Ahead of Helsinki's annual Flow Festival, we caught up with one of the main attractions - electro-rockers, K-X-P. The festival itself is set to be grand, packed with stellar acts both homegrown in Finland and travelling from afar. Expect to see the likes of Kendrick Lamar, The Knife, My Bloody Valentine, Austra, Goat, Grimes, Public Enemy and Kraftwerk; the wealth of supreme-level sounds on offer is staggering. Not just the major English speaking acts either, as Scandinavian talent is represented well, especially up-and-coming Finnish bands. It's a great event to discover little-known acts from across the nation.

On top of the music side of proceedings, there's a veritable treasure trove of art/design projects and performers, many lectures, talks and film screenings. It's not just about the noises, there's also plenty of other media to explore. Indeed, as the Facebook profile states, "Alongside great music, Flow is about urban spaces, arts, cosy decoration, good food and drink. Flow takes place at the historic Suvilahti power plant area close to Helsinki city centre." Food is a major element of the fun at Flow (and arguably any festival). They exceed expectations this year by hosting fantasy-themed fusion vendors New York Ninja, African nosh from Sandro, the 'best sushi in Helsinki', Umeshu, and plenty of authentic local cuisine. Flow is also known for it's active stance regarding the environment, and they try to be as conscious of their impact as possible, by reducing traffic, increasing recycling and even running the gala on wind power.

One of the top draws of the weekend is K-X-P. Fresh off the back of their recent second album, entitled II, the experimental trio/sometimes quartet are bringing their thrilling strain of psych-infused indietronica to the gathering, and are sure to be a highlight. With II's proggy 70s pads, whirlwind of tangible textures and gorgeous melodics, there's little doubt they're going to deliver a stunning set.

With that in mind, we had a quick chat with them, where we discovered their penchant for capes, why Hurriganes are their favourite Finnish band, and a myriad of travel tips for budding musicians.


Hey guys. What's happened since you released your second album back in February?

We've been touring a lot: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, UK, Ireland, USA…

What has the response been like?

It's been super good, it seems to take a couple of tours to get the word out and get the people to the shows.

Have audiences reacted well when you've performed the new material live?

Yes, we've been mixing the new and old material so that even we don't know what is a new song or old song. It all becomes a big melting pot of sound that we try to handle on stage.

How was SXSW?

It was weird and nice, so many people, so many bands, so many companies presenting so many things. We had couple of different shows there, met some friends and ate couple of different tacos.

Describe a K-X-P show for us?

Blood, sweat and tears.

Do you have any pre-gig rituals?

Mostly drinking espresso. Dressing in capes, it prepares you for the show and reminds you are not driving a taxi now.

What's your favourite thing about playing festivals?

Short linechecks eliminate the boring time spent between soundchecks and the show. Everything is professional. Big soundsystem, lots of stage hands, big monitors, big audience... bigger fee.

Are you looking forward to catching anyone in particular at Flow Festival?

Not really... we're just going with the Flow. We tend to enjoy festivals more if we don't plan too much.

Oh... Actually Kraftwerk 3D we wanna see.

What are you most excited about at Flow?

Playing Friday at the Black Tent. We have great lights and sound being brought in and we also have a special line up with two drummers. Otherwise, going to mix some superfood smoothies with raw cacao Saturday and Sunday. That is fun.

How are preparations going?

Really well. There is nothing major to do, for us. We have been touring USA and EU this year so the 'machina K-X-P' is well greased and good to go. Like clockwork - a fine Swiss watch, of course. We ordered new capes from our London connection Alexandra Groover for the show too.

Do you have any surprises lined up?

Maybe there is something special, but we'll really know it only when the show starts.

If you had an unlimited budget, what would your perfect headline show be like?

We would play in a club called Pine Lodge in Myrtleville, Ireland and fly all our friends, relatives and stakeholders to see us. It's a really cool and small club. The locals go to every show so they've got a great knowledge of obscure international music scene.

Where is your favourite place to tour?

France, Sweden and Ireland were especially good for us the last time we toured. Italy has some decent coffee even in the smallest gas stations.

How about Finland in general as a place to tour?

It's a small country so the tour will be short, but you'll be treated well if you act well. But you should head up north, things are more interesting up there.

What's your favourite Finnish band of all time?

Hurriganes, a power trio from the 70s. Maybe not musically but Sweden loved them, they look good in pictures and we feel related to them.

What advice do you have for upcoming bands?

Just Do It!

Any travel tips for those wanting to holiday in Finland?

Good cities to visit: Turku, Kajaani, Joensuu, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Sodankylä. Avoid ABC gas stations.


Flow Festival takes place 7-11th August 2013 in Helsinki. For more information, head here.