The Rasmus (during his first three albums “Rasmus”) is a Finnish rock band. It is one of the most internationally successful Finnish bands.
The lead character of the band is singer and founding member Lauri Ylönen. In 2005–2006, he was Finland’s most deserving cultural figure. The style of the band has changed somewhat over the years. In addition to rock, the three albums released in the 1990s are influenced by funk, hip hop and pop, each with a significantly different style, while the 21st century albums are closer to cleaner rock, heavier and darker in tone.
The Rasmus was formed in 1994 when the band members were in their junior high school. In the early days, Rasmus, who performed without the “The” prefix, played red Hot Chili Peppers-influenced funk rock. The band was formed by Lauri Ylönen, who currently works as a singer-soloist, and Eero Heinonen, bassist. That’s when Lauri still played the drums until her sister Hanna “forced” him to try singing. The band’s name was Anttila at first, but it was often confused with a department store of the same name. Another suggestion was also Sputnik, but eventually the band ended up being called Rasmus. The band’s first single “1st” was released in 1995.
Rasmus signed a record deal in 1996. The first album “Peep” was released in Finland, Russia, Estonia and Japan. The record’s sales exceeded the gold limit in Finland by selling more than 21,000 copies. The singles “1st,” “2nd,” and “3rd” are simply named with sequence numbers and contain Peep’s songs. A self-directed video was made of the song “Funky Jam”. Peep’s style of music could be called funk-influenced pop rock.
The band’s second album, Playboys, also sold gold. The band made a video of the song “Playboys” themselves. With “Playboys”, the band gained more credibility and fame. The third album “Hell of a Tester” sold gold as did its single “Liquid”. The band made a video of it, and it was also chosen as the single of the year.
The band took a break after Hell of a Tester. Janne, who played the drums, left for India, so the search for a new drummer began. The band’s three-album deal with Warner ended and a new record company was sought. The band wasn’t even sure if they would continue their careers. Eventually, current drummer Aki Hakala started in the band. Rasmus started at the Swedish company Playground Music. The name was also changed to The Rasmus so that the band would not be confused with an artist named DJ Rasmus in Sweden.
In 2001, after the break, the band released their album “Into”. It was a great success. The album was released throughout Scandinavia, and in Finland it sold more than double platinum (67,000). The first single “F-F-F-Falling” became a big hit; it won the MTV Nordic audience vote and sold a platinum single. The single “Chill” also did well, selling gold. At the 2002 Emma Gala, The Rasmus won four Emma Awards. Enthusiasm can be called rock with a bit of pop influence. Into” is also the first record on which Aki Hakala played the drums.
The Rasmus wanted to introduce its older production to its new fans as well. The compilation album “Hell of a Collection” was released in November 2001. It sold over 50,000 copies, a platinum record and a gold record on top.
With their 2003 album “Dead Letters”, The Rasmus made its final international breakthrough and topped the charts in several countries (including number one in Germany). It made history as the first Finnish album to reach the top ten of the official album list in the United Kingdom. Internationally, the album sold eight gold records and five platinum records. The album Dead Letters differed stylistically from the band’s previous recordings as The Rasmus’ musical line and lyrics became darker and the sound darker.
The album’s single and big hit “In The Shadows” was MTV Europe’s most played video and rose to number three on the British Isles single in the spring of 2004. It rose to the top ten in more than a dozen countries. The other singles on the album are “In my Life,” “First Day of My Life,” “Funeral Song (the Resurrection),” and “Guilty.” Of these five singles, the band also made music videos, three different versions of “In the Shadows”.
The album “Dead Letters” was among the top ten bestsellers in about a dozen countries. In total, more than 1.5 million copies have been sold and 77,000 copies in Finland. Dead Letters is by far the best-selling album of The Rasmus.
The Rasmus’ sixth studio album “Hide from the Sun” was released in Finland and Scandinavia, Central Europe, Great Britain and Japan on September 9, 2005. The album was very successful all over Europe, and the album reached number one in Finland as well as in Mexico.
The band embarked on the album’s one-and-a-half-year “Hide from the Sun” tour, which included more than 200 concerts in 38 countries.
The band began composing their new album Black Roses in late 2006, when the band met prestigious producer Desmond Child in the Dominican Republic during their concert on the Hide from the Sun tour. Ylönen and Rantasalmi composed new songs with Child, e.g. In Greece. Recording of the album’s 11 tracks began in September 2007 in Helsinki, after which the album was recorded in Nashville, USA, and four other countries. The record was mixed by Michael Wagener.
In November 2009, The Rasmus released their second compilation album. The album features one new song, the duet “October & April” with Anette Olzon. It was also released as a single. The album has a total of 17 tracks.
The Rasmus started recording a new record at the beginning of July 2011, when bassist Eero Heinonen and guitarist Pauli Rantasalmi, who live abroad, returned to Finland. The band released this studio album in April 2012. The world premiere of “I’m a Mess” was at the finals of the New Music Competition on February 25, 2012.
In March 2017, The Rasmus released a new single “Paradise”. It was the band’s first release after a five-year record break.
In May 2021, The Rasmus released the single “Bones” and in September a video.
In January 2022, original member and guitarist Pauli Rantasalmi said he would leave the band and look for new adventures and challenges in his life. Emppu Suhonen started as the new guitarist in the band. The Rasmus took part in the national selection for the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, won it and represented Finland in the international final.
A book written by Ari Väntänen about the band will be published in the autumn of 2022.