Hellcity Punks STALKERs Fresh Act – September 2008
In Helsinki, fondly called Hellcity by its inhabitants, there are not only numerous metalheads bustling about but apparently also some punks. 80s icons like Mötley Crüe and Kiss didn´t spare the Finnish youth either and now some of them head off to follow the example of their idols. On this note attention record labels, promoters, boys & girls the guys are willing to do EVERYTHING for success! Singer Janze fills you in on the details…
Who are the Hellcity Punks? Please introduce each band member shortly.
Hellcity Punks are Janze-vocals, Hooligan-guitars, Johnny-bass and Dennis-drums. Janze and Hooligan are responsible of making all the HCP tunes and texts and they´re – so to speak – like the primus motor of HCP. Dennis is, with Hooligan, the founding member of the band and the one who never runs out of energy. He´s always on the run. =) Johnny is the crazy bass player, the maniac on stage, who is every time on fire when playing and performing live.
What comic/cartoon character would describe each member best? Why?
I (Janze) have to say Batman, because The Caped Crusader has always been one of my true heroes. Johnny is the Animal from The Muppet Show...I ´ll say no more. =)
In spring you were playing at a school fair in Helsinki, how important, do you think, is it for a young band to really take every opportunity to play live?
I think it´s very important to play everywhere you´ll get the chance to play. In my opinion that´s the best way to make your band known among people.
What was the strangest place you´ve ever played?
I guess it´s that school fair thing. Playing at daytime in the middle of exhibition stands and school presentations is not the most common situation for a rock band. But it turned out to be fine anyways. Another funny incident happened with the earlier line-up, when they were playing at this party of vet students. The party took place in a barn in the middle of some field. The place was full of dry hay and drunken students and nobody couldn´t care less of the rock band performing. Nice, huh...
Your gig at the school fair was mainly attended by girls but when having a mostly female fanbase there´s always the risk to be called a “boy band” – would that be an issue for you?
Definitely not. If someone wants to call us a boy band, that´s his/her opinion that he/she has every right to have.
How important is for you (the band) styling and a certain image for selling your music?
In our case it´s very important. We´ve always looked up to bands like Mötley Crüe and Kiss, who besides making great music managed to look awesome. But I don´t mean that the image is everything. Having the ability to make good music is, of course, the main thing.
In what scene do you feel most at home: gothic, punk, hard rock? Other?
I guess that our music is some kinda mixture between those styles. I don´t want to categorize us too strictly. We´re at home in the good music scene. =)
Do you think it´s good to have some kind of stage persona that is completely different from the person you are offstage?
I think it´s the same thing as with the image issue...We don´t look the same on stage as we do at home. So, yes I think it´s a good thing.
What are the main influences on your music?
There are way too many to mention. Every member has his own favorites. As long as music is good it can be influence to us.
How did you develop your own musical style?
As I said we get influences from good music and then add our own ingredients to the mixture.
How does the songwriting work? What do you strive for when writing a song?
It´s me or Hooligan, who comes up with some cool ideas or riffs and then we combine our ideas into a full song together. When writing my lyrics I often have some feelings inside me, either good or bad, that I want to give vent to. Writing something to paper is the best way for me.
Your songs are about every rockstars´ favourite topic: sex, drugs, rock´n´roll, do you take your lyrical inspiration from personal experience?
I don´t underwrite that. Our songs are about life. It´s bad and good sides. I get my inspiration from everyday life. Both mine and others´.
What, do you think, is the best song ever written by any artist, by you (so far)? Why?
The first one is way too hard to answer...there are so many great songs out there. Personally I like our “Girl Who Played With Fire” -song the best. It has many different dimensions. It´s heavy and fragile at the same time. I´m also proud of the lyrics in that song.
How did the band come together in the first place? What was the reason for wanting to start a band?
I guess the main reason was that we felt that we had music inside of us that we wanted to expose. It´s much more fun to do it in a band than by yourself.
Apart from releasing the “Get Dead” EP in 2006 and another demo in 2007, how is the current situation recording-wise? Have you found a record label? Where can people listen to your songs?
We were releasing our “Result in Disaster” -EP 29.8. We release it ourselves and hope to get the labels interested with it. To listen our music, go to www.myspace.com/hellcitypunks. The whole EP is there to listen.
There´s not so much info about you in the net, is it because you want to keep up some kind of mystery around the band or is there a simpler reason?
We are working on it as we speak and soonish both www.hellcitypunks.com and our MySpace will have all the info you´ll need.
What are you doing besides the music?
Some of us are working and some not. But the music is the most important thing for all of us now. And of course we´re partying, like there´s no tomorrow! =)
What are your ambitions with the band? What are you willing to do/sacrifice for success?
To make it short: We are willing and ready to do everything to make things bigger and bigger. Sky is the limit I guess.
What are your plans for the near and remote future?
To do as many gigs as possible, do better and better albums and reach more and more people with our music.
Thanks for your time!
Thank you for this nice interview!