Musician Eeva Koivusalo accidentally became a pioneer and an encouraging example for later generations

Eeva Koivusalo is a self-taught professional musician. The musician’s path has gone from new wave rock to soul, pop, pop and theater.

When Eeva Koivusalo joined the band Se from Jyväskylä as a bassist in 1980, he didn’t think that playing would become his life’s work.

The band Se had made two acclaimed albums and emerged during the first boom of punk. However, the band did not play the same kind of straightforward punk as, for example, Eppu Normaali or Clown Million band. It incorporated influences from pop and prog into its new wave rock, and its lyrics differed from the usual.

Koivusalo became a key member of the renewed composition of the band Se, and he was with the band until the end of its career.

“I started playing and practicing when I was 12-13 years old. My brother had a bass, which little by little just moved into my hands”, Koivusalo recalls.

According to Koivusalo’s memory, his first band No Comments played no more than five gigs. The next band was already Se.

Birkusalon early It was lighter and more colorful in style than the first line-up, which had older, progressive rock-oriented players. Koivusalo had once again grown to the rhythm of pop music, although he listened to, according to his own words, “just about anything”.

“It probably had an effect in some way. Plus my insane Talking Heads dig.”

Talking Heads from the US was a musical inspiration, but it also had a female bassist. If the lineups of rock bands are still dominated by men today, in the early 1980s a woman playing in a band was very rare.

Koivusalo does not remember that his playing was considered strange in his youth.

“When I first joined the band in 1978, I wasn’t belittled or bullied. Sure, the guys were curious, but good-natured. I’ve been questioned very little based on gender.”

With his career choices, Koivusalo has been a pioneer and an encouraging example for later generations.

“At least I hope so. Unfortunately, I have very few connections with younger people. I live in a terrible boomer bubble,” Koivusalo says and laughs.

Recently of the published music industry equality survey according to 70 percent of female respondents were of the opinion that the industry is not equal, while only 32 percent of men agreed. Koivusalo answered the survey like a couple of thousand other music makers. The end result does not surprise him.

“It’s a bit the same when you ask white people about racism. If it doesn’t hit your ankle, you won’t notice,” says Koivusalo.

“Most problematically, the lack of equality can be seen in the fact that the remaining gatekeepers are often only men. It has often been noted that people prefer people like themselves.”

Se– band in the 1980s, Koivusalo planned to apply for another job.

“I was waiting for when this music business would end. It was only in the 1990s that I started to think that what could be possible here. I was already 30 and had made a couple of records Liisa Akimof with and we started having the Fabulettes club and stuff like that.”

In the end, Koivusalo stopped thinking about career options and threw himself into being a full-time musician. Koivusalo’s comp team often featured a drummer Heikki Tikkaand the duo gained a reputation as an exceptionally sophisticated rhythm group.

Soon, jobs began to be found elsewhere, and since the beginning of the 2000s, also in the theater, which has been exciting for Koivusalo and important for his career.

“In the theater I’ve played everything from punk to classical.”

Koivusalo was also washed by the country’s most popular iskelmä artists Jari Sillanpään and Katri Helenan for gigs.

“I was lucky enough to play with all the hard professionals. As I watched them work, I realized that it doesn’t really matter what kind of music I like. My job as a musician is to make music as good as possible, no matter what it is.”

Basistina in the spirit of learning, he has listened to, among others, those who shaped the bass playing of Soul and rhythm & blues Carol Kayeta and James Jamersoniabut he can’t name the bassist hero.

“I’m interested in checking anything that sounds good. I’m not a hero-oriented person,” Koivusalo says and laughs again.

Koivusalo studied music theory and took playing lessons when he wanted to take over not only the bass guitar but also the double bass, but basically he is a self-taught band player.

In the clichéd band roles, the bassist has been seen as some kind of Goofy Hopo character, about whom jokes are made. Koivusalo doesn’t worry about this, and he says that sometimes it can be enough in a band if the bassist can play just the basic voice well. In his opinion, the bass’s role in music is threatened by something other than bass player jokes.

“When the gang listens to music from a bad speaker or with phone headphones, they don’t even realize that the bass is there.”



  • Born in 1963 in Seinäjoki.

  • Joined the band Se at the age of 17 in 1980 and played in the band until 1985.

  • Later played in the bands and records of Yari, Liisa Akimof, Niko Ahvosen, Maritta Kuula, Jukka Poja and Erin, as well as in the Fabulettes and Fat Bullets bands.

  • Composer and producer in the band Liksom Lux.

  • Theater musician at Helsinki City Theatre. Calling this spring Priscilla, Queen of the Desert -in the musical and Didn’t say he was sorry in the play.

  • Turns 60 on Saturday March 18th.

By Editor

Leave a Reply