♦♦♦ Aurora Borealis ♦♦♦
Interview mit Jimi [Technicolour], 29.12.2006, Vantaa/Sokos Hotel

People – so lautet der Titel des neuen und bereits dritten Albums der finnischen Band Technicolour. Mit eben diesem Album tourt die Rockband derzeit durch das Heimatland Finnland. Aber auch deutschen Rockfans sollte dir Band Technicolour nicht vorenthalten bleiben. Somit traf ich Sänger Jimi am 29. Dezember in Vantaa/Finnland zu einem Gespräch, um ihm interessante Informationen über die Band und deren Musik zu entlocken.

How are you doing, Jimi?                                  
Jimi: I`m doing fine, thanks. It´s all good. It`s been a busy year and a busy christmas and I´m just waiting to go on vacation, man. I really need that. I need to go just a bit in the sun and go diving and snorkeling.
How did you spend the christmas-time?
Jimi: I was just with my family and my friends. It`s the first christmas in three years that we didn´t do any shows with Technicolour. Last christmas we did two. The christmas before that we did two. So it was just weird to be at home with the family this year, but at the same time it was really enjoyable, cos I don´t see them so often.
At the moment you´re touring around with the new album “People”. How have been the shows so far?
Jimi: It`s been great actually. We never had this much fun on the road before. We`ve done a lot of great shows over the years, but this summer we´ve been really consistent. This is our third album and now we actually know how to play. It`s not just the bunch of young guys trying to get their fingers around their instruments anymore. It`s really coming along great now. And the reaction that we got after the shows was great, cos when I walked into a bar, people were going like “Why did you play so few songs from the new album?”. And I was saying: “Okay, we did like five songs. How many new songs you wanna hear?”. And they`re like “Oh, we didn`t notice that!”. So I guess they wanna hear the new stuff and not just the old hits. Of course we gonna do the old hits as well and I love doing them, but it`s fun that people really wanna hear the new stuff.
It`s a pity that I had no chance to listen to the new album yet, cos you cannot buy it in Germany. But how would you compare it to the previous albums “Way Out” and “Only Shadows Dance”?
Jimi: Well, I guess the most obvious difference is the lyrical content of the album, which is more story-oriented, more like Springsteen- and Dylan-stuff. The earlier stuff is a bit more first person and dreamy, more like wandering upon certain aspects of life. The new stuff is more about people and stories about certain types of people and actually it comes across being a very humane-album. I`m not really gonna trying to say what`s right or what`s wrong. But the music it´s Technicolour-stuff, it´s what we´ve been doing. There`re a couple of songs that are a bit different. But I can´t really hear a big difference between the music from our second album for example and from the new one. But I enjoyed making it. We did it very quickly. I think we spent like eight months writing, recording and finishing the album, so it was really fast and I was quite stressed out, cos I did everything. (laughing) You know, I was there for every part of the production. From writing to recording to mixing to mastering…so it was quite a stressful year really. But I think it came out fine, though…
Do you have a fave song from the new album?
Jimi: Of course I love “Michael Jackson”. That was the one track that really got me hooked, you know. That was the one track that I really knew that I was making an album.
Do you like Michael Jackson or is that song more ironic?
Jimi: I love Michael Jackson. He`s a great artist. He is the King Of Pop. So this song is really an ode to him. It´s an ode to Michael Jackson. When I was interested in making rock danceable, making Technicolour-songs that people can dance to, I went into a lot of clubs and I was checking out which artist gets the most people on the dance-floor. And the one that really gets everybody on the dance-floor is Michael Jackson. When you hear “Billie Jean” you gotta get bouncing, man. You just can`t help it. He`s great. I guess forever “Michael Jackson” will be my favourite track.
How would you describe Technicolour`s music in one sentence…or in two?
Jimi: Let`s make it in one: Technicolour makes rock-music with huge choruses and stories about little people that end up sounding huge. (laughing) It was a long sentence, but it was one sentence still.

Who and what inspires you in writing your lyrics?
Jimi: I guess Springsteen and Dylan are the most obvious ones. And Bono. It kinda depends on what kind of song I`m writing. For example Michael Jackson wouldn´t be inspired by Springsteen or Dylan, cos that wouldn`t make any sense to write a song about Michael Jackson, if he writes lyrics inspired by Springsteen or Dylan. In these days I`ve been listening to a lot of Hip Hop, cos that kind of pushes the boundaries these days. And the way those guys are able to use words and rhymes is something that should really be used in rock a lot more. There`re bands been doing it actually. I was just listening to Greenday`s “American Idiot”. In that song what is called “Jesus of suburbia” he`s singing about moms and brads, not moms and dads, but moms and brads, which is an amazing way of saying mom has a new husband. Moms and brads – that´s it! It´s great. And that`s something that rock needs a lot more. Lyrics that are really kinda pushing the envelope.
Have you ever thought about to sing in your mother-language?
Jimi: Nooo, it just doesn´t really fit into my mouth.
Jimi: I don´t know. It just doesn`t feel really funny. Even when we`re doing afterparty-stuff and I have my acoustic-guitar, we never listen to Finnish stuff. We`ve never been really inspired by Finnish music. Of course there are Finnish bands that sing in Finnish that I love, that are part of my culture and my heritage. But it`s just something that doesn´t inspire me as much as stuff sung in English or actually in Swedish or even in German. We listen to a lot more Rammstein than we do listen to Finnish bands.

You like Rammstein?
Jimi: Yeah, I fucking love that shit. It´s great. And Europe from Sweden…
But do you know what Rammstein sing about?
Jimi: Yeah, I do actually. It`s quite disturbing, but in a good way. They`re actually pushing the envelope to the lyrics. And that guy…he`s gay, isn´t he? I think he`s gay and it kinda comes across in their music somehow. Even though the riffs and the music is very masculine. And Mina Kent from Sweden. They are absolutely amazing. And Sigur Ròs from Iceland, great stuff. I love it all.
Are there any plans that you will come to Germany some day?
Jimi: We`re really looking forward to do that, but at the moment our record-company-situation is not very good. Our record-company hasn`t been supporting us very well, that means that we can`t tour outside of Finland. It will end up costing so much money there. We would be the poor-house in a couple of weeks.
Jimi, I´ve read that you like role-playing games and that you have acted in two movies…
Jimi: Yeah, that is true.
If you could take anybody´s role for some days, which person would you be and why?
Jimi: Wow, that is a hard question. I guess, I would say Bob Marley, cos he is one of the few persons that kinda lived the way he preached. I think, so that would be really interesting to see. Bob Marley is good one. Who else? (break) I`ve always been fascinated by Alexander the Great.
Is it true that once you were a member of a band called Clichè?
Jimi: Yeah, that´s true. Me and Dingo from Technicolour. We released one album and then we split up. But it was a few years ago. I haven´t actually listened to the stuff for a long time. It would be fun to hear what it used to sound like.
I have the album at home.
Jimi: Do you? (surprised) That is weird.
Why? (laughing)
Jimi: I don´t know. I just wrote those songs when I was like, wuah, 15, 16, 17, 18…I was really young.
I love the album. It´s great.
Jimi: Really? Oh, that is interesting. But I mean, I sung “Even you” at some afterparty. There`re a couple of people that had the first Clichè-album and they kept asking me to play something and I played “Even you”. I kinda like that song still, even though it`s been a long time since I wrote it. That´s a good one. And I love “Twilight”. That`s a good track.

And what does Technicolour mean to you?
Jimi: The name…there`s a song called “Technicolour” on the first album and our drummer Dingo just asked me “Why don`t we just call the band Technicolour?”. It was one of the first songs that I wrote with Technicolour after Clichè split up. And I think Gary was already playing in Technicolour, but Toni wasn´t playing yet. And then I wrote the song and after I wrote it and playing it a few times, Dingo just said we should call ourselves Technicolour and that´s what we`re called ever since. And the band, what it means to me…It´s my job and my ambition. It´s my way of life really. You know, playing in a rock-band is the best job that I could think of. But there`s also a lot of other stuff that I wanna do, cos if you just play in a rock-band and don´t do anything else, you gonna end up crazy as we`ve seen people go crazy from just living the rock´n´roll-lifestyle.
What´s the craziest thing in life that you have ever done?
Jimi: Take the bullet out of the gun? (laughing) No, never actually even held a gun. It´s just that it rymes with “done”. So take the bullet out of the gun. I don´t know. The craziest thing is probably starting Technicolour straight after Clichè broke up. And I had never sung before Technicolour and then I just started thinking “Okay, well, I need to start singing, cos I wanna sing my songs”. So that was crazy.
Did you ever learned it professionally?
Jimi: I`ve seen a couple of singing-teachers, but the real lesson about singing comes on the road and it comes by just doing it all the time. I`m trying to listen to a lot of different stuff to get my vocals, the sound interesting and different. Of course I`ve listened to rock all my life, but now I`m trying to listen to a lot of soul and R&B and funk…
Jimi: No, not techno. That doesn´t have a lot of singing, does it? And a lot if hip hop as well, cos you get a lot of cool rytmic hooks that you don´t get from rock. But you can use it in rock, if you just have the imagination to do it. So that´s been really interesting, just trying to use my vocals in a way that`s pushing the envelope.
You had a gig in this Big Brother – house here in Finland…
Jimi: Yeah. I think it was the record-company´s idea, so we just went over there. And we played a show for those kids and they loved it. They were crazy. This was one of the best shows we`ve done on this tour, although there were many people working for us in the crowd. (laughing) So it was weird. After that I had to run to see 50 Cent with my Dad. That was really great. He loved it. I mean, he was there like dancing. And he went to see the next gig as well. You have to know, I got quite drunk that night. And I had a show the next day. I was just so tired, but it was good, cos it was a huge show. There were like 4000 people, so I didn`t really mind that I was tired.
Do you have any special place here in Helsinki that you love to go to when you want to relax?                                  
Jimi: “Bar No. 9” is my scene. That`s where I hang out. It`s downtown Helsinki. It`s a great place. It´s not a nightclub, just a bar. They play good music, quite chilled, everything from jazz to reggae, some Elvis, just great stuff. I know everybody that works in the bar. You can get food until quite late. And there`s a place called “Stockholm Discotheque” which is a hang out for me. I think, we did our album-release-party in “Stockholm Discotheque”. That was fun.
What do you do in the last five minutes before you enter the stage?
Jimi: I`m singing, just trying to get my vocals in shape. Trying to get my voice working and get a vision of yourself doing it on the stage.
This evening you will have a gig here in the hotel. What are your expectations for the show?
Jimi: Well, we`ve played here this summer and that was a lot of fun. Tidjan from a band called Kwan, he`s coming over today to hang out. Jere Hietala, who shot the album-cover for “People”, he`s gonna come. He`s crazy though. He`s got a lot of tattoos. And he goes to gym a lot. I just called him. He was just going to the gym again. I just hate standing next to him, cos he looks so good. I hate that guy. (laughing) But anyway, there`re a lot of good people coming over tonight, so I think it´s gonna be a good night.
Do you have any tattoos?
Jimi: Yeah, here I`ve got an octopus (pointing on his left shoulder), I´ve got an octopus right here (pointing on the right side of his chest). And I`ve got these two little lines on my right hand.
Do you like octopus?
Jimi: No, I don´t like it as food. I don´t really like the taste of it very much. It`s more about the way it feels.
How will you celebrate the New Year`s Eve?
Jimi: Oh, we´ve got a show in Tampere (second biggest city in Finland), so I´m just gonna probably have a few drinks during the day and play the show. And then I go home and sleep, cos we gonna be drunk. (laughing)

It`s also your birthday soon?
Jimi: Yeah, it`s my birthday (31.12.). Gonna be turning 25 now. I`m an old man, god damn it. Not that young anymore.
It´s young.
Jimi: Yeah, if you tell me. But I mean, one thing that really strikes me as an artist: I just hate the fact that the Media betrays artists that are older as not being very good anymore, because they are old. But I think that, for example Dylan, he`s like 65 now? And he´s doing the best stuff he`s ever done. RIGHT NOW.
And at last still a few short questions: Do you know any German sentence?
Jimi: Ist hier noch ein Platz frei? (pointing at the chair next to Lea)
Yes. (laughing)Do you collect anything?
Jimi: Not really. I mean, I´ve got a lot of albums and I try to keep my record-collection up to date.
If you were a colour, which one?
Jimi: Well, black is black. It works with everything, doesn´t it? (laughing)
What`s your worst character-trait?
Jimi: I`m a workaholic really. I just love working, so I should probably try and get some time off.
If you could turn back the time, in which year would you live and why?
Jimi: Good question, (break) 1956 would be interesting, cos Elvis was just starting. It would be interesting to see what he was really like.
Do you have any idea who will win the Eurovision Songcontest for Finland?
Jimi: No idea. I don´t actually even know who`s there, so… (laughing)
What´s your philosophy of life?
Jimi: There`s this sentence called “What would Jesus do?” and a lot of people these days are saying “What would Dylan do?” or “What would Bono do?”. That’s my motto. When you´ve got a problem, you just think “What would Dylan do?” What would he do right now?
Yeah, that`s good. Thank you very much for the interview!

Jimi: No problem, thank you. Kiitos!
Interview: Lea S.

(c) fhradio, darkmoments

copyright: Aurora Borealis 2007-2015
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