Trad.Attack! has become renowned in Estonia and around the world. Its members Sandra Vabarna, Jalmar Vabarna and Tõnu Tubli all have a special relationship with Viljandi in one way or another and hold it in their hearts even when travelling the world. Having conquered the stages of more than 30 countries, they still miss the coffee from Roheline Maja, the quietness and the feeling of being home that they get in Viljandi.
Photo: Daniel Voloz
What is your relationship with Viljandi?
Sandra: My family moved to Kondi village in Paistu parish that is near Viljandi when I was couple of year old. I grew up here, went to school and university. It is more than just my home town.
Jalmar: It’s very warm. I came to Viljandi to attend university and my career as a musician started here. I also got important work experience here as a producer for the Estonian Traditional Music Centre. Nowadays I always find some friends here and of course one of my favourite cafés and a great festival.
Tõnu: I am from Viljandi. I went to school here and grew up. I learned to know music but also our land and the quietness that has become deficit in so many places around the world. At one point I lived in Tallinn for three years, but that made me dizzy because there was a lot more going on and a lot more nervousness than in Viljandi. Now I have been back in Viljandi for two years and I don’t feel like living anywhere else.
Photo: Silver Tõnisson
If you could take something from Viljandi along with you to your tours, what would it be?
Sandra: The feeling of being home and coffee and cinnamon rolls from Roheline Maja café!
Jalmar: We have promised that once we become superstars we will take the best barista from Roheline Maja café, Signe, along to our concert tours :)
Tõnu: I would definitely take the quietness of Viljandi with me. If you walk in the city in early morning or in the evening, you sometimes get the feeling of timelessness. It is so quiet as if everything stood still. I would like everyone to experience this feeling as something especially homelike.
Photo: Silver Tõnisson
What does Viljandi Folk Music Festival mean to you?
Sandra: This festival brought me to music and a career as a musician. This festival has grown me, held me and developed me. It has shown me how a great team can work together and how to maintain quality.
Jalmar: It is iconic. Without it our folk music scene would not be the same.
Tõnu: For locals, the festival is a central point in the summer. And also for me. During these four days you can get musical inspiration as well as meet old and new friends. Having been to numerous festivals I can say that Viljandi Folk Music Festival is one of the best in the world. It makes me proud to be part of it as both a musician and as a citizen of Viljandi.