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Kings of Modesty – Finnish drinking habits and a cooked drummer

Kings of Modesty released their debut record “Hell and Highwaters” just a few days before we met the friendly band at their gig in Switzerland, during their tour with Tarja Turunen. The guys were very excited about it and updated us with everything that happened since our last interview in October 2008 when the band talked about their plans for the debut album. Now one year later the first official tour is almost done and the future plans just sound like this band is on the best way to become another top act from the cold north. With a bottle of Swiss Kirsch Snaps we go to the Z7 club to meet the guys.


Jason

How are you doing today?
Jason: Oh, thank you Iīm fine. Itīs been a great Tour. What is this? 6th or 7th gig? But itīs been awesome, welcoming, the people were so great. We are so happy.

Happy to be back in Switzerland as well?
Jason: Yeah too, that too. There were these small club gigs back in, what was it, 2007 and…

Wait, donīt answer all my questions before hand like last time (laughs)
Jason: (laughs) Ok, I shut up.

How was the tour so far?
Jason: It is awesome, as I said (laughs) Every evening when we got out there checking the people first this: WOW! What is this, they donīt even know us yet but after a few songs we get an awesome response.
Samuel: Hey
Jason: Thatīs Samuel and Mr. Drummer Man Rane, so they can be here and also answer the questions if that is ok for you?

Yes, for sure!
Jason: What do you think about the tour so far? (to Samuel and Rane) Iīm doing the interview now (laughs)
Rane: That sounds good (everybody laughs)

Why not, would be something new...
Rane: Ok, there might be a little bit weird questions if heīs doing it.
Jason: I donīt remember a thing so, I got medicine (points to a bottle of Kirsch he got from me for his voice) so keep out men!
Samuel: Thatīs cool!

So, how did you like the tour?
Samuel: It has been great fun actually, a little bit hard but ok.

Did you have a gig every day?
Jason: Not every day but almost.
Samuel: Every other day.
Jason: And of course because we are a support band we have limited time for the soundcheck and that creates sometimes little bit tight situations, because we canīt hear everything so well, but you got to go out there and rock it out (laughs)

How long time do you have on stage then?
Jason: It varies but now at the last few gigs itīs been great but in the start it was different but we are happy, not complaining. The main thing is to be on tour.


Henkka

The record is now out for 4 days, have you already heard anything or know how many got sold so far?
All: Of course
Jason: Not any sales figures but we have seen in the internet a few reviews and those have been great, so once again thumbs up and happy smile. Canīt complain itīs been a good ride so far and hopefully it keeps on climbing up. (everybody agrees)
Rane: I think it tells something about the tour, cause I had to put to my phone calendar the 25.9. (release date) not to forget. (laughs) Cause we were on the bus and travelling, was it in Spain? Jason asked me, today what is this day? And…
Jason: What is this country and what this planet (laughs)

Oh, at least the country you should know. Seems you have been drinking too much?(laughs)
Jason: No, but itīs so hectic sometimes and when you stop and go to the internet then you are like, ”Hey this came on that day, what is this day ? Wednesday? Thursday? I meant that and of course at least I know in what country I am.

Now you know at least that (laugh)
Jason: Yeah, thank you for that, yeah we are in Switzerland (holds the bottle of Snaps in his hand and laughs)

Yeah, if you canīt drink this, itīs too strong for you
Rane: Tomorrow youīll not going to remember anything.
Jason: Thatīs not going to be a problem I guarantee and thereīs many helpers.
Samuel: You drink in this evening this bottle and you ask me tomorrow what is this day.

I hope you donīt drink this whole bottle otherwise you wonīt be able to leave this country cause you will stay in hospital for a while...
Rane: Why how many percent does this have?
(Checks the bottle) 47%
Jason: Mh, maybe half of the bottle

Ha, I want to see you after that!
All: (laughing) No, you donīt.
Jason: We take a picture and send it to you.

Yeah, you have to...
Rane: Hey, actually I have a few pics...
Jason: (harrumphs) Oh, donīt let us talk about those.
(All laugh)

You have toured here in Switzerland before, can you tell us how it came to that and where did you play exactly? Now you can tell what you wanted before (laughs)
Jason: Oh, that was what year was it? 2006? 2005? (looking at the others)
Samuel: 2006
Jason: But hey, our friend, he was living then in Switzerland, I think, nowadays he is living in Germany, he arranged a couple of club gigs, very small but still good.

Do you remember where?
Jason:It was Rockcity in Uster


Samuel

Aha, ok, that explains a lot (laugh)
JasonAh, that explains you all, what?(laugh) And the other one was something I donīt remember so whatever. That was then now is now, we are happy.
Rane: Actually it was fun.
Jason: It was fun but it was more drinking than playing.
Rane: Was it? (laughs)
Jason: Right, about 52 hours before our first gig we were like dead fucking zombies, right before we had to go on stage. And now we are older and wiser and we are you know….

Behaving now?
All Yeah (with a big smile)

What are you doing after this tour? Any plans?
Rane: Another tour.
Samuel: Yeah
Jason: We heard some rumours that we are doing in Finland in November/ December a few, at least a few gigs as support through Live Nation and with Michael Schenker Group and a few others but I donīt get the names, those and letīs see. We are making a contract with a US Label for US, Canada and Japan this week so maybe in 2010 February/March we get back to touring. So everything sounds good but hey in this business itīs always when you are at the airport then you know its happening. (all others agree) Everything can go wrong.

Whatīs one thing that you are missing most while touring?
Jason: Mhh, Home food... and our loved ones. (Samuel and Rane agree with that)

Food?
Jason: Yeah, Family and Food - couple of Big Fīs .. nothing more (with a whimsically smile)
Samuel: Finnish Beer

Finnish Beer??
All: Yeah
Jason: Third F (all laugh)
Rane: (jokes around) Finnish Feer
Samuel: And HKīs Sininen

What?
Jason & Rane: Sausage
Jason: And good dark bread (others agree) and ah, Salmiakki [liquorice liquor] of course and Koskenkorva [vodka]
Samuel: Winter (laughs)
Jason: Nooootttttt….. (all laugh) Sandy just said that there were 4°C this morning in Finland
Rane: We had maybe 30 (laughs)

Yeah, I also thought itīs quite hot here when I arrived this morning
Samuel: You flew today?

Yeah and tomorrow back there, I am just here to see you guys.
All: Ohh, really wow, ok. Thanks.


Mikael

Which was your worst/best show so far on tour?
Jason: Pfff ….. mh, ok maybe sound-wise the first one because it was a so small stage. When I was in the front (showing with his hands) there was monitor there and I was standing here and Raneīs drums started from here, so I had this much room (shows maybe 1 meter) so the cymbal stand was up in my ass (all laugh) so I couldnīt do anything, only trying the high notes (all laugh)

But you got the high notes. And what was the best one?
Rane & Samuel: Berlin
Jason: Berlin ...the soundcheck was very good so, of course…(Samuel interrupts)
Samuel: Best sound on the stage….(Rane interrupts)
Rane: Yeah, people were crazy and…(Jason interrupts)
Jason: Yeah, there was a good crowd (the others agree) but I am expecting tonight a great show too, because the place is awesome, itīs fully packed, sold out and the sound was really good. So if the clouds donīt fall down everythingīs is good, I think (laughs)

Iīm starting with the next question when Jason interrupts me)

Jason: And that… ohh... Iīm sorry. That was the worst experience for me I lost half of my tooth (points to his front tooth and the others start to laugh)

Oh, how could you do that?
Jason: I bit into some bread and there was something hard in it so it was like:”What the fuck?” And now itīs this thsthsths (makes a silly face and shows his tongue through the hole.) (everybody laughs) I feel like a fucking tooth fairy.

Yeah and no one will believe that it happened this way (laugh)
Jason: Mh. yeah thatīs always the problem

What was best experience on tour?
Samuel: I donīt know
Jason: The feeling in the bus is great even there is…
Rane: Bus sucks!
Jason: The bus really sucks but hey, next time we got money for something better, so start is always a start and you got to start from somewhere so…
Rane: And heat for example in Spain is something terrible. Something I donīt like, I really donīt like. But itīs fall so great.
Jason: Maybe the next tour is in Iceland (laughs)
Rane: Yeah, Iīm waiting for it.
Jason: Ten in a row in Reykjavik
Rane: North pole tour, pole tour (laughs)

Did you see anything of the cities you were in on this tour or didnīt you have the time for it?
Samuel: Sometimes
Jason: Couple of places, yeah, we had some time thatīs always great.
Rane: For example Madrid
Jason: But if you forget all the sweating Madrid was good. (the others agree)
Samuel: And our backside in the bus, itīs terrible there it is soooo hot.
Jason: Yeah, the air condition is in the front of the bus so there is beds in-between and a little lounge in the back of the bus and one bed, so down there Rane is sleeping like...
Rane: In a rat hole! (laughs)
Jason: Yeah, itīs like sauna. (others agree)

Ah, you feel home at least there (laugh)
Rane: Yeah, really (laughs)
Jason: Dropping a few pounds (laughs)
Rane: Yeah, few…sweating all out maybe thatīs good.
Jason: Maybe we wrap you in some plastic case and when you wake up in the morning you are like cooked turkey...(All laugh except Rane)
Rane: Yeah, sounds good, thanks mate (laughs)


Rane

How are you handling the situation with your voice I know its quite stressful being on stage almost everyday, so how are you keeping your voice in shape?
Jason: Haa, what do you think? (laughs and takes the bottle of Kirsch again) Thatīs why I am so happy.

Yeah now, but I mean usually when you donīt have any hardcore stuff like this
Jason: Smirnoff, Whiskey…

Smoking?
Jason: Smoking yeah….no, I have this kind of a water pipe (shows me the box) a inhalator, like it says here, relieves irritations of the throat and itīs good for the ….. Whatīs the woooorrrddd??......the frequent speaker. Yeah, that helps, hot water and some herbs, I inhale it and it opens up. And some… (whispers) Vodka of course .. Thatīs my big secret (says it with a very deep voice and everybody else is cracking up)
Rane: What a BIG secret.

Ok, then do you have some final words for the Stalker readers?
Jason: Oh, thank you to all the people so far who have been there for us and maybe bought some CDīs and hopefully in the future we can get back soon here and all over the world, of course. And hopefully we stay healthy to do this cause everyday is a different day, everybody can get ill or something but ahhh what am I blaring here..?? (Samuel starts to laugh) Small sentences, idiot! (everybody laughs)Well, eh… Thank you all the old fans and the upcoming new fans. Come and see our great show. Always 110% ….plus 10 (everybody laughs.

Ok, then thank you that was it already.
Jason: Alright, thank you, Sandy, for coming.
Yeah, thanks.


Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Kings of Modesty
Date: 2009-10-22

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