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THE SKREPPERS (REINALDO)

SO, YOU ARE THE SKREPPERS. NOW, FOR THE PEOPLE IN GERMANY, WHO HAVEN’T HEARD OF YOUR MUSIC BEFORE: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT? It just rock n‘ roll with some rockabilly, schockabilly, psychobilly, punk…some call it a little garage maybe because of the keyboards and the organ sound. But I think it’s a rock n‘ roll and we have a kind of a punk attitude. We try to make it a little bit different than others. Also slow songs. THE FIRST TIME I LISTENED TO THE ALBUM I THOUGHT OF SOMETHING LIKE A TARANTINO MOVIE. DO YOU LIKE THAT ASSOCIATION? Yeah, no problem, but it comes that we have a few songs where we play one string. You know, we don’t play all the chords all the time. When we started this band, we made it as simple as possible, so we played only one string. We started from there and then we mixed it, things get together and we still play some of these songs. Some of these may sound like that. Tarantino style. AND IT’S VERY COOL AND A LITTLE BIT SOUTHERN STYLE. Yeah, that’s right. WHERE DO YOU GET THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR SONGS? That’s a boring answer, but…everywhere *laughs* But maybe we could say it’s the most strange things. You know, everyday life is full of things and sometimes something strange happens. And then you start laughing about that. Then we maybe get there. The bottom of life. SO IT’S AN ACCUMULATION OF STRANGE THINGS. Yes, something strange, but it’s also that there are two levels of the songs. There could be the funny level on the surface of the song, but there can be something to think about it. Or it could be the opposite. It looks like it is a very serious song, but it’s something funny inside. I like that kind of songs. That we don’t talk things strait away. It takes a little time and then you understand. Maybe a few minutes later. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU’VE GOT A SONG WITH A GERMAN TITLE “EL BIMBO IST EIN MANN”. WHAT’S THE MEANING OF IT? IS THERE A CERTAIN STORY BEHIND IT? Ah, I think there was this song without a name first or it had a boring name. I didn’t make that song so I’m not sure if it’s correct, but we had this song already and didn’t have a nice title. We have a lot of tours in Germany, so it was so funny to put some German in there. And it’s the old Eurovision Song Contest song…Jaska? *talks some Finnish with the bass guitar player* It’s an old German Eurovision Song Contest song and the song is quite famous in Finland. SO IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE EUROPEAN SONG CONTEST MORE OR LESS? *laughs* Nothing, nothing. BUT OF COURSE, MAYBE WE CAN COME TO LORDI. WHAT DO YOU THINK? WAS IT IMPORTANT THAT THEY WON THE EUROPEAN SONG CONTEST THIS YEAR? It looks like it’s most important for the Finnish people. They get some strength out of it that they finally won that contest, because the Finnish have always been „Zero points“ or something. And everybody who likes music always hates this fucking shit they sent there. Everybody was very ashamed why they sent it to get zero points every time. But I don’t know. It’s a song contest. That’s it. LAST WEEKEND THERE WAS A BOXING CHAMPIONSHIP AND THERE WAS A FINNISH BOXER, ASIKAINEN, AND ALL THE FANS WERE WEARING LORDI MASKS SINGING “HARD KNOCK HALLELUJAH”. *laughs* Yeah, maybe some young rock people, maybe they also think they won there. Not only Finland, but also heavy rock won there. That’s why they might be happy about that. I think it was a funny thing and a nice thing and would feel the same if they came from Germany or Sweden with that kind of song. It shows the middle finger to the European Song Contest. DO YOU WANT TO HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE EUROPEAN SONG CONTEST WHEN IT IS IN FINLAND NEXT YEAR? *thoughtfully* No, I don’t think so. But, hey, anything could happen. You never know. I think we are quite open minded, we are not a narrow minded rock band who does this very seriously. We do this professionally, but we don’t do it so serious. We have to have fun. We are no longer 18 years. To get through this is no fun. We have nice people around us and as I told you we try to do this a little bit different. If we make a song and it sounds normal, we have to change it. It’s not only because we like to do that, but because of us ourselves. We have been playing in so many bands for so many years. It’s so boring to do the same things every time. Sometimes you want to get off the main road. SO IT IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY THAN THE NORMAL MUSIC BUSINESS. Yes. Music business is shit. This is always something… When you go higher you go, but – it’s a good thing to do things by yourself and small. Of course there are also money problems, but that’s it, you have to choose. But if someone gives us a good contract and a lot of money, come on! We take it, no problem. But it’s up to if you get a contract, you have to have a kind of control. WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIKE IT MORE TO PLAY IN SMALLER PUBS OR ON BIGGER FESTIVALS? I think both goes. It’s actually cool, if you have to play it both. It’s boring if you have to play only at the small places, but it’s also quite poor if you only have to play at the big places. You know, THE ROLLING STONES, they always want to play in the bigger small places, but they always have to play at those sites. So rock music sounds better when it’s a little bit smaller. I READ THAT ONE OF YOUR NEXT GIGS IS IN ESTONIA ON A FESTIVAL. SO THIS ONE WILL BE A LITTLE BIT BIGGER? Yeah, let’s see. It’s good to play at bigger places when there are a certain lot of people. It’s stupid of course when we go to the bigger places and there are few people. It’s not so funny anymore. So you have to be as big as your audience. WHAT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS SPECIAL ABOUT IT? The progression maybe. When we start to work we sit down and think about what could be different. We can’t change everything of course, but we can change a bit. We liked to do it a little bit hypnotic, to say the same lines many times. I REALISED THAT IN “HE’S MY SISTER”. IT’S VERY HYPNOTIC. Yeah, that’s how we want the chorus. We checked it out, if it’s working and it worked. Sometimes this kind of idea doesn’t work and we put it to the garbage can. Now this one was a kind of main road, the right line there. Of course it always goes somewhere else. We still try to keep our SKREPPERS sound, the organs, the keyboard sounds and those one string things. Maybe we produced this album a little bit better. In the first to third album we did it a little bit worse. We did the sound there like it was played in a garage or something. We have been in a good studio, but we did it a little bit worse. Now we change it a little bit to the „better“ sounds. The lyrics on the new album are still the same thing. It’s this thing with the lyrics that on the starting point, when you have a demo of a song you can always sing something really stupid just to get things on. And then you make serious lyrics. So we usually keep those stupid lyrics there. Maybe we mix them a little. That’s why many of the songs sound so stupid or maybe some think they are funny. But we put some good ideas inside. DO YOU HAVE CERTAIN IDOLS YOU RELY ON, BECAUSE YOU GOT THIS “A LITTLE BIT RETRO” STYLE MUSIC? I don’t think in our band there is exactly any retro style. That’s funny, because nowadays there are a lot of those bands who like a lot of those ‘60s American retro punk things. Maybe I like most of those, but really it does not come in when we do the songs. We don’t try to do that. I like THE STOOGES and like that, but we don’t like to do THE STOOGES in our music. It’s just a good band making good songs. You know, we’re very, very different music people. I like DAVID BOWIE, 1970s punk, THE CLASH and SEX PISTOLS a lot. Hiili likes of course some heavy bands like KISS and THE CARDIGANS, our bass player likes SLAYER. Then our new guitar player, Pax, is kind of blues oriented. And so it’s also that our music is a mix. We don’t listen to music when we’re on tour, because music is everywhere all the time. If I put out something everybody says “Put that fuck-shit back”. HOW DOES IT COME THAT A BIG PART OF YOUR TOUR IS IN GERMANY? IS IT BECAUSE MANY GERMANS ARE FANS OF FINNISH ROCK MUSIC? Maybe, yeah. And remember, in Germany there is one of the biggest music business’, but it’s also that we had a connection. That’s how it goes if you have a small band. You meet this guy and that guy… That’s how we met Ingo from Rock This Town. It’s easier for him to sell to Germany. And we usually can’t do more than one or two week tours, because of our work. We have different jobs and so it’s quite impossible to do two weeks, so we can’t do Italy, Germany and France to the same time. SO, YOUR MUSIC IS KIND OF A HOBBY FOR YOU? Yeah, you could say that. Depends on when something is hobby and something is work. If you think of work it’s something boring. So I don’t call it work. But, as I said, if anybody gives us more money for this than our works, maybe that could be a change. Let’s see what happens *laughs* But it’s got to be a lot money that we could do that. AND AT THE MOMENT IT IS MORE THE FUN PART OF YOUR LIFE. Yes, absolutely, we do it professional style, quite serious in that way, but we don’t want to look like stupid serious musicians there. It’s got to be fun, there has to be a good feeling to do that. Then you can do the good songs, you get more audience, you get better deals, that how it goes and maybe after a few years we have work with this. But you never know. OK, THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW. IT WAS VERY NICE. I’LL WATCH YOU LATER. Yeah, it was good. Thank you.

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