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Airplay with their first EP "Enter The Prey" on Radio Rock, the first and only Finnish band that played at the legendary "Rest In Sleaze" festival in Sweden`s capital Stockholm and last but not least opening act at the "KISS Expo 2011": The band biography of Wekkie Hart (Vocals), James (Guitar), Elmo (Guitar), Luca (Bass) and Shane (Drums) is impressive, but this is all just the beginning of Scene D` Chryme. Backstage at that expo, the Sleaze rockers from Helsinki revealed during the STALKER interview why groupies had to stay outside that night...
Congratulations on the very felicitous performance here at the "KISS Expo 2011" and in general for being chosen as its opening act! Are you happy with how everything went? Shane: Yes, we had a fucking good time on stage! Wekkie Hart: It was really fun! Shane: It was just a bit tricky to deal with some things...
Yeah, there was a delay of almost an hour before they opened the hall, not to mention the delay until your show started, and there were problems with the guest and press lists... Elmo: There were a lot of problems! Wekkie Hart: Yes, we had a lot of problems and at this point, we really want to thank our fantastic booking agent Antti Lampinen who was working his ass off to get all this shit done. Shane: Yes, he is standing up for us at pretty much every concert that takes place. Wekkie Hart: And, believe me, there are lot of funny stories to tell! And Antti always stood up for us. But to get one thing clear right away: The problem wasn`t "Nosturi". Not at all! From the technicians to the mixing guys, "Nosturi" treated us very well and made us feel welcome. Really nice guys! The problem was rather the organiser, "KISS Army Finland". Well, everything has started that way that our agency, "Firebox Agency", organised three gigs for the KISS Forever Band from Hungary who are playing here tonight as well. Shane: Three gigs in Finland and we were supposed to be the opening act at two of them. And tonight`s show was supposed to be the last one but then "KISS Army Finland" came into play... Wekkie Hart: … and they changed the venue from "DOM" to "Nosturi" which was really cool, like it was birthday... [Laughter] And then, all of a sudden, the whole event became "KISS Expo 2011" and we heard the rumours that John Corabi would play here, too... Shane: And then it was like New Year`s Eve! [Laughter] Well, there are good and bad sides of this. The good sides are that we got the chance to play at "Nosturi", we got the chance to meet this big stars and not to forget the bigger audience we played in front of. On the other hand, there was all the hustle and bustle going on. Not on purpose but with "KISS Army Finland" there were more people involved in organising the event and obviously that makes everything more complicated and creates more problems. Wekkie Hart: But to be honest: In the end, it was totally worth all the struggles! Scene D` Chryme: Yeah! Elmo: We are really grateful to everyone who has made this event possible for us! Wekkie Hart: It`s really like a dream that has become true. We used to come here to see our favourite bands like Hanoi Rocks, The 69 Eyes... And now we ourselves played on this stage... Shane: It`s a milestone for the band, I think. Wekkie Hart: And I`m sure we got a lot of new fans after this gig. At least, we hope so. By the way, I was invited to go on stage with John Corabi and Bruce Kulick to sing with them... But I`m fucking wasted! [Laughter]
Shane just called tonight`s show a "milestone" but before that, the biggest step in your career was the participation in the "Rest In Sleaze" festival in Stockholm, wasn`t it? Wekkie Hart: Yeah, we played there in February 2010. We were all really big Crashdïet fans. We love the first album "Rest In Sleaze", not to say: We are really Die Hard fans of it. But then, the singer Dave Lepard died. Such a grievous loss! His mother, Lisbeth Hellman, started to organise this annual festival, named after the first album, in memory of her late son. We applied to play there and she really liked us, so she said: "Yeah, you can play here!" Well, that`s pretty much it. Shane: And it`s supposed to be an event for Swedish bands only, so: She REALLY likes our music! Wekkie Hart: Yeah, we are the first and only Finnish band that ever played there...
What was the venue of the "Rest In Sleaze" festival? Wekkie Hart: "Fryshuset". All the Crashdïet DVDs have been filmed there. It really looks like "Nosturi" and if Crashdïet would come to Finland, they would play at "Nosturi" or "Tavastia".
Last time they played at "On The Rocks"... Wekkie Hart: Yeah, last time... That was really weird! Of course, it was sold-out very quickly and, actually, we were there. We even tried to open up for them but they didn`t want to have any opening act. Understandable. I mean the stage is really small and the backstage is sooo small... It would be impossible to be there with Crashdïet... With all their big hairs, especially Simon [Cruz, the current singer of Crashdïet]... [Laughter] Shane: But if it was possible to have a tour with Crashdïet, we would definitely do it! Elmo: Maybe they will remember us or at least our name, although it`s hard to pronounce. [Laughter] When you see it somewhere written, it`s like: "Scene D` what?!?" Then you forget about it - but when you see it again, you will remember that you have seen our band name before.
I have pronounced your band name correctly when I saw it the first time but then I wasn`t sure about it `cause it sounds like the name of a Hip Hop or Rap act... [Huge laughter] Elmo: In Ghana, we are gods! Well, there is a funny story: On our facebook profile, we have 40 people from Ghana liking us and we are pretty sure that they don`t really know who we are... Wekkie Hart: Well, you can never know. Maybe they really like us. Maybe they have a statue of us there. Maybe someone threw our CD in the ocean and they have found it...
Who came up with this bandname? Wekkie Hart: It was me. Well, our line-up was really different back then. We were in the car of the guitarist`s mum. We called ourselves "Gunshyne" but started to think that a band name with the word "gun" in it is lame if your music is kind of similar to Guns`n`Roses. So we were fooling around with ideas and our ex-guitarist raised a laugh with the suggestion "Chryme Scene". But while I was sitting there in the back seat, I started to remember the British band "The Dogs D` Amour", especially the way how their bandname is written with the D and the apostrophe. I never heard their music. I just remember the name. And then I thought: "How about `Scene D` Chryme`?"
And how has everything started with Gunshyne / Scene D` Chryme? Wekkie Hart: The band was founded by a few of my best friends and me. We started with the band just for fun - until I realised one day that I want to do this for a living. I started to take it seriously and that was the time when the rest of the guys dropped out of the band. So I started to look for other people and there is actually a very special story about Luca, our bass player. Or: The guy who is responsible for us having no female fans any more because he never ever calls them back in the morning. [Laughter] Anyway, listen to this story which sounds like a movie script from Hollywood: Well, when I was seven and in the first grade of the elementary school, I had this one friend there. But after the first grade, I changed the school and that was it with our friendship. Then, in 2006 or so, I was chatting with a girl on msn messenger and she added a user called "SikkiNixx" to the conversation. Obviously, he was like me a Mötley Crüe fan so I liked him right away and we started to compare who has what from Mötley Crüe, who of us is the bigger fan of them and so on. So we started to compete. And one day we met and started to hang around together, drink and so on - and then Luca was like: "Weren`t you the guy from the first grade?" And now we are here!
Friends from childhood... Wekkie Hart: ... who have been separated... [Laughter] Luca: Separated and finally brought together. Shane: I think James is the next one to go... James: Are you sure that I should tell this story?!? Shane: Yeah, go ahead! James: I don`t really remember anything about how we met first. I only remember that KISS played. Shane: None of them remembers anything. They just woke up in the same bed after KISS had played... [Laughter] James: Something like that... Well, we met there but I don`t remember anything. Wekkie Hart: It was in May 2008 when KISS played at "Hartwall Areena" here in Helsinki. We were queuing for the show. We came one day before the show to get to the front row. There were lots of people queuing over night and they partied there...
Over night?!? Wekkie Hart: Yeah, it`s always like this when there are shows of KISS or Mötley Crüe... Well, some people were so drunk that they started to run naked around the arena. I was sleeping in my sleeping bag and when I woke up, I saw it was already dark and there was a bonfire in front of "Hartwall Areena". And there were three or four guys around it. Naked. I went to the bonfire and asked them what the fuck they are doing... And then they started to run around the arena. Naked. James: And half a year later, I came to the band`s audition. Wekkie was sitting on the stairs and just said: "Dude, I have naked pictures of you!" Till now, I don`t wanna know... Wekkie Hart: He will know it tomorrow. Yeah, but one of those guys who were running naked was a mutual friend of ours and for some reason he sent us pictures of all who were running around naked that night - and you were one of them. But that`s why we are so good friends. Like brothers, you know. We do everything together. James: Like running around naked... Wekkie Hart: James is the guitar god in the band. He is the funny guy.
And you, Elmo and Shane, joined the band after James? Elmo: No, I joined the band already in 2006. When I was in high school, I had a school band but I was looking for a serious band... Wekkie Hart: ... which he never found! [Laughter] Elmo: I wanted to build a band around myself and tried to gather people around me but I couldn`t find any people `cause no-one liked the stuff I like. And one day I found this ad that called my attention. I wanted to meet those guys and... I still have the diary! [Laughter] Well, we had to keep a diary at school but only for one course, and I wrote on that day: "Today, I`m gonna meet Wekkie and the boys!" James: We are still heterosexual, just to get it clear... Wekkie Hart: There were so many people in this band and Luca and I are pretty much the only ones from the founding year `cause sooner or later everyone realised how bad we are as musicians so they left. But, fortunately, we found these stupid guys! Shane: Well, after all this fucking Hollywood stories about childhood friends, writing diaries, running around naked... One might think we are having a dude who is writing the scripts for the stories of our band... Seriously! Well, before joining Scene D` Chryme in 2010, I was in a band which was musically not what I wanted to do. The time in there was great and the guys are all old friends of mine but it was never on a level of seriousness that I wanted to have for a band and so we decided to break it up at some point. I was in that band for about four years and all of a sudden it was over so I started to feel empty. But just in the minutes when I started to think about that I don`t have a band anymore to concentrate on, I heard that the drummer of Scene D` Chryme had parted ways with the band. So, yeah, I went to the audition, we played a few songs together and in the end, everyone of us was very excited and it was really fun anyway. That was pretty much it, already after that first audition. Wekkie Hart: There were so many changes going on at that time: Shane joined the band as our new drummer, we signed the contract with "Firebox Agency"...
And now your brandnew EP "Blackout" is finally out! Wekkie Hart: Yeah, Sampsa Astala, the former drummer from Lordi, has produced it... Shane: It`s our second EP after "Enter The Prey" which has been played on "Radio Rock". Elmo: The number one radio station in Finland when it comes to Rock! Wekkie Hart: "Blackout" can be ordered via recordshopx.com. Now they have some more copies of it after the first ones were completely sold-out within two hours only. They were ordered from all over the world, from America to Australia. Shane: "Keltainen Jäänsärkijä", the record shop next to "Tavastia", has a few copies as well.
How would you describe the style of your music in general? James: It`s Rock / Metal with this fucking gay Glam stuff. Wekkie Hart: Once I said in an interview: "Imagine Bon Jovi on acid and on the dark side..." Shane: Pretty much, yeah, but I think we are taking influences from several other musical genres as well and thus finding our own sound... James: That`s true!
You have to deal with the reputation to be as rude as Mötley Crüe are... Wekkie Hart: I think it would be really cheesy to say we are like Mötley Crüe, because they really try to look how they look like but we have a very bad reputation because... When people treat us wrong, we take revenge. In our own way. We are not assholes ,but it`s in our nature to fight back whether by putting laxative medicine in your sandwich or just telling you to fuck off in front of 200 people. I once even had some issues with the cops and I can tell you that their breakfast is very delicious! [Laughter] And they fucking lost my passport, but that`s another thing. Well, yeah, there are every now and then venues, especially outside Helsinki, where... Well, there aren`t many people anyway and then the venues start to make a mountain out of a molehill just because they don`t want to pay us. And then we fight back. That`s where we got our bad reputation from and believe it or not, but we got a couple of gigs because the clubs and promoters heard about our reputation and wanted to see what this is all about. [Someone starts to sing the chorus of Hardcore Superstar`s "My Good Reputation"] I hope they won`t be disappointed...
Talking about Mötley Crüe: They are role models, influence and inspiration for many musicians especially in the Sleaze Rock scene, also for you? Wekkie Hart: No, I don`t like those guys anymore. I used to see them as gods when I was a teenager, but now I see the faults in them. I would rather like to mention my mother. She had her doubts, but she has still supported us all the way and I would really like to thank her. Shane: I like pretty much anyone who has done something different. Of course I like rock music and I could mention some big names concerning rock music, like Hanoi Rocks who are really role models for me. On the other hand, there are certain names popping up every now and then, like Marilyn Manson. He is just so different and so fucking fucked up. He does stuff that no one else would do. It`s the same with Lady Gaga. She is not a role model in any way for me but I like the stuff she is doing just because she is doing it so differently. I don`t really like her music that much but I like the image she has. It`s in a way similar to Marilyn Manson. And I really like their kind of attitude. Elmo: And I am probably one of the few guitarists who heard Guns`n`Roses and started to play guitar because of their singer Axl Rose and not because of Slash. I don`t know why. Maybe because I was afraid to start to sing as I can`t sing.
We already talked about the "Rest In Sleaze" festival in Sweden. Have you played in other countries as well? Scene D` Chryme: Not yet. James: Maybe one day we will play in Turku... [Laughter]
Is Turku a foreign country for you? Shane: No, we`re just kidding. We have fans there. Wekkie Hart: And Michael Monroe lives there. [Wekkie starts to peel a banana and puts it into a condom]
Shane, you recently played two shows with theFALLEN from the UK... Shane: Yes, I played the drums for them but it was just a favour I did for them. We had a tour with theFALLEN last summer when they played in Finland for the first time, so we got to know them and after the tour we decided to keep in touch. They went back to England and shortly after they announced their second tour in Finland. At the airport, Dom White, the drummer, noticed that he had lost his passport. So he couldn`t make it to Finland for the tour and their tour manager called me if I could help out. I thought that even if we would get only three songs together, it would be better than letting the guys cancel the whole tour. So we stayed up all night, practised and got six songs together. We had to cancel one date but played the two shows in Jyväskylä and Helsinki. It was fun. I was just happy that I could help the guys `cause I really love them and didn`t want them to cancel their whole Finland tour.
I think this was one of the longest and funniest interviews I ever did so far but I`m afraid it`s time for the "Famous last words" now... Elmo: Don`t put a banana into a condom! [points to what Wekkie did] Wekkie Hart: Yeah, now we have a banana in the condom so the girls who are waiting outside have to stay outside because I already wasted the condom. So: Don`t put bananas into condoms!
Stefanie Singh; photos Stefanie Singh and Lance Kooma