Sin Cos Tan is an electronic music collaborative between Juho Paalosmaa and Jori Hulkkonen. They are based out of Finland.
How did your interest in music begin? Jori: Living in a small industrial town in the north of Finland, alongside movies music offered an escape of sorts. Discovering electronic music in the early 80’s made me realize you could actually make something completely on your own terms, without being musically gifted in the traditional “virtuoso guitarist/talented vocalist” kinda way.
What were you like in high school? Jori: I was that introvert, awkward guy who’d do well, but the only reason you’d talk to him was that he knew a lot about music -but no other reason.
How has living in Helsinki affected your music? Juho: My hometown Helsinki is nice, but I’d prefer a warmer climate. I think it affects me in an escapist sort of way.
What kinds of things are influencing your music right now? Juho: It’s asparagus season, so that’s one. Been also listening to William Oneyabor a lot. And Fleetwood Mac.
Describe your current studio or practice space. Jori: My current studio is the logical continuum of working spaces -later studios -I started in the late 80’s, when I started buying equipment in my teens. The latest revision I’ve had for about 6 years now, and in addition of it being a studio and my second home, I would also call it my most valued tool. I can work and write songs in other studios as well, but my AlppIVhouz studio is where I’m efficiant. Like, very efficient. Located next to a beautiful park and the city’s art museum, in addition to my vintage synth and drummachine collection, I have my 15’000+ vinyl collection there. A private sanctuary for music if you will.
Where is your favorite/ideal place to perform? Juho: Someplace warm. I don’t really have a favourite venue. Everything depends on the crowd or the vibe… I like to be surprised by things. Being generally oblivious helps.
Tell us about your work process and how it develops. Jori: When I started out in the 80’s I knew absolutely nothing about making music. So in a way the past 25 years have been a learning process and the music has been a byproduct of that. A career-forming byproduct, mind you.
I’ve always felt you need to change the way you work and/or get inspired, otherwise you end up repeating yourself very easily. With Juho, we have a few different ways we approach writing songs for Sin Cos Tan. We try to avoid becoming too jaded on HOW we write. It can be a bassline, or an arpeggio that we start building on, it can be a chord structure we suddenly find a killer vocal-hook on, or it can be something based on a demo either one of us recorded on their own on the phone with just a guitar or a piano.
What are you reading right now? Juho: I’m re-reading a book called “Sum: 40 Tales from the Afterlives”. It’s a fun read and somehow fits into this time of year.
If you were a drink, what drink would you be? Jori: You know that age old cliché how someone is like wine, they just get better with age… I think I’m more like a glass of milk that’s been there on the table for 40 years. Something that went sour ages ago, and is getting harder and harder to ignore. Next to a bunch of fancy wineglasses, that’s the one you’ll remember.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Juho: We’ve just finished work on our 3rd album, which is coming out this August.