Folkswagen is the world's leading band that sings in the Finnish, Russian and Karelian languages. Well, possibly it is among the very few that do sing in these languages, but that does not diminish the importance of the folk band which started as a duo of two fans of Russian rock music in Joensuu, Eastern Finland, in 2000.
Timo Munne and Suonna Kononen, the two vocalists and founder members of the band, first performed cover versions of Russian rock and underground hits that had not been heard in Finland before. Both are also natural born songwriters who draw their inspiration from the rich musical culture of Karelia on both sides of the Finnish-Russian border. Joonas Ojajärvi (acoustic bass, mandolin) has played in the band since February 2004 and Jari Lappalainen (drums, percussion, bouzouki) since July 2005.
Folkswagen has a curious relationship with Russia and the border. The band plays songs by, for example, Vladimir Vysotski and the Russian Karelian rock band Santtu Karhu & Talvisovat, but their own songs are the most memorable of them all. With the sympathetic yet clever lyrics, the band does more to question the concept of a border dividing peoples than most official cooperation projects put together.
In a unique way the band manages to combine Finnish nostalgia of the Winter War (1939-1940), the life of a factory worker now unemployed in a town formerly known as Leningrad, a gloomy but poetic vision of Murmansk in the same mixture with joyful visits to Russian Karelia, where people are friendly and vodka is cheap.
Stolichnaya (cd-r, Levyasema Lempi 2001)
Matkaselän asemalla (cd, Pilfink Records 2003)
Karjalan balsamia (cd, Pilfink Records 2005)
Kosmonautti (cd-ep, Pilfink Records 2006)
Tienhaara (cd, Pilfink Records 2007)
Kyläkaupan rappusilla (cd, Pilfink Records 2008)
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