The 69 Eyes: Lost Boys They Are NotÖ
Interview with Jussi and Bazie (The 69 Eyes) [March 1st, 2009]
Interview by Nerissa Alison
To try to summarize all The 69 Eyes have done since they got together back in 1989 is close to impossible unless you say, for better or for worse, they have gone on their particular chosen path, progressing as a band and enjoying every step of the way. This chosen path leads them to what I feel is going to be one of those turning points which, hopefully, will take them to the next level in their music.
In a previous interview last year in Ruisrock, Jyrki explained, ďThe new record is coming along great! Itís excitingÖ Itís going to be like, well, you know, we want to make a record for fans but also for ourselves. Itís going to be like surprisingly dark, itís going to be really bloody and a lot of vampires like theme songs which sounds silly but it just came out of somewhere. Itís not like I decided that. All of the sudden I realized that some of the songs are vampire songs, about blood and such topics. So here we goÖĒ And as that brief encounter ended, I was left feeling somewhat curious as to what other surprises might the new album bring our way.
As curiosity killed the cat and Paris Kills, this feline went all the way to Paris to check out what was happening with the new album along with other important changes for the band. Before I knew it I was seated between a soft spoken Bazie and deep voiced Jussi, both serious but kind and ready to answer some questions with heartfelt honesty. The first to appear was Bazie so we began before Jussi arrived, after all, the clock was ticking and time was running out quickly!
At this point, Jussi, who got lost somewhere else while getting orange juice, comes in.
Nerissa: Well, here we have the other missing band member.
Jussi: Hey, how are you doing?
Nerissa: Just fine. So nice to see you again. (Returning to where I left off with Bazie) So, in other words, you are going to go a little stronger.
Bazie: Yeah, I hope. You never know how itís going to end up. Itís always different to what you were thinking you had. But weíre trying to do something different.
Nerissa: Sounds good. Now for either of you, what about EMI, has it been a positive change for The 69 Eyes?
Bazie: Well, yeah we do have EMI, the new album is coming out through EMI Finland. Actually there have been many labels interested in us, so negotiation decided which label would list our new album. In general, EMI Finland has been very good.
Jussi: Letís put it this way, there is nothing to complain about and itís very nice to know you are very wanted. Thereís like a lot of people from different record companies kissing our asses.
Nerissa: You like that then.
Jussi: Well, that tells you something, it tells that your so, I hate the word career, but your career is going somewhere.
Nerissa: Evolution? Letís just call it evolution. Talking about this, either of you, how would you describe the bandís evolution?
Jussi: Our bandís evolution?
Nerissa: Yes, or history as you see it.
Jussi: Well, one thing Iím really proud of, I donít think weíve ever made the same album again, and I think weíve done some very brave, ballzy decisions to go from this direction to another. Thatís something that I really think is the secret for The 69 Eyes, like around the year 2000, 2001, we started to tour a lot around Germany and things just started to happen in Europe for us. All of the sudden they called us Finnish Goth Metal and we were kind of put there. We were proud of that but in our heads we are not the metal band. Then we started to see all these young bands like trying to be in that scene, I mean some of them were like really, really good, but some of them were like so bad, HIM rip-offs or Sentenced rip-offs, and we were like, fuck that shit, we donít want to be in this thing with a bunch of wannabe pussy bands. So what we did, we did the Paris Kills album. We totally went away from that goth metal thing and I think that takes a lot of balls to do those kinds of decisions. Well, Iím proud of that album too. After that we changed a little bit too, so thatís how I see and use the word evolution. I donít see or think of our evolution as how many albums we sell or anything like that.
Nerissa: No, Iím talking about musically. Thatís what I like of a band.
Nerissa: How do you see it Bazie?
Bazie: Itís like youíre always going around in circles, damí it, you take something from the past and you always want to do something new. We just want to take it one step at a time. We donít really think that much ahead, we just do what feels at that point good and not like just building up some album that might sound weird when you listen and compare it to others. So thatís how we do the things we do.
Jussi: Anyway, if it were to be record companies to decide, I mean, we have lots of golden eggs like lots of hits from the radio and if they would decide they would want to have us write the same songs all over again because itís like a good formula and itís on the radio and it sells a lot. Instead of that we are all, or at least Iíd like to think that, we always do something different and surprise people.
Jussi: No, no, it came to my mind. You know uhmÖ I am jumping from subject to another. I am a drummer and one of the coolest things Iíve ever seen is the drumming battle between Animal from the Muppet Show and Buddy Rich, and we did it last night with Tiamat drummer Lars SkŲld on stage and Tiamat bass player on stage. We had this bump out old thing going on and that was so much fun! So there you go, Gothic Muppet Show!
Nerissa: Wonderful! So Bazie, your turnÖ
Nerissa: A difficult one? So what comes to mind when you think The 69 Eyes?
Bazie: Sex! (We both start cracking up.)
Jussi: Sex, danger, rock ní rollÖ All those clichť, cheesy things, but we are serious about being cheesyÖ
Bazie: Itís really hard to be honest, thatís how I said we do the music. Itís one of the things of how we do the music or at least thatís what I think. No plans, we try to give ourselves andÖ
Jussi: Thatís the whole point. I mean, itís no secret that we are not millionaires. I mean there is no other reason to do this apart from the fact that everybody loves what we do. Thatís the only reason.
Nerissa: Yes, that was a wonderful album. It had a lot of really good things.
Bazie: Well, thatís what I mean, you play those songs if they feel good. Itís really hard, you know, the music, like this quire bit, it works and feels good or not, thatís it.
Jussi: When it comes to songs I still get goose bumps every night when we play Brandon Lee. That song kind of defines the whole idea of The 69 Eyes. But if I would listen to The 69 Eyes at home by myself, I would go to the songs we never do live, you know, songs like the last track of whatever album. Iím not going home from tour and starting to listen to Lost Boys.
Nerissa: Ok, I guess with that, we are finished for this round of questions. Once again, it has been a pleasure and I am already looking forward to our next meeting after, hopefully, having heard the new album. Luck guys!
So, do you wanna rock? Well, get ready Ďcause Devils, Angels and soon to come, maybe, Vampires? No matter what, after all these clues, it is sure to make us rock and enjoy another of The 69 Eyes productions. So Devils & Angels of the world, rock on for soon we will be joined by a tenth Helsinki Vampire Child, still unknown, yet, much desiredÖ
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