May 7th, 2023

ToneGym Hero: Ville Peurala

ToneGym Hero: Ville Peurala

Multi-instrumental and part of an industrial metal band named "Lirpo", Currently living in Helsinki, Finland. Ville Peurala is this month's ToneGym Hero! 

Who are you, and Where are you from?

I am Ville Peurala. I am originally from Pori, which is a small industrial town of about 80 000 on the west coast of Finland, but I have been living in Helsinki for a long time now. I used to be in a band called Cold Cold Ground (2004-2014), we released two albums and toured Europe, but then we split up. After that, I have been making a lot of music by myself and with various friends. My current main project is the industrial metal band Lirpo.

How did you get into music?

I have always loved music, as long as I can remember. My parents had a good record collection. I got my first instrument, a melodica, as a birthday present when I turned 7. When I was 13, I put together my first band and started to seriously write my own songs. I had learned to play guitar and some piano by then. After that I have constantly been learning new things: new instruments, new software, and new ways of thinking about music. Currently, I am learning classical orchestration with Adam Vilagi.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

I don’t do anything just for fun. Everything is a part of my diabolical plans.

If I, for example, go to the gym, I don’t do it for fun, at least not entirely. I do it to stay healthy and look good in Lirpo promo pics. I don’t do any sports just for fun. Neither do I consume any culture just for fun. If I go to a concert, I am constantly on the lookout for good ideas to steal from the band performing there. I get some benefit out of everything.

The only things I do strictly for fun are the most basic urges of people: sex, food, and sleep. But I guess those cannot be called hobbies or anything like that.

What's your most useless skill or talent?

I don’t consider any of my skills and talents as totally useless. 

I consider everything I have learned in life the basis for further learning. Let’s take an example. When I was 19, I had to do national service, i.e. serve in the military for a year. I learned a lot of skills there, from basic and more advanced infantry tactics to receiving and transmitting Morse code. Someone might regard those skills as useless since obviously, I have never been in a real war, so I have never used them “for real”, but I would disagree. Those skills form the basis for many other skills I have today.

I have also once learned and forgotten the Dutch language. But even though I cannot remember any Dutch right now, I don’t fret about my disappeared language skills. I know that it is still in the background, somewhere in my subconscious, and when I go to the Netherlands for a conference later in the spring I know I will understand things I wouldn’t if I hadn’t studied Dutch.

I also don’t have a sense of humor.

What inspires you to keep making music?

Songs come to my head, and I have to get them out of there somehow. One good way is to record and publish them. So I do it mostly for my own mental health.

If you could sit down to a session with any artist, who would it be?

That would probably be Ludwig van Beethoven. I would utilize his enormous melodic capabilities to make a huge pop hit with an arrangement combining symphonic orchestration ideas and ordinary popular music instrumentation. Then we would make millions together and retire to a deserted island where Ludwig could write some more symphonies and I could work on my own music.

Any habits you have before starting a session?

No, I just start doing things whenever I find a spare moment to work on music. I don’t have any special starting rituals. I just sit down on the computer and start working.

If I have enough time, I try to make myself comfortable first - sometimes I make a pot of coffee, if I have an urge for coffee at that moment, or smoke a cigarette, or do something else as needed to put me in a better mode. But often my music-making sessions just start when I find a reasonable slice of time between other things. I am quite busy.

What have you been working on lately?

I have an industrial metal project called Lirpo, which combines music, theater and other visuals in an interesting way, see Lirpo Lirpo - YouTube for videos. We are currently planning our first live show. It will be terrifying. I could talk about Lirpo, which has been my main music project for about 4 years now, for hours, but let’s keep it short and mysterious for now. I really recommend watching the videos if you are interested, they are also entirely done by me and my friends, and they are an important part of Lirpo’s art.

If you could pick one, what would be the theme song of your life?

That would be “Työtön alkoholisti” (Unemployed Alcoholic) by Lirpo. The song is in Finnish, but it has English subtitles. 

What's your favorite musical instrument?

Talking about acoustic instruments, sitar is quite interesting. It is so complex and looks so hard to play. Many other ethnic instruments are interesting too. Not that I could play any of them, but thanks to modern technology, I can play them with a sampler.

But the ultimate instrument would be the computer, of course. With today’s technology you can do any sound imaginable with it. You don’t have to spend years learning the fingerings and other techniques on every instrument that you want to use in your music. You can just buy a plugin and play it with a MIDI controller, and those are getting better all the time too.

What's your favorite ToneGym feature?

Melodix. It is a great way to learn melodic memorization. It’s also by far the most difficult game you have. Notationist is also very useful.

What does the future hold for Ville Peurala?

Hopefully lots of live performances and Lirpo records. I have also released some music under my own name, but that’s quite different from Lirpo. By searching for “Ville Peurala” on Spotify, you can find some melancholic folkish pop and some pseudo-classical piano pieces. I guess I’ll keep on doing various experiments using other pseudonyms too.


View all comments
Cuantas Vacas
Apr 21
It's nice to meet you. Your lack of sense of humour is refreshing and contagious!
Riv Kah
Apr 20
Porilainen! Mulla on hyvä porilainen ystävä Tampereella, myös muusikko =D. Kiva kuulla susta!
Love it! Keep it up!!!

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