Hämeenlinna / Linnan Juhlat 2008

(c) Automatic Eye Official

"We always have a party on stage"

Suiciderock: I think it would be a good start for the interview if you introduce the band to the readers of SR.
Pete: Ok, we met each other in Tampere.
Heikki: Yeah, I remember that well.
Pete: Heikki had a band, they didn`t have a bassplayer at this time so I joined them to play a show with the band. I can`t remember the place anymore where the show took place, oh wait actually I do remember it now. Nowadays the bar is called “Ruma”, it had another name before that which fitted better as “Ruma” is the Finnish word for “ugly”. The name of the bar was “Yeah Yeah Rockbar”. That was where we met the first time. We played that one show together.
Heikki: Well, than the band broke up after two or three month and we started thinking what we should do now as we had become really good friends.
Pete: We sent some songs to each other. Believe it or not but the first song I sent to Heikki was “Away from Sunshine”. He said that this song would be a nice one and we thought it wouldn`t be bad to set up a band. We found the band by the end of 2005, we practised together for about three times than we asked our friend, Tomppa to play the drums for us. During that time we made the demoversion of “Away from Sunshine”.
Heikki: That demo included also “Semiautomatic Heart”, it was the second song Pete sent to me.

Suiciderock: It seems you`ve done everything right when it comes to the songs…
Pete: It felt kind of stupid when I realised that I`ve written so many songs after “Away from Sunshine” and “Semiautomatic Heart” and exactly the first two turned out to be that successfull.

Suiciderock:What was it like for you to see that “Away from Sunshine” gained such a great success?
Pete: It was pretty weird for us. I have to tell you something about “Away from Sunshine” that I haven`t told before. The chorus of the song was invented while taking a shower. It was really classic. I was thinking what I could sing during that part. I started to sing some melody and suddenly I got it.

Suiciderock: So you like to sing during taking a shower?
Pete: Yeah, I absolutely do like that. *smiles*

Suiciderock: How did your bandstory continue after making the demo?
Heikki: Of course, we contacted some record companies after the demo was done.
Pete: They were quite interested in us. The funny thing is that all the magazines told us that we would sound like a band that must have had many rehearsals together and we`ve only practised three times.

Suiciderock: It was very easy for your to get a record deal than?
Pete: Yeah, it was pretty easy for us. I know many bands out there who try very hard to get a deal for many years.

Suiciderock: Please describe each of your bandmates.
Heikki: Oh, I have to think a bit before I can answer this. Ok, Heikki he is like a “dad” for us. He is always looking after us.
Pete: The right word to describe Nico is”melancolic”. I think that matches pretty good. Let`s continue with Tommy, he is “Rock`n Roll”.
Heikki: What about us?
Pete: The best word to use when it comes to you is “Party”.
Heikki: Pete is like a “brother” to me.

Suiciderock: Where does your band name come from?
Pete: There is nothing special about it. It just sounds cool. We wanted to find the word “Automatic” somewhere in our bandname.
Heikki: There is already a band called “The Automatic” so we had to add another word to the name.

Suiciderock: Every band has it`s own musical heroes. Yours are?
Pete: I have to name Jimmy Eat World now. I really love the band.
Heikki: My so called heroes are The Backyard Babies, The Hellacopters, all those bands from Sweden. I mostly enjoy listening to this garage bands and punkrock bands.

Suiciderock: Would you say that you can find something from this bands in your own songs?
Pete: I guess I have to answer this question as I mainly write our music. I think that our influences come from American bands liked as I`ve mentioned before “Jimmy Eat World” and those kind of bands.
Heikki: But when we play live you can also find a wild punk part in our songs.
Pete: When we recorded our album we wanted to sound as much as American as possible.

Suiciderock: What makes American bands that special?
Pete: I think their sound is much better. In my opinion they have the best sound. There is a huge difference between Scandinavian or English bands and the American ones.
Heikki: But as I said before, the best bands come from Sweden. *smiles*
Pete: That`s the reason why you don`t write te songs. *smiles*
Heikki: No, I think I have the same opinion as Pete otherwise I wouldn`t sit here.

Suiciderock: Can you tell us some details about your upcoming album?
Heikki: The album is called “Don`t Let The Past Come Between You And Your Happiness”, it was produced by Jonas Olsson and it will hit the stores on 3rd September 2008. So stay tuned for that.
Pete: The album includes lots of songs with a good chorus.
Heikki: I guess that`s our thing.
Pete: Most of the passion is given to the chorus. The chorus is very important. I mean if you have a good song but it`s chorus is totally crap or it sounds similar to the rest of the song it won`t affect the ears of the listener that much. You listen to it and you forget about it in ten minutes. It`s a good song when you still remember it after hearing it. A good song should always be repeating itself in your ears.
We wrote different songs for the album. We needed to make an album that fits together. I think the best thing to say about our record is to suggest to listen to it on MySpace. The pre-listening for the album starts on August 27th. So go and check it out.

Suiciderock: Pete, you mentioned that you are responsible for the songwriting. What inspires you for the lyrics?
Pete: A lot of stuff. I`ve been writing many songs during the time I spent in Japan. I was in Tokyo for one year.

Suiciderock: Wait, you spent one year in Tokyo?
Pete: Yeah, I came back from Tokyo one year ago. Actually I was celebrating in Tokyo for one year. I also studied the Japanese language while beeing there. They made me study the language.
What was the question?

Suiciderock: About the songwriting…
Heikki: You should know that Pete takes his inspiration from me.
Pete: Well… If you for example take the song “Ronin” it is about the samuray people of Japan. It is quite difficult to describe the whole record but there are many songs about religion and you might be surprised now, but there are only two songs about human- releationships between men and women. This two songs are “Away from Sunshine” and “Semiautomatic Heart”.

Suiciderock: What made you become a musician?
Pete: It was my family. My dad is a familiar musician here in Finland. I think it was his gift to me. When I was 8 years old I was singing in the Sydney Opera for the first time. So actually I went downhill, now I`m playing here in Hämeenlinna. When you are 8 years old and you sing in the Sydney Opera you should be somewhere else. *smiles* I`ve been playing classical instruments for 10 years before I started to play guitar.

Heikki: I just have to be on stage. It`s all about the feeling you get from beeing on stage. You can`t describe it. When you are on stage you forget everything, you just live the moment. It`s a very strong feeling.

Suiciderock: Is your first musical memory still in your head?
Heikki: For me it has something to do with Bon Jovi. My brother bought a Bon Jovi CD. He was also a very big fan of Depeche Mode. They`ve been the first band I`ve heard. Anyway… One day I came into his room. I was about 3 or 4 years old back than. I wondered what this headset was about. I put it on and it was a blast.
Pete: My first musical memory has something to do with classical music, 'cause that was the only kind of music we heard at home. There was no rock or pop or whatever. We were raised in a very strict way. I have two brothers and one sister. We had to listen to classical stuff like Vivaldi ect. I really hated it as a kid. I wanted to listen to other bands.

Suiciderock: What can people expect from your lifeshows?
Heikki: We have some punk elements and lot`s of energy in it.
Pete: We don`t want to come up on stage that people can only listen to our music. If you want to listen to a band you can also go to the recordstore and buy there album.
Heikki: We have a party on stage. Everybody tells us that we have so much fun on stage. People see it on our faces. I think and hope that the audience is also having fun. We love beeing on stage.

Suiciderock: What was your best and worse life show so far?
Pete: Hmm… I think the worse show was in Tampere. We had to play without a working soundsystem, only me, Heikki and Tommy Gun. Tommys drums didn`t work at all. We had to take some screws from our car to fix the drums. It was awful.
Heikki: We played the set half accousticly. We got 200 Euro for that gig…
Pete: It was a weird place. The stage was as big as this van where we are in. It wasn`t that nice.
Heikki: About the best show: We had some of them. I really liked the show in Japan.
Pete: We played in Tokyo at the Zyclon Club.
Heikki: The show and the whole trip was great! The club was packed with about 200 people. They didn`t know much about us and what to expect from the show. The Japanese audience is a bit different.

Suiciderock: They are quiet?
Pete: No, they are really enthusiastic comparing to the Finnish audience. In Finland people always looking at you and waiting for something to happen. The Japanese crowd is celebrating a lot. They were pretty astonished that Finns came to rock there city. It was so amazing. And of course we looked much more different than the guys over there.

Suiciderock: How do you handle it if the audience is not that enthusiastic as they should be?
Pete: Well, we have our own fun.
Heikki: Of course, it`s cool if the people infront of the stage party with us.
Pete: Sure it affects you if the crowd is really lame, but after all we just want to do our best. Today was cool. A girl came to us and told me that she hated us for our first song, but when she had heard and seen us life she really liked us. That was great.

Suiciderock: What about the next single?
Heikki: “Away from Sunshine” is like poprock. Our next single “Semiautomatic Heart” brings you more… *smiles*
Pete: It`s not so much poprock. It`s the same for the entire album. Everyone expects it to be like “Away from Sunshine” but we can do a little more than this.
Heikki: So just wait until the album will be released, than you can judge us.

Suiciderock: You`ve played at the Linnan Juhlat festival here in Hämeenlinna some hours ago. Any bandy you want to see?
Heikki: I want to see Maj Karma. I hope to see them later.
Pete: They have the same recordlabel as we. They`ve played at the same festival as we some weeks ago we didn`t know this band. I asked the record company to send us a cd and they did. We were listening to the album on my car and we really like them. It`s a great band. Oh and we wanted to see our own performance of course.

Suiciderock: Your future plans?
Heikki: Gigs, gigs, gigs.
Pete: We found out yesterday that you can buy our album also in Japan. We want to play gigs as many as possible. We have a quite good recorddeal.

Suiciderock: How many records does this deal include?
Pete: For three albums. It`s pretty good. Lot`s of bands who make a deal with one of the major labels make a deal for one record. After that the record company can decide if they want to continue working with them or not. We don`t have to worry about that. That feels pretty nice. But we hope to play more shows and we hope to become better all the time.


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