The Rasmus have been my favorite band since I was about twelve years old. For the past ten years, I have played their songs almost daily, allowing them to help shape my relationship with music as a whole. Though it was difficult to only focus on one artist, as I have adopted many other favorite bands over the years, The Rasmus was the most obvious and important option.
(L-R: Heinonen, Hakala, Ylönen, Rantasalmi)
The Rasmus are a four piece rock band from Helsinki, Finland. The band formed in 1994, when the members were still in high school. They performed their first show together at their school’s Christmas party, and signed to Warner Music Finland in 1996. Though the band rotated out a few different drummers in their early years, the current lineup has not changed since 1998, and consists of singer Lauri Ylönen, guitarist Pauli Rantasalmi, bassist Eero Heinonen, and drummer Aki Hakala. The genre of the band is difficult to pin down, as they have experimented with a lighter sound throughout their early years, however, it seems the far-reaching genre of “rock” suits them best, as this is where they seem to have settled.
“Guilty” off of 2003 album Dead Letters.
Though they have experienced years of success overseas, one worldwide hit that put them on the charts here in the United States was “In The Shadows” off of their 2003 album Dead Letters. This song landed them on Fuse many times, and even lead to a US tour in the fall of 2006 (in which I saw and met the band three times. They were wonderful).
“In The Shadows” off of 2003 album Dead Letters.
Yes, those are crow feathers in the singers hair! Singer Lauri Ylönen is heavily influenced by the 1994 movie The Crow, and often emulates the style of main character Eric Draven. He is also greatly influenced by Icelandic singer Björk, and has released a solo album in which the influence of her unique sound and style are clearly heard and seen. The band has even covered a Björk song, “Play Dead.” Other influences of the band include Muse and Nirvana.
Over the years, Ylönen and the band have collaborated with many other Finnish rock bands, such as Apocalyptica , Ville Valo of HIM , and most recently, Anette Olzon of the band Nightwish. The band has also worked with American producer Desmond Child on their 2008 Album Black Roses.
With a total of eight studio albums and two compilations released over the past twenty years, the band still releases music regularly, with one of their most recent releases being “I’m A Mess” from their self titled album in 2012. This album harkens back to the softer sound of the early days of the band, and continues to earn them awards and chart positions throughout Europe.
“I’m A Mess” off of 2012 album The Rasmus.