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Music / The Rasmus

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Aki Hakala, Pauli Rantasalmi, Lauri Ylönen, and Eero Heinonen.

So close, so far, I'm lost in time
Ready to follow a sign
If there was only a sign

The Rasmus is a Finnish band formed by four students in 1994, at first simply titled Rasmus (the name actually comes from the phrase "thrash mosh", even though Rasmus is a common forename in Nordic countries, and Rasmussen a common surname). Generally described as Rock or Alternative Rock, their music can also come under various subgenres of metal, including Gothic, Symphonic, and Funk. The group's work can be divided into two main time periods, one of which is generally Pop and Funk-oriented (1994-1998), while the other (2001-Present) leans towards Metal and Gothic music. Their name change came in accordance with their stylistic shift; their first release under their revised title The Rasmus was their 2001 album Into.

While achieving moderate success with singles such as: "F-F-F-Falling," the band is undoubtedly most recognizable for "In the Shadows," which brought them international success, and was their only major hit outside of Finland. Other notable singles include: "Liquid," "Chill," "Guilty," "No Fear," "Living in a World Without You," and most recently, "I'm a Mess."

Lauri is perhaps most famous for his appearance on two Apocalyptica tracks released in 2005, "Life Burns" and "Bittersweet," the latter being a duet with fellow Finn Ville Valo of HIM. For many, these collaborations are Awesome Music. In return, Apocalyptica provided instrumentation on the song "Dead Promises."

The band continues to tour and have committed fan bases in many regions. As of 2012, they have released eight studio albums. Lauri also diverged into the electropop genre with his 2011 solo album titled New World. And the Mexicans love them.

In 2022, they made a career comeback by winning the right to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest with new song ‘’Jezebel’’ earning a win in the nation’s selection show UMK. They also collaborated with that year's winner Kalush on a new version of "In The Shadows" entitled "In The Shadows of Ukraine".

The Rasmus are:

  • Lauri Ylönen: Lead Vocals, Occasional Guitar (1994-Present)
  • Eero Heinonen: Bass Guitar, Live Backing Vocals (1994-Present)
  • Emilia Suhonen: Guitar (2022-Present)
  • Aki Hakala: Drums, Percussion (1998-Present)

Former Members:

  • Pauli Rantasalmi: Guitar (1994-2022)
  • Jarno Lahti: Drums (1994-1995)
  • Janne Heiskanen: Drums (1995-1998)

Studio Discography:

  • Peep (1996)
  • Playboys (1997)
  • Hellofatester (1998)
  • Into (2001)
  • Dead Letters, alternatively titled Feeling Guilty in some areas (2003)
  • Hide from the Sun (2005)
  • Black Roses (2008)
  • The Rasmus (2012)
  • Dark Matters (2017)

This band contains examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: From "Dead Promises:"
    Should I stay and welcome the day,
    Or should I follow the one and hide from the sun.
  • Animal Motifs: Lauri is known for wearing black feathers in his hair as part of his stage persona. He says that he likes his hairstyles to represent different things, whether it be the feathers symbolizing a raven, or his blonde and spiked hair embodying the sun.
    • Additionally, Lauri's nickname is "Lintu," which means "bird" in Finnish.
  • Audience Participation Song: Many songs can be this, "Guilty" possibly being the best example.
    • Also the ohh ohh's in live versions of "In the Shadows."
  • Book Ends: On special editions of Black Roses, the album is opened with the vengeful, upbeat "Living in a World Without You," and ends with its melancholy, piano driven reprise.
  • Break-Up Song: Probably over 75% of their songs are in this vein, though not always overtly.
  • Burn the Witch!: "Lucifer's Angel."
  • Chronological Album Title: Their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd EP's released in 1995 and 1996 were suitably titled 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The female in "Not Like the Other Girls," particularly blatant in the chorus:
    She lives in the clouds, and talks to the birds.
  • Concept Album: Dead Letters, where, according to Word of God: "Each song is a letter to somebody. It could be an apology, a confession, or a cry for help."
  • Concept Video: Frequently employed, more often than not centering around a female character.
  • Cover Version: The opening track of their debut album is a cover of the Ghostbusters theme by Ray Parker Jr.
    • Their catalogue of non-album tracks includes covers of Björk's "Play Dead" and ABBA's "SOS."
  • Darker and Edgier: Began to set in with Into. This becomes especially jarring when one compares Peep or Playboys, their lightest works, to Hide from the Sun — the differences in tone are polarizing.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: From "Live Forever:"
    We cried from the laughter
    And died in each other's arms.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Lauri says that "Smash" was partly inspired by his friend's heroin related death.
  • Dye Hard: Lauri when he dyes his hair black. Aki did the same until recently.
  • The '80s: They draw a lot of musical inspiration from bands of the '80s, particularly Guns N' Roses.
    • At the same time, "Black Roses" was partly inspired by Depeche Mode, and it shows.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: In acoustic renditions of "Sail Away," Eero sings the string part in the instrumental break.
  • Flower Motif: "Black Roses," anyone? Also, the leaves in the band's logo.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Hellofacollection, and more recently Best of 2001-2008.
  • Happily Married: All of the current members.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Lauri has a legitimate one in his surname.
  • Hidden Track: Not a song, but after 3 minutes of silence in Peep's closing track "Small," random chatter can be heard, including a man speaking Finnish and a child saying "hello."
  • It's All About Me: "In My Life" can qualify as this in a sense.
  • Large Ham: Their performances in many of their film clips can fall under this.
  • Lighter and Softer: They're steering towards this once again with the more pop / soft rock sound of their 2012 album.
  • Live Album: Live in Mexico City was released as a promotional disc in 2006.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The current line-up has existed since 1998.
  • Mood Whiplash: In Dead Letters, the upbeat and rock n' rolly "Back in the Picture" is followed by one of the greatest Tear Jerkers in music, "Funeral Song."
  • New Sound Album: Let's do a little list, just for giggles:
    • Originally, Rasmus (without the "The") was a rock funk band in the spirit of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
    • After three albums, they recorded (with a brand new drummer, Aki) Into, as The Rasmus, and their funk was replaced with soft alternative rock.
    • With the release of Dead Letters, they turned more towards goth and melodic rock songs, then went heavier with Hide from the Sun.
    • And then, Black Roses marked a return to an alternative melodic, if more electronic (a la Radiohead / Depeche Mode) sound.
    • With their eponymous album, they've returned to their Into alt-rock sound, with pervading influence from their heavier work.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Uncommon, though examples in "Chill," "Smash," and "Funeral Song (The Resurrection)."
  • Old Shame: Upon being asked whether he still listened to their old music, Eero replied: "Yes, and we laugh!"
  • One-Hit Wonder: To a certain extent with "In the Shadows," their only hit outside of Finland.
  • Performance Video: "Immortal" utilizes live footage of the song. Headbanging ensues.
  • The Pete Best: Jarno Lahti, their original drummer, left the band before they ever recorded anything, and is thus condemned to obscurity.
  • The Power of Friendship: From "Back in the Picture:"
    Dedicate everything I create to my friends I would die for.
  • Precision F-Strike: Averted in "You Got It Wrong," the lyric being: "I don't give a [...] I'm not your believer." The reason for the offending word's omission is unclear, though a common theory is that it was because a "parental advisory" label on the cover would ruin the artwork.
    • While very uncommon in recent years, Peep contains a surprising amount.
  • Re-release the Song: "F-F-F-Falling" was re-recorded with an overall heavier sound and released as a bonus track on some versions of Dead Letters.
  • Rockumentary: A Making of Black Roses film was given a limited release, mostly due to the fact that it's entirely in Finnish.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Lauri on studio recordings. Eero fills the position of backing vocalist in live settings.
  • Sequel Song: "Night After Night (Out of the Shadows)" is this to "In the Shadows," given the lyrical and titular references.
  • Truth in Television: In the opening lines of "F-F-F-Falling," the narrator declares that he "[doesn't] go to school every Monday." This was somewhat true for the band, as they often reserved Mondays for rehearsals.
  • Unplugged Version: They often play special acoustic shows as promotional appearances, and there are alternate unplugged versions available of "First Day of My Life," "Lucifer's Angel," and "Open My Eyes."
  • Weakened by the Light: Hide from the Sun.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Someone Else:"
    She drinks the blood of the dinosaurs
    To get her powers back
    To make her boyfriend understand
  • Word Salad Title