Vor gut zwei Wochen hatte ich die Möglichkeit, die finnische Rockband Disco Ensemble bei ihrem Besuch hier in Hamburg zu interviewen. Ganz ehrlich: ich war etwas aufgeregt. Zuvor hatte ich Interviews für diesen Blog grundsätzlich per Mail gemacht. Das war am schnellsten, unkompliziertesten und hat Terminstress und räumliche Distanzen umgangen. Jetzt also das erste Mal face-to-face, dazu noch auf Englisch und mit einer Band, die ich seit Jahren verfolge und extrem gutheiße.
Wie dem auch sei, letztlich war es ein sehr spannendes halbstündiger Treffen. Sänger und Texter Miikka Koivisto sowie Gitarrist und Gründungsmitglied Jussi Ylikoski standen mir im Exklusivinterview Rede und Antwort. Erfahrt auf den kommenden Seiten, wie neue Songs der Jungs entstehen, wieso sie sich alte Sachen von sich nicht mehr anhören wollen und welche deutschen Bands sie gut finden.
Und seht mir nach, dass ich das Interview mehr oder weniger ungekürzt hier deponiere. War eine Heidenarbeit und ich finde persönlich einfach alles viel zu interessant um es euch vorzuenthalten. Los geht’s!
Do still people come to your concerts and are waiting for the disco music to begin?
Miikka: Probably it doesn’t happen anymore.
Jussi: At least I hope so. We are done with that.
You are on tour with your “fifth son” (as you called “him” on Facebook). How does it feel to finally let “Warriors” of the leash and play the new songs live?
Jussi: It is great. It has been so long since we played any shows and we finally got on the road with the new stuff so it is really awesome.
How do the people react to the new stuff?
Miikka: I think it is a good reaction.
Jussi: Yeah. Even though the album is not officially out here, it seems like everybody knows the songs.
You did a whole lot of buzz in social media as you have announced “The Island of Disco Ensemble”. Tasks for your followers and fans, several insights in the studio and clips from the road. How come you did nearly none of this for the new record?
Miikka: I guess we just didn’t have to time to concentrate on that. And then sometimes you don’t want to do them if you don’t have the time and are not sure whether they will be good enough. And then you rather not do something that is kind of half way.
Jussi: We did it so well!
You couldn’t top it?
Jussi: Yeah, we put in so much energy in that, like that video diary thing and all that. So it was somehow a little bit exhausting to do it again with the same level. We kinda would have wanted to do it really well if we did it. So we decided to concentrate on the actual album.
Miikka: Probably at some point there will gonna be something similar like that. But at the moment we just don’t have the concentration to do it.
Of course, on tour you have less time. But was it your idea to do this or was it like a marketing thing from the management who said to get in contact with the fans via social media? Or did you want to get the people closer to your process of accomplishing the record?
Jussi: Yeah, we wanted to do it, it was our idea.
Miikka: We did those video pretty much ourselves as well. Like editing them and everything.
Jussi: And we thought that it would be really… If I was a fan of some band I would be able to see and peak into the actuall sess-stuff and feel like really into it. I’d be greatful for the band they do it. We kinda thought it that way, you know.
Since you debut album “Viper Ethics” the music has changed, away from the “Post-Hardcore-Punk” and more into melodic but still rocky tunes. Less screaming and a clear focus on arrangement and song structure. Changing tastes or just the evolution of the band to becoming a little bit more grown-up?
Jussi: It is both. But I guess mostly we have just evolved as musicians and as a band. And of course your taste changes all the time. I guess it is a combinations of those two.
So does this also have to do with your choice of a producer? Pelle Gunnerfeldt has done the Magic Recoveries album, so a man who has done Refused or The Hives, and then Jukka Immonen has done Warriors, who is famous for working with Sunrise Avenue. Slightly a change in the way of music. Was it your personal choice to go with someone who goes more into this – I don’t want to pop – let’s say melodic stuff?
Miikka: Yeah. I mean it felt like with „Island of Disco Ensemble“ we had Lasse Kurki who is kind of a half way pop and half way band guy. And Jukka Immonen is like a really straight forward pop producer. But, you know, it is always a hard thing to find the right producer. It is a good thing, the more different he is from the band – if it just works – it is the better way. You got to understand, that this guy is going to bring something into this record we don’t know how to bring. He is gonna have a unique view, where he can see things differently. I don’t know, maybe it is a thing about growing up as well as a band, so we are confident enough to bring someone that different. Maybe a few years ago it would have been like really scary to have a pop producer. But now we know our music, we know what we like and are trying to find someone who has something interesting to say.