely thank you Rude ! He gave us valuable
support when we started to create bass-lines for the songs, and
one arrangement idea is still used: the end of the "Love has left
the building"...he solved the case, which had bothered me many
Actually, there was a one bass player before the Rude: Jarza
Kujala ( ex White Flash bassist ) who helped me even before Harri.
Jarza helped me with several songs that are not in the album, but
will be later recorded. So, I thank Jarza also !
Harri knew one young man from his previous musical circles: about
twenty years ago Harri was the drummer of "Requiem" ( there has
been several bands with this name, but this was located in Hamina,
Finland. ) When they disbanded, remaining members incorporated
famous "Kengurumeininki" orchestra for the children music ! Around
Requiem were several followers, who never forget the ultimate
heavy rock they did.
Our bass player: Sami
One day, in year 2010 Harri met by sudden a guy he knew as "kid
brother" one of his close friends. He recognized Harri and said
"All music sucks. I was just listening your old recordings, and
they were great." Harri told that actually he has started to play
again, and was looking for a bass player.
"Would you like to join us?" , Harri asked. Sami was somewhat
amazed, since he had been a young kid listening the big boys in
his childhood. Harri managed him to join, and after some weeks
Sami attended our session. I soon learned to like Sami: we have
somewhat similar character, a lot of common interests, and perhaps
a little a bit of multi-instrumentalist. It was clear that Sami
should do his homework well, since this was serious business and
since he had no bass-equipment of his own, he needed a lot of
training to catch up . But in two sessions, it was clear that Sami
was now the best solution.
Now we had a band ! And we started to arrange the songs for the
album "Pressure Fractures". Next phase: In year 2011, August, we
started the recordings.