Following the success of Willie & The Good Souls’ third album; (self-titled Willie & The Good Souls), the band is back from extensive European touring to solidify their place in your Rock n’ Roll playlist. Incorporating a vast, extensive range of instrumentation, this five member Rock band has channeled the sounds and emotions of the greats to create a unique dynamic all their own. Hailing from Finland, Willie & The Good Souls incorporate Classic American funk and roots with Slavic melodies and themes.
Founding member Ville Vesalainen, (guitar and vocals), was once known in his circle as the Finnish E-Street band, as he played most of all the instruments on the debut album; Fortunate Son. A clever, a mature interpretation of classic rock anthems, Fortunate Son garnered the attention of Petra Wahlsten (vocals, violin) who convinced Ville to enlist an entire band for their second album; Free Willie.
Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.
Hi, I’m Ville Vesalainen from the rock band Willie & The Goodsouls. I live in Finland, have three daughters and am a performing artist in two rock bands.
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
I started doing recordings of songs when I was 8, but I’m sure I didn’t know I was always a performer like I know it now. You grow in what you do. If you spend time playing guitar and making songs you’ll most likely become better at it over and over again. When I started Willie & The Goodsouls I didn’t know if I could be a frontman of a band, I just recorded my songs and chose to sing them myself. I pulled it through and found a new channel to make music with, my voice.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
The latest record was mixed and recorded by Helsinki Rock productions, and Mastered in Viitalähde Mastering. Everyone a pleasure to work with.
[With an impressive catalog of material under V.R. Label Finland, including an array of videos on YouTube, Willie & The Good Souls look now to the future, a fourth album and a broader tour focus. Reviews for Willie & The Good Souls have been favorable; “Not much is done in this style of rock, and especially not so well” (SOUNDI 12/14), “Singer-guitarist Ville Vesalainen directs his band in a stylish and nuanced way. The soulful-sounding band blows fresh flame into the traditional fireplace and causes heat and vibration. ” (Aamulehti 11/16), “The best thing about this record is its relaxation and obvious love of doing. Fortunate Son contains wickedly warm-hearted blues rock with bow to the old masters. ” (Jussi Mäntysaari 10/14), and “Glow warning given!” (Mesta 10/14)]
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
I try to be a good father, having kids has given me the biggest lessons in life.
I am personally on a mission to get good music heard by everyone. What is one thing that bothers you the most about trying to come up in the music world today and, do you prefer being underground or, is the mainstream something you strive for?
I enjoy the idea that my work is heard. I don’t think about it when I compose, but ofc having a channel from your balcony ideas to complete music experiences for listeners worldwide is most inspirational.
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
Rolling Stones. Even if you take the rhythm and blues influence out, it’s a great story of sticking together and performing as a band.
One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?
Everything shut down. We had no chance to tour with the new album. Everything confirmed got canceled. Over a year of not knowing when the stages would be open again.
I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?
The single ‘Future is strongly influenced by social media and it’s negativity. I hope future generations will find better ways and mental abilities to cope the information flood we have.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?
I play every day, it’s just a part of me. Maybe an addiction. 2022 we’ll have something out of the oven!
I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica, Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest era’s for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?
The nineties were gold. Lot’s of great band music, many many classics. I listen to everything I think is good, it can be old it can be new.
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
Wow, never thought about it! I’d be Slash and try how he feels when he plays. But but can I switch back if I don’t like it?!
What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?
Don’t waste time and money in gear syndrome’s. Acquire something that suits you, it’s only what you’re expressing yourself with.
I want to thank you for this Q&A, Is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
Rock on, appreciate and, enjoy life!
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