De finska monsterhjältarna är tillbaka med ett nytt album, “Screem writers guild” Vid tog pulsen på monsterledaren själv och pratade bl a om skräckfilmer, bästa KISS-ögonblicket och hälsan:
– I sit around on my fat ass, I eat a lot of chocolate, I drink a lot of Pepsi and I smoke three packs a day. That´s my exercise. I hate sports and I hate exercise and I´ve never done anything in my life.
First off, did you manage to get tickets for the final KISS show at Madison Square Garden on December 2nd?
Yes! It was a fucking hassle, but yes.
You´re a major KISS fan. What do you think that final night will be like, if it truly is the final one?
Yeah, you said it. The tickets sold out in two hours or so. I don´t care of the second last show, I care about the 2nd of December, the last one. I think since they sold out so fast, you know and I know and most of the world knows, how it´s gonna go. I know that MSG is reserved for a week from the 1st of December. Could it be that it´s reserved for KISS? I would bet it´s not the last show. They will add another show and then another show and they will go “As long as there´s availability in the Garden…” It´s the same people who are going to those shows. That´s how it´s gonna go. I don´t think the show on the 2nd of December is the last one. There will be additional ones. It gives the window to go “Since they sold so well, for all the fans to be able to come and see us, we´re adding an extra show.” Even though everybody knows it´s 90% the same people who are going to all of those shows.
The song “Like a bee to the honey”, which is a Jean Beauvoir and Paul Stanley song from the late 80´s that you recorded and had Michael Monroe on, is that you´re crowning moment, being a KISS fan and everything?
(laughs) Well, it´s one of them. As a KISS fan it´s big. I don´t know if it´s the crowning moment like you said. I don´t know if it´s the crème de la crème. The day I´m actually writing together with Paul or Gene, that´s a victory. My favorite KISS moment, as a fan and as an artist, is a moment from 2008 and the Helsinki show when Gene called me up on stage by my name and said “Hello mr Lordi!” and he said it at the start of “Parasite” I checked with fans and my friends and as far as I know, it´s the only time that has happened. That a KISS member, from the stage, calls out somebody in the audience during a song. That is my shining moment. It´s been my ring tone on my phone ever since.
You will be 50 next year and KISS are ending things now in their 70´s, so that means you´ve got another 20 years to go as Lordi.
Oh, absolutely! There are a lot of musicians who go on into their 80´s. Alice Cooper is a bit older than them and you don´t hear about him retiring and I´m sure Lemmy wouldn´t have retired if he was alive. If I would be a typical Finnish man, which I´m not, I would still see myself alive when I´m 80. My band mates have for years said “That guy´s gonna die with his Lordi boots on.” I don´t see myself, unless I end up in a wheelchair or something, stop being Lordi. I can never see myself stop creating new music or creating new Lordi shit. That´s as important to me as breathing or eating or sleeping. Maybe not sleeping, because I really don´t sleep that much. When it comes to touring, I actually understand KISS. It´s much easier for Alice and other people who are not wearing the stuff we do and when you hear Gene saying he has an armor that weighs this much, my armor is probably double or triple that.
Do you do anything to kind of stay in shape to be able to carry around all that stuff on stage?
I sit around on my fat ass, I eat a lot of chocolate, I drink a lot of Pepsi and I smoke three packs a day. That´s my exercise. I hate sports and I hate exercise and I´ve never done anything in my life. I have to knock on wood, but I somehow believe that I come from good genes on my mom´s side. She´s 85 and she´s still kicking ass like there´s no tomorrow. I think that if your mental health is fine and you stay young and youthful in your mind, I think your body follows. Of course I´m pushing the envelope with my smoking, but it tastes too damn good to quit. I love smoking and I love everything greasy and sweet. Exercise is not for me.
Look at Keith Richards. He´s done it all all of his life and he will probably outlive us all.
I actually, without joking, believe that. I really do think that unless I get hit by a truck or something, I really think that I´m one of those old geezers from China who´s like 114 years old and when they ask “What´s the secret?” they say “I smoke every day and I drink whisky.”
One of the songs on the new album “Screem writers guild” is called “End credits”, a song written for your own funeral. Will you actually put that in your will to make sure the song is played?
I don´t have a will yet, even though a lot of people have been telling me that I should write my will and I´ve just said “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” At least I wrote a song for my funeral. Some people , friends and crew members, that I´ve played the song to have gotten all teary eyed and they´ve been like “Oh, you´re dying! Has your smoking finally caught up with you?” No, what the fuck! And they say I´m jinxing it with a song like that. Come on, it´s a song! If you write a song for your funeral, you kind of have to do it while you´re still alive. It´s a bit too late when you´re dead. I think Elton John already had his funeral song on his debut album. It´s not the first time an artist has written a song for his own funeral. It doesn´t mean we´re quitting and it doesn´t mean I´m sick and it doesn´t mean this is the last Lordi album. It´s a fucking song! I will be dying someday, but not now. It´s not a sign or a message of anything. I got the idea from our book “Lordiary” which we released last fall. It´s the story of Lordi and me as told by me. After blowing through that process… it´s 836 pages, I had to go into all these things and it felt kind of natural and I felt that was something I could put in a song. Especially with the album´s cinematic theme and they say when you die, your life flashes before your eyes like a film strip and if I died now, what would I see? Well, I would see a lot of things from my childhood and memories so I decided to put that into a song. Nothing more, nothing less.
As you´re getting older, has your look on life and death changed?
No, not really. I´m like an evening star to my parents. They tried to have me for 20 years. Usually kids get born when their parents are in their 20´s or 30´s, but my parents were 38 and 37 and in the 70´s that was really late. I have no siblings and I know I was very wanted and an awaited kid. Since my parents were the youngest ones in their families, that means that all my cousins and relatives are much older than I am. I spent the first 20 years of my life going to a lot of funerals. I think I went to my first christening party or wedding at 25 or something like that. My look at life and death is the same. Someday I will die and I hope they play my funeral song at my fucking funeral. (laughs) I know it´s a cliché, but I try to, without really succeeding, live every day so I will be happy if I die. I still have so much to do so I won´t be happy if I die. There are too many things still undone. I´m not afraid of dying, unless it´s a painful death like getting hit by a truck and slowly bleeding to death on the side of the road for three hours waiting for help. I wouldn´t want that, but if you would die in a natural way or a fast way at least, like if somebody shot you in the neck from behind… I mean, what is there? Nobody has come back to tell what it was like dying. What is there to be afraid of? If you´re a believer… they say there´s something better, but you also might end up going to hell for something that you thought about way back. You never know.
I remember Keanu Reeves gave a great answer to Stephen Colbert, when he was asked what he thinks happens when we die. He said “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”, which is a great answer.
Yeah, I might steal that! (laughs)
One of my favorite tracks on the new album is “Scarecrow” Tell me about that one!
Mine too. It was one of the songs I was even thinking about leaving it out, but once it was recorded I went “Yeah, that´s a good one!” It´s one of those songs where a lot of people heard a lot more on the demo version than I did. Especially our keyboard player Hella, she really liked the chorus, even though I did it in the wrong key on the demo so I couldn´t really sing it the way that I wanted to. It was one of those songs that while we were recording it and adding stuff to it, it came together. I´m happy it´s on the album now.
Last question. I know you´re into horror movies. What´s the best horror movie ever made? I´m a sucker for “A nightmare on Elm Street” (1984).
Now we have to have another fucking completely different phone call. There are good horror movies and there are good horror movie characters. One of my favorite, if not the favorite character, is Freddy Kruger. I have him tattooed on my arm. Do I think any of the “Elm Street” films, including the first one, are the best horror movies ever mad? No, I don´t think so. Freddy Kruger as a character is the best or one of the best horror movie characters. Not too long ago I watched films 1-3 and the first one is definitely the best, but I do like the remake too. If you look at all these awesome characters from the 80´s like Freddy, Jason, Pinhead, the movies mainly suck ass, but if you´re looking for a good horror film, I would say “The shining” (1980) The other one is “Rosemary´s baby” (1968) Really good horror movies. But I really like the progress of horror movies after the shitty 90´s. The other day I watched “Smile” (2022) and it was fucking awesome! It´s in the same vein as “Hereditary” (2018) and “Midsommar” (2019). Those movies are fucking great! I like the progress where the movies are truly horrific experiences and they get under your skin. I like fucking like that!
Text: Niclas Müller-Hansen