Exclusive interview with the lead guitarplayer Mr. Amen
Jussi Sydänmaa alias Mr. Amen
Songwriter, lead guitar and backing vocals at the Finnish heavy metal shock rock band Lordi
Rockman and Mr. Amen talk about rock!
I wanted to know more about this great artist behind this masks and their new album.
In the late dark Friday night I was lucky to get in touch with Mr. Amen:
Eurovision and image
– Mr. Amen, Lordi have been very famous with regards to the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 and your song "Hard Rock Hallelujah". This have given you of course lot`s of PR, but how would you say this have been influence to your image?
– We participated in Eurovision Song Contest just because we wanted to have some PR. Winning the whole thing was a nice bonus 🙂 What comes to our image, well, there are always people who hates you and people who loves you. I think it is really great for us that we can make a splash everywhere we go. You know, nowadays it`s not easy anymore to be a schocking rock `n roll band – but we have noticed that there is still a certain ways to do it, and attendance in pop song contest with a look like we have, was one of those things. Our fans knows that, and they don`t question our rock-credibility because they know what this is all about, and they know that in this band, there are more rock `n roll revolution that they have seen for awahile! Then there are bunch of people who just can`t understand what we are doing, and that`s fine, as long as they don`t come to our way 🙂
This band has to do things like Eurovision Song Contest, we would be stupid not to do things like that. On the other hand, we have to do things like Ozzyfest because we would have been really really stupid not doing it.
Eurovision was a great party, we had a little hangover and after that we have our fans, and among people who don`t understand us. Well, I think it brightened up as well, so it was a win-win situation for us 🙂
Heavy Metal inspiration from Finland
– Heavy Metal bands and artists from Finland is today a big inspiration for bands and artist in Norway, in fact for whole Europe and Lordi is of course one of this inspirational bands. Why do you think this have happend?, and which Finnish artist and bands do you think have give the most influence?
– There has always been a great music scene in Finland, especially metal scene. But we just haven`t had a business skills to bring up those bands outside Finland. We needed one or two successful attempts and by that we got more skills, knowledge and courage to take more bands outside Finland. Bands like HIM, Nightwish, The Rasmus…etc. Those bands and people behind them did a lot of work to achieve success outside Finland. They opened many doors for other Finnish bands. Now the doors are wide open and Finnish music scene is very well known everywhere.
– I could`n be happier about that fact!
Good advice to Norwegian and other unsigned bands.
– What kind of good advice will you give to your Norwegian and other unsign rockband and artist colleagues to be able to reach a bigger public and win the publics "rockhearts"?
– Try to find your own thing, your own sound, your own look….something special that band next door don`t have. Try to hang out with celebrities, elbow your way out of rehearsal place. Do something that your face and name will be in a daily newspaper and I`m not talking about some review in a demo-column in some free magazine. Don`t waste your time sending demos to record ables – wast your time in front of record company, and when you see people coming in and out, then just give them your CD is not enough – add pictures, reviews, maybe your last gig on DVD. Make them realize that you are serious and you are already making a lot of efforts for your band.
People have to remember you. Make sure they will, in a way or another. You can rent a limousine and driver, and just use it for last 2 blocks on your way to your next gig. Just make sure that someone is outside and notices that you ate arriving with limo. You can ask your friends to video tape it and then put it on your website, MySpace etc.
Next time when Metallica is in town, go to a parking lot and leave your CD and an invitation letter to your next show in EVERY car`s windscreen. Probably next morning there will be a thousand broken CDs in a parking lot, but there also a chance that quite many CDs survived from mass destruction, and some of those might even found a new home :).
Belive in yourself and follow your dreams, but remember to have fun, meet your friends and party girls.
Prepare to a hard work. After you got your foot inside the door, then the real work starts.
But hey,….music is not work, it`s lifestyle! 🙂
– To do a gig in Finland, where is the best place to go?
– In Helsinki, definitely. Also metal festival called Tuska is great place to make your band very well-known.
Lordi`s keypoints for their success
– What is Lordi`s 5 most imortent keypoints that have given you the breakthrough and success?
– Music, the look, shows, friendship and relentlessness.
– What is Lordi`s 5 bad keypoint in your way to your success, points that you should avoid to experience again if would have the chance to do this from a new start?
– Good question, good quiestion…Honestly, I think that without making any mistakes, we would`t be here we are now. Band learns from istakes and it`s a long way to the top if you wanne rock `n roll :).
So….there`s nothing I would change, nothing.
Lordi at Rock2Wgtn 2008…..In the shower with Ozzy Osbourne?
– What about your experience from performance at Rock2Wgtn 2008? Did you speak to Ozzy, Whitesnake, Kiss, Poison, Alice Cooper??
– Oh man…, I could write a book about it! 🙂
It was a dream come true, in every way. It was our first stadium show and on that day there was us, Alice Cooper and Kiss, so we could ask anymore!! We were thrilled! Earlier on that day Mr. Simmons (Kiss) saw Mr. Lordi in a full costume and he came to him and talked for awhile, it was a pretty fucking honour for Mr. Lordi!
Alice Cooper told that he like us and that he would like to tour with us in States. We couldn`t belive it. Let`s hope that someday that will happen. We were in Ozzfest 2007 and Ozzy`s band came really familiar for us. They are really great and foot on the ground guys. So in New Zealand it was really heart warming when they came to us and hugged and acted like we were friends. It was unbeliavable. We didn`t see Ozzy so much…but during the Ozzfest we met him a few times. After one show I was almost dying because it was so hot and I was taking some oxygen outside our dressing room when someone tapped me on my shoulder. My head was humming and I didn`t react. Then there was another tap. I turned around and there was Ozzy in front of my saying "You can take a cold shower in my room if you want". I could`t believe my eyes and ears and I did mumble something like "sorry….mm…..what??". He repeated and I thanked him and told him that I`m okay and I can take a shower in my room….Then he walked away.
I asked my bandmates that "did you see and hear that?…or am I just losing it..?
They were laughing and telling me that, "Yes, Ozzy just asked you to come to his shower!" 🙂
We met also Poison guys, whatta lovely fellows! Me and our drummer Kita are huge fans of theirs and it was awesome to have a chance to watch their soundcheck at the emty stadium! After their show I met Bret and he gave me his t-shirt he was wearing at the show, now it`s on my wall.
We also partied with Whitesnake guys and so on….it was one of the greatest weekend in my life, if not the greatest.
Influence bands and artist
– If I understand right, one of your main inspiring bands is Kiss. Could you say a little bit of this and other artists that have inspiring Lordi and y
ou as a lead guitarplayer.
– We are all huge KISS fans. It would be stupid to deny their influence for us. Actually me, Mr. Lordi and Kita met very first time face-toface in our way to KISS concert from Helsinki to Stockholm, it was 1996.
"Kiss in Stockholm – Love Gun"
Because of KISS there is LORDI.
But hopefully we can bring something new into the entertainment – rock `n roll table 🙂
Other influences is Alice Cooper, WASP, Twisted Sister, Mötley Crue etc. basicly all the bands that put some efforts into their liveshows.
I just love the way they play guitar. Of course there are lot of great guitar players I love to listen to. The style those guys represents is something that made me pick up the guitar at the forst place.
– Is there some artist and bands from Norway that you think stand out as strong bands and artist?
– Well, I have to list the bands I know, like Satyricon, Enslaved, Emperor and Dimmu of course.
Mr. Amen`s 5 most importent rockalbum
– Which rockalbums do you think is the 5 most importent in the rockhistory?
– There are soooooo many great and importent albums in rock history, but let`s name a few:
AC/DC " Back In Black", Guns N Roses "Appetite For Destruction", KISS "Alive"
The Beatles "Revolver" and Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin"
New album out 27th of October 2008!
– We are looking forward with great pleasure to your new album "Deadache".
What`s the story behind this album and songs? How you want to compare this with your other 3 studio albums? Is there some songs that you feel point out especially?
– We started to write material for it one year ago. First demos were ready in March 2008, then we were in studio from May to June and that`s pretty much it.
Mr. Lordi had a working title "Deadache" for the album and somehow it described our feelings so well after Eurovision and all that craziness, so it ended up to official title as well.
We had 60 demos to choose from, and itwas a loooooot 😀
We recorded 15 songs and 13 ended up for the album.
It`s great that everyone in this band participates in writing process. I think it`s a really importent advantage for us. I think this album is tighter and angier than previouse ones. Our producer Nino Laurenne brought some spices from his side, more technical things, and I think it freshened our sound.
"Monsters Keep Me Company", is a really personal story of Mr. Lordi, and it`s a first time that we hear something like that on a Lordi album. It was hestitating when rest of us told him that told him that it`s a killer song and we wanted it to be on the album. I`m happy that it is there, it`s a really depressing-beautiful-horror song.
Then I want to point out songs "Girls Go Shopping" and "Man Skin Boots". Lyrics wise those are exactly the songs that either you get it or not what Lordi is all about 🙂
"Bit It Like a Bulldog" – The newest single – Official Video
Listen to some of the songs
from this album at their MySpace: Press here>>
Lordi to play live in Norway?
– When would be the Norwegian fans and public`s pleasure to meet Lordi live in Norway?
Some plans to join one of our music festivlas next year?
– We haven`t had a chance to play our own show in Norway. Can`t wait the day when thats happens!
Summer festivals would be great!
So…all promoters in Norway…Give us a call and we will be there!!
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