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Lordi: “I never ever had the thought to quit”

This interview took place only one day before the exact 10-year anniversary of the first Lordi performance at the Z7 in Pratteln. Lot of things have happened since then: New members, the Eurovision Song Contest as well as 5 studio records, the latest called “To Beast or not To Beast”. After the show´s Meet & Greet with a bunch of fans, Mr. Lordi took some time for us to answer our questions, despite being soaked in sweat and exhausted by the show (report here ). Indeed a monster that doesn’t terrify you, because it is just too nice to be scary.

You recorded the new Album “To Beast or not to Beast” in the USA, it seems to work pretty well for you guys when you are not recording in your home country, is that right? Why did you choose to record it in US instead of Finland?
Yeah, well, because of Michael Wagener, the producer. Because we really clicked with him, you know. It was really nice to work with him on Babez (the previous record “Babez for Breakfast”, the ed.) And we decided while we were recording Babez: “Ok, we going to do another one with him”. So it was already decided with him and the band back then. It was not necessarily because we wanted to record it in the States, but he happens to have his studio there.

So he wouldn´t come over to Finland to record an album with you?
Of course he would but it is just the thing, you know all the producers have. If they have their own studio, then they know every little grip in there, and so it´s easier for them. It actually made more sense for us to go there.

Do you think that you work better when you are abroad or at home, or is it the same?
NO, NO! It is the same; it has everything to do with the producer and the right atmosphere. It doesn´t matter where you are.

Ok that´s good! I thought you might get some kind of home sickness or something?!
Mhh…yeah kind of. But that is always a problem when you are in the studio, but the technical stuff is always the same, it doesn´t matter where you are. The atmosphere within the band and with the producer is the thing that is really important.

You´ve done a new music video to your song „The Riff“ (http://youtu.be/jFwbrHAyuaw ), I don´t see a clear context between the lyrics of the song and the video. How this the idea for this supermarket Zombie show came up?
(laughs) Yeah, there is absolutely no context between. The record label decided to have that song, because that was not my choice. I wanted to have “Sincerely with love”, the `Fuck you asshole` song. But they were really scared and said “No, no we can´t use that!” And I said “Come ooooonnnn!” But they decided, so I said, sure ok why not, you know, what the hell, let´s do that. So the problem is that on the lyrics for the riff the song is so self explaining, it is so clear what happens, that there where only two ways of doing the video for a song like that. Either do it like word by word or then do something completely different. And we decided that, ok we are not going to have a fucking CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) so let´s do something completely different.

And so the Idea of the girl in the supermarket came up?
Yeah, we actually had lots of ideas. It is funny cause the video was supposed to be a lot gorier and the girl was supposed to be butt-naked there. But once again the label said “Oh nono!”

No you can´t do that! Well, record labels!
Yeah! It is really funny because they really stared at all this shit and it´s still like “Come ooonnn!” It´s 2013 already sooo come oooonnn! (rolls his eyes)

Do you have plans for another video?
Well, if you ask me I would always have plans for all the videos. But you know, nowadays with the videos it is different than it was in the past. Because now everybody is watching YouTube on a really small fucking thing. So the budgets are really down for a video shoot. I don´t want us to make a video that doesn´t look good, unless there is a storyline in the video that kind of backs it up. If we would do a really really low budget video, I would like it to be somehow backing up the story. So I don´t know.

You had quite a rough year behind you with the loss of your drummer Otus and then also Awa left the band, was it hard to move on, or was it clear from the beginning that Lordi will keep going on?
Yes, it was clear! You know, this is what I do, this is who I am! I know it sounds hard to say, but it doesn´t matter how a person leaves the band, when she just wants to quit or he is fired, or he dies. He is just no longer in the band, but it doesn´t mean that the band should quit. The thing is I never ever had one second in my life the thoughts to quit. As long as there is somebody to pay for our studio and put our records out, and as long as there are people who want to see us live, we are doing it.

You have two new members, can you maybe describe a bit what their costumes are showing and how did you find the new members?
Well, with Hella it was already before we met her, I already told my wife, when we knew that Awa is leaving, because that was no surprise - we were talking with Awa at least for a year and half. You know, she just didn´t have the motivation anymore like 100%, so she just waited for a good time to leave the band. So we already knew that she was leaving and I told my wife, way before Awa quit, the next keyboard player, it would be awesome if she would be a doll. And when I spoke with Hella for the first time, it was funny. I asked her ”What kind of monster would you like to be?” And I think first she said a Vampire, and I said: “No, no that´s so fucking cliché!” And then she said “Maybe a doll!” and I said ”You´re in! Not necessarily like that, but we went to rehearsals and so on, but it was so fucking clear.

With Mana it was a way more difficult process. He didn´t really know. And he was like: “I´d like to be Alice Cooper!” Well, you can not be Alice Cooper. Then he was like, I would like to be the Tall Man from Phantasm. I was like : ”Emmhhh…” So it became some kind of a mixture. Mana has the Alice Cooper nose and he has little bit of Big Fortuna, you know Jabba da Hutt´s sidekick guy from Star Wars, and he has little bit of Hellraiser and the Tall Man, so it took quite a long time to put it all together. And then the last thing was ´let´s add the Lord of the Flies as well´, he used to be the Lord of the Flies, so he is partly a fly or insect. But now I know that the next Mana will not have the same kind of hair. He wanted to have long hair, but it is really fucking difficult for him to play.

So did you have an audition for the new members?
Not really. We had before, well, seven years ago, when we were looking for Ox and Awa, we had the auditions. But this time we just started calling people. Because Otus died first, so we wanted to keep it quieter. So we just asked people and let the word spread around, and then people started to send us MP3 etc.

You have been part of the WOK WM at the German TV, I know you haven´t been sliding down the hill yourself, but the rest of the band did, but maybe you can tell me anyhow if they enjoyed it or if they were scared?
Well, I don´t think they were scared. I said: “Hell No! I am not gonna do that shit!”

Well, I also wouldn´t. It´s quite dangerous!
Yeahhhh… I said that´s the most stupid, craziest fucking TV we´ve ever been to, and we have been to fucking Eurovision. That´s what I said! This was the most idiotic thing we have ever been on. We didn´t understand anything, because everybody was speaking German. So we didn´t know what the fuck is going on. We didn´t understand a fucking word and we didn´t understand how big it is in Germany, we had no fucking clue. And then after that everybody came up like “You know Stefan Raab?” I was like “Who the fuck is Stefan Raab?” “The guy of the WOK WM”. “What the fuck are you talking about??” ”Well everybody knows Stefan Raab!” “It´s like, well you tell me one Finnish TV host, and I tell you do I know Stefan Raab!” and then they were like ´alright well´. He is really famous in Germany, but nobody knows him outside. I mean, he is a good guy, but I have no Idea who the fuck he is. Now I know! But still it is, come on, for me he is just a guy!

Will we see you again there next year?
(laughs) Well, emhhh… sure why not! I mean, it is ok because now we know what the fuck it is all about. Because when we were there, we had no fucking clue.

So then you slide down yourself??
NOOOOOOOOO! No fucking hell! No! There is a thin line between idiotic and suicidal. I rather be idiotic!

So the rest of the band is..
Suicidal….YEAH!

Everybody is mentioning your victory at the Eurovision Song contest still 7 years after the contest, I guess you must be sick and tired of it?
Yes and No. The thing is, it depends on the question. I always say this mantra: I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Eurovision itself or the completion or the organization. I mean, we have done Eurovision things after that. We played in Ireland Eurovision Finals this year. And the Eurovision Fans and Organization is all good. But it is with some people who had a problem, not us, it is not a big deal for us, it never was as it was for many people.

Would you participate there again now, with the knowledge you have about the whole thing and what it brings along?
No, never ever! Because we could never ever succeed as well as we did the first time.

But if you wouldn´t have been there yet, but still knew all the good and bad sides of it, would you go there again?
Yes, because all the positive sides are way bigger than the negatives.

Even thought you had a burn-out after that?
Yeah, but it was not because of the contest. It was because of too many bookings. It was NOT because of Eurovision.

I´ve read that there will be a movie about Lordi coming up, can you tell us a bit more about it and when will we see it?
Yeah, we´ve been shooting that for three years already. And the last thing that´s gonna be shot for this movie will be next summer, and it´s gonna come out next year. It´s a documentary behind the scenes. The film crew was on this tour in Germany on the first week and they gonna shoot some of the summer festivals. So it is really behind the scenes. But we are not showing our faces. Everybody asks that. But we are there in the film without the costumes and masks, but we are not showing the faces.

You had also two art exhibitions so far in kulmagalleria in Helsinki, do you have plans to do another anytime soon?
Yeah, I also had one in my hometown in Rovaniemi.

In Sime´s house right?
Yeah. I don´t have specific plans at the moment. Well, it´s something that I do. I paint!

Well, I would buy all of them if I had the money.
(Laughs) We were actually thinking a little bit too late about bringing the exhibition on tour with us, if there would be a place, a smaller section or something. But then it needs a little bit more personell to take care that nobody steals anything or throws beer at the pictures.

So how about the show today, how did you like it?
It was really fucking sweaty, but then again it´s always really fucking sweaty for us. And as you can hear from my voice, it´s a bit down, because we´ve been having this fucking flu in the bus for the whole tour. And everybody is sick and I am sick at the moment, Amen is still sick, Hella is already out of being sick, but half of the crew is still sick. I thought, because we had a day off yesterday, that I would be ok. Because yesterday I felt a lot better, today all of a sudden came this (coughs) - I am losing my voice. So we had to switch the set a little bit, because we tried it on the sound check and I said I cannot do it, because my voice is (squeaks) But once again considering this, it went ok. Once the voice gets warmed up. It was a little bit of a Tuesday crowd, but then again it was really good. It was really quiet (laughs)

There where so many gigs this month again that I guess it has also to do with that.
Yeah, but it was good. Especially for the new guys, the newbies. You know, me and Amen we are like ok, it was a bit of a Tuesday crowd or Monday crowd or whatever. And they are “What the hell they´re awesome!” (laughs)

That´s funny. And it is almost on the day 10 years ago that you played the first time here.
Exactly! Think about it… and we´ve been here quite a few times since then.

Yeah I have seen all shows!
Alright! Cool….

What are the plans for the rest of the year? I think you go to the US as well?
Yeah, we are planning that and try to make it happen around Halloween, because we have Lordi Action Figures finally coming out around Halloween or October from a American company. I mean, they are really working at the moment to get us a Halloween tour even for a short one. There are also lots of request from South America, may be around there, and then we are coming back to tour Germany, and we are also playing here with Subway to Sally, Korpiklaani and some other band - I don´t remember the name - in December. And then the summer festivals. That takes the whole year, and I think I will start writing the new stuff already in this summer. Cause a year from now I probably should be already doing demos.

Ok, I have one last question - will you play this year at Simerock in Rovaniemi?
No, because Sime himself, who is like a Rock Fan, is like “Ohhh” (grimaces) Because on the same fucking weekend 300km from Rovaniemi there is Jalometalli festival in Oulu, and Slayer is playing there. Same weekend, so he decided not to have any Metal band, it´s all fucking Hiphop! “Uhhh…” (makes a disgusted face)

Ok then, I hope you have a great tour and thank you for your time.
Yeah, thanks!


Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Band
Date: 2013-04-25

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