Despite the average human brain's ability to hold around 2.5 petabytes of memory (yes, I looked it up), most of us forget things all the time. Things like what we had for breakfast eight years ago in June. Or what we yelled at that strange bald man in the kebab shop last weekend when we were drunk before we realised it was Graham from the office and he was crying. Or where exactly we misplaced that neon green top with the spaghetti straps that would actually look okay now. Or The Rasmus, that rock band from Finland who released "In the Shadows" in 2003, subjecting us all to a mind-crumbling number of repeats on MTV2, before disappearing from planet earth hand-in-hand with Wheatus and Chumbawamba and Alice Deejay et al.
But wait, let's rewind – that last bit is not strictly true, is it? Because The Rasmus didn't disappear from earth. And I know this because last week I received an email in my inbox with the subject line "The Rasmus are back!" in which I was told that they had been on a five-year hiatus (only five years?) and had released a single called "Paradise" to kick off their upcoming European tour.
Yeah, so? I hear you ask. Plenty of bands chug along after their one hit wonder, living off royalties and cash-in-hand gigs at uni bars across their respective countries until they get too old to actually drag their dusty old bones on stage. But, after doing some digging, I discovered that The Rasmus are legitimately still kind of successful. They have released eight entire albums, with another one coming this year. And they have a diehard following, hella super fans who have hung onto their every word, can scream all their songs, who never went away, ever.
A massive amount of my ignorance of The Rasmus is probably down to the fact that a large portion of their success exists in their home country, Finland, whereas I reside in the UK, but that is only half the story. And so, in order to find the rest of this story, and find out why, after all these years, some people still love The Rasmus over all the other bands in the entire world, I straight up asked them.
Noisey: So, tell me, what makes The Rasmus better than all the other bands?
Katie: Every album is a different stage of their journey and I love that. They're not afraid to make music they love and not follow trends. I also love their grounded attitude and hardworking ethics as well as how they get involved and interact with their fans.
Have you ever seen them live?
Yes! Three times in 2012 in London and I will be seeing them again on the 19th November. They give their all for every single performance; it's the best atmosphere for any live gig I've ever been to. It's like a reunion of friends celebrating music alongside the band. This one time they invited all their fans to be backing singers on stage, it had me in stitches.
Do any of your mates stan for The Rasmus as hard as you do?
Unfortunately not, because I live in Ireland, so there is very little awareness of any kind of music beyond the pop category. Radio stations here tend to not give airtime to anything that's a bit different. Sometimes I feel quite alone as a fan of The Rasmus in Ireland.
Is that why you started your own Irish fan page for The Rasmus?
Yeah, as there were no groups for Irish fans and that made me very sad. So I decided to become pro-active and try and make Irish people aware of the great music experience they are missing out on. It's also a place for other Irish fans who may be out there to meet more fans and be part of the community. But it's mostly there to help promote the band and raise awareness of Nordic music.
Noisey: So, when did you first get heavily into The Rasmus?
Miriam: When I was eight I heard "In the Shadows" on the radio and totally fell in love. As a teenager, my whole room was full of The Rasmus posters and even now I have a little altar at home. I own more than 30 CDs, some of them imported from Finland, a Best Of book (with autographs from [band members] Aki and Eero), personalised DVDs and a few shirts and other stuff.
Wow. You might be their biggest fan. What is it about them?
It's Lauri's voice in combination with the words. It's hard to describe what that means to me. I feel it with every cell of my body. I've never felt something like this before and I never will again. They are my immortal love.
If you could pick a favourite song what would it be and why?
Well, that's difficult. I love "Chill" – it's a beautiful song which describes my feelings in so many situations in my life. Every time I have grave problems, it's a good song to go inside, to fly away from the daily routine or just to relax. There's a beautiful version of "Chill" which is live and unplugged, and the way Lauri sings is the best thing I've ever heard. I imported the signed "Chill" CD from Finland, and it's my favourite piece in my collection.
What do you think about people who dismiss The Rasmus as a 'one hit wonder'?
I think "In the Shadows" is a good way to present The Rasmus when people ask me what's my favourite band. Life's too short to get annoyed by things like that. People who aren't interested in them that much might think they are a 'one hit wonder', but for people who are big fans, who have loved them from the first minute, know they have a huge list of great songs.
Noisey: So Louise, what makes you a diehard fan of The Rasmus?
Louise: I love them because of how much they impacted my life growing up. I've been a fan for 14 years and throughout my teens, The Rasmus were one of the few things that made me smile when I was struggling. They gave me an escape, strength and comfort. I'm so incredibly thankful.
Why are they better than all the other bands?
They're always evolving and experimenting. I think that because they've been around for so long, they're past the stage of feeling pressured to release music all the time, so they only release something that's worth sharing.
When was the best time you've ever seen them live?
Gothenburg in 2009 was definitely the best – I still refer to that as the best day of my life. The gig itself was amazing, but what made it extremely special for me was that before the show, me and best friend were waiting outside the venue and the drummer, Aki, came up and chatted for a long while. He then asked me to come on stage to sing "Rakkauslaulu" and they continued this tradition of having a fan sing that song for years, as far as I know, so that makes me really happy.
Are your mates ever surprised when you're like, "my favourite band is The Rasmus"?
Sometimes, yes. A lot of people only remember them for "In the Shadows". The reaction is usually "oh, I didn't know they were still around", which hurts me a little, but is still understandable because they haven't been in the public eye lately. I also think that, based on the way I look, people expect me name a darker and heavier band. I am a fan of darker music, but when it comes to my number one band, The Rasmus will always be on top of my list.
Noisey: Tell me about your love of The Rasmus, Tom.
Tom: I cant really put my finger on it. They make good music and aren't afraid to try new sounds – they just seem like good guys! I have met them and interviewed them a couple of years ago and ;my opinion was right; it was everything I could have hoped for!
What would you say to people who think they've only had one hit?
I would say: "Don't you have the internet?" A quick look on Spotify or iTunes and you would find at least a couple of songs you would like.
Noisey: Hey Patricia. When did you first fall in love with The Rasmus?
Patricia: Four years ago my BFF told me I had to listen to "In the Shadows" and I immediately fell in love with the beat and the music. Their music comes really close to situations in my life that I have had to survive and the boys are very friendly to their fans.
What Rasmus songs are particularly relatable?
"Still Standing Here" – that one really touches me because I've been through a lot and people always have lied to me. But am still standing here on this earth, though it is very hard sometimes. At this moment, I also like "Paradise" because the lyrics say exactly what I always try to tell everyone.
Do you ever get annoyed when people think "In the Shadows" is their only decent song?
I don't get annoyed, but I do find it a little sad. The Rasmus makes very strong and good music and for me every song is a huge hit.
Noisey: Sup Edzna. What's your favourite memory related to The Rasmus?
Edzna: Probably in 2006. A day before a Rasmus show, I accidentally met Lauri at a metal fest and had the pleasure to talk to him. The next night, I won a VIP ticket to see them. I could see the how incredibly close and had a meet and greet with the band after that. If that was not enough, I saw them again the next day, it was crazy!
What is it about them? How would you explain it for someone who doesn't know?
Their sound is just kind of special, probably "very Nordic"; also Lauri's voice is very unique. Personally, I enjoy the evolution in their music, you can find in it every kind of mood – if you like pop, rock or even reggae!
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(Lead image provided by The Rasmus' PR, donut image by Skeeze via Pixabay, cat image by Sputnikzian via Pixabay, all other images provided via participants)