Fresh off the release of their tenth studio album "X" Jyrki 69, vocalist of The 69 Eyes, spoke about the moving nature of the band's new album, keeping a stable line-up for years, and sharing the limelight with other "vampire" bands.
Q: The 69 Eyes have been quoted as saying the last album, Back in Blood, had the LA glam touch, while the new album, X, will be "Made in Sweden". What exactly do you mean by "Made in Sweden"?
Jyrki 69: Well, this was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden, and the producers [On the Verge team] are Swedish. As we Finns know our melancholy in music, Swedes know their melodies. On this album, we're mixing them both together to make more memorable tunes and larger-than-life songs. Sweden symbolises a certain high quality when it comes to songwriting and music making. Whether it's Peter Tagtgren at his Abyss studios, or ABBA!
Every band always says their current album is their best album. So, I'll ask: What makes you so certain that this is your best album yet? Why is X the best 69 Eyes album yet?
Mind you, The 69 Eyes has never been an "every band". I have never felt to have succeeded with any other of our albums like with this one. Before, I knew we had great songs, but, in the middle of recording my vocals, this started to feel so damn good, and finally after I'd sang it all, I knew that we'd made a timeless classic. After hearing the final album, I got tears in my eyes. The music touched me very deeply and its beauty was amazing.
"X" has been described by the band as incredibly melodic, yet the most melancholic. Was this a predetermined direction, or just the result of the writing process?
Our guitarist, Bazie, writes [the] majority of the music, so I was just picking up his most melancholic song ideas, since I was in that kind of mood a couple of years ago, as [I'd] split with my then-girlfriend. Also, after our aggressive "Back In Blood", it really felt like it was time for more melodic and mature 69 Eyes music.
The band is also releasing a red wine called Red [also the name of the first single off of "X"]. Is this something that The 69 Eyes have always wanted to do, or is it just a stroke of marketing genius for the new album?
The 69 Eyes has never had any business plan or similar. This just happened; I guess it just fits for an older, classic band like us. The classic rock bands like AC/DC, Motorhead and Slayer have their wines. It fits after a couple of decades. And goth, vampires, etc. go pretty well hand-in-hand, you know.
You've had a stable line-up for ages now. What is the secret to keeping everyone happy and in the band, when it seems like most band positions are like revolving doors nowadays?
Seems really like in a metal band you're supposed to change members for every new record and a singer regularly. We're old school and like the fact that the band has a permanent identity with its members. There's no secrets; we're just a REAL rock 'n' roll band. Not for business or some bullsh-t just for the love of rock 'n' roll.
There are some new vampire metallers around now, namely "Vampires Everywhere!". When you see these young vampire bands coming up, do you ever watch your backs, anxiously? Or is there more than enough space in the music scene for a conglomeration of vampires?
Sounds cool. It's good to have fresh blood out there. Unfortunately, they don't often last very long. I hope we could team up with some of these new bands for touring.
Having been around for 2 decades now, The 69 Eyes have been lucky enough to see many corners of the world. Are there any places that you haven't visited, but would still love to see?
Naturally, I would love to visit South Africa.
What's the best rumour you've ever heard about your band?
That we're vampires.
By Sergio Pereira