Rockoon no.01 December 2009/January, February 2010

In the new issue of Rockoon! Germany there is a nice article with Lauri. Thanks to Jessica here is the English translation and also a few pictures of how the article looks like ;). Pictures: 1 2 3

„15 years ago we were jumping wildly on stage and because of that rather hurt ourselves than playing music…”

Rockoon: With your “Best Of” release you celebrate 15 years of The Rasmus. How may we imagine Lauri as an erstwhile schoolboy?
Lauri Ylönen: Oh, this question absolutely fits well, as I’ve just rummaged through a lot of old childhood photos in the house of my mum. A magazine needs some old pictures for the school concert that we do on our anniversary, and I found some old school photos as well. We had these year books that include pictures of the whole class and I had another crazy haircut in nearly every photo. (laughs)
But I very often wore a Metallica shirt, this was possibly kind of constant. In our clique we often did crazy things, the eye-catching styling was just one part of it. But I have to point out that all of us were quite good pupils. That didn’t fit together for most of the teachers. In our leisure time we mostly went snowboarding and skateboarding – there wasn’t anything as good as this for us.

R: Did you have to give up on these sports activities for The Rasmus?
LY: At least I had to constrict it. But if there’s the possibility, we risk going snowboarding or skateboarding. Last summer I was just skateboarding again and badly dislocated my shoulder right there. Great, right? Something like that never happened to me the years before.

R: You lived your entire life in Helsinki. Have you been happy not to grow up in the Finnish loneliness?
LY: It depends. When I still lived with my parents, we stayed outside of Helsinki, and there it was very calm. But I can clearly remember how cool we felt when me and our bassist Eero Heinonen moved into our first flat in the city of Helsinki. The flat was just one room, barely 20 square metres, and had no shower and no toilet. There was just a bathroom on the corridor for the whole level. But that didn’t matter to us most of the time and we just used the sink to pee. I know, quite disgusting, but we were 17 and it didn’t matter to us at all. (laughs) However, we’ve been the coolest kids by far, as we were the first who moved from home. So there often were parties… a very chaotic time.

R: Easy to imagine in this situation. Have you always liked living in Finland? Also before you could visit the whole world because of The Rasmus?
LY: Actually yes. It’s right that I learned to appreciate Finland more since I travelled that much but I always liked this country. I love the clearly definable seasons. In summer you can go skateboarding and when summer is fading slightly you can look forward to snowboarding. I like long winter evenings when it’s dawning at 3 o’clock but also enjoy the long summer days when the sun almost doesn’t disappear.
Los Angeles for example where it’s almost the same weather every day I’d go mad. Of course, as teenagers, we wanted to get out of Finland and went to London to party regularly. But as exciting as it was – here is the most beautiful place.

R: Quite soon after forming the band you decided to quit school for The Rasmus. Was it a hard decision?
LY: Absolutely, it was a really hard one! At that time I was at an eminently respectable music school which only accepts a few number of applicants. Of course my parents had a big expectation of a career there but it didn’t work out as good as before. We already had a certain popularity here in Finland, often played concerts and already went gold the first time. More often I was tired and couldn’t concentrate in school and finally drew the consequences. I would have regretted it if I wouldn’t have done that, as I felt that we could have success with our band. And I was right after all. Fortunately I could also convince my parents, otherwise it would have been difficult. But as my dad always dreamt of his own band it wasn’t so hard.

R: And how did you get used to the life of a professional musician? If you actually can get used to it…
LY: No one of us is a real professional musician. Therefore all of us are too untalented. (laughs) We combine happiness, having fun playing together and this energy that we have. We still respect this thing very much and are happy that we can go through this together as a band. On the one hand it’s better to share the success, on the other hand you can bear reverses easier together. Well, you can’t learn to play in a rock band.

R: Did you have another career aspiration in school?
LY: No, I felt sure that I’d do something with music. After all I was at a music school. I always wanted to play in a band because music already gave me a lot of strength as a listener. Perhaps it’s even my parents’ fault that I quit school, as they were the ones who sent me to piano lessons.

R: Despite of the high expectations, was it a good thing when you created your first band?
LY: Yeah – although first we just played cover versions of Nirvana and Metallica. This was good but not the real deal. This began when we wrote our first own songs…

R: What was the first song you wrote?
LY: It was Myself. Back then I was 15 and the chorus just says “I can’t be myself”, on the one hand the typical “teenager fear” thing, on the other hand I felt exactly like that when I was 15. By the way, we will play this song at our anniversary concert in the gym of our old school. It’s a weird feeling to practice, I was a very different person back then.

R: How did you get the idea of playing a concert in the same gym in which you had your first gig?
LY: I got the idea one day because I just found it fit well to play there after all these years where everything began. So I called the principal which was weird enough, because 15 years ago there wouldn’t have been anyone who I didn’t like to call as much as him. (laughs) First he didn’t want to believe me that it’s really me who’s calling but finally I could convince him. It’ll be fun – we invited some of the audience of that time and will also play one or two very old songs. I just hope that then the show will be better. 15 years ago we were jumping wildly on stage and because of that rather hurt ourselves than playing music…

R: The latest “Best Of” disc and this school concert are a good reason to look back at your career. Which parts stand out the most for you?
LY: A very important event happened not long after we formed the band: we could be the support act of Red Hot Chili Peppers and could perform in front of thousands of people. After this concert we felt sure that we wanted to do this for the rest of our lives. And after a few years in which we were successful in Finland, it went on with In The Shadows. This song was the most important event in our career…

R: … and one of the most successful songs of the Finnish history of music. How did you find out about the fact that In The Shadows hit the charts worldwide?
LY: That was totally chaotic and happened so fast. The song was released worldwide at the same time and made an impact. Earlier we were happy about a good chart position for days and called everyone for hours, with In The Shadows we just got many short text messages: number one in Germany, Poland, wherever. We couldn’t keep up, especially as we were on tour at that time and had to manage not to lose our footing. Of course this is relatively difficult when you’re told about 15 minutes before the gig that the single was selling one million times by that time. That was just beyond our imagination. Today I wish that I could live through this another time so that I can enjoy it more intensive.

R: In spite of everything you managed not to lose your footings and are characterised by a lack of scandals. Or do you just hide them too clever?
LY: It’s possible that we’re just absolutely boring. No, actually I was very careful concerning my private life and I am shy by nature. However, I don’t need to make a big deal out of myself in the media like some Finnish, popular people do. I like to leave that to the persons who need it.


One comment on “Rockoon no.01 December 2009/January, February 2010”

  1. […] Read more from the original source: Rockoon no.01 December 2009/January, February 2010 « Ghost Of Love […]

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