Since his EP back March 2011 "Run Away With Me" he's generated a lot of buzz with the style of his music and lyrical content. And with the single from that EP 'Run Away With Me' he has clearly caught the attention of some well know music producers as well as gaining a growing fan base outside of Helsinki, Finland. With the latest release of "Have A Beautiful Life" you will not be disappointed, you will hear in this album a very true and more confident Hannu as he sings about life, love and over coming hardships of many kinds. Also it is proof that not only can you compare him to other influential musicians of the same genre but that it is also safe to say that the very name Hannu Lepsito can stand in its own right among such talents as Finnish rock band HIM, Leonard Chen, Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen, just to name a few.
Since the release of "Have A Beautiful Life" the album has soared to the Top Ten on iTunes for Finland and was the #1 downloaded iTunes Alternative genre album for Finland on December 10th and the 11th. And is ranked #1 on Reverbnation Finnish charts!
Have A Beautiful Life
Hannu Lepisto: Ava!!! *hugs* and thank you! And thanks for wanting to do an interview, a true pleasure to talk with you again! And thank you for congrats - yeah it was kind of a surprise and a little shock that ”Have A Beautiful Life” broke into top-ten in Finnish iTunes Album charts and went straight to number one on Finnish iTunes Alternative Album charts on the release date! And it feels great, as well, that fans didn't abandon me on Reverbnation while I was fully concentrated on working on album. Big thanks to Victorian Underground Music and Homeward Records, Oy - they got my back. And thanks to my online Street Team for support! :-)
Hannu: Well, after the EP - I started to write new material and play-around with some "old" half-recorded songs and I ended up working as the main producer, plus mixing, and as recording engineer; a little over two years went quite quickly rocking by, working on ”Have A Beautiful Life”. As a perfectionist, it was hard to let go of the album and release it. But finally I realized that I can’t make anything any better and that the songs were ready because colleagues kept repeating to me to release it. (I listened to the material in several different good studios asked opinions from colleagues and from co-producer Aqualyra) - Then it was time to pick the best mastering engineer for the job: Matthew Agoglia (James Taylor, Emmy Lou-Harris…). And he was very enthusiastic to be working with me again. It was my dream that he would master the release because he is so awesome. I knew just what to expect 'cos had worked with him before. He had worked with Howie Weinberg on mastering my EP, ”Run Away With Me”, at Masterdisk Studios, NYC. But now he has his own mastering studio. So ”Have A Beautiful Life” was mastered there, at The Ranch Mastering Studios, in Hudson Valley, New York.
Ava/IA: I must say with this new album I get a sense of not only musical progression but also but a personal one. Any new milestone within your career as a musician and or personal life that has garnered this fresh new amazing sound?
Hannu: Oh, thank You for the great compliment! Yes, hard work (playing, singing, writing, rehearsing, arranging…) progresses in music. But I am very glad here that You noticed something else has happened as well. :) Being the album's producer (and all that is happening in my personal life) has directed me to a path where I ”accept” myself more and understand myself much better. Still, I’m an existentialist to death. Don’t wanna say I've grown up...Lol. But I can stand straight better about what -and who- I am; and I'm more confident of what I do when facing difficulties and hard times. Now feeling a lot more capable dealing with them.
Ava/IA: For the first single off of "Have A Beautiful Life" titled 'I Wanna Walk All Night' you did an awesome music video of just you basically holding a video recorder walking around town in Helsinki, Finland. Who's idea was it to do this?
Hannu: Oh, thank you! Actually, it was my idea. My label went along with it - they got me this tiny Sony Action Cam with a head band and I walked etc. lol - and gathered material for over 16 hours and edited it down to 3 mins. And I’m not a video-editor in any case, for God's sake - but I think I got the song’s mood captured there. And learned a bit of Final Cut Pro and video editing, at the same time.
Ava/IA: Do you remember what the song writing process was like for this album in particular?
Hannu: I wanted to make a good album, concentrating on the "Have A Beautiful Life" concept-wise, but I didn’t do songwriting in a way that "now this needs this kind or that kind of song". I wrote a bunch of songs, a lot of good ones were dropped out from this album. But I wanted the album to be a rock’n’roll journey for the listener, with different moods to relate to, like all my favorite albums have done, but most of all I had to be satisfied with the album. So others could enjoy it, as well.
Ava/IA: How has the feedback been about the release of "Have A Beautiful Life"?
Hannu: There has been a lot of raving! And I feel very taken about that, and it makes me feel humble, and at the same time I feel that Team Hannu has succeeded.
Ava/IA: Finally, how do you feel about the comparisons that have been made about the style of music you've created? (For Example: Artists such as Steve Earle, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and HIM.)
Hannu: I take that as a huge compliment. After all, these artists all are my influences so it feels great! But mostly it's important that everyone is saying my sound is unique and every one of those great songwriters has their own influences and uniqueness, as well. So continuing keeping doing my own thing is the most important for me, as a singer-songwriter and producer.
Ava/IA: Any tours that we should be made aware of, at home or abroad?
Hannu: No, not really. Yet. *laughing* But there are some shows scheduled, like Suomi Sound Fest in Poland next summer, but we are just getting there planning gigs… And we are planning this worldwide web online streaming gig on iBroadcast.tv - and I hope it will happen sometime in the near future.
Ava/IA: Any words for your fans that are scattered all over the world?
Hannu: I want to thank each and everyone for your amazing support and hope that you guys continue to share, stream and tell friends, and spread the word - and support by buying my music as well, so we get more options in releasing new material! BTW. I've started working on a new LP already. :) If people haven't gotten them yet there are some free downloads of songs on the website www.hannuofficial.info .
And thank You, Ava for this, always a pleasure! Take care everyone and greets from Helsinki!
I Wanna Walk All Night (Music Video) \
YouTube (Slides version)-
Vimeo Version (Full Video)
**To read the October 2012 Interview for Hannu Lepisto's EP "Run Away With Me" click HERE!
Ava @ Invaders Asylum