||The Jade (I)
Interview mit The Jade, 22.04.2007, Helsinki/Dubliner Bar
Wem der Name The Jade nichts sagt, der sollte an dieser Stelle besonders aufmerksam weiterlesen. The Jade ist eine finnische Rockband voller Energie und Power. Im Sommer 2004 haben sich die vier – Wille, Pekko, Sirpa und Jann – zusammen gefunden, um von da an gemeinsam die örtlichen Bars und Clubs zu rocken. The Jade machen melodischen und atmosphärischen Rock, was beim Publikum sehr gut ankommt. Das beweisen all die positiven Reaktionen, sei`s bei Gigs, sei`s auf myspace. Die Band zeigt Wille und arbeitet hart für ihre Ziele. Kürzlich veröffentlichte sie ihr Mini-Album "Slow Motions on the Fast Lanes". Ich traf die Finnen am 22. April in Helsinki zu einem Interview.
How are you doing?
Pekko: Very good, thanks. I celebrated last night and now I am enjoying this late afternoon beer. That`s nice.
Wille: Well, I´ve been partying two nights and feeling good. I slept till three, so it´s okay. (laughing)
Jann: I´m just fine.
And you, Sirpa?
Sirpa: I`m not too bad. Thank you, I`m feeling very well.
How did The Jade find together in 2004?
Pekko: When we started the band there was just Jann and me and our Ex-keyboard-player. But he left the group. We spent quite a few years in London. In the 90ies. Then we decided to come back to Finland and we decided to come to Helsinki and we played in several bands before The Jade. And we just thought we could give it like one more goal and I thought “Yeah, hell let`s do it!” and we started to play together just three of us. Then luckily we found this lovely guy with this fucking excellent voice.
Wille: I don´t know was it you who had the ad on the Internet?
Pekko: Yeah, and you replied for it. Sirpa was the latest who joined us and actually she`s been our friend for ages. We had tried a couple of guy-drummers, but they just didn´t work out. And then she started to play for us and that was it. After six months we went to the studio and recorded our first EP “Heatwave”. It wasn´t that bad.
Sirpa: Four months.
Pekko: Four months? Ah yeah, sorry. Four months, yeah.
So you`re the only woman in the band, Sirpa. But how do you get along with the guys?
Sirpa: Just excellent, yeah.
With which other band would you compare yourself referring to your music-style?
Jann: I wouldn`t compare it to another band, cos it`s so different.
Pekko: I think, it`s a combination of all those music-styles that we`re all into like let`s say from 50`s to – what year is now? – 2007, yeah, everything. So it`s like a combination of all those music-styles from pop to…
Jann: There are influences from every decade and (break) for me it sounds like (break) there are lots of 60`s melodies, but the way we play is much more harder than that. So the sound is very updated. And it`s kind of powerful rock. And if you listen to the album “Slow motions on the fast lanes”, when we play it live, we`re a little bit louder and little bit harder. So that`s the difference.
Pekko: Yes, it`s definitely a bit heavier live.
Wille: Well, it says on our myspace-site that it`s rock alternative. That defines our style very well.
Jann: Yeah, kinda like Swedish grudge.
And who of you creates the songs and the music and what`s your inspiration for it?
Wille: Mostly the songs are done by Pekko.
Pekko: Yeah, the inspiration is the band, the guys, life by itself. Well, everything, all the things that I´ve been through by myself. I`m writing lyrics about things that I´ve seen like if we talk about this time in London. There was a lot of shit going on on the streets, everywhere. And basically it kind of effects the lyrics as well, definitely. And of course these things in Finland, too.
Jann: Real life lyrics. What you´ve been through and what you´ve seen.
Pekko: Real stories, real feelings, something like that, I`d say.
Jann: Pekko writes most of the songs. We`ve been writing songs as well.
You´re singing in English, why not in Finnish?
Wille: You can get a lot better ahead, if you sing in English, I think.
Jann: For me as a songwriter I`ve never written any Finnish lyrics. Never in my life. When I grew up as a kid, I was listening to the English music basically. Bands from UK, bands from America. So I always found it very hard to write in Finnish. It didn´t sound that good for myself. That`s why I`ve chosen the English language.
Wille: It`s a familiar language. I wouldn`t write in German, because…nothing against German people, but I mean…
It´s a little bit hard.
Pekko: I do write poems in Finnish, yeah. I used to write lyrics, when I was a kid. I wrote lyrics in Finnish as well. But it is like a natural thing to write lyrics in English nowadays. It´s easier to find more people who could understand what we`re writing about, what we`re singing about. So that`s the reason.
Wille: And also the English language fits really well to our music. I don´t think Finnish would fit into our music.
But how for example would your song “Drowned” sound like in Finnish? The chorus!
Wille: (tries to sing the chorus of “Drowned” in Finnish) I don´t know. You can sing it! (pointing at Pekko and laughing)
Pekko: (tries to sing it as well) Something like that, yeah.
Okay, is it true that you, Wille, also sung some backing vocals for Widescreen Mode for their album?
Wille: Yeah, I sung for about maybe 2, 8 or 9 songs background-vocals, additional vocals, however you call it. There is one new song on their profile. I sing the chorus there. The producer or the mixer of that album he contacted…Pekko? He gave me a hint to go there and I was like “Why not?” I mean it sounds better now, when I sing on it. (grinning, Pekko laughing)
Okay, do you know any German sentences or words?
Jann: In der Kinderzimmer.
Pekko: Ich habe viel Bier getrunken. Ich habe viel Wein getrunken. Wie geht`s du?
Sirpa: Yeah, ich habe keine Ahnung. And Krankenhaus. (all laughing)
Jann: Ich liebe dich and yeah…
Wille: Quatsch. Something is quatsch.
Jann: And was macht das? It´s good in Reeperbahn. (Jann and Lea are laughing) I`ve been to Berlin. I used to study German a bit. But, you know, you start loosing it, when you don`t use it. But when I visited Berlin, some sentences came back to me and I started to speak a bit, but only a little bit. I´m not very good.
Pekko: I think it´s a shame, cos I studied German, I think about 8 years or something, cos I went to a Highschool, as well. But it´s the thing, when you don´t use the language, you just forget it. I can pick up some phrases, you know. Let`s say like, if I go to Germany, I`m sure that I could understand something, but it would take a bit time, definitely. I wasn´t that bad in German, though…
And is there any Finnish sentence that we should have to know?
Pekko: The whole language basically. It´s very easy to learn. (laughing)
Jann: It`s very easy, yeah. (laughing) The Jade on paras.
On paras? Is it the best?
Wille: Yeah, that`s it! Very good.
Wille, did you ever go to a singing-teacher or just learning by doing, I mean the singing?!
Wille: When I was a kid, I went to like 5 years, but I don`t know, if it was useful. I`m not sure. I learned there something, but you have to learn your own technique.
And what about the others? When did you start learning your instruments?
Pekko: I started, when I was 7 years old. I played violin first and I changed to the guitar, when I was 10 years old. And I started in a music-school for around twelve years. I worked as a guitar-teacher as well. Not a paid-one, but it was a good job. I enjoyed it.
Jann: First I started as a guitar player actually. I first bought an acoustic guitar. I played that from 6 to 8 months or something. Then I met Pekko and he said it´s much more easier to get in the band, if you`re a bass-player. Cos at that time, where we used to live, there used to be a lot of guitar-players. So basically I was just happy to join the band. I sold the acoustic guitar and bought a bass-guitar and I went to study music in a music-school for one and half years or something like that and that`s enough for me. It was a good experience, but not really my thing, cos (break) I´m more like a hyper active person, so I can´t concentrate on things. That`s why I quit it …then joined the band and been doing that ever since, yeah. Been happy with it.
And what about you, Sirpa?
Sirpa: I started to play with a girlband first. And when we split up, I went to a music-college and started learning to play drums and I played that quite a few years. But I just couldn`t get along with the theory-part, so I left that. After that I went to one Samba-group and played something there and stuff like that.
Okay. Who came up with your logo, this heart with the butterfly-wing?
Jann: It´s basically me and Wille. Well, that symbol, let´s say, the butterfly-thing, it´s a broken butterfly, cos it`s a broken life we´ve seen a lot, so...I don’t know. (grinning)
Wille: I think there is a tragedy behind every song that we have. Life is tragic, so there is some pain there, that we like telling a story about, that has happened. We don´t sing songs like we party, party, party or something like that. There is an important message there always. Experiences. And usually there is a tragic story.
Okay, where and how often do your rehearsals take place?
Jann: In the Eastern part of Helsinki, which is like a pretty much dead area of Helsinki and which is good for us. I wasn´t born there. I was born in the centre, in a better area, but yeah, still that`s where the heart. That`s the tragic story.
Pekko: A good thing is, there is basically nothing. There`s just a garage. A couple of garages in that area.
Wille: There are lots of cars and trucks over there, so it`s cool. (laughing) But it´s a very peaceful place close to nature. We can concentrate on music there better. And it´s really good. It´s better than it were here like in the central…
Pekko: There are some rehearsal rooms we have here as well, but we prefer to stay all there. It´s quiet.
You recorded the EP “Heatwave” in December 2004 and started to have your first shows. Do you still remember your very first show and how it was?
Wille: Yeah, it was about over two years ago…maybe something like that. I mean, the songs are better now. We are a better live band now. I don´t think we sucked, but we are a lot better now and more relaxed.
Pekko: And more professional as well.
Jann: Yeah, it`s more solid now. And we have come together as a unit in a much better way now.
Now there is the new CD out: “Slow motions on the fast lanes”. There is one cover song on the CD: It`s a sin.
Wille: It was Pekko`s idea actually.
Pekko: Yeah, I remember I always liked the song. That was in London. I was drinking in a Pub. It was like afternoon. And there was something…it was in the air, so I thought “Fucking hell! I need these guys, the Pet Shop Boys!” So I said “We have to do this song!”
Wille: It`s a good song. It`s a damned good song. And it works for us really well. People recognise that when we play it live. I like the softer style, too. I think that`s cool.
Pekko: In one magazine they wrote like it`s the best cover version that they`ve ever heard. That´s a compliment. It`s a very good one. So it´s not that bad. It can`t be that bad. I think it`s quite good, yeah.
And which song would you choose for a first single?
Wille: I would use maybe “Drowned” or “Roseate sky”. I don´t know. I like them all, but those are kind of maybe songs that people can pick up easily.
Jann: I would use something like “King`s cross” or “Roses are burning” or maybe “Drowned” or “Beautiful things”.
Sirpa: They are all so good songs. I couldn`t decide.
You had a show with Poets Of The Fall last week. Is there any other band you would like to come over with to Germany some day?
Jann: Yeah, Oasis for example. Liam is the man! Manic Street Preachers. But in real life of course, what can I say? I´d say Turku Romantic Movement. It would be nice to tour with them. It`s a Finnish band. A good band. They`ve got something good in their lyrics as well, like we do…
Wille: I think that any rockband we would tour with. Any good rockband basically.
Pekko: There are quite a few of them in Finland…
Jann: Matti Nykänen. He`s the one. We wanna tour with him!
Wille: Yeah, he`s a really famous artist here. A professional good singer.
Wasn´t he a ski-jumper?
Pekko: Yeah, he´s one. He sings, too. (all laughing)
I remember that I saw a movie called “Matti”. Is it about him?
Pekko: Yeah, it is about him, yeah, exactly. (laughing)
How do you prepare yourself for a show beside the rehearsals of course?
Jann: I carry the equipment and thinking like “These are really heavy!” That`s it basically.
Wille: I try to get angry. No no (grinning), but I don´t know. I just put the stage clothes on and make-up on and I listen to music and play some guitar. You just focuses on the songs that you gonna play live. I also like to prepare what I´m gonna say in between the songs, too, because you have to say something. (laughing)
Pekko: I mean, the fact is that in usual we`re in a hurry wherever we play. We`re sometimes late and we don´t have roadies or tourmanagers or…
Jann: No one likes us. The audience seem to like us, but the people like roadies, they don`t wanna hang around with us, so we have to carry the equipment. (all laughing, break) We had one roadie, but we didn`t like him so much. He was evil.
Wille: Yeah, but every gig-day is like an adventure. Something new happens all the time and something goes wrong all the time and some things go right and there are so many things that you have to prepare. You have to remember thousands things, what you gonna do.
Was there any real embarrassing moment…?
Pekko: Never! Never! No embarrassing moments at all, no. But it would be nice, if you have a bit more time always before the gig. It would be nice to have time to rest in the backstage. Quite a few times we`ve been lucky to have that. But it doesn´t happen every time. We don´t ask like there should be fresh fruits or anything. In the backstage you have to listen to the bands all the time, when you`re sitting there and you have to put these fucking ear-plugs in, just like turn out the music that is coming from the hall. And that is basically pissing me off, yeah. But that`s how it is, yeah.
If you would do the soundtrack for a movie, which genre would it belong to?
Jann: William Burroughs`s stories. It would have been nice to make some music for “Junkie” for example. Yeah, a great movie, no great book. (Lea is laughing) Not sure.
Pekko: I would say any good movie by David Lynch. Yeah, that´s it. I`m a big fan of him. Kind of “Twin Peaks”. I like the music in that film, too. I mean in that TV-series.
What are you interested in beside the music? Any hobby maybe you have?
Wille: Well, I watch a lot of movies. Some movies are my next love after music, I think.
Jann: I`m more like into like weightlifting and stuff like that. (Wille is laughing)
So you go to the gym?
Jann: Ja, ja all the time and then ski-jumping is good as well. It´s good for your soul, you know, it`s kind of relaxing. Not today. There is no snow at the moment, so I´m kinda frustrated. But yeah, winter is on its way, so I`ll be soon happy again.
And you, Sirpa?
Sirpa: To be honest, there is no time for hobbies at the moment. If I had time and money, I would go and do some horseback-riding again…after many, many years.
Pekko: I´d like to read, but you know, there is not enough time nowadays. When I do music, computer-things, hang on the Internet, sending letters to people whatever, it takes so much time, you know. There is no time for hobbies at the moment.
Wille: Music is the hobby.
Is there any place here in Helsinki you would avoid to go to?
Pekko: Helsinki is a very easy place. There are no bad areas or rough areas. I mean, there are rough areas like when you go to the east, but they are not dangerous or anything.
Wille: There are many bad nightclubs you shouldn´t go to.
And which places would you recommend?
Wille: This is a good bar here, Dubliner - It is a good rock-bar. On The Rocks is a good place, Loose is good…
Pekko: Probably the best, yeah.
Wille: Tavastia, Semifinal…that is pretty cool. (laughing)
What have been your childhood-dreams?
Pekko: I wanted to be a musician. I saw Elvis on TV, when I was nine years old. I mean, this is the coolest thing I`ve ever seen in my life. And then came Keith Richards from Rolling Stones, so I got even more into these music-things, so it´s always been music or becoming a priest probably.
And what about you, Wille?
Wille: I wanted to be a musician and rockstar. It started to ring in my head, when I was like nine years old. That´s my dream.
Sirpa: I don`t think I had any big, big dreams. One of the biggest dreams was to see Hanoi Rocks playing live and I´ve seen them, so everything is cool. (grinning)
Sirpa, could you describe your bandmates in a few words?
Sirpa: They are just great people. I love them. That`s all.
Pekko, you invite your bandmates for dinner. What would you cook?
Pekko: Ehm, shit. (all laughing) No no. French Fries in the oven.
Wille: Spagetthi without any spices. (Pekko is laughing loudly)
If you had your own festival, what would be its name and which bands would you invite for it?
Wille: Matti Nykänen, yeah. Well, of course I love so many bands…I don`t know, it would be great to have there U2 or Kiss or Dingo…some of my old faves.
Pekko: Him, Hanoi Rocks…
Wille: Ja! Madonna. She`s cool. Aerosmith, yeah. Pet Shop Boys, George Michael.
Pekko: And all this gay-stuff, you know.
Wille: The Ark!
And what about the name for this festival?
Soon it´s the first of May. Do you celebrate it here?
Pekko: I think it`s gonna be Monday. So I´m not sure, I might be working. But it is a celebration day. People get usually drunk in that day. They are drinking like one week.
Is there anything in life that you fear?
Jann: Well, Matti Nykänen, cos he´s gotta huge…I better shut up. (all laughing)
Wille: I`d like to think that you shouldn’t fear anything. That´s my philosophy of life. Even that is not always possible, because you fear some things, but I try to keep it up, so I try to be brave.
Is there any crazy thing that you have done?
Jann: I had sex with Wille. It wasn´t scary, but I became pregnant, so…
Wille: Yeah. But it was fun, one time, I think, yeah.
And who became pregnant?
Pekko: Both of them, that`s why we missed quite a few rehearsals. (all laughing)
And what is your next destination for this evening?
Jann: Wherever you are going. (grinning)
Okay, I have no idea.
Wille: I don´t have any plan, but usually I watch some movies. Maybe I will drink a beer or two.
Jann: Yeah, sounds good. Stay tuned! Rock`n`Rolls!
Interview: Lea S.
Foto 1: taken from thejadenet.com
Fotos 2+3: taken by Lili L. & Kathrin W., (c) auroraborealis
Website Band: www.facebook.com/The-Jade-80481705728/?fref=ts
(c) fhradio, darkmoments / www.darkmoments.de