The Band

The 69 Eyes!!! When? Around 1990. Where? In Helsinki, the capital of that strange dark country from which all good music seems to emanate from – Finland. Five guys with the same dirty rock’n’roll style and passion founded a band in 1990, with an unusual and unforgettable name¬† – The 69 Eyes.

¬†Their first album “Bump’n’Grind” follows in 1992, with its raw glam rock energy and a clear “we don’t care” attitude . After the release of “Motor City Resurrection” in 1994 only in Japan, the second album, entitled “Savage Garden” saw the light of day in 1995, and changed their direction into more post-punk waters. Distorted cover version of Blondie’s “Call Me” and songs with a dark twist on “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams” in 1997 were a sign of things to come. Tours, fans, gigs that were talked about.

Outgrowing their home turf under the indie label Gaga Goodies, they signed with Roadrunner Records, immediately gaining international recognition and success. The reason was “Wasting the Dawn” album in 1999, also referred to as the first part of the trilogy of albums that had set The 69 Eyes as the leading band of gothic rock. Along with the single chartbreaker and video featuring Ville Vallo in cemetery surroundings, their music entered a whole new realm of gothic soundscapes critics found hard to define. A term was coined in an effort to define their music genre: “Goth’n’Roll”. The band was described as a “missing link between The Cult and Type O Negative”. Though The 69 Eyes were even more unique than it was then obvious, as they soon showed.

The single “Gothic Girl” is released in the spring of 2000, after which they play on the famous M’era Luna festival in Germany, during the “Wasting The Dawn” tour. The record “Blessed Be” follows in September, and is released on the same day The 69 Eyes receive their first gold record for the single “Gothic Girl”. The album was produced by Johnny Lee Michaels, a “sixth member of the band” who made “Blessed Be” as it is – a dark melancholic yet hard soundtrack to a non-existing gothic movie. The hit singles followed: “Brandon Lee”, “The Chair”, and during their “Blessed Be” tour with Paradise Lost in 2001, the fourth single “Stolen Season”. All the other songs from the album also became recognized in the ever-growing gothic community.

In 2002, the successful cooperation with Johnny Lee Michaels continued with the album “Paris Kills”, a true masterpiece of both the band and the producer. A melancholic mixture of powerful lyrics and melodies evoking dark scenery (“made to dance yourself to sleep just before the dawn”, according to the singer Jyrki), “Paris Kills” reached gold in just the first month in Finland, following the enormous success of the first single “Dance D’Amour” in December 2001. The song “Betty Blue”, inspired by the 80’s French classic movie of the same name, was the second single, which of course also has massive airplay. The band toured European rock festivals in the summer of 2002, and in October 2002 returned for a big European tour in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, which continued in Finland till Christmas. On 23. November 2002, they played a sold-out gig in a famous rock venue Tavastia club in Helsinki, which was, together with videos and specials, put into a DVD called “Helsinki Vampires” in September 2003, under the label Gaga Goodies/Poko Records/ EMI.

In the spring of 2003 the band played their first gig in Moscow, Russia, and started working on a material for the next album. The third single “Crashing High” from the album “Paris Kills” was released, but by then the rest of the album was as loved as the singles were. Festivals marked this summer as well as the previous one – Wave Gotik Treffen in Germany, Sziget in Hungary, Highfield and Terremoto in Germany, and a number of festivals in Finland. Simultaneously with the release of “Helsinki Vampires” DVD, a compilation named “Framed In Blood – The Very Blessed of the 69 Eyes” was put on the market hungry for more gothic vibe. They toured Finland in November 2003 for the release, followed by signing for EMI Finland, and then…

The first half of 2004 they’ve spent working on their new album “Devils”, which shined in October 2004 through EMI/ Virgin, after the band toured a bit during the summer. The teasing first single “Lost Boys”, a true “Billy Idol” type homage to the seventeen year-old vampire movie, stormed the charts and became the biggest radio hit The 69 Eyes ever had in Finland. The second single “Devils” went straight to number 2 of the Finnish single charts, and a similar faith was written for the following singles “Feel Berlin” and “Sister Of Charity”, released in 2005 in Finland. The summer of 2005 the band spent doing what they like to do during the summer! Appearing again on festivals such as Sziget and M’era Luna, in front of tens of thousands of fans made their reputation even bigger and certainly carved the name of the band into many dark hearts for ever. At the very end of 2005, a year that surely had a gothic attribute in front of it, The 69 Eyes played at Helldone Festival 2005 in Helsinki, along with their good friends HIM and other Finnish bands. The festival was sold out in the matter of hours, and it already has a prospect of becoming annual!

The spring 2006 signified a new step for our lovely Finns – their first US tour in March that year was a total blast and an incredible experience for both the band and it’s American fans. More US tours followed, and the year 2007 was more than full of work for the Eyes. Over one hundred shows throughout the world, new albums “Angels” and “Back in Blood” and subsequent singles on first positions of top-charts in Finland and Europe, publishing of Jyrki’s comic book “Zombie Love” and book of photographs by Ville Juurikkala “Route 69”, Jyrki’s continued work with UNICEF, two great albums “Back In Blood” (2009) and “X” (2012), as well as a true proliferation of Helsinki Vampires cult shows the strength of the band that still, after almost twenty years, beats with the same vampire heart…And what the next stop will be for the Vampires of Helsinki? Stick around and you’ll find out.

And don’t be afraid…It’s only Goth’n’Roll!!!

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