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The Heartagram Path - HIM Approved Site - Your Italian source to Love Metal and HIM

Jukka interviewed by Savon sanomat


HIM's Drummer Jukka Kröger: My First Drums Were Light Blue Mickey Mouse Drums

HERE the original article

English translation by Heidi Malin

Bands have a tendency to find Jukka Kröger to their line-ups from weird places. In 2007, when Kröger was studying welding in Pieksämäki, Herra Ylppö (Mr. Ylppö) approached him and asked him to play the drums in a new project of his. Ylppö was making a song for a movie and wanted Kröger to join the recording process. The movie was never made but the recording label became interested in the material and Kröger spent several years in the band called Herra Ylppö & Ihmiset (Mr. Ylppö and People).

He got some money from the albums and touring but he could use some more, and Kröger went to work at VR (Country's Railway) in 2010. There he worked with slitters and drills at a machine shop. - I worked for VR for five years but then they fired me conveniently when I was hired to play in HIM. It went well that way, Kröger says. Last April, Kröger traveled to Helsinki to play at HIM's rehearsals, counted to four and was hired as the new drummer of the band. Well, he was supposed to play, but according to Kröger, everything went surprisingly smoothly. - It was miraculous how naturally everything happened when I went to the first rehearsals. It was like I had played with them before. However, it's sometimes hard to understand the train of thought of the members who have known each other since they were little boys. Their communication has reached the level where the other already knows what the other one is thinking. It's fun to observe from aside though, Kröger says. It's not easy to take another drummer's place. His own comps come from his backbone and he can edit them as much as he wants, but it's not okay in HIM where Mika "Gas" Karppinen has created the bases. - The playing by Gas is stylishly big-handed and simple, and the certain stuff and fillings just have to come from song to song. The challenge comes from having to learn to play the songs in the style of Gas and Juhani Rantala who preceded him. When Kauppinen plays in laid-back style, the speed metal man Kröger prefers leaning forward. When Kröger started playing along HIM's albums and gig recordings, he had great trouble with arranging his hits to Kauppinen's rhythm. - Even if Gas gets excited, he's still laid-back a bit. Juhani's style suits me better, there's something similar in our ways of playing, Kröger says. Kröger started his playing hobby by playing the bass when he was in 7th grade. He was tempted to play the bass by Metallica and Cliff Burton, but already after five years he moved on to the drums. - I became interested in the drums already earlier. If I remember right, I got Mickey Mouse drums for my 10th birthday. It was easy to find people to play with in Pieksämäki and his first band was founded right away after he started playing the drums. The drums also felt like his own instrument right away. However, they're not Kröger's only love, but the guitar has been beside the drums all along. He says that in the end, he has played the guitar more than the drums because it's easier to just grab it. You don't have to go sweating in the rehearsal place. After the teenage years, there was a recession in band stuff. Kröger went to vocational school to study information technology and during those years he only played together with a friend of his. However, his enthusiasm to play started to fade. - I remember that when I went to play at the rehearsal place, I didn't quite know what to play and how to play. I started losing my interest when I didn't know which direction my development should go to. His aid was the first drum classes which Kröger started to attend in an adult education centre in Savonlinna when he was 21 years old. It was a broadening experience to him: there are different ways to hold the drumsticks and there are different kinds of techniques. However, his final enlightenment came when he was studying in Jyväskylä. - That's where I found that I really learned to play the drums. Or I realized that I was pretty good at playing the drums. My way of thinking somehow opened up. These days Kröger has a lot of other band stuff going on alongside HIM. There's a thrash band called Maple Cross where Kröger plays the guitar and VIHA which doesn't tour but might release an album at some point. However, Verine is the band that Kröger talks about the most. It's his own project in which he plays the guitar, composes and writes the lyrics a lot. - Verine is a personal band. It's a project-natured thing so it often falls to the background a little but it would be cool to make something out of it, like an album. I won't make a living from that music but it would be quite important mentally. Kröger finds heavy and fast music, hardcore metal and thrash to be most like his kind of music. - Especially when it comes to playing the guitar, I find that I'm at my strongest at it. With HIM, Kröger gets to tour around the world: the band that visited Russia recently will perform in Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and England this autumn. At New Year they'll play the traditional gigs in Helsinki. Kröger finds this all really great. To him, HIM is not only a job but also what he wants to do. - Since I was a little boy, I've been dreaming of getting to play in a band, touring around the world and getting to play the kind of music I want. Jukka "Kosmo" Kröger He was born in Helsinki in 1979. He grew up in Pieksämäki and lives there still. He's in a domestic partnership and has three children of the ages 3, 5 and 7. He was one of the founding members of FM2000 in 1999. He graduated as a musician from the conservatoire of Jyväskylä's pop-jazz school in 2007. He played in Herra Ylppö & Ihmiset from 2007 to 2014. He was announced to be the new drummer of HIM in the end of July. Other bands of his are e.g. VIHA, Maple Cross and Verine.

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