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Finnish Folk Metal legends KORPIKLAANI and filmmaker KIMMO KUUSNIEMI made an extended and hectic tour of Russia, travelling from St. Petersburg to Siberia and back. On a follow-up tour – this time to Japan with Finnish metal legend, Waltari – they had more time to contemplate Japanese lifestyle and history. Filmmaker Kimmo Kuusniemi travelled with the band. His unseen documentaries are now released online.

Here three generations of Finnish Metal; Kimmo, one of the first Finnish metalheads, and Korpiklaani, a furious act of modern folk metal met with another Finnish legend, Kärtsy Hatakka and his band Waltari. The trip proved to be a series of intensive gigs and a journey into the open minds of Japanese metal fans, while on the side Korpiklaani’s shaman violinist Tuomas Rounakari and Kimmo wanted to make acquaintances with the ancient history of the land of the rising

TUOMAS ROUNAKARI: “The Finns and Japanese have a strange connection. We both appreciate silence more than most other cultures. Maybe it is due to the still lasting connection to the nature that is in the center of ancient beliefs of both cultures.”

KIMMO KUUSNIEMI: “In the past I have made some commercial films for Japanese markets but I had never visited before. Japan is a very interesting contradiction of industrial high tech in perfect harmony with the ancient traditions. In between the gigs me and Tuomas tried to see as much as we could of the old traditional side of Japan.”

TUOMAS ROUNAKARI: “We had a hilarious interview in Japan. We found out that most of our songs were very obscurely translated to japanese, mostly in innuendo way. Apparently these curious titles were one aspect of our fame in the country.’

The resulting documentaries are a rare peek into the on-the-road life of grown up men behaving as rockers on stage. But they are also a tribute to the international heavy metal fan family: wherever the bands go, they receive a warm and hearty welcome. The live footage shot by state-of-the-art technology, is enigmatic, and the behind-the-scenes material shows the band exploring local cultures, from the Siberian tundra to cherry orchards in Japan.

KIMMO KUUSNIEMI: “One great thing of making these documentaries was that I met Tuomas. We are very like minded and we already are working on a new project called “SAMPO” that combines music and myths. More about that soon.”


KIMMO KUUSNIEMI: “These documentaries were partly funded through Crowdfunding. As the DVD format is now pretty much dead the Filmmakers have the same challenge as musicians: how to finance your work. We need to adapt and this is the first time that I’m trying out the VOD (Video On Demand) to get some revenue in.
Our Split Screen Films production company will be releasing more interesting documentaries soon on VOD.” 

The "Live in Japan" documentary is beautifully shot and put together. It offers an exciting insight into Japan the modern, the weird and the ancient and it is also great to see inside the touring experience for KORPIKLAANI. It is a delightful and interesting watch and well-balanced look at Japan as well as the brilliant live band performances of KORPIKLAANI and Waltari and even some glimpses at other bands such as Kreator and Vader. Kimmo manages to capture the essence, beauty, energy and fun of it all within 31 minutes. 

Check out the documentary's below:
MADE IN RUSSIA (39min 22sec)


LIVE IN JAPAN (31min 22sec)


More information on SPLIT SCREEN FILMS:

For more on KORPIKLAANI:

For more on WALTARI:


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