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Interview – Olavi Tikka (The Milestones)

Interview with Olavi Tikka from The Milestones
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 October 2014, 1:10 PM

The Milestones are a Finnish band, who will soon release their 4th album; Higher Mountain - Closer Sun. Metal Temple's own Lior, has had the opportunity to speak with Olavi Tikka, about the new release as well as other interesting things going on for the band.

Greetings Olavi, plenty of thanks for your time for this interview for Metal Temple. How are you doing?

Thank you and thanks for asking, at the moment everything goes really well. The Milestones lives an interesting time right now, all looks promising.

After I recently introduced myself to your band The Milestones, the first thing that hit me was the fact that you guys are actually Finnish. In a way it was somewhat unthinkable as your music portrayed as if you were born and raised in Southern USA. Truthfully, is that the first time that someone tells you that?

Lot of people have been saying that over the years, and it is kind of funny. However, we’ve never actually paid attention to the fact what we should sound like, or should we sound like this or that American band. We appreciate the tradition but we’re trying to find out own path to walk, find our own sound, write good songs and enjoy the music

How can you explain your deep passion to old American music, to more accurate the old spirit of Rock N’ Roll, flash of Country and bliss of Blues?

I'm attracted to this genre's authenticity, spirituality and honesty. No bullshit or gimmicks.
As a singer I think the greatest ones are Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. Their way to interpret their emotions through music is unsurpassed, it's clean and always touches your the soul. The Milestones make music with emotion and so that things have a meaning.

In the coming period of time, The Milestones will be releasing their fourth album “Higher Mountain – Closer Sun”, via Listenable Records. Other than the will to pour myself a drink, this release is a true gaze backwards, sometimes even prior to 70’s Hard Rock. What is your stand regarding this album?

We have succeeded with this album very well. Our journey continues and right now we’re like hungry wild dogs locked in the cage waiting to get free to play great shows.

Do you believe that the band has successfully perfected the arts of such kind of music throughout its years? Do you aspire more?

I believe that this continuum has occurred naturally. On a technical level these days thing are done very differently than 45 years ago. The Milestones love the old blues rock and soul and it shines through the band's own sound. It all starts, however, with the musicians and singers with their own personality, which is the starting point for your own sound creation. Yes, we want more, thus make good music and spread it to the world.

What made this album as the band’s truest standpoint in comparison to the past in your point of view?

All Miles albums are equally authentic, and it is difficult to put them in order which is the best. Each album is from the heart, but I'd say Higher Mountain - Closer Sun is the strongest album to date. I'm sure that everyone who is in the recording band believes that the latest album is always the best.

What were the motifs that led to such titles as “Shalalalovers”, “Sweet Sounds” and “Drivin’ Wheel”? Was there that feeling of being loosen up or was it a different story entirely?

We have developed our own style of writing song over the years. Writing always starts with a killer guitar riff and cool chordal pattern. Of course we change the chords and stuff if we feel like it needs to be changed. In fact, I get the vibes and feel for the song from guitar riffs and then come up with melodies and lyrics based on those feelings. We all know that the songs is finally finished and good to go when everyone in the band is happy with the results. Until that happens we keep changing even smallest details of the song. Covering Drivin’ Wheel was our hats off to the great Foghat.

Can you shed some light on the creative side of the work on the release? Have you tried to come up with tunes that would set you as unique rather than American Rock followers?

The process of creation of each song and the album is like a prolonged time in the maternity ward, and writing a great song is like morphine.

When we're composing I try to walk the paths that I'm not already familiar with, so often I find something new. I think a good song is a good song, regardless of genre, the music has to be free and fly. Who would not want to be unique? Well, all people are unique. But the end results are always judged by someone else than the artist himself.

Looking forward, are there preparations for a support for the new release? Any tours, festivals for the coming year?

Let's just say that with Higher Mountain - Closer Sun album we have started a preparations for the gigs, etc. have begun. We are wiser at the end of September. Lots of stuff boiling under the lid.

Here is a general question. It is no secret the internet downloading may have helped large numbers bands to overcome the financial barriers in the music industry. However, it may also reflect as the industry’s downfall, what is your viewpoint on the matter? Do you agree to this assumption?

Music Business won't go away, it just changes form. The physical record sales has suffered the most, but I believe that it is also in fermentation. In the world everything has a habit of going in circles, and in the end everything comes back again after a while. Even though musical styles stay the same they always develop a little bit.

The Milestones is not against progress, on the contrary, we ourselves also want to keep moving, we have our own values and respect for the old and genuine way to do thing. Music is the most important thing. But hey, let all flowers bloom.

Olavi I wish to thank you for this interview. Your music is truly inspiring and contributing to being laid back and just enjoy the sounds. I hope this release will take one step forward. Any last words for the readers?

Thank you! Love one another and hold onto your dream…with your eyes open!


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