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LORDI (AWA)

AWA, YOU JUST KICKED OFF THE EUROPEAN TOUR IN SCANDINAVIA. AND I BET THEY TREATED YOU LIKE NATIONAL HEROES THERE. HAS THE REACTION BEEN ANY DIFFERENT TO FORMER TOURS? Well, I’ve been in the band only a year so this is my first international tour ever. But the guys have said it’s bigger now, and of course the old fans are there but also a lot of new fans. So it has been great! There were big crowds and we have now a very good show so they’ll come to watch and see. WHAT WILL PEOPLE SEE? LORDI IS QUITE KNOWN FOR A GOOD STAGE SHOW… Yeah, we have – of course, music is the main thing – but then we have little parts where we do something. I have an umbrella and from the umbrella comes fire. And we have also have parts with acting. But of course, it’s a rock show, horror show. I don’t know how to describe it with few words but you have to come and see, so you’ll get it. It’s really good. Even if the music isn’t your music the show is so great that you should come and watch. DO YOU HAVE ANY MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT THE CROWD KNOWING THAT IT’S NOT ONLY „REAL“ LORDI FANS OUT THERE, BUT ALSO PEOPLE WHO COME TO WATCH A KIND OF FREAK SHOW? Yeah, but many of them also start on our music because it’s quite mainstream. It’s not like: „Uuuuaaaaarrrgggh!“-music, it’s more like – I don’t know – not pop, but quite melodic and old-fashioned hard rock. Of course the music is the most important thing for our band but if you only want to come to look at the show it’s ok, too. Because there are a lot of people who sing our songs, so it’s not only the show – I hope! RIGHT NOW YOU’RE STILL PROFITING FROM THE EUROVISION HYPE…BEFORE THAT SHOW YOUR MUSIC HAS NEVER BEEN A SUBJECT FOR „OUTSIDE MEDIA“, LIKE THE NATIONAL TELEVISION, WITH WHICH YOU’RE DOING AN INTERVIEW LATER. WHEN DO YOU EXPECT THE FAN BASE TO GROW BACK TO NORMAL? WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU’LL BE GOING BACK TO PLAYING CLUBS INSTEAD OF PLAYING ARENAS? Yeah, we’ve also had arenas. This fall, and this tour, after that we will see who is gonna be our fans in the long run and how much people, and what kind of people. So of course there is this group of common people who just comes, maybe doesn’t like it and… But I don’t know, at least we have had a lot of mails and post like: „I would have never listened to your band before the Eurovision, and now I like it!“ So, I don’t know, we have to see. Maybe we have had quite a hype and of course it’s gonna calm down a little bit, the fame and all the media things. But let’s hope that we now have become a bigger band also in the long run. Let’s hope so! HERE IN GERMANY IT’S DIFFERENT FROM FINLAND, BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE BEEN ROCK STARS BEFORE THE ESC. YOU HAD A FEW NUMBER ONE SINGLES IN SCANDINAVIA, SO PEOPLE IN GERMANY HAVE JUST BEEN PICKING UP ON THE BAND. ARE YOU GETTING THE ROCK STAR TREATMENT IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY? Yeah, yeah, we did! Now we are national heroes also (laughs), not only rock stars, but national heroes! THEY NAMED A PLACE IN YOUR HOMETOWN AFTER YOU. ISN’T THAT A BIT OVER THE TOP MAYBE? Yeah, yeah, yeah! It was Mr. Lordi’s hometown. All other band members, we are from southern Finland. Yeah, it was odd but they wanted to do that, so why not? But of course, all the odd things have happened in Finland. It’s such a small country and if you do something like winning the Eurovision or Ice Hockey World Champions League, then people think you are representing them and Finland. I don’t know, it’s a good thing but I hope that people in Finland remember we represent rock music and heavy music – not like FINLAND! Of course we love our country but this is not the thing. We don’t want to go to the world and tell them about Finland. We want to play good music that comes from Finland. EXACTLY! AND YOU’RE NOT SINGING ABOUT FINNISH FOLKLORE. Yeah, exactly! BUT WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FINNISH – AND SCANDINAVIAN – PEOPLE AND GERMANS? YOU SEEM TO BE A LOT MORE OPEN-MINDED TO HEAVY MUSIC. ALL THE HEAVY BANDS, FOR EXAMPLE YOU GUYS, CHILDREN OF BODOM OR NIGHTWISH ARE USUALLY CHARTING NUMBER ONE WHEN A NEW ALBUM IS RELEASED… WHY IS THAT? I don’t know – maybe the long, dark and cold winters, a lot of booze drinking? It’s our kind of music and people learned to listen to it and like it. It’s a little bit odd, I think, but that’s just the way it is. People listen to it a lot and so the young people want to start to play in the bands, play hard rock, heavy music. So there are a lot more rock bands than pop bands in the music business. It’s just our thing, I don’t know. You have to go and ask Finnish people, why it is. WELL, I’M JUST ASKING SOMEONE FROM FINLAND… I like rock, I love rock, of course. But I also like pop music. So I’m probably not the right person to ask. You know, most of the people they only like one kind of music style, but I like a lot of different kind of bands and music. So, I don’t know, I’m the wrong person to answer. BUT THAT’S JUST THE POINT MAYBE – THE FINNISH ARE A BIT MORE DIVERSE IN THEIR MUSICAL TASTES THAN OTHER NATIONS… DO YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE THESE DAYS THAT DO NOT GET WHAT YOU’RE DOING, WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF THE BAND? Yeah, of course, especially before the Eurovision. When we joined the Eurovision, in Finland it was like a national scandal back then, that that kind of band, those monsters… VERY ROCK’N ROLL.. But then we just asked the people to listen to our music and come to our gigs and then decide. Not just… Of course, when they see five monsters they’re like: „Oh, what the hell is this?“, but after people listen to our music they get it: „Oh, it’s not that bad!“ It’s quite listener friendly music after all. If they don’t get it, they don’t get it, then they don’t have to understand. We are not gonna kiss someone’s asses-, (stops and chuckles) because – sorry, bad language – we want to do our thing and if it’s not ok for some one then they just have to forget us! DOES IT MAKE YOU SAD AS ARTISTS – AS A BAND – WHO’VE BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS THAT IT TOOK A STUPID THING SUCH AS THE ESC TO BECOME POPULAR? DON’T YOU HAVE BITTER FEELINGS ABOUT THAT? Really yeah, but it’s just that our band have their own minds. They don’t want to make any kind of compromises. It takes more time to get people to believe in this. Now we want to go to America and we have the same thing. The record companies they are like: „Yeah?!?? This is a good thing – but what the hell are they doing?!“, and they don’t want to take the risk because even there it’s like the business is going a little bit down and the records don’t sell that well, so I think that we are bigger risks than a normal some kind of pop act. So we have to convince the American people and Asian people… but this fun! It’s ok. Now we can make a living with this music. So now we just play and hope that we get more and more fans. So let’s just see if we get even bigger. STAYING WITH THE U.S. MARKET: WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU GO OVER THERE? USUALLY AMERICANS LIKE TO STICK TO AMERICAN MUSIC. DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING TO BE HARD TO WIN THEM OVER? It’s gonna be really hard and it’s gonna take a while because it’s such a big country. But I heard rumours that they want rock ’n roll music back because it’s now full of that kind of hip hop bands, R‘ n B and all that kind of music. And people want something else, so now we have to show them. (laughs) CONQUER THE WORLD! Yeah, yeah! We really want to do like a club tour there and check out what is the atmosphere there. Is there people who likes us. And if there are, then hopefully we get a record deal and – let’s see! ALLRIGHT! CONGRATULATIONS BY THE WAY- LAST WEEK YOU RECEIVED A GOLD RECORD HERE IN GERMANY FOR „HARDROCK HALLELUJAH“… Yeeeah, thank you! HOW MANY MORE GOLD AND PLATINUM RECORDS DID YOU GET AND IN WHICH COUNTRIES? Well, in Finland all the records have sold gold and the first record sold like double-platinum, and “The Arockalypse“ has also sold double-platinum and almost triple. And the second album has at least sold gold and over. And in Sweden also the album has sold gold. And in Germany we got the single gold thing. So, that’s all! We haven’t sold that many records in other countries that we have received gold. Not yet, at least! WELL, LET’S SEE! ON YOUR WEBSITE I READ A STATEMENT GOING SOMETHING LIKE: „YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS, ONLY SOME DREAMS ARE MORE UNREALISTIC THAN OTHERS“. WHAT HAS BEEN THE CORE MOTIVATION TO MAKE THIS DREAM COME TRUE? Because we all love this kind of music that we do and we all want to play in a band. And this monster thing this is like… it’s such a good thing. It’s so unique and you really get people’s attention. You get the attention – which is the hardest part – and then you just have to show them that this is a good thing, and hopefully people learn to like this in the long run also. This is such a great package, and of course for me personally it’s also a good thing to wear the masks because I don’t want to be like a big celebrity in all the gossip magazines. I want to go to the grocery store with my glasses on and hair like dirt, and people don’t know who I am. It’s great! And I hope that its stays the same. At least in Finland it has because there was some big thing when one magazine published Mr. Lordi’s face on the cover. But they apologized to us and the magazine went down. I don’t know now, but I think many people stopped, you know, they didn’t order it anymore, they didn’t buy it anymore. So I don’t know in the other countries!? IT WAS ON THE MAIN PAGE OF ONE OF GERMANY’S BIGGEST DAILY BOULEVARD NEWSPAPERS… But fortunately in the different magazines there were so many different pictures that we counted like maybe 17 different people. So now no one knows – maybe some – but most of the people don’t know who are the right persons. Who are the five right? What are the five right pictures? SO THEY PRINTED PICTURES OF WHOEVER THEY THOUGHT WAS IN THE BAND? Yeah! They even had a picture of Children of the Bodom – and that’s not true! (laughs) HEY, ALEXI..! Yeah – hi!! (laughs) By the way, I don’t know if they called to Mr. Lordi or maybe our drummer. But what is this?!? You know… WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE ON THE PICTURES WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE US?! And we don’t have anything to do with it, but they just – I don’t know – some magazine decided: „Yes, they are the Children of the Bodom!“ and put a picture in their magazines BEAUTIFUL! THE PICTURE WHICH WAS PUBLISHED IN THE GERMAN NEWSPAPER I JUST MENTIONED LOOKED VERY MUCH LIKE A PICTURE AN EX-GIRLFRIEND OF MR. LORDI MUST HAVE GIVEN TO THE PRESS, BECAUSE HE WAS BARE-CHESTED TRYING TO LOOK REALLY SEDUCTIVELY… HAVE YOU EVER FOUND OUT WHO THAT PERSON WAS? Yeah, we found out but then we had such a busy schedule back then that we didn’t have the time to get the papers and watch them. We just heard it and then like: „Oh…!“ We just have to… Of course you get a little bit sad because of the pictures and stuff but then you just have to go on. And this is the way: of course, I understand that people are curious what kind pf persons are under the masks. Of course, I understand it. But there is still hope that if we get more fame that all the gossip magazines or paparazzi are not gonna start to run and try to get pictures of us, because we are quite boring people. And, you know, the mystery is then off. And, you know… (FULL OF EMPATHY) OOOOHH…YOU’RE NOT BORING… (laughs) But I don’t have any kind of scandals and I’m just an ordinary woman. So, the Awa person, the Awa-horrible-witch-ghost, is much more interesting than me. I promise, I promise you that!! (laughs) DO YOU GET STALKED BY PAPARAZZI? MR. LORDI’S FACE WAS SHOWN A LOT IN THE MEDIA AT THAT TIME, BUT NOT SO MANY PICTURES OF THE REST OF THE BAND. HAVE YOU EVER GOTTEN PROBLEMS WITH OBTRUSIVE JOURNALISTS? No, not at least now. I think that we are not that interesting. I don’t know why – but it’s a good thing! And pleeease don’t try to get pictures of us. Pleeeease..! (laughs) ONE LAST QUESTION ABOUT THE ESC: THE THING THAT PROBABLY IRRITATED ME THE MOST WAS THAT THE PRESENTING LADY TOTALLY IGNORED YOU WHEN IT WAS ALREADY EVIDENT THAT YOU WERE THE WINNERS. IT SEEMED THAT SHE TALKED TO ANY OTHER ARTIST FROM ANY OTHER COUNTRY – EXCEPT TO YOU! WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU REALIZED THAT? DID YOU GET ANY ATTENTION FROM HER? No, I don’t remember at least. I haven’t thought about it, but now that you said it, it’s… yeah: No, I think that she didn’t come to us! SHE DIDN’T! I WAS SITTING IN FRONT OF THE TV BEING TOTALLY PISSED OFF BY THAT BEHAVIOUR, GOING LIKE: „YOU BITCH – TALK TO THEM! ARE YOU SCARED OR WHAT?!“ No, she didn’t! Oh, that’s… now that you say it! Hmmm…Why didn’t she come to us? Were we that horrible and scary? No, we were kind! But I hugged her on the stage when we got the price if I remember correctly. But maybe she didn’t like us, I don’t know. RIGHT, BUT IT WAS HER DUTY TO HAND OVER THE PRICE AND ANNOUNCE YOU AS THE WINNERS BUT SHE DIDN’T COME OVER TO YOU ON HER FREE WILL… WELL, LET’S FORGET ABOUT THAT! IT WAS IN THE GOSSIP MAGAZINES LAST WEEK THAT EVERYBODY IN THE BAND IS GETTING SEXUAL OFFERS FROM FANS – BY MALES AND FEMALES! WHAT IS SO ATTRACTIVE ABOUT … YEAH… HAVING SEX WITH A MONSTER? WHAT DO THEY WRITE TO YOU? There are two kinds of mails and letters. One of them is like: „Do you want to go with a date with me, maybe to my house and watch some TV or movies and eat popcorn?“ POPCORN..?! Yeah! Those are probably of like young fans – I hope! (chuckles) And then others are like more straight: „I really find you hot and I want to have sex with you!“ Yeah! And I have had a lot of mails from females. YOU ALSO GET MAILS FROM FEMALES? WHAT ARE THEIR LETTERS ABOUT? ARE THEY BEING A BIT MORE SUBTLE THAN THE GUYS? They’re like: „I found you very attractive!“, and: „I love you!“ And they are even like: „I want to marry you!“ And then there are like mails that – maybe they’re from, I don’t know, teenagers or young adults – that are…they are wondering: „I don’t know, but you’re a woman still. I find you very sexy, and maybe I’m bi-, Oh, my God…!“ And I think maybe, you know, they might be bisexual or even gay. So I don’t know, what do I have to answer them? You know, it’s a monster, it’s a horrible woman – first of all, my character (laughs) – and then I don’t know what to say: „I’m not gay?“ Maybe like: „Oh, thank you! I’m really honoured and I love you, too!“ YOU DO REPLY TO THOSE EMAILS? Well, if I have the time, yeah! YOU ANSWER SUCH EMAILS?? WHEN THEY ARE OFFERING PRETTY MUCH? Yeah, if they are like written kindly. I have had a few like „bitch“ and „whore“ and then I just push the delete button and that’s all. But if they seem that they are serious then I’ll try to answer something, because maybe it’s a young person who is really lost… POPCORN! Yeah But now I have to say I haven’t had the time to answer any mails. I have only written something in our forum on the internet but (sighs) maybe I’ll try. IT’S GREAT THAT YOU REPLY TO FAN MAILS. THAT’S VERY SPECIAL I THINK! You have to! It is odd, and it is : „Whaaat??“, but then it’s really flattering, you know, to get that kind of mails and attention. And, I think we are, like, rough. And I don’t know what kind of people are writing (laughs) but maybe they’re that kind of people who likes things, like, rough! ROUGH…YEAH, I COULD SEE THAT! BUT WHAT WAS THE WEIRDEST EXPERIENCE YOU’VE EVER HAD WHEN WALKING AROUND IN FULL COSTUMES? Well, the most common reaction, usually people are: „Yeah! Oh, cool“ Can I take a picture?“ But then there are people… THEY ARE TOUCHING YOU AS WELL? Sometimes, yeah! But not like, you know, they just pick a little. „Can I touch this? (in a frightened voice) Ohoooo…!“ – that kind of thing. But then there are people who just watch us for like one second and then they like ignore you, (lifts her head and nose up) they just walk. Or they are like: „Ooooh – oh, my God!“ When I left from my apartment, I was in the elevator with my costume on and the door opened. And there came a girl, and she looked, like. „Oh, my God! Ooooohhhooohh!“ She was like terrified. I can understand that, she’s coming home and she opens the elevator and there is a monster in the elevator. It’s probably not a very good experience. But then I said: „Hi, sorry!“ And then she still was like: „Oh, my God! Oooohoooohoooo!“ So, usually they are like first: „Oh, my God!“, but then they are: „Hmmm – can I get a picture!“ That’s the most common reaction usually. BUT YOU DO GET YOUR KICKS OUT OF THAT, DON’T YOU? (laughs out loud) Yeah!!! It’s really fun. Yeah, of course! And no one knows who I really am, so I can do all that kind of stuff and get away with it! YOU’RE PLAYING A SOLD-OUT SHOW TONIGHT AND IT’S GONNA BE REALLY HOT IN THE VENUE. BUT I IMAGINE IT MUST BE INCREDIBLY HOT UNDER THE COSTUMES. HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE: “WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE?” Yeah, every night when it’s really hot and I’m sweating and from the shower comes only cold water. When you’re like sweating and it’s really cold water – horrible experience! But then when you see the crowd and they’re so excited, and you see that the hardcore fans even have their own masks and stuff, and after the gig you take the mask off and you go to the shower and you feel ok. And then you walk to the bus, and no one knows who I really am. Last time we were in France playing a festival gig and someone asked: “Are you maybe the keyboard player?”, and then our roadie said: “No, she’s our cook!” (laughs) Well, yeah… So, I think the masks are great because they give so much more to the band, I think. There should be more like this kind of bands with a good show. RIGHT, ROCK’ N ROLL ALWAYS HAS BEEN ABOUT THE VISUAL ASPECT AS WELL. I READ THAT MR. LORDI WROTE A FILM SCRIPT FOR A MOVIE. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT? SOUNDS TO ME AS IF HE IS TREADING INTO ROB ZOMBIE’S FOOTSTEPS THERE… It has been his dream from his childhood. He made it with his friend, of course there was a real writer who then took his ideas and made it a script. But if we can do it, if we get the money – it seems now that we get the money – it’s gonna be a real horror movie, not like: Lordi characters play rock and scare people a little bit! SOMETHING LIKE: “LORDI DOES AMERICA”…? Yeah. (laughs) That’s a good idea! No, it’s gonna be a really terrifying horror movie like, I don’t know… not for children. I have read the script and it’s really scary because I’m afraid of horror movies – it’s a really funny thing. When we have to go to see it I’m gonna take like ear plugs and keep my eyes closed. …AND TAKING SOMEONE WITH YOU TO HOLD YOUR HAND? Yeah, yeah. It’s gonna be that scary! SO YOU’RE NOT INTO HORROR MOVIES AT ALL? THAT IS FUNNY! No, of course I like them but I’m afraid to watch them so I have to have many people around me. And even then, if it’s a real horror movie – of course if it’s something like “I know what you did last summer” it’s not that bad – but if it’s a real, real horror movie then I’m terrified and I can’t sleep at night. And I even see nightmares about our band characters. Most of the characters I’m afraid of Amen, our guitarist. YOU MUST BE JOKING… YOU’RE AFRAID OF YOUR BAND MEMBERS?? OF THEIR COSTUMES? Yes! I’m not afraid of Mr. Lordi or Kita or Ox, but I’m afraid of Amen because I think that when he puts the mask on it’s not the guy anymore, it’s some mummy, the soul of some mummy and it takes our guitarist’s soul. And I feel that he’s gonna do something bad for me, and he always come to tease me. I BET THE REST OF THE BAND MAKES JOKES ABOUT THAT SOMETIMES…? Yeah, and of course I have to say I’m not totally serious now but a part of me thinks: “Maybe… What if? You never know. And then when I see a nightmare the next day is like: “Oh, I’m really scared of you!” I have a really, really big imagination. I want to live a little bit in my imagination world. (laughs) But when they don’t wear their masks, they’re alright. First I was even afraid of me because when I looked in the mirror it was: “Oh, my God!” LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR GOING: “AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!”??? Yeah, because my character is quite scary but now I learned to love her. I like her, she’s a maniac, she can do everything. I’m a little bit jealous because she can do anything and get away with it. YOU’RE ALWAYS SMILING WHEN YOU’RE ON STAGE. DOES THAT GO WITH THE CONCEPT – A SMILING MONSTER? She looks like that because she’s a little mad, she’s obsessed. You know, she was killed and then she died but her soul didn’t get the peace so she got obsessed. She has those schizophrenic things going on, so then she laughs. Even in our show there is one part where I laugh a lot, the laughter comes from all around. So yeah, (laughs) – she’s a happy monster! But she can be scary if she wants. People say that her smiling seems quite scary because you don’t know what she’s thinking. You know, is it like: “Aha, I’m gonna kill you.. Ha, ha, ha, ha!” Yeah, I can talk about this for hours. I just love to talk about the characters and think what they can do. I can understand that you don’t feel scared right now because underneath the masks I probably don’t seem very scary, or do I?! UHM… NO! FINALLY, WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT WINNING THE ESC, OF COURSE, WAS A GREAT THING FOR THE BAND LORDI, BUT MORE THAN THAT A VICTORY FOR ANY METAL HEAD IN EUROPE? AT LEAST, THAT WAS MY ON-GOING JOKE FOR WEEKS AFTER, THAT “WE ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS”… Well, it was our purpose from the beginning, when we won the Finnish contest, we wanted to spread the word to every rock ‘n roll fan in Europe – pleeease vote! Please make the Eurovision more interesting! So there wasn’t anytime when we realized that it was our goal and when it happened we were like;: “Yeah! This is so great!” Germans, and Swedes, and the Danes – there were all rock ‘n roll fans voting for rock ’n roll. You know, unite! I think that final Saturday in May was like all the metal fans, rock ‘n roll fans united. And we did it and we should be proud because in Finland, in Scandinavia there are a lot of rock ‘n roll bands but here in Europe there should be more. There probably are, but in the main music business there should be more, not only pop bands, R ‘n B and stuff, but also good old rock ‘n roll and heavy metal. Yeah! I COULD TALK ON FOR HOURS NOW BUT I GUESS YOU HAVE TO GO AND PUT THE MASKS ON NOW, DON’T YOU? Yeah, for me it takes only one hour, but Mr. Lordi has already started because for him it takes like three hours, and one and a half to take it off. It’s a different kind of mask for him. We have like helmets, you could say, but he has to glue the pieces to his face and paint them. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND HAVE A GOOD SHOW!

RECORDED IN HERFORD, SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2006

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