The four founding members of Helsinki's melodically rocking the Rasmus — vocalist Lauri Ylönen, bassist Eero Heinonen, guitarist Pauli Rantasalmi, and drummer Jarno Lahti (replaced soon after by Janne Heiskanen) — formed the band in 1995 while still in high school. Their debut, Peep, rapidly went gold in their homeland, making the members rock stars at the age of 16. They quickly recorded and released the follow-up, Playboys, which also went gold and earned the group an Emma, Finland's version of a Grammy. Their third album, Hell of a Tester, included "Liquid," a track that was voted Best Single of the Year by Finland's music critics. That same year, Heiskanen parted ways with the band and his spot was filled by Aki Hakala.
2001's Into went double platinum in its native country, with its debut single, "F-F-F-Falling," going to the top of the charts. An international audience started to build, and the band toured throughout Europe. It paid off when 2003's Dead Letters climbed to number one in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Their fifth studio LP, Dead Letters became the band's big breakthrough, due in large part to the success of the single "In the Shadows." Live Letters, filmed at Gampel Open Air in Switzerland, arrived in 2004. Success in their home country continued with 2005's Hide from the Sun, which went platinum. Their fourth Finnish chart-topper, Black Roses, was released in 2008 and featured symphonic metal flourishes. After the release of compilation Best of the Rasmus: 2001-2009 and a 2011 solo LP from Ylönen titled New World, the Rasmus decided to revisit their Into roots on their self-titled eighth album, The Rasmus (Universal), which arrived in 2012. After a significant span out of the limelight, the band returned in 2017 with Dark Matters. ~ David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung