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thementors

Ladies and gentlemen, legendary the Mentors speak out!

For the beginning

If this interview could take place anywhere, anytime, where would we be doing this interview? What would be in your glass?

That is a great question! I am a student of history and so there are a lot of places and times from the past to choose from. I think doing the interview at a Roman orgy with Caligula with some nice wine in my glass would be a fun thing to do. Or at some location like the War room with Prime Mister Churchill during WWII with some brandy.

For those who for some odd reason don’t know about the Mentors, how would you describe the band? What are the Mentors all about?

The Mentors are a band that started in 1976 by myself (Steve Broy, aka Dr. Scum), El Duce (Eldon Hoke) and Sickie Wifebeater (Eric Carlson). We play heavy rock and roll with lyrics mostly about sex and other controversial topics. We started to do this when people sang about stupid things and also the music people played in many cases wasn’t that good also.

What do you think of heavy metal band nowadays?

Its is not as good as it was. There is too much de-tuning for my ears. The few good bands out there are old men. Music changes as time goes on and what sounds good to the young people does not sound good to the old people in most cases. I’m not young now, I am 56 years old and my taste is not what the kids listen to these days so much.

Who are the best and the worst put under that label and why?

The best heavy metal bands are Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Van Halen in my opinion. There have been many other good ones also besides these three. Kiss is a good band. As far as what is the worst heavy metal band, there are some ones not so good, but the worst heavy metal band is still far better than the best hip hop/rap act. So even bands I used to hate in the 80’s now I would listen to since there is nothing else right not. I never myself cared much for Twisted Sister or Def Leppard. However, I do not want to criticize any band, especially any rock band right now, because there are so few of them.

How you came up with the executioner hoods?

hoodsIt was the idea of our first drummer, El Duce, who liked horror movies, there was a movie called Mark of the Devil that he loved that showed men in hoods doing bad things. He thought this was great and wanted out band to wear hoods.

Have members of the KKK commented on your hoods at any time?

Yes, some Nazis and KKK people think we are with them because of this. Which we are not. The band is not a racist band and we have black and jewish friends. I don’t like racism I know some people who were big racists who grew out of it. Lets face it, the music we play came from black music, from black gospel church music. That is where rock and roll came from. So if you play rock music and you are a racist, you are maybe not knowledgeable.

What kind of ideas for live shows you’ve thought about that you haven’t manifested – maybe just yet?

Well, the budget for our shows is limited and so we do the best we can with no money. It would be nice to have sex on stage with some nice looking girls during a drum solo. Which has happened a few times.

How is the band politically inclined? Clearly, you are not conservatives and that you are politically incorrect in many people’s eyes. Do you vote? Who have you voted? What do you think of politics in general?

I can’t speak for the other members of the band; I don’t know what they think on this topic. Generally I am not with the conservatives since they usually don’t want people to have sex, watch porno, or smoke pot, plus they want to have wars. So I am for the political parties that are in favor of sex, drugs and not having war. I do vote and usually I would vote for the Democratic Party, which is left wing in USA. There is a philosophical difference between the right wing party and left wing, in which right wing claims they want to reduce taxes and government regulations. But the right wing party also wants people to go to jail for smoking pot and having sex, which I do not agree with. I do not like paying high taxes myself but I realize we have to pay something to the government.

I suppose you, as the kings of sleaze, watch porn. Favorite movies, magazines or actresses? Do you collect porn?

I like the Dirty Debutante series of porno movies by Ed Powers.

What are the best strip clubs around over there?

I am not so much into going to strip joints since the women try to strip the money from my wallet while they strip off their clothes. My wife used to be stripper though. I met her at the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood where El Duce worked as the light man and announcer. I like to watch nice ladies dance and strip to rock music but now they do not do that, it is rap music, and that is not good for me.

What are real men and women like?

To me real men and real women are people you can have an interesting conversation with. I like meeting people. When I was young I was very shy and would not talk to anybody but now I am very outgoing and friendly and enjoy people.

– – –

The El Duce years

elduceWhat was El Duce like? What he was like in person, in private?

El Duce was known to the public as a very funny and friendly person who like to drink alcohol. In private he struggled with being an alcoholic and tried to quit many times. Drinking too much is what led him to an early grave. He was a fantastic musician and loved to listen to music. He was somebody that had many friends, and was always fun to be around.

During the El Duce years the band appeared in the Jerry Springer Show and Hot Seat with Wally George. The interviews are now legendary. What happened outside of the camera? How were Jerry and now past George off the camera?

The Wally George interviews were fake, since Wally met with the band before the show and discussed with us what would be said once the show started. Wally was a very nice man. On camera he took on a different personality.

Can you tell us about some previously unheard stories about El Duce?

I’m saving the best ones for my book, a biography of El Duce, coming out in early 2015, called El Duce, The Truth is Funnier than Fiction.

In the mid 1990’s, El Duce claimed that Courtney Love had offered him $50,000 to kill her husband Kurt Cobain, whose death was ruled a suicide. What’s the truth behind all of this?

This is not true, it was a made up story to sell magazines. El Duce was paid to say this. But because Courtney love is so crazy, people think it is true. Even her own father used to call El Duce to discuss this with him.

How many replies you got to ”the dream date contest”? How people reacted to it?

Woman are dumb, but not that stupid. Nobody applied for this.

What is El Duce’s place in the history of rock ‘n’ roll?

You know, only the people in the future can say that. I think myself he did quite a bit to change the nature of lyrics use in rock music. We sang about topics that up until that time, nobody else would sing about. El Duce, myself and Sickie set our goal to become a great band, whose music would stand the test to time and outlive us all. Unfortunately when you set a goal like that, there is no way to know if you succeed or not.

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After El Duce

mentors2How the band has changed after El Duce passed away?

We have kept going and keep doing new music. There is a big change of course because El Duce is not writing most of the lyrics. His lyrics were very good and it is hard to write lyrics as good as he did.

PMRC and some others have expressed bad feelings about your lyrics over the years. What are the highlights of this kind of actions thus far? Was it reading of Golden showers on the congressional floor? Do people and organizations give this kind of critique mostly online or do they have courage also to give the feedback in person?

Oh, some people will tell us to our face we are terrible. But over the years, people has sort of have gotten used to us, and maybe we are not as shocking as we once were. We didn’t invent Golden Showers; people were doing this kind of thing before the Mentors.

You have released eight albums thus far. Which one you consider your best and why?

Well we have done 8 Mentors albums, plus I have done a number of solo albums and also albums with El Duce and myself. I love them all; it is really hard to pick a favorite one. Maybe my favorite is El Duce/Booze and Broads.

What does the Mentors backstage rider include?

Red Wine, Perrier Water, and pizza usually.

What kind of groupies do the Mentors get nowadays? What kind of women are the Mentors fans?

Well, I am married so I’m not doing the groupie thing, but we do have women fans who are very nice. Some of them want to have sex with the band for sure. I have found that smart nice women are Mentors Fans and they show good taste in men by wanting to have sex with Mentors. They might have sex with the other guys in the band.

The wildest live shows you have done thus far? What have happened?

We have been playing shows for close of 40 years, so many crazy things have happened. Sex on stage, sex backstage, people in the band passing out, vomiting and fighting with each other. People getting stabbed, and killed. Many horrible things and many nice things also.

– – –

The Future

dirtyrottenpervertsWhat kind of future plans does the band have? New album in making? Are you going to Europe at some point? Have you been asked to play here in Finland yet? What kind of thoughts Finland brings to your mind?

Well, I don’t know about the Mentors album. I would like to do that, we will see. I write songs all the time and record them and release them, whether it is with Mentors or my solo band. I will be releasing a new solo album very soon, called Dr. Heathen Scum/Going Off Half Cocked.

As far as Finland, yes we want to play there. Maybe our dream will come true to play Finland in 2015. For anybody that wants to talk to me about it, write me at sbroy@aol.com or our booking agent Keith at keith@shredheadinc.com

Have you ever heard of Pekka Siitoin, a past Finnish devil worshipping neo-nazi cult figure and the national king of sleaze who wanted to be the first Finnish person to have sex with an space alien woman, who claimed to have had sex with over 800 women, and who did have sex in front of his followers, who made first amateur porn movies in the country, who appeared in numerous Finnish men’s magazines over the years and who called himself ”rivologi” (that roughly translates into ”pervologist”)?

No I did not hear about this person. He sounds interesting. I will look into it.

If you could pick any artist or band to play with you, who would you like to warm up for your gig?

Well, normally I don’t watch the opening bands at our shows because I’m not so interested. I like many bands however, the great rock bands, Led Zep, Stones, Iggy and the Stooges, Slade, the list can go on forever. If I had to pick one quickly, I would say The Rolling Stones.

There are some documentaries about the band done. Which one of them is the best thus far? Are there new ones in making?

To be honest, I’m not aware of any full-length documentaries on our band. We are making one right now with a lady named April Jones. You can see a trailer for it on YouTube. Search The Mentors Rockumentary.

– – –

Mesikämmen thanks Dr. Scum of the Mentors for the interview!

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Related:

The Mentors in Facebook.

Mr. Wonderful.

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H.R. Giger. Kuva: Wikipedia.

H.R. Giger. Kuva: Wikipedia.

H.R. Giger on kuollut – kauan eläköön H.R. Giger!

Aiheen yhteydessä pitää suomalaisia muistuttaa siitä, että Helsingin Harakka-saarelta löytyy Gigerin ulkoilmapatsas Sabotage.

Patsas on sikäli harvinainen, että Gigerin ulkoilmapatsaita ei maailmassa liene kovin montaa, liekö Sveitsin ulkopuolella muualla kuin Harakan saarella?

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Sabotage. Harakan saari, Helsinki.

Patsaasta Sabotage-sivuilla:

“Give up your right to rule yourself to this society under the condition that it also gives up its right to rule over you.”

The word “sabotage” comes from the French word “sabot” and means “to trample with wooden shoes.” A sabot is a clog with a leather top. At the beginning of agricultural mechanization French farm workers threw their “sabotes” into harvesting and processing machines (which were taking their jobs), thereby blocking the complicated mechanics of the mowing and threshing machines and rendering them useless. For the sake of their labor, they engaged in “sabotage”.

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HR Giger ja Robert Jelinek. Kuva: Julie Monaco

SABOTAGE SCULPTURE. Executed by H.R. GIGER.

The State of Sabotage is manifested in a unique sculpture that serves as a monument to artistic vision, territorial free spaces and independencies.

Sabotage mastermind Robert Jelinek invited the Swiss visionary and artist H.R. Giger to design the sculpture. H.R. Giger’s sculpture model consists of a pair of shoes cast in an iron/copper form and welded to a metal base. The sculpture will be installed at the highest point of Harakka Island. Visitors to the island can step into the shoes and, by wearing them, comprehend the island as space and merge with the ground. The unveiling of the sculpture will be accompanied by a musical live act by Philipp Quehenberger. The sculpture will remain forever on Harakka Island.

Sabotagen sivuilta löytyy aiheesta lisää:

SoS – State of Sabotage.

August 30, 2003: State Proclamation on Harakka Island, Finland.

Birth, state declaration and unveiling of the “Sabotage” sculpture by H.R. Giger, Amorph! Festival, Finland.

On August 30, 2003 at 1:00 pm Finnish time, on the island of Harakka just off of Helsinki, SoS (the State of Sabotage) was called into existence before a large audience. ROBERT JELINEK and H.R. GIGER, together with “HUUTAJAT,” the Finnish 25-man screaming men’s choir, ceremonially inaugurated the state. Also on this occasion, the “SABOTAGE” sculptural monument, designed by the Swiss artist, “Alien” inventor, and one of the most important representatives of fantastic realism, was unveiled. H.R. Giger’s monument is his first public sculpture outside of Switzerland. The sculpture will remain forevermore on the highest point of Harakka Island and is publicly accessible. The Helsinki City Museum assumes care of the monument in the future.

The state declaration took place under the patronage of the following micronations: the PRINCIPALITY OF SEALAND, LADONIA, the NSK STATE, ELGALAND-VARGALAND and the TRANSNATIONAL REPUBLIC. Representatives of the micronations also signed an SoS state charter. PHILIPP QUEHENBERGER supplied musical accompaniment. To duly commemorate this historic event, the State of Sabotage declares the 30th of August its State holiday, to be celebrated annually.

Muutama kuva lisää Sabotagen paljastamistilaisuudesta:

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har_4There is hope and a kind of beauty in there somewhere, if you look for it. – H.R. Giger.

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ufoi

What a great weekend of noise, power electronics and industrial music in London! Meeting old and new friends, witnessing an absolutely fantastic two day event with lots of great acts at a very nice venue. Some notes of the weekend with pics below, sugarcoated with some one liners that I penned to my notebook during the trip.

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Thursday

I had early wake up after just three hours of sleep at 4 am. As I walked through Turku the city looked like a warzone after the 1st of May celebration. Broken bottles, broken places, vomit, shit and carbage everywhere. Some drunks were still alive and crawling the quiet streets. It was cold and snowing.

I met Pekka PT at the airport. Air Baltic took us to Riga where to our surprise we needed to spend some six hours instead of one to our connection flight to London. Coffee, bread, some chocolate, good talks. I did read Juha Jyrkäs’ Ouramoinen (Salakirjat, 2014) from cover to cover, some of the best lines of it out loud.

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Pekka PT reading a zionist rant.

Air Baltic seems to revel in Engrish. ”Exlusively on board” and ”for saftey reasons” made us smile. Some zionist had made hilarious ranting notes over an article about Israel into the airline magazine. We almost stereo-spanked an air hostess who kept on bending over next to us. She was clearly asking for it.

Gatwick express to Victoria. Lovely peaceful half an hour with a very British scenery, including the legendary Battersea powersation. After surviving some metro stations and a short walk we found our hostel and went to check the venue, the Apiary studios. Then it was time for some nourishment and we hit Raizes, a Brazilian restaurant. The place was so damn good it became our regular spot of gluttony for our whole stay.

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Members of Bizarre uproar, Sick seed, Halthan, Pogrom and Unclean met. Pogrom kindly gave us copies of Creation through destruction and The entrancing cage by Maxacan tactics. We walked back to our hostel in rain and hit our beds. There was some truly hellish noise outside but it didn’t disturb us a bit. We slept like dead soldiers of the second world war.

– – –

Friday

I wanted to visit the St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, church that was very close to our hostel. The place looked charmingly ramshackled from the outside and it was that also from the inside. We found impressive stocks and some pretty swastika-decoration. The place was empty, except for an army of spirits roaming around. I decided we needed to come back there on Sunday.

Swastika pattern at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch.

Swastika pattern at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch.

Shacks of St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch.

Shacks of St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch.

Meeting the very nice guys who arranged the event. Artists and other people arriving to the place. Soundchecks. Arrangements run smoothly, spirits high. It was clear that everything was done professionally. The venue was perfect with wonderful staff. The backstage was cozy and decorated with good taste. I think it is the coolest backstage I’ve seen in ages.

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The gig started in time, Am not as an opening act at 8 pm after Dj Andrew CPFA’s selected music. Am not (UK) blasted a great set with a thought provoking background video that dealt among other things with colonianism. Superb.

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Umpio (FIN) was the next to stand on the stage. Pentti whipped and beat the hell out of the metal junk he had collected for the set, with his trademark energy. Nice intense noise.

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Unclean (FIN) opened his power electronics set with some Finnish song, I don’t remember what, but it placed proper mood for the rest of the set. From the voice samples used I recognized Veli Saarikalle, a legendary past Finnish religious preacher, a hilarious raving lunatic. Other samples used dealth with religion, for what I remember. Proud, loud, well executed set with a nice finale of smashing the CD-player against the wall.

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Bizarre uproar (FIN) played in Helsinki just a week before this gig. If I’m correct, the set was the same including the famous masturbation/piss/shit/latex and high heels on a dead rat-video. The duo whipped more intense and electrifying set than that of Helsinki, which in itself was good. There was one confrontation between the bass player and a member of the audience who continually tried to grasp the artists instrument. One firm push from the pig-masked bassist gave a clear message and there was no more interference to his playing. The mastermind behind Bizarre uproar bombarded the audience with intense vocals like stukas in action in 1944. It was clear that the audience was happy with the result.

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I had heard lots of positive notes about Iron fist of the sun that played the next. Those notes were correct. The man, at times with headphones on his head, gave us a very delicate set with nice nyances and brilliant sounds, superbly structured together. This was definitely one of the sets that I enjoyed the most this evening.

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Dj Codex Europe closed the evening musically.

Umpio chilling out at the backstage.

Umpio chilling out at the back stage.

The Finns returned to their hostel, carrying one heavily chemically wounded comrade the whole way. The spirit of the Winter war lives, no comrade was left on the battle field.

– – –

Saturday

The day started with traditional English breakfast in the great company of Bizarre uproar, Sick seed, Shift and Iron fist of the sun.

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SSRI (FIN) opened Saturday at 3 pm. Regardless of the early starting time there were lots of people present, the place was certainly not empty. As Mika of Unclean said, Pekka PT is a ”mad genius” and this is true and it certainly was evident, again. There was Aleister Crowley’s speaking in the spoken samples. At the end of the set it looked like there was some technical trouble in the set, but there was not. The whole final part with the c-tape player, ending in smashing it, was all purposeful.

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A reliable source told Mesikämmen that this was the last gig of SSRI and that the whole project is finished, except for already agreed publications and such.

It must also be noted that Pekka was like Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove during the event – he played in three different acts: Bizarre uproar, SSRI and Sick Seed. I am not surprised if there were people in the audience who did not recognize all of these roles instantly. I certainly did not figure out that Sellers played three roles in the movie when I saw it the first time.

Mollusk King (UK) smashed a traffic sign with sticks and gave his clearly own kind of addition to the evening. I might be wrong and I probably am, but my first impression was that this is a guy with a background in gothic scene who has started to do power electronics.

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Shift (UK) marched to the stage at 4.30 pm. Two guys in commando beanies, military camouflage, project badges in their uniform. This was some tight stuff. It was technically well executed, provocative with middle fingers and a march into the middle of the audience. It was evident that Shift was much appreciated by the crowd, and with a good reason.

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After Shift there was a break. Dj. Andrew CPFA continued the program at 7 pm. Halthan (FIN) started his set a bit after 8 pm.

”Join Halthan jugend now” projected on the wall before the gig begun gave a certain impression to everyone present. What the audience got once the set began was a tsunami of nihilism and misanthrophy. Basse offered the audience a bottle of Finnish Salmiakki-Koskenkorva booze as a sort of communion. Quotes from Pentti Linkola were seen projected on the wall as well as some provocative pictures of Pekka Eric-Auvinen and his manifesto. Basse weared a Pekka Siitoin Kiitos-t-shirt, manifesting a sort of an egregore of many Finns in the genre. Mesikämmen approves.

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There certainly was a sense of danger in this set. I was forewarned to not be in the front row if I wanted to avoid Salmiakki-Koskenkorva being spitted on me or getting into a confrontation. I decided to take a safe position to witness it all. Niko of the Obscurex label was more brave and got duly attacked during the gig by Halthan. I later heard it was not the first time Halthan attacked him live. Damn, Basse, the next time confront a guy who is bigger than you! Anyway, maybe there is a reason why Halthan has been called the G.G. Allin of the genre. I certainly wish the man a smoother life than what Jesus Christ Allin had.

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There was a ”secret act” in the program starting at 8.50 pm. That was Pogrom (LIT). He gave us an awesome gig with an awesome background video that consistend of three parts. All of them were titled ”Solace” of different kinds. Part two was Solace of madness, part three solace of suicide. The first part’s name escapes my memory. I visually liked especially the second part with its abstact description of madness. This was a very nice set from Pogrom on many levels.

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Human larvae (GER) walked on the stage next. The long haired Teuton gave some hard threatment to a piece of aluminium and all in all gave the audience an awesome experience.

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Stab electronics (UK) started with some very strong visuals about open bodies. The power electronics bombarded to the audience matched the imagery perfectly. At that point my camera’s battery died and I went to backstage. What I heard from the rest of Stab electronics from others, it was great.

Sick seed (FIN) closed the event. As it has been clear from Sick seed’s latest gigs the project has traveled into some new areas, quite different from earlier Sick seed material. This was industrial with a twist.

A reliable source told Mesikämmen that there was a meditation and some sort of a ritual done at a quiet backstage before the gig. Instant comments after the gig from Pena of Umpio were ”weird!” and ”white boys funk!”. Maybe he has a point. There were some new tracks in the set and two covers: And the snow fell and Mutiny in heaven.

In addition to the live acts there was a large room with art videos projected on the wall, distro tables from Filth and Violence, Unrest productions and Cold spring. Lots of good stuff that made me wish my budget and luggage was bigger. Unrest productions did sell a limited edition compilation tape Hatred is nothing without action which features all the artist who were on the event’s bill. There might still be some copies of the tape left if you are interested.

During the two day event there was enthusiastic audience at least from the UK, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, Norway, Holland, Bulgaria, Sweden and Italy. The artists were brilliant, the event was professionally arranged by Filth & violence and Unrest productions, the venue was perfect. The place was packed and it can be said that it was a huge success in many ways.

– – –

Sunday

We hadn’t had the traditional British fish and chips with Pekka PT yet, so that was in our ”must to do”-list. Before of that we went to St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, church that we visited on Friday. The priest noted us in the opening of his sermon. I liked that. The next thing I’m going to say is that the past genius, Wesley Willis, made a great track called They threw me out of church.

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Fish and chips, we got it. And we got lots more. This was a great weekend.

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– – –

Overheard during the weekend

These one liners are mostly in Finnish as they were verbally shot during the weekend. Collected by yours truly.

Missään ei oo niin hyvää uusnatsiskeneä kuin Suomessa.

(On a phone) You come and have sex with us. We are in the London. (The other person hangs up) homoloordi…

Mä oon aina halunnut olla sun päällä.

Suurin osa mun vaatteista on Thor Stenoria tai jotain muita natsimerkkejä.

Mä yritin saada vähän rakkautta mut ei… mies käänty.

Nyt panettaa. Ei voi mitään. Joku vois auttaa.

Mä näin Carbagen keikalla ja yritin vetää käteen, mut olin niin kännissä, ettei seissy.

N: Ootteko kuullu Lykke Li:tä? Y: Mimmosta se on, vähän samanlaista kuin Jenni Vartiainen? N: Semmosta eteeristä. Y: Hyi vittu.

Täällä on vanhoja hikisiä miehiä. No bitches.

N: Hailasitteks te? Y: Ei. N: Jos on mahdollisuus hailata eikä hailaa, on ämmä tai homo.

(Siivoojasta) Kiva tehdä duunii kun kuus äijää tuijottaa.

I passed out. Which is nothing new.

Me ollaan Lontoossa. Missäs muualla me oltais? Himassa vetämässä käteen.

Kliinasin prince albertin ihan kunnolla ihan tätä reissuu varten. Ihan turhaan.

N: Jätkä kaivaa munia koko ajan. Y: No kun mulla on tää herpes.

N: Kattokaa, natsi. Y: Eiks täs oo aika monta?

Genitaaliherpes. Sä et voi panna enää ketään.

Genitaaliherpes. Tietsä mul ei oo yhtään sympatiaa sua kohtaan.

Ei tää yhteiskunta pyöri silleen et mä kannan sun kassuja.

Mä en oo saanu pillua moneen kuukauteen.

I’m not like you. You collect veneral diseases.

Haluuksä koskee mun munaa?

I’m a fucking working class hero.

I need bestiality.

Cocaine buffet and black prostitutes.

Mä yritin vetää käteen siinä edessä (Bizarre Uproarin keikan aikana) muttei ottanut eteen kun olin niin kännissä.

Mun aivot lilluu läskissä.

Pekka tuo erektiovarmuuden.

Me ollaan kaikkein saastaisimpia, alhaisimmista alhaisimpia.

Vitun pullee jätkä jolla on himonussijan viikset.

Homostelua. Jos ei kaupan laitteet kelpaa, ei tarvii soittaa.

(Soundchekissä) Tuntui hyvältä. Tuntuks susta kans?

Thaimaassa on paljon paremman näkösiä lady-poikia.

(Jättää lautaselle ruokaa) N: Ajattele kehitysmaan lapsia. Y: Nimen omaan.

Nyt on asiat huonosti kun nekrutkin vittuilee.

Tämmösen vuoteen kun sais mikitettyä.

(Anglikaanikirkossa muita paikalla olijoita kommentoiden) Jumala tarvitsee mustiakin enkeleitä.

N: Tän kebab-paikan hygienia-rating on 5/5. Y: Ite printattu.

 

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nalle1Mesikämmen lähestyi turkulaistunutta Nalle Östermania tukulla kysymyksiä. Nalle vastaili. Tästä haastattelusta löydät vastauksen mm. siihen, mistä provokatiivisen musiikkitoimittajan mielestä rockissa viime kädessä on kyse, mikä Nallea inspiroi kirjoittamaan, mitä Nalle tuumaa Pekka Siitoimesta ja mikä Nallen mielestä  suomalaisessa musiikkibisneksessä mättää. Nalle Österman puhuu!

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Pohjustusta

Jos tämä haastattelu voisi tapahtua missä ja koska tahansa, menneisyydessä, nykyisyydessä tai tulevaisuudessa, oikeassa tai kuvitteellisessa maailmassa, missä tämä haastattelu tehtäisiin?

Sanoisin, että olen sen verran tyytyväinen elämään Turussa tällä hetkellä, että en tahtoisi olla missään muualla. Olisiko tätä haastattelua tällöin edes tehty? Toki voisi olla mukavaa makoilla aurinkorannalla vaikkapa Havaijilla jääkylmä mansikkamargarita kädessä, mutta kauneutta löytyy äärettömästi myös Aurajoen varrelta.

Kuka olet ja mitä teet? Mitä kuuluu?

Ainakin olen ylioppilas sekä Suomen arvostelijain liiton jäsen. Journalistiliitosta sain lähtöpassit maksamattomien jäsenmaksujen seurauksena. Jotenkin tuntui vaan turhalta maksaa jäsenmaksuja hampaattomille edunvalvontajärjestöille. Joten en maksanut.

Musiikkijuttuja olen tehnyt noin 25 vuotta erilaisiin suomalaisiin lehtiin, kuten Rumba, Soundi, Suosikki, Tuhma, Johnny Kniga, Hymy, HBL, Suomi Finland Perkele ja Turkulainen, viimeiset 3-4 vuotta aika lailla päätoimisesti.

Hyvää kuuluu noin muuten. Hieman väsymys tosin painaa, koska tulin viettäneeksi viime viikon pitkälti Helsingissä Rock The Beach -festarin takia.

Mitä sinulla on tällä hetkellä päälläsi?

Harmaa Sodom-yhtyeen t-paita, siniset farkut joiden alla turkoosit, mustilla tähdillä varustetut bokserit, jaloissa mustat tennissukat.

Oletko ateisti, agnostikko vai jonkin sortin uskovainen?

Joskus nuorempana ajattelin olevani agnostikko, nykyään uskon sattuman, kohtalon ja henkisen tasapainon muodostamaan pyhään kolminaisuuteen sekä intuition johdatukseen.

Ketä äänestit viime vaaleissa?

Hmm, mitkä vaalit olivat viimeksi? Juu, Turun kunnallisvaaleissa äänestin Li Anderssonia, koska koin eniten sielujen sympatiaa hänen ajatustensa kanssa. Niin taisi kokea muutama muukin, sillä hänestähän tuli Turun seudun äänikuningatar.

Presidentinvaaleissa äänestin ensimmäisellä kierroksella Paavo Arhinmäkeä, toisella kierroksella “vihreää homoa” (lainaus Teemu Bergmanin Pää Kii -yhtyeen kappaleesta Ees jotain positiivist), koska Kokoomusta en ole koskaan äänestänyt enkä äänestä.

Paljonko sinulle on kertynyt levyjä, kasetteja, yms. tallenteita kokoelmiisi?

Hankala sanoa, sillä minulla ei ole koskaan ollut tapana pitää tarkkaa kirjaa ja luetteloida asioita, se olkoon historioitsijoiden tehtävä. Arviolta 1000 vinyyliä, 1000 c-kasettia ja 4-5000 cd-levyä lienee aika lähellä totuutta.

Jos sinun olisi pakko luopua tuosta kokoelmastasi, mutta saisit kuitenkin jättää itsellesi 10 levyä tms. tallennetta, mitä nuo tallenteet olisivat?

Aaa, listaustopikki. Kyllä minä voisin tuosta kokoelmasta luopua sopivaan hintaan, en ole materialisti. Pikemminkin olen laiska, sillä en jaksa enkä halua luetteloida ja laittaa äänitteitä jonnekin myyntiin. Ja verkostahan suuri osa noista äänitteistä löytyy helposti erilaisista musiikkipalveluista.

Mutta koska olisin tylsä ihminen, mikäli jättäisin vastaukseni tällaiseksi, täytynee minun keksiä 10 sellaista levyä, jotka voisin pakata selkäreppuun. Lista tuskin on tällainen, mikäli se tapahtuisi reaalitodellisuudessa, mutta jotain osviittaa se saattaa antaa.

1) Slayer: Reign In Blood
2) Steen1: Salaliittoteoria
3) Problems?: Suora lähetys
4) Pää Kii: Pää Kii
5) Dingo: Parhaat
6) Andy McCoy: Building on Tradition
7) Riistetyt: HC Revival
8) Hortto Kaalo: 20 Suosikkia
9) Carnage: Dark Recollections
10) Misfits: Misfits (kokoelma)
11) The Fishfaces: Lovesongs for Hyenas
12) Venom: Welcome to Hell / Black Metal / At War With Satan

Oho, katsohan, näitä nimikkeitä tulikin 14! Menköön, tapoihini ei kuulu kunnioittaa sääntöjä.

Mistä rockissa on viimekädessä oikein kyse?

Asenteesta, intohimosta, kapinoinnista, rajojen rikkomisesta, fiiliksistä ja ennen kaikkea hyvästä musiikista.

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Kirjoittaminen

Olet vuosien varsilla kirjoittanut paljon ja moniin eri julkaisuihin. Mistä toimittajan urasi alkoi? Mistä syntyi kipinä juttujen kirjoittamiseen? Mikä oli ensimmäinen tekemäsi juttu? Entä viimeisin?

Lähtökohtaisesti sanoisin, että intohimosta musiikkiin. Pikkulapselle musiikki oli siisteintä ikinä. Näin ja koin häivähdyksen tuosta samasta tunteesta toukokuussa Kööpenhaminan Tivolissa sijaitsevassa Hercegovina-ravintolassa, missä pieni tyttölapsi alkoi riemuiten taputtaa käsillään ja pomppia tasajalkaa, kun ravintolan mustalaisorkesteri alkoi soittaa tiputanssia tytölle ja hänen perheelleen. Tunnistin siinä itseni.

En koskaan tietoisesti suunnitellut mitään musiikkitoimittajan uraa, se vain tapahtui. Koska tykkäsin pikkupoikana musiikista, janosin sitä aina vain enemmän. Ja koska diggailuni alkoi suuntautua metallimusiikkiin (syytän siitä isääni, joka oli ostanut kotiimme Black Sabbathin Sabotage-levyn “tutkimusmielessä”), aloin osallistua Helsingin Radio Cityssä pyörivän Hevitaivas-ohjelman kilpailuihin, missä palkintoina oli useimmiten äänilevyjä, asusteita ja konserttilippuja. Ilmeisesti osallistujien joukko ei ollut kovinkaan kummoinen, sillä tunnuin voittavan miltei joka kerta.

Tätä kautta tutustuin ohjelmaa juontaneeseen Rumba-lehden avustajaan Zeus Mattilaan noin 13-14 -vuotiaana. Kerran kysäisin sitten ohimennen Zeulta, onko hän kenties menossa eräälle keikalle Käpylän Vuoritaloon katsomaan bändejä. Esiintyjinä oli tuolloin muistaakseni ainakin Protected Illusion, Metallic Toaster ja Terrific Verdict. Kun hän vastasi kieltävästi ehdotin, että voisin itse kirjoittaa arvion. Tässä sitä ollaan.

Viimeisimmät jutut ovat olleet reportaasit Ruotsin Malmössä järjestetyistä Euroviisuista Lehtiyhtymän lehtiin (mm. Turkulainen) ja verkkosivustoille. Tosin tämän kirjoitettuani olen kirjoittanut haastattelut muun muassa Hannu Leidenistä, Saija Tuupasesta, Ismo Alangosta, Kari Peitsamosta, Timo Tolkista, Xysman Jani Muurisesta sekä moottorisahajonglööri Juha Kurvisesta.

Mihin lehtiin tai mille foorumeille kirjoitat nykyään juttuja?

Suosikin verkkosivut olivat pitkään paras työnantajani, mutta lehden ajauduttua manan majoille lakkautettiin verkkosivutkin. Onneksi Turkulainen-lehti otti yhteyttä ja tarjosi koeluontoisesti kirjoitushommia. Toistaiseksi kyseessä on vasta kahden kuukauden määräaikainen pesti, mutta toivon sen jatkuvan, sillä tykkään kirjoittaa 5-100 -vuotiaalle lukijakunnalle – olivathan ensimmäiset itse lukemani sanat peräisin ilmaisjakelulehdestä 5-vuotiaana! Hartain haaveeni on, että joku kirjoittamani juttu opettaa jonkun pikkulapsen jossakin lukemaan.

Äsken kirjoitin ensimmäisen juttuni Alibiin – 25 vuotta ensimmäisen lehtijuttuni jälkeen – joka on luonnollisesti aika kova juttu. Suomalaisiin musiikkilehtiin olen viime aikoina kirjoittanut vähemmän, sillä ne eivät oikein tarjoa enää haasteita. Sitä paitsi parempia suomalaisia musiikkijuttuja lukee nykyään naistenlehdistä, Imagesta – tai Alibista. Ja blogeista.

Foorumeille en juurikaan enää kirjoita, Facebook ajaa saman asian paremmin. Twitterin koen sekavaksi.

Miksi kirjoitat? Mitkä asiat inspiroivat sinua kirjoittamaan? Miten syntyy hyvä juttu? Entä huono?

Kun aloitin naivistisena nuorukaisena, oli johtotähtenäni tiedonvälitys. Kukaan muu ei tuntunut tuolloin kirjoittavan tai ymmärtävän death metallista tai grind coresta mitään, ainakaan “valtavirtamusamedioissa”. Ainakaan Zeus Mattila. Sitten pieneen poikaan, ainoaan lapseen iski angsti ja ahdistus, kun nimimerkkien suojista alettiin kirjoittaa Rumban kirjeosastolle pilkkakirjeitä.

Kun vielä television sketsiohjelma vielä teki pitkätukkaisesta hevihönöstä karikatyyrin, varustaen tyypin mukaelmalla sukunimestäni, katkesi kamelin selkä. Elämässäni on noilta ajoilta n. 1½ vuoden mittainen aukko, jolta en muista mitään. Suljin itseni ja mieleni 17-19 -vuotiaana. Kai sitä voi masennukseksikin kutsua. Ei silloin mitään diagnooseja kuitenkaan annettu.

Monta vuotta ainoa turvani ja henkireikäni oli alkoholi ja humala. Se oli ainoa tunne, mikä vuosien ajan teki elämästä elämisen arvoista, kun muut naureskelivat ja potkivat päähän. Lohtua yksinäisyyteen. Rohkeutta elää ja olla. Siltä se ainakin tuntui, kun vanhemmilta ei saanut tukea eikä ollut siskoja tai veljiä. Ilman viinaa olisin varmasti tappanut itseni. Vuosien ajan viina oli paras ystäväni. Onneksi ei enää.

Nyt vastasin johonkin ihan muuhun kuin kysymykseesi. Mitkä inspiroivat? Viina. Elämänkokemukset. Kriisit. Vitutus. Tunteet. Rakkaus. Omistautuminen. Henkiset ja hengelliset tutkimukset. Naiset. Uhkapelit. Hevoset. Elokuvat. Autot. Uskonnot. Laulut. Jukeboksit. Julkiset liikennevälineet. Nykyään käytän kirjoittamista terapiamuotona, jottei minun tarvitsisi enää kokea menneisyyden traumoja enää uudelleen.

Hyvä juttu syntyy repimällä itsensä vereslihalle ja olemalla rehellinen. Huono juttu syntyy ilman intohimoa.

Jos sinun pitäisi valita kolme parasta yksittäistä koskaan kirjoittamaasi juttua, mitkä ne olisivat?

Lukijat valitsevat, en minä. Haluan ajatella, että parhaat jutut ovat vasta edessä. Kerro sinä!

Ketkä ovat mielestäsi nykyään Suomen parhaimmat toimittajat tai kirjailijat?

Aloin tehdä tähän jo listaa kunnes päätin jättää kommentoimatta. Mielestäni aika monille luovan työn tekijälle tulee urallaan kausia, jolloin he joko ylittävät tai alittavat itsensä, niin myös minulle. Siksi on väärin lähteä nimeämään henkilöitä ja heidän saavutuksiaan. Niitä aletaan kuitenkin tutkia kunnolla vasta heidän kuolemansa jälkeen – kuten sinäkin hyvin Mesikämmen-blogin ylläpitäjänä tiedät.

Kirjoitat ihmisiä mielistelemättä. Tämä luonnollisesti ihastuttaa ja vihastuttaa. Kerran eräs rock-muusikko jopa pahoinpiteli sinut tekstisi takia. Mistä ihmisten negatiiviset reaktiot teksteisihisi kertovat? Nuoleeko keskiverto kotimainen rock-journalismi artistien tai kustantajien persettä?

Mitä tulee tuohon pahoinpitelyyn, niin mielestäni se kertoo enemmän kyseisen henkilön luonteesta kuin kirjoituksistani. Juuri luin muuten lehdestä, että häntä epäillään jälleen vastaavanlaisesta teosta. No, siinä tulee sitten harrastukselle hintaa ainakin, kun joutuu maksamaan tuhansia euroja väkivallanhimostaan, pilaten samalla kaverisuhteet.

Suomalainen rockjournalismi on vuonna 2013 suurimmaksi osaksi täyttä paskaa. Ei siis ihme, jos ja kun lehdet menettävät lukijoitaan. Välillä löytää yksittäisiä valopilkkuja, mutta enemmän hyvin toimitettuja suomalaisia musiikkijuttuja löytää todellakin naistenlehdistä tai Imagesta. Se ei ole pelkästään tylsää, se on huolestuttavaa. Ja tämä on taas seurausta siitä, kun ollaan liian läheisissä väleissä, eikä uskalleta. Lopputuloksena haaleaa muniinpuhaltelua, joka saa lukijat siirtymään mielenkiintoisempiin aiheisiin. Asenteesta, intohimosta, kapinoinnista, rajojen rikkomisesta, fiiliksistä ja ennen kaikkea hyvästä musiikista on myös hyvä rockjournalismi tehty!

Sain äskettäin kuulla, että eräs tuttu kirjoittaja oli pahoinpidelty erään metallitähden toimesta sen vuoksi, koska oli kirjoittanut kriittisen keikka-arvostelun artistin päihtyneestä esiintymisestä. Jos omista ala-arvoisisista esiintymisistä seuranneita arvosteluja aletaan parempien esiintymisten sijasta korvata väkivallalla kriitikoita kohtaan, kannattaa varmaankin katsoa peiliin. Mitä nämä sekakäyttäjät eivät tietystikään tee.

Entä millaista saamasi positiivinen palaute on? Jos rockmuusikot ovat tulleet sinua kännissä lyömään, niin tulevatko toiset myös halailemaan?

Kun palasin kirjoittamiseni alkulähteille, eli rehelliseen tiedonvälittämiseen, olen saanut suurimmaksi osaksi parasta mahdollista palautetta – eli vilpittömiä kiitoksia lukijoilta. Välillä myös ilmaista viinaa. On mukavaa, kun voi katsoa itseään peiliin. Kun olin levy-yhtiöitä nuoleskeleva ihmisraunio, en voinut. Paradoksaalisesti se oli aikaa, jolloin bisnes taputti. Fuck that. Olen mieluummin ihminen kuin sätkynukke.

2010-luvulla olen saanut enemmän positiivista palautetta lukijoilta kun 20 aiempana vuotena yhteensä. Kai se kertoo jostakin.

Olet tavannut toimittajan urasi aikana paljon ihmisiä. Ketkä ovat olleet hyvässä tai pahassa mieleenjääneimmät kotimaiset ja ulkomaiset artistit joita olet haastatellut tai joihin olet muuten törmännyt? Ketä sellaista henkilöä haluaisit haastatella, jota et ole vielä tavannut tai haastatellut?

Kuulostat ihan Anna-Kaisa Hermuselta, kun menin sössöttämään hänelle Cafe Romassa Helsingin Kalevankadulla n. 17 vuotta sitten. “Kuten tiedät, olen elämäni aikana tavannut toimittajan urani aikana paljon ihmisiä, hyvin harva on tehnyt minuun vaikutuksen. Mutta sinä, Nalle, sinä olet tehnyt.” Seuraavaksi tunsin Anna-Kaisan kielen kiemurtelevan suussani.

Kuten mitkä tahansa läheiset lapset, en oikein halua laittaa juttujani tai haastateltaviani paremmuusjärjestykseen. Sellainen fiilis tulee, kun joutuu miettimään mitalisijoja. Koska olisin ankea jätkä, jos jättäisin vastaamisen tähän, heitän muutaman nimen:

1) Jussi Hakulinen. Ensikohtaaminen oli ikimuistoinen: Jussi myöhästyi junasta ja oli kuusi tuntia myöhässä. Parempi niin. Säntillisesti laadittu haastatteluaikataulu heitti häränpyllyä ja tilanne muuttui. Istahdimme juttelemaan kuuden jälkeen Hotelli Pasilaan ja löysimme itsemme Bar Loosesta valomerkin aikaan puoli neljältä aamuyöstä. Jussin viimeiset sanat taksimatkan aikana olivat: “Jos mä en ehdi tai jaksa tehdä elämäkertaani, voisitsä tehdä sen?”

2) Andy McCoy. Aina yhtä arvaamaton Andy on kiehtova ja välillä pelottavakin persoona. Yllätyksiä ja tarinoita täynnä oleva mestari, joka palkitsee parhaimmillaan lyömättömillä legendoilla.

3) Ozzy Osbourne. Ensi kertaa päädyin juttuetäisyydelle Ozzyn kanssa 15-vuotiaana Helsingin Inter-Continental -hotellissa järjestetyssä lehdistötilaisuudessa. Ozzy oli selvästi sekaisin, vaikka oli pari viikkoa aiemmin Okej-lehdestä lukemani haastattelun perusteella raitistunut. Toinen Ozzy-haastis Tukholmassa Ozzmosis-levyn aikaan 1990-luvulla sujui jo paremmin: kun taaempana istunut norjalainen kyseli Ozzyn sota-aiheisista lauluista kuten War Pigs, päätimme valokuvaajamme Jussi “Lord” Heikkisen kanssa korkata kaljat. Ozzy ymmärsi heti, mistä oli kyse. Tämän jälkeen hän vastasi 15-20 hengen lehdistötilaisuudessa vain minun ja Lordin kysymyksiin.

Ikimuistoisia haastateltavia on ollut vuosien mittaan niin paljon, että olisi ikävä jättää listaus tähän. Hienoja juttutuokioita on ollut muun muassa Pate Mustajärven, Rane Raitsikan, Olli Lindholmin, Pertti Neumannin, Jenni Vartiaisen, Kauko Röyhkän, Pate Mustajärven, Rammsteinin, Steen1:n, Tompa Lindbergin, Nicke Anderssonin, Timo Tolkin, Anssi Kelan, Kerry Kingin, Kirk Hammetin, Dee Sniderin, Jani Lanen, Paradise Lostin Gregor Mackintoshin, Wildheartsin Gingerin, Trey Azagthothin, Lehtivihreät-yhtyeen, Vesku Jokisen, Maija Moision, Tauskin, Joel Hallikaisen, Martina Aitolehden ja Niklas Kvarforthin kanssa.

Kuka on tällä hetkellä Suomen turhin julkkis? Entä aliarvostetuin? Valovoimaisin?

En tiedä, onko turhia julkkiksia olemassakaan, kaikki täyttävät tavalla tai toisella jonkun tyhjiön. Otetaan esimerkiksi vaikka Tuksu, jonka oletetaan turhan julkkiksen kriteerit täydellisesti. Vaan jos Tuksu olisi turha, ei kukaan häntä seuraisi eikä hänen keikoillaan käytäisi. Aliarvostettu julkkis taas on mielestäni sellainen, joka ei saa riittävästi julkisuutta vaikka ansaitsisi. Mutta onko tuolloin kyse julkkiksesta laisinkaan? Valovoimaisimmaksi täytynee kutsua sellaista, joka saa eniten julkisuutta osakseen tietyssä ajassa. Näkyvyyden perusteella Suomen valovoimaisimmat julkkikset ovat Johanna “Tuksu” Tukiainen ja Tauno “Tauski” Peltonen. Eikä siinä mitään, kertoohan se jotakin myös meistä suomalaisista ja maamme julkkiskulttuurista.

Like julkaisi 2011 kirjasi Härmägeddon: Vuoteni suomirockissa. Onko sille tulossa jatkoa tai onko sinulla nykyään muita kirjasuunnitelmia?

Olen oppinut sen, että elämäni ei koskaan toteudu suunnitelmieni mukaan. Siksi olen lakannut suunnittelemasta mitään. Mahdollisesti uusia kirjoja ei tule, sillä minulla ei ole varaa kirjoittaa sellaisia. Kun kirjoitin tekstejä Rumba-lehden blogiin – mistä syntyi Härmägeddön – oli tililläni 17 000 euroa, millä olin ajatellut juoda itseni hengiltä. Näin ei tapahtunut, vaan syntyi kirja. Enää ei ole niitä rahoja. Kun olen yrittänyt kirjoittaa kirjaa, tuli ahdistusta ja masennusta. Näin ollen en jaksa vaivata päätäni tällaisilla asioilla enää. Aika näyttäköön. Jos taloudelliset resurssit antavat myöten, niin sitten. Tällaisia olosuhteita ei kuitenkaan näy tällä hetkellä valitettavasti näköpiirissä – ainakaan apurahojen muodossa. Taloudellisessa epävarmuudessa ei synny vapautunutta tekstiä.

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Soittaminen

Kirjoittamisen lisäksi olet ansioitunut myös muusikkona. Kirjoitit hiljakkoin suurta kohua herättäneen tekstin ”bänditouhut on ihan perseestä”. Sen perusteella et ole ryhtymässä bänditouhuihin uudelleen ainakana aivan heti – onko näin?

Tuo blogikirjoitus oli eräänlainen testi ja kokeilu aiheesta, jota olin ja olen joskus pyöritellyt. Voin todeta, että tuo kirjoitus onnistui siinä suhteessa loistavasti. Ajatus siinä oli, että kun haastatteluissa, artikkeleissa ja elämäkerroissa pyritään usein näyttämään asioita positiivisessa valossa. Päätin tarkastella bänditoimintaa vaihteeksi toisenlaisesta näkökulmasta.

Voivathan musiikkihommat olla ihan mukaviakin, tuon kirjoituksen myötä toin vain toisenlaisen näkökulman esille. Ilmeisesti en olisi saanut kirjoittaa niin. Tulee mieleen uskovaiset, joiden mielestä Jeesusta ja Jumalaa ei sovi häpäistä. Joillekin bändihommat sopivat varmasti, minulle ei. Turhaa haaskata aikaa sellaiseen, joka aiheuttaa angstia, vitutusta, ahdistusta ja masennusta. Minulla oli helvetin hauskaa noita kirjoituksia rustaillessani.

Yllättikö edellämainitun bänditouhu-tekstin saama vastaanotto? Mistä jutun saamat reaktiot kertoivat?

En minä tiedä, mistä reaktiot kertovat. Pitäisi kysyä niiltä, jotka reagoivat. Mikä vituttaa? Rehellisyys? Vilpittömyys? Todellisuus? Yö-yhtyeen Olli Lindholm on yhtyeensä verkkosivujen vieraskirjassa todennut hänen äitinsä joskus opettaneen Pikku-Ollille, että “totuudenpuhujalle ei löydy yösijaa”. Itse taas en arvosta teeskentelyä ja valehtelua. Minun äitini taasen opetti minulle, että “rehellisyys maan perii”.

Jos kuitenkin päätyisit bändiin, niin millaisesta musiikista olisi kyse?

Eräänä heikkona hetkenä suunnittelin bändiä, jossa yhdistyisi muun muassa Laibach, Doors, Primal Scream, Joy Division ja LCD Soundsystem – joitakin nimiä pudottaakseni – kunnes päätin hylätä ajatuksen. Tiedän liian hyvin, mitä siitä seuraisi. Mutta jos joku on niin mielenvikainen, että haluaa buukata jonkun bändini joskus jonnekin keikalle, olen luonnollisesti käytettävissä. Tuolloin järjestäjä saa vain varautua pulittamaan kuusinumeroisen summan euroina keikkapalkkiona. Sillä rahalla voisi kirjoittaa muutaman kirjan. Mielummin istun kotona kaivamassa napaa tai rapsuttamassa koiraani kuin kärsimässä keikkareissulla ilman kunnollista korvausta. Se maailma on jo nähty.

Missä bändissä jossa olet vaikuttanut on meininki ollut vähiten perseestä?

Kaikissa bändeissä on ollut hyviä ja huonoja hetkiä. Yleensä hyviä hetkiä on ollut enemmän sellaisissa, mitä vähemmän aikaa ne ovat olleet kasassa. Siksi ymmärrän Teemu Bergmania, Ismo Alankoa, Dave Lindholmia ja Kari Peitsamoa, jotka hajoittavat bändinsä tasaisin väliajoin.

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Musiikkiteollisuus

Olet kirjoittanut varsin kriittisesti suomalaisesta musiikkiteollisuudesta. Mikä suomalaisessa musiikkiteollisuudessa nykyään mättää ja miksi? Ketkä tilanteeseen ovat pääsyylliset? Mikä tilanteeseen olisi ratkaisuksi?

Luultavasti musiikkiteollisuus on aina toiminut samalla tavalla. Sen ymmärtäminen – valaistuminen – muutti kuitenkin suhtautumistani vallitsevaan todellisuuteen. Tajuntani laajeni ja ymmärsin, miksi musiikkiteollisuuden tekopyhän ja kaksinaamaisen luonteen. Musiikkibisneksessä on hirveästi kirjoittamattomia lakeja ja sääntöjä, joita ei sovi rikkoa, mikäli haluaa pysyä “inessä skenessä”. Taas rock ja punk ovat aina kehottaneet rajojen rikkomiseen. Härmägeddön oli seurausta turhautumisesta musiikkibisnekseen ja kirjoittamisen ilon löytymisestä uudelleen.

Jos nyt ajatellaan lyhyesti, mikä Nalle Östermanin mielestä mättää suomalaisessa musiikkiteollisuudessa, niin esimerkiksi seuraavat: 1) formaattiradioiden tiettyjen laulujen voimasoitto, 2) samalla (hitti)kaavalla sävelletyt tyhjänpäiväiset laulut, 3) massojen manipulaatio (tv-ohjelmat, joissa vain majoreiden (Sony, Warner, EMI, Universal) esiintyjiä), 4) johtavien festivaalien yksipuolinen ohjelmisto, 5) rohkeuden puute suomalaisessa musiikkilehdistössä, 6) musiikin riskittömyys, 7) tuotteistaminen, 8) ylenpalttinen hypetys tyhjästä, 9) levy-yhtiöiden rohkeuden puute, 10) kaavoihin kangistuminen.

Hymyssä minulla oli vajaan kahden vuoden ajan oma musapalsta – Pop Korni – jonne haastattelin vajaat 100 kotimaista artistia. Se lakkautettiin vuodenvaihteessa 2011-2012, koska lukijatutkimusten mukaan lehden lukijoita eivät musiikkijutut kiinnostaneet. Ihmekös tuo, kun lukijoille joutui liian paljon tarjoamaan kakkosvaihtoehtoja. Tuon palstan puitteissa olin kuitenkin joutunut taistelemaan isojen levy-yhtiöiden (Sony, Warner, EMI, Universal) kanssa hyvistä artisteista palstalle. Konsensus tuntui olevan, etteivät heidän artistinsa ole käytettävissä. Sitä ei kuitenkaan koskaan sanottu yleensä suoraan, vaan vedottiin artistin kiireisiin.

Sinänsä nurinkurista, että nämä samat toimijat usein valittavat levymyynnin hiipumista sekä kohujournalismia. No, väännän rautalangasta: jos ei saada hyvää ja kivaa juttua, jää ainoaksi vaihtoehdoksi paskajuttu. Ja jos levymyynnit hiipuvat Suomessa, voi vain katsoa peiliin, jos on esimerkiksi varaa ylenkatsoa n. 350 000 maksukykyisen lukijan kiinnostusta suomalaisiin artisteihin.

Paras ratkaisu on keskittyä omaan henkiseen hyvinvointiin.

Millainen kotimaisen musiikkiteollisuuden tilanne on verrattuna muihin pohjoismaihin, tai maailmalle yleensä? Tilanne lienee pääpiirteissään aika lailla sama kaikkialla nykyään?

Ainakin ulkomailla, kuten Ruotsissa ja Englannissa, tehdään parempia musiikkilehtiä. Musiikkiteollisuuden tilaan ulkomailla en osaa sen kummemmin ottaa kantaa, mutta samat isot toimijathan jyräävät myös maailmalla. Ja heidän nykyisten strategioiden perusteella tuntuu, että heille sopisi vallan hyvin kriittisen musiikkilehdistön alasajo. Hehän saavat massat puolelleen jo kaupallisilla radio- ja televisiokanavilla. Mihin he tarvitsevat kriittistä lehdistöä? Sehän vain sotkee heidän markkinointiponnistuksensa.

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Turku

Muutit parisen vuotta sitten Helsingistä Turkuun? Mistä muuttopäätös syntyi?

Puolisoni sai opiskelupaikan syksyllä 2011 Turun yliopistolta Kotimaisen kirjallisuuden laitokselta. Koska puolisollani oli muutto edessä, päädyin miettimään, onko Helsingissä mitään, mikä pakottaisi minut jäämään synnyinkaupunkiini. Totesin, että ei. Rakkauden tähden ihminen voi tehdä käsittämättömiäkin tekoja – kuten muuttaa esimerkiksi Turkuun.

Miten ystävät, tutut, puolitutut ja muut reagoivat muuttoosi? Mistä nämä reaktiot mielestäsi kertoivat?

En minä kohdannut mitään suurempia reaktioita, ainakaan kasvotusten. Tiedä sitten, mitä selkäni takana on jupistu. En tiedä, mistä reaktioiden puuttumattomuus kertoo: ehkä siitä, ettei kukaan uskalla sanoa ajatuksiaan minulle päin naamaa.

Olet nyt asunut jo jonkun aikaa Turussa. Onko kaupunki vastannut odotuksiasi? Miten olet viihtynyt? Miltä Turku vaikuttaa Helsinkiin verrattuna?

Onneksi en antanut negatiivisten ennakkoluulojeni vaikuttaa ratkaisuuni vaan uskaltauduin heittäytyä rakkaani matkaan. Ehkä ennakkoluuloni olivat ehtineet syntyä niiden vierailujen myötä, kun olin vieraillut Turussa stadilaisena törppönä, joka odotti Turulta samankaltaisia elämyksiä kuin Helsingiltä. Vaan kun tulin Turkuun ennakkoluulottomana asukkina, löysin henkisen kodin – ainakin näin neljänkymmenen kynnyksellä.

Minulla oli odotuksia, mutta ne olivat negatiivisia. Ne ovat kaikonneet tyystin. Turku on yllättänyt minut iloisesti, ottamalla minut tervetulleena vastaan. Omalta osaltani olen yrittänyt suhtautua vastaanottooni nöyrästi ja kiitollisesti, kunniallisesti käyttäytyen. Kannattaako Turkua ja Helsinkiä verrata? En tiedä. Tässä ajassa Turun älyllisyys ja henkisyys puhuttelee minua enemmän kuin Helsingin rahvaanomaisuus ja pinnallisuus.

Mitä ovat Turun ja Helsingin hyvät ja huonot puolet?

Hyvät puolet Turussa: Luonto, rauha, luovuus, Aurajoen varsi, pääkirjasto, Kauppahalli, Hammer Open Air -festivaali, Turun Klubi, ravintola Dennis, pyöräilytiet, mielenrauha, henkisyys, sivistyneisyys, akateemisuus, aurinko, lämpötilat, koirapuistot, terassien aukiolo pikkutunneille asti, yleinen siisteys, julkinen liikenne, välimatkat, joukkoliikennevälineiden kahden tunnin mittainen vaihto-oikeus, Kylmä Sota -yhtye, Humalistonkadun kebabin kanarullat.

Hyvät puolet Helsingissä: Tapahtumatarjonta, Suomenlinna, Combat Rock Shop, Rock The Beach -festivaali, lähiöiden ostoskeskukset, ravintola Du Dii Kalliossa, Bar Molotow, Tavastia-klubi, Lepakkomies, Pää Kii -yhtye, The Heartburns -yhtye, Kontulan divari.

Huonot puolet Turussa: Kapeat piirit, ihmiset eivät uskaltaudu oman mukavuusalueensa ulkopuolelle (paitsi ehkä Ruisrockissa), itsevarmuuden puute, rohkeus, ruuvikauppojen puute keskusta-alueella, vanhojen puutalojen mystiset tulipalot/tuhopoltot.

Huonot puolet Helsingissä: Pinnallisuus, selkäänpuukotus, sekakäyttäjät, nilkit ja hörhöt yleisissä liikennevälineissä, joukkoliikennevälineiden yhden tunnin mittainen vaihto-oikeus, yleinen ahdistuneisuus, teeskentely, sievistely, näätäily, terassien aukiolo vain iltakymmeneen asti, yleinen roskaisuus ja siivottomuus, masennus, alakulo, ahdistus, stressi, kiire, välimatkat.

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Pekka Siitoin

Koska tämä on Mesikämmenen blogi, niin kysytään vielä, mitä ajatuksia sinussa herättää edesmennyt valtakunnanjohtaja Pekka Siitoin?

Lämpimiä ajatuksia. Pekka Siitoin oli väkevä kansallinen provokaattori, jolla tuntui olevan toimissaan myös pilkettä silmakulmassa. Miehen seikkailut ruotsinlaivalla 1990-luvulla ovat pyörineet näyttöpäätteelläni lukemattomat kerrat. Niiden rinnalla parhaat suomalaiset sketsiohjelmatkin kalpenevat.

Mesikämmen on kirjoittanut mm. aiheesta Pekka Siitoin ja rock ‘n’ roll. Kun nyt ollaan asiantuntijan kanssa juttusilla, niin oliko Pekka mielestäsi rock?

Pekka oli erittäin rohkea ja rock, johtihan Pekan tie jopa vankilaan rajujen rokkareiden Elvis Presleyn, Johnny Cashin, Irwin Goodmanin, Sex Pistolsin, GG Allinin, Matti Nykäsen, Mötley Crüen Tommy Leen ja O.S.S.Y.-yhtyeen Tero Erosen tavoin. Joukko on värikäs ja tunteita herättävä, aivan kuten Pekkakin.

Sinulla on kokoelmissasi äskettäin CD:nä uudelleenjulkaistu Siitoin-tallenne Nauravat natsit. Millaisen arvion levystä annat?

Ehkä tuollainen 2½-3 tähteä viidestä on sopiva arvosana. Siitäkin syystä, että Pekan rooli äänitteellä on loppujen lopuksi kovin vähäinen. Odotin levyltä enemmän. Tietysti levyn julkaisu on äärimmäinen kulttuuriteko, sen sisältö jättää vain toivomisen varaa. Kenties Pekan seuraava levytys olisi voinut olla viiden tähden täysosuma? Sitä emme taida enää koskaan saada tietää.

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Lopuksi

Mikä on voimaeläimesi?

Tähän minun pitäisi tietysti vastata, että mesikämmen, mutta se saattaisi olla turhan itsestäänselvä vastaus. Sitten ajattelin, että oma koira antaa minulle voimaa aamuisin, kun se iloisena pomppaa sängyn reunalle herättelemään. Siitä tulee aina niin hyvälle tuulelle! Mutta voiko sitäkään pitää voimaeläimenä? En tiedä, siksi tein verkossa testin, jossa tutkittiin leikkimielisesti, minkä eläimen sielu minulla on. Tuon testin seurauksena sain tietää, että sieluni on hyökkäävän sakaalin. Valitsen voimaelämekseni siis sakaalin. Se kuulostaa heviltä ja rankalta.

Millaisia suunnitelmia Nalle Östermanilla on tulevaisuuden suhteen?

Sain juuri opiskelupaikan ammattikorkeakoulusta, joten ainakin kouluun olen suuntaamassa. Helsingissä moinen olisi tuskin tullut kyseeseen. Minulla ei ole tapana enää suunnitella hirveästi asioita. Kuten sanottu, ne eivät kuitenkaan koskaan toteudu sellaisenaan, joten se suunnittelu tuntuu menevän hukkaan. Minä vain oleilen, löhöilen, ulkoilutan koiraamme ja liidän sinne minne sattuu huvittamaan (ja mihin likviditeetti antaa myöten).

Mikä tekee sinut onnelliseksi?

Oman koiran hymyilevät kasvot. Vaimoni onnellisuus. Hauskat löydöt osto- ja myyntiliikkeessä. Onnistunut kirjoitus. Hyvä ruoka. Mukava illanvietto ystävien seurassa. Hyvä musiikki. Uudet musiikilliset löydöt (esimerkiksi Grave Mistake -levy-yhtiön artistit). Erinomaiset konsolipelit. Viihdyttävät ja ajatuksia herättävät elokuvat. TV-sarja Smash. Peter Dolvingin Facebook-päivitykset. Blod Eld Död -kirja ruotsalaisesta äärimetallista. Kaunis sää. Lämpimät kesäpäivät. Ajatuksia herättävät maalaukset. Tasapaino. Mielenrauha. Rakkaus.

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Mesikämmen kiittää Nalle Östermania haastattelusta!

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Aiheeseen liittyen:

Nalle Österman Facebookissa.
Härmägeddön-kirjan sivut Facebookissa.
Rocktoimittajan päiväkirja.
Rumbablogit.

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nurembergthelastbattleNuremberg: the Last Battle (Focal Point, 1996) by David Irving is a very thought provoking book. It is well researched and written and gives a good larger context and view on what happened before, during and also after the trial.

The book can be found as a free pdf-book from Irving’s webpage where it can also be ordered as a regular book. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the subject.

While the book is throughoutly fascinating from cover to cover I would suggest one to read at least its pages 35-39 (60-66 in the free pdf-book) where Irving summarises how there were few crimes listed in the indictment of the German war criminals, as finally drawn up in October 1945, of which one or other of the four prosecuting powers was not itself guilty.

The list of these crimes should give everyone some fresh reminders of a deep hypocrisy so common in politics. Some keywordwords here: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dachau massacre, Soviet Unions unprovoked attack on Finland, Katyn massacre, Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, Churchill’s 1939 and 1940 orders for unrestricted naval warfare, Churchill’s 1940 orders for the invasion of Norway, British troops machine-gunning the fleeing survivors of the German fleet auxiliary Altmark in April 1940 and those of the sinking minesweeper Ulm in September 1942, Churchill’s orders for military occupation of Iceland in 1940 and of Persia in August 1941, bombing of Hamburg, Dresden and Pforzheim, sinking of German refugee ship Cap Arcona, and so on (see the pdf-book’s pages 60-66).

See Wikipedia’s summary of criticism against the Nuremberg trial from here.

In the closing remarks of the book Irving writes:

The world saw Nurenberg as the old-fashioned practise of the victors putting the vanquished to the sword, behind a facade of retroactive law and elegant speeches. As the years passed this view was entrenched by the absence of similar trials where aggressive war was clearly established. The Soviet Union planned an aggressive campaign against South Korea, but as the New York Times was to comment in 1951: ‘A powerful aggressor, if undefeated in war, cannot and will not be punished.’ (page 312, pdf-book’s page 452).

When the armed forces of Britain, France and Israel conspired together and lauched their attack on Egypt in 1956, Rudolf Hess’ lawyer Alfred Seidl inquired of the British Foreign Office whether the British prime minister Eden was to be brought before any tribunal to account for himself. The tragic truth was that Nuremberg had set no real precedent in international law. A resolution presented in 1946 to the United Nations Organisation relating to the codification of the principles established at Nuremberg was referred to the organisation’s International Law Committee, and buried without ceremony” (page 312, pdf-book’s page 452).

Well, maybe Nuremberg effected the international law more than Irving gives it credit, but… can you think of some countries and their war criminals (in addition to those mentioned above) after the second world war being guilty (and still not put on trial anywhere) of the same or similar crimes of which the nazis were indicted for and sentenced of at Nuremberg? (as a reminder, those nazis were indicted for: 1) participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace, 2) planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace, 3) war crimes, 4) crimes against humanity). I can easily think of a country or two like that…

Read Full Post »

Jiri Keronen ilmoitti tänään Facebook-seinällään:

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Ensimmäinen bitcoin-setelini. Alan painaa näitä välittömästi, kun löydän jostain hologrammisinettejä tai sinettinauhaa.

Setelissä on 50 millibitcoinilla ladattu bitcoin-paperilompakko. Yksityisavain peitetään lopullisessa versiossa hologrammisinetillä. Vaihtoehtoisesti yksityisavain pistetään setelin sisäpuolelle. En ole vielä varma, kumpaa ratkaisua lopullisessa setelissä tullaan käyttämään.

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Osaisiko joku auttaa Jiriä asiassa? Kyllähän tällainen seteli pitäisi saada liikkeelle.

bitcoinsiitoin

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Aiheeseen liittyen:

Ensimmäinen uusi markkaseteli.

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Gerhard Hallstatt with a rock painting discovered in 1911 by Jean Sibelius. Photo (c) Sebastian Devamitra Porceddu 2012

Gerhard Hallstatt with a rock painting discovered in 1911 by Jean Sibelius.
Photo (c) Sebastian Devamitra Porceddu 2012

Like the music which he composes and records under the name of ”Allerseelen”, Gerhard’s writing does not easily fit any ready-made label or category. While the majority of people are content to travel the iron tracks laid down by their religion, politics, peer pressure, or brand-name culture (no matter that they are always crashing into each other), he follows a mercurial path: quick, elusive, and a little mischievous. When I first met him at a conference in Vienna, I was immediately attracted by his friendly persona and lack of posturing. As I got to know him and his writings better, I admired the way he was following his own star wherever it lead, with no possible financial or professional gain.

– Joscelyn Godwin in his foreword to Gerhard Hallstatt’s Blutleuchte.

It was a December evening in Turku the last year. We sat down at restaurant Koulu, talked and enjoyed some beer and salmiakki shots. Like Joscelyn Godwin, I got an impression that Gerhard was very friendly, not posturing, and he was clearly following his own star. His music, writings, photography and travels had formed a multifaceted living piece of art from well over two decades of pursuing his unique path. I had for some time thought about making an interview with Gerhard and meeting him made me think that it was the right time for it. Gerhard liked the idea and I started to write an interview for him.

In the following interview Gerhard tells about his writings, music, travels, inspirations, panteism, Christianity, mountains, and many other things, such as sauna, Koskenkorva, salmiakki, Pippuriset pääkallot, Santa Lucia and Jean Sibelius.

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For those readers who don’t know you yet, would you give an introduction of yourself – who are you, what have you done and what are you doing nowadays?

I started in my youth recording on old cassette recorders strange music that consisted of loops of kettledrums, violins, metals. I wrote surrealistic poems and texts on loud type-writers and also started at an early age taking photographs. I still have today hundreds of diapositives that I should digitalize one day.

I was very much interested in alchemy, and this fascination inspired all my artistic activities. Still today, twenty years later, I am in some way working very similar although nowadays computers are of course involved. But still today I am recording in a very old-fashioned way, without using a computer programme. The cassettes became CDs, the little photocopied booklets that I did in my youth became printed magazines or books, and the camera I am working now with is a digital one.

I was very much interested in alchemy, and this fascination inspired all my artistic activities.

I myself did not change that much, I do not feel that much different from the time when I was 17. Still today I am full of enthusiasm, full of chaos, and hopefully this will remain like this for the next decades. ”You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star”, like wonderful Friedrich Nietzsche wrote. I see myself nowadays like a kind of troubadour in a telectronic age, spending a lot of time on music, poetry, travelling to present these songs to a smaller or larger audience in various countries – and sometimes I am performing these songs in old castles too. But apart from travelling I also enjoy living in Wien which is definitely one of the most beautiful cities of the world. I did not grow up in Wien. I was born on the country-side, the first large city that I got to know was Berlin, I was staying there some weeks when I was 16. Wien I only got to know when I was 17.

You played live in Finland again, at Tampere, on 7th of December 2012. How was it? It was your second time here, right? How did it differ from your previous gig in Turku in 2007?

Allerseelen live in Moscow 2012. Photo (c) Miss Goodwrong

Allerseelen live in Moscow 2012.
Photo (c) Miss Goodwrong

The live performance in Tampere was our second concert in Finland. The first had taken place in Turku in October 2007. Then the line-up was very different, in Turku there were on stage Marcel P. on bass, Dimo Dimov on drums and I. But as both have been very busy with studies and working, since 2012 the current line-up of Allerseelen is consisting of Christien H. on drums and Noreia on bass. Both concerts were thus quite different.

Some new songs we were performing in December in Tampere for the very first time on stage – and two of these new songs were inspired by my Finland preparations: The song Grünes Licht / Green Light was inspired by magnificent aurora borealis photos. Unfortunately I did not see these wonderful lights when I was in Finland. Hopefully another time. Another song, Neunmondmesser / Nine Moon Knife was partly inspired by the Finnish knife puukko and the Kalevala moment where Kullervo finds a stone in his bread that destroys his only knife. Both songs will be on the next Allerseelen CD Terra Incognita.

On our Tampere guestlist was even Kiira Korpi. Unfortunately she did not show up – it would be great to see her dancing to some of our songs.

You traveled after the concerts in Tampere and Rakvere, Estonia, for some time in Southern Finland – what kind of impressions you got from these places? Where did you go, what were your favorite places, experiences? What was your impression of Finland?

Unfortunately I did not have time to see the paintings of Hugo Simberg in the Tampere cathedral. I like very much some of his works. After our Tampere concert we had to leave really early to travel by bus and ferry-boat and another bus to Rakvere in Estonia. We were performing there the next evening.

After some beautiful days in Rakvere and Tallinn, I returned for two weeks to Finland. It was a wonderful experience. When we performed in Turku in October 2007, I really enjoyed the traditional sauna combined with short baths in the cold sea. Already then I had been looking forward to another visit in Finland, hoping that this would happen again in the cold months of the year. And I had good luck. This December I spent again some time at saunas in various places – and it was wonderful to roll naked in the snow after the sauna.

Santa Lucia procession.Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2012

Santa Lucia procession.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2012

I also saw two beautiful Santa Lucia processions in Turku and Inkoo. I even filmed the Santa Lucia procession in Turku but still have to work on this video. In Turku there were many people watching the procession of Santa Lucia with the burning candles on her head. But in the small church of Inkoo there were not many people.

I was with a friend because I had seen photos of the danse macabre paintings inside this church. We did not know about the Santa Lucia procession there. I was glad to take some beautiful photographs combining lovely young girls with their candles and the kuolemantanssi frescoes.

The fortified island Suomenlinna was very impressive too. This might inspire another Allerseelen song. Some places that I had intended to visit were closed, for example Ainola, the house of Jean Sibelius in Järvenpää, and the wonderful castle Olavinlinna. So there are many reasons to return. Also I really enjoy lakritsi, salmiakki – as sweets as well as alcoholic drinks. Only some days ago I saw a photo of the absinthe spoons that are on display in Jean Sibelius´ house in Järvenpää – I did not know that he was drinking absinthe too. So I have at least a little bit in common with Jean Sibelius.

What have been and are your biggest influences in music, literature, and art in general?

Berlin was maybe the place that changed my life most as there, living for some time in a squat, I got to know the music of Einstürzende Neubauten, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Abwärts. I was there when I was 16. I was again in Berlin when I was 18 – and then I saw there SPK live which had been a big influence on me together with the industrial music of Throbbing Gristle.

Gerhard Hallstatt, Schwedenhöhlen, Niederösterreich. Photo (c) Zeke Maziur.

Gerhard Hallstatt, Schwedenhöhlen, Niederösterreich. Photo (c) Zeke Maziur.

One of my favourite writer was and is Arthur Rimbaud – his magical symbolism, his travels, the mysteries in his biography, also his sudden and surprising decision to stop writing. When I was 17, I spent some weeks in France, visiting the village where he lived, visiting his tomb and travelling to many other places in France. When I was 19, I was again in Northern France, I saw there Psychic TV live in Rouen.

I am inspired a lot by writers like Antonin Artaud, Hermann Hesse, Ernst Jünger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke. The Industrial Culture Handbook published by Re/Search many years ago was a real book of revelation for me: Suddenly I came across a counter-culture that combined controversial musicians, heretic writers, revolutionary artists, cultural outlaws. I liked and still like very much the art of Man Ray, Edvard Munch, the Pre-Raphaelites, I love films by Jean Cocteau, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pier Paolo Pasolini. In fact, my artistic pantheon contains of dozens of artists that I might consider as inspirations, masters, muses, and a list would be really long.

How you came up with the names Aorta, Ahnstern and Allerseelen? How they manifest the substance of their vessel and aim – and what are their aims?

I am inspired a lot by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, and I also like very much his words “Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.“ So there were many reasons to chose the name Aorta for my record label and also the magazine. Whereas the word heart had been used too often in too kitschy contexts and the concept of blood was too often too strongly connected with destruction and war, the word Aorta still contained some innocence beyond kitschy or romantic visions of love and war.

Drums of Calanda, Spain.Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

Drums of Calanda, Spain.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

The name of my book Blutleuchte – which is also the name of a Finnish music project – means Blood Lantern. This title was inspired by the cult of the Blutleuchte that had been founded by Alfred Schuler and some other poets and philosophers around Stefan George in Munich around 1900. They believed in the pagan blood of prechristian antiquity and wanted a pagan renaissance. Alfred Schuler was also a big inspiration for Rainer Maria Rilke.

Ahnstern was an old German word for the planet Saturn, I had discovered this word in a book on runes. I used this name for magazine after I had published twenty issues of Aorta. The record label Steinklang also uses this name as sub-label.

There are many reasons why I chose the name Allerseelen. This name was partly inspired by Georges Bataille, by Pier Paolo Pasolini and especially by the concept of the Dia de los Muertos in Mexico the rites uniting life and death in early November. Only some years ago I found out that very similar traditions also existed in Austria and still exist in Bulgaria.

What it means to be an artist in your case?

Without art, life would really be boring, a waste of time. I have been accustomed for all these years to either working on something in music or poetry or photography. I am lucky that I may combine all these arts in the Allerseelen releases.

Without art, life would really be boring, a waste of time.

Human bones and leaves in a small lake. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

Human bones and leaves in a small lake.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

I could not even imagine a life without art, without being surrounded by books, paintings, records. If I had to choose between a life without art, without aesthetic addictions, artistic obsessions and a death with art, I definitely would choose this adventurous terra incognita named death. It seems that I have the romantic impression that the realm of death is filled with art, beauty, poetry. In my youth I was also obsessed with death, I was collecting human bones and skulls, and I was fascinated by the stigmata of Catholic visionaries. I wrote about this in my magazine Aorta, these texts were then also published in the book Blutleuchte. This was definitely inspired by blood-stained Catholicism in my childhood, the theatre of cruelty that I got to know in churches and at school.

You have been doing your projects for quite long time already. How your approaches and interests have changed during the years? What subjects you don’t find anymore so important or interesting, what subjects have lately emerged? What subjects have continued to interest you?

If I am in love with something, I may be really stubborn. I still have the same interests that I had in my teenage years: art, occultism, surrealism, symbolism, travelling. In the past some people saw Allerseelen in a political context – but I was never really interested in politics. Politics were only of interest for me when they were connected to art or occultism. Thus I was and am still very interested in the biographies of magical monarchs like Ludwig II from Bavaria or Rudolf II in Prague or Frederick II in Italy.

Les Agudes, Catalunya.Photo (c)Sabinita 2002.

Les Agudes, Catalunya.
Photo (c) Sabinita 2002.

There is a still a lot of fever inside my head and heart, an ardent enthusiasm for utopies and visions. I do not feel adult at all. I am still living in a quite archaic way, surrounded by books, heating with wood. I do not download music, I am not accustomed to read electronic books. I always knew that time is more important than money. An archaic life without many responsibilities, in some way similar maybe to the way of life of E.M. Cioran in Paris, had been my dream when I was 17 – and it became reality. Hopefully this dream still will be reality when I am 71.

I still have the same interests that I had in my teenage years: art, occultism, surrealism, symbolism, travelling. In the past some people saw Allerseelen in a political context – but I was never really interested in politics.

Basically I am interested in things that combine culture and nature, paganism and christianity. I visited cromlechs, dolmens, menhirs in many countries. I have always been fascinated by magical and tragical biographies. This is why I wrote in my magazines and in my book Blutleuchte about visionaries and artists like Kenneth Anger, Bobby Beausoleil, Leonora Carrington, Corneliu Codreanu, Otto Rahn, Leni Riefenstahl, Viktor Schauberger, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Karl Maria Wiligut and many others – all their lifes had magical and tragical qualities. All these fascinating and more or less controversial personalities still today are interesting me very much. If I wrote today about these artists and occult or political or ecological visionaries, my texts would definitely be different. But I am not certain to which extent they would be different.

What is or are your own favorite Allerseelen records and why?

I prefer the last two CDs named Hallstatt and Rauhe Schale. Both contain for me very intense memories. My recordings are always very individual and personal, even today when I am working on stage and in studio with various other musicians.

Allerseelen: Hallstatt. Ahnstern/Aorta (2007).

Allerseelen: Hallstatt.
Ahnstern/Aorta (2007).

Allerseelen sometimes have been compared to a group like Laibach – but this only makes sense in a superficial way. Maybe because of some musical elements, maybe because of the use of sometimes dangerous symbols. But Allerseelen never has been a collective, and the Allerseelen lyrics and visions are very subjective. In many ways, the Allerseelen CDs are acoustic diaries. For me they represent microcosms that are manifestations of a certain period of my life with specific experiences and impressions, beautiful ones, powerful ones, sad ones. Each song has a special story that quite often is only known to me.

In many ways, the Allerseelen CDs are acoustic diaries.

I also like the very early Allerseelen recordings that I released on cassettes with dozens of loops that I recorded with a bought violin and kettle-drums that I had stolen from a church. Although usually I am not listening to my own recordings. I love my songs when they are slowly coming into existence, when I feel a certain sacred marriage between rhythms and melodies and lyrics. When a song is finished, I usually stop listening to it. Probably because I already know it too much by heart. The process, the path has always been more important for me than the result, the peak, this is for me as valid in music as in travelling, as in the mountains. If life is the path and death is the peak, I am also definitely more interested into the path.

Blutleuchte is a book of yours that came out the last year. What the book contains? How you got Joscelyn Godwin to write the introduction to it? I remember you mentioned to me in Turku (while having beer and salmiakki shots at Koulu) that he is a friend of yours, do I remember this correctly?

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

I liked our evening at Koulu in Turku – and I hope to return there soon. Joscelyn Godwin is a real renaissance scholar. He wrote several fascinating books about alchemy, magic, music and various other topics. We know each other for several years. We met various times in Wien, and I also visited him when he lived for some months in Venice. He had been a subscriber of my magazines Aorta and Ahnstern, so he already knew all the texts of the Blutleuchte book before I asked him if he might like to write a foreword. These now completely sold out magazines Aorta and Ahnstern had been bi-lingual magazines in German and English about my experiences, impressions, studies.

Some texts were like travel diaries – I wrote about my travels to little villages in Italy and Spain, about my visits at castles like Montsegur in South France and Castel del Monte in Apulia. Other texts, like small biographies, were the result of patient researches at libraries. I always wrote about artists and visionaries that were fascinating me. And I wrote always also about my own fascination.

So far there are already American and French editions of my book Blutleuchte containing all these texts and I think that in 2014 also German and Spanish editions finally will be available too. I am looking forward to these editions. All of these will be available via my Aorta Mailorder.

You have a strong interest in occult, pagan and folk related subjects. Which one of these describe you the best: an atheist, an agnostic, a pagan? If pagan, what kind of a pagan?

I would call myself a pantheist, and my pantheon is nature, this is why I spend as much time as possible outdoors.

I would call myself a pantheist, and my pantheon is nature, this is why I spend as much time as possible outdoors. I have been interested in a lot of different traditions, alchemy, kabbala, magic, shamanism, tarot. As an artist I always have been considering everything from an aesthetic point of view, and this is valid also for the world of occulture. This is why I may be fascinated as much by a Tibetan painting as by a Catholic fresco, by a rock painting in Finland as much as by a petroglyph in a temple on Malta. I am fascinated by Mithraism and visited various Mithras temples in Austria, Italy, Slovenia. Some weeks ago I visited a very small Mithras grotto close to Dubrovnik in Croatia. But I do not consider myself as follower of Mithras.

What do you think of Christianity and catholicism?

In my pantheism there is also a lot of place for Christian traditions and myths that very often have their roots in pre-christian, pagan traditions – like for example the beautiful Santa Lucia processions in Scandinavia. All Christian plants seem to have pagan roots.

I am a pantheist who is also fascinated by Christian mysticism, I like the writings of Meister Eckehart, of Saint Hildegard. Christianity is fascinating as a strong syncreticism with so many aspects borrowed or stolen from the mysteries of Isis, Cybele, Mithras. Catholicism is a bloody myth – but I still have to meet a Catholic who really believes in the most important dogma that bread is turned into sacred meat, that wine becomes sacred blood. I never met anyone who believed this. I suppose that all over the world there is thus only existing a hard core of maybe only some hundred or thousand real Catholics.

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

I am fascinated by several Catholic phenomena like stigmata. Years ago I did a lot of research on the stigmatized Therese von Konnersreuth in Bavaria and wrote about this in my book Blutleuchte after a visit in the small village Konnersreuth. In Blutleuchte I also wrote about the bloody Semana Santa drums of Calanda in Spain that Luis Bunuel used as soundtrack for some of his movies. I was two times in Calanda. And also in the small village Cocullo in Italy I was impressed by a nowadays Christian procession with living snakes on San Domenico– this tradition definitely has a pagan, pre-christian root. Maybe soon I will travel there again…

Actually especially Catholicism is a real pantheon and pandemonium with all its Saints, with its colourful hell and more or less pale heaven. In the Kansallismuseo in Helsinki I was incredibly fascinated by a very realistic sculpture of the pagan Lalli who had killed bishop Henrik. The dead bishop was standing on the bloody body of Lalli who had very beautiful eyes and held a book in his hands. I identified immediately with this pagan and his book. Only later I was told details about the life of Lalli.

You have traveled a lot. Where you have been, what traveling means to you – pilgrimages? I recall you have described your travels as ”magical mystery tours”. What places have made the deepest impression on you and why? What are the most special experiences you have had during these travels?

Luckily we have been invited with Allerseelen to perform in a lot of countries in Europe. We also performed in North America and Russia – and I always try to combine these concerts with some explorations of culture and nature in these countries. It would make me sad to visit for example Helsinki just for one night.

Basically I am very curious. So very often I am returning from countries with dozens of wonderful experiences and impressions that may inspire new songs. From Finland and Estonia for example I came back with great Kalevala and Kalevipoeg impressions. I am learning a lot in these concert travels. I got to know new artists, musicians, writers – and I came back also with a lot of lakritsi, salmiakki, strange sweets like Pippuriset Pääkallot and delicious drinks like Leijona Pastilli Shot, Koskenkorva Lakritsi.

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia.Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

Cocullo, Abruzzi, Italia.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt

I had very strange experiences when I travelled in my youth alone to the Italian volcanoes Vesuvio, Etna and Stromboli. I have not yet written about these experiences but will do so one day. I still have my diaries, some photographs and even some super-8 filmings that I took on Etna. I had not been well equipped at all, no good shoes, not enough water, not enough realism. A lot of dangerous things might have happened. Nowadays I would go there again much better prepared – with good maps, with more water – and I would not go there in hot August like I did when I was 18. I did not have enough water when I was on Etna and had already some hallucinations before I finally knew that I had to return to survive. I wounded my foot when I wanted to climb inside the crater of Vesuvio. And on Stromboli strange things happened too.

In these days in Southern Italy and Sicily I had with me Also sprach Zarathustra. In some way I was as crazy as the volcanic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. While I am talking about this, I feel again a very strong desire to leave again for these volcanoes – there are only paths as volcanoes do not have peaks. “For staying is nowhere.” (Rainer Maria Rilke: Duineser Elegien)

You mentioned the castles Montsegur and Castel del Monte. Can you tell us something about them?

Montsegur, Ariege, France. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Montsegur, Ariege, France.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt.

Usually the most impressive places are those where I am travelling alone. In this I am very close to the Steppenwolf described by Hermann Hesse in his famous novel. I visited the Cathars´ castle Montsegur in South France two times. The first time it was magical and intense, I had slept outdoors in my sleeping bag for several days, I had walked for hours. It was a real tour de force.

When I arrived in the late afternoon at Montsegur, I was the only visitor. It was raining a bit, and I knew that I would stay there over night. I also spent nights in other castles of the Cathars, these nights at Queribus and Peyrepertuse were intense too. During my second visit on Montsegur I felt like an average tourist as I was not alone. It was the same castle yet it was not the magical Montsegur that I had witnessed in my first visit. I really believe in the well-known saying: The path is more important than the peak.

Usually the most impressive places are those where I am travelling alone.

The next time I will again travel alone to Montsegur to spend there another night. I was visiting the octogonal Castel del Monte in La Puglia, Italy, in a very similar manner, walking for several hours on small roads towards a magical castle that looked from the distance like a white crystal on a hill. When I was going there I did not know where I would stay over night. I did not care as I also had my sleeping bag with me. My travelling then was in some way close to the travels of Arthur Rimbaud. While I am telling this, I feel a strong desire to visit both places again in the same Steppenwolf manner – alone, walking a lot with a backbag filled with a sleeping bag, with maps and books and water and a knife.

Lastly, what about mountains? You often mention mountains in your songs.

Vihren, Pirin, Bulgaria. Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

Vihren, Pirin, Bulgaria.
Photo (c) Gerhard Hallstatt 2007.

Mountains have been very important for me in the last ten years. And usually I like the paths up to the peaks more than the peaks themselves. On the peaks I usually feel a certain emptiness. I felt this emptiness also in the castle Montsegur. ”Six thousand feet beyond man and time” is a good description of Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote about his years close to the wild mountains of Engadin in Switzerland, high above manhood, high above average life.

Julius Evola wrote several essays about this in his Meditations on the Peaks, inspired by his tours on difficult mountains in Austria, Italy, Switzerland. I hope to visit one day the glacier where his ashes are buried.

Some days ago I was sleeping alone in a mountain hut on the mountain Schneeberg in Lower Austria that has a room for emergencies that is always open. On a height of over 2.000 metres, I was drinking Koskenkorva Lakritsi and thinking of my beautiful days in Finland.

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Vielen Dank für das Interview, Gerhard!

There is going to be a review of Gerhard’s book Blutleuchte and Allerseelen’s CD Rauhe Schale in the blog in a near future.

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Related links:

Allerseelen

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte

Aorta Mailorder

Gerhard Hallstatt: Blutleuchte + Allerseelen: Dein Herz schlägt aufwärts

Allerseelen: Das Feuer fragt

Allerseelen: Wo ist das Leben

Allerseelen remixed two songs of Agalloch for the Agalloch DoCD / DoLP Whitedivisiongrey:

Allerseelen / Agalloch: Dunkelgraue Stille

Allerseelen / Agalloch: Nur noch Asche
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