Rovaniemi 2007

(Photo by Pasi Salminen)

" You can't expect anything in this business"

Suiciderock: You are well known everywhere by now but for everybody who has never heard about you could you give a little introduction about Disco Ensemble?
Jussi: We are a punk rock band that originaly comes from the Western part of Finland. We play together since more than ten years. However, this line-up exists since about five years. We released two albums along with many ep's and too many demos.
Suiciderock: Too many demos?
Jussi: Yeah, way too many demos. We've played about 500 shows in twenty countries or something like that.

Suiciderock: You`ve already left two festivals behind you this week. On Thursday you played in Prag at the ROCK FOR PEOPLE Festival, yesterday you rocked the RUISROCK festival in Turku and today we are here in Rovaniemi at the Simerock. Are you already tiered?
Mikko: Yeah, I guess we are tired. Of course, it's a lot of fun, but it makes you very tired, too. You play a show, than you get to the hotel around 2 o'clock in the morning, than you leave again somewhat around 8am. You`re travelling all the time.
Jussi: Yeah, all the flights make you become pretty tired. I mean I`m not complaining about that, but sometimes it can be pretty tough.

Suiciderock: Let`s keep the tourtheme. You did your first German headline tour in April. What was it like, how did the German audience treat you?
Mikko: Oh, I think it was excellent. It was the first time that we had a lot of people seeing us. It was kind of a surprise for us when we have noticed that so many people had come to see our own headline shows. Of course, the whole band enjoyed that.
Lasse: We`ve played lots of shows in Germany before. We played at some festivals and as support act, it was really nice to see that so many people also wanted to see our own show.

Suiciderock: Did you happen to keep any German words in mind?
Jussi: We have studied German in school, but I have pretty much forgotten about it. I can understand some words. I mean if somebody talks I can pick up some words, but I don`t think that I could tell you a German sentence right now.

Suiciderock: Your second album bearing the title "FIRST AID KIT" was released in Argentina, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysa, of course everywhere in Europe and many more countries. Did you expect such an overwhelming success while recording the album?
Mikko: I don't think that you are successfull when you have released an album. It's still has to sell itself before you can talk about success. It's a good thing that we got the chance to release „First Aid Kit" in so many different countries. I don`t think that we could have expected anything. The management takes care of the releases.
Jussi: So much time past by since we`ve recorded the album. We actually had Finland in our minds only. It opened lots of doors for us when we got the record deal in Germany. Let's say we hoped for the success, but we haven`t expected it. You can't expect anything in this business.

Suiciderock: „First Aid Kit" was recorded at the Fascination Street Studio in Sweden. Can you tell us something about your time in the studio and the recordings?
Lasse: The studio was quite isolated. There wasn`t anything nearby.
Jussi: There was nothing exept a supermarket, wide fields, some horses and things like that.
Lasse: It was easier for us to concentrate on the music and the recording instead of having parties. We just stayed in the studio to work on the record.

Suiciderock: What is the main difference between your first album "Viper Etchics" and "First Aid Kit"?
Mikko: In my opinion the current album is much more solid comparing to our first album. The first album was like a collection of songs that we wrote within a period of two years. The new record was written within a couple of month.

Suiciderock: Who is responsible for your songwriting?
Jussi: The whole band is responsible for the lyrics. Everybody brings in his ideas.
Suiciderock: What inspires you? Any heroes?
Jussi: Yeah sure. There are some idols. I think we are pretty much inspiring each other. We don`t take the inspiration from other bands. The inspiration comes when we play our stuff at the rehearsal room. There we pick up the different ideas from each other.

Suiciderock: You originally come from Pori, which is a smaller town at Finlands westcost. Do you think it is more difficult for a young band to start up their career from a place like that and not from for example Helsinki?
Mikko: Oh, I think it's a lot more easier if you come from a smaller town, because there are not so many opportunities exept music. If you make your decision to become a musician and you are good enough you can leave the place and move to a bigger city. If you live in a bigger city you have more options and you may start doing drugs or something. So I guess it was good for us to come from a smaller town.

Suiciderock: Before things went so great for the band you studied in Helsinki. What did you study and could you imagine to go back to university in case your success goes back?
Lasse: Yeah, that`s true.
Mikko: Not really. I started to study science, but I've never finnished my studies. I would rather do something that has to do with the music business. The other stuff was just too boring for me.
Jussi: I finnished my school and got a masters degree for computer science. I think I wouldn`t go back to that either.
Lasse: I`m still in the university and I like to believe that I`ll make it someday.
Mikko: I just got note from the university that they gonna kick me out because I have been there way too long. *smiles*
Jussi: The university actually is a good excuse to concentrate on music, because in that time you have enough time to concentrate on your band and all that kind of things.
Lasse: And you get some support from the government that keeps you alive. *smiles*

Suiciderock: Who made up your name? I read that you had this posters when you started to play and all the kids came to your shows because they thought that there would be some kind of disco where they can dance…?
Jussi: That`s not really true, but somekind of sweet. First we were called only Disco. It was supposed to be a funny joke, because we are a punk band. One day another band came up with that name they were also from Finland and they played this Disco stuff. Out of that reason we were kind of forced to change our name. We decided to add Ensemble to it and so our new name was done. It still sucks, but... *smiles*

Suiciderock: What is a typical Disco Ensemble show like? What can expect people from your show tonight?
Jussi: They will get to see some energy from four guys playing punk rock.
Mikko: Every show is a little bit different. There are people who have seen more than ten shows of us, so I guess the shows are pretty entertaining.

Suiciderock: You have the chance to set up your own festival. Which bands would play?
Mikko: The Doors, The Beatles,...

Suiciderock: What are your future plans? More touring after the festivals and maybe a new record?
Jussi: Ehm, we would love to make a new album and that we are happy about the new songs on this album.

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