India Fall

In late 1983, Timo and Juha came to me, posing the question whether I would be willing to play something different than with Nightmare, i.e. music sung in Finnish. I found the prospect interesting, and did not see any major problem with the embryonic and as yet unnamed Le Cardinal to-be already running simultaneously (well… maybe faltering would be a better term at this point). So, after some negotiations with each involved party, the rehearsal cabin at my parents’ downstairs (hi Mom & Dad!) received some more equipment to enjoy happy coexistence, and off we took.

Rat Trap Logo

We decided that the band would be named Rat Trap, created a simple logo and envisioned a related Finnish translation of ZZ Top’s TV Dinners (which we never actually did; it would have been quite far from the style of our music anyway). The music was mainly written by Timo, with some musical and lyrical contributions from Juha and me alike, and could probably be described as pop rock with a touch of punk (although being decidedly against punk as a phenomenon, a clothing fashion and a musical style, I would refuse to admit that at the time). For extra spice, there were a few covers thrown in.

Rat Trap
Timo Alhanen
 – lead vocals, guitar
Jari Riitala – bass, backing vocals
Juha Manninen – drums

In February 1984, with a few songs under out collective belts after some three months of rehearsals, we decided it would be time to record some of that material. We rented a 4-track cassette recorder, borrowed some other gear and set to the task. The end result was, however, very unsatisfactory, since already when hooking up the equipment, we managed to explode Timo’s amp, a borrowed mixer (hi Mikko!) and one channel of the 4-tracker, courtesy of a faulty mains extension cable, borrowed as well. The whole session yielded three tracks (the fourth was blown) of an instrumental. Not a very nice way to start my DIY recording career.

Pop-kellari

By April we had mentally (although not financially) recovered from the mishap and were rehearsed well enough to attempt the first gig – or even two, but the second was subsequently canceled because of Timo taking ill. The gig was fairly successful, even though it did raise concern about the name choice and the uncool connotations related to rodents and especially the prominent Mickey Mouse relative on the bass drum (somewhat visible in the picture on the right), so for the next two gigs in May we were basically nameless and appeared as Tarantella and Saloon & Saloon, both randomized off the top of our heads on the spot.

There was also some doubt about Timo’s willingness/ability to handle the lead singer spot, and we auditioned a songstress; this alley did not lead anywhere, however, and Timo remained the front man.

India Fall Logo

June came around and she saw us finally settling on a name, India Fall, and once again, a new logo was crafted. No related music, however – at least for the time being: later Timo did write a song titled after the band.

India Fall Mk I
Timo Alhanen
 – lead vocals, guitar
Jari Riitala – bass, backing vocals
Juha Manninen – drums

The latter half of 1984 brought us numerous rehearsals and a number of gigs, mostly in municipal youth centers but also one warming up Zero Nine, a well-known Finnish heavy rock band, whose second album had been produced by none other than Ian Gillan of the Deep Purple fame (see, third hand name dropping).

Towards the end of the year, we also gained and an additional member. Pete, already familiar from Nightmare, had been hanging out on many of the gigs and rehearsals, and in November he was in, playing the second guitar, obviously musically much happier than in Nightmare. Eventually he would also bring some writing contributions to the band.

India Fall Mk II
Timo Alhanen
 – lead vocals, guitar
Jari Riitala – bass, backing vocals
Pete Suominen – guitar
Juha Manninen – drums

In January 1985 we got another, even higher profile warm-up job, this time with the Canadian heavy rock band Helix in Turku Concert Hall, but due to our musical style we felt somewhat out of place preceding the headliner and a local heavy metal promise Poltergeist in front of an audience expecting… surprise, heavy metal.

We also found the time to take some more promotional pictures on a sunny but quite chilly early spring stroll in Turku harbor and castle surroundings. After some searching on the railway yard, we also successfully managed to find the screw attaching the camera to the stand… the one we noticed a little too late having fallen off. On the left there are some of the B&W photos we shot.

Another notable event during the spring was trip to Gothenburg, Sweden, where we, together with three other bands, represented the Turku area independent music playing a few gigs to the youngsters, invited by the culture society of Lövgärdet, a local suburb. This was a funny and educational trip, although my personal existence was clouded by an acute cold and a freshly punctured ear drum to cure a nasty otitis.

Having all this time been rehearsing and writing new material in between the occasional gigs, we were ready for another attempt at recording our music (besides gig and rehearsal tapes, both of which we had if not in abundance then at least plenty enough). This time we decided to take the (semi-)commercial route and embarked on a ten-hour recording/mixing session to a semi-decent but competitively priced studio in Loimaa, less than an hour’s drive from home. The end result very much eclipsed our lone, half-finished instrumental, and we came happily home with three songs committed to tape, with me performing some extra synth keyboards on the Juno 106, familiar from Le Cardinal, to round up the sound towards the pop genre.

Rock championship preliminary

Towards the end of May there was still one more noteworthy event: we took part in the preliminaries of The Finnish Rock Championship 1985, coming in second. Unfortunately only the winner got into the semifinals.

Suvisalo

The summer was still spent in active rehearsals, but in late August the breakup was announced, and we had the final live performance of India Fall outdoors in Salo, to an audience of a handful of bypassers. That was followed by archival recording of the songs that we did not have on tape in any form, and after that it was over for me.

Timo, Juha and Pete teamed up with Tero Tuohimaa (who got his 15+ minutes of fame a few years later in Pääkköset, the first significant Finnish rap/rock act) as Tinasoturi, with Pete taking over the bass, and were later joined by Wellu from Le Cardinal.

Discography

Loimaa Demo

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