The Crash Biography
Teemu Brunila and Samuli Haataja, two boys from TURKU, Finland, first met each other at confirmation camp in 1991 and decided to form a band. Samuli's friend Erkki Kaila and Teemu's friend Dani Aavinen completed the quartet. The band was first named Ladies&Gentlemen, but later changed its name to New Deal. Some demos were recorded during the early 90s. In 1994 New Deal got a fifth member, Tommi Rapeli, and the old simple guitar pop was spiced with synthesizers. After two years, however, the band split up due to various reasons.
After a one year break Brunila, Haataja and Kaila started working together again. They got rid of the immensely digital sound and at the same time had to let go of the "extra" members. This time the direction was towards simplistic Britpop. Toni Ahola, a skilled keyboardist and an old friend, joined the orchestra to play the analog synthesizer.
A promoter, Johan Hollstén, happened to hear a New Deal demo, got excited and wanted to hear more. The band convinced Hollstén and a "gig selling" contract was signed. Now the band changed its name twice, first to Crush, then to Crash and finally THE CRASH was formed. The first gig of the renewed group took place in the summer of 1997. A demo was recorded later in the year. Sugared, the opening song of the now legendary black EP, was picked up by the Finnish radio station Radiomafia and got into powerplay.
An actual record deal was signed with Warner, although several other companies were interested as well. Hannu Pikkarainen became the producer and Comfort Deluxe, the debut album, got recorded quite quickly. It wasn't a great success, but Comfort Deluxe still sold remarkably well considering that English guitar pop wasn't too popular in Finland at the time. The video for Sugared was filmed at a tennis court and was directed by Tommi Pietiläinen. It woke enthusiasm and was awarded with several prizes.
There was some success outside Finland, too. Sugared became a minor hit for instance in Austria, where it topped the listeners' chart of the radio station FM4. The band played some gigs in Austria, Germany and Sweden, but Sugared didn't get enough airplay to be a real breakthrough song.
Toni Ahola didn't have time for both his studies and the band, so he left The Crash and was replaced by Jussi Lehtinen, a well-known restaurateur from Turku.
Due to tours abroad and a heavy workload the recordings of the second album were delayed more and more. After giving thought to all the options, the band decided to produce the album itself. Jussi Lehtinen had to leave the band because he had too many other projects going on, so The Crash was left without a keyboard player - again. In the end this didn't complicate things too much, and the group entered the studio without further problems.
Most of the music and sounds were carefully thought of before recording the album, but Teemu Brunila spent over three months fine-tuning the songs, which nearly drove him crazy. The result was nevertheless an album that sounds as "Crash-y" as possible. Wildlife is above all a braver record than Comfort Deluxe.
Brunila played the keyboards in the studio, but a keyboardist was still needed for live performances. This gap was filled by Tomi Mäkilä, who had played with The Crash once before. He has been praised as the best keyboard player in the band's history.
The Crash's comeback happened in its hometown Turku in October 2001 and the response was superb. During the band's Finnish tour most concerts were sold out. This was largely thanks to Lauren Caught My Eye, the ingenious first single from Wildlife. With its catchy and original French chorus it became an instant hit in the autumn and spent 17 weeks on the top 20 singles chart.
In 2002 The Crash concentrated on touring abroad supporting bigger acts: Eskobar, Weeping Willows and A-ha. So far the biggest success has been in Sweden, Denmark, the Baltic and German-speaking countries as well as in Poland.
Now, in 2003, The Crash are working on their third album and will play only two concerts during the summer. The record should be out in the autumn; it will hopefully be The Crash's big international breakthrough.
Last updated: May 2003.
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