It was sometime in the early 2000’s when Antti walked into my little workshop and started describing a guitar he would need. He talked about the sound and other aspects of it, and at some point I realized I might have something ready for him, right there and then.
I dug up a case in which I had one of the early VSOP Deluxe guitars – and Antti totally fell in love with it… and it didn’t end quite there…
Over the years Antti has acquired quite a few guitars from us – each one for a specific purpose in his toolbox. The latest one is the Duke Emperor, a true one-of-a-kind!
Antti has also become one of my closest friends – and he has helped me out a great deal by doing a lot of audio and video material for our use – one cool example being the Official Ruokangas Theme music! Antti has also worked as our demo player at various guitar shows in Finland and Germany.
Antti could be called a musical multi-talent for a good reason. And… it is not really only his skills – but also his unbelievably humble and hard working attitude that has really made a long lasting impression to me. So, when we decided to include a series of mini-documentaries to our new website, filmed by SmakFilm, it was very easy for me to pick Antti as one of the artists to be featured on these little films. His story just deserved to be shared. Antti’s film is also embedded to the Duke main page – scroll down, there it is!
Antti Paranko’s career as a musician began in the age of 12, learning to compose with Amiga 500 computer and keyboards. He has played guitar since 14-year old, and has studied singing in Metropolia, Helsinki.
Antti mentions a few influences to his playing: Jeff Buckley, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Mike Rutherford, Steve Morse, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kerry Livgren and Jeff Beck. He’s always been more intrigued by the sound and songs by different players than learning their fastest licks.
His prog rock band Bleu Metron has released two albums. Antti has done all the compositions, lyrics and arrangements on the album. You can find a fantastic full concert video of their second album The Stream on YouTube.
Antti’s jazz band Quad released their first album in February 2010. Antti is the composer and lyricist of all the music of the this groovejazz -style band, energetic fusion of jazz, soul, funk and groove.
Antti released his first solo album Free Falling in 2013 – check it out on Apple Music.
Antti has also a long career as a theatre conductor for Hämeenlinnan Kaupunginteatteri, and he has worked for other theatres as well, Kansallisteatteri among them.
A beautiful tune, 'Creature', by Antti Paranko. Played with Ruokangas Mojo Grande / Art Infused II.
"I’ve been very happy with the playability, sound and looks of all my Ruokangas guitars (Antti has quite a few!). The Duke is at it’s best playing softer, jazzy music with it’s mellower and full, woody tone. The VSOP is my all-around workhorse with it’s clear, sustaining and big tone. The doubleneck Duke with its outstanding versatility has become my latest favorite especially in theater work and with my solo band. It’s always a joy to play these guitars, and they seem to just get better with age."
- Antti Paranko