Heavy Muumi Rock or mostly knows as HM Rock has become one of the most popular faces at the legendary Finnish midsummer metal festival: Nummirock. We followed the little one on his journey their and enjoyed his adventures on festival.
But then who is Muumi and who is HM Rock? Osbscuro asked our foreign editor Ms Cesar Little.
MsCL: “You know it is a bit like a fairy fale: Once upon a time on tiny island in the Baltic Sea a grand lady came up with the stories taking place in Muumi Valley. Muumi and his family lived in blue tower-like wooden house their all-over idyllic life meeting friends, family and facing little adventures.
The stories and characters have lived ever on. And some of us will remember their childhood TV program showing the adventures of Muumi in a puppet as well as cartoon series. The naïve and friendly nature of the characters as well as the idyllic setting conquered our hearts may we live in Finland, somewhere else Europe or even in the farthest East of Asia.
When I came to Finland for the first time, which was only to mention that, to attend the first show of Tarot’s ‘Gravity of Light’ tour in Tampere, Finland celebrated the 65th birthday of Muumi! Muumi was all over and my childhood fascination awaken again. Only little later I boarded a ferry to cross the Baltic Sea and this cutest ever eyes wouldn’t let me pass by without taking the little furry creature with me.
If you want to learn about the rest, better ask HM to tell his tale.”
All the more reason to find out how Muumi became Heavy Muumi Rock! Obscuro.cz met the Nummirock celebrity exclusively for a very personal and in-depth interview in the gloomy cellar bar in Ms Cesar Little’s hometown. A particular, sweet smell lingers from sometime earlier and the couches tell tales of a long life in a place of student parties and former hippies searching for the sense of life.
From Sailor to Metal Fan
Obscuro: “Terve HM, thank you very much for meeting me. Now I am really curious to learn how it all came to be. I heard you were actually living in Finland before it all began?” HM Rock leans back on his armchair: “Yeah, yeah. My pleasure. Well, I was a sailor so to say and travelled with one of the major ferry lines the Baltic Sea. On a trip to Stockholm I met her, I mean Ms Cesar Little and yeah, somehow I ended up in her car (with three more cool ladies) and my time on sea had come to a sudden end.” He laughs and blushes a bit and his ears wag excited.
Obscuro: “Oh really? Four ladies at once? Respect. Then how did you like your new home?” HM Rock: “Well, you know it was a cool place. Decent flat mates, cool music and good food. I had perfect view from my couch on horse pasture. Very idyllic, pretty much like Muumi Valley.”
Obscuro: “So music was a topic back then already?” HM Rock: “Absolutely man! For some years I followed her expeditions ever deeper into the Finnish music scene. Music from home, you know. I was always tapping my left foot in the rhythm of the song. Loved this proggy, heavy stuff the most she listened to over and over again. Couldn’t help it.” Confidently he continues: “Patiently I sat on her couch not to miss a single musical home memory. I’ve grown a bit homesick by then. And then I caught the virus also, you know!”
Obscuro: “Virus? F*! You caught a flu or what?” HM Rock: “No, man. The metal virus, of course. It had taken over the control over of my body functions – hidden to me, still. But I became restless somehow. And it’s not Muumi-like to be restless. You know, not at all.” He seems a bit tense. Even his ears seem to point forward. “I actually found myself following her round. And once she said the shadow of my cute ears – you hear me, man? Cute! As if I could be cute? – were always telling her that I waited around the corner. Damn, man. And this being restless got worse you know. I had to learn more about the music from home. I began studying, I would say but she says like I was sneaking around only because once she found me in her closet searching her band shirts.” His left ear wags excited so the gem in his ear stud reflects on the wall like a disco ball.
Obscuro: “You’re kidding me. Her closet? Are you Harry Potter or what?” HM Rock: “Hei dude, you don’t mock me! I am not that freaky English boy, right! I am HM Rock, you hear me?!” He throws an overly unsettled look at me and continues: “Anyway, another time she caught me climbing the CD shelf. You know, it’s all on her! She had stowed my favourite CD all on top of the shelf before I could finish reading the booklet. How stupid?! By the way, that the booklet was not an actual booklet but a poster – folded. I really love those guys from Mikkeli but this booklet, I mean nice, yeah. But folding for me pain in the ass!” He lifts his arms. “See? How? It’s way heavy to fold and unfold that thing for me!” He looks angry but then smiles again “I love the lyrics of ‘Quiet complaint’ but don’t you tell anybody! Oh and then”, he is getting very excited, which you can see as his left ear is moving back and forth quickly, “then I found the Nummirock 2017 buff among her scarves in a drawer! Hei, really man, I knew immediately that’s home. I must go there!” His widely opened eyes shine.
Obscuro: “… in her drawer? You searched her underwear?” HM Rock sighs heavily. “I am not gonna tell you my preferences, ok! And her underwear – never found that. She must keep that somewhere else than the hallway. What did we speak of?” Both ears lie flat on his head, backwards as he looks up to me, his eyes wide open.
Naked to Nummirock?
Obscuro: “Nummirock.” HM Rock: “Sure, man! But I could not go there like naked! Hm then again … But no. There is always rain and cold on midsummer in Finland. Everybody knows this. You know it’s metal heads’ paradise. All kinds of beautiful girls in fancy metal dresses, leather stuff and guys with the coolest thrash vests ever. I had to have my own.” He leans for and his paws waves me to come closer. “Have you ever seen a Muumi dressed like me before?” Of course not. I shake my head. “See, got the point. There is not even a size for Muumi at the shops. Not even f*! online! Not even for shirts.” Both ears wag excitedly and his yes narrow. “They have stupid toddler wear with Maiden merch but not even a shirt in a decent Muumi size!”
Obscuro: “You don’t say?!” HM Rock: “No! But you know, there is no bigger catwalk than Nummirock on midsummer! But my human flat mate insisted that there are no shirts for me. Damn. But the other day I was chatting with my friend Muumi C.”
Obscuro: “And your happen to have some Muumi-sized shirts?” HM Rock: “No!” he says slightly aggressive. “Muumi C, he had just retired to his secret spot at which he kept this favourite album of his hidden, ‘Completely Vulgar’. But the human found him and the vinyl only to drag him and vinyl out of that spot at the far end under her bed. She was mad, he said because she had found his dusty prints on her own shirts. Ok and the box left open in which she kept them. But Muumi C, he is cool guy and he charmed her, you know. No big deal. Humans love Muumi.” HM smiles cunningly. “He sprang from one shirt to another, looking at her with is big Muumi eyes then carefully moving towards the sewing machine. She is a bright one, I should say, ha ha ha. He he he. She got it immediately and made our shirts!” Once again his eyes shine happily while his ears stand proudly tall.
Obscuro: “Cool, yeah. That was when you went to the first show?” HM Rock: “I met Muumi C little later on our way to Tampere, yes. But those wicked humans, they made us look like fools. Made us believe, we had arrived when all there was, was this boring castle. We searched everything. No stage. No musician. Not even a guitar and I think the radio in the merch store didn’t even play Radio Rock!” Funny enough, his ears lie once more flat backwards hinting on his head. He looks nearly the same when disappointed and excited. “But then we had a burger and a coke. You need to have a solid foundation before partying and, I mean, the humans paid! The burger was quite ok and eating we discussed which shirt we would buy first at the merch that night.” Once more the ears wag excitedly: “My first festival, you know! Had never heard of the other bands before. But Skein were really moving, atmospheric. And these other guys looking like freakin’ hip-hop dudes, they had the party going and this amazing sloth as logo!” His ears wagging as if on speed he continues: “And the proggy guys – met all the band you know! And they played like gods. ‘The Ruby’ was … I mean, that bearded bald head, did you know that his growls are hell-deep? And at the end of the show the keyboarder came to say hello to us. Like his friends, you know!” He straightens in his armchair. “But the proggy guys were leaving so early. Muumi C and I – we couldn’t let them party all on their own in the bus?! No. So we sneaked off and climbed on their gear boxes.” He inhales loudly. “Stupid humans have security cams. “
Obscuro: “Caught in the act?” HM Rock: “Are you mocking me yet again, dude? Careful!” I am deeply impressed by his threat and his flat lying ears. With a weird smile (he is so cute) I nod slowly. “Who would think of security cams, I’m asking you! And I was still in need of a decent Nummirock outfit. And guess what, she got accreditation already. I was about to think she would’t want me there at all!” He sniffs half loud. “I found the line-up online. Those freakin’ dudes of HeviSaurus even played a gig on the main stage and I shouldn’t go at all? I mean they have super cool outfits! Not to speak of those Turmion guys. No way!” He pauses for two seconds. “I searched the closet again and found her sewing stuff. Clumsy me, I stitched my nose with a large needle. I squeaked only a little bit! Anyway, that’s how she found me yet again. When she dragged me out as I held as good as I could on some cloth. She dragged me out anyway.” HM’s eyes roll and morph into a superior frown. “It turned out to be perfect as it was a piece of worn out jeans cloth! And I did not let go, you hear me. I had found the material for my thrash vest and so she really had to get it done! Ha ha ha!”
Porcupine and Hedge Hock Love Affair
Obscuro: Ok, got it. From then on everything went smooth, I suppose?” HM Rock: “You dream of, man. No. Not at all. I spare you the painfully production, I felt like in a very intimate love affair with a hedge hock! And she’s keeps telling me I’m clumsy. A ride on porcupine could not have been worse than her tries to sew that vest fitting my perfect Muumi shape! Why do you smile so weirdly, hu?”
Obscuro: “Nothing, I was just wondering how those photos of your journey appeared on the internet?” HM Rock: “Well once I had my thrash vest I couldn’t wait to leave. But she just didn’t. She didn’t even began packing her stuff. But I had to make sure to arrive on time! So one day when she took me for a walk, I slipped out of her bag and ran. I have no idea how that photo came to be. Perhaps she took it seeing me run? The next day I found a photographer in this lunch time place. From that cool B&B on I had the notion someone kept watching me. Really.”
Obscuro: “Paparazzi?” HM Rock: “Yeah sure, that’s it. Never thought of it. But then you know as a celebrity these days it’s really tough. All these smart phones with their cameras. I wasn’t surprised to find photos of me going for loo in the bushes!” He takes a pause and looks around suspiciously. Then he once more leans forward so his ears move backward. Interestingly, he can turn his ears outward. So this moment the left ear turned a bit more left and the right one more right. He looked left and right once more and hushed more as actually speaking: “You know, I slipped on board of that plane in the bag of that young, blonde stewardess.” He leans back and folds his paws in front of his belly. “She was very sweet on me the moment she saw me”, he says with a blink. “She even brought me to the cockpit. And those guys there, they let me sit there all the time. Now that was really cool. Better than business class, I suppose!”
Obscuro: And how did you get into the storage of the merch store? HM Rock: “Easy thing. Really. The back door was open. Someone must have been working in the building. Open door means open shop I thought. Well I didn’t even notice that I was on my own most of the time until this big, grey haired guy in the Sodom shirt showed up. He picked me from the shelf ass if I was an apple on a tree waiting to be picked. I had hardly time to grab my stuff. Hei, I was bare naked!!!” His voice rises only to low down. “Somehow that bandana stuck in my vest’s pocket. But then this guy was really cool, you know. Ok, he stuffed me in his pocket as if I was napkin or something. But he went for a beer in this cool bar Riff. He sat me on the desk and ordered a beer for me, too. Or two? Maybe more. Don’t know anymore.” He rubs his forehead cutely wrinkled. “This brown shot stuff was weird. And then I thought he had ordered water for me. But … it burned in my throat. Strange water. And then … well then I can only remember that I woke in front of this freaky advert with faces that looked like some black metal dudes but then not. Don’t know. My head felt like it had triple size of normal and a hammer was banging on an anvil for the rest of the day right behind my forehead.” He rubs his once more wrinkled forehead again.
Boot Camp and ‘Black Metal Ride’
Obscuro: “How did you get to Nummirock then? I heard its location is quite remote.” HM Rock: “Oh yes it is. And don’t remind me on that bumpy thing they called road. No pavement, I swear. And my head still hammered. Not in the rhythm of those holes in the road, unfortunately. Well that advert, it happened to be in a totally different spot of Helsinki, however I got there. I saw some guys loading instruments, amps and stuff and there was a beaver in a window. I accidentally overheard those guys speaking of midsummer party and booze and festival in the countryside. I sneaked on a box, that happened to be not locked and slipped in. This time I wasn’t found. Ha ha ha!”
Obscuro: “But those guy really headed for Nummirock?” HM Rock: “Oh, they did and even played a gig that night. Ha ha ha. When they ran to the check-in I followed. But then I noticed Steed climbing up the big Nummirock sign right in front of the main gate. I followed and we had hell of good time welcoming all the new arrivals from there. Ha ha ha.”
Obscuro: “No surprise everybody knew you in a whiff then?” HM Rock: “No, not at all, man. I made many new friends and sneaked on stage and met my human flat mate soon again.” He is all back to sitting straight and proud. “She got me accreditation! Strike! I had my regular band already, but this one is far better. I shared stage with so many cool bands, you know. And I met all those guys in the interviews, like Mika and Eemeli! But that’s another story, dude.” He takes a suspicious look on my wrist watch.
Obscuro: “True. But hey HM, it was my pleasure meeting you and thanks for your time. Is there anything you’d like to share on your future plans?” HM Rock: “Definitely. I will soon attend another festival, a German one, you know. And then later in the summer I’ll travel back home again and meet some friends again.”
Obscuro: “Thank you and see you.” HM Rock: “Rock on, man. And thank you!”
Photos by Ms Cesar Little.