Ilosaarirock  / Joensuu 2011

(c) Rami Mursula

"20 years and not even a little tired"

Suiciderock: First of all, big congratulations for your 20th anniversary! How does that feel?
Toni: It feels like young and old at the same time. But think about it, the Ilosaarirock where we are today, celebrates it`s 40th anniversary this year. That means that we have at least 20 more years to go.
Sipe: It doesn`t feel like 20 years at all. It feels like our band has been around for three or four years. The motivation as well as the inspiration is as great as it was back than when we found the band. It`s pretty amazing.

Suiciderock: So you wouldn`t say that you got tired within all this years?
Sipe: Not at all.
Toni: No, we are not tired at all.

Suiciderock:  In our first interview 2007 in Rovaniemi you said, that you are having the best time of your career right now. Is that feeling still lasting?
Toni: It actually got even better as we took one year off where we did nothing. I think this break really revitalised the whole band. Also us as persons. It was a great decision to have that sabbatical or whatever you want to call it.
Sipe: It feels like coming home now that we play gigs again. But to feel that way is pretty natural in my opinion. I`ve been playing in this band since I was 13 or 14 years old. I have more or less grown up in this group.
Toni: Like Sipe just said, we`ve been doing this now for such a long time there is absolutely no chance that we ever get a normal job, this is completely out of the question. We do this or we commit some kind of Suiciderock.

Suiciderock: Of course, music is your passion but everybody gets tired of his job every now and than…
Sipe: Playing and performing never feels like a job to us. If we get tired of something that might be the long travelling or the waiting between the shows but the actual gig is more like a hobby for us.
Toni: One of the hardest parts for me is the night before we head on a tour. I have a really nice home and I`d love to spend a little more time there. It`s hard to leave sometimes but the moment when I step on the bus makes this all go away. Than I feel like I just arrived to my other home. It`s quite complicated. On the other hand it feels hard when we return lets say from a three weeks tour. It feels strange to leave the tourbus again. It is really hard as you are pretty much separated from reality. It`s like a different universe while being on the road. You don`t have to worry about paying the bills, they stay back home and they don`t botter you at least for that certain amount of time. The tourbus is our minicosmos and it is easy to live there.

Suiciderock: 20 years contain lots of highlights… You mentioned it a little earlier in this interview that you started the band when you where teenagers. Did you ever expect such a great success back than?
Toni: I don`t think that we really thought that much about having success with the band.
Sipe: No, we just wanted to play the music that we like. We didn`t have that kind of goal to become a well – known band. There haven`t been any bands who play music like we do back than, so we needed to form our own band. Exactly this has been the main point why we are having this band, it has been 20 years ago and it still is today.

Suiciderock: You didn`t follow any idols when you put the band together?
Toni: Well, there are some bands we really like. But most of them have already broke up. We are all very into this 70`s punk style. Of course, we also went to see some gigs but we thought that all this music was quite bad 20 years ago. And unfortunately not so many great bands came to Finland back in those days. It is so much easier for example in Germany. No matter where a great band plays, you can always take a bus or the train and go there. Back in the 90`s the international music scene here in Finland was really dead.
Sipe: We wanted to play that kind of a music we like and we can stand behind. We stayed faithful to that idea and the success came along.

Suiciderock: The first gig is always special to a band. Do you still recall yours?
Toni: I do remember that one very well. I also do remember that Sipe actually wasn`t there when we played our first gig. Can you imagine that?
Sipe: Well, well, I have to say something regarding that. I was on a holiday with my family and I didn`t know that we have a gig…But you should also know that there was this one gig in 1993 when Toni didn`t show up.
Toni: I had a pretty good reason for that. Cause I was actually in Kassel in Germany to take a language course. Ok, I already got back but I met this girl over there and we fell in love so I had to make the big decision if I stay with the chick or if I go to play in Lahti at some bad birthday party. I choose love, as I always do by the way.
Sipe: You see we are like a happy family.

Suiciderock: Luckily it didn`t happen recently that someone of the band didn`t show up at a gig.What else is different if you compare your gigs at your early years and now?
Sipe: Obviously there are much more people who are able to sing along to our songs.
Toni: Exactly. The gigs we`ve played in our early days have been pretty much pure chaos. Nowadays we have tried to be more professional. Back than it worked like that, that somebody brought a guitar and another one the drums. We just played whatever we had. It usually sounded like crab than.
Sipe: It did but it was just pure energy.

Suiciderock: But this energy isn`t missing today…
Sipe: No, actually I feel that we have increased the level of energy during the gigs we have played this year. This break last year really helped us to get this energy back.

Suiciderock: You didn`t play any gigs last year but what did you do during the break?
Sipe: It was not easy. That break actually felt like a job for me. It was a mental struggle not to do any gigs and not to be on tour. It was also ok, we didn`t do anything basically.
Toni: Well, you can say it like that. We built up our record label. We signed an artist and her record gained great success. It felt really weird to act as an record label boss. It wasn`t really that cool.

Suiciderock: So no chance that you completely change from the artist side to the record label side?
Sipe: No, though the album sold platinum and everything went really well. This isn`t our job. Our thing is to play music and it will always be. We will release our own albums under this record label in the future as well.
Toni: The label thing is a great thing. Imagine our first and so far only release sold platinum. That’s great.

Suiciderock: Good point, what about an new Apulanta record?
Toni: We are working on it. We have half of it done. That means the first half is ready but we have absolutely no idea about the second half. It`s our personal Chinese Democracy record. We have already postponed it a couple of times. So let`s see what happens to that.

Suiciderock: Like you mentioned already, the Ilosaarirock can blow 40 candles on it`s birthday cake. Do you remember how many times you have played here?
Sipe: Oh that is a hard one. I would say maybe 10 to 15 times I would say. But again it doesn`t feel like that so much time went by already.
Toni: But the best thing about this festival is this awesome lake behind the stage. We always go and take a swim in it when we are here.

Suiciderock: Your future plans besides going for that swim after your show?
Toni: I think we definitely have to get this other half for our record done. I think the waiting is definitely worth it, the new material is quite solid and there are quite good songs so stay tuned.

Find Apulanta on MySpace & on their homepage

 (c) Suiciderock.com