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Negative (IV)
Interview mit Jonne [Negative], 01.08.2008, phoner



Es hat lange gedauert, aber endlich haben Negative die Möglichkeit, ihr neues Album “Karma Killer” auch in Deutschland zu veröffentlichen. Viel ist geschehen innerhalb der Band in den letzten Monaten. Gitarrist Sir Christus ist weg vom Negative-Fenster und Ersatzgitarrist Gary ist auch nicht länger Teil der Band. Wie es in Zukunft mit den Finnen von Negative weiter gehen wird, darüber unterhielt ich mich am 1. August 2008 mit Jonne am Telefon. Für ein halbes Stündchen unterbrach er die Bandproben in Tampere und rief mich von dort aus an, um für das Musikmagazin Zillo zu berichten.

Hei Jonne, how are your doing?

 
Jonne: I`m fine, thanks.
 
It sounds like you`re tired…
 
Jonne: (laughs) Yeah, I just got up as always usually at this time. (it´s 2 pm Finnish time when he is calling) Actually we`re just about to start rehearsals.
 
Is everything fine in Tampere as you`re calling from there?

 
Jonne: Yeah, it´s quite nice with everything. We have done several festival shows so far and we´ve practised as hell since Gary stayed away. We keep up working as a five members band from now on, so it`s gonna be something different in the future. But I think it works quite nice. 
 
Gary was some kind of replacement musician for Christus live on stage. But why did you decide to continue as a five man band?
 
Jonne: We actually decided that two weeks ago. We just felt like we could go forever as a five member band. We didn`t want to keep going in a way that Gary is only a part time tour guitarist. It doesn`t make any sense. We just did the best album so far with Negative as a five members band and we´ve done this for so long together, so this is like a really tight collective. It`s really difficult for another person from outside coming into the band. You know, the whole chemistry in a band changes then. But Gary did a great job doing the live shows and he is a really nice guy. It`s just that we all in the band felt that we don`t wanna take him as a full time member.
 
So you`re no longer searching for another guitar player?
 
Jonne: No, not at the moment. You never know. I think we are wiser after those few upcoming festival shows if it´s gonna work like this. But I believe it will, of course. (laughs)
 
Do you still have contacts to Christus?
 
Jonne: No, I don`t have. Of course we have some common friends, but not so many. I haven´t seen him for…I can`t remember.
 
Was it mainly this drug problem that you kicked him out of the band?
 
Jonne: Mmm, there were a lot of problems. These problems were just growing, you know, and getting bigger and getting wider during the years. So there were a lot of problems, but mainly probably some toxic things, but that´s kind of something we`ve all gone through in the band in our own way. You know what I mean? Some people stay in there, some people get up and move on. It was actually his decision. We`ve told him many, many times that he has a place in the band if he takes care of himself. In the life it`s not so simple always. (sighs) Sometimes the way just goes separated. You cannot force somebody to be somebody he is not.
 
Finally your new album “Karma Killer” will also be published here in Germany. So did you finally find a record label you´re satisfied with?
 
Jonne: You mean with Edel Records? It´s only for “Karma Killer” and the DVD “In The Eye Of The Hurricane”, so it`s nice. At least we got that one. We had this really long break until we could publish the new album. You know, our old label had this option with “Karma Killer” and they wanted to hear the final version of that album, to be able after that to say if they gonna take the option or not. And because of that everything went fucked up. There was such a long break to find somebody else to put the album out. Otherwise it would already be out for many, many months. That`s why it comes a little bit with a delay. When our old label let us know that they not gonna publish the new album, we were free to go and finally able to start working with other labels. These kind of things don`t happen during one day, so I have some kind of apologise for the fans and listeners, why it took us so long. But I think you will soon hear something about our very new record label when it is confirmed. We wanna work with a record label that stands behind Negative for the upcoming albums. It won`t be Roadrunner. Let`s see. I can only say something about it when it`s confirmed. We`re still working with that.
 
How was the work on “Karma Killer” with the new producer Mikko Karmila?
 
Jonne: It was really nice and mellow and different. For each album we tried to work with different producers. In that way we try to keep it fresh and interesting for ourselves which is the first thing that counts when you start to create something new. But it was really nice. Mikko was really supportive for the band, especially because there was only one guitarist this time. Mikko was probably one of the best producers for us so far.
 
Where did you put the main focus on this time musical and lyrical wise?
 
Jonne: We tried to push ourselves to make the album in a different way, much rougher than before. I think that “Anorectic” was kind of a big step for Negative if you look backward. It was like a big step for the band musically. We didn`t want to write a second “Sweet & Deceitful”-album or whatever. We just didn`t think. We weren`t thinking anything when we went into the studio. We just let the music flow. Of course you have some kind of image when you get new ideas or new songs. You`re coming with the new ideas to the rehearsal place and you`re showing these ideas to the guys, but the whole magic happens when the whole band starts to jam. Then everybody contributes something. Probably that`s the magic, but I just like to go with the flow musically. We don`t have any certain theme for the album and the main idea was that we keep it as simple as possible. Maybe you can hear some influences of familiar Negative-elements from “Sweet & Deceitful” and also “Anorectic” on the new album.
 
As Sir Christus is out of the band and didn`t take part in the recording-process of the new album, have there been any sound changes because of that? Or is Larry doing both guitar jobs now?
 
Jonne: Yeah, he is doing all the tracks from now on. I think he made it really well. Of course he had some pressure before we went into the studio, but Mikko Karmila is also a really great guitarist and he gave Larry a lot of good tips how to make it. Actually Larry had a quite good vision of “Karma Killer”.
 
“Won`t Let Go” was published as a first single. Will the single and music video also hit the stores and music channels here?
 
Jonne: I don`t know. I don`t have any clue. But “Won`t Let Go” is a good starter. It´s a familiar Negative-song, but there are also some new elements in it. It´s quite interesting, because for me it`s like I can`t see the forest out of the trees. You know what I mean? It`s difficult to say what kind of song that is, but it reminds a little bit of Bon Jovi. But I mean Bon Jovi when they were still going strong back in early 80ies and 90ies, so not in these days. (laughs) But well, it´s a really hooking song and I love it. And I was really inspired by Quentin Tarantino. I love his films, so I was watching a lot of his films and got inspired by that. The main melody of that song (sings the melody) reminds me a little bit of his soundtracks.
 
And what about the next single “Giving Up”? Will you also shoot a video for that?
 
Jonne: Yeah, actually we`re working with that at the moment. Just yesterday I was editing that with the director of that video. It`s an interesting video, because it`s gonna be different.
 
I read that the lyrics of that song are quite personal. Are you a person that gives up easily?
 
Jonne: No. In a limit of humanistic feelings and under that kind of circumstances you need to revise that sometimes it`s good to let go, so that you`re able to get something new. But actually I will never give up. (laughs) But it`s kind of a lyrical, poetical image. I think there is a cool Yin & Yang kind of thing. The first single is “Won´t Let Go” and the second one is “Giving Up”. It´s kind of confusing, but I like both songs. They are good single tracks. And whatever will be the next single or whatever will be released from “Karma Killer” in future, I will stand one hundred percent behind it.
 
And it`s interesting to hear this “Sealed” song on the new album, as it evolved from a demo of Larry`s old band Shannon. Wasn`t it Larry who sang the vocals in that band?
 
Jonne: Yeah, he was the singer of Shannon. Our version of “Sealed” is quite different, but that´s the main idea. It proves how music lives on. It doesn`t matter when it was written. We just wanted to update the version a bit. It`s a really nice song.
 
And who are Anna and Simona?
 
Jonne: They are Italian girls. I don´t know if they are really from Mars. (laughter) No, they are from Italy. You know, there are a lot of people following our band on a tour. After five shows you start to recognise those faces in the first rows, familiar faces that are always standing in the first rows. So that song is my glory for them, for that kind of people who are following us. It`s a song about temptations you get on the road. (chuckles)
 
Who`s meant by the “Motherfucker” song? It has quite rough lyrics…
 
Jonne: Yeah, it has. I came up with the idea of “Motherfucker, motherfucker just like you” (sings) kind of Axl-Rose-rhythm for the lyrics and I tried to keep it. I mean, I tried to change it a little bit, but then the other guys told me “Hei, you should keep it! It`s kind of cool!” and I was like “What the hell? Let`s do it! We can do whatever we want.” It´s a kind of 80ies clichè song to me. It`s our welcome to the jungle, so to say. (laughs) It´s really nice and I like the atmosphere. And it`s a really strong live track that really kicks your ass. I don`t know about your ass, but my ass. (laughter)
 
I guess mine, too…
 
Jonne: I can say that the spirit of Axl landed on me while I wrote it.
 
Who`s the woman singing on the last song “Gravity Of Love”?
 
Jonne: It´s Capri. She is a really good singer as you can hear. Actually we were borrowing her voice also on “Anorectic” and we decided to take her along this time again. It was really nice, because she gave a really good vibe on those songs.
 
When you`re writing lyrics, do you already know then if it`s becoming a ballad or a rockier song?
 
Jonne: Yeah, I already know then if it`s gonna be a ballad or a rock song, because usually the melody comes first and afterwards I write the lyrics. At least I like to do it in that way. But sometimes the lyrics come out at the same time. It depends.
 
How do the album title “Karma Killer” and your silver glittering face on the CD-cover fit together?
 
Jonne: It was my idea. (laughs) I just wanted to look a little bit like David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust coming from Mars. That´s what I was reaching for. (laughter)

Was it easy to get the make-up off later on?
 
Jonne: Actually I went to the food store after those photo shootings. It was kind of funny. The people there were looking like “Who`s that fucking freak? Did he landed again from Mars?” It was really kind of funny and confusing. But I think it`s a really good cover for the album. It really catches your eye when you go to the CD store.
 
Who came up with the title of the album and what does it mean in this case?
 
Jonne: I came up with the title as usually. I think so far all the album titles came from me. You know, while you`re doing lyrics and while you`re writing new stuff, you come up with ideas which is gonna be the title of the next album. But I have never taken any stress of that. It usually comes out naturally afterwards when all the material for the album is finished. During the mixing session you usually get the title. This time it just came out. I am a spiritual human being, so “Karma Killer” has also something to do with that. I don`t know what it is. (laughs) It just came from somewhere. Some satellite put those things in my head. (laughter) Okay, I am just kidding.
 
For which kind of advert or commercial would you never give your face?
 
Jonne: Uhh yeah, probably Tampax. You know, Tampax is a brand of those things that women are wearing once in a month. That would probably be a quite interesting combination. I would love to give my face for that. (laughter)
 
Good to know, but actually I asked for which kind of ad or commercial you would never give your face…
 
Jonne: I don`t know. There is nothing coming to my mind. I would love to see my face in every package in a food store. (laughter) Can you imagine how depressive that would be? Well, no, it would be nice, but really confusing.
 
Coming back to Negative`s music: Is the new album more danceable, for headbangers, doing moshpits or more to swing? 
 
Jonne: There`s everything, I think. There is music for all kind of moods. There are songs for the rainy days and also for the sunny days.
 
I remember this “Until You`re Mine”-song you recorded together with Ville Laihiala. Then there was the Queen-cover “Too Much Love Will Kill You” with Jann Wilde and others. But with which female singer would you like to sing a duet song some day – except Kylie Monogue?
 
Jonne: (laughs) Okay. Probably Madonna would be cool.
 
You have been a lot on TV and radio lately, for example on a radio show with Paula Koivuniemi last Saturday. As I couldn`t listen to it: What have you done in that show?
 
Jonne: We were driving around Helsinki in a subway and we just did this one radio programme over there for one day. It was quite nice. Actually she is the one I would love to co-operate with. She is really gorgeous. She just turns 60, but she`s still really hot in a way. (chuckles)
 
Would that be a job for you, being a radio moderator?
 
Jonne: I have once been over there for radio NRJ where I was hosting the show. It was really nice. I was there for one week. It was a good experience and really interesting to see how it works, because I have always been the one on the other side of the microphone and not the host. I was always the one to be interviewed. But this time I was able to do some interviews by myself, tell the weather and everything. It was really pervert promo. (chuckles)
 
Last year you got a MTV music award as the “Best Finnish Act”. To which other Finnish band would you like to give this price in future?
 
Jonne: There are a lot of bands, but I would take it to my brother Ville and Flinch, of course. There are a lot of good bands, but a lot of shitty ones also in these day. Of course it`s nice that there is coming a new generation with a lot of new bands, but it seems that there is also a lot of plastic stuff. You know what I mean?
 
Ja…do you still produce your brother`s band?
 
Jonne: Yeah, I did the latest album. It was kind of nice, but I was more like a coach and not the producer for them. We had a really nice time in the studio. It`s a good band and I like them.
 
Is your voice also on the record?
 
Jonne: Yeah, I did some backing vocals, but only for one song. The main idea was that I´m not gonna do anything, any backing vocals. But in the end we were running out with the time and Oskari the drummer, who`s usually doing the backing vocals for Flinch, he couldn`t do the high notes. So I sang them. Actually Snack is also playing keyboards on that album. I always like to use Snack when he is available when I am doing some other things.
 
Just because I am curious, but in one of our last interviews we were talking about sandwiches, if you remember, that you´d like to do sandwiches with girls. So did you finally had the chance to do that?
 
Jonne: (laughs) Yeah, with my both hands. That`s how I do my sandwiches.
 
Okaaaay, we don´t wanna go deeper into this topic, so…your birthday is in a few weeks…
 
Jonne: Yeah, it`s soon. I am getting old. Oh, I can`t even remember how old if 23 or 24 or 25. I`m gonna turn to 25. I am really excited, but I am not that kind of person who celebrates. I´m kind of a boring musician. (laughs) Of course I`d like to go out with my friends, but I can`t remember if we gonna do some shows on my birthday. It`s kind of scary. I don`t wanna ever get back into my teenager years, because I was so depressed and so fucking unstable back in those days. I mean, I wasn`t weird, but I was so afraid of everything. It`s difficult to explain, but in these days I am finally able to enjoy my life. Little details during the day make me happy like a good cup of coffee. I started to drink coffee again after many years of break. So you know what I mean? I these days I´m coffee addicted, you can say so.
 
What are you especially looking forward to in this remaining year?
 
Jonne: (thinks a bit) Of course there will be a lot of touring, also over there in Germany.
 
So is there already a next tour for Germany planned with Negative?
 
Jonne: Ja, hopefully this year it will happen. Actually I am very excited about everything. I haven`t seen any dates yet, but I have heard that there will also be some countries we have never been before, like France and stuff like that. I really hope that people haven`t forgotten us. It`s been too long since we were there for the last time. We need to move on. I´m not that kind of person who likes to think in these days what I`ve gone through. I only like to concentrate on what`s going on now and what the future brings to me and for the band.
 
You`re with your band mates in Tampere now, if I got it right?
 
Jonne: Yeah, I am in Tampere, Pyynikki, in our rehearsal place.
 
Alright, then greetings to the other guys and have fun over there. Jonne, I thank you a lot for the interview.
 
Jonne: Thank you, it was my pleasure. We will have fun. Hope to see you soon!



Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: taken by Aleksi Koskinen, (c) negative.fi
Website Band: www.facebook.com/pages/Negative/23035109280


(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 10/08 / www.zillo.de

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