At the end of 70s a Finnish band hit the rock scene and after many change of line-up they are still rocking.
The last album “Transition State” has been released in 2017 and the consent from the audience has been great.
We had the opportunity to have a chat with the only founding member Pekka and talk about the past, present and future in the OZ world.
-Hey Pekka, how are you doing?
I’m just fine. Life is just wonderful.
-OZ is on the rock scene since late 70s, thought the time the line up undergone many changes, how did you manage to keep the band up until now?
People don’t know the fact that I started OZ 40 years ago with our first bass player Tani, R.I.P. He had his funeral on the same day as Lemmy, and now I’m the only founding member left.
I have always been the driving force in OZ, making the band move on. I also made my mind in early years that I will never play in any other band than OZ, so this was the reason I had to continue with OZ or stop playing drums for good.
I think it’s good that this background is coming public, so that people will know why I and the new line-up are doing this the way we are. And this was also the reason for the name of the new album “Transition State”; we are heading to the future with new songs and a new line-up.
Because of me and because my idea of OZ as a band was also accepted by the new line-up, we were able to find a new path for OZ and continue to do new music, which is the best thing that has happened for this band.
Well, when I was younger (even I have been that) Heavy Metal was more attitude for life and especially when I moved from Finland to Stockholm, Sweden in ‘83. I fell in love with Heavy Rock music style and nowadays it’s more about the music that is important for me. I’m still in love with Heavy Rock music and that’s the reason why I still carry on with OZ.
-Why did you choose OZ as name for the band?
Well, when I started this band, it took a long time to find all members, and when I started to think a name for the band I taught it should be something cool and heavy, because we would be playing heavy rock.
One day my good friend said that he read somewhere that OZ is some old Greek god, probably also god of war or something like that. Back then there was no google or anything else to help you to find the real information about that, so as a young boy, I trusted my friend and started to call my band The OZ and after the first album we started to use just OZ.
So this is the story behind the band name, two young boys in Finland, in the middle of nowhere, no internet, no books, just this tiny information from nowhere and the name was set.
-Your last album “Transition State” has been released last year, what can you tell about its genesis and lyrics?
“Transition State” is the album where the lyrics are more stories from the dark side of life than before. And there are probably more lyrics that have more science fiction than reality on them.
“Transition State” is a Classical Heavy Rock album with up to date sound, but still has some spirit of old OZ on it.
When we were recording “Burning Leather” album (Released 2011) we were trying to get back to OZ sound and feel from 80’s, and somehow also update that 80’s sound to one we have now, and I think that we were quite successful with that. ”Transition State” is the next album after ”Burning Leather”and we have developed OZ sound even more up to date, but still having some spirit of old OZ on it.
I think that this momentum will continue in the next OZ album too.
-Do you think modern music has influenced your last work?
Probably yes, you always get influences when you listen to some kind of music, but when I work with new OZ music and especially when recording OZ music I do not listen to other bands or music during that time.
-You have played at Porispere, how was to play again at this festival?
It was a good evening, a great audience and a good show so it was just fine.
It was really fun to play at our hometown the first time with the new line up and show to the home audience and also other people that OZ is back and Transition State is here to stay.
So playing again in Porispere was just a fun experience and hopefully we can come back one day.
-What’s on plan for the future?
Future plans are the same plans as all rock bands have; create new music, make new videos and play on stage.
I think these are also our future plans, but more specifically, we are now working on new songs for the next OZ album and we are also heading 15th September to France and play at Pyrenean Warriors Open Air IV Festival.
And as I said earlier, there will also be some work on new OZ videos.
-We are at the end of this interview, thank you for your time! Would you like to say something to our readers?
Thank You for the cool Interview! I’d just like to say here what I usually say at the end of interviews: I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal fans out there and also welcome new fans into our fold.
For more info, please check out our website www.ozofficial.com and keep on rocking.