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THE BLACK LEAGUE (MAIKE VALANNE)

YOU STRIKE BACK WITH YOUR THIRD EFFORT „MAN’S RUIN REVISITED“ – CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you! HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW THAT IT’S DONE? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH YOUR PIECE OF ART? Yeah, we are very satisfied with the final result. „MAN’S RUIN“ IS A CONCEPT OF „OLD SCHOOL AMERICAN TATTOO ART“ – SO I WOULD LIKE TO ASK FIRST IF YOU HAVE MANY TATTOOS YOURSELF AND IF YOU SEE A CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSIC AND BODY ART? I have many tattoos. My arms are quite full of ‘em. Any connections between music and body art? That’s an interesting question. Of course the tattoos you have must have some kind of deeper meaning for you. The same goes with your music. By the way, Taneli Jarva is a professional tattoo-artist. I’m hoping that he doesn’t raise his wage conditions for the band. REGARDING YOUR COVER NEXT – DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE THIS POOR GUY? DISAPPOINTED OF LIFE AND WOMEN? IS THIS SOMEHOW A MIRROR OF FINNISH SOCIETY? Sometimes I feel just the same like this poor bastard. Maybe even too often. Life sucks and then you die. Somehow it’s also some kind of reflection of finnish society. AND THE COVER – IN MY OPINION – SOMEHOW ALSO REFLECTS YOUR CHANGE IN MUSICAL STYLE. STARTING FROM „GOTHIC“ INFLUENCES ON YOUR DEBUT, NOW IT’S „ROCK“ (AND BOOZING…). DO YOU AGREE? Definitely! I AM REALLY A DEVOTED „ICHOR“ FAN WHERE ONE CAN FIND SOME FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM INFLUENCES, NOW WE HAVE CLASSICAL STREET ROCK. REGARDING „UTOPIA A.D.“ IN RETROSPECTIVE: WAS THIS AN ALBUM OF „SEARCHING YOUR NEW STYLE“, OF „FINDING THE RIGHT WAY“? I THOUGHT YOU MAYBE TRIED TOO MUCH WITH YOUR SECOND CD AND DIDN’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT „UTOPIA A.D.“ NOW? Utopia is a great album, although it’s a little bit too long and there are some songs which doesn’t fit in the concept so well. Yeah, life is a journey and I’m very pleased and blessed the paths we are walking now. „MAN’S RUIN…“ SEEMS TO BE INFLUENCED BY MOTÖRHEAD KIND OF BANDS (AND SOMETIMES DANZIG, TOO). WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL INFLUENCES NOW AND HAS YOUR MUSICAL TASTE CHANGED THAT MUCH IN THE LAST YEARS? Once you’ve tasted bands like Motörhead and Danzig you don’t really need to taste anything else. You got that right! YOU RECORDED IN SEAWOLF STUDIO WHICH SEEMS TO BE AN INTERESTING LOCATION IN SOME KIND OF WATER CASTLE?! WHAT DID YOU EXPERIENCE THERE? IS THE FINAL SOUND EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESIRED FOR IN THE BEGINNING? Suomenlinna is an isle nearby Helsinki, but the studio isn’t in the castle. It’s finnish national history, but Seawolf Studios stands in this large and very beautiful 18th century building.The studios and the equipment are excellent. I think It’s the best studio in Finland. Working with our producer Hannu “Guts” Leiden was perfect. We owe him much. When days we’re long Hannu took us to sauna and then swimming to the sea. That studio and Suomenlinna gave us some magic moments. The sound is just what we desired. We used many vintage amplifiers (old Marshall and Fender ) to find that raw, old and very loud sound and we played at maximum volume too. Taneli Jarva loves Suomenlinna so much, that he’s now living there. THE TRACKS SEEM TO BE ARRANGED IN A VERY SPECIAL WAY AS THE ALBUM STARTS OFF WITH 4 DUSTY BOOZING ROCK SONGS, THEN BECOMING A LITTLE BIT SLOWER AND AT THE END THERE ARE SOME MINOR „OLD“ GOTHIC INFLUENCES. WAS THIS DONE ON PURPOSE AND IF SO, WHAT WERE THE REASONS BEHIND THAT? It was fuckin’ hard to decide the order of the songs, but I think it works like this. „COLD WOMEN AND WARM BEER“ IS A GREAT SONG TITLE, WHO CAME UP WITH IT? AND IT SOUNDS VERY DEPRESSIVE, I HOPE THIS ISN’T HOW YOU EXPERIENCE LIFE IN SCANDINAVIA? I THINK THIS SONG WILL BE A LIVE CLASSIC!!! I came up with that title, when I was depressed and Taneli Jarva wrote the lyrics. So, the team spirit lives with The Black League. Scandinavian beer is excellent and women are warm(at least sometimes…). I think it’s a live classic too. THIS SONG HAS BEEN ALSO RELEASED AS SINGLE. HOW SUCCESSFUL HAS IT BEEN IN THE FINNISH CHARTS? IS THERE A VIDEO FOR IT, TOO? AND CAN YOU TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE BONUS SINGLE TRACK „HARM-A-GET-ON-GO-GO“? The single is now number 9 in finnish charts and we are pleased with that. The bonus single track is a pure kick-ass rock’n’roll song, but it was voted off from the Man’s Ruin Revisited album. Both songs including vocals from Thee Ultra Bimboos! Lovely,lovely finnish she-rockers from hell…or heaven I think. AND SPEAKING OF „LIVE CLASSICS“ – WILL YOU BE TOURING SOON, MAYBE EVEN IN GERMANY? WILL YOU BE PLAYING SONGS OF ALL YOUR RELEASES OR CONCENTRATE ON YOUR „NEW“ ROCK STYLE? OR WILL YOU REARRANGE THE TRACKS OF YOUR FIRST ALBUMS TO FIT TO YOUR NEW MUSICAL DIRECTION? No touring dates yet, but we hope to get there soon! We will play songs from all of our records. There are some little rearranges, but the old songs will be played with a great respect for original recorded versions. APART OF SMOKING, DRINKING AND WOMEN – WHICH OTHER PRIVATE INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE? ARE SOME OF YOU ALREADY MARRIED IF I MAY ASK THIS QUESTION? None of us are married, so all you pretty women out there watch out! There’s some hobbies like movies, writing cd and dvd- reviews, weight-lifting, shooting and even tennis. Hail Boris Becker! I HAVE READ THAT THE FINNISH GOVERNMENT NOWADAYS IS VERY STRICT REGARDING CENSORSHIP AND PERSONAL FREEDOM? IS THIS RIGHT AND HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE THAT IN YOUR OWN LIFE? WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY IF YOU COULD? Somehow we are pleased with things here in Finnland. This is a safe place to live and people are fine and honest, I think. It could be much worse. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE VERY SUCCESSFUL NEW BREED OF FINNISH GOTHIC (POP) BANDS? ANY BAD FEELINGS OR DO YOU TEND TO IGNORE THIS? We don’t listen those bands, so It’s all the same for us. ANY FAMOUS LAST WORDS? Thanks for your interest! THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK IN THE FUTURE!

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