Arttu ‘Archie’ Kuosmanen, Santa Cruz – Interview 13th March 2014

@louelladeville_ @planetmosh interview with @ArchieCruzz frontman with @SantaCruzBand

Archie: Santa Cruz
Archie: Santa Cruz

All the way from Finland and currently on  a tour of the U.K. with Voodoo Six. PlanetMosh caught up with frontman Archie for an interview/chat ahead of the show at Sound Control, Manchester.

Whose idea was it to form the band?

It was mine and Johnny’s. We met in 2007 and right away when we saw each other we realised that we both liked the same kind of bands. We both were looking for a band and we decided to put Santa Cruz together.

Had you both been in any bands prior to Santa Cruz?

Yeah we had but they weren’t really to our satisfaction and before that we had not met the perfect guys for our bands. The other guys were fun to play with but Santa Cruz was the first band that really allowed us to do what we want to.

Who were your early influences?

When I was little, a schoolboy, about eleven to thirteen and I started to play guitar Iron Maiden was my favourite band, and Ozzy Osbourne as well, but during the time when we formed Santa Cruz I was into Motley Crue, Skid Row and a lot of the eighties bands.

More glamorous type bands then and not the Iron Maiden type of thing?


So you started with Johnny around 2007 and you’ve had quite a few different guys in the band. How did you find Taz?

Through mutual friends. The Helsinki scene is not that big. Actually Taz was a friend of my ex-girlfriend and I knew him from there but when he joined our band I wasn’t with that girl any more.

The name Taz makes me think of a Tasmanian Devil so is he a bit of a devil?

Yes that’s the point. He’s a wild one.

A Bit of a Devil Drummer! So if you started in 2007 but didn’t do a debut album until 2012 what were you doing in that five year period?

We played a lot of shows at youth houses and, when we grew up a little, at bars. We made two demos and one E.P. and that E.P. got us the deal.

I believe there’s quite a big scene over in Finland. Probably bigger than in England is that right?

For this kind of music? Well there’s Reckless Love and us and I put Lost Society to the same scene as us, even though they’re thrash metal, but when we started there was a huge scene of teenagers who liked sleaze rock bands but a lot of those bands have gone and it was like a here here moment. The sleaze rock scene is not that big.

Do you get better paid over there and is it easier to get gigs?

Yes it totally is but we’ve been doing it such a long time that people have come to know us

You have Rock boat cruises? Didn’t you go on one with Reckless Love recently?

Yes it was right after our last U.K. tour and it was so much fun.

When’s the next one? I wouldn’t mind going on one of those.

We’re actually playing on a cruise in May with Lost Society and The 69 Eyes as well so you should go there.

I think some people who are coming down tonight should be going to that.

That’s cool.

I saw you last November, Bonfire Night, when you supported Kobra & the Lotus.  How was that tour? Did you enjoy it?

Yeah we totally enjoyed it. It was our first big tour in the U.K. actually our first big tour abroad. It was a fresh and new experience and it was something of a utopia. That night in Manchester, there weren’t so many people but it was cool.

The problem was it was Bonfire Night so I think some people were doing family things but it was a good gig.

Thank you

You started the tour in Wolverhampton yesterday. How was that gig?

It was great. Loads of people showed up. The venue was great and the show was great even though I had some technical problems on our first show but for a first show it was really great.

If you’re touring a lot how do you find life on the road?

It’s pretty much perfect

You’re enjoying it.

Yeah. You get to play a show every night then you get to have fun with the guys. You go to a hotel. The next morning you just wake up and eat something. You get in the van and go to a new place. You get to see new cities like Manchester. I totally fell in love with Manchester the last time, we had a free day here the next day. It’s really cool.

It’s a pity you’re not here on a Saturday we have a bigger music scene at the weekends, lots of rock bars

Oh, you do? Ok.

Who writes the music and the lyrics?

Me and Johnny write pretty much all of the music and I write most of the lyrics although Johnny has done some as well and Middy has done some.

Obviously I assume your first language is Finnish but how many languages do you actually speak?

I speak only Finnish and English fluently but a little Swedish, maybe a little German. Not that much though.

You’re accent is kind of American so where did you learn English?

It’s because of all the movies and the music I’ve been watching and listening to so it’s from there.

 How easy do you find it to write lyrics in a different language?

It’s actually not that easy. Sometimes it’s really hard.

Do you ever write any Finnish lyrics?

No. Well I have written some little things but not any full songs.

Your debut single ‘Relentless Renegades’ included the line ‘We Came, We Saw, We Conquered’ do you have an interest in history?

Actually yes, it was one of my favourite subjects at school, throughout my whole school years. Even now I like to check out documentaries and things on the internet.

Are you any good on Greek mythology?


Oh dear well I’m come to that question in a minute. I was watching your video ‘We Are the Ones to Fall’ and it’s quite bloody in places I wondered where you got the ideas from for that video?

It was actually from a Hollywood movie called Fight Club.

Did you enjoy doing the video?

Yes it was a rad experience.

I notice, was it, a snooker cue through the eye and I’m a bit squeamish! I wondered have you heard of Oedipus?


Ah that ruins my question now!

Oh I’m sorry.

Oedipus is from Greek mythology, a guy who was separated from his family at birth and he went on to kill his father and marry his mother. When he found out it was his real mother he gouged out his own eyes so I was going to ask, was that your attempt at showing an Oedipus complex?

(Laughs) Right that would have been cool though.

So you know Reckless Love. Do you like their music? There are some similarities there.

Of course, yeah.

My friends will want me to ask. Reckless love wrote a song about Cougars. Do Santa Cruz like the older woman?

Well it depends. We like all kinds of women.

Very good. That’s the right answer. So who’s the most popular with the fans?

I don’t know you’ll have to ask the fans.

What has been reaction to your debut album Screaming for Adrenaline?

Pretty good. We got excellent reviews. I think I only saw two negative reviews.

When I’m reviewing it’s better to review music that you’re actually into,because if you’re not you don’t really give a good review. It’s better to do what you like. If they’re negative maybe they don’t like that sort of music anyway.

That’s right, one that was negative was a Finnish metal paper and I think the reviewer just didn’t like our kind of music she thought it was cheesy or something.

Have you done many new songs since you wrote Screaming for Adrenaline?

Yes, we just released We Are the Ones to Fall

Have you got a new album coming out?

Yeah, next year. We’re just writing those songs now. Writing lyrics and doing demos.

Have you got any surprises in store for us on this tour?

On this tour? Maybe we’ll figure something out. We are playing a new song.

If you could open for any band in the world who would it be?

It changes but right now I would say Led Zeppelin. If they did another come back show it would be an honour to open for them.

Louella meets Santa CruzThank you very much for speaking to PlanetMosh. Before I go have you got any final message for the fans?

Keep on Rocking and keep on listening to Santa Cruz. We love you all!

Thank you.

No problem at all.

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

Band Members:

Arttu ‘Archie’ Kuosmanen: Vocals, Guitar
Joonas ‘Johnny’ Parkkonen: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mitja ‘Middy’ Toivonen: Bass, Backing Vocals
Tapani ‘Taz’ Fagertstrom: Drums, Backing Vocals


 Read our review of the gig here:


About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!