interview with The Ragged Saints

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What is the name of your band? We are The Ragged Saints.
What does the name "The Ragged Saints" stand for? The Ragged Saints is actually saint for rejects, beggars and hobos.
What made you call the band "The Ragged Saints"? It just seemed like a good name, I didn't even know it being an actual saint. I was so happy that no one else had that name yet.
How was the band formed? It was formed by me and Toni (the other guitarist). We both love 80's hard rock and we wanted to do something new musically. By that I mean that neither of us have really played this kind of music before.
What made you form the band? Love for the music. And Boredom, too much spare time with nothing much to do.
Can you briefly introduce your band and who you are? We're hard rock band form Helsinki, Finland. The line up is; Markku Kuikka - vocals, Tomi Julkunen - guitars, Toni Bite - guitars, Miikki Kunttu - drums and Jukka Hoffrén - bass
Where are all bandmembers from? We all live near capital area these days.
What was the ambitions of the band when you started? Write couple of songs just for fun. We didn't plan forming a band, it just kind of escalated to that
Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you? Put Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Ratt and Cinderella with updated sound in a blender and you get the idea.
Where was your first gig? At Bar Bäkkäri in April 2013.
Where was the latest gig? At Nosturi (Helsinki, Finland) on November 29. We were supporting Finnish hard rock greats Reckless Love.
Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics? Me, Toni and Markku write the music, me and Markku write the lyrics.
Who has the best since of humor in the band? It's hard to tell, we all have great sense of humour.
What genre do you feel you are? We're hard rock, 80's influenced classic hard rock.
Why did you pick that particular style? It's the kind of music most of us grew up with, so it felt just natural to start writing songs like that.
What are your songs about? Our songs are about daily lives of people, relationships and stuff like that. No politics or religion in any shape or form.
Do you write your own material or mainly covers? So far we have played only our own songs. Probably few covers in the live set in the future.
Have you made any albums? Yes, we released our first album "The Sound Of Breaking Free" in October this year.
Do you have any clips on YouTube? We have some live clips and song snippets from the album.
How old are you?/What got you started in music? I'm 39. My parents wanted me to have a hobby  when I was a kid so they bought me an acoustic guitar. I'm forever grateful about that.
At what age did you start playing? I was 8 when I got my first guitar.
What year was the band started? The band was started in December 2011.
How old were you the first time you saw a liveband play? I saw some local bands when I was about 11 but my first really big concert was KISS on Crazy Nights tour in 1988.
How old were you at your first gig?/Best/worst gig you've played? The band was called Steel and I was 12 years old. We played 4 cover songs; Rainbow's All Nite Long, Hanoi Rocks' version of Up Around The Bend and Iron Maiden's Running Free. Can't remember the fourth song.
What places will you be playing in in the imidate future? We're booking more shows at the moment; confirmed ones are all in the capital area.
Where have you played from then till now? We've played in clubs in Helsinki, one show was on a boat cruise and one in a city called Tampere.
What songs are in your live set's? We sometimes play the whole album, but as we're playing loads as a support band we might have time to play only seven songs.
Is it always the same set's live? No, it depends how long we can play. We also change the song order almost for every show as we're still trying to figure out the best song order.
What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Our last gig in Nosturi supporting Reckless Love. That was our biggest gig so far and lot of people seemed to enjoy our music.
Have you had any bigger tours from start till now? No, we have only played seven shows.
How big crowds do you usually play for? Somewhere between 30 and 500.
What are the plans for the rest of the year? We don't have any shows booked for the end of the year so we're concentrating on writing songs for the album number two. We will also shoot a video for one of the songs.
Where do you usually play? So far we've played mostly in Helsinki but will try to book shows all over Finland. Hopefully we will play shows abroad as well in the future.
How do you get psyched up for a gig? Just hang out, listen to good music. Some of the guys like to have a drink. Mostly just hanging out together.
What are your goals with your music? To make people enjoy and forget about all the shit that comes along in your daily life, at least for couple of hours.
When did you decide to go all in for the music? Probably when I joined my first band in the fall on 1986, I was only 12 at the time.
Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? I'd say older as I hardly ever listen to  new bands.
What are your sources of inspiration? I don't really have specific source for inspiration, I just pick up the guitar and see if something pops out. Sometimes hearing someone else's song can start a song writing process in my head.
What's the first step when making a new song? Coming up with a new cool riff and then build a song around it. That's the way I write songs anyway.
How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? Downloading is cool as long as people pay for it. I still prefer vinyl records or CD's. I want to have something physical with my music.
What would be your dreams for the band?  To be able to make a living playing music, that would be a dream come true.
Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Pretty much anything goes except dance music and modern Jazz. I also can't stand pompous art crap or modern hipster indie bands. I mostly listen to rock music, including soft rock and heavier stuff.
What do you hold most dear? My first Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop, that's a guitar I'll never sell.
What would be your greatest fears for the future? Not being able to play or hear music for some reason. That would just kill me.
When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? That my amp goes out and there's no spare one available.
Have you been part of any other projects? Yes, I play in a band called The Milestones and we're just about to release our fourth album. It's not as heavy as The Ragged Saints, more like The Black Crowes and Rolling Stones. You should definitely check it out if you're into those bands.
Have you been in any other bands? My former bands are Steel, Lotusland (this was in Dublin) and Wankers Of The Zoo Crew.
What would you do if there was no music? I have no idea to be honest. I haven't really thought about it as that is just not an option. There has to be music, always.
How important are your fans? They are the most important thing any band can have. Without fans there would be no live shows or anyone to buy records.
How often do you rehearse? We try to rehearse at least once a week.
Where do you rehearse? We have a rehearsal room in a place called Nosturi. There's two seperate live venues in the same building.
Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? The Sound Of Breaking Free and I'll Never Give Up On Love.
What do you feel is the best liveband you've seen? Danish rock band D-A-D, I've seen them many times and they always deliver a great show.
What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? Love for music and boredom in a day job in the office. Playing music is the only thing I ever really wanted to, simple as that. I'd say it might be even easier to win in a lottery than making it in the music business. So you definitely need to love what you're doing musically.
Do you have any webpages? Yes, our official page is www.theraggedsaints.com. We also have Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation and Soundcloud.
Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? Writing good songs is the most important thing for the band to do. No image or any gimmicks can save shitty music for long.
Describe your show, visually and musically? We haven't had a change to put together a special show yet, but hopefully some day. Our show is pretty much "let the music do the talking" kind of thing, it's not a circus, it's a rock band playing music.
How do you view the music industry of today? It has changed complitely in the past 10-15 years. Music industry is all about getting as much quick buck as possible, no matter how. It's not the greatness of music that sells, it's the image. Take a look at today's biggest new stars and you now what I'm talking about. It's all about the marketing and image. New pop and rock music is mostly recycled shit.
What advice would you like to give other bands? Be friendly and easy to get along and work with, no one likes an asshole.
What are the biggest obstacles for a band? To stand out from all the other bands.
What is best/worst with playing the clubs? Best is that the sound is usually pretty good. Worst is the size of stage, at least in a smaller clubs.
Tell us about upcomming gigs and why we should be at them? Next show will be in a club called Semifinal in Helsinki. You will get a great dose of no bullshit, no glitter hard rock.
How would you describe your sound in one sentence? Our sound is warm, honest and full of emotion.
What is your favorite crappy instrument? My first acoustic guitar, it's Landola with nylon strings. I don't really play it but its good to have as reminder how it all started.
What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band? It's never been quarrelsome really, I've always been in a like minded company. Don't like to argue with anyone anyway.
Whats your Pre-show ritual? We do a group hug before we go on stage.
What Won't you spend money on? Personally I spend most of my money on vinyl records, I have a bit of an obsession to get all the best ones especially from the 80's. If I had tons of money I would probably collect guitars.
What do you feel a band/muscian should spend their money on? Proper instruments and backline. That's not only a perfect investment but it also helps to have a great sound without too much hassle.
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