Mar 092007
 
69eyes logo
photo by Daniel Larsson: cHRISTINA dEATH 1334 OF cHICAGO & JYRKI 69 picture

Chain D.L.K.: “Angels” is here resurrected from the phoenix ashes, here to bring salvation guiding us through the apocalypse? Am I right? I see you used my “21 Century Apocalypse Goth Rock Band” I wrote down for you last year in our last interview” (surprised , jubilant and hounoured)
69 Eyes: Yes, it is here..we go back to our originalidea that we always had. Post apocalypse ideas… all of us feel the same way about this, so we are using the concept. Being a fan boy, means also recycling a lot of stuff and it’s kind of funny that we are using the same format that we came up with when we started the band. What that basically means is that people seem to have such a short memory when it comes to the history of rock music. It’s really amazing for us that there is nothing new, the same old tricks, that have always been, that people don’t seem to remember where they come from, so some people consider what we are doing a new thing, which of course is cool, we are not a retro band. You know, I started wearing black when I was a teenager, and that is something everyone was doing in the eighties, it’s the same thing as to why I am wearing sun glasses after dark, or why I have black hair or why we have two guitarists, a drummer and a bass player so it’s like the classic rock band incarnation.People think it’s new, kid’s think it’s exciting, that’s fine with us. We are living our rock dreams, carrying the torch that was passed to us by Johnny Thunders, or Dee Dee Ramone, or Elvis or Jim Morrison, nothing special. Still we add some of our own flavors, signs of our own times that we are living right now, like the song we wrote, “Perfect Skin” which is pretty much what is going on in this world these days. Also, we have a satelite tv in our tour bus, so I was just watching VH1 and they had this advertisement of some skin care products and it was done by Jessica Simpson and she was talking about having perfect skin. It’s just like old school same old, same old, no one is doing that these days, or we are doing that better than anyone else, so it’s like a reason for kids to start to dress in black. maybe that is why we exist.

Chain D.L.K.: Your drawings seem to always have a theme of halos and so forth, I noticed some of that angels theme seems to carry, why?
69 Eyes: I’m a good guy, you know, good guys don’t necessarily wear white.

Chain D.L.K.: Maybe you are an angel, maybe you are a messenger and you can tell us what’s going on with us before we go.
69 Eyes: Oh no, no, no, nothing like that, I’m just a singer. Just like everybody else.

Chain D.L.K.: You could be a seer though?
69 Eyes: You know, I’m just like an asshole, a chauvanist, etc, just like everybody else, I have just had a chance to appear in the good light also.

Chain D.L.K.: Well you know, even the bad can have a good heart, am I right?
69 Eyes: Ya well I’m not bad, I’m just naïve…

Chain D.L.K.: Oh I don’t think you are naïve…..
69 Eyes: Well I am naïve, and I believe people are good, and that Elvis is still alive, and things like that, and ufo’s, and ghosts. I’m just part of this band, and sometimes people are looking for answers, and sometimes people are taking some things too seriously. One of the advantages of our band being a mainstream band in Finland, well not really an advantage, but kind of a different perspective for The 69 Eyes, is what the Finnish people have, because we are a mainstream band and we are featured in talk shows, mainstream magazines, and things like that, so we are nothing mysterious, or another band known by some secret cult who gathers on the full moon night, so for some people who hear our songs on the radio, we are just an ordinary rock band. In some countries, we have this cult following who are lost in their lives probably, and they think that I have the answers. I may not have them, but I surely would like to have new friends wherever, but sometimes, I don’t know what to say when somebody asked me questions like what do I think they should do with their life. I have no answer. I just wanna have fun by myself at any chosen moment but sometimes I’m seeing like this religious leader which I definitely am not.

Chain D.L.K.: Like a god?
69 Eyes: Well not god, but like a singing prophet, I am not, I am a sinner, just like everyone else, I wanna get my cock sucked every now and then, that’s all.

Chain D.L.K.: You’re a rock star like me? (laughter and silence)
69 Eyes: I could turn everything into that, but I’m not trying to.

Chain D.L.K.: You could, but you can’t, because you have a good heart.
69 Eyes: No seriously,I could start to play this role, I thought about it for awhile, but I think it’s more fun just to try not to be something I am not.

Chain D.L.K.: Wow!
69 Eyes: Well, you learn that as you become older, I was probably a bit stupid, say like 5 years ago, or even yesterday, but today is a brand new day.

Chain D.L.K.: Well, you are an humanitarian, congratulations, by the way, on your award for the world and such, you care about people.
69 Eyes: Well, it’s a very strange thing, during the recording of the new album, I actually sort of, in a humorous way, I saved the world. I was in Africa, and then afterwards, I was awarded for that . And then during the sessions for the album, meanwhile, I was singing in the studio, but I did all these things, so it’s kind of great, but also,of course, that gives me a serious side for my life, and inspires me for some other things. But honestly, with the band, and for instance, the comics, I am actually drawing a new comic book right now, when I have some spare time, so I have been drawing like two pages every day. I’m hyperactive, so then, you get things done .It really inspires me to do some things, but you know, with the band, and this crazy art I am creating, I want to keep that crazy, I want to keep that spooky, I want to keep that totally insane and dangerous you know, in that Satanic way, but there is the other side of the coin, when I step into the spotlights, and do good things. On the other hand, whatever comes out of me as an art form, I want to keep it that way because that is the only way I know it and it’s not going to change even though I have this saint side.

Chain D.L.K.: Well, it’s like saying “success hasn’t spoiled you yet”, your not like that, your not letting it go to your head, am I right?
69 Eyes: I’m not successful, ironically, I’m considered successful because I am here, at this moment which is of course great, it’s something that I never expected, but on the other hand, I just went to Taco Bell, in the freezing weather, I have never been here before, and somehow, the buildings looked familiar, so I don’t know, there is a Twilight Zone moment, dejavous are coming back and forth, there is a reason I am here, and I feel like I have been here before. Hey, by the way, I heard that there are ghosts in this building.

Chain D.L.K.: Yeah, it is haunted, it is definitely haunted. I saw Bauhaus out here, once, and I saw some orbs, it was interesting… One of the questions I wanted to ask you was, how do you feel about the California Death Rock scene since Rozz died? How has it changed? I have to ask you a Rozz question, I have to know how do you feel, because you love LA, it is the birth of California Death Rock and you just wrote a new song about it. LA is the birthplace of Death Rock as well.

photo by Daniel Larsson: cHRISTINA dEATH 1334 OF cHICAGO & JYRKI 69 picture

69 Eyes: The whole thing is strange, you know, I have this Rozz Williams book, and like I told you earlier, for some reason, when I was Dj’ing years and years ago in Paris, somehow, the guy who ran the club was the same guy who was arranging the shows for Rozz and Christian Death there, and I stayed at the same hotel and stuff, so it’s strange after meeting you, to run into these things, and on the other hand, I was staring at the book and I really liked the band pictures there, and how they were done, you know, like the decoration of the house and things like this. And then all of a sudden, the new record was so fast, that Cleopatra and Davie Parkison is the drummer of, so I don’t know, it’s like some how, all these paths they crossed, that’s interesting, definitely inspiring. Of course, when I put up my comic book, it is published by a guy who used to sing in this band called Babylon Whores, so, a huge source of inspiration for that Scandanavian band that was Death Rock, so when the guy who used to be the singer, who published my comic book, was showing my Rozz book, I told him I wanted to be like this treasurer of stuff, like flyers, comics, art, and so on, it was one of the main influences, for me, to put up the Hollywood Death Rock scene, I basically am still waiting for the new album from London After Midnight, last time I met the group, they said they had recorded a new one, but I’m still waiting for that, so I know nothing about that.

Chain D.L.K.: What is the Hollywood Book of the Dead though? I tried to look for it. What is it? Does it exist? (pauses and realizes I, myself have a different Hollywood Book of the Dead type in my possession)
69 Eyes: It’s a book, a book about dead rock stars

Chain D.L.K.: Oh really, where can I get it?
69 Eyes: Try Amazon.com, you know like I always lend you links from there in my emails to you. (laughter)

Chain D.L.K.: How do you feel about the fact that you and I are on the same wave length about some things, and the fact that I knew Rozz so well? Is that intimidating, or inspiring in it’s own way?
69 Eyes: It’s a little bit of a new subject for me, but little things I take as a source of inspiration, on the other hand, I have been tributing enough for dead rock stars in my life, and kind of bored with the whole thing, actually, just before we met, I was watching a documentary of Jimmy Hendrix on VH1, so it’s time to move ahead, not only dig up something from a Death Rocker, choose life, and not death.

Chain D.L.K.: I agree!
69 Eyes: For years and years, I was nothing else but talking about the Doors, it’s something that’s inspiring when you are a teenager, but as you are becoming close to 40, I think it’s time to live for today, and even though I said already about recycling stuff, and stuff from the eighties, that’s all cool, and I’m a relic from those days, I still look the same as I did back then, but times are different .It’s like I am dragging a ball and chain, and I have to find my way out of the graveyard. There comes a limit, and then there are times when all that stuff feels good again. At this moment, I would rather watch Ms. Usa from tv.

Chain D.L.K.: So Jyrki, do you think we are old souls? People see me as an old soul, I wanna know how you see yourself?
69 Eyes: I am not an old soul, I’m a kid, like in a candy store.

Chain D.L.K.: Do you think that I’m an old soul?
69 Eyes: Well, you’re a messenger from beyond. I am like a kid in a candy store, I can’t concentrate on anything. There are so many new things, and it’s interesting to make people happy, and make a lot of new friends all over the world, despite the language barriers, or cultural backgrounds, or anything. You know what I enjoy the most during this tour, finally our records are out, and we have found an audience we don’t have to explain every detail to, because what we have been creating, what I have been creating, growing up in American pop culture, kids and people here know where a lot of these things come from, but like in Europe, I was upset, for example, what happened with Lost Boys, central European record company of ours didn’t understand where the song was from, and so on. So now finally we have the audience who knows exactly what we are talking about.

Chain D.L.K.: (Daniel walks in as this last question gets asks) So, am I good? I got this interview done in time just as Daniel arrived.(laughter all around)
69 Eyes: You are good enough to date (laughter and surprise from all around)

Visit 69 Eyes on the web at:

www.69eyes.com

[interviewed by Michelle Russo A.K.A. cHRISTINA dEATH 1334~] [proofreading by Karen Wimberly]

Mar 262006
 
69Eyes logo

69Eyes picture

Chain D.L.K.: What is the hidden symbolism behind the name?
69 Eyes: First of all it’s a real cool name for the band. It sounds good and looks goodand has great symbolism it possesses. It has two strong symbols, like 69 and the eye. The eye itself is one of the oldest symbols. It exists in all things like Aztec and Egyptian cultures and is the symbol for two lovers. People ask me ifIt’s from and old Misfits or Cramps song. It’s inspired from old fifties horror films and Russ Myer 60’s and 70’s horror films. It’s a real rock and roll name. It’s been our name for representing sex, blood and rock and roll for the past 17 years.

Chain D.L.K.: We owe if to the Egyptians for our makeup concepts, because without them we would not exist, don’t you agree?
69 Eyes: Most definitely!

Chain D.L.K.: What inspires you for your writing concepts?
69 Eyes: I get inspired everyday by different things, especially on this tour. When I started the band I was really into psychedellic culture and always flirted around with deep rooted things. All my inspiration comes from American pop culture, things like the New York scene with Andy Warhol and such. It’s like a synonym for the 69 Eyes. The next album will probably contain Metro-Elitistic ideas to draw inspiration from and other different elements. I am finding my ideas from also old school horror psychedellic punk rock culture and so on.

Chain D.L.K.: Do you feel you are portraying a message to the masses that we can all relate to?
69 Eyes: We have been playing for so long and our roots are really deep and we know so much about rock and roll. Maybe we are expressing something in passing but if you are interested there are a lot of things to find out. We are putting out some references, for instance, in the song “Jimmy” off the album “Devils”, it refers about, of course, the late James Dean. There is some symbolism there and if they can’t figure that out, well it’s about time they do, but it’s not necessary. Still I write what I write.

Chain D.L.K.: How has the US Tour been going? How do it feel to finally play Chicago?
69 Eyes: It’s been the best tour for the 69 Eyes. It feels like home, whenever we are in the states. This tour is doing real well and it seems something is happening and people are telling me why have we been waiting to see your band for so long? All of a sudden, in the states, we are thinking to ourselves, what if we become more commercial and mainstream. We hope people won’t think we sold out, because in Finland, we are a total mainstream band and also a teenage pop magazine band like the Backstreet Boys. We play all ages shows and the fans are 13 and 14 years old or something, Actually, that started to happen here as well. I went to the House of Blues store to get some House of Blues merchandize and there were some kids waiting and they were really surprised to see me and they were twelve to thirteen years old. I couldn’t help but think to myself just how long have you waited to see me play! I really like young people they make your band go on forever. 69 Eyes are keeping that American youth alive. The reason why this tour is really cool is we are playing with some new kids on the block, Goth kids on the new block, Program the Dead, if you will. This is our favourite tour and we haven’t sold out yet, next time more people will know about us and hopefully we still won’t sell out!

Chain D.L.K.: A lot of Finnish bands are starting to play America, why now?
69 Eyes: It all started out with Norwegian Black Metal bands like Mortiis, but now that’s all old news here in Finland already. It’s time for Finnish bands that have something unique. Even from Hanoi Rocks to Children of Bodom, those Finnish bands have a way of writing melancholic melodic lyrics, compared to black metal but the music is completely different. We have been away for so long, isolated and we have maintained some old school rock values which have been long forgotten. We are bringing back the old school values, black hair, black sunglasses, black leather jackets, going back to the youth, American pop culture like the Ramones and Sisters of Mercy for European culture.

Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever met the Misfits?
69 Eyes: No, actually we have never met. I met Glen Danzig but never Jerry Only. With all respect to Glen Danzig, I like the new Misfits stuff with Michael Graves and the Project 50 stuff. It’s honestly boring to hear people complain about about the newer Misfits 2003 stuff vs the older Misfits stuff. People are never satisfied with anything!

69Eyes  picture

Chain D.L.K.: Do you have any favourite tracks off any of our albums?
69 Eyes: It depends it changes all the time. “Lost Boys”, it’s growing. In Finland EMI offices couldn’t get the film to come to rotation when the album came out. We come here in the US and we are celebrated. In the summer in Finland it was the most played track on commercial radio. You don’t have to be a subculture music specialist to see what we are doing. We are two entities, mainstream and underground, but I’m close to opening the lid off the cage. The Central EMI Finnish offices didn’t get the idea but here, in the US, we are the saviour of that scene.

Chain D.L.K.: I see your band as the 21st Century Apocalyptic Goth Rock Band, what do you think of that analogy?
69 Eyes: I like that a lot, you need to write that down. 21st Century Apocalyptic Goth Rock Band, I’m going to use that for the next album in your honour.

Chain D.L.K.: Wow thanks!
69 Eyes: It’s a great idea, thank you!

Chain D.L.K.: In Conclusion: What are some tips to surviving bands out there that are just starting out?
69 Eyes: First of all, I will tell you how we all met. We all were in the Helsinki rock scene seeing bands like Hanoi Rocks and so on and we saw each other and then and by mistake. My band members now, back then said who is that guy with the long black Johnny Thunders hair and we got to know each other and formed our band. I was sometimes on flyers and they liked my looks and we shared the same love for horror, rock and roll records, booze, women, so that’s how it all started. So, as for tips to other bands, they need to fight the same chemistry and find your own niche and party on. Even if it takes 4 to 5 albums to get the best sound you can get. It took us 3 to 4 albums for 10 years to get our best sounds and I’ve found no one can take from our band, of course, we recycle from our favourite bands, but I haven’t heard anyone that sounds like the 69 Eyes!

Visit 69 Eyes on the web at:
www.69eyes.com

[interviewed by Michelle Russo] [proofreading by Michelle Russo]