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The 69 Eyes (I)
Interview mit Jyrki [The 69 Eyes], 12.04.2007, Köln/LMH

„Angels“ heißt das neue Werk der Goth`n`Roller The 69 Eyes aus Finnland. Eben diese Scheibe präsentierten die fünf Mannen auf ihrer Deutschland-Tour, die sie auch nach Köln führte. Am 12. April enterten die Finnen die Live Music Hall, um den Fans dort einzuheizen. Vor dem Konzert traf ich Sänger Jyrki zu einem Interview. Interessant, was dabei alles heraus kam. Aber lest selbst!
How are you doing, Jyrki? How did you celebrate the Easter days?
Jyrki: Easter days…well, I actually prefer having this religion holidays like Christmas and Easter with my mother. This time around we`ve been touring here in Germany and we played every Easter day. And how I`m doing? I have to answer that I`m doing pretty good considering that I`m really asthmatic and I`m really allergic to pollen and it`s now the hardest pollen-time. Yeah, it´s the hardest period for pollen allergic people and I think of me like travelling in the stupid tourbus and trying to sing every night. That´s pretty hard and I`ve been pretty sick actually last week, but it`s getting better. So let`s rock! It´s the only alternative here. I don´t complain, but I just wanna tell you, if somebody has seen me around and think why things sound like this, it`s cos there are pollen around.
Okay. You´re touring around in these days with Wednesday 13 and Maryslim. How have been the shows so far? How do the fans react referring to the new songs?
Jyrki: The shows have been great, the tour is brilliant. All the bands are good friends to each other. I think, The 69 Eyes is like the element. We all are friends through our band. For instance we toured with Wednesday 13 two years ago in the UK and we`ve been friends longer than that with the guy. And Maryslim are really close friends of ours from Stockholm. (A mobile-phone on the table is ringing) And they`ve been… (Jyrki tries to turn off the mobile) …fuck. And they`ve been playing with us as our support-band many times and I`m also guest on the new Maryslim-Album. I sing the main-vocals on the song “This Corrosion” and I also appear on the video for them. This tour is very much based on the Hellsinki Vampires, but all these bands represent really exciting their own way of doing Rock`n`Roll. And there`s a lot of darkness also of course involved, you know. Wednesday 13 is a pure hard punk band, The 69 Eyes are Hellsinki Vampires from Glam to Goth and Maryslim they`re more Rock`n`Roll and Glam. (Again the mobile is ringing) Can you quit a moment? I`ll try to turn this off. (He tries to turn the mobile off) Who`s telephone is this anyway?
The mobile from Uli (tourmanager)?
Jyrki: No, it`s not. Wait a second. I`ll give it away. (He leaves the room to bring the mobile somewhere and comes back after a few seconds)
Your new album is finally in stores and “Angels” is the complementary part to “Devils”. How did the work and recordings proceed this time?
Jyrki: Well, we used the same team, same producers, but let´s say, if “Devils” was sort of rehearsals with the producing team, “Angels” is more like a completed session in that way. Everybody topped each other and now we knew how to work best. Definitely you can hear the result and we`re really happy about it and it´s more on your face Rock`n`Roll. And actually for even our surprise it´s a much more darker album than “Devils”. The title might refer to something else, but it´s a really dark record and it`s actually what we want.
That`s the surprise, that “Angels” is heavier, although the title might refer to something else.
Jyrki: Yeah, well, it´s just kind of fun to play with the words and we want to play with images and things like that. Somebody said, if you watch the covers of the albums, “Angels” is like the sludgy sister of “Devils”. And that`s how it is. Even from the cover to the music and the themes.
What is your personal highlight from “Angels” and why?
Jyrki: I think “Never say die” is like the best song we`ve done and I really enjoyed doing the video. It was a lot of fun in Hollywood.
Is the video on TV already?
Jyrki: It´s in the Internet, so I think it`s like the same. Go to our official The 69 Eyes myspace.com site and there you can see the videos, especially “Never say die”, which was really cool again to do in Hollywood. And I think, the album is still so fresh, cos we`ve been touring since the beginning of the year, so I haven`t had a moment to sit at home and have the album in my hands and listen to it really. So it´s still fresh and it still takes its part in the world of The 69 Eyes as we`re playing it for the first time for the audience. I don´t remember how many times we played the new songs already, but during this three weeks tour it´s still like the fans are hearing the songs for the first time and I think, when we return, when the summer season comes and we play at festivals and some people come to see us again and we play the album songs, maybe they`ve got the album by then, maybe they already have it by now, but definitely then the songs are there where they belong to be. But I think it´s like the highlight actually to play the new songs live and it´s kind of funny to play songs like “Frankenhooker” and “Rocker” and see the reaction of the audience.
The limited edition of “Angels” includes an additional DVD with some impressions of your trips to America. What`s the best experience you could collect over there?
Jyrki: Have you seen the DVD?
Yes, I have.
Jyrki: I haven´t actually.
No? (laughing)
Jyrki: No, I haven´t seen it, so I hope it´s cool…
There`re a few live songs from this…

Jyrki: Whiskey a go go.
Yeah, exactly. And this “Route 69”, a short movie…and the video “Perfect Skin”.
Jyrki: Yeah, yeah. But, you know, it´s like we`re fighting against the death of CD as a format. So the record industry wants to keep it alive. That`s one of the reasons to put some extra disc there. I think, it`s fair enough for a fan to buy that package and get live stuff and also a video and some extra stuff. And I´m really happy about it, though like I said, I haven`t seen it. But I hope that people really enjoy it.
I guess one source of inspiration for your songs has always been your journeys to foreign cultures like Africa, America etc.
Jyrki: And Germany! Feel Berlin!
Okay. Which place has fascinated you the most and why?
Jyrki: Well, Africa…when you go there, you feel like you´re alive, because you can be dead in any second, when you go there. So I mean, that´s something that Ernest Hemingway said that “You fell alive in Africa, because that`s the only place that you can feel that you`re hunted!”, you know. So Africa it´s something everybody should have experienced. But it`s also like whenever you go to 3rd World countries, they`re always exciting. From the Rock`n`Roll point of view America is of course really interesting, because one of the strangest things there is like we`ve been playing this year 18 years and all our old back catalogue, which is not even available here in central Europe, is released there: like eight albums and two compilation albums and a DVD included. There are these kids, who haven´t even been born, when the first records have been recorded. They´re really interested and enthusiastic “Wow! We love your band! You´re a cool, great band we discovered through Internet.” So that`s something, which is really, really fascinating, but that`s something honestly I knew it´s going to happen. I´m still excited and well, that gives us like another kick to our old asses, you know, to still keep on rocking.
Yeah, I can imagine.
Jyrki: Sometimes you can read in the Internet or get some feedback from The 69 Eyes fans, for instance from Germany: “Oh, hei, why are you always touring in the states?” which we have done like two times only. “And why you don`t come to play here?” But I hope that and I think our fans are clever enough also to realise that after we have been touring there that the new album “Angels” sounds much more energetic, because we definitely got some kick to our asses from there. So it also reflects what we`re doing on stage. And I think it in a good way. And for instance I like the review what I read from “Angels”, even though the band has been playing this and this many years, this record doesn`t sound like a record from the old band. It sounds like a first record of some energetic band. We do this for fans, we do it for us.
Jyrki, imagine you´re a tourist guide in your hometown Helsinki and I would like to see the best parts of the city. Where would you bring me first?
Jyrki: I think, the essence of Helsinki is, that it`s by the sea, Baltic Sea. And that`s the beauty of it. It doesn`t matter what time of the year it is, because there is the sea. And it´s a city built on sea. So, you know, it`s not that big. There`s a lot of nature even in the centre.
Yeah, there are a lot of parks.
Jyrki: Yeah and by the sea especially you can see swans and lots of beautiful birds.
Jyrki: Yeah, seagulls of course, but beautiful birds and stuff like that. So my Helsinki is like the seaside nature city by the Baltic Sea. Someone else can guide you to the darkest bars where heavy metal is blasted and the guys are getting wasted, but my Helsinki is really like the nature city where I drive around with my bicycle, enjoy the fresh air and see beautiful birds and all the beautiful girls.
I like this Kaivopuisto.
Jyrki: That`s cool.
That´s beautiful.
Jyrki: Yeah, that`s great by the sea side.
Okay, back to the music: Recently you´ve been on US-Tour with Cradle Of Filth. How did the Eyes and Cradle find together?
Jyrki: We`ve been friends with Dani Filth from Cradle Of Filth for over 10 years and we`ve been talking over and over once a while like what about doing a tour, so I`m happy – although it took this long – that it actually happened and the tour, well, this tour with Wednesday 13 and Maryslim is definitely the best Central European Tour we´ve done, that Cradle Of Filth Tour is the best tour we`ve done in our entire lives and that was amazing. Every night we played there were the first three rows like 69 Eyes fans, but the rest of the people they didn`t know who the hell we were and they were like metal heads and black metal heads and kids, so we had to win them over by playing as cool as we could and convince them like “Hei, Hellsinki Vampires are as cool as the British Vampires!”. So that actually honestly happened every night, so that was really cool. After the shows I used to go to our merchandise to hang out in America. And all these kids always came to say “I never heard of you guys, but you guys rocked!” So that was like the coolest thing. We got a really nice introduction to a total new big audience. Now wherever we play there are kids with Cradle Of Filth shirts on. Cradle and The 69 Eyes share a lot of fans. I think, now we share even more. It was a really, really cool experience and, you know, I got to see like 32 shows of Cradle Of Filth, so that´s cool!
How does a perfect morning look like for you?
Jyrki: Ehm, (break) it should start really early like let`s say eight o`clock and…
So early?
Jyrki: Yeah, I hate sleeping late, you know. On tour it´s a different thing. On tour you´re this fucking Vampire who´s just waiting for the show and sleeps whenever, but the perfect morning should be really early and most likely in a king-sized bed in a hotel room. That would be pretty nice. I mean, those are mature elements I need. Just early wake up, king-sized bed…
Use the day, Carpe diem.
Jyrki: Yeah, nowhere to hurry, but a perfect morning doesn`t mean that I have to be at home. A perfect morning is most likely in a king-sized bed in a hotel room, early enough, no hangover, no stress, you go to have breakfast, go back and take a shower, then you walk to the beach or…
If there`s someone…
Jyrki: Yeah, or you walk to the bitch, you know. It depends.
What`s the most personal, maybe most important thing you´re wearing right now and always taking with you?
Jyrki: Personal…well, I always wear Calvin Klein underwear. I can´t wear anything else. (Lea is laughing) I have some other brands, but I use them, when I`m going to gym or something. So I think my Calvin Klein underwear is something personal…they are not the same pair. I have a new pair for every day. So actually half of my luggage is just like Calvin Klein underwear. And the only socks what I use are black Nike sports socks. (He shows his socks) So those are pretty personal, but of course they are fresh and new for every day.
Ehm, okay. You`re Finland`s Unicef-accredit, but I´ve heard you also took part in other campaigns?
Jyrki: No, I`m only like Unicef goodwill. That´s the only charity organisation I`m involved with.
You said that comics and movies are part of your life. Do you still have your horror comic collection at home?
Jyrki: Well, as a kid I had to get a lot of stuff, because I wanted to read it, but I`m not a collector guy, I think. It´s kind of sad that, well, I don´t actually have a real cool home or anything. Okay, my mother´s attic has some stuff, but I´m not a collector guy, but when I read, I don´t throw the stuff away. I have my old super hero and stuff and horror comics still somewhere in my mother`s attic. I´m still interested in follow up what´s going on, you know, in movies, in comics, in everything.
So you don´t collect anything else?
Jyrki: Ehm…memories, moments, beautiful smiles…
Keyword “Zombie Love” I already see there (pointing at a book on the table). What is it about?
Jyrki: Oh yeah, Zombie Love, okay. That´s something I spent my late teenage years with. I drew punk rock horror comics alone at home listening to The Cramps and Alien Sex Fiend and Sisters Of Mercy and all this crazy Rock`n`Roll and I dreamt to be this Rocker with the sunglasses on and black hair and leather jacket one day, who was a character always in my comics. And that is just something what happened, so the book is just like a compilation of my old comic stuff. I mean, all the stuff was published earlier on, but people were always asking, when I`m going to draw something more. So I just collected the stuff for that book. I´m already drawing some more stuff right now. I mean, there`s coming a new comic book from me very soon.
Jyrki: Yeah. But that´s something what I have created in the 80`s.
And how long does it take until one of your drawings is finished?
Jyrki: Well, I`m like an old school guy, so I don´t use computer or anything. I just really draw it with a black and white pen, so it´s really slowly, especially because in my comics it`s always night. So the background has to be black. It takes a long time to get it black and put the night there. But I`m really thrilled, I mean, I just realised, when this comic book came out and especially during this American tour, there were a lot of kids who had that book. We didn’t sell that at the shows of course, because it´s impossible to transport all the comics there. Here it´s for sale right now, but there were a lot of kids who had that book and they were thrilled “Oh that is so fucking cool stuff!” So I´m really looking forward to draw new stuff and I`m also thinking about doing something together with Wednesday 13 as well. Also I`m probably doing some more like graphics. Maybe something from my comics – T-shirts and stuff – because people are talking of taking tattoos from my drawings. I actually really found my past again.
In which movie would you have loved to take part in and which role would you have been playing there?
Jyrki: Ehm…(long break)…well, what if I say “Mad Max”? I think, I would have loved to be, well this is also like pretty obvious, but I probably would have loved to be in “Lost Boys”. Just one of the vampires…that would have been fun, you know. But I already did that actually.
You already hang under the bridge…(laughing)
Jyrki: Yeah, I`ve done that. I hope that in future there`re some movies coming up that I can be part of. So I´m just looking forward to some cool horror movies I can get killed in.
But those music videos are also like little movies…
Jyrki: They are. True! I mean, that`s why I think “Never say die” is pretty cool, because there`s something really happening. But, you know, sometimes the videos are just the director`s idea. For instance for “Perfect skin” I had totally different ideas in my mind and then the director…
But you couldn´t place them in…?
Jyrki: No, it`s the director`s idea, so that´s what happened. It´s not my idea for this…how I saw the song. But still it was fun to do it and I got really nice scenes in bed with the girls. So why not? It was my birthday anyway…
Oh! Were your ideas for the video totally different than the director`s ones? Why can`t you just get together and talk about it?
Jyrki: No, it´s never like that. Whatever band it is, it´s always the idea of the director. Sometimes they match, but sometimes the video director wants to do this kind of thing and, you know, the band or the artist doesn´t. And later on it`s maybe a cool video coming out. I don`t know. It´s like that. It´s hard to explain, but it`s always like that seriously.
If you want people to pay attention to you, what`s the easiest way to get this attention?
Jyrki: Show my ass on stage, I guess. (laughter) I`ve done that. But actually I don`t want anyone to pay me anymore attention. I wanted that when I was younger…
But now you wanna stay in the background…
Jyrki: Yeah, but to be in the band that`s of course like the screen to get attention. But I don`t need that attention anymore. I`m old.
You are?
Jyrki: Yeah. Really old.
How old are you?
Jyrki: (caughing) I`m 38!
That´s not old.
Jyrki: Okay, if you say so. I`d like to be a teenager again.
Which secret vice do you have? Which bad habit?
Jyrki: Oh…bad habit? I like strong smelling cheeses. That´s my bad habit.
That´s not bad.
Jyrki: Oh is it not? Oh well, I mean, sometimes girls especially don`t like the smell of cheese. I think, that`s a bad habit. But I brush my teeth so…
What do you fear?
Jyrki: Ehm darkness. (laughing) It´s true!
That`s ironic!
Jyrki: Yeah, of course. But I mean, it`s true. I don’t like dark places. I mean, darkness…there are many kinds of darkness. Especially if you go to Africa and sleep in a bed you`ve never been before in primitive conditions, I can`t turn off the light, because you never know what crawls around you. I don´t wanna wake up with a bird spider or snake or something like that. So, you know, that kind of darkness I don´t like.
And what about camping? Sleeping in a tent? In the Finnish forest?
Jyrki: Oh, I´ve never done that actually…It should be safe, yeah.
I don`t know if it´s safe, but being in the forest and there`s no one else, just wolves and elks and whatever…
Jyrki: I`m not afraid of that. I mean in Africa it´s different. Or in a tropic…
There are lions.
Jyrki: No, no! I mean tropic…when you go to sleep somewhere where it´s dark you never know what kind of creatures grow up around you.
Do you know any German sentences or words?
Jyrki: I said last night on stage “Show me your tits!” But I don´t remember it anymore. It was better to forget. I thought it´s funny…
Any other words or sentences?
Jyrki: (coughing) Only this “Dankeschön”, these things…I haven`t studied German at school unfortunately. I should have probably. But I was studying other languages like French, Italian, Japanese, Swedish of course…
You have to in Finland, right?
Jyrki: Yeah, and Latine and so on.
This evening you will enter the stage here in Cologne. What can we expect from the show and what are your expectations?
Jyrki: Well, to be honest, last time we played here I`ve lost my voice completely, because I was always partying too hard or I got flu or something and it was one of the most embarrassing things for a long, long time, because there was a full place and I didn´t have voice. Now I have this Asthma again, yeah, but I´m pretty sure my voice will be 1000 times better than last time.
And your plans for later on this evening, when the show is over?
Jyrki: There`s a after show party where a friend of ours is DJ, so I wanna go there and actually then I`m staying here in Cologne. We have a day off tomorrow. I wanna hang out with my friends from here. It`s seems I`m going to loose my voice again. (grinning)

Interview & Foto 2: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken from 69eyes.com
Website Band: www.69eyes.com

(c) fhradio, darkmoments / www.darkmoments.de

copyright: Aurora Borealis 2007-2015
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