A New Voice in America: Esa Linna
Finnish bass player Esa Linna began his professional music career in 1990 with the punk pop band Time Flies. After eight years together, the bands' living logistics as well as changes in lifestyle caused the eventual dissolution of the group. The next year, Esa's musical path led him in a different direction…grunge power pop, and a band called 86 Yourself. At the present time, Esa divides his time between solo work and a member of the band Itamaa.
I recently caught up with Esa and asked him about the release of his upcoming EP, his musical influences and the diversity of his music.
Kat’s Theory (KT): Esa, your solo EP is being released in the United States through Kool Kat Musik (no connection to Kat’s Theory) and your single “Piece of Me” is about to be released to iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, and other outlets. This must be an exciting as well as nerve-wracking time for an artist. Tell me your thoughts on what is about to happen.
Esa Linna (EL): You nailed it - it truly is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. But then again, this is what I wanted. I want to get my songs and my name known, and at the same time I am choosing the songs for my album. When you do all of this by yourself, you have to trust that the music speaks for itself.
KT: Let’s talk about the single “Piece of Me.” The song is hardly an endorsement for a healthy reciprocating relationship. How did this song come about?
EL: I have found that many of my lyrics can be understood as songs about love or relationships, although they are not. “Piece of Me” is essentially about myself. I like to keep my privacy and won’t tell what is going on with my life, unless someone asks. Maybe it comes from the town I grew up in Northern Finland, called Ylivieska. It had a culture that you should not brag too much about what you had accomplished. I think it’s a healthy attitude to keep yourself down to earth. Also the lyrics refer to “my past” and the fact that I won’t bring up the tragedies that my family has faced. Unless someone asks, like now.
KT: You've lost several family members at an early age, do you consider your own mortality as an influence in your writing?
EL: I don't think as an influence that I could recognize, but I am sure it has an effect on my writing; at least lyrically.
KT: You played all the instruments on ”Piece of Me”; guitar, bass, mandolin, keyboards, banjo, cello and percussion. Which instruments did you have formal training in, and which did you just pick up?Continued on the next page