Interview by Marta Molina
Marta: Let's start with a couple of questions about Neon City Rockers. There are many quotes in the record, like from the Rocky Horror Picture Show in The Ballad of Jane Glaze or from Duran Duran in She's a Killer. Why do you put these quotations, has it a particular meaning for you, or you just like to do it? And, if you can be bothered, could you point those out for us?
Jann: I really love to use quotes on my songs because they can give some funny effects. Many of the quotes are just normal sentences but they have gained their own popular history. Like "Get it on". It always reminds you of Marc Bolan. I wont' point out any of those because they're not there without a reason. They're part of the songs now but I'm glad people notice them!
Marta: Is the song ”The Motion Picture” inspired in some way to Marilyn Monroe? 'Cause some of us actually got this feeling!
Jann: You're right! It's about film stars! It's also about shyness and confusion. I'm very shy and quiet person and I always got in problems because of it. Many people think that I'm evil or selfish because I don't talk or act friendly all the time. On stage I can do silly things but when the music stops Jann Wilde stops and you can't found me fooling around in the center of attention. So the song is about film star and bit of my own experience as an artist.
Marta: Talking about Neon City Rockers, I happened to notice totally by chanche that Jann's make up is really almost the same that Liza Minelli spots in the movie Cabaret. Is it mere coincidence, or did you think about it?
Jann: For Neon City Rockers album I made a more drag queen style in purpose so maybe it's because of that. I'm not really into make-up anymore so for the next album I will change my style again or maybe I will dress up like a joker.
Marta: In this record we still have a more gloomy element, like in the song She's a Killer. To some of us, this brought to mind the image of the sad clown, as if to say that even in the most coloured world, there still is a dark and sad side. Is it so? And what do you think of it?
Jann: Neon City Rockers is a dark album. All the characters are quite sad actually like Johnny and Megan in Neon City Rockers. I love make jokes (and funny quotes) and entertain and even make fool of myself. There's also tons of black humour on everything I do.
Marta: More generally, how would you describe your band and your music to someone who has never heard anything about you? And how would you describe the change between Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue and Jann Wilde & the Neon Comets? I know this is a question you probably answered many times, but I'm pretty sure some of our readers in Italy or outside Finland and Germany didn't have a lot of chances to get to know your band, and this might be a nice way.
Jann: Our music has been described many times as glam rock but I think it's not the right term to use. It's more about pop music from 60s and 70s with a retro-future feeling!
I have been surprised how people compare Rose Avenue and The Neon Comets but are always talking about the songs and not the band itself! There's a huge difference between Rose Avenue and The Neon Comets if we're talking about playing and stage appearance but if we are talking about songs they are basically from the same era. I wrote 80% of Neon City Rockers with Rose Avenue like Baby Said Yeah, She's A Killer, Danceroom Bop etc. I'm still very sad that Rose Avenue split up because of really childish things but I'm very glad that I got the chance to play with The Neon Comets.
Marta: Since basically the songwriter of both Rose avenue and Neon Comets is Mr. Wilde, we could kinda consider them two version of the same band. So, your first record was called Tokio Okei, and the second one is called Neon City Rockers. Since one of the names for Tokio is Neon City, is there a precise meaning behind this city in particular?
Jann: The songs are written during the same period, you know so there's lots of similarities with the two albums. Many songs were written to Tokio Okei but left because there were so many songs. I think they're part I and part II of the trilogy. Our record label suggest that we should continue as Jann WIlde & Rose Avenue but I wanted to rename the group. In the end we end up making a compromise by changing only half of the group's name. Maybe we will change it again with the next album? Jann Wilde & Yet Another New Name For The Band.
Marta: You are working on new material and possibly a new record. Can we get any gossip about them?
Jann:It's trash metal! It is! Believe me! There's lots of things going on. I'm also working new songs with my other group Volter and some funny electro-things with my side project The Videottes. The next Wilde-album will be out probably somewhere early in 2010 or sooner!
Marta: One of your favourite artists is David Bowie. I noticed that quite often your prononciation resembles his, is it just a case, or have you been listening to his music so much that you took it?
Jann: Bowie, Bolan, Bryan Ferry...All those merry englishmen gave me the style how to pronounce english. I love the accent and I'm trying to do my best to fake it. I can't ever sound like a native but of course I will try. It's horrible to listen to many finnish bands singing in english because they just don't even try! I think it's like raping and calling it sex.
Marta: More seriously, what is your favourite Bowie album and period? Ziggy Stardust, the Tiny White Duke or what?
Jann: After all these years I found out that TONIGHT is not so bad at all. It's not good but Loving the Alien and Blue Jean are marvelous!
Marta: Another of your favourite artists is Freddie Mercury. I noticed that you have in common with him the fact that you are both a music artist and a visual artist. How do you feel about it?
Jann: I think the only common thing about me and Mercury is a black hair colour!
Marta: Talking about visual arts, how much have you been influenced by your love for them? And what are the painters/artists that influenced you the most?
Jann: I don't think I'm a visual artist. I end up doing the stuff because we needed websites and artworks. I'm still learning. I can draw Donald Duck okay.
Marta: Who is the lady with whom you duet in Forever? Are we ever going to hear this song live? And if you choose anyone to duet with, with whom would you sing?
Jann: She's a young talented artist who has been a good friend of our band for some years. Our producer had an idea to record a duet and Poppy Starley was a good choice.
I think we will hear more about her in the future! The duet is a thing that will happen if it's necessary. I don't want to sing anything just to have a duet with someone. Only if the song needs another singer or if it needs a better singer then I'll be quiet.
Marta: You are quite of a complete and polihedric artist, you even do some miming on stage. Have you ever thought of acting?
Jann: Not really. I would rather be the one who writes the scripts. My first book (collection of novels) will be out 2010. Hopefully.
Marta: What would you say it's your favourite movie? Or the movie that influenced you the most, anyway.
Jann: I 'm not a movie person but I like classic stuff like Clockwork Orange. I also like The Beatles movies and documentaries. And of course 60s Batman! :)
Marta: What do you think is the best album ever written? I mean, not necessarely your favourite one, but the one you think has it all. And is this album the one that influenced you the most?
Jann: It's impossible to answer...Even the best albums have songs you will always skip like "Sweet Lady" on Queen's A Night at The Opera and "Within You Without You" on Sgt.Pepper. Albums are just collection songs.
Marta: Talking about music and glam rock in general, what do you think of glam sleaze? It's starting to be back in the spotlight lately, expecially in Sweden, where bands like Hardcore Superstar or Crashdïet are more and more popular.
Jann: I think the sleaze-mania is starting to be over again, thank god...I don't like sleaze at all although it's kinda funny. Many people have mistakenly thought I'm fan of Nikki Sixx because of my hairstyle! How about Bob from The Cure?
Marta: Generally, what opinion do you have of the music scene around Finland?
Jann: I have no opinion about it. Bands are bands. Rocking and rolling. Doing what they're doing.
Marta: In your country, most of the fans are teenage girls. Sometimes this makes it harder for a band to be actually recognised as something more than a teenage fenomenon that got where it is because of good looks and a couple of catchy songs. How do you feel about this?
Jann: Lots of young people like us and It's really great because basically we are playing...grannies music! My mother was 12 years old when Bolan was a big star so...so it proves there's still room for good old rock'n'roll!
Marta: You seem to tour quite a lot with Flinch lately. I know it's because you share the same label, but what do you think about them?
Jann: They're vicious and very dangerous! They eat you alive! And the same goes to the label too!
Marta: Is there a band in particular from Finland you'd like to tour with?
Jann: Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue?
Marta: Another quite usual question... where would you like to tour, apart from Germany and Finland?
Jann: There were people will come and see us. It doesn't matter where it is.
Marta: And finally, I steal the conclusion to a famous italian journalist. This always gets nice and funny, at least when he does ask, so I thought it might have been a nice ending to this quite endless interview! So: Ask yourself a question, and give yourself an answer, as strange as it may seems!!
Jann: Have you noticed that all the interviews these days end up with the same question? Yes, I have.