mit Mr. Lordi vom 20. Juni 2011 via E-Mail
, Begründer und Namensgeber der monströsen Melodic Hard Rocker Lordi
, hat sich die Zeit genommen, in diesem Interview mit uns über den neuen Drummer Otus, die Schwierigkeiten und rechtlichen Einschränkungen ihrer aufwendigen, pyromanischen Live-Shows, die einzigartigen Kostüme, das Bandleben zwischen den Bühnen, aufdringliche Paparazzi, die Charakterschöpfung innerhalb der Band, das Film-Projekt Dark Floors – The Lordi Motion Picture
und nicht zuletzt die eher „kompakt“ ausfallende Tour 2011 zu reden.
Im Zuge der Tournée werden die Monster-Rocker am 16. Juli 2011 auf dem Bang Your Head in Balingen
ihr einziges Deutschland-Konzert dieses Jahr geben!
Viel Spaß beim Lesen!
Arne: Mr. Lordi, many thanks for taking your time for his interview!
First of all, Lordi will be going on a mini tour in July 2011 performing three shows: One in Saldus, Latvia, one in Klobenstein, Italy and one in Balingen, Germany. How are the preparations going and what can the fans expect from the concerts?
Mr. Lordi: Well, the preparations are going as usual, hahaha! We still have to think about the setlist for these shows, and what exactly are we bringing on stage with us. Obviously, all the basic elements of a Lordi-show will be there of course. But it depends on the sizes of the stages, and local restrictions and such, that what we are able, or allowed to do. The one in Italy will be somewhat different, because at the moment we don´t know how and what can we bring there in time, since we are playing in Latvia the night before.
Arne: This is a really short “tour”, especially when compared to your exhausting Europe and Russia tour 2010 where you played about 30 shows in just 2 months. The same goes for 2009. Why did you choose not to do such an exhausting tour this year?
Mr. Lordi: Yeah, and it´s not even a ”tour”, just some festivals, hahaha! Well, many times it´s not a question of what we wanna do, it´s a question of what can we do. Of course, it´s nice to have a really tight tour but also, it is really nice to have a looser schedule too sometimes. And now after the last tour, we don´t have that much of the urge to play everywhere and as much as we can, since the album is ”old” already, you know what I mean? But then again, Lordi has actually never booked it´s calendar insanely full on the summer festival season. And that is because we want to be able to provide at least a good percentage of our full show. But unfortunately that is not possible on many festivals where we get offers from, and we don´t wanna do too scaled-down shows where we feel that the fans might feel disappointed.
Arne: Are you on the other hand already planning on the next big tour? If so, when will it take place and what countries might it include?
Mr. Lordi: Uuummm... Too early to say anything! But I would think next year, or at least definitely after the next album.
Arne: Throughout your musical career, you have been constantly switching between the two genres of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Where would you personally position Lordi on this genre line? What would you say are the core elements of Lordi’s musical or lyrical style that make you unique?
Mr. Lordi: Oh have we? Hahahaha! I´ve never thought of it that way! Actually, to me, I think hard rock and heavy metal, the CLASSIC heavy metal that I think it´s the real heavy metal for me, are more or less the same genre. Can´t really tell the difference. When I was a kid, it was all heavy metal at the time, from Judas Priest to Poison, from Accept to Twisted Sister. The meat and potatoes of Lordi musically are strong, hooky choruses, melodic harmonies, simple riffs and big drums. I think we have never even tried to be musically that unique, you know? We are playing by the rules that come with the territory so to speak. Certain melody lines and harmonies just sound good in my ears, always have, always will continue to be that way. There are millions of songs written using the bass line and basic chords of A-F-G, but you know, it still proves for me to be the absolute best-sounding combination when writing a chorus that sounds good to me! What makes us unique is that we are Lordi, and whatever we do, sounds Lordi.
Arne: It is one of your proudly cherished specialties to merge elements from Shock Rock and theatrical parts in your live shows, isn’t it? How do you do this? In your experience, what is important for the fans to like and enjoy it?
Mr. Lordi: Yep, well, what can you expect from a die-hard fan of KISS, Alice Cooper and horror movies! Music comes first, and the stage tricks, as well as our image, are completely different things from that. But, after the songs are written and we start thinking about the songs we´re gonna do live, I start checking out the lyrical contents, and try to see what could we bring on stage from there, what songs or characters we could ”bring to life” physically on stage. You know it´s kinda hard to tell the parts that the fans like or dislike.. I actually don´t know! Well, my wings always seem to get a cheer! As well as OX´s bazooka or Awa´s impaling of the dancing zombies.
Arne: Did you ever encounter something you first thought off as a really great idea that actually did not work out on stage?
Mr. Lordi: Whoa, tons of times! Usually the idea itself is solid. And when we build a new ”trick” we make sure that it works at the rehearsals. But, unfortunately sometimes it occurs that a trick just does not work on the stage, due to a malfunction or something. We´ve had the cradle on The Monsterican Dream shows, that sometimes worked, sometimes didn´t. Same with the vomiting zombie on The Arockalypse tour. We´ve built new wings for every tour, and sometimes they did not work. My buzzsaw, even though the one I´m using now is already version number 5 I guess, just decides not to spin the blade, or not to shoot pyro, or not to shoot liquid, on some nights. Sometimes all 3. And it might work fine backstage just seconds before I grab it. These are mysterious things. On the last tour, the electric chair trick where the face of the victim was supposed to be blown off on Rock Police, worked like 40% of the nights. But every time during the soundcheck, it worked like a dream.
Arne: In your shows, there’s shotgun fire, it sizzles, whooshes, burns and explodes. Did you ever encounter problems with these kinds of extraordinary and extensive performances, be it some kind of location limitations, local law restrictions or anything else?
Mr. Lordi: Yep. All the time. But of course our booking agency tries to work it out with the promoter beforehand, so we know what can we do and what is allowed and what is not. But there are times when we have already put everything up, and then we are told like 10 minutes before hitting the stage that we are not allowed to use this or that. That sucks ass. Because the fans who come in, don´t know why we are not using this or that trick that night, whereas we might have used it on a previous night on a different city and venue.
Arne: How do you handle intrusive paparazzi that maybe even stalk you to get unmasked photographs of you? What has been the worst thing you experienced so far in this matter?
Mr. Lordi: The worst times around Eurovision 2006 are gladly over, and have been already a looong time ago. It´s hard to try to remember the worst occasion, since they pretty much never succeeded. But it was, and still is, something that really makes us go berzerk. It is an invasion of one´s privacy. When in character, wearing the costume and mask, we are public figures, without them on, we are civil personas. And that line or definition is our personal right to determine, not to be decided by any media.
Arne: Are you also masked when traveling with your tour bus between two locations, so that you are not being overrun by the press when you arrive?
Mr. Lordi: No, no! It would be HELL!
Arne: How long does it take you to get into your costumes?
Mr. Lordi: Depends on a member. For me it´s like 2,5 to 3 hours for the face alone, the costume about 15 to 20 minutes. Awa and Amen manage to get themselves pretty in an hour and a half. OX maybe like 45 minutes. Otus maybe 20.
Arne: Do you have backup costumes for the case that something gets damaged? How do you treat such a hypothetical situation? Do you have a fast substitute, does the concert have to be cancelled then … or has something like that just never actually occurred?
Mr. Lordi: Never occurred, no. Luckily so. We do NOT have backup costumes with us, they would take way too much room to travel with, since it´s anyway something that has never happened. But yeah, if the costume, or more importantly, a mask of a member should be lost, we would have to cancel the show.. or play behind the curtain.
Arne: Did you ever think about working as a body make-up artist sometime after your musical career or besides it? You surely get lots of inviting offerings, don’t you?
Mr. Lordi: I´ve been doing that all the time, when I have the time.
Arne: Are some of your band members actually working in or on side-projects or do you they have other jobs they follow besides Lordi?
Mr. Lordi: Well, some do clinics, some do studiowork like producing and such. I do graphics and make-ups, I also write columns for papers. But it´s pretty much mainly Lordi.
Arne: How is the work with Lordi’s new drummer Otus going? Did he bring something like some wind of change into the band; some kind of stylistic enrichment?
Mr. Lordi: Oh yeah he did. And tons of it! He´s really technically skilled drummer, whereas everyone else in the band have always been more of ... in lack of a better word, ”feel”-players. So, it´ll be really interesting to start working on the next album. It´s for sure that such a dramatic difference in playing styles between Kita and Otus will be easy to hear on the next record. It´s like Peter Criss to Eric Singer. Both great, but completely different approaches to drumming and styles.
Arne: When a new band member comes to sign up with Lordi, do they bring their own “background story” for their “monster” with them or who else writes those?
Mr. Lordi: I usually talk about the newbie character with the newbie himself. We try to come up with something that pleases both of us. So far so good! For example, Enary never had a real strong background story, and Otus doesn´t have one yet.. Actually, we have the Otus-story written, but we just haven´t revealed it yet.
Arne: The Finnish horror movie „Dark Floors – The Lordi Motion Picture“ was done in cooperation with you. How did that come to be? What aims did you follow with this side trip into the movie business? How had the feedback been and can you imagine doing anything like that again in the future?
Mr. Lordi: Well, the media in Finland smashed it hahahaha! But I am still damn proud of it. I mean what a fuck do they know anyway. We did not have any aims or goals, we were offered the possibility to do it, and I´m telling you that no-one would have said no to that! There were some compromises in the script, that differed from mine and Pete Riski´s original plot, and I am not that happy about, but it´s all water under the bridge by now. I have been planning to do a really gory disgusting horror flick myself, been actually talking with some producers the past year or so. But right now I don´t know when I would have the time to do it. Let´s say that before I go to my cold grave.
Arne: Generally, what’s up next for the band?
Mr. Lordi: Birthday coming up! 2012 marks the 10th year anniversary of our debut album, and 20th anniversary of the birth of Lordi. We will release some cool shit for the fans to celebrate. Next year we´ll start working on the next studio album, and our 2-year-release pattern will be probably broken, looks like even though we will record it in 2012, it will not be released before early 2013, because of the record labels schedules. We also finally started shooting a full Lordi-documentary film, and will still be shooting that at least a year or year and a half. The next Lordi comic book is written and plans are to release it next spring... Also, finally we might be able to release the comics in English too... And the ever-haunting Lordi action figure plans are getting to be more realistic than ever... So, a lot happening behind the scenes.
Arne: Is there anything else you would like to tell your fans all over the globe?
Mr. Lordi: Uuummm... Thanks for your support and for your loyalty in the band! We bow to you! I am a fanatic fan of some bands myself, so I understand the value of trust, respect and love between the fan and the band. We try to remember never to be assholes to you guys. And we try our hardest not to suck. But... Sometimes we might fail on that, sorry, hahahaha! ;)
Arne: Thanks again for your time! All the best for the upcoming shows and: Goodbye!