When and how was your band created?
To make a long story short: Me and our drummer Dennis weren’t happy in our previous band, so we broke it up and founded the Hellcity Punks. That was in 2002. We found our singer Johan from the classified ad, and my old friend Harri came in as a bassplayer. In 2005 Harri left, and Sami came in.
Where is the name of the band coming from?
I came up with the name when I heard Mötley Crue’s version of the song “White Punks On Dope”. “Hellcity” comes obviously from our hometown Helsinki, and “Punks” is just great description of ourself as a persons
What musicians or artists did have a major influence in your life / work?
When I was a little kid, hairbands and glam metal bands were huge. Bands like Mötley Crue, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P and Kiss were the first bands I really got into. These bands have had a major positive impact on my life. They still are the greatest to me.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a musician in Finland?
Negative: Small country, small music business. Not many band make a living here only by playing music.
Positive: I think that positive aspects are the same everywhere. If you know what I mean
How could you define your style of music?
I say that we play Punk Metal. People always want to categorize music, and our music has been described as a sweaty streetrock, metallic actionrock and whatever. It doesn’t really matter what I say, because people will make their own terms anyway. I’m sure someone has a definition for Punk Metal, and our music doesn’t fit in that, but I don’t care. I say that we play Punk Metal.
During the years how has your musical style changed?
In this band it hasn’t changed. However, I’ve played many kinds of music in my previous bands, from hardcore punk to glamrock and death metal.
How do explain these changes?
We are such a young band. There has no been time for change.
What are topics you treat in your songs?
I guess our songs are pretty much based on a holy trinity: Sex, Drugs & Rock’n Roll. And some violence added to that. I write also a lot of this depressed guy’s depressed shit.
What is your favorite song in your repertoire and why?
I like “Get Dead”. It’s hard and fast, and it has good melodies. A good example of our music.
Do you actually prefer performing your music live or in a studio?
Live of course. I like to play in the studio too, but mixing a song is agony for me. I have no patience. I’m glad that we have one guy in the band who has skills and patience to play with a mixing table, Dennis.
During the process of making a song, what is the moment that you prefer?
When I got a new melodie or a few lines of lyrics playing in my head, I pick up my guitar and learn to play and sing it. In that moment I know if it’s gonna be a good song or not.
A stupid question but… what is among all the songs you’ve been listening in your life the BEST song?
I would have to say “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister. I got Stay Hungry LP for my 10th birthday present, and when I heard that song, I went nuts. It’s very simple song, which has good melodies, great sing along chorus, and the lyrics are just pure rebellion. It’s a classic song which still works today. In it’s own category, it’s perfect song.
What is your opinion, as a musician, regarding internet?
To band like us it’s great way to promote band and let people hear our music. Probably big stars lose some income because of illegal downloading. In the other hand big stars make big bukcs on gigs and t-shirt sales etc, so I don’t have much sympathy if someone cries at his Hollywood mansion because people are downloading his music for free.
What are your projects ?
Our Get Dead EP just came out. We’re doing gigs and promoting the EP. We’re also doing a song to Hollywood Teasze Tribute: Glamdolls in toyland. That’s a project of French record Label, Shotgun Records.
What “image” do you have of French music?
I don’t really have an image… I know a band called High-school Mothefuckers though.
Is there one French song that you prefer? If so, what song is it?
Vanessa Paradis: Joe Le Taxi.