THE RASMUS Parts Ways With Founding Guitarist PAULI RANTASALMI, Announces Replacement
Finnish rock band THE RASMUS has entered Finland’s annual Eurovision selection contest, «Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu» (UMK; The New Music Competition). The band has also announced the release of its Eurovision entry bid and new single, «Jezebel», which will be available on January 17, 2022 via Playground Music.
«Jezebel» was co-written and produced by Desmond Child, who collaborated with THE RASMUS on their seventh studio album «Black Roses». Child is responsible for formulating some of rock’s biggest hits, with co-writer and production credits on iconic songs by KISS, BON JOVI, AEROSMITH and ALICE COOPER, to name a few.
Singer Lauri Ylönen comments: «It was awesome to work with Desmond again. He really knows how to put a hit song together.
«‘Jezebel’ is about a girl who takes what she wants, without asking. A free spirit.»
Speaking about the collaboration, Child says: «Lauri gives me a call and says ‘Hey, I need to write the biggest, greatest song in the entire world ever. Will you do it [with me]?’ and I said ‘Yeah, but I am in Folegandros (Greece)’ and he says, ‘I’ll be right there.’
«‘Jezebel’ is an homage, a tribute, to the strong women of today, who own their bodies, who are in charge of their sensuality, their sexuality, and who are determined to be an equal.»
The UMK winner and Finland’s next Eurovision Song Contest participant will be chosen at the UMK22 event in Turku Logomo on February 26, 2022. The final will be shown live on Yle TV1, Yle Areena and Yle‘s radio channels from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EET. The winner will be chosen by TV viewers and the international UMK jury. Those outside of Finland can watch the show at areena.yle.fi/tv.
There is more big news to share from THE RASMUS, as they have announced that founding guitarist Pauli Rantasalmi has left the band. Pauli comments: «I have decided to make my departure from the band and seek for new adventures and challenges in life.
«I want to thank everybody that has made this journey possible, especially all you amazing fans, for the best moments and memories. I love you.
«I’m eternally thankful to my band brothers for everything and wish the best from the bottom of my heart. Lauri, Aki and Eero, I love you.
«Music lives forever!
«This is not the end. It’s just time to turn the page.»
The remaining band members emphasize that it is an amicable split.
«We have always been like a family, more like brothers than a band,» says Lauri. «We are still very good friends, and we wish Pauli all the best.»
The torch is passed to Finnish guitarist and singer Emilia «Emppu» Suhonen. Speaking of her invitation to join the band, Emppu says: «I got a very surprising call in the fall and answered ‘yes.’ Although I was a bit nervous to go to the rehearsal room with the guys for the first time for a test drive, I still had a strong feeling that this would be a good thing. That feeling turned out to be right and playing together felt totally natural right from the first riff. I am THE RASMUS‘s new guitarist, and it’s pretty insane to be on this ride.»
Emppu began playing the guitar when she was five years old and at 13, she made her album debut with the band TIKTAK, who went on to become one of Finland’s biggest rock bands in the early 2000s. Since then, she has played in several bands including DAME, ALAVALA and MIRA LUOTI, among other projects.
«At the moment, I’m getting ready for the UMK and the upcoming gigs with this awesome band I’m now in, THE RASMUS,» says Emppu. «Being part of this group is a dream come true on so many levels.»
Armed with a new arsenal of songs and a revitalized lineup, THE RASMUS will embark on a world tour in the fall of 2022.
Confirmed tour dates:
Oct. 10 — Germany Hamburg Markthalle
Oct. 11 — Germany Berlin Metropol
Oct. 12 — Poland Warsaw Proxima
Oct. 13 — Poland Krakow Kwadrat
Oct. 14 — Germany Leipzig Taubchental
Oct. 15 — Czech Rep. Prague Forum Karlin
Oct. 17 — Hungary Budapest BNMC
Oct. 18 — Austria Vienna Ottakringer Brauerei
Oct. 19 — Germany Munich Neue Theaterfabrik
Oct. 21 — Italy Milan Fabrique
Oct. 22 — Switzerland Bern Bierhubeli
Oct. 23 — France Paris La Maroquinerie
Oct. 24 — Luxembourg Esch-Sur-Alzette Rockhal
Oct. 25 — Germany Wiesbaden Schlachthof (Halfhouse)
Oct. 27 — Germany Cologne LMH
Oct. 28 — Holland Haarlem Patronaat
Oct. 30 — England Nottingham Rock City
Oct. 31 — England Manchester O2 Ritz
Nov. 01 — Scotland Glasgow Garage
Nov. 02 — England Bristol O2 Academy
Nov. 03 — England London O2 Forum Kentish Town
Nov. 05 — Ukraine Kiev Mc Hall
Nov. 06 — Ukraine Lviv Malevich Club
Nov. 07 — Ukraine Odessa Musical Comedy Theatre
Nov. 08 — Ukraine Dnipro Shynnic House Of Culture
Nov. 09 — Ukraine Kharekiv Mekhanika
Nov. 11 — Russia Moscow Stadium
Nov. 12 — Russia St Petersburg A2
THE RASMUS is:
Lauri Ylönen — vocals
Eero Heinonen — bass
Emppu Suhonen — guitars
Aki Hakala — drums
Photo credit: Venla Shalin