Jarno Keskinen Interview 7/99

Kenziner Interview with Jarno Keskinen July 5, 1999
By Gary Weber of Melodic Metal Works.

MMWorks-Hi Jarno, thanks for the interview. Could you tell us briefly about your music history? How and why did you start playing guitar? Who were your influences?

Jarno -When I was eleven years old, I listened to lot of Heavy Metal: Iron Maiden, Accept, DIO, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne and others, so I got an electric guitar and started to create some noise out of it trying to create some scales, etc. Later I became interested in classical music also and when I saw Blackmore playing Beethoven on stage and after I heard guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen,Vinnie Moore, etc., I decided to practice only classical violin notes translated to electric guitar tabulature. I took few private "guitar lessons" and I asked from my teacher to translate some of the classical sequences of Bach, Vivaldi, Corelli, and Paganini for electric guitar. I was 16 years old by that time. I also got drums when I was 14, and I have played drums and guitars in local bands. Mostly, I have written my own material since I was 15 years old, so I would say that I have always had a passion to write music.

MMWorks-Is it true that you currently live in US? What city? What prompted you to move?

Jarno-No, that is just a rumor. Maybe, however, one day in the future things can be that way.

MMWorks-It seems that Finland is becoming a primary source of exceptional guitarists, especially given its small size. There is Erik Lars Mattson, Timo Tolkki, yourself. Is there something in the air, or is it the food? :)

Jarno-I think it is because of the weather? No, actually I think it is a question of whatever you do, no matter where ever you live, if you believe in your music and try to do all you can for your career, you can make it.

MMWorks-Your debut, "Timescape", showcases some amazing melodies, awesome playing skills and powerful lyrics. How long did it take to write all the songs?

Jarno-Thanks! Well, it took few months to write all of the Timescape material. I wrote "Images Of The Past" and "Walking In The Rain" in 2 days, "Into The Light" was written in 1994, and I just added a new sequence into the middle of the song which I borrowed and modified from Vivaldi. Sometimes the ideas just flow and sometimes not, but when I get a certain need or state of mind, I have to make the song ready right away.

MMWorks-Who are the other members of Kenziner and how did they become involved in the band?

Jarno-Currently Kenziner is: Brian Harris-drums, Mikko Harkin-keyboards, and Stephen Fredrick-all vocals.

MMWorks-The second album is in the works. Could you tell us anything about it? Will it continue to sound the same as the Kenziner we came to love? Will it be played by the current line-up?

Jarno-The second album is going to be a bit different from Timescape because there are actually 3 fast songs. The title song is a massive, over 10 minutes long, classically influenced, progressive type of a song with interesting parts. There is a variety between every song in The Prophecies like there was on the Timescape. The current line up is Brian Harris on Drums, Stephen Fredrick on Vocals Mikko Harkin on Keyboards, Jarno Keskinen all electric acoustic & guitars.

MMWorks-Since you play both, guitar and piano parts, is a live show out of the question, or are any gigs being considered?

Jarno-I now have a Keyboard player in the band so it is no problem to play live. Of course, when there is a demand for the tour we would love to play LIVE!

MMWorks-Will the new release be distributed in US?

Jarno-Yes, it is to be distributed by Leviathan Records.

MMWorks-Jarno, what do you think of the metal scene in US? Is it improving in quantity or quality?

Jarno-I just hope that Heavy Metal come back to spotlight.

MMWorks-If you had an opportunity to play a concert with any band/artist of your choosing, who would you pick?

Jarno-Any band? Well this is a trick question right :) ? With METALLICA of course!