Hi Jyrki69! How are you doing? I'm guessing you had interviews all day long so I'm not going to bother you too much today.
Hi! Actually, this is my first interview today, so I'm still well rested.
Well, that's a plus. (Laughing) Your new album, 'X', was released on September 28th in Europe, and you stated that this is by far the best album you've ever done, and that you have never been more satisfied with the final result of your work, but what you haven't explained is what makes 'X' so special?
You see, when we were in a studio and the songs were pretty much done, all of us experienced that "Wow" moment while listening to them. We realized that we have created something special. The lyrics of each song fit in perfectly, so I've caught myself a couple of times thinking that 'X' is perfect. We managed to "catch" the atmosphere of each song. I know that that might sound weird, but we've successfully recorded what we felt while creating the songs.
What I can tell you is that this album is nothing like the previous one. That one we've recorded in Hollywood and wanted people to feel the aggressive vibe in it. We wanted it to sound like old American rock, something like Guns'N'Roses on 'Appetite For Destruction'; where they sound like that is the last thing which they're doing in their lives. That is something we wanted on 'Back In Blood', but not on 'X'. Here we aimed at making songs which are memorable and leave a certain mark on our listeners. This time we used my voice as the main instrument, which leads you on an emotional ride through life.
The recording session went pretty smoothly and felt like the most natural thing. I guess that is why we all feel like we've created something magical. A month and a half ago I received the mixed version of the album, and, now I'm going to sound pretty lame, but I literally started crying. Some of the songs are simply beautiful. Those tears were tears of joy and surprise. You know, we are five guys who are together for over twenty years, but still manage to create music from our hearts and take our job seriously. Those two things connect us all these years, but the reason why we're doing all of this is you, our fans. While saying all of this a thought came to my mind. I can describe 'X' with just one word - this is a "heartful" album.
You once said that, besides that this is your tenth album, 'X' may stand for a kiss at the end of a message or it may represent an ex-lover. Apart from the obvious, what does the name mean to you?
I guess most of the songs represent what I felt when I broke up with my ex-girlfriend, so for me, 'X' symbolizes an ex-lover and an ex-relationship with her. The first song on the album is 'Love Runs Away' and the last one is 'When A Love Comes To An End' and those two impersonate the beginning of the end of love and how a person deals with it. The music in between them, that is the lyrics, best describe our feelings in that moment when we figure out that the love is really gone. The theme of these songs is very personal. It's not like I've watched a sad movie that later on inspired me. (Laughs) I've experienced all of the moments from my lyrics and decided to give fans a closer access into my life. Everyone had a similar situation at least once in their life, and so, this is a very common theme in rock songs. The truth is, it wasn't easy recording and singing these songs 'cause I had to relive the whole situation. I must admit that there were a few nights when I was feeling sad and lonely while recording the album. After weeks of working on the album I told my friend that the whole process was horrible. I was brought to tears a couple of times, but it was also kind of exciting to reveal my emotions this way. I think that 'X' will wake everyone up. I'm not saying that it was made to make you sad, but just to bring out certain emotions.
You want to create music for movies and series, and as you claim, this is the "poppiest" album you've ever done; so I was wondering, is moving towards mainstream your way of getting closer to Hollywood and film soundtracks?
Ohhh no! (Laughs) When I said that this was our most poppy album I was referring to it being the most catchy and memorable so far. The thing is, you can hear a song from 'X' and you'll be able to sing along the next time you hear it. The closest I've gotten to movies is a fact that there's a DVD coming out with the album where you'll be able to see how we made 'X' and learn more about the history of the band. The DVD will last for about an hour and you'll see some cool rockers on it. And yes, there's another thing connected with me saying that this is a "pop" album. I was referring to our collaboration with people from Sweden. It is known that they are great in the pop industry since the time of ABBA; and even nowadays you can hear music on the radio that's either produced or performed by Swedes, or they're the songwriters; and we have worked with them on our latest album. But, don't worry; it's still the sound of The 69 Eyes. Maybe the best way to explain that it is still us, just with a little twist, is our newest single, 'Red'. It consists of a few parts, but it is not complicated. Those parts make it hypnotic and memorable. It is also very catchy and through lyrics you can feel the emotions that I mentioned earlier. I don't know if you intended to ask, but most journalists want to know if the song 'Red' represents the whole album since it is the first single. The answer is "no". Our record company chose that song, not us, and the reason is that it is the most radio friendly song of the album. Another new thing that I haven't told you is that this time we've used social networks a lot more to promote our material, and I can tell you, it is pretty cool to see the reactions of our fans through their comments. I was touched by the fact that most of our fans loved our first released song. This way of communicating with fans and getting to know their reactions is a lot less stressful than the way we did it previous years. Earlier, we would find out what they think on concerts.
We'll hear their impressions of the whole album soon.
I'm sure they're going to love it. (Laughs) There's a funny thing, which is flattering in a way- many people take our music very seriously and have the need to tell us, through comments how they felt while listening to our song 'Red', and I was thinking that if they experienced such emotions with our first single, they will definitely like the rest of the album even more. There are some more insightful songs on it. My advice is, when you decided to listen to the album, take some time. Give it a chance to leave a full impact on you.
I am not going to bother you with the new album any more, but I am going to ask a bit more about your personal life. You are UNICEF's goodwill ambassador, so I was wondering what are you most proud of as being a part of UNICEF?
Well, there's a really cool thing coming up at the beginning of next year, but I can't tell you what it is.
But I really want to know! (Laughing)
All I know is that it's going to be a real adventure for me. (Laughs) I usually try to keep UNICEF and The 69 Eyes apart. The 69 Eyes is all rock'n'roll but being the goodwill ambassador is the serious side of me and I'm just happy that I can help our world in some way.
Can you at least tell me what's the worst thing you experienced as a goodwill ambassador and what have you done to help?
I haven't really seen a lot of bad things. Everyone can be a goodwill ambassador, you know. You just need to love nature and be willing to help others. We should all unite to help this planet survive. When you think about it, there are a lot of things that are fucked up in this world. The thing that worries me the most is that the nature is suffering because of us, so I was thinking, if our children are doing well and if we raise them properly, then Mother Earth will survive. That is how I'm involved with the UNICEF.
Not only are you a musician who helps others and loves nature, but you're also somebody who has a master's degree in analytical chemistry. Do you have any interesting stories regarding that profession?
I love chemistry and as a kid I loved Spider Man. Peter Parker (Spider Man) was studying chemistry and later on taught it. He was my inspiration, so after I graduated, that choice seemed very natural to me. I sometimes thought that maybe I should have gone to business school, but with it, I could help the world, which I may be able to do with chemistry. If I were asked to help, I would volunteer if needed.
Another one of your hobbies is that you occasionally work as a DJ. Are you interested in electro music?
No. I've been DJing for years and I've worked all around the world. When I'm in clubs I usually play gothic music. I've performed everywhere, from Tokyo to Los Angeles. I've also played all around Europe and I DJ regularly in clubs in Stockholm. In Helsinki I have my own nights. Last year I've performed with my friends. They were playing dance music and I played old rock, such as ACDC and The Ramones. I was interested if people would dance to such music. As it seems, they had a lot of fun. A few weekends ago I had a great show on a rock Boat on the Baltic Sea. The show lasted for about an hour and a half and I was full of energy so I kept the people on the dance floor. That job is a great amusement for me. Who knows, maybe one day when the band's gone, I'll entertain people with some good old rock'n'roll. (Laughs) Hey Ivana, I have to go now. I have another interview, but it's been real nice talking to you.