Drummer Sampsa Väätäinen of RubikGreetings to all fellow drummers and readers of Modern Drummer! My name is Sampsa Väätäinen and I play the drums in Rubik, from Helsinki, Finland. I definitely did not expect to be writing on this blog, but man, what a pleasant surprise! I would say we’ve had our share of pleasant surprises since our debut album, Bad Conscience Patrol, came out in the spring of 2007. In addition to playing most major clubs and festivals in Finland that year, we were also lucky enough to be sent out on a European tour, and we even played a few shows across the Atlantic. Our sophomore album, Dada Bandits, was released in April of this year and will be our first to be released in the U.S.A. and Canada, in September. We are all really excited about the North American venture that will hopefully throw us to places we haven’t been before.

I don’t really remember ever making a conscious choice about becoming a drummer. I do remember, though, how devastated I felt when my third grade music teacher decided I should play French horn instead of the drums. Luckily my father was as passionate about my drumming as I was and came to my rescue. Around those times I got my first drumkit, and it wasn’t long until I had joined my first band, a metal trio with no vocals or bass!

It is hard for me to name drummers that have influenced my playing, since I have never really taken the time to learn other people’s beats and grooves (with one exception, but I won’t tell who…). I have played with a lot of great musicians, though, and making music with those people has been the greatest factor in my development as a drummer. Our prog rock adventures with Otto Eskelinen, Niko Taskinen, and Arvi Hasu ten years ago were interesting times and later led to Arvi joining another band I played in, Rubik. Rubik’s frontman, Artturi Taira, and I have been playing together for twelve years now, and playing with him has been really inspiring. His way of dealing with rhythm has made it impossible for me to take the easy road and stick to the good old straight rock beat, and it has forced me to approach the whole concept of drumming from a slightly different angle.

From the very beginning I have also been recording and mixing demos and promos for bands I have played in and other bands around me. Lately I have had the honor to work on albums from such bands and artists as Neufvoin, Niko ja Lypsyjakkarat, Belle Who, and, surprise surprise, Rubik! We are now in the process of building a studio for our Alppila musical collective, and I am hoping to work with many more bands and artists in the near future.

Peace, love, hugs and kisses, and whatnot!

Oh, and I play __ drums and __ cymbals with __ sticks! And __ microphones rock! (Place your company name here)