Espoo 2009

Tiia Öhman

"The Phoenix Effect"

Suiciderock: You parted ways with your old band mates from Sunrise Avenue in 2007. What happened for you since than?
Janne: For starters I took a little time-out to think through what it was that I wanted to do after the thing. Soon after that I came to conclusion that one way or another, I want to keep doing and playing music. Then it was just “baby steps” towards this day.

Suiciderock: How does it feel to start all over again after already having such a great success with Sunrise Avenue?
Janne: I don’t really think about the success with SA. Of course it was a great time, but after that kinda collapsed on me, the primary feeling is that it feels great to be back. Even if it would not be as big as it used to be. I had a lot of time think through the reasons why I want to do this. The main thing is to be able to play rock!

Suiciderock: I don`t want to go into that very deeply but your brake up with Sunrise Avenue was everything else than nice… There was a lot of stuff going on, there was this letter of Samu on Myspace where he claimed that you brought too less musical input in the band and that he also had personal problems with you.  What was the reason in your opinion (briefly)?
Janne: Well.. That’s the explanation I was given. As I said, I have thought a lot about this and I have my hypothesis. But they are my opinions and I feel that there is no point of going through them in public. My sight is towards tomorrow now.

Suiciderock: How did you feel after everything was said and done?
Janne: It’s no secret that it was one of the hardest periods of my life. It took me a while to get back on my knees but I think today I’m stronger than I used to be.

Suiciderock: After leaving the band, you didn`t know if you want to go on with music or if you rather would like to do something else. What made you decide to rock on?
Janne: Honestly, at first I thought that I don’t want to go through that “grinder” again. But after some time passed, the thought I might give it another try. I think the final push was when I saw some Foo Fighters show from Finnish TV. After that I decided: let’s get the Les Paul back from the pawn shop…

Suiciderock: Your debut album “Cyanide Skies” was recorded during last autumn. A debut album is always something special, how would describe “Cyanide Skies” with your own words?
Janne: I could say that it is a modern rock album with all the smoothness and edges still in place. We tried to make songs pretty much as they came up, and not to think too much how they would fit the “radio-hit-format”. As a result, I hope the songs would last a bit longer than songs nowadays do.  

Suiciderock:  “Cyanide Skies” hit the stores not so long ago, it was released in February. Did you happen to read any critics, record reviews? How was the reaction of your fans ?
Janne: The response from fans has been extremely enthusiastic. The reviews have been really nice as well, especially more South you go.

Suiciderock: You got a little help of the Poets of the Fall, when it came to the song writing. You have been writing songs before you came to Sunrise Avenue, why was it so difficult to get back in that process?
Janne: It’s pretty important to run your ideas through someone before they are ready, basically to have some external view on it. At the start, my primary idea was to get some help to put together all the bits and pieces that was lying in my “drawer”. It was not long before we ended up making also some completely new stuff too.

Suiciderock: Marko Saaresto and Olli Tukiainen from Poets of the Fall will also be featured on a couple of tracks and “Cyanide Skies” was released under their label Insomniac in Finland. It seems you and the guys have a really good friendship, will you work with them for your future projects as well?
Janne: You got that right. I’ve been really amazed how well we have worked together. Although it always is a huge task to build up an album, the whole process didn’t really feel like work at all. The guys are just fantastic, and I’m sure we continue on this path in the future too.

Suiciderock: You said in an interview that the entire album was almost already done but you still hadn`t decided if you would sing or not. What made you decide that you will take the singing part at the end?
Janne: That is not entirely accurate. It was around May 08, when the album was pretty much composed and we decided to start recording it. At that stage I still didn’t know who would sing the songs. We talked about the subject and the Poets guys just talked me into trying it out myself. I’m really happy that they did that. *smiles*

Suiciderock: How does it feel now? Are you comfortable with the new position on stage?
Janne: Step by step it feels more and more “home”. As I said, this is a pretty new thing for me so for sure I need to learn a thing or two still. But naturally it’s a cool post.

Suiciderock: “Broken Promises” has been the first single release. It was accepted quite well from the radio stations in Finland. What is the song about?
Janne: Yes. I have been really surprised how it has been taken. I know that it’s a great song but since it’s quite rough, I was not sure how it will turn out. The song is this kind of story about growing up through your on incompleteness.

Suiciderock: What about a tour? You played a couple of shows in Finland already? When will you rock the German stages for example?
Janne: Right now we are arranging as much shows as possible. Naturally we come wherever we are invited. Germany makes no exception.

Suiciderock: Your future plans?
Janne: For starters we aim to tour as much we can. We have also already a lot of riffs and ideas for new songs so we’ll probably spend some time with them also.

Suiciderock: Famous last words?
Janne: I would love to say something in the future too, so let’s save them for later. *smiles* Stay true!
Find Janne Kärkkäinen on MySpace & on his homepage

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