Estonian Psycho-Ska-Punk-Theater-Antihair-Metal, but Without the Romance – by Adam Thometz


Let’s talk about Estonia. No one ever talks about Estonia. Estonia is probably the kind of place hipsters would move to just so they could say that they live in an obscure place that you’ve probably never heard of. The whole Baltic region is but a far-flung concept of everyone’s mental map except to Estonians and to people who are linked with people of Estonian decent (I know how it feels. I’m half Slovenian; no one in America has ever heard of Slovenia…), even to those who know their geography well as they only think about Estonia when asked to point it out on a map. It’s a region damned to an obscurity comparable to… you know… that place in the middle of Asia or that group of islands in the Pacific that isn’t Hawaii. Hell, I don’t think I could have named one Estonian band or, for that matter, any band from the Baltic region before today. Now I can, and I’m happy that it’s a name as abstract sounding as “Winny Puhh.”

It seems that all of the essential information on Winny Puhh is in the Estonian language, as they are primarily established in their native country (since 1993 to be exact) but they’ve recently been picking up steam abroad. The band, whose name is translated into English as “Winnie Pooh” (in case you had your doubts), has two distinctive elements: their bizarre theatrics and the psychiatric patient on lead vocals:

The singer defines the band’s sound. He sounds like a really angry cartoon bird that wants to sing in a hair metal band (he’s probably angry because his parents said that becoming a hair metal vocalist is not a viable career path because he’s a bird). It sounds better in Estonian, obviously.

And I have no idea what’s going on in this next one but I’m intrigued. It’s a more mature track than the last and even has some folk melodies. There’s also a man who sometimes has a peg leg and is somehow crapping the front of his pants (the Estonians clearly have a sick sense of humor). And the song is called “Peetus” if that helps.

They have no problem changing their sound on a whim, too.

But they stuck with their usual antics and took it to a new level when they tried entering the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Though they only placed 3rd for Estonia (and I’m not surprised because it’s Eurovision), they’ve gone viral for reasons that I don’t need to spell out if you watch the video:


The last time a decent act played at Eurovision was Knorkator back in 2000. But I guess that’s just MY opinion.

Now if only I could name two Estonian bands…



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