venerdì 30 settembre 2011


Amazing traditional finnish  hc mixed with some weird and original parts. Not too into their later stuff, but the first eps rule. Interview conducted via email with guitarist Juhana and drummer Jonne on Sept. ’05 and originally featured in Perro Maldito#4

Perro: I know that recently your bass player Juha sadly passed away. If you think this is an appropriate space, feel free to write down some words to commemorate his memory. I read somewhere he was an original member of Tampere SS and many other bands.
KS: Thats very true, we lost our dear friend and great bass player Juha Hämäläinen almost a year ago. Our both EP's are from the last sessions played with him. He had been around from early ´80 and played in various bands like Tampere SS, Kuolleet Kukat, Two Witches, Life Is a Riot, Ärsyke and Silmäosasto. Some of the music can be heard here He was also into photography and did document Tampere punks and squatting a lot, here you can find some pics on

Perro:  Since you are quite a young band, the best way to start this interview is with a brief history of the band.
KS: Our gruppo hails from Tampere, a town in the heart of Finland, but none of us was born here. We four guys started in the fall 2003, nearly two years ago. Jonne - tupatupadrums, Mika - vulcanovocal, Juhana - Guitarro and new member Antti on basso. The chaos we play is full of ruggedness, dangerous moments including disorder. The first demo tape, 9 songs was recorded in April 2004 before we had figured even a name for the band. The first gig was played in May 2004 in Tampere and since then we have approximately 30 gigs behind, including three brief tours. The first 7-inch ep "Kuuluuko Meidän Todella?" was released in winter 2005. The second EP "Helvetin Elementit", consisting of material recorded during the same session in October 2004, released this summer 2005, and later this year a split EP with the Danish group Death Token will be coming out. Spacca Tutto.

Perro: Quoting your words "the name of the group, which translates to "the Extinction of Cyclops", suggests destruction of bigotry". Could you explain this concept better? You even have a song about it.
KS: Cyclop is metaphor for narrowmindness which we all carry more or less, and in bigger scale it goes for politicians and our governments. Extinction stands for its destruction. Clear as fuck. The song "kyklooppien sukupuutto" tells more about these governing powers that still got a hold on us. Here is a translated lyric for it so you can see what I meant. We sing in our native language, as we wanna be part of culture where we live. Still keep up some local tradition before everything is westernized, but we translate our lyrics of course so people from different countries can get a hint what we're after. There is "one eye" also in cameras, and as we know it everything is on tape nowadays, so thats also one explain what the name is after.

the hollowheads in charge, always take their own
ignore everything around and then swipe the rest
the army of the one-eyed keeping eyes on all corners
absolute self-seeking makes a start for the march towards the end
your words are stirring up panic-it's spreading like a plague
your vice is smugness, me, myself and I
infinite dimensions of the narrowminded governing our lives and theirs
if this globe is just one big eye, then i'm the trash on it's surface

Perro:  You are all around 30 years old. What keep you still involved in hardcore? Do you think that having other interests outside punk has helped it? What do you do in your daily life outside hardcore?
KS: Maybe we are into getting old not to growing up. I love music, I like to do things and I like it dirty... punk it be. Punk motivates me with it's grassroots traditions and D.I.Y. allows you create stuff that looks like you. In daily life I build ancient musical instruments, primitive noise you call it. Jonne goes to art school and is getting super busy and stressed there, gets occasionally involved in other kind of different projects relating to politics and art, recently one squatting project for example. Mika's getting tired in his "rat race work" - as he calls it - in a big warehouse. Antti just graduated from a sort of "nature business" school, being strongly into music and slackering, hah.

Perro:  Your sound is deeply rooted in the 80s' finnish hc scene but, also, it seems to me that you are not scared to mix it with more personal and innovative stuff…
KS: Weird and twisted? Sometimes weirdness is more fascinating than normality. We are not scared about different song structures, melodies like bird singing (?) nor manic speed. Usually Jonne comes with a good fill and we make riffs on that.--- Roots, we've no idea where people get this that we sound Finnish or eighties? OK, we are not that much into mixing in metal, so our sound is more like early ´80's HC, and yes we come straight outta dark, cold northern forests...Funny thing is that here people keep saying constantly that we sound more Italian or Dutch stuff than Finnish! So there you go!

Perro:  Traditional finnish bands like Riistetyt, Terveet Kadet, Appendix etc… have all that cold and depressed sound that have made finnish hc an institution. What do you think has made your bands so unique?
KS: Definitely melancholy, depression, homemade booze. Fights with bears, salmiakki and dark bread. From the very start of finnish pop music it has been strongly melancholy influenced, but in the some strange way it make you feel good. Also the pitch black winter maybe helps it. Then on the other hand in the older times, more or less every country had a unique sound! Swedes didn't sound like Norwegian, Brazilians didn't sound like Colombians. In these days there's just so much more interaction that the national, regional cultural differences have gotten weaker.

Perro:  What do you think about foreign bands like Laukaus or Kirottu (I'm not sure to have spelled them right) that now are imitating this kind of sound? Is it possible to do it outside Finland?
KS: Right spelled! Of course its possible to do it, just enough intent on and humor. Like we got here Forca Macabra playing Brazilian hc/thrash and Selfish more Japcore style sound, I think they manage to do it well also. However it can also be seen when the band is doing the thing seriously and when just playing with the idea, not putting enough effort on it.

Perro: Your lyrics are very political but, fortunately, very far from the classic hc stereotypes. What has inspired them?
KS: Well written text is always interesting to read, no matter if is it in punk lyrics or in newspaper or zine. We got same subjects to write as we live in a same globe, and usually you get so fucked up on the world today that it's enough. If you look how they tend to tear every old building down in this city, the concept is ready. You only need to write it down so that it sounds good. I think lyrics are important in the songs. I listen to vocals as one instrument among others, but I like to read what people got to say, what they are after. After reading those stereotypical punk lyrics for years or a decade or more, they just start to get seriously damn boring while at the same time you see there's so much more even in those things what to talk about, or just to pick some other topics you can invent, being at least as relevant and important to deal about, instead of repeating the entertainment style clichés over and over.

Perro: The artwork and packaging of both your EP's impressed me a lot since they are very well done and each one is very different from the other. Who did them? How's important for you the layout of a record?
KS: Covers are part of the package so it is very important. We are a band, making music but there are other elements part of the whole thing and they are all equal. We want to show our ideas with visual methods plus also make sure the whole outlook satisfies us and serves the purposes. For the 1st EP Juhana created the front cover, Jonne did the inside, sheet and the font. Then the covers for the second one are entirely Juhana's work. Still, we always discuss the ideas, sometimes even pretty intensively!

Perro: Let's talk about the so called "Finn edge". You guys have the fame of being all hard drinkers. Could you describe us some funny anecdotes you have lived in first person or saw at gigs. We want dectails!!!
KS: Lesson number one: Always keep a bottle near your mouth or even better, on your lips. There is nothing funny about it, it is a hard job. There is a hollow limit where you start to be nothing more than alcoholic. Finnish culture for a big part is a culture of alcoholism. I, Jonne, remember clearly when Juhana, I and a bunch of other friends were at K-Town festival in Copenhagen 2004. On Sunday morning, after 3 days serious drinking and craziness Juhana's girlfriend comes to ask "Have you seen Juhana today". He had been lost since evening before, but I was no in brilliant condition either. So, we went to this park to see the classic bike wars and there he comes in a while! Being woken up in hospital park by doctors on that morning he started to wonder and wander around... So this sir walks into the hospital building to ask where he and his material property, be glasses, bikecycle, backbag etc.might be. The staff tells he was brought there in the night, or to be exact in the morning, by ambulance, was placed in a section, from where he later escaped but just ended sleeping in that hospital park. From there Juhana goes to a police station to ask about his stuff and the cops make phonecalls to the hospital and tell he was found in the neighbourhood in a completely different direction where he should or even could have been... The search for the stuff made no result in the station either, but at least the cops drove Juhana around looking for his borrowed bicycle. --- So there you have a story, there are other weird experiences shared, but let'save them for the next time.

Perro: I know you are also doing a finnish written zine called the 82mm but I never seen a copy of it. What are your goals with it? Which other zines are a source of inspiration for you?
KS: Zines are simply great! Good reading and boring times. My zine 82MM is all written in Finnish so maybe thats why many people abroad don't know it. It contains travel stories ala. biketrip, photographing, graffiti and street art, columns or rants. Also bands interviewed. There ain't no great goal with it, as I don't believe I'm changing world with it, but maybe documenting this time from a personal level and giving my view on it.

Perro: What's your opinion about @zines? I'm definitely not against them but it's quite obvious that they are killing paper zines.
KS: WWW is good for keeping contacts, but I personally don't have interest to read shit from there. I like my shit on paper! You never can kill paper zines, believe me!

Perro:  Perro Maldito seems to be pretty popular in finland: during the last 4 years I spread more copies there than in my own country!! Do I have to move there or is simply that finnish are smarter and read more than the average italian?
KS: I think italians are too busy to watch mamma cook pasta, and meanwhile the Finns read your zine after a hard skiing session. Look south for mafia enforcement strategies? We're sure you would make your business run better, signore!

Perro: Each year we see a scaring increase of the number and the destructivity of natural disasters all around the world. Does earth finally rid itself of a scourge called mankind?
KS: For a long time already, especially since the start of modernisation and industrialisation we are having this view of the planet and life, including humans being no more than a technical resource. So, as long as this way we take, understand things it's impossible to make any radical, let's say real change, whatever it could be to save what is rest. Seems like the humankind needs to face really serious and dramatic catastrophes, that are just results of our acts to make even a hint clear how complex for example an ecosystem is, for those who are leading us to whom only existing issues are property issues. So as these property issues are as strong as they are, it seems that most people don't even care if the planet is dying, or if even ("even" for them!) the humankind is dying or not. To simplify just a bit, most people in the modern cultural around world are mainly interested in what and how much do they own, or do they at least have enough cheap gasoline for their cars to go work to take part in this senselessness. "Fuck the treehuggers, I'm a working man, goddammit!" Step by step we, the humans are anyway going forward as we can't stay on our places. And we have taken a road towards the end.

Perro: One of my other passion is cinema. What are your favourite movies? Could you suggest me some obscure and intelligent finnish movies worth to checkout?
KS: We don't watch so much films/movies... We are not the best persons to ask. We (Juhana & Jonne) like French language so thats why we like to see French movies in general also many Spanish, like Almodovar films and Mexican ones have spoken to us! Tarantino has done several great works for sure. Fargo from Cohen brothers is a definite classic! Those Dogma 95 films from Lars von Trier manage to grasp really essential sides of a human mind, recommandable stuff without a question!
From Finland you should check Aki Kaurismäki, he is worth to check out. Mikko Niskanen, Spede Pasanen are some oldschool heroes. Mikko Niskanen did a lot so called "daily life reality" movies in the 1960's and 1970's when there was a big change in the Finnish society structure, in a really big scale turning from agriculture to industrial city life which created a lot of misery, and he made a lot of movies concerning this issue from a personal viewpoint of the maincharacters.

Perro: What are the plans for the near and not so near future? New releases, tours ecc..???
KS: We got split EP coming with danish Death Token hopefully soon. Then all our recordings should be on discography up to date tape hopefully released in CCCP, Czech and Mexico. Some tours planned and booked, like Italy 27.10-7.11.2005. Then we have talked to do LP next and go to Australia, but you will hear about these in a future.

Perro: Thanks for your time Juhana, it's time to conclude this interview…
KS: Always remember to Porco Dio and Madonna, keep your lips tight and see you on tour! Hula hula! Kippis! And thanks for interview, your zine is good. This interview was deeply answered by Juhana and Jonne. You can take contact via our webpages

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