Jari Mäenpää

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Jari Mäenpää
Jari Mäenpää at Bloodstock Open Air in 2011.
Jari Mäenpää at Bloodstock Open Air in 2011.
Background information
Born (1977-12-23) 23 December 1977 (age 42)
OriginHelsinki, Finland
GenresFolk metal, extreme metal, power metal, symphonic metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards, bass
Years active1997−present
Associated actsWintersun, Cadacross, Ensiferum, Immemorial, ArthemesiA

Jari Mäenpää (born 23 December 1977) is a Finnish heavy metal multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He is the founder of Wintersun for which he records all instruments except the drums. Before forming Wintersun, Mäenpää was best known for his role in the folk metal band Ensiferum, which he joined in 1996 after leaving his prior band named Immemorial.[1] Wintersun was initially planned as a parallel project alongside Ensiferum, but in January, 2004 he was forced to leave Ensiferum due to clashes between their touring schedule and the studio recording time he had booked for Wintersun.

In 1997, Mäenpää had to put his musical career on hold to take part in Finland's compulsory military service. In an interview, Mäenpää admitted he disliked the time he spent in the military and suspects it's where he acquired tuberculosis.[2]

Jari was also a member of the band Arthemesia, and participated in Kimmo Miettinen's side project Lost Alone.

Writing style[edit]

I have a little bit of a mournful, melancholic, majestic or kinda "spacy" way of writing when it comes to melodies. Although everything is not melancholic, but rather "heroic" like you said, but I don't know if it's the right word to describe it. It's difficult to find adjectives to describe the feeling of my own music - it's just me. When I wrote songs to Ensiferum (few songs like "Lai Lai Hei and "Token of Time"), I first needed to get into that "folk mood", before the music came out of me. Wintersun's music just comes out naturally. I don't mean to write certain things. It just happens, I guess.

Jari's style of guitar playing utilizes tremolo-picked melodies and phrases and the heavy use of extremely fast sweep-picking solos and breaks as heard on most of the songs. The speed of Wintersun's music is due in part to the use of blast beats and quick, spacey keyboard lines. This gives the guitar a charging, power metal feel for the most part.[3]

Notable instruments[edit]

  • Tokai Telecaster
  • Ibanez RGD(25½ scale)Custom
  • Ibanez RGD(26½ scale)Prototype
  • Ibanez JEM
  • Ibanez PGM301
  • Jackson DR3 with EMG
  • Daemoness 'Forest' Cimmerian VI
  • Solar Guitars Type S (modded with EMG pickups)
  • Mesa Boogie Mark V
  • Mesa Boogie Triaxis Pre Amplifiers
  • Peavey 5150
  • Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

Jari Mäenpää no longer performs guitar live, on Facebook he released the following statement, "After thinking about it for a long time I have made the decision to drop the live guitar, which means that I will solely become 100% live vocalist." [4]


Band Year of release Title Label
Immemorial No commercial release Ensiferum - Immemorial Split Demo
Ensiferum 1997 Demo 1
Ensiferum 1999 Demo 2
Ensiferum 1999 Hero in a Dream
ArthemesiA 2001 Devs - Iratvs Native North
Ensiferum 2001 Ensiferum Spinefarm
Cadacross 2002 Corona Borealis Low Frequency
Ensiferum 2004 Iron Spinefarm
Wintersun 2004 Wintersun Nuclear Blast
Ensiferum 2005 1997-1999 (compilation)
Wintersun 2012 Time I Nuclear Blast
Wintersun 2017 The Forest Seasons Nuclear Blast


  1. ^ *Ensiferum band history. Archived 2008-01-13 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ *http://www.metaleater.com/interviews-wintersun12292004.php Archived 2010-12-05 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2014-03-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ https://www.facebook.com/wintersun/posts/jari-drops-live-guitar-becomes-solely-a-live-vocalisthi-everyoneit-is-time-to-st/10154685944692402/

External links[edit]