On the occasion of the release of “X” , the tenth studio album by The 69 Eyes, we had the opportunity to interview Jyrki69 to find out some background of the recordings, his love for Italy and for the comics.
RRM: During your career you’ve published a comic book called "Zombie Love" and, as a few of us will remember, even the cover of the first single of the 69 eyes contained a short graphic novel. Now with "X" you’ve decided to release a comic book with the band history. Can you talk about your passion for comics books?
Jyrki69: I've always been a comics freak. I used to be a Marvel enthusiastic in the early 80's and I drew also in the ligne claire style rock'n'roll comics like you can see in my "Zombie Love" book. All that stuff is still present in The 69 Eyes. It's cool to have a graphic novel out at the same time with the new album!
RRM: Earlier this year you did a Dj set at the Fangtasia in New Orleans with Aurelio Voltaire. It must have been a great experience as a fan of vampires and especially of True Blood!
Jyrki69: It really is! We've been playing there a couple of times, it's really a magickal city. I had my first Fangtasia DJ party last year, this was the second. And I tell the third one is coming.The 69 Eyes and New Orleans belong together.
RRM: In X there is a bonus track, "Rosary Blue" with Kat Von D on the vocals. How did your collaboration start?
Jyrki69: Kat is a friend of ours and she was here in Helsinki by the time of the last New Year's Eve. As we were out one night, she mentioned that she's starting to make music as well and maybe one fine day we could do some musical collaboration. That sounded so fun that eventually she boldly flew all the way again to Stockholm in the spring to record her vocals to our song "Rosary Blue". I came out really good. I think it'll be a hit actually, I've been calling it our "Stairway to Heaven"!
RRM: Another beautiful song of "X" is Red, the first single. I've read that you will produce a wine with the same name, produced in Italy, at Valpolicella. How did this idea born?
Jyrki69: You know, we're old skool band, played two decades. Some classic bands like Motörhead, AC/DC and SLAYER have their own wines, why not us? Everybody loves that wine already, it's really good. Because it's Italian!
RRM: Speaking of X. Whose was the cover concept? Who is the artist who created it?
Jyrki69: Naturally I thought there should be a big X there. Our cover artist Jari Salo created the mystic Goth'n'Roll X-tagram which is over the mirror image photo of some animal bones. It's a psychedelic and trippy cover.
RRM:You have just finished your shows on the cruise ship called "Close Up Baten." Have you ever been on a rock n’ roll cruise?
Jyrki69: It's pretty common to play on those Baltic sea cruise boats. After that one we played another one with Poisonblack and DAD, and there's another cruise coming up soon. They're like a rock/metal festival on the boat.
RRM: I have read in many interviews that you love Rome. Can you tell us about your last visit in Italy?
Jyrki69: I used to hang out in the Roman Goth scene in the early 90's a lot. I love your Eternal city. I'm visiting Italy a lot. I spent a New Years recently in Milan. It was that or I was also in Capri some summers ago. Actually we played in Italy three shows last year, that was it!
RRM: We also know that you have a analytical chemistry degree. Definitely it’s not something very common among rockers. If you had not started your musical career do you think you would have become a chemist?
Jyrki69: If I meet a beautiful woman I rather tell her that I'm a chemist than a singer in a rock'n'roll band!
RRM: Thanks for your time Jyrki We hope see you soon in Italy
Jyrki69: See you guys in February 2013!!!