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The Jade (IV)
Interview mit The Jade, November 2009, mailer



Seit einigen Wochen schon steht das offizielle Debüt-Album der finnischen Band The Jade in den Plattenläden. Auch außerhalb von Finnland wurde „Seconds Away From Salvation“ veröffentlicht. Für Zillo sprach ich mit The Jade und konnte dem Quartett einige interessante Informationen zum ersten offiziellen Album entlocken.

First of all, how are you doing? Already in Xmas mood?


Wille: Good, still waiting for the Xmas mood, though. We just got booked to play at Gloria, Helsinki, in the first of January. So we`re starting the new year with a bang.

Pekko: Thanks for asking! But I´m not in Christmas mood yet. Honestly, there is so much to do all the time: if not promoting the album then writing new music.

Sirpa: Just fine thanks! Christmas mood is still on the way.

Jann: Everyday’s a Xmas.

Your first official album “Seconds Away From Salvation” is finally released. How does it feel to hold the album in your own hands?

Wille: Naturally it´s rewarding. It´s been a five year process for The Jade to actually come up with a full-length album to be released in about ten European countries, including Germany, and it´s out now. I feel even more satisfied when I see people holding our album in their hands, which they have actually bought from the store or from the Internet and not just listened a few songs from myspace.

Pekko: I agree with Wille.

Sirpa: Yeah, it feels great, it´s a great album and we all are very happy with it.

Jann: It feels alright, but I’d like to have it as a vinyl.

How would you describe – especially for Zillo`s readers – The Jade and the band`s sound?

Wille: We have four unique characters in The Jade that complement each other. The sound is updated rock music. There are winds from the past decades and storms from the ongoing century and some new tornados from the next one. I believe we have mixed many influences and turned those into our own advantage. The CD package we are selling has got it´s own strong heart that is pumping on by it´s very own beat.

Pekko: It is melodic rock´n´roll from the heart with a fistful of punk rock, another fistful of metal and finally topped with dashes of pop.

Jann: The band sounds fucking great – hard as a rock. We’re offering sophisticated decadence with all things that matter.

How was it to produce with Petri Majuri and the other guys at the Seawolf Studios?

Wille: It was a cool experience. Also Hannu Leiden did an excellent job. Those guys have talked the talk and walked the walk and still marching on. I think their influence is written all over on this new album. Seawolf is a great studio to work with and the location is very beautiful in Suomenlinna.

Pekko: And that´s where we met our new keyboard player Tomi T. He recorded all of my guitar parts. Great chap and fine musician.

Sirpa: It was fantastic. We were in good hands.

Jann: Yes, and it was interesting as well. They have produced about millions of bands including the successful Hanoi Rocks. I heard great stories and was fun to work with them.

Are there any anecdotes you can tell us about the recordings?

Wille: We did have a few beers every now and then, but I guess that´s just a normal activity in the summer.

Pekko: One morning I woke up and I heard Hanoi Rocks playing. It took a while when I realised I was still at the studio. And the hangover was absolutely one of the worst ever. I guess sometimes there was little bit more than a few beers around. After the work, though. Some nights we had a chance to meet some hilarious characters over there. Usually those nights included intoxicating liquids.

Jann: Yes, Chief Major was mixing the new Hanoi DVD when we woke up, so that’s why it was on. The night before we were drinking, smoking and doing a bit of this and that as far as I remember. Anecdotes? Well, okay, I guess we all fell into the sea at some point.

How long did the recordings take place on the whole?

Wille: Maybe four months or so.

Pekko: Including mixing and mastering.

Sirpa: We did not work four months on the row though, there were a few weeks break in between.

Jann: Yes, in total it took maybe six or seven weeks, plus mixing and mastering on top of that.

Is there any redline that can be found on the album?

Pekko: Rhythms, melodies, sounds and words of life, death, hope, desperation, solitude, love, hatered, faith and mental health – That´s the redline and that makes it “Seconds Away From Salvation”.

Jann: Bernini’s famous “The Extacy Of Saint Theresa”, that’s the redline.

Some of the songs had already been published on earlier TJ-CDs. So what`s new with them now?

Wille: Everything, but it depends on the song how much. As time goes on, the songs go on when the band progresses. Every time we go into the studio to record new songs, we find slightly a different way to play them or sing them, because the environment, space and time changes. Therefore, the band always evolves to something better.

Pekko: We knew that they would sound much better when they were done in the proper studio. And they did change a lot. Even some of the lyrics were re-written plus many new chord structures were added and for three of the older songs the choruses were re-composed. Basically from the previously released songs “Beautiful Things” was the only song which didn´t change that much musically, lyrically or rhythmically.
 
Jann: The songs are better, stronger and tighter now. You want the best for your songs, so finally we had a chance to do them in a nice studio.

What does the album title mean for you –  also referring to the album content?


Wille: Hope. When things are looking bad or are on a serious level in some way I hope to think I´m just a “Seconds Away From Salvation”. To me, it reflects a breakthrough on some deep, personal level. It can mean various things to people whether it´s health, love, spiritual achievement, wealth, friends or The Jade. Take your own pick.

Pekko: I have to say the same things as mentioned earlier: life, death, hope, desperation, solitude, love, hatered, faith and mental health. I believe, that is what “Seconds Away From Salvation” is about. Yes, and stories from the darker sides of lives. Still, there is light and hope to be seen.

Jann: It’s a very wide subject. The picture of Bernini’s famous “The Extacy Of Saint Theresa” in a way tells it all. It’s part of the artwork of the album. The whole story of the sculpture reflects what the album’s about.

What`s your personal highlight on the CD?

Wille: I like my vocals on “Yesterday´s Rain”.

Pekko: I like all the guitars I played. They sound exactly how they should.

Jann: I’m pretty much satisfied with my personal playing. If I have to name some I love “Solitary Soul”, the drive and the push, the feeling on that one is really great. You don’t hear that kinda groove too often.

After “Drowning” and “It`s A Sin” you released “King`s Cross” as a third single. Why is this song worth to become a single?

Wille: Good question. There´s plenty of songs on the album that deserves to be released as a single. Our record company chief wanted “King´s Cross” to be our third single. It´s sometimes hard for the band to choose singles, because we have played them for so long before the recordings. Thus, it ain´t easy to stay objective.

Pekko: “King´s Cross” is a powerful track. Quite punky with rap and stuff. Yet, it was absolutely too powerful to be a single. Some radio stations have dared to play that, though. Personally I would have chosen almost any other song from the album to be the third single.

Jann: Commercially thinking maybe it wasn’t the best choice, but fuck that. In some ways it was fun to push out a song which was almost as heavy as Metallica.

You also shot a video for that song. How much of your own ideas can be found in there?

Wille: Not much. We actually would have liked it to be completely a band video. I can say that I liked video for our single “It´s A Sin” a lot more, but at least we as band did an excellent job on the “King´s Cross”-video.

Pekko: Yes, the band did a very good job on it. But as the fact is that no one listened to our opinions the result is not what I expected or wanted. That song was written when I was totally desperate with the life I lived and now some idiotic humour was added in it. It made me sad and angry. I hope people can ignore those idiotic scenes when watching that video and still enjoy the song and the band.

Sirpa: There is not much of a “King´s Cross” in that video. That was a huge disappointment. We wanted to have a video with atmosphere of real “King´s Cross”, but that did not happen, something else came instead. But the band looks cool, though.

Jann: I hate the video. We played the song about 60 times and it was shot with different cameras at the same time from different angles. The film crew only used a few bits for the video and added pure crap there. There was enough material to make one of the coolest rock videos ever, but really, they blew it. I hate that idiot guy jumping around there, that looks fucking stupid. If it was up to me it hadn’t been released. I’m not too happy about the “It’s A Sin”-video either.

How have been the reactions so far referring to the new album?

Wille: So far we have received fabulous reviews and almost everybody likes the music on the album. There´s always some critics who tend to hate us just for the sake of hating, but at least we have managed to get some reactions. But jealousy doesn´t suite them well.

Pekko: So far the feedback has been mostly very positive, but I agree what Wille said before.

Jann: Different kinda people seem to dig the stuff which is good. I’ve met people who are into metal and alternative and have said it is a great rock album. Then people who are a bit more pop oriented seem to like it, they say it’s catchy. And as it is a strong rock album the rock crowd is satisfied.

What do you prefer: being in the studio or on the road?

Wille: Both complement each other, so I prefer not to choose any of those. Without the music, there can´t be the road.

Pekko: I love both.

Sirpa: Both is good. Studio work is great as you are working really intensive and I like that. But on the road then you´ll get to play live for people, every night is bit different and you´ll get to meet people as well.

Jann: I dig both as well, ideal situation would be two to 12 months in a studio then two years on road. Then two to six months break and the same all over again and again.

When will you be back on tour in Germany?

Pekko: There were plans made for this Autumn, but unfortunately the agency who was supposed to organise it, doesn´t exist anymore. We are working hard to find new contacts, because we would love to come back to Germany as soon as we can! So if anyone of you out there works for or runs a booking agency, don´t hesitate to contact us!

Jann: Yes, the last tour was great there. We were getting excellent feedback from the fans, a new crowd and even from the technicians and the guys behind the mixing tables. And those guys see about 500 bands a year. It felt good. I get the same question in mails all the time. Now the album’s out, so it would be just perfect to tour there.

Wille: We will let you know as soon as we know more.

What are your wishes for the year 2010?

Wille: I hope more and more people will get our new album from the stores. It´s available for people to order from the Internet even if you don´t live in Europe.

Pekko: I hope that more people will find our music and that we will find the touring contacts we definitely need. Plus the record will be released at least in one more country outside of Europe, so I hope that it will do some good for The Jade.

Jann: I wished to get a great manager and tour here and there with some great bands and to fill some holes in my life.



Interview & Foto 2: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken & (c) by Jarkko Tiitinen
Website Band:
www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jade/80481705728?fref=ts

(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 02/10 / www.zillo.de

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