I reviewed lately the best of Heslinki Vampires, Devils, Paris Kills and Angels and played their music for several weeks. I’m hooked now, so time for a chat with Jyrki (the voice and leader of The 69 Eyes and The 69 Cats) …
My classical starter when I interview a band for the first time is ask about the meaning and philosophy behind their name, so shoot: what does it mean, what does it stand for?
It stands for rock’n’roll with the flavors from beyond.
Can you describe for the younger fans how it all started for you?
We started as a party band of bar friends. The 69 Eyes was a reason to travel and get girls and live rock’n’roll life. It still remains the same. Nothing to do with the music business.
You just rereleased ‘Angels’, ‘Devils’, ‘Paris Kills’ and a great best of. Is there more to come (the other albums)?
Well, most of our albums are not available anymore and they deserve to available for fans. I certainly hope so!
I can imagine that Lost Boys opened a lot of doors for you or am I wrong? Can you describe how it all happened and how it felt?
It’s an honest song written by a movie freak like me. The record company back then thought I’m a weirdo praising an old vampire teen movie, little did they understand what it was about. It’s a cult hit now, always fun to play alive!
I described your best of as the best thing if you have to discover The 69 Eyes, do you feel that from the feedback?
Thanks, exactly. It’s a compilation of our radio singles for the Finnish radio - our music has never been played in radio outside of our country. So it’s a compilation full of catchy songs.
After I listened to it I would grant you the fame of David Bowie, is he one of the influences (Boys Keep Swinging, putting out fire with gasoline aka Cat People)?
I noticed a flavor of Billy Idol too (not mentioned on your own page), am I wrong? Might be great to do something together.
Morrison/Bowie/Idol/Eldritch always sound a bit same, similar kind of darkness in their voice.
Whilst listening to ‘Borderline’ I felt some Chris Isaac in it (guitar wise and a very little bit vocal wise), do you think that the bluesy elements appeal to him(I suppose I’m not the first one to say that)?
Naah, it’s just rock’n’roll ballad. More closer to the roots stuff.
Regarding your style I would expect soon a tribute to Type O Negative, am I wrong to expect that?
Type O Negative were really life after Sisters Of Mercy, Danzig and The Cult in the 90’s. There were fantastic! I saw & met them a few times over the years. I actually recorded a rockabilly version of “Black No.1” with my other band The 69 Cats. You should check it out from The 69 Cats EP “Bad Things”!
How does it feel to have such cool clips, is there an actor inside yourself? Any future plans or possibilities to dig deeper into it?
Do you mean our videos? I just was featured in a fantasy film, that will come out soon. Movies are something I’m really looking forward to do in the future.
I noticed that you saw a lot of dark and vampire related (or other monsters and horror movies), are there lately some good ones you discovered?
I liked “Only Lovers Left Alive”. Other than that I’ve been recently into some classic black and white Universal’s horror movies.
I am from Belgium and from what I recall you played 12 years ago at Eurorock in Lommel, did I missed some other gigs in Belgium?
No, we never played that. We’ve played some 4 times in Belgium over the years.
I noticed that you figure on the blog of Finnair, promoting the direct flights from Heslinki. It must be pretty cool that they contacted you?
I love traveling and my national airline is my favorite. I write my thoughts about all this there, from a rock’n’roller’s point of view.
Jussi 69 recently opened a bar in Helsinki, can you describe it a bit (is it close to the old port or more in the city center)? Is it only a bar or can we expect some gigs (and honestly: I hope to visit it next year)?
Yes he did. I have not seen it yet, it’s in the center of the city. Should be cool!
You did a few duets in the past, can we expect some more in the near future? Is there anybody on your wish list?
Not for The 69 Eyes. With The 69 Cats I will do some. Duets suit more for roots rock’n’roll.
Can we expect to hear more of your music during movies (like in the past)?
Yes! We wrote new music for the same movie I was talking about earlier.
Can say something more about The 69 Cats, for those who have to discover it yet?
It’s my American rockabilly band. We released an album “Transylvanian Tapes” and we’ve been playing in the US for 2 years. In May we toured in the central Europe. We will play more shows around the world this year.
I also noticed that you are an Unicef Goodwill ambassador, can you tell us a bit more about the things you try to achieve and some stories?
I’ve been that for a decade. I’m doing my duty for the mankind.
It’s pretty rock’n Roll to have a degree in Analytical Chemistry, have you ever done something in this sector as a job or scientist?
I recently also finished my MBA degree as well. I like to use my brain.
How was it to work together with Ville Valo and what is he doing lately?
He’s a great musician and old soul. I haven’t seen him for a decade.
Any future plans to play In Japan or back in the USA? How does it feel like to play over there as a Finnish band?
Not really. In the US I will play this summer with my rockabilly band The 69 Cats in Nashville, that’s the coolest ever!
Did the success of Lordi at the Euro Song contest help you too or did it inspire you to give it a go soon or later?
I have no idea. He’s a cool guy and old friend of our band.
How does it feel to see the revival of vampire related movies and series? Any favorite ones from the recent wave? I Suppose you tried to figure on some with your music or do you simply wait and see if they contact you?
True Blood was cool. I covered “Bad Things” with The 69 Cats.
Anything to close this interview, a message to the fans?
The new 69 Eyes album will come out in the early 2016!
And as we say in Estonian Aitëh & Nägamist!
Kiitos & näkemiin!