Vertical is an internationally established psytrance project by Joonas Lehtinen from Finland. It was started around 2007 and quickly gained an international success. In the past few years he has performed across Europe, Brazil, Japan, India and USA from club events to big festivals, such as Boom Festival, Ozora, Hadra. Vertical’s music is rich and versatile, pushing the limits of psytrance.
Hey there, Joonas! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Is giving interviews something you enjoy at all?
Thanks for the invitation. I’ve only done a few interviews, so far they’ve been ok.
What’s the message or the story behind your pseudonym Vertical?
I like to keep it open for everybody to make up their own interpretations.
How did you get hooked on psytrance and club culture in general?
I found psytrance around early 2000 through my friends. A bit later I attended to an urban electronic music festival in Helsinki called Koneisto. This was the first time for me to experience many kinds of electronic music (including psytrance) from big sound systems. I think it had a big impact on me.
Was DJing your first choice as a career path or were there any other options you were considering?
I’m more of a producer than a DJ, although I do also play DJ sets. I’ve been sitting in front of a computer making music since 1998, when I was 14. When I had to decide what to study, I applied to a school that taught studio engineering, music theory, recording, etc. It felt like a natural choice as I had been interested in sound-related things already for a while.
Do you remember the moment you realized “Hey, I made it, I’m living my dream!“?
Maybe not a particular moment like that, but I remember some personal “milestones” such as hearing my own music playing on the radio for the first time or a label releasing my music. They are very dear and inspiring memories for sure.
What’s the best and the worst thing that can happen due to being a DJ?
At best, you meet a lot of awesome like-minded people, play them the music you like, see the world, and do that for a living.
What’s the worst? Difficult question. Maybe going deaf. Remember to wear earplugs at parties!
Who are the people, living or dead, that inspire you in those troublesome moments in life?
My family and friends.
What’s your best advice that you’d give to your 10 years younger self?
Remember to wear earplugs at parties!