Several hours before the show in Vienna on the 29th March 2007, I’ve met again with Jussi, this time to discuss the new album, “Angels” tour and much more. Charismatic as always, Jussi provided some excellent answers, while at the same time showing his good sense of humour. Fangs, Jussi!
D69: First off, thank you very much for doing this interview for the bosnian website!
JS69: No problem, it’s my pleasure.

D69: I want to ask you about the european tour and a couple of gigs you played recently in Russia and in Switzerland day before yesterday. How are your impressions so far?

JS69: It feels like we’ve been touring months and months already, since we didn’t have that long break after the US tour. So it feels like we’ve been living in tourbus but that’s what we love to do, and that’s what we live for. We’re excited and everything feels so fresh again ’cause we have a new album “Angels” and it’s been out only like a couple of weeks so it’s fresh and it’s cool to play new songs. After “Devils” we toured like two years playing songs from “Devils”. Now we have a new album under our belts so it’s really cool.

D69: I was about to come to that question. You’re currently promoting “Angels”. What is your favourite song to perform from the new album?

JS69: It’s hard to say yet. One of my favourite tracks from “Angels” is “Ghost”. I love that but… I don’t think we’re playing it today, but let’s see… another favourite is “Never Say Die”, that’s a perfect 69 Eyes song, song we’ve been trying to write and record for all these years and now we’ve finally managed to do that. I’m really happy about the whole album, but those two songs are my favourite from the album.

D69: How do you actually decide about the setlist? Do you try out new songs in the studio to see how they work?

JS69: Yeah, we kinda have to think about the whole package for the hour and a half. You can’t play similar songs next to each other and some songs just won’t work after some song… so, we’re getting there. It’s new for us, on that US tour we didn’t play anything but “Perfect Skin” from the new album ’cause the album wasn’t out yet. So now this is basically forth time today we’ll play those new songs. We had two shows in Russia, one show in Switzerland and now today, yeah, forth time. But it’s exciting and it’s really like being in a new band again.

D69: When talking about creating a new album, can you describe for us that process of making a new 69 Eyes record?

JS69: Well with this one we pretty much knew right away when we released “Devils”, that the next one has to be titled as “Angels”, ’cause we would be stupid if we wouldn’t do that. After “Devils” album, we were hanging so much in L.A. and we went there so many times, spent some time there working, playing songs, partying, having kind of holidays plus shooting videos and all that… so Los Angeles was a big inspiration for so many songs so when you think about the title “Angels” you can still think about the City of Angels too. And there are songs as you know, “Los Angeles” and “Perfect Skin” that are kind of influenced by Los Angeles, so all that inspiration is putting a general mood for the whole album, and all the songs. Lyricwise that’s always the case, with the “Devils” Jyrki spent lots of time in Africa, “Paris Kills” is obvious, and that whole inspiration that brings the whole mood for the album and that’s affecting Bazie’s writing of riffs and songs. So all these things, what movies we’ve been watching lately and stuff like that and music that influenced us.

D69: Light motif for “Angels” is USA and Los Angeles especially. What did you want to express with the new album?

JS69: We don’t want to be smart and play smart and we don’t want to tell that we have some message to tell… but basically… we’re observing what’s going on in Los Angeles and we’re rock music fans so we’re fans of everything that comes from L.A. I mean since we were kids from the 80’s and before that. But you can still find the ironic kind of view in songs like “Perfect Skin”. It’s like “hey, this is so cool”, but you can’t really find irony of people whose value of living is basically just to have perfect skin and plastic tits and that it’s “hmm is that it?” but we’re still not saying that it’s stupid yet we still kinda realise how real that life is.

D69: Are your latest two albums “Devils” and “Angels” actually awaiting for the third part of the trilogy?

JS69: Yes…

D69: Can you tell us something more?

JS69: No… (laughter) It’s a secret and ’cause we’ve just released “Angels”, we’ll tell you later on. But yeah we do know the title for the third part (laughter)

D69: Ok. So how do you see The 69 Eyes in 5 years from now?

JS69: I hope I’m sitting here talking to you before the show and I hope we’re making even better albums and we’re still touring as much as we do now… ’cause that’s what I love to do.

D69: Back to the early days. Tell us a bit about you joining The 69 Eyes?

JS69: It feels like it was like yesterday and it feels like I’m still the same “boy”…
I was the last member to join The 69 Eyes and I knew some things about the band and I was totally into that whole scene, not just the whole music but the whole thing they were singing about in their songs and the image and everything and I was so into that. I thought it was the most exciting thing at least in Finland at the moment, so I was really really excited to join the band. I was in a different band before and I actually played with The 69 Eyes, I mean with my band and The 69 Eyes, we played the same show. And the band I was playing with, the guys were quite a lot older than I was and it didn’t feel like home really, but I was a big fan of 69 Eyes. Like they had the first drummer

D69: Lotto…

JS69: Yeah, he was in a band for a year or something like that, and anyway I heard songs and seen them live for like twice and I was into that.

D69: What makes every Eye special? What do you individually input into the band?

JS69: Me personally? I don’t know. I guess I’m the most clichéd rock drummer who’s like loud, noisy, messy, I make a mess all over the place everywhere I go, then I like to party, I make mayhem everywhere I go. So all the clichés when it comes to rock drummers, that’s me (laughter)

D69: What about the rest of the band?

JS69: We’re like day and night, everyone of us… but we’ve been together for so many years that we are so similar in some way, like we have exactly the same way of seeing some things. We’re huge fans of things nobody else would even understand but we’re still like day and night. Like me and Jyrki, we’re so different, but at the same time we’re so synchronised, it’s hard to explain. Jyrki is so organised and everything has to be in perfect order and I’m totally the opposite. But like every day we find out something really stupid things that we get so excited about that nobody else would get the idea like “wtf I was talking about?” (laughter)

D69: Helsinki and the entire Finland is a real Mekka now for various finnish band and rock music in general. Can you tell us something about how it was before, in the beginning of the 90’s, and what’s the biggest difference, if any?

JS69: It was just the same all the time but now it seems that people abroad started to notice that and bands from Helsinki and Finland starting to get more popular, and now it feels like it all happened right away, but it was always like that, only the difference was that… Helsinki and Finland are small places, everybody knows each other… but before days of HIM, Nightwish, Rasmus or maybe Stratovarius nobody else knew about what’s going on in Finland and nobody gave a shit, nobody was interested, but nowadays it seems like it’s cool and trendy. But that’s gonna dissapear too, there’s gonna be cool and trendy city and country soon. Like in the mid 90’s it used to be Stockholm with action rock bands like Hellacopters and bands like that, and the whole Europe was looking at Stockholm and now it kind of changed. I think it’s kind of over with Helsinki too, like a couple of years ago there were so many bands trying to sound like HIM and touring in Germany and all over the place non-stop, and I don’t know… I’m happy where we are. But now I noticed that in US too there’s newspapers like New York Post are writing about Helsinki and Helsinki bands, and how trendy the whole scene is and all that and then writing about Finland like every week so it’s kinda weird.

D69: The 69 Eyes have done in the past several tributes for bands like Iggy and the Stooges, Misfits and so on. What bands would you like to see doing a tribute to The 69 Eyes?

JS69: I guess there’s pretty many already and there are cover bands playing our songs and…

D69: I meant tribute albums?

JS69: Tribute albums? I don’t know, I would be flattered whoever is coming up with that. That’s the biggest compliment you can get when you’re in a band.

D69: If and when the time comes that you have to stop, what do you see yourself doing?

JS69: I don’t wanna think about that. I hope I’m not turning into an alcoholic going to rehab. I’d rather be a farmer in northern part of Italy, growing broccoli and potatoes (laughter)… and watch the sunset every night.
I mean, there’s pretty bad examples about ex-rockstars of the past (laughter)… so I don’t wanna end up being the same.

D69: What initially attracted you to drums?

JS69: They are the loudest instrument. I guess I was that kind of a kid, I liked to bang things and break things. With drums you can pretty much do that every night and… there was some weird magic into that, that really attracted me, my interest in the drums… I can’t even explain that, but… it was like magic. I was always taking up drummers and I was always as long as I can remember really interested about that. And it’s weird ’cause like everybody who’s like dreaming of being in a rockband they want to be a singer or a lead guitar player but I never wanted to be that. I always wanted to be the drummer.

D69: Were you influenced by a particular drummer when you started playing?

JS69: I used to practise in my bedroom listening to Hanoi Rocks live album, and I was playing my air drums, sitting on the bed playing air drums and through the whole live album. So I was like, I had my light switched off, and I was playing the whole set, and every time if I made a mistake with my air drums I’d rewind the cassette backwards and did it again.

D69: What is your favourite drum/accessory to hit on?

JS69: Accessory?

D69: Yeah, in technical terms… like snares…

JS69: I have new drums… you’re gonna see them tonight. I love my set, I have the coolest drum set so it’s everything, the answer is all of them!

D69: Besides the band, you’ve also done several DJ shows, mainly in Germany and Italy…

JS69: Yeah, I miss that, I haven’t done that ’cause I don’t have time. I miss that and I wanna do it again but now when the album is out we’re touring non-stop, I don’t have that time off that much. But I’m gonna do that still…
We were supposed to dj in New York, we had a record release party in New York, me and Jyrki, we were supposed to dj but it happened that there were so many friends of mine that I ended up talking to them and Jyrki was the only one dj-ing. Basically I was concentrating on talking to people and partying (laughter)

D69: So, any chance of you coming by to do a dj show in Sarajevo or something like that?

JS69: I wanna do that, yes I wanna do that, let’s wait after this summer, let’s wait if I have some time I’m gonna dj all over the place. Also, we have afterparties on this tour, so let’s see, one of these nights I’m gonna dj.

D69: At the end of our interview, I’d like to thank you personally for doing this and I hope you’ll be visiting Bosnia very soon. I wish you plenty of further success. Can you just send a message to all your bosnian fans?

JS69: Hope to see you in Bosnia too very soon, and can’t wait to meet all the fellow bosnian vampires!

Copyright by Darkness 69
Do not use without permission.

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