"All things have to match"
Suiciderock: Please be that nice and introduce the band to start the interview.
-Vic Lausas - Guitars & backing vocals
-Risto Sundberg - Vocals
-Iikka Luhtamäki - Bass
-Mika Mönkkönen - Drums
Suiciderock: You had a rocky road as a band since its foundation in 2008 at least when it comes to the line up changes. You exchanged almost the whole band more than once due to time or health issues. How did you deal with that?
Iikka: I think that line-up changes are somewhat frustrating… You need to start everything over with a new member. Songs need to be learned and maybe even more importantly, matters of personality and building trust and all that... But I guess it is just one of the things that just happen sometimes and you just have to live with it.
Vic: Yes, like Iikka said it is really frustrating. We surely have had enough of our Spinal Tap –moments. Also finding a new member who fits in to the crew isn’t only like finding a decent player, the personality, time, etcetera… All things have to match – and it is not easy.
Suiciderock: It was just last year when your old drummer, Marko was replaced by Mika Mönkkönen. How is Mika doing so far and how did you find him?
Iikka: Mika was found through our internet drummer search campaign. He is talented, and he has picked up the songs quite quickly.
Suiciderock: You are working on a new release at the moment. What can you reveal about your upcoming album which is at the same time your debut? Is there any release date scheduled yet?
Vic: There really are not that many things we can reveal about the album at this point. There has been some discussion about the release date, but we will reveal more details about it later.
Suiciderock: Do you feel a certain pressure as it is your first real record to be out?
Iikka: For me, the feeling is much closer to pride than it is to pressure. I am proud of how the album turned out to be and I'm so happy to finally to get it out there for everyone to experience it.
Vic: I can’t say I feel pressure over the album. More like pride and joy of finally making the album. I’ve been playing about 25 years in various bands, and this is the first time when I’m playing in a band where we play songs I have composed almost entirely by myself. I can tell you, it’s pretty special feeling to hear my own songs from the radio and to hear from people that they really like my songs. Of course, I’m hoping the reception will be good for the album.
Suiciderock: Where did you record it? Did you use an producer or is it self produced?
Iikka: Recordings took place at RedHouse Studios in Kauniainen. Self produced, although some tips and ideas were thrown by the recording technician Tuomas Yli-Jaskari, who is also the mastermind behind the band 'Tracedawn'
Vic: We could say that I acted as a producer for the album – with the band. After the recordings there were few things I wanted us to do again, and few things I wanted to change, but mostly producing was done before the studio at our rehearsal place. And as I have composed our songs it has been quite obvious that I’ve had the vision on the songs. But in general, the process of producing the album has been more like team effort.
Suiciderock: What kind of themes are you dealing with in your songs? You said that the record will be quite criticising when it comes to the society out there. What did you mean by that?
Iikka: Well, I'd say that the political & society criticism and political themes in general are quite strong on the album. It's pretty obvious for example in the already published "War Machine". A clip from 2nd verse:
"Religions, arms race, politics
Skin colour, borders, or beliefs
All civil causes for the beast
to raise the mayhem"
Vic: There are songs about wars, about child abuse, about drug use, about domestic violence, etcetera. It’s an album about real life. We don’t sing about swords and magic, we write about real life and things that are real.
Suiciderock: You have played a show yesterday at Bar Base here in Helsinki. Did you play some new material during your gig? If yes how was it taken by the audience?
Iikka: It was the first gig after almost a year of break from the last gig, and it was fucking awesome to get back on stage again! We played all the songs that will appear on the new album. According to the abundant superlatives in the feedback received after the gig, the audience digged it too!
Suiciderock: I read that someone through red delicates on stage during your gig. Have you meanwhile figured out to who they belong?
Vic: Haha! No, we haven’t. Those little things are funny and always welcomed by the band. It’s nice to get some special attention ;)
Suiciderock: You just have been confirmed to play at the official After Party for the next Trash Fest. Also if it is still some time until that will happen… How did you get the slot?
Vic: Well, we have been in the Trash Family before too and Mama Trash has always liked our music. I played our upcoming album to her and that basically was it. Mama is really sweet and we’re of course very grateful for the opportunity.
Suiciderock: You are in the competition for the Traffic Jam Open Air Festival in Germany. The band that receives the most votes can win a slot for the Festival. That would be your first international gig for Payload. How important is that competition for you and how do you see your chances of winning that slot?
Vic: Of course, it is important for us, but we’re still realistic over it. We’re hoping to gain some publicity over the contest, but for a band that isn’t signed for some major label and still haven’t even released their first album, I’d say the chances to actually win this competition are not that huge. I’d like to get surprised though… :)
Suiciderock: The year is still fresh. What are your plans for 2013?
Iikka: Gigs, gigs, gigs, get the album out, gigs, gigs, gigs... and world domination, of course! ;)
Vic: Like Iikka said, album out and as much gigs as we can. We’re planning on European tour for the summer too, so there is a real chance to get to see us outside of Finland this year! We will reveal more details over the tour later. Stay tuned on our website at www.payloadband.info!