I have now and then played other than original music, but I have never actually played in a band that mainly performs covers. And the few occasions when I’ve been booked on something like that have felt awkward in one or another way.
One of those occasions was when I was asked to be a member of a nightclub band in a movie in 2006. The director was a friend of mine, Nanna Huolman, and she had specifically asked the casting team to contact me and my brother Kai to join the band in the scene from the nightclub.
I was supposed to act as a night club musician and we didn’t actually play the music, luckily, since I don’t play keyboard too well. The night club was supposed to be on one of the large passenger ferries between Sweden and Finland, even though the actual location for the shooting was on nightclub at a safe distance from the sea. The song, by the way is a major Finnish hit, “Jäätelökesä” (Ice cream summer) from 1978.
The film might not have been any commercial success even though it was awarded at Gothenburg international film festival. But for me it was important, not only because It was Nanna’s debut as a movie director and screen writer, but for the story: A child to Finnish immigrant workers in Sweden trying to find an identity somehow being both Swedish and Finnish, and yet not properly any of it.
This film was followed by literature (Svinalängorna, a novel by Susanna Alakoski, that also was filmed), a cultural magazine (Sheriffi) and a general focus on the now grown up second generation immigrants picturing their Finnish heritage and the cultural impact it has had on Sweden. All this gave at least me another view on my background – even though the actual role in the film as a night club musician didn’t give me more than five minutes of fame. And what a modest fame it was…