Vanity Ink, Helsinki (Restaurant Ilves) July 11, 2009
for © Northern-Rockmusic.com
Yet again it's been a wonderful sunny summer day in Helsinki... and I was about to head to the Restaurant Ilves, next door to the legendary Tavastia Club. I arrived there right on time at 4pm -and had to wait for another 15 minutes for the Vanity's to arrive! After some handshake difficulties and a “bar robbery” we sat together and... it's been a mess!
A wonderful mess though... I'm just sorry, but I couldn't put in every little piece of jabbering -but I hope I didn't cut too many jokes and funny moments! Enjoy the interview and get to know one hell of a band... Mötley Crüe couldn't have been any more “rock 'n roll”!
NR: To start with... you're rather unknown to the people in Germany. Would you please introduce yourself a little?
Miki Peltola: What to say?! We formed in 2002...
Sam Junni: We're the best since the Beatles!
MP: Yeah! *laughs* And even more senseless random behaviour!
NR: Okay. Did you form with the current line-up or were there any changes?
MP: No, the current line-up exists since 2007. Jussi was actually the last one to join.
SJ: He's the youngest!
Juha Bandit: Yeah, actually... you know, we found Jussi in Tampere after a show...
MP: He was watching our show!
JB: And I stole his cigarettes!
Annabella: You did what?! *laughs*
JB: Yes! *big grin*
A: *turns twoards Jussi* Did he ever give them back to you?
Jussi: No, he didn't!
A: Oh, now you owe him a pack of cigarettes?!
JB: Haha, yeah... *laughs*
NR: Not too bad I think, seeing the prizes for cigarettes. But... how did the era of Vanity Ink begin?
SJ: We played in other bands but were friends and...
MP: ...we just started jamming a bit. It happened by accident, we just wanted to have fun.
SJ: We actually didn't mean this to happen! *grins*
NR: Oh bless, think we're all happy it happened though!
NR: Okay... there are some more questions left... You've just recently released your second full length album...
MP: Yeah and it will be released all over Europe through Swedmetal Records in October!
NR: Oh okay. That wasn't the question but good to know though... but what was it like to hold your own record in your hands? Is it this typical „Whoa-effect“?
JB: It's great!
SJ: Yeah, it's great. It feels good! I always buy one copy from the store...
MP: Ahh, now I know why the sales are so high!
JB: But it's also scary...
NR: It's scary?!
JB: Yeah, it usually takes me like up to two weeks to listen to it! *grins*
NR: You really need two weeks to listen to your own album?!
JB: YEAH! You know, it's kinda scary because you know you can't change anything anymore!
NR: Right, well... you need to like it how it is then, huh?!
NR: So... how do you come up with your songs? Is there any special routine like first having the lyrics together and then adding the riffs?!
SJ: It varies. We're usually just jamming.
JB: Usually we're outside sitting together at some beautiful place...
MP: ...having some beers...
JB: ...hah, yeah. Also that. But we write the lyrics together. We have some brainstorming then, you know!?
A: The rest comes then...
NR: Aha. Cool cool. And where do you get your inspiration from?
JB: Life itself!
MP: Yeah, life... anything basically.
JB: We just start to play...
NR: So, no bands i.e. that influence you?
SJ: There are many different bands that influence us but none in particular.
J: Yes, we all listen to different types of music...
MP: Haha... right! Jussi is influenced by Guns 'n Roses! *laughs*
J: Yes, why not?!
NR: Can you choose two songs from the current album that mean the most to you and tell us why so?
MP: Oh... uhm...
SJ: That's hard to say. You may not know but it's the same with having kids... you can't say which one you like the most because they're all your children! But.. maybe... „Breathe“ is my favorite!
JB: Haha and I know why!
JB: Because he's got a few free moments then. It's mainly just Jussi and Bella playing. So he can have a beer then! *laughs*
SJ: Probably, yes... *laughs*
MP: That's good but we can actually never really decide which one we like the most. There are so many good songs and we even have problems to find all the songs for the setlists.
SJ: Yes, we always discuss what to play...
NR: Oh! So the setlist changes for every gig?
SJ: No, not always. We have the basics but then...
JB: ...we start to fight about which one we want to play that night. Everyone says like „I want that song“ so in the end..
SJ: ...we have a few songs that change.
NR: Alright then...
NR: What is actually the story behind the band name? If there is any.
MP: Hmm, what's the story...
JB: It sounds good and... it's the name of our band...
MP: Actually there are more than just one story.
A: It's superficial...
MP: ...and shallow!
A: Haha, yeah! Superficial and shallow... *laughs*
NR: Haha, lovely story. So there's no actual story behind it?
MP: There are many... which one to tell you?
NR: Hmm, what about the truth maybe?! *grins*
MP: Ahhh, the truth... *laughs* Well, maybe... I could tell you a story about Gene Simmons? You know?! Gene Simmons, the guy from KISS?
NR: Yes, apparently I do! *laugh but wonder how much he takes me for a mug*
MP: Oh, cool. Well... I once met Gene Simmons and told him I was playing in a band called Vanity Ink...
MP: ...and he was like: „Oh what a cool name. I could tell you a story about a girl named Vanity...“
NR: Haha. Pretty much cool. Okay. So... there's no real story then...
NR: Nowadays it seems like Helsinki is more important for the rock scene than London used to be...
MP: Is that so?!
A: Yes, I also heard that!
NR: Yes, some other magazines have mentioned that before...
MP: Oh cool, I didn't know...
NR: Ah, yeah. Well... what do you think is so special about Helsinki nowadays?
JB: Helsinki has always been the city of Rock 'n Roll. There are musicians from other countries who moved to Helsinki as well!
NR: Oha, okay. That summs it up I think...
NR: You're all in the music business for quite some time already... Are there any special memories you have?
A: No, not really. I don't remember anything... I was too drunk! *laughs*
SJ: Haha, I don't want to remember! *winks*
NR: Okay... *laughs* I won't ask why!
JB: Every night is special...
J: I think those gigs abroad are special...
A: Oh yeah and Kajaani was special too! *band starts to laugh*
NR: Ooookay... think this must be some inside joke -so let's just keep on then...
NR: Was there actually some special event that made you dream of becoming a rock star?
SJ: The Hurriganes!
MP: 'Shout at the devil' by Mötley Crüe was like „Wow!“ and on mother's day I drew a card for my mum and wrote: „It's not your fault if I'm gonna be like this!“ And there was a picture of the band on it!
JB: I think I was like 7 years old when I first listened to Dingo... you know?! Some band back from...
NR: Yes! I know! *hmpf*
JB: Oh... cool. Well my sister showed me some pictures of them... she was also a fan...
JB: ...and then I thought „I'm so gonna be like him!“
A: For me it was my father. He brought me this vinyl and oh gosh... it was this pretty old, boring music and I just thought that „I wanna do better!“ *laughs*
J: When you're young you have to decide whether you want to be a rock star or an athlete and I used to play 'guitar' with a tennis racket in front of my mirror -right before I went to play tennis. But you know?! First you learn the moves and then the play!
NR: Haha, pretty good way to become a rock star!
NR: Is there any special connection to Italy or how come you've been playing there?
J: They know good rock 'n roll. *laughs*
JB: They clap their hands and the monkeys dance! *claps his own hands and laughs*
J: Well... and the booze is cheaper!
SJ: Yes, hell. 40 cents for wine...
MP: 49 cents!
NR: Oho! Those 9 cents... *grins*
MP: Yes! *laughs*
NR: You just recently filled in a show in Italy... how come?
SJ: Actually 'Girls School' should...
MP: 'Thiiiee Girls School'
SJ: It's 'the'...
MP: No, it's 'thiiiee' because there is more than one girl!
SJ: Ahh yeah, whatever... so, 'The Girls School' was supposed to play there but they had to cancel and we were available to play on a short notice.
NR: Okay, cool cool.
NR: Do you have further tour plans? Like maybe touring Germany, Austria or Switzerland?
JB: We'd like to, yes!
J: But it's not a huge point now. First we have to release the album and see how it goes.
MP: The album will be out in October so maybe at the end of this year or next year after the album is released.
NR: Do you have any rituals before the show?
JB: I used to sleep... *grins*
MP: You put on your dacing shoes! Haha.
A: We want to be alone backstage...
J: Yes, we take our time off then!
JB: And there are also no friends allowed backstage before a show!
NR: Oha, I see. Strict rules.
NR: And right after the show?
MP: *flaps his arms about and makes stupid faces*
NR: Haha, pretty good answer! *laughs*
JB: We're just having a party!
NR: Okay, fair enough...
NR: Some unusual question... what's typically Finnish for you?
MP: Vanity Ink... More senseless random behaviour... *laughs*
JB: Yeah and 'Vanitarium'... you know the song by Metallica?
NR: Yes... *thinks that it should be Sanitarium*
JB: So just misspelled... and it's Vanitarium then. *laughs*
NR: Ahahahahaha... very good joke!
JB: And what is typically Finnish for you?
NR: Oh... uhm... getting wasted, Sauna.. yeah, beer!
JB: Haha, yes...
NR: So well... any plans for the coming weeks or months?
JB: It's summertime... the sun is shining, there are beautiful parks and the girls wear less clothes, you know?! *laughs*
NR: Aha... sure...
SJ: We enjoy the sunny days... the Finnish summer is pretty unreliable. This might be the last sunny day for this summer! *laughs*
NR: Oh please not! Let's not hope so..!
NR: Now to come to an end with these questions... do you have any last words for your fans? Our readers?
VI: They clap their hands and the monkeys dance!
THANKS A LOT TO VANITY INK. FOR GIVING US SOME TIME TO FINALLY MEET ONE OF HELSINKI'S GREATEST BANDS! IT REALLY HAS BEEN A SPLENDID TIME! :)
SEE YOU NEXT TIME!