Finland's postal service, Posti, will release nine new stamp publications in September-November, with a total of 35 different stamps. The stamps will feature musical themes ranging from Sibelius to hard rock, including six internationally successful Finnish rock bands that got to where they are today through a great deal of determination and perseverance.
The Finnish invasion of the global rock music scene began with HANOI ROCKS back in the 1980s. The other bands featured in the stamps are THE RASMUS, HIM, APOCALYPTICA, CHILDREN OF BODOM and NIGHTWISH.
"For each stamp, I selected a band photo and a logotype that together resemble a band poster," says Klaus Welp, the graphic artist that designed the Million miles away sheet. The background of the sheet depicts the green room backstage in the legendary Tavastia rock club, which Welp describes as an archaeological treasure of Finnish rock 'n' roll.
Heavy metal and hard rock music continues to thrive in Finland, where bands like CHILDREN OF BODOM regularly top the chart with their single and full-length releases.
According to Slate, Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita in the world. While Sweden and Norway have only 27 heavy metal bands per 100,000 inhabitants, Finland boasts double as much, 54 bands per 100,000.
Some claim that Finland is "the only country in the world where metal is mainstream," and people actually study Finnish and Norwegian to better understand heavy metal music.
People have speculated that the climate in Finland, which is characterized by cold, and sometimes severe, winters and relatively warm summers, has contributed to the population's disproportionately high interest in heavier forms of rock. Says the A Metal State Of Mind web site: "When someone is surrounded by cold and dark for long periods of time, it is only natural that some form of depression will start to set in. And how do many Finns combat this depression, release the negative energy, and make themselves feel more positive? Well, I can't think of one form of music more tailored to the release of the negative more than metal."
Although the suicide rates of Finland are higher than those of other Nordic countries, the number of suicides among Finnish men has gone down by 48 percent since the '90s, according to a July 2014 report in the Helsinki Times.