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Matthau Mikojan
Interview mit Matthaus Mikojan & Band, 12.10.2008, Köln/Blue Shell

Im Oktober war es endlich soweit. Matthau Mikojan & Band kamen zu uns nach Deutschland auf Tour. Am 12. Oktober 2008 machten die jungen Finnen einen Zwischenstopp im Kölner Blue Shell und rockten die Bühne. Vor der Show hatte ich die Gelegenheit mit dem Trio zu sprechen.

Matthau, the last time you came here you played with Bloodpit, but now you have two new fellows. What has happened?
Matthau: Bloodpit are back at home in Finland doing their own thing now. And also we`re doing our own thing nowadays.
Could you please all introduce yourself shortly…

Simo: I am Simo and I play the drums in Matthau´s band. I`ve played the drums for nine years now and was playing in lots of different bands back at home in Tampere.
Teemu: I´m Teemu, the base player for Matthau, and I´m from Tampere as well. I have also played in a couple of bands before.
Matthau: Yeah, and I am the vocalist and guitar player. (laughs) I didn`t change my instruments.

How long do you already know each others?
Simo: We know each others for five years now. We played some shows together when I was still in my previous band and Matthau was in Bloodpit. So we`ve known quite a long time, but we`re tightly involved like a year now, I think. Yeah, it was about a year ago when Matthau sent me a text message and asked if I wanna play drums on his solo record. (laughs)
Teemu: I came along in the beginning of this year. We didn´t know each others before.
Matthau: Actually we played a show together last year in November, but we didn´t know each others before. He was playing base and I was singing. Actually my brother saw him at a bar and told him that he should play in my band. Then I gave him a call and we met up. I gave him the CD and he came to the rehearsals and played wonderful.
How does it feel to be in Germany in these days?
Simo: It is the first time that we play here together. I was already here last year when I was driving a band from Finland. Day Eleven supported Negative on their tour and I was their driver. But now I am here to play by myself and it`s really great.
Teemu: Also for me it`s the first time to play here. But I have already been here many times for vacations.
How have been the shows so far?
Matthau: It´s great to play outside of Finland and the audiences have been wonderful. The last night was the best show so far. It`s getting better all the time. This is a good opportunity for us to get tight musically. We haven´t done this thing before, playing every night in a row, but especially last night the place was packed with fans. And sometimes it just happens (clicks his fingers), you know!? I don´t know what it is, but we just got it.

Simo: We`re just playing better all the time and we`re too lazy to rehearse, so it`s good for us to play many shows in a row. (laughs)
But isn`t it hard, Matthau, to play the guitar and sing at the same time? Men are not multitasking able…
Matthau: (grins) No, it`s not really hard, because as we keep going on and on, it`s getting easier all the time. You don´t have to think about what you`re playing, but you know, first it was hard. When we became a trio, there were so many things going through my head like what to play. But I think I got it now.
You´re touring here with The Jade. How did this come about?
Matthau: They are great. I love them. Especially the base player and the guitarist, they are funny guys. I love them all.
Did you know them before?
Matthau: No! But we played a show together with them in Helsinki, Finland, last summer, but this is the first time we really got to know them.
Simo: Actually the tour managers they got us together. It was their idea to bring The Jade here also as a support for us and it`s been great so far.
This tour is called “Schraubelocker”. Who`s idea was it?
Matthau: That´s because of Tom, who`s an old friend of mine, and he and Corinna are organising everything here in Germany. He is the “Schraubelocker”. (laughter)
Matthau, you have published your first solo album this year. Is there any significant change in the process of creating songs referring to the time you shared with Bloodpit?
Matthau: This time it was bringing the Rolling Stones kind of recording style into the studio. We only did a few takes with everything and used the better one. It was really nice. Simo played the drums in three days.
Simo: Then I came here to Germany for the tour with Day Eleven. (laughs) It was a really fast action with the record all in all. You can hear that it`s a generally played album. There are also mistakes, but it doesn`t matter. That`s a part of rock`n`roll.

Who created the cover of the album?
Matthau: (lightens a cigarette) There was a picture on the wall back in the studio and I told Antti Suomalainen, who is the producer of the album, that it is a cool picture. He knew the guy who created that picture, Juha Karjalainen, and said “If you wanna make a call, I have the number”. So we called him and had a meeting and went through my ideas. In the end we came together.
You also made some cover songs. Are there any more planned in future?
Matthau: We play covers all the time. On this tour we have five cover songs and we also gonna play a few new songs, because we just finished with recording an EP in Finland. It will come out next month. There are three new songs on that EP and a remix of “No hard feelings”. And when we go back home, we gonna start recording a new album which will come out in early 2009.
Simo: It`s really good as we will record the second record as a trio.

Matthau: Yeah, as a band. I wanna make this clear that we use my name, Matthau Mikojan, but this is really a band and I don`t consider that as a solo project anymore. First it was a solo project, because there was only Simo and myself. But when Teemu came along, we said this is definitely a band. My brother was also in the band for a few months. Now he has his own band. I haven`t really been in touch with him lately. I saw him before the tour kicked off and he was doing great.
On your website the fans have the possibility to ask questions and you answer them by yourself. How important is it for you to be close to your fans?
Matthau: It`s very important. There´s this connection online and you can interact with people all the time and that is great. But this far it`s only me who`s answering questions there on the website.
How would you describe your characters?
Simo: I`m very optimistic and satisfied with little things, so I´m kinda happy all the time. We all get along very well with each others, that`s why it so much fun.
Teemu: I´m a very easy going person.
Matthau: I`m also very easy going, but a little moody as well.
Matthau, who´s the best listener for you? Is it Sir Christus?
Matthau: Well, yeah of course, he is my brother, but there`s also a lot of good friends and Simo and Teemu.
Is there anything you`re collecting?
Matthau: Yes, I still collect lots of jewellery and spend a lot of money for shopping.
Simo: I collect drum-stuff. (laughs) I just bought a new kit this spring, but I need a lot of accessories all the time. That`s my big money hole.

Teemu: I have many bases. That`s what I spend my money for.

Are you a fan of taking part in old traditions?
Simo: Soon it`s Halloween. I will dress up as Joker this year. It´s been a fantasy of me for a very long time. And now as I just saw the new “Batman”-movie, I flipped out cos of Joker. I`m not a Heath Ledger-fan, but I´m a Joker-fan. But Halloween is not a big thing in Finland. We just go out and get wasted. There will just be more people out on that evening, I guess. (laughs)
What do you think about plastic surgery?
Matthau: Not much. But if you wanna do it, then do it!
Simo: If it makes you feel good, then do it! If you have some kind of problem with your face, you can fix it, if it makes you happy.
Are you satisfied with your faces?
Simo: We`re beautiful. (laughter)
How much make-up do you need?
Matthau: A lot!
Simo: Not much, but I´m wearing make-up now. Just a couple of little things. I would go out on the street without make-up. I don`t wanna wear make-up when I go to the store and buy milk. (laughs) It`s just a habit, I guess.

Matthau: Yeah, true. But make-up and men is not a big deal. (laughs) I can go shopping without make-up. Now I am wearing sunglasses, because I am so tired. I look like shit. But make-up is not a big deal to me.
What is the best part of being a musician?
Simo: The touring. Playing live outside from Finland it`s been a dream of me for a very long time. And it`s been a realistic dream. And now as it`s really happening, I couldn`t be happier. Playing live is the best thing you can do in the world, because the feedback is so honest and straight forward. If you can interact with the audience, it´s the best thing ever.
Which is the most important instrument for a band?
Simo: It`s definitely the vocalist. You gotta have a good voice to sound good. Okay, there are some exceptions for that role, but…
Matthau: …it`s a tricky question, because when you take the drums out, it sounds terrible. When you take the base out, it sounds terrible, etc. (laughter)
What`s the craziest thing you have ever done on stage?
Simo: It wasn`t my gig. I was at this Sunset-Beachparty-Festival in Karkkila and I went to the stage singing backing vocals for Uniklubi, but I was naked. Completely naked. There are some photos of that day existing.
Matthau: I once threw myself on stage and broke my rip, because I hit the guitar. On the next day I realised that I had broken something.

What`s your motto for tonight?

Simo: We just gonna kick ass. That should be enough. Well, hopefully it is enough. (laughs) At the beginning of this tour we talked about how many songs we should play and we realised that we have like 16 or 17 own songs and then five or six cover songs. So we can choose and change the setlist every night, if we want to. If we are in mood, we do the setlist and play like 15 songs plus some encores if the audience wants some more. We try out different things every night.

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos 1+5:
taken from matthaumikojan.com
Fotos 2-4: taken by Anke S.
Website Band: www.facebook.com/matthaumikojan

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