|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.
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.
In February 1984, after some three months of rehearsals, we decided it would be time to record some of our material. We rented a 4-track cassette recorder, borrowed some other gear and set to the task. The results were, 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 forth was blown) of an instrumental. Not a very nice way to start my DIY recording career.
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 (shut up, I like name dropping -- even in this third-hand way!).
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.
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.
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 to round up the sound towards the pop genre.
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 (color picture below). Unfortunately only the winner got into the semifinals.
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 (B&W picture below). 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.
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