I’ve met with Jyrki on a beatiful location of EXIT festival, this year’s vampire stop for The 69 Eyes in Balkans.
Petrovaradin Fortress was the place to be that night, offering more than just a suitable place
for the Explosive stage (the name says it all!) surrounded by high stone walls in a basin
that was like made for receiving the 69 velvet blessing that July night.
Despite the long journey, boys look rested and cheerful, as Jyrki and I casually discussed the line-up
of EXIT stages and later on did the interview. It was a very comfortable atmosphere as always,
seeing the guys again after almost a year sent fainting thrills to the old ticker in my chest.
Pure enjoyment it was to hear some news in the world of my favourite band,
and I’d like to extend my serious graditude to Jyrki69 for this interview!
Also to tour manager Matzi Lahni, Stella Harasek of EMI, Milan Rakić from Explosive stage,
as of corpse to the Eyes who kept us company during the interview! Kiitos darlings!

D69: You have loyal fans in basically every country in the world. What is it like to come to a place you’ve never played before, and see crowds of goth rock people waiting to see you live on stage?

J69: Well when we came here, I saw about 5 people in front of the stage, but that’s ok for us, we can play that (laughs amused)… I mean, we just visited Ukraine for the first time, Kiev, and that was a new experience for us, and the people there were waiting for us to come, so that was interesting and great to see a response like that. We know that our records are distributed through our records company over Europe, in main countries, but we don’t really know what’s happening in some other places, we have no informations of our records being available there too… So we came to Ukraine and didn’t know what to expect, it was the first time we ever played there… But the response was really good, it was a great show! So recently, places like Eastern Europe are also opening to us, and we’ve been present here more and more, and close there, like last year, in these mysterious countries… I mean, in Finland we’re considered mainstream, but when we come here, it is a more close atmosphere, we’re cult here… and it is exciting for us to come and play our songs to people here, it’s a new territory for us and we’re feeling really cool about that.

D69: In retrospect, now that you have presented “Angels” both abroad and in Europe, what are your impressions now about the album, how do you feel about it?

J69: Well we have been touring extensively last year, promoting the new album and…

D69: You performed almost every other day…

J69: Yeah, and now I can say that “Angels” is a very good album, but I think that “Devils” may be a better album than “Angels”, because on “Devils” we had something new, we went to a bit different direction. On “Angels” we worked with the same team, on production and everything, and it continues the work we’ve done on the previous album. So now, when I look back at it, “Devils” is a better album, just because it represented something new, while on “Angels” we had that theme continued. “Angels” is of course inspired by Los Angeles, and we just had to do that album, because of L.A. and that connection to our music… and “Devils” is in turn inspired by Africa and the time I spent there, but now we have a new concept, the record is going to be something totally new. People are always saying that our best album is “Blessed Be”, and songs like “The Chair” and so on, but it takes time to really see an album… so in a couple of years, there’ll be people that will say “Angels” is our best album. Before we had darker, more gothic records… then came these two records that are more power, more rock, so now we have that sort of balanced, now we can go and make something new. But it is a great album, especially to play live, we have a great time playing songs from it.

D69: You have said in the EMI newsletter that the new material is going to be a very vampyric record. What can we expect? Does it compliment the dualism of two previous records?

J69: Yes, it’s going to be a very dark, vampyric album, we’re currentl working on it in the studio, but no, it doesn’t have any connection with the previous albums. We’re working with a completely new group of people, so no one from the old team is now with us on the new one… we’re starting everything new and there’s going to be a big difference from the albums before. What I can say now at the moment is that we’re also going to release a special edition on Halloween, called “Goth’n’Roll”, and it’s going to be a box-set with some of our earlier work and really something our fans have been waiting for. We released something like this on “Helsinki Vampires” DVD, now we’re going to release our albums “Blessed Be”, “Paris Kills”… in a special box-set, with more material, photos, stuff like that… this “Goth’n’Roll” release will come out on Halloween and we’re really looking forward to that.

D69: You’ve been influenced by such cities as Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin. What other dark place would you like to immortalise in your song or an entire album?

J69: Yes, we always do that, we write a song or we’re inspired by a city for an album, like “Paris Kills”, so… (pauses to think) there are places that are sort of waiting to be in our songs…. Maybe Moscow is a good, dark place, deserves to have a song made after it… but not now. Yeah, we usually do have at least one song on each album that is dedicated to a city, but now we’re going differently, we’re not going to have a song like that on the new album. But maybe on the one after that.

D69: Would you like to do an acoustic show again sometimes? There was a special one for Halloween back in 2000 I believe.

J69: Yes, we did a show before, and yeah, we actually wanted to do a special show for M’era Luna this year, we planned to do a very special show, playing “Blessed Be” album, but they didn’t want that, so… (shrugs indifferently)…

D69: Well then, it’s their bad definitely.

J69: Yeah, well we wanted to do that concept of a show there, but maybe some other place then.

D69: After the tremendous success of “Zombie Love”, you are now working on another comic book. What are your current inspirations for your new artistry?

J69: Oh yes, well we’re now in the studio and currently touring this summer, so there was not a lot of time for me to really sit down and start working on it… but it’s all here in my mind for now (taps his mane). Actually, the manager of Nightwish, who is here now on EXIT with them, is the publisher of “Zombie Love”, and we’re meeting here in backstage later with all of them, and he’s been asking me about the progress. The first comic book caused a great interest… and so he wants to publish the new one as soon as possible. He wanted me to do it for September, and I’ve been actually going down to the cellar, trying to dig up all the flyers for our shows a long time ago, and promo stuff, also for the release of “Goth’n’Roll”, so it’s gonna be cool, new book is of course inspired by rock and all that kind of thing related to it. I really need to sit down and start doing it, after this summer.

D69: I also want to ask you about Halloween that’s coming up, since this holiday is a part of your iconography, and I’ve noticed that there’s always something going on on or around that date, either there are some special editions coming out, or you’re DJing in Stockholm, so this time it’s “Goth’n’Roll”…

J69: Yeah, around that date we’ll be working in the studio, and “Goth’n’Roll” will be released this Halloween, it’s gonna contain a lot of material, and it is something we really wanted to do for a long time, I’m very excited about it. The box-set will be released with a special cover, it’s going to be something really great. So this Halloween, we have something coming up again!

D69: Ok, last but not least – can you send a short message to all your ghouls and vampires in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many of them being here tonight?

J69: To all of you out there, hold your breath, because the next thing you’re gonna hear from us will be the best one yet… the thing you are expecting of The 69 Eyes. So hold your breath, Bosnia, thanx and see you out there very soon!

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