The Biography of Penniless (Finland)


Ossi Alisaari (vocals, guitars)

Pekka Alisaari (guitars)

Lasse Alisaari (drums)

Mikko Pere (guitars)

Kimmo Kurittu (bass guitars)


The band was formed in Nakkila, a small town on the Finnish west coast,

some twenty years ago. In 1998 the youngest of the Alisaari brothers,

Ossi, joined the lineup and since then Penniless has been a famous five of

Finnish alternative music, indie rock and power pop.


Before Ossi came along Penniless was known as Penniless People Of

Bulgaria, and often compared to such names as Pixies and Hüsker Dü. Later

on, when Ossi was already there and bit by bit getting used to the lead

vocals, Weezer was another usual name dropping thing.


As the leading rock journalist in Finland, Ilkka Mattila, has put it:

“their typically Finnish pithy approach and warped sense of humour make

Penniless a unique band”. This is still true, even if the quality and

colour of humour has changed through the years.


Ossi did not only make Penniless younger and change the vocal landscapes

of the band with his strong role as lead singer. He has also grown to be

the many sided man behind the music of Penniless.


For the moment Penniless has published all in all ten albums. And there

will surely be more of their stuff to come. A Cab to the City (2010) and

Rows of Houses (2013) are the latest pair of Penniless albums and by far

the top of the crop. With Ossi in front on many different levels, the

music has become wider, deeper, more Penniless. Music with a distinctive

own voice and tone.


This development is something which critics nowadays point out.

Comparisons with other artists is not important, any more. Penniless is

Penniless, the name to be referred to if wanted.


When asked to describe the fresh album, Rows of Houses, Ossi once wrote:


“These songs were arranged and partly recorded while watching the

beautiful sunrises and sunsets at a summer cottage by the shore of a

hidden sacred lake. If you listen close you can almost hear the swans

taking off from the bank of the lake. Or maybe you can hear five sweaty

guys laughing their heads off in the sauna. Anyway, this might be the most

complex record from Penniless so far. The album is made of slowed down

sadness, speeded up aggression, hopelessness, hopefulness, daydreams, bad

dreams, flowers, blood, humor, tears, laughter, friendship, love, fears

and joy.”


There’s really no need to add a single word to that. “…And This I Know For



Penniless album catalogue;

AS Penniless People Of Bulgaria

(Pekka Alisaari v & g, Mikko Pere g, Kimmo Kurittu b, Lasse Alisaari d)

– Cake (1993)

– Mould (1994)

– Velocity (1996)

As Penniless

(Ossi Alisaari v & g, Pekka Alisaari v & g, Mikko Pere g, Kimmo Kurittu b, Lasse Alisaari d)

– Joe (1998)

– Anola (2001)

– All Good Things Come To Those Who Wait (2004)

– The Attraction (2007)

– A Cab to the City (2010)

– Rows of Houses (2013)


*) Finnish Rockumentary 1999


Categorized as Bands

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