Tampere 2007

(Photo by Mikko Helin)

"Playing music is like a drug"

Suiciderock: Can you tell us some facts about Scapegoat as a band?
Mika: We started in 1997. We met in a bar which seems to be typical for a finnish band. I met some crazy guy, called Juha. He thought that I look pretty cool and he said that we could found a band. I hold him that I don`t know how to play anything. Ok I started to play the drums when I was a kid. Both of my brothers play the guitar. My big brother gave me his guitar and his amplifiers… The story went on and we found a drummer in another bar. *laughs* So you see that`s how you form a band here in Finland. Than we practised like hell, we practised six times a week because we wanted to be really good. That was a really rough time for all of us. Three month after the creation of the band we already went to the studio. We made the EP calles "7 Hertz" which is quite funny, when you listen to it nowadays. But that`s alright, the sound was quite punkish. That was in August 97. In 1999 we recorded the album "Escape". The session for the recordings were funny because of the bassplayer. You should know that we always changing our bassplayers. We had like 15 bassplayers.

Suiciderock: How comes that?
Mika: You know the thing about bass players here in Finland?
Suiciderock: Yeah there are lots of jokes about them.
Mika: Yeah that`s true and it`s for a good reason. But let`s get back to the recording story. The guy I was talking about was also named Mika, he was drinking all the time. He got mad because of all the drinking. He quited or let`s say we kicked him out in the middle of the recording session. We had to search for a new bassplayer, return to the rehearsal place to rehearse all the material again. But at the end we got some good reviews for "Escape". We weren`t that happy about the whole thing. However we got to play with some good bands in the summer. We played with HIM and The 69 Eyes and bands like that. Later after 2000 we decided to quit the band. Mika moved to London were he died later on. Some time passed by and everybody got the chance to think about everything. It was in 2003 when we played a re-union gig. It was fun for everyone of us. Out of that reason we brought the band back to life. But the whole thing wasn`t that serious at this time.

Suiciderock: You got signed last July, right?
Mika: Yeah that`s right, we got signed last July and of course it became more serious and more important for us. Also the reviews for the new single have been very good and that was a good reason for us to continue. Now it is our fulltime job.

Suiciderock: Scapegoat exists for so many years now. What are the three most important steps of your career so far?
Mika: Well, first of all the creation of the band of course. It changed my life totally. The second step to name is starting it all over again. Everyone thought that the whole band-thing is dead and that we stopped to play together. But the most important step was when we signed the record deal because we got the chance to do it professional. It was more like having fun and partying before.

Suiciderock: How would you describe the musicstyle of Scapegoat nowadays?
Mika: I would say that we are a popish-punkrock-band. By saying "popish" I mean the melodic aspect. For me pop has something to do with bands like for example The Beatles and bands for the early 60`s. Basically I like to combine melodies to rough songs. I would say that we sound a bit like the Foofighters. Some call it grunge, some call it punk-rock, it`s always different.

Suiciderock: You mentioned band like The Beatles or the Foofighters. Are they to blame to have major influences in your own style?
Mika: Nirvana had big influences in our style. It started when I was living in Israel back in 1994. I was listening a lot to techno and stuff like that. I wasn`t into rockmusic at all. Someday some people started to call me Kurt Cobain. I even didn`t know who that guy was. I bought all the cd`s of Nirvana because I wanted to get more information about that guy. He fascinated me. I started to play guitar and so Nirvana is the main reason for my interest in Rock`n Roll and they influenced me a lot.

Suiciderock: How long have you been living in Israel and why Israel?
Mika: I`ve been living there several times. I have lot`s of friends there. I used to have a girlfriend from Israel some years ago.

Suiciderock: Can you describe your band mates?
Mika: I would call our bassplayer "sweet", because he is so innocent and gentle. Our drummer is curious. He is into so many different things in life.

Suiciderock: Why did you become a musician?
Mika: Playing music is like a drug for me. You get addicted to it. It`s such an amazing feeling to be on stage and to be able to perform infront of the audience. You can`t describe it with words.

Suiciderock: Dou you still recall your first musical memory?
Mika: I was four or five years old. I was with my brother and I happened to play the drums. I was so small that I hardly could reach the instrument.

Suiciderock: Who is responsible for the songwriting? Is it like a group project or how can people imagine your working style?
Mika: I`m the songwriter.
Suiciderock: What inspires you?
Mika: Well, the melodies comes from somewhere. Maybe from the heart. I don`t know. Usually I write about happenings around me. They are not about political stuff but about some things in life which don`t work out so well.

Suiciderock: Are the about your won life as well?
Mika: Yes, I write about my own life as well. But it is not so simple to explain were the ideas for the lyrics come from. I simply try to touch people with our music.

Suiciderock: What can people expect from your life shows?
Mika: Broken instruments, blood, sweat and all thoos necessary things. We are a very energetic band, We give everything on stage. I would say people can expect Rock`n Roll.

Suiciderock: There are so many successful bands coming from Finland at the moment. What is the reason for their success?
Mika: I think it`s all about hard work, professionality and talent. I don`t believe in that philosophie that we are so melancholic and romantic and successful because of the long and dark winters. Of course it is a reason for the melancholy. But it can`t be the main reason. I mean it`s dark and cold in Canada as well. We are just better. *laughs*

Suiciderock: That would have been our next question. Would you say that the Finnish are more Rock`n Roll than the Americans because they always claim that they`ve invented Rock`n Roll?
Mika: I think Elvis did. Some Americans like Bam Margera have to come over to Finland to get to know some good bands. You have to life a crazy life while doing Rock`n Roll. The Americans are schoolboys comparring to us. I don`t think that we have to prove that. You just have to come here, life our life and than you will see. Sure there are this great American bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains,… but look at the American bands from this time.

Suiciderock: If you had the chance to invent your own festival. How would the line-up look like?
Mika: Of course I would book Nirvana, The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix,… They are my idols. Maybe Queen would be nice as well. How many bands can I name?
Suiciderock: Just as many as you want.
Mika: Ok, let`s continue with Alice in Chains, most of all I would book bands that you can`t see anymore.

Suiciderock: Your futureplans for the band?
Mika: Well, the videoshoot for John Doe and the albumrelease will come in May.

Suiciderock: Will you hit the road after releasing the album?
Mika: We will do some finnish summer festivals. We are planning a tour through Eruope by the end of this year. This will lead us to Germany, Poland and may more countries.

Suiciderock: Will it be a club tour?
Mika: Yeah, yeah we will do a club tour. We hope that it`s possible to do this tour with some other finnish bands.
Suiciderock: Any wish for a support band?
Mika: I would love to go on tour with some of our friends. It would not be like a support band. We would change the order every night. It would be more a common tour. Let`s see what the future holds.

Suiciderock: Thank you very much.
Mika: Thank`s.