“The members of our band are four middle-aged, mentally handicapped men. The music is, of course, Finnish punk.”– Sami Helle, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day) is a punk band that was formed in 2009 in a culture workshop arranged by Lyhty, a nonprofit organization. Lyhty provides housing and education services as well as workshops for adults with intellectual disabilities. Pertti Kurikka, the band’s guitarist and front man, writes the lyrics with vocalist Kari Aalto and composes the music. The other two members of the band are bassist Sami Helle and drummer Toni Välitalo.
“A hardcore punk, Pertti started playing punk music. It was Pertti’s name day [the tradition of celebrating the day associated with one's given name] and so he decided the name would be Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day).”– Kari Aalto, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
Pertti says that the band’s biggest influences are Finnish punk bands from the last millennium, such as Karanteeni, Kollaa kestää, Ratsia, Sensuuri, Ypö-Viis and Pelle Miljoona. The subjects of the lyrics range from social problems to unpleasant pedicures.
The band achieved cult status with its first demo Kallioon. The band’s EP Ei yhteiskunta yhtä miestä kaipaa was released in 2010 and immediately sold out. The record was released in Germany as well. The band has also released a maxi single titled Päättäjä on pettäjä (2011) and a vinyl EP titled Osaa eläimetkin pieree (2011).
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät is also popular outside Finland; the band has toured Germany, and in fall 2012 the band will start its Norwegian tour.
“Well, for me touring has been terribly lovely, and it’s been surprising to see how many people dig us and say ‘Hey, that band plays damn well.’ We played a gig and they really liked our band.”– Pertti Kurikka, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
The band is the subject of the documentary, The Punk Syndrome, by Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi; the film premieres in spring 2012. The band also performed in Gimme Some Respect, a feature film directed by Pekka Karjalainen and released in 2010.
“The film [The Punk Syndrome] tells about Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day… so it’s about one retard who sings punk and three retards who play punk. You should watch it and think about whether you should hate disabled people or love and respect them.”– Kari Aalto, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
“[The band] probably won’t take over the world, but it will accomplish something a lot more important.”– Sami Tenkanen, Radio Rock