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Baby Jane: No rush on the ride

It´s no secret that Mama Trash has a good taste in music, therefore we can expect that Baby Jane, the Headliners of the Trash Fest Kick Off Party 2010 will make a lasting impact. We met the guys before their show in Helsinki, where they entertained us with Swedish drinking games and acoustic tunes (performed by Freddie and Manx) while waiting for guitarist Rikk. After this introduction to Swedish culture we proceeded to find out more about this charming band.

Hey guys, did you had a good journey to Finland?
Rikk: Absolutely!
Manx: Absolutely! Very good!
Mikey: We ended up on the ferry with 8 year old kids having a spring break, so it was crowded and we were there in the middle...
Rikk: Yeah, worst party ever
Mikey: … they had a music competition going on for half a year for those dance music bands, you know, like this common dance where people dance together, and the winner and the second where playing on that boat …

You didn’t take part in there?
All: We danced there!
Freddie: We did - we like new music!

Do you? All kinds of?
Freddie: Yeah absolutely, everyone here listens to new music like, whatever, Lady Gaga or so.
Mikey: Eurovision Song contest!
Manx: But the ferry over here was a pretty cool thing, cause we where pretty sure that it´s going to land in Finland like 8 o’clock in the morning. So we had talked about who should drive that fucking car, cause we haven’t got a driver, so one of us has to keep sober. This time the choice fell on me, so I was the one going slow with the beer and going to bed ….ähmm …. (sarcastically) EARLY! (everybody laughs) Well, when I was going to bed at 6 in the morning, the other guys where already sleeping and the boat was actually going to land in Finland at 6 o’clock and I haven’t slept yet - it was a pretty interesting … trip ...
Mikey: It was like waking up in the middle of Titanic accident
Freddie: Yeah “What the fuck is this - where are we?”
Mikey: We where rushing, packing the stuff in 5 minutes
Manx: I had to wake those kids up (points at his band colleagues), so I felt a little fatherly in that moment

Is this your first time in Finland?
Freddie: Not for him (points to Rikk, he has Finnish origins) but for the other guys!
Rikk: But this is like my 50th time on the ferry, I mean not exact rating, but this was the first time I kept partying and drink beer, cause otherwise its just empty if you go like on Tuesdays or Thursdays, there is nothing going on, but now there was this spring break, so it was completely crowded with people and that was the first time I could party during the boat trip, that was cool.
Manx: No, for me - it´s the first time, I´m very excited
FreddieI havn’t seen so much of this city so far.
Manx: We are happy to be here actually, there is one good thing with being in a band, you can play together with people you love and get to see places that you would never see otherwise. I think I wouldn’t have come to Finland if I wasn’t in a band or if there wouldn’t be something really really special going on. It’s really nice to be here because it’s a really beautiful country

How long are you staying here then?
Freddie: ´till Saturday

So you leave quite soon, so do you have time tomorrow to see the city or ...to sleep? (laughter)
All: Sleep
Manx: We have been talking about that before, I think we won’t see so much of the city. I think we will sleep
Rikk: But we have time on Friday night to check out Nosturi and go to Trash Fest, but we have to be back on the boat on Saturday evening
Manx: So it’s cool
Freddie We can drink tomorrow too (laughs)

Ok, tell us something about your band, how did you meet each other, when was Baby Jane founded?
Mikey: We three (points to Rikk & Matt) where childhood friends from a small village outside of Gothenburg, so we grow up together since, I don’t know, being seven years old
Rikk:… 5 years old - we lived next door, we always have been friends and we moved to Gothenburg when we were around 20, we´ve always been playing in other bands. We´ve been playing in rock bands and different constellations and cool projects and stuff but..
Freddie: We, too! (Laughs and points at Manx and himself)
Rikk: But we moved to Gothenburg to study and then we founded this Band Baby Jane and we where looking for a singer and Freddie came along
Freddie: Yeah I knew Matt, our drummer, and a friend of mine said that Matt has a band that maybe needs a singer, and I was tired in living in my city so I gave him a call
Matt: Yeah you did, he called me “are you looking for a singer?”
Freddie: So I took a train to Gothenburg and met them
Matt: Yeah with the craziest outfit ever, (everyone laughs) with a pirate’s flag and so on, that was crazy!
Freddie: Like a male whore

So where are you from originally?
Freddie: Same city as those guys, one hour from Gothenburg
Manx: I am the only “outsider” in the band
Mikey I spotted Manx while he was playing in another band, we were looking for a bass player, we tried some of the rocker guys from our town but they where nothing, It took like an hour to teach them one song so that couldn’t turn out good. There are a lot of guys who wants to play the bass guitar, but many are not into music.
Rikk: I invited him to my place to an after party, we where playing guitar and drinking and we asked him that he should audit for us, and he did
Mikey: And now he is in our band
Freddie: Now we go to the top

I hope so!
Mikey: That’s good, we have merged into something good during there two years since 2007
Manx: Its very cool, cause we have very different experiences but somewhere deep inside we all want to do the same thing, and it´s really important when you´re rehearsing and playing the set all over and over again and try to hit it as good as you can for the Trash Fest evening, and you know that everyone wants this 100%, so this is going really great.
Freddie: I have been playing with other guys before this band, too, and right now actually I can’t play with any other guys. I cannot imagine any band member changed. This is Baby Jane (the others nod)
It just fits together like this.
Freddie: Absolutely!

How did you come to Mama Trash Family?
Manx: It was through me actually. I met Mama Trash first time in Stockholm in 2008, I think. We had some contacts on the internet before for some promo jobs, well, she invited us and we have been Mama Family Artist for one year now, and she invited us to play… actually I don’t remember how we got to meet her ...
Rikk: Last year a band dropped out and they called us a couple of days before if we could fill in, and we where ready for it, but then she changed her mind and promised us a spot next year instead. So here we are.

You released your Promo Cd’s 2007/2008/2009/ but you aren’t signed yet - is that correct?
Manx: Not yet!

Why do you think this is like that?
Rikk: It all has to do with the music industry, I mean, nobody gets signed for nothing - you can always get a deal, it´s not hard to get signed, but its hard to get signed on a good label. I mean we all can save some money and release a CD in Italy or USA, that’s not the hard part - the hard part its to get a good label to put their efforts and money into us.
Mikey: And another tricky thing is for us to get a record together that we really wanna release. We don’t wanna release anything that isn’t perfect.

So you are quite self-critical?
All Yeah absolutely
Freddie It’s very important to be like that as a band

Yeah of course but..
Freddie: We don’t make songs or play songs or play live songs we aren’t very satisfied with, like everything we do and show to others, it´s important to…
Rikk: It’s the same thing with the record labels, we are very picky, we want to have the best, so if it´s not the best we can wait, cause something will come along - there is no rush!
Manx: Actually we are very determined to get a great fan base which will go with us on the ride, which will support our first album and before we haven’t got that we don’t release an album, because we have seen that so many times before: a Band releases an Album and they think they are going to be big superstars, but if the album is selling like 5 copies - what’s the point of releasing an album? You can instead keep releasing songs on the internet, keep sure that you find some gigs, and then you got a great fan base going on, you also get people buying your record.

But I think your Fan base is not that bad
All: No it’s pretty good
Manx: Yeah it’s pretty good, we have been around for three years now and we have already been in five different countries, like in Germany for example.
Mikey: The main reason to get a good record label is to expand our fan base extremely, in a fast way, trough channels that we can’t reach on our own
Manx: Being realistic on our first album, I think we won´t work with a record label like Universal or huge record companies, but its really important for us to work with motivated people who want to do the promotion right and who want us to get us out there

You mean you look for a label where you are not just a small act for them, you wanna be the big act for them, do I see that right?
Manx: Yeah exactly, we want to be their biggest selling thing, you know - it is true, you don’t sell many records these days, so its very important to have motivated people who want to get you out there
Mikey: Yeah it should be like a sixth member of the band
All: Exactly
Manx: yeah you should love him like a brother from another mother
Mikey: (laughs) Alright next question!

Ok, what are your plans for this year, a demo, some gigs?
Mikey: Well, we had some discussions, maybe we are going on a trip - but its all about writing new material and I guess we are keeping it for ourselves this time, until they are on an album.
Manx: This year is really interesting
Mikey: Really Really

Yeah you wrote on your website it will be the year of Baby Jane, so what’s so special then? (Laughter)
Freddie: Well - you know we don’t want to tell you everything now, we are friends, we are a band - we don’t want to say everything

Yeah, keep the mystery around the band … Another question, what was your best/ worst experience since you are together?
Mikey: Waking up this morning
Best or worst?
All: Worst!
Mikey:... the morning after the best experience is always the worst (laughs)

Ok, you guys are from Gothenburg, I have never been there, what should I check out when I am there?
Rikk: Sticky Fingers probably, it got Gothenburg on the map cause lots of Bands play there all the time, it’s a good club, it´s three stories and always has rock bands and stuff that’s a big Rock Magnet to Gothenburg for sure; and then you should check out the pier...
Matt: The local ferry is pretty nice it cost around 80 crowns and it goes around and you can go there and drink beer on the roof of it - this is pretty nice.
Manx: You should go to Liseberg (Amusement Park in Gothenburg) that’s pretty cool
Mikey: You should also hook up with some good rock guys so they can party the hell out of you.

Ok, we keep that in mind, you remember we have that all on tape - now you have to (laugh)
Manx: Sure, we will show you around
Freddie: So, you’re gonna party with us when you are in Gothenburg!

You (to Freddie & Manx) have quite a lot of Tattoos, so where do you get those? Did you take them from different places?
Freddie: I have done them at 5 different places.
Manx: And me on 3 or 4 different places, it was meant to be on the same place, cause I had a concept with my sleeves, but you just move around in Sweden and you got new people, they are interesting in working and keep working on your arms. I will do a back piece, too, and I think with the same tattooer as in the last things, and this is in Varberg, very close to Gothenburg.

So they have a special meaning for you guys, I mean - some people just do it because they like the picture without a deep meaning behind; you don’t have to tell me the meaning - I know this is too personal...
Freddie: Not exactly every one of them, but most of it
Manx: I think every Tattoo you do has some sort of meaning with it, of course it´s very important for you to look good and sometimes you came up with a meaning of it afterwards, but when you stick those needles to your arms, it always means something. Often for many people it´s like telling “fuck off” to society, but it´s pretty accepted today having tattoos, so...

So there is no problem in Sweden if you have tattoos?
Manx:No, not at all

Because it’s different in Switzerland - this is still a no go there for most of the people.
Freddie: In Sweden it is very accepted

OK finally, tell the people out there why you are the band they should listen to?
Freddie: Because we sound new, we have something special
Mikey: I think that it´s all about the same thing - that we have in our mind the reason why we are making music, you can see that when we are playing - we really wanna do it because we love it so much. I mean, if you listen to the songs, you can get some feeling out of that, so you get some energy boost from it - that’s why I love music.

Thank you for the interview
All: Thank you


Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Klaudia Weber
Date: 2010-04-09

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