The 69 Eyes: A chat with Master Jyrki on the Nature of X

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Helsinki Vampires THE 69 EYES are getting ready to release their tenth studio album, „X”, at the end of this month, on the 28th of September 2012.

To quench the musical thirst of those bloodsucking creeters who can’t wait to get their hands on the album, we woke master vampire Jyrki (vocals) from his „nospheratic” beauty-sleep and questioned him regarding his inspiration, the art of being Gothic and Elvis Allan Poe (yep, that’s right).

And to quote from Bram Stoker’s „Dracula”: Enter (this interview) freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!
There’s a lot of love on your new album „X”, with song-titles like „Love Runs Away”, „If You Love Me the Morning After”, „I Love the Darkness in You”, „When a Love Comes to an End”. Now, you were always quite „romantic”. Are you more so on this disc?
I split up with my girlfriend by the time I was writing the lyrics for this album, so those vibes were easy to transfer into the texts. It’s a pretty sensual and elegant album. There is definitely more passionate kissing, and there are also tears spilt on a love letter.

Judging by your latest single, „Red”, I’d say you ditched the „goth’n’roll” label for a „pop’n’goth” one. The song is dramatic, catchy but it’s orchestrated in a more pop-rockish manner. How come you „lightened” up?
Our previous album, “Back In Blood”, was recorded in Hollywood, so it captured those aggressive American beats and attitudes. “X” was done in Sweden, which led to it being more focused on the melodies and on the hooky choruses. This time we wanted to come up with an album filled with beautiful music, memorable tunes and melancholic melody lines.

You declared that this was your best album yet. Many bands seem to say the same thing about their newest materials. Do you actually believe it? If so, why is it your best album?
This is just the best piece of music we’ve ever done. Truly timeless songs and killer choruses. Also, my vocals are at their best, and so is the sound of the band.

„A Vampire is an Eternal Rock Icon”

Thank God for a band like you in a day and age when people listen to Skrillex. You’ve prided yourselves with influences like The Mission UK, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cult. Why do you think the Gothic idiom is still strong today?
It’s because of the (once again) timeless music of those bands and their great songs. Also, looking at the world through the sunglasses perched upon the nose of romance provides a temporary escape for teens. Plus, dressing up in black has always been cool.

There’s this Shakespeare meets a brokenhearted Vampire quality in your lyrics. They’re always somehow „above” what happens in the immediate reality, very introverted and deep. Do the same things that touched you at the very beginning of your career inspire you today?
It’s just my life and my times, where I’ve been traveling and what I’m currently interested in. This time, though, I was inspired by the end of my relationship. That fitted really well into the melancholy melodies that we usually write, and became the main theme  of the album.

Speaking of Vampires. You seem to be taking the label of „Helsinki Vampires” very seriously, having said that being a vampire fuels your creative energy. What exactly does this metaphor – Vampire – mean, from a creative, artistic and musical point of view?
It stands for the Eternal Rock Icon.

„I’d record a duet with Lisa Marie Presley”

I said earlier that the Gothic idiom is still strong today, but it’s not AS strong as, say, metal or alternative rock. Do you think its strength lies in the very „cult” status, so to say (in the fact that not <everybody> can understand it)?
I don’t give a fuck, really. People shouldn’t be so serious. Just enjoy the music!

Personally, I didn’t really enjoy the new video. Too many hot blondes for my taste. Why did you want to shoot a „hot car, hot babe” video, and not choose your basic graveyard + sorrowful sexy brunette + love story pattern?
I think that video is awesome.The director, Patric Ullaeus, really outdid himself. I wanted the video to be a mysterious Swedish luxury scenario, with a Swedish castle in the background, and a beautiful garden. Add to this a luxury car and blond, Satanic, Swedish black widows, and it’s like a scene from „The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, by David Fincher. We filmed  it in the amazing countryside of Gothenburg. It’s the most beautiful video we’ve ever done, and we’re going to shoot another one with Patric soon.

You look a bit like Elvis Presley, and you’re also a fan of his music. Would it be accurate to call you „the dark Elvis?”, or „Graveyard Elvis”, or „Elvis Allan Poe”?
God no! I’d rather record a duet with Lisa Marie!

Favorite two songs off the album and why.
“Borderline” is the most beautiful song we’ve ever done. As for “Black”, it will rock the dancefloor at the Gothic club for all eternity!

Any plans to come to Romania soon?
Yes, please invite us soon!

Kiitos paljon, Jyrki!

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