Sound of bike design


Do a web search for Isto+Kotavuopio and you will find hundreds of hits talking about famous bike builder.

Most of you do not know he's got a musical hit coming too. That is called Pike Zither.

Text: Jukka Sundholm


In 2018 a new band known as Pike Zither burst on the rock music scene with its catchy riffs and 1970s style rock and roll music. Band members include Isto Kotavuopio, Veeti Mäkinen, Vili Autio and Elias Arsalo.


Slow show up

Pike Zither comes from Tampere, Finland, and was originally inspired by legendary rock-guitar musicians like Jimi Hendrix. The whole band started as a duo of current lead guitarist Mäkinen and singer-guitarist Kotavuopio. Therefore, the musical score of the band began to be very strongly based on stringent guitar riffs and hooking solos. Later such U.S. artists as Guns ‘N Roses, Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd influenced the upcoming band.

All four members of Pike Zither had an early interest in music. What later became known as Pike Zither, started when Kotavuopio and Mäkinen jammed together for the first time in 2011. Vili Autio joined the group as a bass player in early 2018. Elias Arsalo aroused Mäkinen’s interest while attending the same upper secondary school in Tampere. After observing this talented young drummer a while, Mäkinen ventured himself and offered Arsalo a permanent spot in the developing group.

Before the current lineup, the band went through several additional members and the guitarist duo even had a little not-so-rock side project releasing a few songs and a music video. After Autio and Arsalo had joined the group, then a nameless band started to work on their music and learn how to play together as a unit.

The band’s first gig was held at the Blackheads MC -clubhouse in front of over 300 people. Yet a nameless band had given its first performance with great success. After only practicing and not performing, except for that one gig, for almost a year, the band felt ready to step on stage.

When it came time to start looking for gigs, the band faced a problem: what will be the name of the band. Pike Zither was chosen because of its Finnish mythological roots.


Raw and ugly

At a time when popular music is dominated by rap and compressed, electronic, auto-tune based music, Pike Zither brings raw, ugly rock and roll crashing back. While Mäkinen and Kotavuopio ferociously spit out dueling guitar riffs worthy of legendary rock classics, Kotavuopio also screeches out tales of his roots and life. Meanwhile, bass player Autio and drummer Arsalo are a limber rhythm section that keeps the music loose and powerful.

Pike Zither music is gritty, solid, hard, bluesy, dark, sleazy, refreshing and honest – everything that good hard rock should be.

In 2020, Pike Zither is performing constantly on bigger platforms around Finland. The bold attitude of the band attracts more and more attention amongst people and continues to grow its popularity.

The new decade is truly a breaking point for the band. In the first year of the 2020s, Pike Zither has started doing gigs on explosive levels, marveling all the new people that come across the group. Venues filled with people, excitement and versatile range of emotions, the band is thrilled to announce that it’ll publish its debut album later this year.

–  We'd love to do Sweden too, says Isto thinking of Stockholm area.

Isto must have his bookshelf filled with golden and silvery trophys. He's been a lucky winner many times:

Nortälje custom bike show, Helsinki bike show, Oslo motor show, American car show, Penthouse bike show, Custom chrome show, Hotrod and rock show, Joutsa chopper show, AMD motorcycle world championship, Petrol circus and Turku kustom show.


Instagram: @pikezithermusic - Facebook: Pike Zither - YouTube: Pike Zither


One of the most famous: 2006 AMD World Championship competitor, builder Isto Kotavuopio's Omega. Engine is originally Indian 741 600 cc.

One of the most famous: 2006 AMD World Championship competitor, builder Isto Kotavuopio's Omega. Engine is originally Indian 741 600 cc.
Photographer: Horst


Band  on stage.  Photographer: Ari Rossi


'Photographer: Horst


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