Helsinki 2011

(c) Ville-Akseli Juurikkala

"Four Dudes having the time of their lives"

Suiciderock: Santa Cruz was found in 2007. Many people said that you are kind of a secret tip when it comes to the next big thing coming from Finland. Can you introduce yourselves to start the interview to get a little overview about you as  person and as band?
Archie: Well, you are right, basically everything started back in 2007. Johnny and me started the band and it took maybe one and a half year until we could bring the band with today`s line-up on stage. Our drummer is our latest member, he joined us half year ago. We toured a lot during the last year and our self-produced EP “Another Rush Of Adrenaline” came out last year. Yeah, that`s pretty much about it.

Suiciderock: You are all still very young, all about 18 / 19 years old. Have your lifes always been dedicated to music or have you done anything else than playing your music?

Johnny: I used to play Ice hockey when I was a kid. My first instrument was the piano. I played piano for six years and than I experienced the trumpet for a half year.
Archie: I have been into all kind of sports during the years. I used to skate a lot when I was younger. I wanted to become a professional skateboarder but than I found my guitar and prefered that way. Of course we all had lots of different interests but music has always been our main thing.

Suiciderock:You gain a lot of praising by big names… Alexi Laiho from Children of Boddom said about you “Not only do they have the attitude and the looks, but most importantly they sure as hell know how to play, the songs along with the awesome guitar playing pretty much makes me wanna bang my head in two pieces when I see them play live.” Ho do you feel when you hear stuff like this?

Archie: Well, if you hear something like that you can`t believe it. The band and especially Alexi Laiho has been a huge influence to us. I mean imagine your very own idols would give you a statement like that. This is mind blowing and feels absolutely great.
Johnny: It is overwhelming. I was a huge Children of Boddom fan when I was like 13 or something.

Suiciderock: What are your own musical heroes? Your influences?

Archie: I would say the classics: Moteley Crue, Arosmith, old Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses and I personally like the band Poison but the rest of the guys don`t like them that much. So I can only speak for myself when it comes to that.
Johnny: And of course, we have to name all the guitar heroes out there like Slash, Stevie Vay, Eddie Van Halen.

Suiciderock: You are in the studio at the moment. How is it going so far? Can you tell us a bit about what will hit our ears when you are done there?

Archie: No, we are not in the studio yet. We go there on the 21st of this month, so pretty soon. It`s been a while since the release of our EP. So we will see what we can do to our new songs.
Johnny: We have 8 or 9 songs. I think we did a little bit better when it comes to the song writing this time.
Archie: Yeah that`s true. The song writing itself is a bit more professional than it was comparing to “Another Rush of Adrenaline”. But we didn`t want the songs to be too professional, too overproduced. If you know what I mean, you still need to be able to hear the Rock`n Roll while listening to them. A lot of Hardrock bands are missing the edge. I could tell you a few names now but I better let go.  When it comes to the songs they all come from my heart. I kind of have to push myself into it.

Suiciderock: Can really push yourself into a certain feeling to be able to write certain lyrics? It sounds like you force yourelf to creativity…

Archie: It is indeed very difficult and it is also very hard to get into it if you don`t feel like. But at the end of the day you have to do it. Basically our lyrics are all about partying and having a good time.

Suiciderock: You are still unsigned at the moment. Are there any labels who have knocked on your door?

Johnny: Nothing really official yet. There is a lot of talking going on but no concrete decision has been made. It`s a waste of time to talk about undecided stuff.

Suiciderock: Every band is once in their career asked to define their musical style. You did that by using the words “ Good old Glamourus Hard Rock” but you don’t serve the clichee of a typical glam rock band. You don`t use make-up on stage neither are you wearing  this colourful tight trousers.

Archie: Of course, you need a certain image but I think the band creates the image naturally. I mean you don`t need that make-up and all that kind of stuff to impress the people out there. It is all about attitude. Think of Guns`Roses for example. They didn`t need that kind of shit, they convinced with their Rock`n Roll and that created their very own image.

Suiciderock: At the moment all this casting shows, such as Idols starting again on tv. All of you have attended a very good music school here in Finland which means you come from a total different background than this ready made stars. What is your opinion about shows like that? 

Archie: I think Idols is a very good channel for someone who has no other chance to prove what he can do. You can hear it in the songs, how they are mixed and written, it`s that factory kind a style stuff. Which doesn`t mean that it is bad but you can hear that the music doesn`t come from the heart of the artist.
Johnny: That`s true, especially for a vocalist who doesn`t have a band. It`s a huge chance for him or her to show the world out there what his voice can do.

Suiciderock: You`ve played a lot in all different venues here around the Helsinki area. What can people expect from your life performance.

Archie: They will get a good show of four dudes having the time of their lives on stage. I think someone can really see, hear and feel that all of us really put our hearts into what we are doing. Well and we play good of course. Smiles

Suiciderock: You`ve also played at last years TUSKA festival. Any festival or even a tour planned for this year?

Johnny: Almost right, we had the chance to play at the afterparty of the TUSKA festival. It was held at the Green Room here in Helsinki.
Archie: That was a blast and it`s probably one of my favourite shows so far. The whole place was packed to its fullest and all Finish rock celebrities have been there raising their hands in the air. It really was a blast.

Suiciderock: What about an tour? Any schedules made already?

Archie: We are planning some shows. Spring or summer would be nice. But nothing is fix unfortunately.

Suiciderock: Where does the name Santa Cruz come from?

Archie: The story is kind a boring. We really should come up with something more interesting. We were looking around the map in school and there I found this place called Santa Cruz. It sounded pretty cool in my opinion. It has nothing to do with any kind of cliché. Bands that play our music style are named Bullet Sky or whatever. That makes us special maybe. It`s different.

Suiciderock: Your future plans for Santa Cruz?

Archie: Get married. *smiles* No just kidding. Play a lot of shows, bring the rock`n roll to the people out there.

Johnny: And to get a good record contract.

Find Santa Cruz on MySpace