VIDEO: Koalas inspire Finnish rockers

A FINNISH rock band has written and recorded a song to raise awareness about the plight of our koalas.

Koalia, which hails from Oulu in northern Finland, was inspired to write the song after watching a National Geographic documentary shot at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

The five-member band contacted the koala hospital and set about writing and recording the song titled Happy Family Tree.

Bass player and backing vocalist Samu Niemelä said the boys were were excited to hear about this opportunity to help koalas and get a little prime time for the band too. 

Mr Niemelä said the song was recorded live with no auto-tuning or fancy superstar effects but was pure rock and roll with koala attitude, just like the good old days. 

“We are not trying to be the biggest band in the world, just the biggest koala band,” he said. “Of course, it’s natural to try to achieve bigger audience as we have always tried to reach people outside our borders and so far half of our fans are non-Finns.”

Mr Niemelä said koalas were the most adorable things nature could offer.

“Our name and logo is based on them, so we decided to give something back – it’s the least we can do,” he said.

The koala hospital team is thrilled with the result.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan said everyone at the koala hospital thought the song was awesome.

“It’s a really catchy tune,” she said. “I’m chuffed these young boys on the other side of the world have done this.”

Koalia features Anssi Hautamäki on guitars and backing vocals, vocalist Jussi Oskari, Kimmo Juntunen on drums and percussion, guitarist and backing vocalist Mikko Logren and Samu Niemelä on bass and backing vocals.

The area around Oulu in Finland is known for its heavy metal roots. 

“We all are merry fellows and did not want to play dark and gloomy music, so we decided to play rock with positive attitude and mentality,” Mr Niemelä said.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital supplied footage for the video clip.

Ms Flanagan said the song would lead to exposure and raise awareness.

“It makes people think and possibly go and do a bit of research,” she said. "I think most people know koalas, along with a lot of our wildlife, are in big trouble.”

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital treats sick and injured koalas and is involved in research with the University of Sydney into koala diseases.

Check out the song and video clip below.

Finnish rockers Koalia.

Finnish rockers Koalia.


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