Interview with Burton
J: How are you?
B: I'm doing all right. I'm just a little bit tired.
J: Did you have an after party yesterday?
B: Actually I didn't go. I was that tired!
J: Let's talk about the tour. Today is the last German tour date. Can you give a short overview?
B: It's been good. So far so good! I mean it's always nice to play again in Europe because we did a couple of long US tours and it's a bit different there… not really but still in Europe it's easier to travel, the distances are shorter. But it was good, good gigs!
J: Which cities did you like most to play?
B: Hamburg! Yesterday it was really good! Did you see it?
J: No, I was at the show in Berlin.
B: It was good as well actually, a nice hall but pretty big!
J: What about Cologne? I heard the show wasn't going so well?
B: Oh, hold on…I don't remember actually. It wasn't that bad because otherwise I would! (laughing) Maybe Ville was having some problems with his vocals but…
J: Where do you like to tour the most in Germany and in general?
B: That's a hard one! When you get older the touring becomes harder but still we're strong, it's part of that thing! I don't really care if it's Europe or US or whatever…except the distances. If you have to travel with a bus like hours and hours that's a bit nasty.
J: I noticed that at the concert in Berlin you played the same set list as at Helldone festival…
B: (interrupts) Is that so?
J: Yeah and I was wondering if that happened by accident or if you have different kinds of set lists from which you choose before a gig?
B: Actually yeah! When we were planning the Helldone set it was a little bit longer than usually, 18 songs or something like that and we kept the structure of the Helldone set and changing a couple of songs every now and then. Maybe it was just an accident that it was the same because the set was quite good. We always have to think about the order of the songs we can play after and after.
J: Also you don't seem to play songs from Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights anymore. Why?
B: We used to play Heartache Every Moment (thinking) but not in a long time. Hold on, there has to be at least one song from that album? Pretending maybe? Maybe the problem is, there are nice songs in that album but I was involved in that album just in a few tracks like in Pretending and a couple more and they are maybe hard to play because…err… maybe they aren't that good songs! (laughing) But if you have like six albums it's always hard to choose what to play and what is good. But we're trying to play at least one song from every album. There has to be one! (searching for tonight's set list and reading…) Yeah, maybe there aren't, you're right.
J: It was just a question…
B: Oh yeah, yeah (laughing) But Heartache is good one we haven't played, maybe in the summer time in festivals.
J: What's your favorite song to play live?
B: At the moment Sleepwalking. It's nice and at least a little bit different and there's room for improvisation, at the end it's always fun.
J: Is there also a song that you don't like to play live so much?
B: All of the songs which are in the set are nice to play and fun to play. And maybe that's why we haven't played that many songs from the Deep Shadows because they have to be arranged properly to the sound of this combination which we have now. There are lots of like samples in that album, it's a little bit tricky.
J: Also Deep Shadows is a little more…calm?
B: Yeah, that's right and there were many people involved in the making of the album. I was playing a little bit, even Ville played in a few songs. After the Join me album it was a hard one because the band was changing during that time.
J: Let's talk about Digital Versatile Doom, the new DVD coming out April 1st.
B: I haven't seen it yet.
J: Do you know if there is extra material on it as well?
B: I'm not sure. All I know is that we recorded it in LA, we had two gigs in a row and there were cameras recording it. There has to be something extra but I don't know what it is.
J: Because at the concert you played in Berlin in last September I saw Stefan Lindfors shooting there?
B: Yes, actually he shot some material for maybe internet or something like 'ten short clips' and actually I did a little bit music for them but I don't know if they are going to be on the DVD or if they are going to be released in the internet. It's still open.
J: How would you describe Venus Doom as an album?
B: Well the whole process was like… it wasn't complicated at all. We went to our rehearsing place and started to play some riffs. And even before Ville, Mige and Gas they were just jamming and trying to figure out something like new guitar riffs and then the whole band came in and we did a couple of songs just in our place and then went to the studio and that was it. We had actually plenty of time. Tim Palmer our producer was in Finland for two month or something like that so it was easy and it's always a pleasure to work with him, he is a nice man. So it was easy and we tried to do it just a little bit different, like longer songs and lot's of guitar riffs that's always cool.
J: Yeah, that's my next question because in a former interview Ville said 'Keyboards are so fucking full blown gay'. What do think about that?
B. (laughing) Yes they are! The difficulties with the keyboards are that they always try to imitate another instrument, not always but if you're playing piano, okay piano is keyboard, but maybe we should try to find, maybe in the next album, trying to find more synthic songs. I mean not to imitate for example string songs or whatever just a few nasty synth sounds in the next album. But keyboards they are totally gay, I agree!
J: Do you have more 'free time' on stage now?
B: No I don't, I have enough to do! (laughing)
J: Let me ask some more general questions. How would you describe the other guys in HIM?
B: Hehe, I have to be a bit dramatic now. Well Gas is a very kind man and he lost a lot of weight recently. He had a very strict program; he was doing workouts and had a very strict diet. I think he is doing good, he looks great. Do I have to describe every member of the band?
J: Yes, please!
B: All right! I know all the guys, they are friends of mine and they asked me to join the band. It's been okay since. Well Ville is definitely the leader what can I say, he has a vision with the band and a good vision always, sometimes he can be a little bit tricky but it's not that bad usually. Linde is a bit quiet fellow but he has a big heart and so does Mige of course. I have known him maybe the best I mean for a long time and we went to school together. But he sucks in Jazz, he really does.
J: What kind of music do you like to listen to in private?
B: All kinds of. Usually I just listen to the radio and a bit classical sometimes. But when you are surrounded by music you don't want to listen it too much. When I have free time of course, even though I don't have any favorites right now.
J: If you should decide for a cover- what would it be? Like a song cover?
B: Oh, what song or just a cover?
J: Whatever you want!
B: That's a hard one. Of course it depends from the song. Ah, okay if it would be like the next HIM cover it would be like Ville in the cover but naked surrounded by…
J: Oh no I was talking about a song to cover!
B: (laughing) Oh, sorry! I can answer them both. If I should decide the next cover for the album it would be like Ville naked. But cover songs to play live, well maybe something from Kraftwerk that German band. It would be nice and different but it's never gonna happen.
J: Yeah, but it would be fun to sing in German!
B: Oh yeah! For example 'The robots' would be nice.
J: Okay, what was your best or worst gig ever?
B: Well it's always easy to remember the worst gig. It was in New York maybe three years ago. But it's funny because at the same time it was definitely one of the best because Ville was a bit wasted and loaded and I'm not sure what was going on but at least I could remember it always I mean it was a chaos. So at the same time it was the very best and the very bad, yeah it was terrible.
J: Why do you play in Finland so rarely?
B: Because Finland sucks! I'm joking! It's always hard to plan the schedules properly and if you have to do like longer tours…well at least we play some festivals in the summer time and the New Year's gigs so that's it. If there would be more time we definitely would like to do a proper tour in Finland but it's a small country with maybe just a couple of places where to go like the major cities. There are some plans every now and then but at least now we are going to play some festivals in summer and I don't know what's going to happen in autumn.
J: You became a father in 2006. How do you manage being a father and being in a band?
B: It's really like having two families. It's not easy but you have to take your time and give your time to the band and to the family and it works or it doesn't. So what can I do…
copyright by Jelena S.