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Private Line (II)

Interview mit Private Line, 04.09.2008, Köln/Underground

Die deutschen Fans haben sich lange gedulden müssen, aber nun haben es Private Line endlich auf Tour nach Deutschland geschafft, auch wenn ihre Platten hierzulande noch nicht in den Läden stehen. Bereits vor zwei Jahren hatte ich mit Sänger Sammy in Helsinki über mögliche Tourpläne für Deutschland gesprochen. Am 4. September fand das Auftaktkonzert der „Prozac Nation Tour 2008“ im Kölner Underground statt. Ich habe die Jungs vor ihrem Konzert getroffen und mich mit ihnen ausführlich unterhalten.

How are you doing? Did you enjoy the Finnish summer so far?

Sammy: Finnish summer? What is that? (laughter) There is no summer in Finland. It was just like a good autumn. Yeah, but we were writing new songs for the new album. And now we`re happy to be here. We`re doing really fine.

Yes, finally you´re here and doing your first bigger tour through Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Why did we have to wait so long for this to happen?

Sammy: Our albums aren`t official out here, so it`s a bit hard to arrange a tour. But finally some helpful people made it happen that we could come over. We´ve seen from the web that there are already so many fans in Germany. Of course we already wanted to come earlier, but our manager said “Why the fuck are you going there? You don`t have the albums out there!” But we didn´t care. We wanted to play here. And finally – like I said – somebody made it possible.

Jack: It seems we have a fan base here, so it`s a good time to do the ground work by touring and when we release our next album hopefully also in Germany, then we can do a bigger tour.

“Evel Knievel Factor” is the last album you produced, but it`s actually not so new anymore for you. And like you said, you´re already writing for the new album. In which direction will it lead us?

Jack: It`s hard to say. We have different kinds of material. It`s not gonna be 80ies rock like many people say we`re doing. It`s more fresh material, but it´s hard to say, because the songs are not in their final form yet. I think we tried to keep it simple. Maybe we`re a little bit back to basic things. I think the new album is gonna be darker than the earlier albums, but not in a gothic way, darker like from mood, you know. It`s hard to explain.
Sammy: We have done the demos, but the final recordings are not done yet. We tried that the silent parts on that album will be more silent than they used to be and the heavier parts are much heavier than they used to be. We wanted to bring more our live-sound and energy into there. That`s a bit back to basic things. We want to sound how we sound and not using too many studio tricks.

Jack: We already have the album`s name, but we won´t tell you yet. 

Spit: I think it`s the best album title ever. 

Is it easier for you to write ballads or rockier songs?

Jack: A good ballad is hard to write, much harder than to write a good old rock song.

What`s the best ballad you have ever written with the band?

Sammy: So far I like “Billion Star Hotel”.

Which instrument is the most important one within the band?

Sammy: Drums.

Jack: I think Private Line`s sound is based on Sammy`s voice. 

Sammy: Yeah, but drums are also very important. Of course everything is important.

Jack: But we can´t replace you.

What do you think is more important, to entertain the audience with your music or to send out a certain message to them?

Jack: I don`t like that much sending out any messages or politics or anything, but I think a good rock`n`roll show is based on a good feeling between the audience and artists.

Sammy: Yeah, and it doesn`t matter what kind of mood or feeling, but we don´t wish that the audience is angry after the gig. Anyway, it doesn`t matter what kind of feeling they have if it`s just a strong feeling after the gig.

Would Private Line also work with Finnish lyrics here?

Jack: I don`t think so. In Finland it would be a lot easier for us if we would do that. In Finland the people they buy more like Finnish music.

Sammy: But it`s maybe hard to present Private Line`s songs in a Finnish way. Maybe some day, I don´t know, we can try that. At the moment the lyrics are quite global. We`ve been always thinking about that we prefer to play in smaller places all around than just in Finland in some big places. I definitely prefer clubs. 

Do your family members also visit gigs of Private Line?

Jack: My family visits us when we are near to our hometown.

Sammy: Yes, but I wouldn`t take my Mom with us on tour for example, you know, (loud laughter) or my children as well.

But is your oldest son already stepping into your shoes?

Sammy: Yeah, kind of. If we have a gig in Helsinki, he is always checking out the soundcheck and he has also seen some festival gigs, but I don´t teach him for anything like doing that. It`s like he can do whatever he wants if he is happy with it.

Does he also listen to your music at home?

Sammy: Yeah, he recognises my voice every time he hears it and then he shouts “Daddyyyy”. And even the youngest nowadays – he`s not even two – he can recognise my voice and says “Daddy” then. But he´s also saying to some ugly songs that it`s Daddy and I have to teach him then “Noooo, that`s not Daddy!”. (laughter) 

Jack, do you also wanna have children some day if you hear things like that?

Jack: Never. I have my guitars. It`s enough for me.

What have you done before you started with Private Line?

Jack: I was postman. (laughs) I´ve been a sound engineer like Spit.

Sammy: I`ve been selling stuff through the telephone like in a callcenter. And I´ve been also working in a music store.

Eliaz: I was studying this youth thing at a youth university. I don`t know the correct word. Something humanistic. But then I joined Private Line and finished with my studies.

Would you please describe each others in one sentence!

Jack: Sammy is the mastermind of the band Private Line.

Sammy: Spit is a real punk.

Spit: Eliaz is the mad man behind the drums.

Eliaz: Jack is the guy with the mushroom hands. (loud laughter)

Jack: Dankeschön.

Last week you had a gig at this Hellcity Fest in your hometown with a couple of other bands. If that would have been your own festival, which German bands would you have invited to come there?

Jack: Die Toten Hosen. Mm, Rammstein.

Spit: Madsen.

Eliaz: Then the Scorpions of course.

Sammy: And Big Boy of course.

Big Boy: (Big Boy – as a support act of Private Line in Cologne for that evening and being also backstage during the interview – suddenly looks around the corner) Thank you guys.

Last year you took part in a campaign by Pepsi Max in Finland. But for which kind of products would you never give your face?

Sammy: Pepsi Max. (laughs) It was a mistake. It just looked cool to be on a bottle of Pepsi Max, but I don`t think somebody buys a bottle cos of that. Pepsi sucks.

Jack: I actually bought two bottles and I wanna keep them in my closet and when I´m old some day I can drink some old Pepsi Max-bottles with our picture on it. (laughter)

Spit: One kilogram of pork would be really bad to give your face for. (laughter) 

How much make up does a man need?

Jack: A lot. It depends on if we`re on tour or not. If you have so ugly guys like us you need a lot of make up. (grins)

But do you also use make up in the normal daily life?

Eliaz: Not daily, but sometimes.

Jack: Yeah, of course, every day. But some guys know how to wear make up and some guys doesn´t like Illu, our other guitar player. He just don´t know how to wear make up. He doesn`t seem to feel comfortable with make up and that´s fine.

Sammy: I used to make up more, but now it depends. It grew like to be a part of me, so if I go out, I want to put my make up on, otherwise I feel naked like you do as a woman. It started with the guy who had a rock`n`roll dream and then he began to play gigs and go out with the make up on and when you grow up with that, then it`s natural and then you feel poor without. (laughs)

Sammy, as I see you`re still smoking, although you already told me two years ago that you`re trying to quit smoking. So you didn´t stop.

Sammy: I stop every day. This is my last smoke for today. I still fight for that, you know. It`s a clichè, but I still try to quit it. But well, I´m not happy that I´m still smoking.

Spit: It is good for your voice.

Which other bad habits do you have?

Sammy: I don´t tell them.

Jack: Mmmm, mushroom hands. (laughs) Cigarettes, coffee and beer. But I don´t regret anything. Every bad habit is a good habit.

What`s the most personal thing you`re wearing right now and you would never borrow me?

Jack: My guitar, but I´m not wearing it right now. Mmm, but maybe this bracelet. (shows a silver bracelet on his left wrist) My cousin made it for me as a birthday present with his own bear hands. I love it.

Sammy: Maybe I wouldn´t borrow you my dig. (laughs)

Spit: (surprised) You wouldn`t??

Eliaz: I think it would be my Michel Angelo-underwear, so…(starts to open his trousers to show his underwear) Ohhh, sorry, these ain´t mine. (loud laughter) 

Spit: I think, I wouldn´t borrow this leather jacket I´m wearing.

 Are you more the adventure guys that need a lot of action or more the sunny boys that prefer the relaxing way?

Sammy: It depends. When I`m doing something, I do it with more than 100 percentage. I`m just crazy if I have something in my mind I have to do. I´m kind of strict with myself then. But I also like the time when I can relax, because I think that`s the source of the creativity and creation and everything. You need to have time to be just all by yourself.

What kind of persons do you respect a lot?

Jack: People who have their own goal in their life, that they know what they want to do and what they want to achieve, you know, like my idols Iggy Pop and Billy Idol. These kind of people have done their thing in their life, you know.

Sammy: I respect single mothers a lot.

Spit: Honest people who are not acting.

Eliaz: I respect all happy people.

Which talents do you have beside musical ones?

Jack: Watching movies. (laughs) Yeah, I´m very talented. Do you have some other talents, Sammy?

Sammy: I´m a really good cook as well. Basically when I´m at home I do cook for my family.

Jack: Actually I´m good in cooking only one thing and that is pancakes. My mother makes good Korvapuusti. But for me it`s too hard. 

Eliaz: I`m really talented in drinking beer. (lifts his bottle)

Spit: And you´re practising it all the time. (laughter) 

Would it be easier for you to live without Internet or without a mobile phone?

Eliaz: Replace the word Internet with the text “TV” and I could probably live without the TV, but not without my mobile phone.

Spit: He doesn´t know what Internet is.

Eliaz: But I could live without Internet.

Spit: Same here, I could live without the Internet.

Jack: Me, too.

Sammy: I think I´m more like the Internet guy. I can`t live without my Internet porn, stupid me...

Do you have still your porn collection?

Sammy: (laughs) Actually yeah, I bought one today. But I`m really shy about my porn collection.

Okay, we don´t have to talk about it now. Which music do you listen to privately at home?

Jack: Many kinds of music. I like good music. I hate bad music. I define good music about the feeling. Lately I´ve been listening to Finnish bands like Disco Ensemble, Damn Seagulls and what else? I`ve been also listening to Bruce Spingsteen, but he`s not from Finland. I like different kinds of music. This morning I listened to Hardcore Superstar.

Sammy: Actually I`ve been listening quite a lot Hybrid Children – they are a band from Finland – because I recorded and produce their new album with them, just coming out in January. I didn´t mix it, so I´ve been listening to that a lot. But it`s like the working thing. When I relax, I`ve been listening a lot to new Coldplay for example and a band called Sara from Finland. I think it`s the best band nowadays which is singing in Finnish.

Spit: I think the last CD I`ve listened to when I left home yesterday, was a Finnish band called No Shame, a punk band. I don´t know if you have heard about them. You should check them out! It`s a good band, but they are really underground.

Eliaz: Last time I was listening at home Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. But you know, when I´m working, you have to listen to a lot of bands. So it`s nice to listen to some easy music when you`re at home.

And do you also listen to your own CDs at home?

Jack: No, because we`re playing those songs a lot, so it`s boring to listen to your own CDs. But okay, actually I´ve listened to “Evel Knievel Factor” a couple of weeks ago, but I listened “Evel Knievel Factor” only once in two years.

Sammy: Sometimes I listen to our CDs, but more the older stuff like “Six Songs From Hellcity Trenokill”.

“Music is…”: How would you continue this sentence?

Jack: Music is life.

Sammy: It`s lifestyle.

Spit: …the whole world.

Eliaz: It`s a part of me. 

Three things you couldn`t live without…beside music!

Spit: Sex, drugs and blöbblöbblöb! (laughs)

Sammy: The Blood that is running in my veins. I couldn´t live without this band, but it`s like music, but it`s also like a group, friends and it`s like a gang you grow up with.

Jack: It´s a hard question if you can´t use the music. The family is important, now I remember. (laughs) And I like the Finnish nature. Well, we`re living in Helsinki and that´s the capital of Finland. Sometimes it`s like hectic living in a big city and I really love to go to the country side to our summer cottage. And sauna is also important. It`s just, you know, Finnish nature in summer time when it`s good weather, the birds are singing and you just go to sauna and watch the sunset. It´s awesome.

And what do you do then during winter time?

Jack: Go skiing. No, actually not anymore, but it`s great to have snow. Well, we don´t have snow anymore in Finland cos of the global warming.

Sammy: I used to go snowboarding. There are not really big mountains in Finland like you have them in Southern Countries like in Switzerland. But we have quite good ones. But going snowboarding was something I did like 10 years ago. Nowadays if it continues like the last winter, it`s like a full time job to be depressed in the winter time, because it`s so fucking boring.

But hopefully you are not too depressed. So, actually that have been my questions. Thanks guys for the interview.

Sammy: Our pleasure.

Spit: Danke. Vielen Dank.

Interview: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken & (c) by Jarkko Tiitinen / taken from myspace.com/privateline
Fotos 2-6: taken by Frank M.

Website Band: www.privatelineweb.com


(c) Aurora Borealis, Rockoon!

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