Monsters from the North – LORDI – are releasing new album this year. Title of the album – Sexorcism – is pretty controversial. Interview with founder and brain of the band – Mr. Lordi was matter of course. What is pissing him off? Are our beloved monsters satanists? Even this is part of upcoming lines.
What´s new in the Lordi camp?
I am doing a lot of promotion at the moment and I can say that we are at the dawn of the new era. I actually call it the Cycle, you know? First you start writing, then you choose the songs, then you record them, then you do the new costumes and masks, then photoshootings, then you make the album covers and then you put it out. And then you do the gigs. And then you repeat that. So actually right now we are in one third of the new era. Of course, when the new album comes out, that is the start of the new era for people but for the band it has already started like a year ago.
I can really hear some kind of return to the old Lordi ... (Absolutely!) ... how can you introduce us album as a whole?
Hahahaaaa! Easy question, dude! I would like to say that what I tried to do is something that is really traditional Lordi in a way, that it sounds like Lordi. I tried to make choruses in a way they would remind you the ones in first three albums, maybe four albums. It should remind you Lordi from something like 15 years ago. I really tried to focus on melodies and choruses. I also tried to add more horror and of course, there is a little bit more sex. I mean there was always a lot of sex and porn in Lordi lyrics but now I kind of underlined whole issue a little bit more. Because of the album name we wanted to explore this territory a little bit more. It´s not encrypted in the lyrics any more.
Everytime I am doing such an interview as we are doing right now, I am asking question about background of the stories that stands behind the songs but to be honest, right now I am kind of scared to do so...
You know, because ´Naked in My Cellar´ and stuff...
(Laugh) There are not really any real background stories behind this song. Obviously I would be in jail if those stories would be true. Of course they are all make beliefs and fantasies. I have to say that some sexual references on this album are true and they are reflecting what I like but I have never had someone naked in my cellar for example. And I never want to have someone actually naked in my cellar. Then I should go to jail if I would have that. UNLESS! Unless the person would like to be naked in my cellar, than it´s all right. But funny thing that you ask because there are some other personal issues here and there usually on the Lordi lyrics. For example „Your Tongue´s Got the Cat“ – even though it is a song about a guy who is waking besides the bed of his loved one – a girl who is possessed by a demon and he is wondering if she is even there because personality has changed and he is wondering if there is anything left of the girl he used to know and used to love. In that perspective, this song have some personal point of view because my father died a couple of years ago and he had Alzheimer so I can actually pretty much relate to those lyrics when I was writing the whole thing I could actually relate to that feeling because I experienced it myself. I know that nobody else can hear it of course because it is such a personal thing but knowing that when my father at some point didn´t even know who I was, he didn´t know that I am his son. That is point when you see person who you know your whole life and you realised that even though the personality is the same, the person is gone. It´s quite weird to see that all of the sudden you know the person very well, you know faces, facial impresses, voice, he was really important for you your whole life and all of the sudden he doesn´t know you any more. So in that perspective there is actually something personal in those songs too. Even though I have to say that my dad have never ate a cat for example (burst of laughter). At least I don´t know. If he did I would be probably surprised.
I was lucky to hear the album in advance and what comes to my mind is – SCG is in the middle. It was always first song, once it was last when it was in honour to Otus.
And now you want to ask why the fuck is SCG in the middle of the album. I tell you why. It was originally supposed to be in the beginning of the album as usual but then we realised that ´Sexorcism´, the opening song of the album, has quite a long intro so if we would put SCG in the beginning and then the actual song starts with another intro it would be like 2 and a half minutes before even band starts playing and that is way too long so we have to think about it differently. And I think it really works now as SCG kind of splits the album in two, it´s like a little break in between. Of course we cannot make Lordi album without SCG, it´s something that we always have to do. And I love those because for me SCG is some kind of calling card of the album. SCGs are like short movie trailer - trailer of the album, it says what is the album about and it says story of the album.
I don´t know why, but every time I hear SCG, it reminds me Dark Floors, movie you did. Question for me is – can we expect another movie like this anytime soon?
I would love to do one, I´ve been talking aobut it for at least six years, maybe even more. I´ve been talking with producers and I have few ideas actually. I wanna direct the movie on my own. I wanna do horror movie before I die. That´s what I wanna do. The problem is that Lordi is my life and I do this 24/7. So the problem is that if I would want to do it and produce it as I want to direct it myself, the problem is that I would have to put band on hold for at least a year, maybe year and a half to make a movie and financially that is stupid because this band is my life and it pays my bills and it is what I love doing. And when you make a movie, financially it only takes money, it doesn´t bring any back. So even financially that would be really stupid to stop working and spend money on something that probably won´t get your money back. But artistically that is something I really want to do in my heart, soul and balls. I feel that I have to do it at some point of time. If you would ask me this like 5 or 6 years ago, I would probably say I would definitely do it within 5 years but here we are and I still haven´t done it. I just have to find right timing to do it. But to answer your question shortly, yes, there would be movie at some point. I don´t know if it would take 5 or 10 or 15 years, I have no fucking clue but before I die, I absolutely want to do it.
Funny thing is I asked you same thing about 5 years ago...
(Giggling) What did I told you?
Something similar to what you said you would say 5 years ago...
Here you go, here you go!
The hardest part of preparation for new album (if we don´t speak about writing songs) is preparing costumes. What was the hardest part of making costumes for this album?
I have to say that the most difficult costume this time was actually Amen´s costume. It´s because I always ask band members if they do have some ideas or suggestions for next costumes. So they are like can I have that, can I have this, it is difficult to play in that, can I have more of this, less of that and can my face look like that, blah blah blah blah. So more than a year ago when we were on US tour, Amen told me after the show in Cleveland ... it was actually on my birthday and we had a few whiskeys and drinks and he came to me and said „Hey, I would love to have a long coat on my costume“. And I was like „Huh?!“. And he told me he wants something like Ox have. „But you are mummy! How ... What?? Okay.“ So that was really the hardest part. So I was calling him with my friends who are helping me with costumes and we were asking how could we make it work. And he was like „No, forget about it, I was drunk!“ But I said „No, we are already doing it, so ...“ And I actually do love new Amen´s costume a lot but we still need to fix it a little because he is doing some guitar clinics in Germany and Switzerland at the moment I think and he is messaging me from there that there are some stuff we need to fix before festivals and tour because it´s not really working ideally. But it´s always the problem with the costumes. For example right now, I am doing a lot of promo in my costume and it´s so puffy now and everytime I put it in suitcase all the skulls get squeezed in and I am like „Fuuuuuuck!“. So now I would have to have double sized suitcase and my suitcase is already fucking huge. The main problem is that costume needs preparing everytime I put it out of the suitcase and it´s a big problem if you are in hurry because your costume needs to be prepared before you put it on. It´s the thing that you could never make costume perfect for the first time. From the first day musician puts costume on to the last time he do it, it would never be really perfect. There´s always some fixing and there is always some checks on the shows because that´s exactly the time when you realise that something is terribly wrong with the costume. It´s like „Damn, my drumsticks are sticking in my hair“ or „Damn, this chain can not be here because it´s fucking up my bass“ and things like this. Always.
I have seen hundreds of bands live and most of them finish the show sweaty, wet and ... you know what I mean...
Yeah that´s the difference. Those bands go on stage and end up sweaty. We go on stage and we are already fucking sweaty.
How heavy is your costume?
I somehow managed to get 3 kilos off from it so now it´s 21 kilos. It used to be 24. It´s awesome. Because my shoemaker managed ... my shoes used to weight 5 kilos each. He managed to take kilo off from each shoe platform. So they are far lighter now.
And how are you doing it that you would not die during the shows? You got costume, pyrotechnics and you are doing the show. How is it possible?
I don´t fucking know. You just do it. There is no alternative here is it? If you wanna look pretty, you have to suffer for it. I get used to it and I am speaking behalf of the band – we are used to it that it´s not an issue at all. It´s not something you even think about. For me – doing this for so long, it´s been 16 years now ...God, really?! 16 years! It became part of live performance for me. It´s part of the package deal. So whenever we are doing soundcheck during the day there is something missing and whenever I don´t have those 20 kilos on me, whenever I don´t have those heavy boots and I am singing, I feel naked. And our mixer is always saying that „Hey, Dude, can you shout the way you are shouting live?! Because now you are much more quiet. I miss the agression and energy.“ And I am like „Sorry, but now I am Tommy but when I have costume on, I am Lordi, so...“ It is completely different energy there. It´ sa bit of sweat, bit of weight and bit of struggle that brings the best out of me. It really helps performance a lot. You get extra adrenaline from there. I´ve spoken with every single member that has ever been in this band and every time new member has joined the band I told them before the first show they do in the costume „You are doing the first show as a monster, you don´t know what it´s like and you´ll not know before.“ And every time I hear same answer – „Yes, I know, I will be like that no matter what I wear.“ Then they play the show and for the first time they were on stage as their character they realize that costume brings some extra gear, you don´t have to be you, you don´t have to be ashamed of yourself. Anyway you feel like your character and it´s not you any more on stage. You loose any possibility of being embarassed or shy or you will not get any stage fright at all. You get extra adrenaline from being inside the character and you know that even if people are looking at you they don´t see you. They see your character.
Speaking of live performance. I suppose you are preparing some new stuff. Anything you can already uncover or reveal?
Fuck yeah, we will have something new! I don´t really think we are going to do new tricks on the festivals. We are gonna save them for the tour. We started to plan the tricks already last summer. I already know how the show is gonna start and how the stage is gonna look like. And definitely the album cover girl, the girl that is possessed by demon who is me, that is definitely gonna be on stage. The album cover is definitely gonna happen on the stage. That´s for sure. There also will be some classic exorcism, some Exorcist moments on stage. Something like twirling the head. I wanna have shaking the bed and floating bed but than again the problem is the size of the bed. You should play in fucking arenas to fit bed in there. We are still trying to figure out technical solutions of the tricks but I can assure you that there will be few of the Exorcist moments there. At least we are trying to do those.
Nowadays it´s fasion to make songs featuring famous musicians. You yourself made few. Is there any dream musicians you would love to collaborate with on your songs?
We´ve had few of those. We have had Udo, we have had some Twisted sister guys, we have had Bruce Kulick, we have had that quite a lot. And I actually have a lot of friends and colleagues that I had asked over the years and they have said yes but I am actually saving those people for the next albums. But those songs are kind of tricky. You can not do feature thing because you want to do a feature thing. It doesn´t work like that. You always have to do it by the rules of the song. If song desires and needs an extra person than you go and ask „Can you do this song with us?“. If the song really needs Udo Dirkschneider to be better then you ask Udo Dirkschneider. It can´t be done different way. That´s the way I feel it. But are there people who I would love to make a song with? Fuck yes! I would love to have Gene Simmons, but I know it´s gonna be so difficult that it´s probably never gonna happen. But Gene Simmons would be on top of my wish list because he is my biggest idol and without him we wouldn´t be doing this interview, that´s for sure. All because my whole life changed after hearing Kiss and after wanting to be Gene Simmons and because of that I owe so much to him as a stage persona and as a character. But of course there are others as well – Alice Cooper for sure, King Diamond, Dee Snyder – but of course we did a lot of stuff with Twisted Sister so that´s checked off the list.
I kind of started this with you. I read comments on your new video and I would love to hear your reaction or answer on possible questions. OK?
But first thing first. Speaking of video and that was actually pretty common question. Why the hell you put EXPLICIT title in the title of „Naked In My Cellar“ video?
We didn´t and I totally agree with you. The band actually didn´t do that Explicit stuff. They put it there when anything is controversial but band never do it. It is the record labels or the distributors or whoever who is afraid of material that they think that is explicit or controversial. They put it on. In my head that video shoul be labeled graphic and we should have that girl naked there – I mean she should be completely butt naked, you should see her naked tits, ass and pussy and everything but that was not in the stars. That was not happening but that was original storyline I had. But I was really surprised that it went on youtube with explicit warning. What the hell is Explicit because it is not the version of anything because there is only one video. We – I mean me and the band – we are as clueless as everybody else – why the fuck?! There is nothing fucking explicit on that video. But according to labels or youtube or publisher or distributors or some of these – somebody said there has to be EXPLICIT warning.
Another reaction of this video is that lyrics of song „Naked In My Cellar“ are super funny ...
This is the thing. The way that might work is that I usually laugh at the stuff that I write because I am horror fan as you know. So for me the horror is – as a Sam Raimi, the director of Evil Dead movies said in the late 80s– „horror is subgenre of comedy“ and I agree. For horror fans it is actually entertaining to see somebody being slashed or killed. It is funny. It is for your entertainment and it makes you laugh when monster comes out of darkness and kill somebody with the chainsaw in most imaginary way. So for example „Naked In My Cellar“ – the whole issue of this is that there is a guy who is hiding person naked in his cellar. And in his head and his world he loves the girl there, he is good guy and he cannot understand why the girl is crying and why she wants to escape. Because he is doing everything for love and everything for her to make her life easier. And whole concept of that makes me laugh too . It´s not meant to be funny but it makes me laugh in a way because that´s my sense of humor – I like black and very dark humor when people don´t realise what´s actually going on. I love the whole paradox. When the killer doesn´t understand that he is doing really bad thing. That is funny in my book. So I think that people who find lyrics funny are pretty much like me in a way. I think it goes like that.
It was expected that but somebody said „Still better lovestory than Twilight“.
(Laugh) Oh, Twilight! I watched those movies actually – maybe three of them at least and I didn´t really like them. It was way too Merlose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 for me. So THANK YOU, I agree! It is better lovestory than fucking Twilight! It is at least true love. The guy really loves the girl in the cellar. In a way because he is putting girl in a cellar to keep her away from all the troubles of the world.
There is so many people who are asking if you really used lyrics from Rihanna´s „S&M“ song ... „Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me“... That was written down under „Naked in My Cellar“ on Facebook...
I don´t have that in „Naked In My Cellar“ .... BUT NOW I KNOW!!! NOW I KNOW! I tell you what it is. I tell you what it is, I realise. Because I was like what the hell?! There is definitely nothing like that in the lyrics but the person who is doing our social media updates on Facebook – she writes those things there. And I remember that she wrote something like that so she probably find it funny to put something like that there. But I had no idea that it´s from somebody.
There was question by someone saying – Are you satanic band? (Mr. Lordi giggling) What do you say?
No we are not. (More giggling) No we´re not. We are definitely fucking not! I mean – no fucking way. The thing is that I don´t care what people belive in. It doesn´t make any difference what people belive in but the thing is that we .... (Laughing) It´s same thing to say as to say that all the horror movies are satanic. Of course I write about devil and god and stuff because those things are fucking cool stuff you can write about. I mean that image in heavy metal and especially horror – it has been there since day one. That´s the whole point. I mean the religion – one way or another – it has always been one of the cornerstones in horror and also metal. If you think about it – Black Sabbath – the whole thing starts with the contradiction and religious stuff. But are we satanic?! Fuck Noooooo. I mean we got song „Devil is a Loser“ for God´s sake. What satanic band would put a song like that? Or Hard Rock Hallelujah. But then again – one of the songs that didn´t make it to the album was „Satan Take me Home“ but to me it doesn´t make any difference – I use both sides of the coin and I really don´t care. It doesn´t really bother me.