Spices, Species & Poetry Petrol


Can you imagine if Graham Nash took a one way ticket on the Marrakesh Express and never came back? Psychedelic space music pioneers Jeavestone come from Finland and like the best Finnish music, their 2008 CD Spices, Species & Poetry Petrol is expertly played. Steve Hillage era Gong style vintage ‘70s space madness mix things up with a modern slant on pop songwriting ala late period Hollies and early CSN&Y. Catchy melodies and a solid beat push Jeavestone to the top of the prog-pop heap. The first 5 tracks here form an amazing Side 1 with an intriguing pop attitude. presents an interview with
Jeavestone guitarist MIKKO RAIHALA

Musical Background

I got my first acoustic guitar when I was seven years old (I’m 27 now), but I started playing it seriously few years later. I found The Beatles when I was about nine. I became a hardcore Beatles fan immediately and I have a massive cassette collection. I also listened some AC/DC and metal music. I played some punk as a teenager and got interested in prog/art rock when I was 17-18. I’ve been really open to different kinds of music since then.

New CD

We started to put the album together in the summer 2007. We had some songs ready and lot’s of musical ideas, riffs etc. to finalize to new songs. We made some demo versions of the songs during fall. The process was quite fast considering that we live in different towns and could see each other only about twice a month. The recording was done at Pro Tools based Studio Water Castle in Jyväskylä Finland by Arttu Sarvanne in November in only two weeks. We first played drums and demo guitars and bass live and then overdubbed everything except drums. We didn’t use metronome. We had quite a lot of quests to record like a string quartet, vibes and different reeds so we really had to hurry. We were producing the album by our selves, so it was a bit stressful but super exciting time! Sometimes hurry is a good thing. In our case it was more important to capture the feeling on tape rather than timing and tuning every single note. During the intensive recording I learned a lot about playing, arranging and producing. I’m not really a studio musician and sometimes it’s hard for me to get in the real mood for playing in studio. It’s much more easier to advise and encourage others but when it’s my turn I often think and analyze my playing too much. But when I get relaxed the playing just starts to flow it feels so awesome! The album was mixed at Perfect Sound studio by Sami Sarhamaa from Presence Records. He also did very good job and we are very satisfied with the result.

Favorite Guitars

Our lead singer and guitarist Jim has a 1979 Gibson RD Artist which was heavily used during sessions. It’s a very versatile guitar with active electronics manufactured by Moog. The guitar has an active EQ and a compressor built in. It also features humbucker pic-ups that can be split to single coils. We also used Strato- and Telecasters and my Gibson explorer. Most of the acoustic guitars were played with my dear Martin D-1, which has really big, wide and warm sound. We had borrowed different amps and pedals to achieve some variation to guitar sounds. Our guitar sounds are based on my 1969 Marshall super bass head and Jim’s Marshall Jubilee 2550 head. In studio we also had some small boutique combos and heads. The nasty overdriven sound on the rhythm guitar on The Plastic Landscaper was created with a battery powered mini-Marshall amp as a pre-amp connected to Pro Tools from the headphone out put. We used the same amp on Rapist’s Tango, but it was connected to Jubilee 2550’s power amp. We also had some home made fuzz pedals and a Color Sound fuzz-wah from 70’s.

Musical Influences

I started listening music with The Beatles and I didn’t listen hardly anything else for many years. Because of the Beatles I’m very melody oriented. I also learned that it’s legal to mix influences from different kinds of music to pop/rock music. I think The Beatles was the first true prog rock band. I had really intensive Gentle Giant season few years ago and that’s one of my favorite bands. Brazilian jazz guru Hermeto Pascal revolutionized my musical thinking about four years ago. I’ve been really hooked on Brazilian music since then. I recommend everyone to have a listen to the great Hermeto. To name few favorite guitarists I would say Jeff Beck, Jukka Tolonen, Steve Howe, Keith Richards, Frank Zappa, John Frusciante and Jimi Hendrix. Some of my most influential albums include:
Sgt. Pepper -Beatles
Led Zeppelin II
Acquring The Taste – Gentle Giant
Só Não Toca Quem Não Quer – Hermeto Pascal
Giant Steps – John Coltrane
Fragile – Yes
King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime – Faith No More
Blood Sugar Sex Magic - RHCP

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