Demo:listen: Perinei

The focus of this week’s Demo:listen is Joensuu, Finland-based ‘deathmetalgrindpunk’ quartet Perinei. Not only are Perinei one of the youngest bands we’ve ever interviewed, they’re also one of the gnarliest and hardest-hitting bands ever covered in this column. Featuring Voltii Laakkonen on bass/second guitar, Otso Seppä on vocals, Juho Kasurinen on drums, and Eelis Koivula on guitar, this is Perinei, the hideous future of Finnish death grind. 

“Voltti, Otso and Juho were in a band which played Finnish punk rock covers before I joined the band later to play the guitar,” says guitarist Eelis. “Voltti, Otso and Juho have known each other since elementary school and I met Voltti at Ilosaarirock, a festival, during the summer of 2018. I met the rest of the band at a local show in Joensuu after Voltti invited me to join Perinei.”

According to Voltti, who wrote all of the songs for Perinei’s demo, “Our music tastes evolved growing up together. The punk cover band broke up and we wanted to make something more extreme before Eelis joined. I was in a progressive metal band too, but I left it because I wanted to make something more brutal and raw. We went with Otso and Juho to a local show together when we were like 15 years old, two death metal bands called Obduktio and Scumripper performed at that show, which opened us up to death metal. That was kinda like the first spark that made us like death metal.”

That bit of information is particularly amazing considering that both Obduktio and Scumripper got their starts on Caligari Records, who recently signed Perinei, and both of those grinders were featured on a Demo:listen back in 2016!

“I listened to a lot of black metal,” recalls Eelis. “I liked high pitched vocals and harsh production. Bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, and other basic black metal was the stuff I was really into at the time. When Voltti said that he wants me to join a death/grind band it was a little out of my usual music listening sphere, but I went in with an open mind and ended up having a ton of fun playing in Otso’s upstairs room the first time we played so I went with it.”

Demo 2019

If you look up their name, perinei is the plural form of perineum, which, according to Oxford Dictionary, is “the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva.” According to Perinei’s drummer Juho, deciding to their name band that “has a small story attached to it,” but it’s “nothing worth telling.” He continues: “The main reason we named the band what it is was when we had our first gig coming up and we didn’t have a name yet. Obviously we had to come up with one before the gig because the organiser wanted to make a poster and obviously he couldn’t have an unnamed band play at his gig.”

“We had some sort of a name before Perinei but the gig organiser said that the name is complete shit, so we didn’t go with it,” admits Otso, Perinei’s vocalist. “The name just looks good and sounds brutal even though it necessarily isn’t.”

“The name fits our music because I think the name is very in your face and abrasive in a way too,” say Eelis, who goes on to say that Perinei’s lyrical themes are “Well, basic death metal lyrical themes like love and poppy fields.”

“Our lyrical themes consists of religion, dystopian future, war, societal problems and some songs have psychological themes too,” says Juho. “For example the texts about religious topics aren’t really anti-religious or pro-religious, I wrote about religion because I am interested in the subject.”

“Also some of our songs are about ecological destruction and how we are part of it,” adds Voltti. “I bring a little bit of politics and global problems in to the lyrics.”

This needs to be spelled out for most of us as Perinei lyrics are in their native language. Says Juho: “I feel more comfortable writing in Finnish, the Finnish language adds more character and depth to our texts.”

Otso agrees, adding: “It’s more natural for me to sing in Finnish and if we wrote lyrics in English we probably couldn’t really say as much as we want to.”

To record their demo, Voltti says he first “asked around the local scene for places to record in.” He says:0” Finally we got invited to record in a band space one of our friends recorded their albums in. Also, the guy who recorded and mixed this demo, Oka, was nice enough to bare us during this process.”

We had a very specific sound in mind, so obviously we led the process for the most part,” says Eelis. “Oka was able to make the sound exactly like we wanted it to, Perinei Demo 2019 would not exist in this form without Oka’s effort so we’re really thankful to him.

“It was an experience!” Eelis continues. “I actually had a few tries for the solo in track #3, and the first few were shit, but once I got a small warmup going I managed to do it and make it almost better than I expected.”

“Some of the lyrics were unfinished when we went to record, so we finished them during the recording process,” says Otso. “Because of the fact that I wasn’t familiar enough with the lyrics I had some difficulties with the timing.” 

Demo:listen feels compelled to mention that this is a common issue for new vocalists, and Otso sounds great and perfectly unhinged on Demo 2019

“Because I ‘composed’ the songs I really liked playing the 2nd guitars on the demo,” says Voltti. “I usually play bass so I usually don’t get to play them. I also think the final sound with two different sounding guitars turned out great.”

According to Voltti, the deal with Caligari Records to put out their demo came about after “many recommended” the label as the place to send their recordings. 

“We got a response really fast too,” says Eelis. “It only took about two days for the person running Caligari [to say] he had listened to our demo and he liked it. About two months later here we are.”

Moving forward, Voltti says the “goal is to keep together, play as much gigs as possible, and have a good time.”

“We’re also planning on making a full-length project in the future,” say Eelis. “We have more than enough unreleased material for an album so we’re looking forward to getting it out there.”

When it comes to raw and pummeling death grind, it doesn’t get much gross or meaner than Perinei’s Demo 2019. Get their demo from Caligari now. 

And remember, you heard Perinei here first on Demo:listen.