[The evening begins with a trayful of orange Jell-O shots spiked with Gambina and topped with whipped cream, along with several bottles of G laid out on the table.]
Ande: [to Une] Come and get some Gambina Jell-O shots with you.
Une: Yeah, I’m not vegan, but no gelatin, thanks. But I could get some of that [whipped cream] on my Gambina!
Feel free to narauttaa, you may do the honors [referring to the Gambina bottle on the table].
Otto: Mikä se ois englanniks se narauttaminen?
To crack, crack open?
Otto: Onks crack muka narahdus? Mikä on oven narahdus?
Une: Oh Rack!
It’s something like creaking.
Otto: Creak the G.
[the rest of us go “cheers” and “kippis” with our Jell-O shots]
Just squeeze it from the bottom, and it goes nicely into your mouth.
Ande: Wow. Oh Rack, this is interesting stuff.
Une: You know Hurriganes song “Oh Rack?”
Otto: I know it very well… from the 1981 Fortissimo album. Fortissimo means not loud, but very loud. Loudest of the loud! That’s why Remu [drummer-vocalist of Hurriganes] liked it. “Oh rack, oh rack, I want my baby back!”
* * *
Have you ever done an interview in English before, is this weird?
Otto: We have done something somewhere over the years.
Ande: I think so, but it has been like over ten years ago maybe, but I guess we’ll manage.
Une: We did one a couple of years ago at Tuska festival with Janne. Extreme hangover, with some dude.
Janne: Actually one in Kuopio as well, in ’08 or something.
Was it for a Finnish or a foreign medium? After all, there is some Finnish press that do publish in English.
Janne: Yeah, but they generally don’t write about us.
Otto: It’s like the Finnair magazine or something like that, haha.
Janne: Yeah, don’t see a whole lot of surmacore coverage on that.
Otto: Mikä se on vittu, ”Venäjän kauppatie?”
Janne: They should have some on that one!
* * *
Outside of Finland, do you receive interest from press, or do you have any kind of distribution?
Janne: We’re probably the only band in heavy music today in Finland that has made no effort in getting our message across abroad.
Une: Neither does our record company.
So you don’t want it, or you just don’t give a shit?
Janne: We don’t care. It probably was in the 80’s when you were singing in English and some people were possibly dreaming of breaking through wherever…
Otto: Guys like Havana Black.
Janne: …and they were pretty much laughed on. And the general attitude was more or less like “who the fuck do you think you are?” Now it’s actually pretty rare to find, especially an English singing band that actually would not aim outside of Finland.
Ande: But actually like the old stuff, now we had these re-releases that I heard like one fifth of the pressing went to Japan directly.
Otto: But that means like a hundred copies!
Janne: But it’s a different thing, because there’s an audience for old Finnish hardcore, and that’s a release we’re all about [into], but I don’t consider it as a part of any kind of following for the band itself.
Une: But it could turn to one.
Ande: Yeah, but there are like many Finnish bands who have released an album in the U.S… even some of our labelmates might have done it, but still, it doesn’t mean anything if no one’s buying it.
In the early 90’s or late 80’s, were any of you actively tape trading and writing letters internationally, and did it seem like there was at all a buzz going on for Rytmihäiriö outside of Finland back then?
Otto: Some people were interested, and we got more into this tape trading and corresponding in the 90’s. We used to play with bands like Wind of Pain, Oheisvasara and Força Macabra. Their foreign trips were based on this underground activity.
Ande: Actually our first EP, I was trading with some German dude who had just started a record company, at that point it was just a mailorder thing, but it was called Nuclear Blast. [laughs] It was really underground back then, but we did trade some copies of our EP’s here and there, but I don’t think we had any real, actual following anywhere.
Une: Like Spinefarm was pretty underground, back then. But in the recent studio session, I tried to do some lines in order to conquer the world, like “No problem!” and “Alright!” but the producer didn’t let me!
Janne: He tried to start up always something that would end up with us singing in English and conquering the world; just start from a little something, but the producer nixed it.
Une: You could relate to that: “Spurguhuora! Alright!”
Do you think there’s anything about Rytmihäiriö that really translates outside of lyrically to a foreign audience, do you think that anyone can really get something out of it? Obviously the music can speak for itself, but don’t you think that without the whole message, there’s no band?
Otto: It’s the Caribbean/West African voodoo thing that translates to me in the cosmic language…
Une: …that riivaajien palvontamusiikki.
Janne: Lacking the lyrics and lacking the whole imagery that surrounds it, I have no idea if it’s special enough or…
Otto: Image in Algeria? Do they have any use for billhooks??
Then again, Vikings is a concept that’s also pretty far removed from Algerian people, but those kinds of bands have a very wide international audience. For instance, it seems like Moonsorrow (that Janne plays live guitar for) haven’t had any problem in that regard, although all of the lyrics are in Finnish, with only English translations provided.
Janne: The funny thing is that people actually like Vikings more than they actually like those bands! I think Moonsorrow have had no songs about Vikings in 10 years, and still people with these horned helmets at every show in Germany, and they would really want us to sing about Vikings. The Vikings are more popular than any of those bands, it’s just an image…
Ande: So are you saying that if we start to sing about Vikings, then we will be like a successful international act?
Janne: I don’t know, but there’s a lot of Germans we would make pretty happy!
Otto: Think about Bob Marley, who sang “Africa, Unite!”
Janne: I’m just thinking of Bob Marley wearing this horned helmet.
Otto: Voitais laulaa “Siipien surinan maasta” – land of the buzzing wings, which is Ethiopia…
Well, I think Vikings were also using a lot of alcohol, so probably there were Viking spurgus!
Ande: That’s a good point, yeah.
Janne: I think so. Probably could hold their liquor pretty well. Not kind of fall outside of society, as such.
Ande: But they were also eating like poisoned mushrooms, then urinating and drinking that.
Janne: Yeah, but it helps if the whole society is eating poisoned mushrooms, it’s kinda harder to fall outside of that if everyone’s doing it.
[At this point in the interview, I have to start consuming the ruby red temptation in front of me, in hopes that the conversation will make more sense going on. I’m told it’s a tragic mistake to drink Gambina from a glass, so things are not going well. ~ed]
* * *
Coming back to the topic of international distribution, when Thrash and Burn/If Society released Satan Is Lord (Saatana on Herra), didn’t they also spread it to punk distros outside of Finland through their international distribution network?
Otto: A little bit, yes. But Thrash and Burn now, for example…?
Une: Toni Eiskonen [who used to run the label] has a flu right now. He told me on Facebook. But it was enough effort to get this record out, and not thinking further.
Otto: Thinking of Saatana on Herra record…
Une: First recorded it and then started thinking how would publish it.
Otto: And then even I think Otto Itkonen, who then ran the Rönötönttö Records, and Homorock and whatever Satanisti Records, very actively distributed his stuff all over the world, but in that time it arose that it’s a little bit too expensive of a record for the DIY underground, because it was something like 10€, or the wholesale price might have been 7€ not 5€, and it’s CD not vinyl, and blah blah…
Janne: It was actually recorded in an actual studio.
Otto: So we are talking about pennies, anyway. There was never a demand for the records, more than maybe some airhead took 10 copies or hopefully only 5 copies.
Janne: Internationally in the distros it’s pretty easy to send five or ten copies there, if you’re trading it’s easy to get rid of 50 of your own records, but then you end up with at least 50 records…
Otto: Have you ever heard about a band, Murder-Suicide Pact? They’re a REAL big band here in Finland… because he traded some Oheisvasara records, and got 50… [laughter]
Janne: It was actually Wind of Pain, and I got ten LP’s, ten CD’s. They were pretty good, but nobody cares about a band they never heard of. I sold a few, but far less than 20, and 20 is not a big number.
Otto: And then you put some desperate ads in Toinen vaihtoehto [Finnish subculture/punk zine]: “Real crushing crossover crust, blah blah… You don’t want to miss this one, still a few copies left only!”
So more than likely most of the CD’s you traded are still sitting in this same situation?
Janne: Yeah, it could be, but that’s the point, it’s easy to get rid of shit. It’s hit or miss if any of them actually end up with someone who’s gonna enjoy them, or even listen to them. From the old days, there’s probably some people that might remember the name of the band, but how many of them would be active enough to actually find and buy that CD from a distro that happens to carry it?
Otto: Like, in the 90’s, you still could maybe get, you’d maybe get, umm… sorry.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand he passed out!
Otto: You might get excited like, wow, a record from Finland! Hardcore from Romania! And buy it just like that. But not anymore, because we are drowning in shit.
Janne: When we did Saatana on Herra, it wasn’t intended to go that way.
Une: We had no idea but to make the record.
Janne: At that point, we were enjoying “success” and having plenty of gigs in Finland because by then we had, for the first time in many, many years, an actual vocalist who actually participates in the band. So we had new songs, and all that, and we were doing good handfuls of shows around Finland. Doing a CD for that audience was more than enough.
Ande: But yeah, to answer to the initial question, the answer is No!
Otto: Take it away!
Une: I said it in the first place.
Otto: Pannaan sepalus kiinni tässä.
Ande: Maybe we can move on now, like you have three pages about this one.
Otto: Shouldn’t it be correct to close my sepalus at this point of the interview?
Une: Sepalus, it sounds quite biblical!
* * *
On Drunken Homicide (Surmaa kännissä) EP, the split with Chaosbreed, and Satan Is Lord (Saatana on Herra), you had Toni Eiskonen of Thrash and Burn writing these short English “interpretations” of each song, what happened to those?
Otto: I think we wanted to piss off the Finnish political crust audience. There was some distribution of the records abroad, and I think some political crusties didn’t like that, because we were drinking stupid… emm, singing stupid things. I think it was just aimed to irritate more than anything else.
So now you’re done irritating them?
Otto: They mean nothing to us.
Une: It was some idea that was come up with, in practices or drunk or something, and it was fun then, but it didn’t feel that there’s a reason to go on with it, on and on.
Otto: We just did an interview at Lähiradio, with greetings from Pekka Malinen. And then we went to Majava Bar to take one more beer…and I talked with Pekka, just me and him, and he asked me [in lower, ashamed voice] “I’d like to ask you, how do you feel like now that every time I hear about you, it’s something negative comments… how do you deal with that, you know?” Maybe it’s there still, but we don’t care anymore. We have more positive response than negative that we hear.
What kind of negative are we talking about?
Otto: Every time he hears something about us, it’s only negative, that we are sell-out and whoring and whatever.
Une: Also, he made this question in the interview, like “What do you think about that, every time people talk about you, they’re just dissing you?” Well, what the fuck? You know the wrong people!
Ande: I guess this also comes to the fact that we don’t really give a fuck about many things…
Otto: We don’t read anymore Punk in Finland [messageboard] or Toinen vaihtoehto so actively!
Ande: We had this viking metal record and then we had this, like, mediocre thrash record, and now we went stoner, so…
Otto: Stoner surmacore!
Ande: So that’s the latest comment about us!
Janne: I don’t read any internet forums or anything like that. I rarely hear any comments of random people at all. We’re not the kind of band that actively follows what’s being said, where, and…
Ande: Also many times we are looking for ways to actually piss off some people just to have some fun!
Une: Yeah, that’s true!
Janne: That’s actually a thing that probably a lot of bands say, but still want to fit in. We don’t obviously care about fitting into genres, either.
Have you done anything on the new album, then, explicitly to piss anyone off?
Janne: I think plenty of things…
Otto: I only played clumsy drum beats to piss him off!
Une: Yeah, mainly to piss each other off.
Ande: And we sound like Metallica on Black Album, so yeah, that pisses someone off.
So is the next one going to be the Lulu of Rytmihäiriö?
Ande: Yeah, I hope so. We do it with Kauko Röyhkä.
Janne: That’d be awesome!
Une: Wasn’t the plan supposed to be to do it with Jussi Parviainen and Otto’s son on drums?
Otto: Was it?
Janne: But if this was The Black Album, then we still have like Load and Reload and the cover album and St. Anger…
Otto: Gambina and UnGambina!
[At this point the interview is placed on hold as Ande gets a phone call from their “press person,” driver, technician, willing slave, who was also instrumental in bringing us all together for this interview.]
* * *
Well, let’s move on to the lyrics section of the interview.
Ande: Oh, you have lots of stuff there.
Otto: We’ll leave you alone with Une then.
On all of your albums, music and lyrics are credited just to Rytmihäiriö. So is it actually that you, Une, have written all of the lyrics? Are you the lyricist of the band?
Otto: No, I don’t clearly understand what you’re talking about! This is an area that we are not discussing tonight!
Une: I’m not supposed to talk about this!
Ande: Choose your words wisely. Well, OK, but go ahead.
Or, let’s put it it this way; Une, are you the vessel that the Dark Lord delivers his message through?
Ande: Well I guess it’s kind of complicated, I mean, he’s…
Otto: You think it’s complicated to give credit to him?
Ande: Yeah, that’s true that he’s doing most of the lyrics, but it’s like coming from the long tradition…
Une: …the long tradition of the drunken Finnish homicide culture.
Janne: The way it’s credited is actually correct. But if you’re asking if he’s the main lyric guy, then the answer to that one is yes. He’s pulling from a lot of sources, and some of them are other band members who come up with a line there or a lyric there… he puts it all together as song lyrics.
Otto: He’s the one who gets it done, and he does most of it.
Une hasn’t been the vocalist forever, so was his predecessor Pate taking control of the area the same way when he was in the band?
Otto: I think it was equally shared back then.
Une: It was pretty equally shared in the beginning when I came in. In the first EP there was maybe one song where a lyric was from me. It was “Sekäkäyttäjä,” actually.
Mostly it’s important for us to know who we should be addressing the more intricate questions about lyrics to. What’s also interesting is that there was already a lyrical tradition in the band before you joined it. Was it hard to follow that same template, did you have to do a lot of research?
Ande: That was something I was addressing here, so it was like there was a tradition, but…
Une: …the tradition has changed…
Ande: Yeah, of course, but I guess we just were lucky to find guys like Janne and Une who actually got this fucking idea so well, and we were able to continue this tradition.
Otto: I might say that back in ’91, ’92, me at least, maybe you [Ande] also, we like grew out of this surmacore thing for a while. I even discarded all my Alibi’s! There was also one Rikos-Ratto from 1981! I still remember the story about Mauri Rantanen: “Kidutin kaverilta tunnustuksen hiilihangolla.”
Ande: That was excellent, and a nice picture as well.
Janne: Ratto was a Finnish adult magazine.
Otto: At some point they had a crime section.
Une: Ratto was not like a porn magazine, it was like a gossip magazine.
Otto: And a porn magazine, but you could imagine how it was like back in 1981!
Ande: But I think it took a couple of years, when we started again, I kind of started realizing how much people were into our surmacore stuff, then it started to grow from there again.
Janne: We didn’t quite realize the legacy until we had done it for a few years, with Pate.
Otto: A good example was like the 15th year anniversary in Factory, when you could see all these crazy people singing the old songs…
Janne: Yeah, at that point we had already done this for five years since the reunion, for a couple of gigs a year until he [Une] showed up, and then all of a sudden we became an active band, and we discovered even more that there’s a huge legacy, and people really are still into this stuff… either they discovered it back then, or now discovered it, but still.
Do you feel a responsibility to continue this legacy, or is it simply more fun than something else?
Otto: What else could you do, you know?
Janne: We certainly felt that way back then, that there’s this huge thing, we have to go on with it. But now gradually since then, it’s changed, and the way the lyrics are written, it’s not exactly the same. We have more subjects in there, with more influence. Now it’s like a band of the four of us, not a legacy or continuation of some legacy that was started…
Otto: Now it’s more spiritual.
Janne: But in many ways now it’s a band of us, not the band that started up…
Otto: It was really a new start, when it started to happen with these guys again.
Ande: Indeed, and this is by far the longest-running line-up; we have been together now like ten years, and we have released five full-length albums and some EP’s and stuff.
Otto: And about like the surmacore legacy, we have been playing in other bands all together in the 90’s… it was the binding thing, the surmacore legacy.
* * *
Now, was the song “The Stoning (Kivitys)” the first one that the current line-up completed?
Otto: No, it was actually completed before with Pate, but I think he would never get to rehearsals to try it out, so it was handed to Une, and we played it on his first gig.
Janne: It was the first new song we completed after the 90’s with Pate. I did the music, and he [Otto] did the lyrics, and it came together, but at that point Pate was never there, he never came to rehearsals, and was pretty happiously doing two gigs a year singing the old stuff. And we wanted to move on.
What about the stuff on the 2000 demo, like “Six-Man Death Flight (Kuuden miehen kuolonlento)”, was that already from the early 90’s?
Otto: It was from ‘91.
Janne: It was leftovers.
Ande: There was one Rattus cover, and the other stuff was old stuff from the early 90’s.
Otto: It was stuff that was made after Surman siipien havinaa when we recruited another guitar player Sampo who was more punkier player, that did a little bit more punk and simple stuff, but it never got recorded, so we remembered these songs and we wanted to try them out.
“The Stoning (Kivitys)” seems to be the only song you have recorded with this line-up that actually is different from the normal surmacore concept.
Otto: Is it? How?
Well, I think it’s clearly saying something, more like a punk lyric…
Otto: I apologize!
Ande: There’s like a political message…
Otto: But remember, we took death by stones, there’s a beard, there’s a whore… there’s everything! Slightly political, but…
Janne: If it’s for or against, it’s your interpretation.
After this, did you consciously decide to leave other topics aside, and just concentrate on the traditional surmacore stuff?
Janne: At that point we were just happy to have a song! Add a new lyric and put it together!
Ande: I don’t think we thought about it too much, at that point. We just were happy to have some songs, and record an EP, and to actually have something that was like, current stuff, and not from like ten years ago or more.
* * *
But speaking of surmacore, has there ever been another band that has come close to belonging to this genre?
[A resounding “No” is heard…]
Otto: Of course, what was the band whose singer was Richard Rape?
Ande: No, but seriously, no.
So who would you consider as your musical contemporaries?
Une: I remember one time in our guestbook, somebody sent a link, “this is our new band, listen to this, it’s almost like Rytmihäiriö,” and it’s some teenagers playing some “argrgrgh drink and kill” stuff. Then we removed it…!
Otto: “Drink, drink, drink and kill!”
Ande: I think that’s pretty common that people just think if you sing about killing and drinking, it’s enough. But they don’t realize all these like, fine details that we actually have.
Une: And it’s our thing. Why do they want to do this?
Ande: Indeed. So there’s no other surmacore band, and there fucking never will be!
Do you feel any kind of connection with other bands that sing about serial killers, for instance, like Macabre or Church of Misery?
Otto: Slightly, slightly Macabre, we would think so in the end of 80’s…
Une: Maybe Slayer…
Janne: There’s tons of heavy bands that sing about brutal stuff, and killings, and serial killers. But we don’t have anything in common with them, because our point is definitely not documenting different kind of homicides and whatever. If you read our lyrics in a really superficial way, especially the old lyrics, you might get that idea. But there’s more than that.
Otto: Then you miss the beauty of the poetry.
Ande: And now, actually, we get to my favorite subject, which is that in many reviews they are saying that “the lyrics are the same, blah blah blah…”
Otto: Again. For the fifth time.
Ande: Yeah, again, but fuck, like it’s always the lyrics that they are saying like, they are the same, but have you ever read like a HIM review, or AC/DC review that says that the lyrics are the same stuff again and again.
Une: Or Children of Bodom.
Ande: Yeah, or whoever. Like usually people don’t really care about the lyrics at all. And also if you’re supposed to be your own style, then it’s like “yeah, well, it’s this same fucking stuff again,” but if you just sing about common stuff like pussy and whatever, then it’s okay.
Janne: I’m quite sure we’re going there eventually…
Well you’re already singing about pussy, “piparia sekä Gambinaa…” you ain’t talking about gingerbread cookies, huh?
Otto: [said frankly] We are.
Hah, okay, my mistake!
Otto: If you came to one of our shows there is this pope handing out these gingerbread cookies and… juice. You know, we are mentors, or something like that.
[Five minute enforced Gambina drinking break.]
* * *
In the Satan Is Lord booklet, there is a disclaimer saying “any similarity to the name, character, or history or any actual event is entirely coincidental and unintentional.”
Otto: …Satan is Disclaimer!
This isn’t entirely true, since haven’t some of your lyrics been at least somewhat based on certain real-life characters or events…
Otto: For example, “Yhdellä iskulla.”
Une: But on the same record, the namesake song “Saatana on Herra” tells about these things, and there’s this todellisuuden vääristelyä [twisting the truth]…
Ah! “Angel of Death on Wheels (Pyörillä kulkeva kuoleman enkeli)”, wasn’t that also based on an actual character…?
Une: It maybe was based on some guy, but then… But the Lahja Turunen song [“Yhdellä iskulla”] was directly from Alibi, it’s from word to word…
Otto: Only the name Lahja Turunen is removed. “Näin mietti enolainen metsurin vaimo, Lahja Turunen, 49 v.”
Une: [leafing through the mentioned booklet lying on the interview table] “Hyökkäys kuurojen kotiin” is 100% based on a true story; “Tapoit, muuta et muista,” very strongly based on a true story. Now it can be told.
Otto: “Saatana on Herra,” 100% true.
Une: “Olet surmannut miehen,” pretty much the same. “Tissit Gambinassa,” yes…
Une: “Jos otan …niin tapan,” some of that…
May I ask about ”Tissit…”
Une: “(Nyt loppuu) purpatus,” yes. Now when I look at this, this is pretty strongly real life-based material.
So what about the lyrics on the newer albums, are you still heavily borrowing from actual events, or are you now more towards fiction?
Une: In between, I think, it was more like we decided to mix things up that not to straightly tell about these events, but now I have to admit there’s the song “Voitonmerkki” which is maybe pretty much recognizable for some homostelijat/homostelut. [Actually, about a month later, we had a discussion with a previous year Nummirock acquaintance of ours, where he totally recognized the subject matter describing an incident that happened in Toijala a few years ago.]
Ande: Yeah, but even that was changed a bit, there were some artistic liberties taken there.
Une: Yeah, but maybe not in a good way, because if somebody recognized “hey, I was there, and they are saying I was doing homosexual activities!” So I don’t think it was that very smart. But let’s see.
So have you ever been threatened or had any legal action taken against you?
Janne: It’s Finland, nobody sues you for anything… But we have had some close calls.
Ande: Yeah, like some second-hand stories…
Une: Like “I know this guy!”
Ande: Actually from [Satan Is Lord] “Hyökkäys kuurojen kotiin,” it’s a pretty straight story, and as it happened in Hyvinkää…
Otto: Hyvinkään Ile knows this guy! And there was some other guy saying… “Pieksit yöhoitajaa metrisellä kepillä / Silti se luuta sai poliisit soitettua – that was the mother of my friend!”
Une: Yeah, and the guy himself: “Olet surmannut miehen. Niin kuin minäkin!” It was maybe after Saatana on Herra when we thought that this is not so much an underground punk thing anymore, that somebody could have heard it; it’s a pretty small country after all.
Janne: And lyrically, how long can you do it?
Otto: But how cool it would be like to see on the centerfold of Alibi, like some sentenced homicide youngsters with Rytmihäiriö hoodies on! One day, we might see that.
Maybe to make sure you get the maximum visibility, you should print hoodies with a hood print, like a spurgugrammi on both sides, or have some “Rytmihäiriö made me do it” model.
Otto: There’s some stories in Alibi, like “we were just listening to Mötley Crüe, and then I wanted to kill.” So we are just waiting!
Une: Hey, I know… Rytmihäiriö shirts where the logo is blurred already!
Janne: Yeah, if we get some merchandise printed and it’s all fucked up, then we just say “yeah, we meant to do that.”
It’s like: Rytmihäiriö (nimi muutettu) shirts, special edition! But so far, you’ve just heard these things through a friend, so no one has personally come to you saying “this song’s about me?”
Janne: So far, so far. But through a friend is close enough.
Otto: Except Hyvinkään guy, who said like “olet surmannut miehen, like me!”
Ande: And then in Nummirock we went to visit some of his friends in the camping area, and they were some fucking Nazis!
Une: …asking Matti, “are you a nigger lover?”
* * *
Do you also sometimes describe your own personal experiences in the lyrics, like in “Running on Friday (Perjantaina juostiin)”?
Ande: It was me and Otto, yes, and [former guitarist] Nastis as well… In Surmaa kännissä EP we have “Kampurajalka 2002,” that’s an actual event.
Otto: It happened as it’s documented in the song.
In the lyrics, the spurgu of the story asks the taxi driver to go buy him booze, so did you actually get the tall Kossu and big Gambina (“pitkä Kossu ja iso Gambina”) for the poor guy?
Otto: If I remember correctly, he went to Alko by himself.
And did you stay there seeing how the situation turned out?
Otto: Yeah, of course, he came from Vallila at like five minutes to 9 in the morning. And he was wearing underwear, like really oldschool white underwear and a white shirt, and a mild stench of piss was rotting from his clothes. “We need to go to the bank-o-mat, could you help me and take some cash out for me?” Yeah, sure, “and then next stop, please, Alko of Helsinginkatu.” Now, I think that he went to Alko, or maybe I went there. Anyway, he got the pitkä Gambina ja iso Kossu, or iso Kossu ja pitkä Gambina, or pitkä Gambina ja… [we’re laughing] it changed a couple of times, but when he got those bottles, “sopiiko jos otan Gambina-huikan tässä heti,” [makes opening sound] narautus, “Hyi helvetti, mitä myrkkyjä! On täällä talo täynnä juoppoja ja hulluja, mutta ei ollu viinakauppaan lähtijöitä. Ja näillä sitä pitäis päivä pärjätä!” And then I took him back home!
Une: Sometimes the fact beats the fiction!
* * *
On “Return from Sobriety Camp (Paluu raittiusleiriltä)”, the killer blames his actions on Virtual Seppo (Virtuaali-Seppo.) Would you care to shed some more light on what the heck that’s about?
Une: You know this rap artist, Jontti, a friend of ours, called me one day some years ago, like very enthusiastic [Quoting very excitedly and brokenly] “Do you know, I, in one Alibi, there was this one article, uh, like “It wasn’t me, it was Virtuaali-Seppo!”, you should make a song about this!” And then some time went by… we never have seen it. But, so probably it’s Seppo Lehto, that right-wing idiot, who had this internet page, and has written some hatespeak there, and then in the court, he said “it wasn’t me, it was virtual Seppo!”
Ande: Alibi has told that Seppo Lehto is an excellent internet user, so! He had campaign posters where he had a halo of swastikas…
Janne: This is like way before any fancy Photoshop, ever, but this really striking A4’s posted all over, this was Ylöjärvi or Tampere, and it was his photo, and a halo of swastikas!
Otto: And his serie was like, “Father of a family, and historian, and merciless Russians’ expeller, and Somali dirt’s extinguisher…!”
Une: “…of Somali scum!”
That would be one hell of a black metal pseudonym!
Otto & Une: “Armoton somalisaastan ja ryssän karkoittaja!”
Janne: ”…and bombs to Moscow and Baghdad.”
Ande: So that’s Virtuaali-Seppo. But other parts of the song are not really related!
Une: When we heard that, I really got another idea, that was the thing the article was about, but when we heard “Virtuaali-Seppo” it very much was like, OK, some guy did something but was so drunk that his explanation was like “it was not me, it was the virtual me.” So it was a mix of one case and Seppo Lehto, and maybe some homosexuality and some Gambina drinking, you know!
Otto: Subtle homosexual overtones added to give some more flavor!
Une: And [the name] “Return from the Sobriety Camp” [starts using the English names we’ve propagated]… there was this one homicide case when these two guys came back from the sobriety camp of church and immediately started drinking and, you know…
Une: They were not “gaying,” but one of them got killed, and the other one was a former captain in the army, and had this nickname “Captain Chaos, Kapteeni Kaaos!”
This kind of gay stuff also appears on the new album, so do you remember seeing some homicide cases where there had actually been some homosexual activity going on?
Ande: Yes, many times.
Une: You know, there’s “Harvoin ihmistä tapetaan näin hartaissa merkeissä,” it was very straightly from an Alibi headline.
Ande: High class gospel music was giving atmosphere to the situation!
Une: But that was another article, in the same song. But this “ryyppäämisen, rukoilun ja homoilun päätteeksi puukolla paha henki pois kun päästettiin…” there was in Lappeenranta a ritual murder.
Otto: It appears to me that once you get something like homosexuality in the lyrics, as time goes by, it repeats, and multiplies… It seems like it’s becoming one of the key elements. Homosexuality is a tremendous statement against God, the modern church and the Bible. I quite like that!
Ande: Of course it’s a good thing! It’s one of the most anti-Christian things you can do nowadays!
But you have still yet to write your “YMCA,” right?
Janne: No, we’re working on that, actually. We’re doing covers that have different colors on them, and now we have a green logo, and we’re saving the pink for something special.
Oh, so you’re doing a little bit of the Children of Bodom thing, like they had the red album first, and then there was green…
Otto: Those are just bunch of brats! One of them can do a little bit of diidldiidldii, so what’s the big thing, you know?
Well he also sang on your album, and did some soloing…
Otto: Nobody asked him to sing!
Ande: He was talking about Roope Latvala, anyway!
Otto: All the respect to Casio-metallers, you know!
[Otto then leaves to head to Michael Schenker’s gig at Virgin Oil…]
* * *
So Janne, you were on the 70000Tons of Metal cruise in 2012 playing with Moonsorrow, how did you like the experience?
Janne: Well, it was January, we were in the Caribbean… there was really a bunch of people like “what are you doing here?” We saw Mexico City before that, had a nice day off in Miami Beach, and then went to this cruise! Went snorkeling with manta rays in Grand Cayman, it was just beautiful. Played a couple of good shows, yeah, but, it was a nice experience.
Were you taken well care of onboard? Had a nice expense account?
Janne: Yeah, we had like, all 50 dollars each… it lasted like two hours. Some day I found these tons of receipts of Black Russians, like 25 receipts.
Some of you have done international touring with Força Macabra and Moonsorrow, for instance… so especially because both of these bands also sing in non-English languages, what is it that you think is holding Rytmihäiriö back from the same “international success” or visibility? Have you ever played outside of the country even?
Ande: Well, actually we are working on Estonia at the moment, but this goes back to the first question anyway, we don’t really have the desire to do that, but if something comes up, then we can do it.
So if you were invited onto some European tour, you’d go?
Janne: But there’s no such thing as getting invited to a European tour. If you’ve really done it a few times and you’re successful, then you don’t have to pay for it anymore for yourself. We could do European tours, and that’s the way a lot of starting bands do it, but then you always have to pay for it. It’s something called buy-on, which means you buy onto a tour package.
What about foreign festivals then?
Janne: Same thing. There are some un-named Finnish bands that are just well known in Finland and then suddenly get on to play Wacken for example, which is notorious for paying bands like really, really low fees, because they’re fucking Wacken, they don’t have to give shit.
Ande: But as a conclusion, I would say that we never had any real drive to like go anywhere, because at the moment we are doing pretty well in Finland, and we are doing enough shows, so there’s no actual passion or drive to do it anywhere else and do it in shittier conditions, or whatever.
Janne: We’re not sixteen, and we don’t have any expectations that we could be a break-through or be big stars anywhere.
Une: Finland isn’t getting too small for us, yet.
Janne: If you go to another country without the band, we can choose the country, we can go scuba-diving, it can be warm, we don’t have to carry our gear…
Une: We can go with our wives or girlfriends, not with three stupid guys, you know…
You don’t have to do all this homoilu…
Janne: I’d kinda miss that! But personally, I’ve seen a lot of Finnish bands playing wherever, and I’ve seen a lot of bands that have really had the time of their life, and have been dreaming about playing in Germany even if it was their daddies paying huge amounts of money for that. Really, there’s just a lot of bands that shouldn’t be there. They’re really happy being there, obviously, it’s their dream, but they don’t have anything to offer. They’re just happy to fit in some scene where they could get to a package tour just because of some genre, but they don’t have anything new to contribute to that. And I have no desire of being in danger to be part of that.
* * *
Within the Finnish scene, that you belong in, and are adamant that you will not leave, do you see your audiences growing over the years, or are all of your previous fans slowly getting older and having their wives forbid them to go to gigs anymore, or they’re in a ditch somewhere with a warm bottle of Jorma and can no longer function in society?
Ande: I would say we have a pretty young audience. I’d say like 80 percent of our audience is like under 18 years old, maybe…
So where the hell did your earlier audiences go?
Ande: It’s not like that… the band that we have at the moment has very little to do with the band we had like 25 years ago, so it’s not the same thing.
Janne: It might appear as a continuum of sorts, but it’s actually not.
Ande: They have all left us like a long time ago, so it’s pretty much a new audience we have.
Une: Every now and then there is this one or two guys, 40 years old, [screaming] “yeaaaah, ihmisiä kuolee!” It’s very heartwarming.
Janne: But there’s also that it’s very “cool” to shout names of songs from the first demo or something, just to show off that you know them…
Une: Yeah, but then there’s those guys that really know those songs!
Janne: But sometimes they shout out for those songs after we actually played them, as well… now there’s the re-issues of the old stuff, so people actually know those songs.
Une: But the ridiculous thing is those 18-year old guys who say that Rytmihäiriö isn’t real anymore, they used to be, but… “Okay, I was listening to Justin Bieber two years ago, but now I’m true.”
Janne: The problem with underaged fans for us is that we barely see them, because the size of venues we play in… Nosturi is about the only venue we play pretty much regularly for minors.
Ande: And festivals. And Lutakko, that’s pretty much it.
Do you feel like you can still somehow relate to these underage kids, who are penniless and spending what they do have on a quest to acquire a drunken state that does justice to the legacy of Rytmihäiriö?
Ande: I don’t see it related to our band in general, but I mean, I can relate to that because I was doing the same when I was 16 years old, so…
Une: …and I don’t have any fucking money nowadays, either!
Janne: We’re in Finland, and it doesn’t take us to get minors to be constantly drinking.
Une: When I was 15, the first time I heard lyrics of Rytmihäiriö, I thought they were against alcohol…
Ande: …and now you know better!
Janne: Yeah, I remember that!
Une: But when you read them, it’s like, you drink Gambina and then you get unemployed, you get into fights, you get killed… you live on society’s money, and so on.
* * *
Along the years, your lyrics have mentioned several well-known alcoholic beverages, from Magyar (“Magis”) and Sorbus (R.I.P.) to Koskenkorva (“Kossu”) and Suomiviina (“Lippuviina”). However, Gambina has clearly maintained the most prominent role, and especially on Master of Reality (Todellisuuden mestari), there are only a couple of songs where Gambina isn’t mentioned. So what originally gave birth to this “obsession,” why Gambina?
Ande: OK, I guess this is for me. Well, it was pretty clear from those Alibi’s we started reading that almost every homicide had something to do with Gambina. And I have to say, it was this old Gambina which was even stronger than the current one, 25% probably, at some point they made it 21%. They said that old Gambina was something that really fucked up your head, and I can kinda relate, because even this new stuff fucks up your head pretty good!
Une: Yeah, in the 80’s all the punk bands were drinking Sorbus, so there was nothing original about it. When I joined, the Gambina was here and there, but then it started this snowballing effect…
Ande: Yeah, that’s true, because originally we were singing about Gambina even in Surman siipien havinaa, but at that point we just maybe tasted it and thought it was pretty fucking bad, we didn’t want to drink it! But nowadays it’s like this signature drink of ours, so we kind of have to drink it even if we don’t…
So do you actually enjoy the taste nowadays?
Une: I never drink Gambina at home…
Ande: …yeah, but we do so many gigs, usually, it’s enough still! But the taste takes me to the stage immediately.
Janne: Sometimes when you’re really hungover and going to a show but not really feeling quite like it, like I have to go on stage in a couple hours, I have to get into the mood, it always helps with that. I do it sometimes very rarely at home, when I’m writing a song or something and I have to get into the mood.
Une: In the studio, making this new record, every morning before singing the first line, I took a little sip, just to get the taste of it in my mouth, which is enough to take me into the surmacore mood.
Usually the first sip is pretty bad, but it just starts to get comfortable afterwards.
Janne: Yeah, that’s what everyone says!
Une: But that’s when I should start to be careful, when it starts tasting too good! That’s when you don’t need it anymore, usually.
Ande: That’s what I thought like ten years ago, but not anymore!
Janne: We’re so conditioned to it, because we associate just the taste with so many nice, great energetic shows and the live feeling, the best we can be. So if we’re writing songs or recording, or going to a show, it always works. It always takes you back to the same mood.
Une: One of the first people who heard the new record outside of us was Otto’s bandmate Lalli from Força Macabra, and he criticized the record that like “yeah, this is pretty good, but does the Gambina need to be mentioned in ALL the songs!” And we were like, what the fuck, there’s three songs where it hasn’t been mentioned at all!
And are those the songs you failed on, not finding a place for it?
Une: No, no. I don’t think it like, “yeah, Gambina: check, check.” But I don’t also think like “Oh, maybe we shouldn’t put the Gambina in all the songs, maybe we should put Lippuviina here, and kilju here…”
Janne: It just ends up everywhere.
Une: And if it goes naturally, that’s okay. It’s like humppa for Eläkeläiset… it’s like a very stupid thing, but the more you do it, the better it gets. I didn’t even think about it before hearing that there’s Gambina in every song.
Ande: But to answer your question, it came from Alibi, yes.
Une: Originally, but it has now started living its own life, long ago. And maybe, thanks to us, in the future homicides, there’s also Gambina involved.
Ande: I hope so.
* * *
Do you think there’s also some special charm to Gambina, because of its long history and relative obscurity compared to Kossu or Magyar, for instance? I remember reading the lyrics of the first album, and just thinking “what is this drink called Gambina?”
Janne: Or beer… yeah. Same here, when we found the first LP in some second-hand store when we were “this big,” because we were young, and handsome…
Une: …and now we’re just handsome!
Janne: …years and years before either of us even ran into the actual guys, and we just thought it was a really weird band.
Une: Actually, it wasn’t more than maybe two years from that when you started playing with Otto.
Janne: Those were long years. Longest years you can have, when you’re 14. They become shorter every year. When you were 14, the year took like forever.
Une: Yeah, those were much longer years than what they are nowadays. They don’t make years like that anymore.
Don’t you feel weird in some way that after all the references that you have to this drink, you’re not making any benefit from it, and somebody else is?
Janne: That’s American speaking… talking about making money.
Ande: Well, it has been for years, it has been so that we’ll get Gambina for free in the rider.
Une: We very rarely buy it ourselves.
Probably this makes the promoters pretty happy that you want Gambina instead of something more expensive!
Une: Yeah, in the last gig we played, there was no Gambina, so they had to give us a bottle of whiskey, instead! It was five times more expensive, but it was ok!
Janne: The thing is, they actually have to really put in an effort to come up with Gambina, because they have to go to Alko. A bunch of other stuff, the regular stuff, for beer and cider and Jack Daniels, they already have it, they have it in stock.
And it can be quite difficult to track down, too, since not all Alko’s carry it.
Une: In the downtown Alko’s they never have it, but everywhere else, it’s the first you see.
Has Altia, the company who manufactures Gambina, ever contacted you, asking you to stop using the name of their product in such a “negative” context?
Ande: No, we actually cleared the right for the T-shirt which is like a Gambina logo [in the same font style of the old bottle.]
Une: Of course we had made it before that, with no permission, but it’s OK, they had been working with Mokoma and Sakara [Records], so they have their own booze design funny T-shirts. But now I have “very close connections” to the company, and we have some deals.
Is it going to be more mind-blowing than Impaled Nazarene’s Goat Brew, like Rytmihäiriö Gambina, or something?
Ande: It’s going to be more mind-blowing for us, because we’ll hopefully get some…
Une: …free Gambina straight from Altia! They’re really not campaigning for Gambina, like they’re doing for Jallu… [Jaloviina]
Janne: Jallu is so much easier to sort of create a brand around. Gambina, not so much, especially after us.
Une: Yeah, and it’s not maybe the drink they want to make the campaign. But in the past, they have been. There have been those Gambina tonttulakki [X-mas hat], and all kinds of crazy stuff, and when you go to Internet there’s this old Gambina advertisement, but it’s so stabilized in the market, and successful enough, but they don’t maybe want to push it so much, because it’s that spurgu drink.
* * *
When did you start actually consuming Gambina, during the band’s hiatus or upon the reunion?
Ande: It was some time after we reunited. I guess it wasn’t a thing when we started playing with Pate, I think it was actually when this line-up formed.
Janne: I actually bought it a few times before Rytmihäiriö came, but all of a sudden overnight we didn’t start drinking Gambina. It just came. Of course, we started with the reunion playing all these songs about Gambina, but it wasn’t so much present in a huge way at that point. I really appreciate the association with Gambina. It’s so cool like having your own drink.
Une: Of course, I understand that maybe people in Altia could be pissed off because it’s not maybe related in the most positive things in our material, but at least the people from there I have met are pretty cool with that.
Janne: They don’t have a clue, really!
Une: I think we haven’t had at least any negative effect on the sales of Gambina. I think young people know Gambina because of us, in good or bad! It has not been our mission to promote drinking of Gambina, but that’s the way it goes.
Ande: You think there’s a good way to know Gambina?
Une: This is the drink that leads me to homicide and Satan, so I buy this!
So, the taste takes you back to the great feeling that you have on stage, but would you say that you have actually grown to enjoy the taste itself?
Ande: Yes, absolutely!
Une: Yes and no.
Janne: Yes! It’s weird, what you said about the first sip that’s really awful, then the next one that’s less so, and the third one is, then you start liking it pretty much. But we’re so used to it that we’re…
…on the third sip right away?
Janne: I would say about two and a half. But definitely not the first one.
Do you always drink it pocket warm?
Une: Sometimes it’s in the fridge when we go to the backstage, but then we have to put it in the microwave just to get it pocket warm.
I think it tastes weird cold…
Janne: We have to put a microwave into our rider actually.
Une: Honestly, I must say, if you drink it with plenty of ice, “jäitä vitusti” like Matti Pellonpää would say, it’s a really different drink, it’s like something you would really drink.
Janne: When somebody invented it, that was probably the way they were drinking it, not this pocket warm way.
Une: But the funny thing was when I was in Spain last autumn with my father, and he had this bottle of vermouth and bottle of gin, and he mixed it for me, like “do you recognize this taste?” Of course, it’s Gambina! But it was the DIY Gambina, you can drink it all around the world!
Well, aren’t there a few other little things that are supposed to give it flavor as well…
Une: Orange skin…
Janne: Flavor of bad.
Yeah, I’ve heard of the orange peel, as well as it containing a bit of nutmeg.
Une: Yeah, but that fucks your head up, so that’s good. The orange skin is not mentioned there anymore, it only says “vermouth and gin.”
Ande: Alright, let’s move on.
Janne: We’re there already.
Une: We are speaking Gambina now!
Do you ever mix your Gambina with anything else, or would that be blasphemy?
Une: Orange juice is good.
Janne: We’ve tried, but he’s homo, so he can’t drink anything.
Une: Yeah, I’m homo, I hate God and so on, so I have been mixing it with orange juice. That’s pretty good when you have a hangover, or maybe tonic water. It’s like gin & tonic, but with that vermouth twist!
Ande: But with tonic, you can drink anything.
Une: Gambina & tonic… I think we should add tonic water into our rider. No beer at all, only huge amount of Gambina and tonic water.
Have you ever tried it with Sprite? It’s pretty good that way!
Ande: That’s sounds kind of gay, but alright, let’s do it.
[a bit later]
Une: This Sprite thing is pretty good, to answer the previous question.
Ande: Yeah, but it’s still kind of gay.
* * *
If you had a one-day Rytmihäiriö boot camp for foreign listeners, what would be in the agenda?
Une: Booze camp!
Ande: Well, they should drink lots of Gambina, and after that we would give them some knives and axes and billhooks.
Janne: You know [Aki] Kaurismäki movies? That kind of rough setting at some really small town bar with Finnish alcoholics that don’t say much and just grumble and are wasted. That kind of lifestyle would be the starting point.
Une: We are here all the time talking about this that nobody outside of Finnish-speaking Finnish people can ever understand our stuff, but then there’s you [to Lady Enslain…]
Janne: I had a girl from LA in Majava tonight singing me “koska Santana sanoo niin!”
Janne: Yeah, exactly that! She was pronouncing it like that, but I didn’t feel like correcting her.
* * *
Do you think Gambina has kept its status as one of the most popular spurgu drinks? It has significantly gone up in price during the last ten years at least. I remember when it used to be 6,75€, and now it’s like 9 euros…
Ande: I don’t know, I don’t hang out with spurgus!
Janne: There’s the ratio of alcohol for money, and it used to be so that Gambina was the best in that way.
The cheapest känni?
Janne: Yes, but it changes every year, ‘cause new drinks come out and…
Une: There’s those tax things that have been changed back and forth.
Have you tried Marabello? It’s pretty similar to Gambina, but with a slightly “easier” taste and a cheaper price tag.
Janne: Didn’t we have it as a substitute at some show?
Une: But hey, this is Gambina, we are Rytmihäiriö, and that’s it.
What about Jorma?
Ande: Fuck Jorma, it’s Gambina or nothing!
Une: It’s a hipster-spurgu drink!
Is there such a thing as a hipster-spurgu?
Janne: An ironic spurgu.
Une: It’s a guy who drinks Jorma! It’s a pretty wannabe-spurgu drink, because there’s a spurgu-looking guy on the label, what the fuck?
Janne: It’s the whole hipster thing that take something and just take the shell with some fucking irony, blah! I think it’s fucked up.
Ande & Janne: Fuck Jorma, let’s drink Gambina! Next question.
Une: I have a very good answer about this Gambina question: it’s pointless to ask or answer is it good or bad. Because it’s Gambina.
If Gambina doesn’t count, what’s your favorite alcoholic drink?
Janne: Valkovenäläinen. Whiskey, single-malt scotch.
Une: Beer. White wine Schorle, maybe. You know, soda and white wine. And now, this summer again, I’m trying to concentrate on that and skip the beer more often. But that has been the plan for ten years now. The total homosexual anti-Christian drink!
Janne: I’m a red wine and scotch kind of guy.
Red wine, doesn’t that give you terrible hangovers?
Janne: I’m 35, pretty much everything gives me terrible hangovers.
Une: Yeah, try kilju. Kilju on the rider and let’s try some hangovers.
* * *
Who is the spurgu on the “Samurai of Sirius (Siriuksen samurai)” video – is he a real, genuine one?
Une: No, he’s an artisan-musician.
Une: I don’t know, last time I saw him he was playing the conga drums with Remu.
Ande: But he’s no spurgu in any way.
Une: No, no, he’s not spurgu, I knew him from the art university.
So you didn’t pay him in Gambina or anything?
Une: Only beer. He had a terrible hangover and wanted beer.
* * *
Is there some unruly behavior that you have ever been involved in, like stealing beer from a Siwa like a real spurgu?
Une: No, not from… yeah, maybe when I was younger.
Janne: You what?!
Une: These crimes have become obsolete by now, but I have stolen some vodka from tax free on Viking Line. Then I have stolen some beer from supermarket, and I also got caught from that a couple of times, but I’ve never stolen anything from Alko.
Have you otherwise caused any kind of public mayhem?
Une: Otto should be here now.
Ande: “Nyt tuli kuselle hintaa.”
Did he pee on the statue of Mannerheim or something?
Janne: Every one of us manages to “succeed” every once in a while, but it’s not such a thing that we necessarily want to brag about.
Une: Now we can brag about Otto’s stuff! A couple of years ago at Provinssi[rock,] he was running away from the security guys with a Gambina bottle in one hand and a vodka bottle in the other hand at Jello Biafra’s gig, drinking there openly. And this is stuff that happens with Otto every time.
Janne: We’re not gonna talk about the occasion when he soiled himself. So we won’t go there.
Une: We don’t as well want to go there when he puked on himself, then woke up and started yelling “who the fuck has been puking on me?!”
Janne: It’s the exact same story when earlier the question was “who the fuck has shat on the floor?”
Une: “Who the fuck has been shitting all around?”
* * *
The bar Pirjon Krouvi is mentioned in your song “Brawl in the Tavern (Kähinää krouvissa)”. This fine establishment was closed down in 2011, did you ever go to the bar yourself?
Janne: Yes, for a coffee.
Une: I’m so pissed off I never got there, and then I saw in the news it had been closed down forever. It wasn’t so far away from me.
Ande: I have to tell the backstory for that whole lyric. It was I think we were playing in Kauhajoki…
Une: It was the same gig where someone was shitting all around!
Janne: It was with Pate, actually, he gets the credit. Me, him [Ande], Otto and Pate were sitting in some strange small hut, which apparently was our backstage. We had nothing to do, and started to come up with stuff we had never done before, and this is after us doing Rytmihäiriö shows with the reunion thing for three years at that point. We’re somewhere in Pohjanmaa, we’re sitting around, and probably haven’t had that much to drink, so we can actually be productive, putting things on paper. And that lyric came about, and then we went on and played.
Did the lyrics have any real-life basis?
Janne: No, the story how we wrote it is really more interesting. We wrote that thing as a unit, the only collaboration in that line-up ever. And then we lost the piece of paper. And it surfaced ten years later. It’s how it goes with a lot of our lyrics, one part from there, one part from here… and as a whole, it’s fictional.
So, as far as you know, there was no homicide that had its starting point at Pirjon Krouvi?
Janne: No, I’m guessing there were quite a few, actually. It’s one of the places that did get mentioned in Alibi quite a few times. It certainly had a reputation.
Une: Nobody had the guts to talk about it. But hey, it was some years ago, Pate sent me a message in Facebook: “hey, I was cleaning up in my house, and I found this old lyric sheet, and I will bring it to you!” And that’s how we came up with it like fifteen years from when it was made.
That surely is a great story! So the place was around already back then?
Janne: For decades. But even the lyrics have been around for at least a decade!
Who came up with the song title “Nevermind the Name… as Long as You Drink Like Fuck (Mitä välii nimestä… kunhan dokaa vitusti)”?
Ande: Nastis, he used to play the second guitar on Ihmisiä kuolee EP. “My name is Mastobacka, and mitä välii nimestä kunhan dokaa vitusti.”
Is it him slurring the words at the end of the song on Fluttering of Homicide’s Wings (Surman siipien havinaa)?
Ande: No, it’s Blasphemous from Satanic Evil.
Was it Blasphemous who was also doing the “vihaan ihmisiä” parts on the album version of “People Die (Ihmisiä kuolee)”?
Ande: Well, originally he was doing that, but the second time he was so drunk that Otto was mimicking him. He’s really good with that stuff.
Any idea where he (Blasphemous) is now?
Ande: Yeah, he’s working for Inferno kiuas [sauna stove] factory. I haven’t seen him in years, so I don’t really know. But he’s still around.
Janne: I spoke with him on the phone, actually, fairly recently, within the last ten years or so. Somebody just wanted to put me on the phone, it was a great conversation.
* * *
Are there some young Finnish bands that you really respect, and would like to see go far?
Ande: Lost Society is very fucking good.
Une: Last weekend we were playing with Viimeinen Kolonna in this underground punk club with this band Shitler, who are pretty fucking cool.
Ande: Good name.
Une: Shitler, they have this kind of Slayer-style logo! They have this pretty good crossover punk & metal mix approach, pretty much like Delta Force 2, not too serious, but very tight playing and good attitude.
You have often played together with your label buddies, but we’ve also seen you with really underground acts opening the night, from a never-heard Sepultura/Soulfly cover band to small hardcore and extreme metal names. Do you usually watch the bands that open up for you? Have you usually picked them, or had any say in it?
Janne: Very rarely, sometimes we have something to say if we’re organizing a show by ourselves, which is like once a year or something, then we can always hand-pick, but generally, we don’t have anything to say about that. But yeah, for watching the support bands, I try to like know what was happening, but mostly just concentrating on your own show, it’s enough.
Ande: Sometimes we actually have some bands who are our friends that we would really like to support us, but usually they just ask us if this and this band are good for you, and we say yes. If we play in some city, I’d like to get some local small bands to play with us, because it’s a good opportunity for them.
Une: But then there has been bands like Ratface and M.O.R.A. who we have asked to play with us. It was nice to see with M.O.R.A. that when they played with us in DOM, they had never been playing to any kind of metal audience before, they were very stressed about it, and it was like “oh, this is such a big place.” But there were all these metalheads really into it, the band was like “oh, this was a very good show,” and the next year they were playing on the Tuska afterparties, and they got some following in the metal scene.
Janne: But out of ten gigs we do, it’s like one or two where we actually get a say in that, or hand-pick them, so don’t start asking or bugging us. Hey, bands out there, don’t start, we don’t get to choose.
Ande: It happens all the time… Last six months it’s been constantly like someone’s asking “you’re playing there and there, can we support you?”
Une: And even, “then when you start doing gigs again, we could be playing with you.”
Janne: People actually have the idea that we’re a huge band, we can take somebody on tour, and then they’re set. In reality, we can’t afford that. We don’t have such big salaries ourselves, we can barely afford us going traveling to places.
The only foreign band we’ve seen you warm up for has been Municipal Waste, when you played that old-school set with Pate on vocals. If you’d get to choose, what foreign band would you like to support when they come to Finland?
Janne: Oh, a lot of bands. That’s what we have actually asked our booking agent, who brings a lot of bands to Finland, that’s something we never did. We’ve supported Sakara bands, and we’ve done headliner shows, but, for me, it would be interesting to see us be a support band for some foreign bands.
Une: There’s not very much things like that happening. I think the touring bands usually have their own support touring with them.
Ande: Well, I think Entombed has been one of the bands that we have been discussing.
Janne: Yes, it’s been brought up. At least L-G knows us.
Une: They are not paid for pretty much, the support slots, but anyway, I don’t see that as a problem. It’s not very many times we have been offered any.
[The band actually warmed up for Therapy? a few months later.]
* * *
Do you guys ever sing karaoke, and what do you like to sing?
Ande: We were doing karaoke just last weekend, me and Janne in Kontula.
Une: It was after an interview as well.
Janne: Majava, and it suddenly somehow happened…
Une: After the interview, there was just left one interviewer passed out, and an empty bottle of Gambina.
Ande: And they were complaining at us today like “last time you were here, you left and we found an empty Gambina bottle, so what’s going on? Don’t do it again.” I don’t know about songs, but in general, it would be nice if they would have some more actual metal music to karaoke. But it all depends on how drunk I am…
Une: I think the last time I sang karaoke was maybe with Ande in Oulu some five years ago, we were singing Mokoma’s “Haudan takaa.”
Janne: I’m big on singer-songwriters like Nick Cave and Tom Waits, but I cannot find a Tom Waits song on karaoke, unfortunately. Last time, I did Queen and Black Sabbath.
Ande: Mostly, he’s doing Beatles.
So how come we haven’t seen any Rytmihäiriö songs on hevikaraoke yet?
Janne: You should ask hevikaraoke.
Ande: It’s not really up to us.
Une: Maybe we should release our own karaoke DVD with videos where we are dancing on the beach!
* * *
Your lyrics often describe satanic spurgus who consciously worship the Dark Lord with their godless lifestyle, but have you ever actually encountered spurgus that swear by the name of the Desolate One? (Not sure if Sova of Barathrum or Satanachia of Azazel count…) Usually the drunkards I encounter seem to be more of the “Christ Boozes (Kristus ryyppää)” type, being Christian despite not quite living by the book.
Une: No, but that’s not the point. That’s the thing of our own. But, you know, the Christians say that all the drinking and killing and gaying is from Satan.
Janne: Well, you mentioned Demonos Sova, and if anyone, then wait twenty years, he’s gonna be it.
Une: When the Satan came up, it was like, now, this is it. We have had the spurgus and killing, but then, Satan – it was the unholy trinity. You know, it’s just this escapist fiction power metal thing for us. It’s not the harsh real life documentary. But, you know, on the philosophical side, those things, to some people are from Satan, so why wouldn’t there be this satanic alcoholic cult?
So it’s kind of like rock & roll music; it doesn’t matter whether you believe in something more, and enjoy this thing, since just by enjoying it, you are worshipping the Devil?
Which brings us to our next topic, “Rock ‘n rollin maailma!” Ever since the split 7” with Chaosbreed, your releases have contained several references (in lyrics and record sleeves) to this 1986 tape where reverend Jyrki Isohella stresses the importance of Christian values and condemns rock music as satanic. ”Satan Is Lord (Saatana on Herra)” got its name from the tape, which was also sampled in the title track, and I feel “Master of Reality (Todellisuuden mestari)” is also a reference to the same direction. The tape has been spreading on the Internet during recent years, but when did you hear it first?
Janne: The story goes that Otto, who’s a cab driver and has free time during daytime, used to visit some religiously operated flea markets. And this is back in ’95 or ’96 when we we’re playing with Wind of Pain. Then he came across tapes, sermons by this guy Leo Meller, who still up to recent years did sermons, taped every one of them and sold them on his own distro. He’s a really good speaker, being really powerful, just like Hitler and everyone like that! I guess he could be a huge leader in 30’s. I’m glad he wasn’t. Really good at making his point across, really good at rambling on. Anyway, he [Otto] started buying all these tapes and then we started listening to them. Then it continued on with Rytmihäiriö, this Leo Meller thing. Even now the way he talks, we still have this inside joke going, like imitating how he would say stuff. We would listen to these tapes sometimes driving to some shows, and I think that was the kind of thing why we were so happy when we scored that tape years later. We were definitely going to the oldest things to score some obscure tapes, and dude, you could really find some fucked up shit on those, ‘cause apparently there was quite a few religious guys who did all kinds of speeches and put it out on tape for decades. There was something from ever since the late 70’s, all these weird fucked up helluntailaiset [Pentecostals.] You could find huge collections of that at flea markets for nothing, and we bought it. Still keep buying them, actually!
You can see a lot of references to the “Rock ‘n rollin maailma” tape in your lyrics, so is it something you listen to often to get inspired? It surely is a cornucopia of great phrases!
Une: I don’t remember when I was listening to that the last time, but you have to understand that a lot of the lyrics come from notebooks that have been maybe written a couple of years ago, or maybe more. There’s been all that leftover material from previous record that has been going on that this is not good enough for a record, so skip it. And maybe nowadays, when we have only this leftover shit from all the years, so we have to pick it up.
So are the lyrics of the new album all made out of leftovers?
Une: It was interesting, a couple of days I had to write something for Inferno Magazine about every song, about the lyric side, and maybe Janne did it from the music side more or less. But it was with many songs that “this is a very old line, a very old idea I have been having for years” and so on… like, what the fuck? Haha, the new thing is maybe like combining stuff, just mixing them together.
Was the title track of the new album partly inspired by the suspicious voodoo doctor Hannu Rauhala?
Une: No, but I know him. Try googling Olliver Hawk. I don’t know if there’s any [results]… I don’t google stuff when making lyrics, I read Alibi. Then I write to notebooks and read them later on. You wouldn’t remember anything otherwise!
The “Rock ‘n rollin maailma” tape is from the year 1986, and so is another Finnish anti-rock manifesto, Leo Meller’s book “Rock…”
Une: And Reign in Blood, and Master of Puppets – same year!
Janne: Among the Living! [recorded, but not released…]
Une: And I went to the second grade.
Haven’t you used some of Meller’s sermons as the opening tapes of your shows?
Ande: We have been using that same intro since…2006?
Janne: Yeah, 2006, probably. It’s a bunch of stuff compiled from… it’s actually recent, at least it was back then. What I was talking earlier about those tapes, he doesn’t do tapes anymore, he puts them online, got this huge library of his stuff. So, I just put random stuff there, listened to it for a while, in 2006, and I didn’t have to look very long…
Une: So, they were from the online stuff? Okay, that’s cool, I thought they were from some classic 80’s first demo stuff!
Janne: Yeah, I think so, I’m not 100% sure, but it’s still classic. First demo was like ’62, ‘cause that’s when he put out his first book. Anyway, you didn’t have to look for long to find some really convincing phrases that are spoken. Exactly. On time. I didn’t. Have to even. Manipulate it. To. Fit. In. Music. ‘Cause. The guy. Was speaking. On metronome. He’s superiorly accurate! I put him next to a click track… wow, fuck, the guy should be a drummer!
What about the long conversation at the end of the last track of the “Surman vuodet – The Homicide Years” compilation, is it some kind of an old radio interview? Where was it taken from? Is one of the speakers Meller?
Ande: Yeah, and the other one is Viktor Klimenko. Itkonen [who released the compilation on his Mörri Records] did it, so I don’t really know.
Viktor Klimenko, wasn’t he this gospel musician who did the album Jeesus on Herra?
Janne: A Finnish Cossack!
Ande: He used to be a total drunk…
Une: …and then a total poser!
Ande: …then he found Jesus.
Janne: Then he went back to drinking for a while.
When are you guys going to find Jesus?
Une: We have found him, in our own way.
Janne: It’s coming…
* * *
Do you ever get worried that you’re going to run out of things to write about?
Une: We are still making stuff out of the same articles as 30 years ago, and we haven’t been reading all the Alibis and articles from the 80’s and 90’s, and there’s still new issues coming every month. Last one came yesterday, actually. And we are growing as persons. Sometimes I have got this feeling like oh, do we have anything new to say? But nowadays, I’m not worried at all.
Ande: Because it all comes down to the fact that we don’t give a fuck, we can say anything we want.
Janne: It’s not like the madness is about to end from the world. There’s ways to go with that.
Alibi isn’t quite what it used to be, gone are the gory pictures, and the writing style is not as vivid anymore either. Do you have some new sources where you look for crime news?
Janne: We don’t go for news these days, we’re not documenting the news.
Une: Hey, “Viinan kyllästämä moottorisahaturma” was from a news headline from last summer, from the Iltalehti website.
Janne: We’re not depending on one story somewhere. We’re quite happy now, we have plenty of stuff to keep us happy. If the world will stop around us, there will still probably be lots of lyrics coming from Rytmihäiriö.
Ande: If we have a song that’s called “Viinan kyllästämä moottorisahaturma,” then it’s like, well…
Janne: We can do it, we still do it.
Ande: It’s kind of difficult to translate that…
“Booze-Saturated Chainsaw Accident!”
Une: Aika vitun hyvin! Hahaha, you have been practicing. Also those first lines of “Miten saatoinkaan vain tappaa miehen?” were pretty straight from some homicide news article from the past months. There was this guy who was supposed to go to rehab, but he didn’t, so then he went drinking because of the call of the booze was stronger than the good intentions. It was also from Iltalehti or Ilta-Sanomat, they have been doing some good stuff with their crime news, writing business!
When you first started writing about homicides, your inspirator was a single copy of the Finnish crime magazine Alibi, issue 7/89…
[the guys laugh at the mention of this obscure detail]
Une: At the next Surmagaala, you will get the Surma Pulitzer Prize, for sure!
Do you remember how you got your hands on the copy, did you just get an impulse to buy it from the magazine stand?
Ande: I don’t actually remember how we got that magazine, but there was a story about Risto Ratinen which changed everything. And we are still going on strong with that same stuff. That was the magazine that started this whole fucking thing.
Une: Haha, it was nice, on Surmantuoja we had still some stuff from the very same article, about Risto Ratinen. [“kun jo toisena työpäivänä mun ranne nyrjähti” in “Toiset on luotuja juopumaan”] You see, when we find new things in the same article still, we are not afraid of running out of stuff. It’s the last thing I would be worried about in my life.
What do you think of the magazine’s current format?
Ande: There’s some good stuff every now and then. I will always have sympathy for the magazine, but the last maybe 1-2 years they have been pretty good again.
Une: Some years ago it was totally useless stuff. I think they have really been trying to get back to that old-school surma stuff.
Janne: They’re competing with us! We’re selling more, you know…
Une: At some point, they had this name Seppo, when there was some (nimi muutettu). He was surprisingly often called Seppo!
Yeah, why always Seppo?
Une: It was originally from the Surmaa kännissä song “50 puukoniskua,” which was from Otto, and there was this line “on Seppo vainaja, ja syy on pullossa.” It was such a strong Finnish male name, so that stuck with us. I have always found it quite an amusing name. There was this Ulvila murder case, where this police officer had this undercover name “Seppo,” and that was like, what the fuck?! Haha, they had been really listening to us… and he even went too far and had some sex with Anneli Auer. That’s one of the inspirations for that “Jäljet johtavat ryyppykämppään” song, because there was also this Satan worshipping that was connected with the case. They had this Christian “specialist” used by the police and found this fucking “goat head…”
Ande: …upside-down crosses.
You mentioned that Otto committed the terrible crime of throwing away his old Alibis. Does one of you still have a large collection of Alibis at home?
Ande: I have some, but not a big collection, it’s mostly Une. I usually read them as we are travelling to a gig.
Une: Some of them have been bought together on gigs, but then some of them have ended up to me, some to Janne… I should show them out, because I think I must have most of the magazines ever published.
Have you read through all of them, or just browsed and picked the most interesting-looking articles?
Une: I think I’ve read too little of them. Yeah, homicide, booze, Seppo – this is good! But sometimes it pays off to just go through the even most seemingly uninteresting articles, and then you can find something really special. Some news pages, readers’ letters and everything, it can be rewarding. But when you have ten new Alibis, you just want to get the best surma stories.
Alibi is the only crime magazine in Finland these days, but it didn’t use to be that way…
Ande: Rikosposti was really good, it was even better than Alibi sometimes. They stopped in the early 90’s.
Une: One of them was formed by previous Alibi personnel, and they really tried to compete with Alibi. Then there was this Rikoslehti, and then there has been Rikosraportti also, which was really short-lived. I haven’t seen it, but in Alibi, there was an article just for dissing Rikosraportti, saying “this is such an unprofessional magazine,” and it had quit by then, “it was not good at all, we are the one and only crime magazine.”
Any other recommended reading for those who want to dive deeper into Finnish homicidal history?
Ande: “Rikospoliisi tutkii,” what’s that book series?
Janne: Yeah, then there’s a magazine Murharyhmä, which is from cops to cops. I think it’s still happening actually. That’s the way it’s written, from professionals to professionals, so it’s “just the facts, ma’am” kind of a thing.
Ande: But in general, I’d say that crime magazines from ’88 to ’92, whatever you have, it’s all good stuff pretty much.
Do you have an interest in criminal history otherwise? Do you like to read about serial killers, for instance?
Ande: Yeah, I do, I like the Nazis and serial killers.
Janne: What he wants to say is he likes to read about the Nazis and serial killers.
Ande: I don’t see any relations between our stuff and that stuff. I find it just interesting because it happened when my grandparents were still living and so on.
* * *
You’ve recently had several references to Pekka Siitoin, lyrically and otherwise, doesn’t it bother you that he is an icon of the Finnish Neo-Nazi movement, something that you surely want nothing to do with?
Janne: Is he really an icon?
Une: Every serious Nazi is ashamed of Pekka Siitoin. It’s the best way to make them look ridiculous, to push up Pekka Siitoin kind of stuff. Nobody can take them seriously. And if somebody thinks we are Nazis because of that, then fuck him or her.
Ande: Pekka Siitoin had lots of showmanship, and this occult thing and this Nazi thing, it was just a show, I don’t think he really believed in any of that stuff. My main interest in him is this occult side, but still. He was a really interesting character anyways.
Janne: I don’t think anyone is seriously Nazi who is idolizing him. He was all that, he had the mustache thing, and the racial holocaust thing, but he would throw everyone off by all these weird obscure things, even with the Nazi thing. Like, the guy wrote books on how to cook cats! Or these rituals…
Une: And then he told that “no, I would never cook cats! I have two cats, they are my friends!”
Janne: He wasn’t that consistent with anything, even when he was a Nazi. He was definitely… well, you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. We’re referencing his stuff on a bunch of songs, but like he [Une] said, there’s no better way to ridicule what he stood for than to just reference him like this. He was out there…
Well, he was out there, strongly into Satanic and occult matters, a drunkard and a stud, so isn’t that a pretty good match with Rytmihäiriö’s obscure lyrical world… but talking about studs, do you have Rytmihäiriö groupies?
Janne: Well, you’re still here…
Une: Hahaha, you two are still here! He might be more lucky…
So, you don’t get girls from this kind of thing?
Janne: They know we’ve drunk so much, and we smell bad, and actually, we drink so much that we don’t even get an erection anymore.
Une: And the girls who are in the groupie age are like they could be our daughters…
Janne: …or grandmas.
Anyway, back to Pekka! I heard you guys are going to have an interview with Mesikämmenen blogi, which is a real treasury for Pekka-related information. Have you been reading that blog otherwise?
Ande: Yes, I’m a very active reader of that blog.
Une: I totally support that stuff, but I’m so bad at reading any blogs or stuff on the internet, so if there would be Mesikämmen Magazine, I would read it.
Have you practiced your hypnotic-magnetic stare(s), by the way?
Une: Yeah, in the promo photography sessions maybe.
Janne: Do we look like we haven’t? Who hasn’t tried any ESP stuff like “can I move this with my thought?”
Une: When we were kids, we had a book about hypnosis, and it was quite interesting. We were testing the stuff on each other, and it really did work! And it was kind of scary sometimes.
Ande: You mean you were like todellisuuden mestari?
Une: Yeah, we were like todellisuuden mestareita! I was like ten years old. I find all these kinds of mysterious things very interesting… I don’t have very many these kinds of experiences, though.
So have you ever had any experiences that you could call supernatural?
Ande: Not really. I lay all my trust in Satan, so I have never seen anything like that.
Une: So nothing is supernatural to you, everything is natural! Because Satan.
Janne: I’ve tried to look for these things, but so far, I’ve just been disappointed. I’d be very interested to see all that, but so far, nothing to report.
* * *
Une, have you ever been buttfucked by anybody from Kalle Päätalo?
Une: No, but that’s like maybe seeing the future.
* * *
Once more about Pekka… although you only reference his activities in the field of occultism, he was also quite prominent and politically active in Finland in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with his openly Neo-Nazi ideology. How did you feel about him back then – a harmless joke, or a sign of serious fascist activity that should be strongly opposed?
Ande: We didn’t really know him back then.
Janne: Did you ever hear about him?
Ande: No… it was way later, I guess early 2000’s. I have no recollection about him from the 80’s.
Both Pekka Siitoin and Leo Meller have also written about UFO’s, which is a topic you have touched in “Cosmic Message of the UFO’s (Ufojen kosminen viesti)” and “Samurai of Sirius (Siriuksen samurai)”…
Ande: “Ufojen kosminen viesti” was a book that our former guitar player Tuukka got as a Christmas present, and we thought that it was a cool title! “Siriuksen samurai” was pretty much inspired by a story in Alibi, I think first it was written by me…
Une: It was written by you mainly, there’s only a couple of lines by me in the end. It was a true story that this guy thought he was a samurai of Sirius, but did he kill somebody? He performed that strange knife dance.
Ande: Yeah, he was just using the knives, but I don’t think he actually killed anyone.
Une: But then he stopped to take a sip of lemonade, and the cops caught him!
Ande: I just made it better by adding some hostility towards the Christians.
Have you had any extraterrestrial experiences yourself?
Ande: Yeah, when I drank three or four bottles of Gambina in one night. Well let’s say two or three. I just don’t remember anything.
Une: A couple of weekends ago we were at a wedding in Germany, and I drank pretty heavily all kinds of stuff from the morning, and danced pretty hard. The next day we went to hike on a mountain. As I got there, I came out of the car and threw up. Then we walked a little, and I really saw that famous lizard! But it really was there!
Janne: Was it dancing?
What did it look like, what color?
Une: Like a pretty normal sisilisko guy, gray.
Ande: Did he remind you of Adolf Hitler?
Une: Maybe of Satan and Behemoth a little.
* * *
You have a lot of anti-Christian and Satanic themes in your lyrics. Where does this anger towards Christianity stem from? Have any of you had religious upbringing?
Ande: No, I just hate the Christian faith in general.
Une: It’s always been that way.
Janne: I’m not feeling anger or anything. I’m actually wondering about the same thing, ‘cause I don’t have any reaction. I’m not feeling positive for it obviously, but it’s an intellectual thing. Like, it’s not good stuff and blah blah blah, but I don’t feel emotional about it, ‘cause it has never affected me personally in any matter. I don’t feel any emotional anger or hatred.
So what about a God album next?
Une: We have those God songs already, “Kristus ryyppää!” Sometimes they are killing drunk for Satan and sometimes for God. Same shit!
Janne: At least that would be controversial, ‘cause more heavy bands sing about Satan, but singing about Christianity or embracing some kind of really conservative thing… that would be something that would raise some eyebrows.
Une: It’s never that “yeah, I worship Satan,” we are telling about guys that take some Gambina and Satan tells them to do things. It’s not our personal thing.
Ande: I think the bottom line is always that the anti-Christians have a lot of responsibility [“antikristityn vastuu”].
Any Christian bands that you’re into?
Janne: Black Sabbath!
Ande: Mokoma, haha!
Une: Megadeth! I don’t give a fuck if somebody gets something from Christianity, maybe that’s good for him or her.
* * *
Even after the recent reissues by Svart Records, you have a fair amount of unreleased/out-of-print material, like the Demo 2000, Drunken Homicide (Surmaa kännissä) and the Chaosbreed split material. Are there any plans to re-release these in some format?
Janne: Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff that’s unreleased, and we’ve definitely discussed releasing it, but the question how is still unanswered, how and by whom.
Ande: Maybe Surmaa kännissä and Chaosbreed split are something we’d wanna re-release at some point in some form.
Janne: Or re-record or something.
Ande: Oh, fuck no…
Janne: It’s like we would if we could, but we don’t have a record label for ourselves.
Une: We are not looking for making an enormous effort to release them again.
Janne: We’re more interested in the new record. I’m not opposed to having the stuff re-released if there’s a need for that, but apparently, since there’s definitely a lack of interest in doing so, I don’t think that there’s a huge need. It’s on YouTube anyway.
Ande: I think with Surmaa kännissä it’s been so that Svart was really interested in publishing it, but then Sakara said that they will do it, and neither of them did it in the end.
Janne: That’s weird, ‘cause that wasn’t a Sakara recording in the first place…
Ande: Well, yeah, we have the master tapes, so we can do whatever we fucking want do with it.
Une: You should interview Sakara and Svart Records people.
Ande & Janne: Yes!
Une: Can you get them here now?
Janne: And Rönötönttö-Itkonen, especially him.
Then you also have this awesome but often forgotten compilation track “Series of Aggravated Crimes Against Animal Welfare (Törkeä eläinsuojelurikosten sarja)”…
Une: That’s a song we should really re-record. That would have suited on Todellisuuden mestari better than anywhere else before. At some point when we were lacking some songs, we were joking about re-recording “Törkeä eläinsuojelurikosten sarja,” because I really can’t listen to that version, haha! And we fucking wasted more of the studio time on that song than on any other song on Saatana on Herra.
Janne: It was fun to do, though.
Une: It was the first steps of surma-stoner!
Une: [spots the old issue of Rikoslehti on the table] Hey, “Taika-Jim, Änkkä-Kake ja Maukka uittivat Mehu-Maken hengiltä,” the legendary article! “Tenumies joi kotiviiniä kuin vettä,” toi on vitun kova! That is maybe where the opening line of “Muovipussi päähän ja ruumis suohon” is from, ‘cause “you took that too long sip from a bottle that was common.”
Ande: Common bottle.
Janne: Come on, bottle, let’s go.
You had your share of live material on the Sakara Tour 06 DVD, but has there been plans about getting a full DVD release of your own? Would you have a lot of video material to choose from?
Janne: We have footage, but enough to make a DVD? Hardly, but well, it’s building. We just have to get off our asses.
Ande: It has taken ten years, but there is footage.
Do you have, for instance, material from the 20th anniversary show at Nosturi, where you had all these guests with you on stage?
Janne: You never heard about that? We shot it professionally with multiple cameras. Then they lost the audio tapes.
Une: Oh Rack!
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Which one of you can chug beer the fastest?
Janne: That’s such an American thing! That’s sooo American. We don’t chug beers, we drink them. We just drink them really fast. Which one of us looks like a frat boy the most?
Ande: Let’s just say it’s Otto. He’s the fastest.
Janne: Then he throws it at you the fastest.
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On Satan Is Lord (Saatana on herra) and The Blessed Union of Seven Homicides (Seitsemän surman siunausliitto), you had one 10-second grind song each. How come you haven’t continued this “tradition” on the later records?
Une: We don’t have any fucking traditions! We do what we like to do, and that’s that!
Janne: No reason, but there was no reason to do them to begin with. On the other hand, I was thinking about getting them on our live set list.
…for isn’t grindcore the greatest thing?!
Janne: It’s not necessarily our thing. It’s not the greatest thing to be done by Rytmihäiriö 2013.
Ande: It’s not really… it’s not even the second greatest thing.
Une: It was nice to do, and record in one take and so on, but we don’t feel that “oh, now we did this, so we have to do this forever, because this is a tradition, and we have to put on some Viking helmets!” Fuck that shit!
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