Finland Skin Scene (from Last Chance skinzine #14).
Written by: Muke and Samuli of Mistreat in early 1993.
From Last Chance skinzine #14 1993: Finland skin scene report.
"For those of you who are not very good at Geography, Finland is in Scandinavia, you know, the land of the Vikings and all that! It happens to be the fifth largest country in Europe, but despite that it is not very densely populated with only about 5 million inhabitants, compared with Britain's 58 million inhabitants! Another little known fact about Finland is that it has about 30,000 islands around it's coast and 82,000 inland lakes! Bet you really wanted to know that. Anyway, it borders the old soviet union to the east, Sweden to the west, and Norway to the north. I can tell you by your faces that you really don't give a toss about all this and you just wanna hear about things skinhead. Our thanks go to Samuli and Muke from skinhead band Mistreat for their assistance with this report. Read on ....
The first skinheads in Finland appeared in the early Eighties. Their amount was very small in the beginning, there wasn't much action and they were mainly in the two biggest cities (Helsinki and Tampere). In those times there were no bands, zines or even skingirls! Skinheads went to rock festivals to beat up hippies, punks, etc. The Punk movement was at it's strongest at this time and punks were the biggest enemies as immigration wasn't a problem here back then.
At the end of the Eighties, a kind of new generation of skinheads emerged. The birth of this new movement was clearly linked to the growing immigration problem. Some skinheads made newspaper headlines with attacks against refugee centres in Tampere and Helsinki. The national T.V showed a couple of documentaries about skinheads, and these programmes must have influenced a lot of people. The movement became well known throughout the whole country and gathered new members fast. Suddenly boots and braces were seen everywhere, even in small towns and villages, even in small towns and villages.
Zines and bands appeared. Currently, the only functioning band is Mistreat. They hail from Kouvola, which is about 80 miles from Helsinki. They have released one 7"EP back in 1990 and a couple of demos (90 & 91). They will soon have their debut LP released on French label Rebelles Européens. It'll be called 'Faith & Fury'.
There are a few zines but the best one by far is AINASKIN from Pori on the West coast. Editor Jäsä has also made video clips for Skrewdriver and Battle Zone. He has been a large influence in the Finnish skinhead scene.
All the Finnish skinheads are WP skinheads, they usually like ice hockey and go to see the matches a lot. Visits to foreign countries are usually limited to Sweden because it is so close and it's relatively cheap to travel there. Every year many Finnish skinheads take part in the march of King Carl XII which is an annual tradition in Stockholm every 30th November. There is quite a few Finnish skins that have moved permanently to Sweden.
Until very recently there had never been a skinhead gig in Finland because the authorities can't accept that skinheads would like to have fun. But that all changed on December 5th last year. Agent Bulldogg from Sweden played. Mistreat should have played too but Muke, the singer was arrested in Sweden a week earlier (at the King Carl XII march) and was not released until a week after the gig!
On the 6th of December it's Finnish National day, and last year it was even more special because it's the 75th anniversary of our independence. It'll also mean that skinheads from the rest of the country will gather to Helsinki to party, drink and fight. Last year the battle was against communists. There is actually two skinhead meetings annually, the one of mentioned and every August we all meet in Kotka which is by the South coast.
We'd just like to end this article by giving our greetings to all English skinheads from the land of a thousand lakes ..."