Go Back

Sakari Pesola

Sakari Lauri Pesola
Born October 4, 1963, Töysä

Master of Arts (Finnish History), 1995, University of Helsinki
Licentiate of Philosophy (Cultural History), 2003, University of Turku

Teacher, History and Civics (Pohjois-Haaga Comprehensive School)
Musician (Kolmas Nainen, Moon Cakes, Luunelonen)

Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by John Calton

A musician looks for feedback – from the audience

Before the breakthrough of Kolmas Nainen, Sakari Pesola played in various band projects. Kolmas Nainen was made up of his closest study mates and they had a huge number of gigs and released many albums from the mid-1980s up to 1994.

– Alavus Upper Secondary School was where Kolmas Nainen got started. My classmate Raimo Valkama is the bassist and Pasi Kallioniemi the drummer. The singer Pauli Hanhiniemi and guitarist Timo Löyvä were one year younger than us. We started working together at the bomb shelter of the apartment building I was subletting at the time.

Kolmas Nainen broke through at the latest when it came second in the Finnish Rock Championships in 1984. The gold medal went to Peer Günt. It took a couple of years, though, before the band’s records started topping the charts and the venues filled up.

– In 1989 we realised that the pub gigs started getting full. In the same year we released the album Hikiset siivut (‘Sweaty slices’) with the song ‘Äiti pojastaan pappia toivoi’ (‘Mother wanted her son to become a priest’). It didn’t get into the charts then. But it got regular airtime on the radio and in a couple of years you could call it a hit. The album Hyvää ja kaunista (‘Good and beautiful’) released in 1990 and the single ‘Tästä asti aikaa’ (‘From now on time’) made a big breakthrough and topped the charts. The next five years we had loads of gigs. The whole thing escalated, got saturated and turned saccharine. Well, it felt surreal to be so popular. And let’s not forget I was between 25 and 30 and free.

Photo: Mika Jussila.​
Photo: Mika Jussila.​

In 1994 the highly popular band broke up. They had a long career behind them: seven studio albums and a thousand gigs in ten years. Pesola’s career as a musician did not end there, however, even though he completed his studies at the University of Helsinki and became a teacher. In 1995 he joined the band Moon Cakes and in the same year Luunelonen (‘Bunch of fours’)was founded. With Moon Cakes, Pesola went on tour abroad – in Shanghai and Hong Kong, among other places. In the end, the Kolmas Nainen members found themselves playing gigs and back in the studio again in 2009.

– We were constantly being asked to make a comeback. We needed to come to some principled decisions about whether we should just play old songs or if we would have the energy to come up with new ones. In my opinion, a band is not alive if it doesn’t produce new material. In 2009 the album Sydänääniä (‘Heart sounds’) was released and our latest album, Me ollaan ne (‘We are them’), was released in 2013.

Performing comes naturally to Pesola. His original band gear from the 1980s goes on gigs with him and is the best support as they have been around the world together. For him, the best thing about performing is sensing the contact with the audience.

Photo: Mika Jokiaho.​
Photo: Mika Jokiaho.​

– Musicians are always looking for a positive response from the audience. Of course for me it’s also important that the same guys are still around. We all look a little past our prime, but we’re young and handsome inside. Music is the number one thing for us and the audience.

Pesola is also a songwriter. He has written songs together with the singers for all three of the bands.

– If I had the time I would write songs for other bands and singers, too. Ideas for songs pop into my head quite rarely. But I do have about 80 different little tunes that I’ve recorded on my phone. Maybe some of those could become songs for Kolmas Nainen or someone else.

Sakari Pesola ja Pauli Hanhiniemi. Photo: Mika Jussila.​
Sakari Pesola ja Pauli Hanhiniemi. Photo: Mika Jussila.​


Go Back