Pantse Syrjä / Eppu Normaali

Pantse is one of those players whose sound and style you can immediately recognise. He has never been too much of a guitar geek in terms of having to own vintage Fenders or such. He played in fact a long time mainly with two Squier Strats, that he happened to find at a local guitar shop the mid 80’s. Then in 2004 or 2005 he happened to find more guitars, again at the local guitar shop in Tampere – this time two of my VSOPs, that became his main instruments for many years.

He has kept coming back for more instruments, and it appears to be that a 3-pickup Unicorn Classic he bought some years ago has become one of his main guitars too. That instrument has a very special wiring, that was designed by Pantse himself. I have to add, that Pantse is a very special guy. He seems to see the world somehow in wiring schematics, chemical formulas or mathematical equations… He can talk to you (has happened to me!) about room acoustics (or other topic of interest) for a whole day non-stop… So, when I say that his Unicorn Classic has a special wiring, it is indeed very special. It was in fact so complex to execute, that we had to call Pantse to come over and give advise to Jyrki – our main guy with complex wirings. The control cavity was filled with components and wires, but Pantse seemed to understand in a glance what was going on, and he went on: “Ah, yes – next put this wire here, that one goes there…” – and so on. A special talent, indeed!

Eppu Normaali is a national treasure of Finland – the best selling (Finnish singing) ever rock band in our country. The band has released 15 studio albums, of which 10 has sold platinum and 5 gold. Their style of music has shifted along the years from the early era punk rock to more melodic direction.

The band was formed in 1976 by brothers Martti (vocals) and Mikko “Pantse” Syrjä (guitar), their cousin Aku Syrjä (drums), Mikko Saarela (bass) and Juha Torvinen (left-handed guitar). The lineup has remained the same except a couple of bass player changes, first to Mikko Nevalainen (1979) and then again by Sami Ruusukallio (1989).

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