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Interview: Lordi

mit Mr. Lordi vom 3. April 2013 in der Markthalle, Hamburg
Kaum eine Band wühlte anno 2006 derart die internationalen Musikgefilde auf, wie die Heavy Metal-Schauergestalten von Lordi! Mit spektakulären Monsterkostümen und Rammstein’scher Pyrotechnik erklommen die Finnen um Sänger und primären Songwriter „Mr. Lordi“ die Charts manch einer europäischen Lande, nachdem sie mit „Hardrock Hallelujah“ den sonst doch eher versnobbten Eurovision Song Contest gewonnen hatten. Es folgte eine ausgiebige Tournée mit dem damaligen Album „The Arockalypse“ … und dann wurde es zumindest in Pop-Gefilden relativ ruhig um die Gruppe.
Anno 2013 steht mit „To Beast Or Not To Beast“ das nunmehr 7te Studioalbum der Schock-Metaller in den Händlerregalen. „Alte Stärke, and‘res Label, frische Mucke, neues Glück“ lautet die Devise,unter welche die Monster ihre stilecht zur neuen LP gehörende Tournée am 3. April 2013 in Hamburgs traditionsreicher Markthalle eröffneten. Natürlich lief dabei auch zunächst einmal alles schief, was irgendwie hätte schief laufen können. Der Soundcheck zog sich endlos in die Länge, Mr. Lordis vierstündige Maske wollte einfach nicht fertig werden – und vor der Tür tummelten sich doch schon die ersten Fans! So kam es, dass unser eigentlich für 21 Uhr angesetztes Interview kurzerhand auf „nach der Show“ verschoben werden musste. Mit stoischer Gelassenheit wartete unser Redakteur Arne bis sageundschreibe 2 Uhr Nachts, um sich nur wenige Minuten nach Showende mit einem sichtlich erschöpften Mr. Lordi zum Gespräch zu treffen. Immerhin hatte er zwischenzeitlich die Gelegenheit, die epochale Bühnenshow der Band bildgewaltig für unsere Leser festzuhalten. Einige der Konzertbilder findet ihr im Interview-Transkript weiter unten, die geballte Lordi „Horrifiction“ könnt ihr euch in unserer Galerie abholen!
Wie fühlt es sich an, nach fast 3jähriger Tourabstinenz wieder on the road zu sein? Muss man da zunächst einmal wieder „lernen“, mit seinem Kostüm und den 20cm-Plateauschuhen umzugehen? Wie ist es überhaupt, wenn man zum Tourbegin erstmal mehr verloren denn souverän durch den Musikeralltag torkelt, bevor sich die gewohnte Routine am 4. oder 5. Tag langsam wieder einstellt? Und warum fällt es Mr. Lordi ausgerechnet bei der diesjährigen „To Beast Or Not Tour Beast“-Tour so schwer, sich die Lyrics zu merken?
Wie wichtig ist es für ihn, mehr Entertainer als bloßer Musiker zu sein? Welche Unterschiede sieht er in seinem künstlerischen Schaffen, wenn er Live-Shows mit dem Kreativteil der Arbeit im Studio vergleicht? Und was hat die Mona Lisa damit zu tun!?
Würde Lordis Musik auch akustisch funktionieren? Erfahrt in unserem Interview, warum Mr. Lordi der Meinung ist, eine gute Melodie müsse sich bei jedem Lagerfeuer zum Besten geben lassen, aber es trotzdem für ausgeschlossen hält, das ein akustisches Set für die Band funktionieren könnte! Zudem unterhalten wir uns über Tribute-Bands und Mr. Lordis Pläne, vor seinem Abstieg ins kalte Grab eines fernen Tages auf jeden Fall einmal eine Tribute-CD heraus zu bringen, auf welcher er nach Herzenslust Tracks seiner Lieblingsbands wie Kiss oder Twistes Sister „lordifizieren“ möchte!
Wie steht er zur modernen Musik? Schließt er sich den Rants von Genregrößen wie Francis Rossi von Status Quo an, dass die modernen Genres nur noch liebloser, kommerzieller, elektronischer Dreck seien? Oder hält er es eher wie Dee Snider von Twisted Sister, welcher uns vor kurzem im Interview berichtete, er würde in den jungen Bands trotz anderem Klang dieselbe Leidenschaft für die Musik und dieselben Träume wiederfinden, die seine eigene Generation ihrerzeit lebte und groß machte? Ein denkwürdiger Spruch, den uns Mr. Lordi da schenkte: „Every old guy – you know – grows old!“ Wie steht Mr. Lordi zuletzt rückblickend zur Zeit kurz nach dem Eurovision Song Contest? Was denkt er über das Phänomen, dass überwältigende Menschenmassen „Hardrock Hallelujah“ bis an die Spitze der Populärmusikcharts pushten, die sich normalerweise einen feuchten Dreck um Metal-Musik scheren? Derartige Singularitäten wie sie auch etwa Nightwish vor einigen Jahren erlebten scheinen alle paar Jahre gewissermaßen „zu passieren“. Aber warum eigentlich? Achja, und warum denkt Mr. Lordi, dass die Gruppe auch mit jedem andren Song ihres Repertoires den Contest gewonnen hätten?
Erfahrt dies und vieles mehr in unserem exklusiven Video-Interview!
Nur für euch. Gefilmt direkt nach dem Tourauftakt in der Hamburger Markthalle am 3. April 2013. Naja, eigentlich am 4. April um 2 Uhr Nachts. Aber so genau wollen wir das nicht nehmen. Achja, und: Auch wenn es schon erwähnt wurde. Schaut euch gerne auch mal die Konzertbilder der Show in unserer Galerie an!
Viel Spaß!
Moderation: Arne Luaith; Fotografie: Arne Luaith; Kamera: Arne Luaith
Arne: Hey guys! It’s Metal Trails again, and today we’re here in the Markthalle in Hamburg. This time we’re talking to …
Mr. Lordi: … Udo Dirkschneider! What can I say?
Arne: Mr. Lordi!
Mr. Lordi: Hehe. YESSS!
Arne: How are you doing?
Mr. Lordi: I’m good! Sweaty. A bit tired, but other than that – good! I would like to eat. So I’m hungry, too. And I would love a smoke. But, you know … pretty good, considering the circumstances! I mean, right after a show!
Arne: Still sitting here, way after midnight. Still doing the job. All for the fans out there! So you’re currently on your tour through Europe after quite a break were you only played some festival shows and some shows in Finland. How does it feel to be on the road again?
Mr. Lordi: Well, this was the first night! First show. So far: Sweaty and tiring. But it’s only the first show. It feels good! You know, I mean: If it wouldn’t feel good there would be no point in doing it! It feels good, and it will feel even better after you get all the little things and mistakes together. All the stuff that happens during a tour.
Arne: So is it like you’re needing some kind of “startup”? Getting used to that tour stuff?
Mr. Lordi: Right! Of course, when a tour starts the thing is that in the beginning of the tour you don’t have the routine of the set yet in your head and your spine. It takes like three or four shows at least to get the machine well-oiled and running smoothly. But that’s part of the whole thing.
Arne: Still sued to wearing the costume so often?
Mr. Lordi: Oh, we don’t need to practice that! No. It’s more about the playing and the rhythm of the show that you need to practice. And also remembering the lyrics! That’s another thing.
Arne: Is it still hard for you to remember them after so many years?
Mr. Lordi: Oh yeah! I mean … Let me put it this way: It’s not getting any easier after years! It’s getting harder and harder. And especially this time! Because we changed the set list pretty much, like 90 percent out of it. So it means that there are all those songs, the old and new ones. And even the old ones are new ones if we haven’t played them in many years! And most of them we haven’t played for 8 or 9 years or something. So it means that they are new songs because they are not in your spine.
Arne: So it feels like learning them for the first time, again?
Mr. Lordi: Kind of, yeah! “Like a virgiiiiiin …” [sings]
Arne: Lordi’s always been about show! You know – pyrotechniques and all these different characters with their background story and everything. Is it important to be an entertainer rather than a pure musician?
Mr. Lordi: The musician part of us – or me – is the guy who writes the music at home and goes to the rehearsal. And the musicians are in the studio, recording the songs, making the arrangements. But then, after that … you know, this is the funny thing! When you do music, when you write it and when you record it, that’s where you create something new. But when you’re doing it live, you’re not creating anything new! You are actually painting the same painting again. Night after night after night. Which means, I like to think about it, if you would be a painter! How crazy would it be that you go on tour and paint Mona Lisa again every time? You know? And then the audience is waiting like: “Oh my god! What … what painting is he gonna paint next? OH my GOD! He’s painting Mona Lisa now!” And then they were like: “Oh, okay … well, tonight it wasn’t that good!”
Arne: “You messed up the smile!”
Mr. Lordi: Yeah! Well, you know what I mean? So, when we’re doing live shows as for me, I am definitely more of an entertainer first! And all the little things first. And then the musician comes in vey last for me, when you’re doing live shows. It’s completely different from when you’re writing music! When you’re in the studio. Because then, you are not an entertainer because you’re doing the music for yourself, first and foremost. And then if anybody else likes it, what you are doing, it’s only a plus! But you have to do the music for yourself.
Arne: So do you think that this Lordi music would actually work if you were just standing there, singing to the guitar? You know – Like Lordi on a Santana trip?
Mr. Lordi: Oh, you mean … like acoustically? There’s this short little anecdote that a good song should be something that you can play with an acoustic guitar around a fire. You know, with friends. But it’s also like a choice of style that we’re doing. I mean, because we would never ever do an acoustic set because the band wouldn’t work. Even though the music would work, as a song, you know? But … by someone else. If there would be someone else doing it. But, with this voice and with this sound that we are creating? That as so-called “unplugged” versions? They wouldn’t work. Not by us.
Arne: There are a lot of bands doing some kind of “tribute” stuff nowadays. You know? We’ve talked to a guy from a quite successful German band lately, their name is Axxis, and he said that it’s actually a shame that tribute bands tend to earn more money than they actually playing their own songs. What do you think about this development?
Mr. Lordi: Well, let me put it this way. We’ve come this far playing our own songs. It would be insane for us to go and … well, let me put it this way: Think about it. With this voice? What the hell can … could I sing with this, with my voice, other then Lordi? Well, I could do Rob Zombie. I could do U.D.O. and I could do some Kiss songs and some Alice Cooper, and that’s it. Oh, and I could do Motörhead pretty good, I think. But that’s it. Now, I mean … we’re doing our own thing and the whole idea of tributes is … nah! Not us, no. Well, while you ask: I think that before I go to my cold grave I would like us to do like a tribute album. Like a cover album, because there are so many songs and bands that I would like to do Lordi versions of. Well, Kiss of course! U.D.O. Twisted Sister. I mean, a triple album wouldn’t be enough! There’s too much.
Arne: … with 10 discs!
Mr. Lordi: Yeah! It would be like a fucking tribute BOX!
Arne: There’s been a lot of talk lately, especially among the older guys from the 80s or so, about some kind of degeneration of today’s music. That it’s becoming more and more electronic, soulless and … well. What do you think about today’s music?
Mr. Lordi: Uhm … depends on what genre of music you are talking about! In rock music, I think there are … Well. In the 70s and in the 80s in was really easy to be a fan of music when you either liked pop music or the folk music or you liked the hippie shit or you liked heavy rock. Or heavy metal, if you will. And in heavy metal there were only like one or two different genres. But today it is SO fragmented. There are like cazillion different subgenres in every musical style. And especially in heavy metal I have lost track like ten years ago already of all the grindcores and hard metal and floor metal and wood metal and table metal and fucking hair metal and jeans metal and, you know, floor metal and ceiling metal, light metal. Window metal. There’s so many different metals that … I have no fuckin’ clue! And when you set up the electronic stuff … well. I think that’s always been there! In rock music or heavy metal music there’s always been this little of that bands. I mean, think about Alice Cooper! Constrictor album. There’s no real drums or base on the whole album at all! It’s all drum machines. So that’s electronic, if anything. And “He’s back”, the song on Constrictor, that’s actually like an electronic song with guitars and vocals. So I think it’s always been there. It just depends on … it’s just a sight of the times!
Arne: We have lately talked to Francis Rossi from Status Quo, for example, and he was like a lot of people from his generation all ranting about today’s music. That it’s all soulless, commercial crap and everything and that there’s not so much of the Rock spirit in there. What do you think? Is he right or is it basically a generation gap?
Mr. Lordi: Oh, I don’t know. I mean … my wife thinks that I am old! And I feel old sometimes because I don’t understand what’s going on in the music today. You know? If I turn on the radio it’s just Hip Hop and Rap and I hear pop songs and I’m like: “Really!? Is THIS a good melody for ….” You know, I hear it and it’s a big hit and I just think: “Really!? Is THIS the best you can do?” And this is what everybody fucking loves? Like … this is SO far from Kiss and Twisted Sister for me that it doesn’t work for me. But you, the old guys … Every old guy, you know, grows old. And loses his grip on the modern music. But that’s the way it should be! And then again: I’m an old school fan of my genre music and I admit it. But then again: A good melody is a good melody no matter what is the genre. And here is the problem, because I don’t hear good melodies that much anymore. I hear a lot of technically good and virtuous playing and shit like that. But I don’t hear good melodies. And for me, melody is always number one! Whether it’s a good riff or whether it’s a chorus. But melody has to come first.
Arne: So you’re not that much of a technical guy? If it comes to extreme genres like Mathcore, for example, who are sometimes like calculating their melodies.
Mr. Lordi: Oh no! It has to come from the heart and balls. That’s where the melody has to come from. It’s like … nah! Nah.
Arne: There has also been this time were you were very successful, also in the pop charts in Germany, with Hardrock Hallelujah. Back in 2006, I think. I think it was a quite interesting phenomenon that reminded me of Nightwish, for example. They didn’t really do a different kind of music. I mean, Hardrock Hallelujah was far from being a pop song. And still all the people – all the guys and folks out there – who usually don’t give a fucking crap about metal music bought it and liked it.
Mr. Lordi: Well, the thing is that there are people … well. The metal music people are usually really, really, really, really loyal to their music genre. You know? No matter what’s their favourite band, they are usually really loyal to that band. But it doesn’t work like that on all the other genres. All those like mainstream people who like pop … they just love whatever is popular at the moment. That’s the thing. And that explains why, well. For example, why us – we had a crossover hit with Hardrock Hallelujah because we won that fuckin’ singing contest … song contest. You know? So, if we wouldn’t have won that, there’s no fucking CHANCE that this song would have become so big. So ultimately, it has nothing to do with the music itself, it has to do with everything else, then the music. It needs to be the right time and the right place. Then it doesn’t matter. We could have done any other song from our repertoire when we went to that Eurovision Song Contest and it wouldn’t have made any difference. I believe that we would have won with any of our songs. Really! Because it was not the song that the people were digging, it was the phenomenon. And it’s … but especially for rock fans it is really hard to understand that in other genres and especially if you’re not a fan of any genre per se but you’re a fan of the top 40 hits you just dig whatever is on the radio or on the lists. You don’t care about the music. You just dig it because everyone else digs it, too.
Arne: Well, I guess we could talk on about that for days after days, but unfortunately we’ll have to come to the end.
Mr. Lordi: Well, probably and a day and a half. Then we would run out of ideas.
Arne: So, thanks for taking the time for this interview! All the best for the future shows and albums, and hopefully the rest of the tour won’t be that much stressful for you as today.
Mr. Lordi: Thanks! Thanks. Well, it was okay. Really good crowd!
Arne: Amazing energy, indeed. So, would you mind saying a few final words for the fans out there?
Mr. Lordi: Hello fans! Hahahaha …
Arne: Cheers!
Wer in das aktuelle Album „To Beast Or Not To Beast“ von 2013
reinhören möchte, kann dies hier tun:
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