Interview with Jussi69 at Tammerfest'02
Melamory: Have you ever had interview with any Russian media before me?
Jussi69: Me personally - no. I guess our singer Jyrki has done.
M: So, you have to know that Russian people listen to you a lot.
M: You have to thank HIM guys for it, because lots of Russian people listen to HIM and then they're interested in Finnish culture and of course they are interested in The 69 Eyes.
Jussi69: Wow! Thanks guys! (Jussi waves to Mige, Linde and Burton).
M: We listen to you. But it's very hard to get information about you all. So, could you introduce The 69 Eyes guys? I mean, their characters.
Jussi69: Ok. Well, Timo-Timo is the most typical rock band rhythm-guitar player. Archzie is the party-guy. He's fun guy. If he's surrounding everybody's having fun. Bazie takes care of lots of important, but maybe boring things that we, other guys, don't even think about maybe. And Jyrki is really… really… It's really hard to get to know him. You have to know him for ten years before you know him at all.
M: Do you know him?
Jussi69: Yes, 'cos I've known him for fifteen years, I guess.
M: And how did you all meet each other?
Jussi69: We all had a dream about exactly this kind of the band we have now. And we met each other in Helsinki bars. Jyrki and Bazie first got together and they started to look for other guys.
M: Did you know them already?
Jussi69: Not really.
M: Did you join them later?
Jussi69: I was the last guy who joined the band.
M: So, now you play gothic…
Jussi69: Ok, if you say so. It's your job to tell what kind of music we play.
M: And how do you call your music?
Jussi69: Like I said, it's your job. But maybe… gothic rock maybe… goth'n'roll.
M: Ok, but your first albums were in different style. How happened you changed your style?
Jussi69: We always make albums and music exactly like we wanted to do at the time. Times change, tastes change. And now we're here. I mean, we're happy with everything we've done. We don't regret anything already. Our every album is what we were into at that time.
M: So, you don't get yourself as a real cool gothic band…
Jussi69: I don't know. Quite many gothic bands are too serious for me. And quite many of them can't even play. So, I don't care if we're real cool gothic band or not. We still can laugh to each other and stuff. We're not that serious. Of course, I like this gothic style a lot. But I like lots of other things to do. I'm more open-minded maybe.
M: But on your official site of "Paris Kills" there's written that it's "gothic for masses". Aren't you afraid to sink down gothic culture?
Jussi69: Sink down? Like all kinds of culture?..
M: Aren't you afraid it can be so popular… like poppy-music, for example?
Jussi69: I don't see anything bad if we have lots of people coming to our shows, or if they play us on radio. I don't think it's a bad thing. So, I'm not afraid of that. I think it's fun to have people at our shows. If it means to be "real" and have no audience and like two people in a country who likes you, I don't want to be "real" then.
M: Do you like your first tree albums?
M: Do you listen to them?
Jussi69: No. I don't listen to "Paris Kills" either. I always listen to album what we've done for tree weeks every day. They we start tour with the new album and we play the songs every day. So, I don't listen to them at the morning when we're gonna play the whole album at the same evening.
M: I have a friend, she knows you for 10 years maybe.
M: She still thinks that "Juicy Lucy" is your best song.
Jussi69: Ah, I thought she knows me personally. Ok, I like that, it's a fun song. I doubt if we ever gonna play that anymore.
M: Why don't you play it?
Jussi69: I don't know. 'Cos like I said we're into kind of music at the time like kind of albums we're doing. That was ten years ago or something. Now it's "Paris Kills".
M: Are you happy with "Paris Kills"?
Jussi69: Happy? Of course!
M: Do you like it?
Jussi69: Yeah! We all are really totally satisfied with it.
M: You changed your style a little bit. It's more electronic now.
Jussi69: Is it? Ok… maybe, yeah. Well, anyway we wanted to do that. That's one of the reasons we chose the producer of the album - Johnny Lee Michaels, who is totally in the drum'n'base kind of electronic music. We wanted to have guy who knows about that stuff. He's also a music sound-tracks composer. That's great thing, 'cos we always wanted to have this movie kind of feeling in our music. He was a gig help for us with that thing.
M: On album you have lots of keyboard sounds. How do you do it on stage?
Jussi69: You just have to wait and hear.
M: Ok. It'll be my first ever live The 69 Eyes show.
Jussi69: Please, tell me later if you like it.
M: Ok, I think I'll like it. And do you usually have any surprises for your fans when you're on stage? Any covers, maybe?
Jussi69: Sometimes. It depends. If we're touring as the headliner we have more time to do stuff like this. This is the festival. We don't have much time, se we're gonna just play the hits. We're gonna play songs from "Blessed Be", "Wasting the Dawn" and "Paris Kills". But we've done hell of a lot covers and stuff. It's fun. It's fun for us, and I hope for the audience too.
M: What covers did you do?
Jussi69: We've covered hell of a lot from The Doors. We used to play "Riders on the Storm" for a year or two. We've played some "Bauhaus". Punk-rock like The Stooges and stuff like that. And we've recorded tribute albums. And we've covered "Blondie".
M: Yeah, "Call Me". Very nice video!
Jussi69: Oh, thanks!
M: About videos. When you shoot them, who choose the story for video, the material? Do you decide how video will look like?
Jussi69: Well… We have ideas and give them to producer, I mean director. We tell what we want and what kind of stuff we wanna have on them, and they do the rest. I like clip "Gothic Girl", for example. It was basically our ideas. But of course it's gonna look like what the director wants it to be too.
M: And what about "Dance d'Amour". Was it your idea?
Jussi69: I think that was the director's idea. And we saw the story and we said "Ok, cool, we like this". And we did it.
M: So, do you like video for "Dance d'Amour"?
Jussi69: I don't know. I don't really care about it that much. I mean, the one thing I care about is our music. It's like… It's our blood from the heart, our vain. And when I think about the videos… They're more like commercials for our music. I mean, if they are good, then fine. But if they're fucking bad - I don't really care, 'cos it's not my soul in the video, it's in the music.
M: But you do it for your fans, you should care about…
Jussi69: I know, I know. And I'm a big fan of the cool videos and stuff. And I hope we're gonna do some day as cool video as someone like Marylin Manson does. He's my… well… I'm a big fan of all of his videos.
M: Why can't you do it now?
Jussi69: Now? (smiles) Well, we're trying!
M: You have a new single now - "Betty Blue". Did you shoot video for it?
Jussi69: We're gonna do it next Monday, now it's Friday.
M: And what's the idea of video?
Jussi69: I'm not gonna tell you yet.
M: Ok. Well, actually in Russia I'm en editor of HIM "official" page. So, I have to ask you about HIM and Ville Valo. What do you think of HIM?
Jussi69: I love the band! I really do. It's one of my favourite bands!
M: Do you listen to them?
M: At home?
M: And how did you meet Ville?
Jussi69: I've known him before HIM for a long time and that's why he's singing on at least… four of our albums.
M: How happened he appeared on your albums? He didn't sing that time.
Jussi69: I can't remember how it happened in the first place. But he's there, because he's one of the best singers I know. And of course if you wanna have some backing vocals, then of course you wanna the best guy to do it. That's why he's there. Also 'cos we've known each other for such a long time.
M: So, you're friends?
M: And you meet each other quite often?
Jussi69: Well, yeah… Helsinki is quite small place. And we play gigs together like today and we're gonna do some more this summer. M'era Luna Festival, for example - Sisters of Mercy, Softcell, us and HIM.
M: So, you like HIM.
Jussi69: I'm a big fan! Really.
M: And… I have to ask you… last year there was a picture from Ankkarock. You kissed Ville. How it was?
Jussi69: Well, I can tell you and all the gothic girls our there, that Ville is a really really good kisser.
M: Ok, I'll tell him.
M: Well, ok. Let's come back to your music. I've heard a story - Jyrki said - that you have like the trilogies of your albums: first tree albums, then "Wasting the Dawn", "Blessed Be" and "Paris Kills", which finishes the trilogy . And what's gonna be next? Do you have any ideas?
Jussi69: Yeah, we do. And I don't really want to even talk about it. There's a couple of reasons. It might change, 'cos we're not gonna release it in a year. So, it might be totally different then we're thinking right now. And the other reason is that we're touring and promoting "Paris Kills" right now. So, there's no sence to talk about what the next album . I still think that "Paris Kills" is very fresh still.
M: And do you care about fans opinion?
Jussi69: Yeah, of course!
M: How do you know fans opinion, how do you get it?
Jussi69: Well, I meet my fans and they tell me stuff. And of course usually people are scared to say if they don't like something. That's why of course I don't take this serious if they say that the album is the greatest album ever they ever heard. But, yeah, I do care about that.
M: But for example if your fan says "I don't like this", will you care about it, will you think about it?
Jussi69: Yeah, we're gonna think about it and stuff, but we're not gonna change our style because of that, because it doesn't make any sense. If you, for example, tell me you want us to sound like "Sisters of Mercy", we're not gonna do it. We do care about it anyway. But it doesn't make any sense if we fallow exactly what fans can tell us. Then we can go in totally wrong direction.
M: And what about fans situation in Finland? Once I saw you walking in the street of Helsinki without any guards. Aren't you scared?
Jussi69: I'm not scared. Something weird happened once in a while, but I'm not scared to be killed of something. Let's going there - it's raining.
While we all move, Jussi takes paper and looks though it.
M: Do you read papers in your life?
Jussi69: Of course.
M: Do you care about news? Do you watch TV, news programs?
Jussi69: Oh yes, when I'm at home.
M: And do you read books?
Jussi69: Not that many recently. I don't have that much time. Last one was "The Dirt" by Motley Crue.
Jussi69: Yes. That's funny.
M: Do you have any free time?
Jussi69: Oh yeah…
M: Ok, is all your life is just The 69 Eyes? Do you do something not with The 69 Eyes?
Jussi69: Not really. I mean, if I'm doing whatever, I'm still thinking about the next thing we're gonna do with the band. And I don't mind, 'cos I love this. I love everything. I would leave straight away if I don't like this.
M: Every morning you wake up, make your make-up, your hair-style and feel yourself as a rock-star again?
Jussi69: I'm not a rock-star. I don't think about that kind of stuff. I'm just me.
M: And it's good for you.
Jussi69: Oh, thanks!
M: And we can free you.
Jussi69: Ok. And I really hope we can make it with Russia…
M: I've heard you have a deal with Russian company to come to Moscow.
Jussi69: I haven't heard about that. I've heard only rumours from fans, so I don't think we trust anything.
M: So, you personally don't know about it.
Jussi69: No, no.
M: I want you to know we're really waiting for you.
Jussi69: Yeah, and I've heard some radiostations play our songs, it sounds really good. So there's no doubt we're gonna be there soon.
M: As I told you before, you're not very popular on MTV-Russia, for example. But all the HIM fans listen to you a lot, really.
Jussi69: We'll come to you. I promise.
The 69 Eyes interviewåd by Melamory for Russian Heartagram