Dark Secret Club
How do you feel about the new album, how was the writing and composing process and how do you think the fans are going to react whit Tears on Tape?
I feel as confident as an insecure person such as myself can. It has been pretty wild year putting this together. First we had to compose requiem for gas' hands that died, but were miraculously resurrected after 8 months. Almost like a the time human child spends in the womb! I find this very significant. Might release that requiem at some point, if we get an urge to expand into children's music scene. But since that medical tragedy gave us time to reflect, and gas plays much better with his new stigmata infused glow-in-the-dark hands, i think it was all for the best. I really hope people will like the music, and won't find gas' new supernatural hands too scary.
We have heard about your alternative project Cimmerica, can you tell us something about it? How it was for you to work in a solo project?
Hmmm..solo project sounds kinda out of place. It was more like a petri dish project. Put your lab rat's heart on a petri dish, add Obama’s health care system, and a dash of hallucinogenic mushrooms and fascism, and see what happens type of a thing. You know, like when you send a probe into your subconscious and find nothing interesting. Just a void and echoes of terrible quotes. Disappointment of that magnitude is definitely worth a song in my opinion. Ville mixed the album, and I say just mixed only to protect his reputation. He helped on many other levels as well to pull the musical mess I had in my hands together, for which I’m grateful. The man has a deep understanding of lovecraftian universe, and a taste for petri dish experiments. My friend Sami helped me with the cover so it was pretty cool team. Team Cimmerica: the world necro-police.
What was the song that inspired you to learn how to play the bass?
Rudolf the red nosed reindeer. I wish I was kidding.
Do you prefer playing songs that require a hard and fast bass sound or the more mellower bass sound?
Let's say I’m more build for mellow, but if properly poked with a cattle prod I can simulate a piranha feeding frenzy to push a faster tune too.
What is "that something" that makes a book, a song or a poem immortal?
I'm personally more into immoral than immortal, and since the management has ordered me to remain PG-13, I can't give out details. And why would I even try, when g?fa movies do it so well already? But yeah, immortality is overrated. I could claim that its more interesting to watch things die, be reborn and evolve, and learning to let go while waiting for your turn.
Did you take bass lessons growing up? We’ve heard that you weren't specifically trained on the bass, which has the benefit of making you a more creative and dynamic player.
I did take bass lessons, albeit not too extensively. And lack of proper training didn’t make me creative and dynamic player, more like relatively crappy one. I still suffer from it today, and recommend anybody pursuing musical career to practice until they're so exhausted they can practice no more. Otherwise they have to rely on talented skinny friends, Faustian contracts and cross roads deals like me.
In any case, are there techniques or skills that you are able to utilize that other bassists might not otherwise be able to incorporate?
Nope, but my dark, remorseless soul enables me to strangle any fancy bassist who tries to replace me in HIM against my will with a piano string. Is that counted among techniques?
Bah just kidding. Boys can experiment with other men if they so choose. Or women. They have my blessing. What can I say, i hate hippies and regrettably I am one myself.
Did you ever imagine that the band you started with your school friends would still be rocking together? Are your parents still waiting for you to get a real job? :)
Well, definitely I thought we had a good thing going since the day one. And good things often last. And I most certainly thought mankind would be mining asteroids and colonizing Mars by now. I mean seriously, what’s going on with NASA?! What comes to my folks, I’m approaching middle age so if they haven’t yet buried their hopes and dreams concerning their son, the right time for that was about yesterday. They're all arty farty themselves so I don’t think my career choice was really a disappointment. Dey tink it be da voodoo mon, as long as i survive. Thats very important, to survive. If I had children, I would tell them always to dress for a funeral when cleaning a fire arm.
Mikko, what did you do with the famous artificial fur coat without sleeves, which you wore at the beginning of the two thousandth's? Hope you did not throw it?
Seriously, look at me! Do you think any of the clothes I wore around 2K manage to cover my new enormous, repulsive girth?! All my old clothes are property of Salvation Army, except few t-shirts I use to clean my chain saw. Nowadays I sport pregnant lady outfits and to my humble opinion, I really manage to give them a whole new meaning. So no harm done getting all stretch marked and spongelike. I fucking love the new me! But now that you kindly reminded me of this tragedy, I do remember that fur coat. It was rather gay & merry so I stopped using it even before my unfortunate and disgusting weight gain. I think it had some strange fungal growth spawning on it, due to the humid conditions inside the tour bus. Maybe I should put a sample to a petri dish. Might find a cure for cancer or a new fancy street drug hidden in that ancient fur.
Why have you been so committed to performing at this venue? How would you describe the atmosphere to those of us unable to share the experience?
Tavastia is the one and only rock 'n' roll fun house in Helsinki, and a place with lots of history! Starting for me with stories of my granpa running a cabaret there after WW2, and later watching bands there with my buddies and eventually taking the stage ourselves as well. So it’s a cool spot if you into history, burlesque and rock.
Is there an opportunity to have this year's concert recorded or streamed live on the web so all international fans can share the experience?
I'm scared of technology. It is advancing way too fast and will turn against us, Skynet style. I can already feel cold metal hands on my throat, and that weird mac speech voice telling me "it will be over soon, relax meatbag. Num num num." but seriously speaking, I suppose it would be possible. Then again, you can’t smell the history through the screen. Which might actually be a blessing when HIM is in the house. So yeah, I dunno. Maybe we could try and see what happens.
ABOUT BAND CHEM
Did it make it up to be together on stormy days and who is often the mediator? Did you ever consider of breaking the band up or extending the break you took?
When hard times come upon HIM, I have noticed we seek an archetypal elder to act as a mediator, confessor and as a general source of comfort. Since they're short in supply we have been using virtual elders mostly. It needs to be a figure outside of the band, yet representing a mythology that we can relate to. I suppose there is no reason to break up the band as long as we have an access to an elder. The day we don’t manage to summon one when need arises, I fear it's sayonara HIM. See u later alligator.
What is the secret of (a successful) friendship and how can this co-exist with a business partnership? Could any of these experiences be reflected on the lyrics of a future song by HIM?
Secret of a successful friendship has a net worth of approximately 1 billion ˆ, so you will know I have it in my possession when I move to my special island. Island where female reality TV stars mud wrestle nymphs and fauns, and wild dog packs chase things I fear and loath. Island of pure capitalist perversion. But if wild guesses are allowed, then i say don’t take a friendship for granted. Nurture it like farmer nurtures his crops. Sometimes with sunshine, sometimes with pig shit. Whatever it takes. We don’t get very much involved in the business side of our relationships, and I doubt it has a big presence in HIM lyrics. Might be a good emergency resource to tap into though..royalty rage? Pathetic yet powerful emotion. Desperation of a materialist, lamentation for the fallen euro. Very contemporary!
How do you come up with solos for songs – are they calculated, based on scales and arpeggios, or more something that you simply feel? Has this process evolved over time?
It depends on the song. Mostly my solos are improvisation, there might be a little melody or a "lick" that has been thought of beforehand but most of the time it is just whatever comes out at that moment. At the end of the day, I'm a blues player so it all originates from there. I also feel that you shouldn't forcefully put a guitar solo in every song either, sometimes it works much better to replace it with a heavy riff or whatever.
The older I get, the more confidence I have in my playing. I'm not scared of being out of tune or playing sloppy. Our producer Hiili said after I did one of the solos for the new album : "I could hear a human being in there." And after that we all burst in to laughter but seriously, that's something that I like to hear in good guitar solo too.
Will there be a third Daniel Lioneye album?
Good question :-) Daniel Lioneye is definitely something that brings joy to my life and while we had a long break again because of Gas's mad cow disease, I did write a bunch of songs for DL, enough for an album. The question is, when will I have the time to record them properly etc. On top of everything else, I've just moved in to a new house and my home studio is all over the place. And obviously I'm concentrating on HIM at the moment and will be doing so for god knows how long and having a great time doing it!
But to answer your question, yes there will be a third DL album, just don't ask me when is it coming out.
Mika, is it true that when you were a teenager and played in a band called Valvontakomissio, came to the city of Yakutsk in Russia to perform at a festival? If this is true, what is that you remember about this festival and the city?
Yes, it's true i was in Yakutsk with my punk band Valvontakomissio. We played a music and theatre festival there. I remember that we played 4 shows there and the audience was fabulous at every show. Really cool. I met a lot of great people there. Some local people and some other artists from Tuva and Russia. I loved the local people, really lovely and warmhearted people. I remember that it was cold even though it was not winter but fall time. If i remember right. there were a lot of watermelon stands in the center of Yakutsk?. Or then i remember totally wrong or then that was a dream :) And i remember the mouth harp (Jew's harp) museum. It was a really great trip. I was 18 years old at that time. And that trip was my first outside of Scandinavia. The trip from Hellsinki to Yakutsk took really long. We flew via Moscow.
by Dark Secret Club