We don’t often make other lefty guitars than the custom ordered ones – but one time there was this Mojo Grande – a showpiece made for Frankfurt Musikmesse 2003. I didn’t sell the guitar at the show. A friend of mine knew Juha Torvinen and wanted to show the guitar to him. Juha ended up buying the guitar – and called me up.
I remember that first telephone call well. I noticed that we were on the same wavelength, similar wacky sense of humour and all. It was easy to talk to him. Then, after a good while of chatting away Juha confessed that he’d been checking out our website over the years, but never had had the courage to call me. I was kind of shocked and said: “Wait, this is not right. It’s the other way around – you’re the rock star, and I’m the one who doesn’t have the courage to call you!”
Since those days Juha must have lost his marbles or something… he keeps ordering more and more guitars from me… I’ve done my best to hold him back, but so far to no avail.
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).
Juha Torvinen is known for his meticulous search for great tone, and his fans and fellow guitar enthusiasts keep close track on Juha’s gear choices.
If you're from Finland, Eppu Normaali is a band that you know about - whether you want it or not! Like many others, I am a big fan, but even those that are not, would know Eppu songs inside out cause they've been played constantly on radio for decades! I feel quite humbled to have the privilege to work with Juha, and thankful that he allowed us to have this little film portrait done.