Original German text: Micc Brunner (M-Heft magazine, # 118, 19.Sept - 2.Okt. 2007)
The Finnish Cello-Rocker Apocalyptica stormed the Charts with Ville Valo & Lauri Ylonen. For their new album they dared to cover the David Bowie hit "Heroes" with Rammstein-front-man Till Lindemann.
Paavo Lotjonen, Eicca Toppinen and Perttu Kivilaakso, better known as Apocalyptica, have finished with Worlds Collide their 7th album in their 11th band-year. M-Music-Chef Micc Brunner met Perttu & Paavo in the Viennese Hotel Triest for a talk about the high-graded guest list of the new opus and the international success of Finnish Rock-music, which originated bands like HIM or The Rasmus in the last years.
Did you ever imagine that you as a Finnish Rock band are counting yourselves to the big Rock-Acts in Europe?
Perttu: Not even while dreaming. When we had our first gig back in 1995 at a Christmas-party, it was just for fun. We performed Metallica-songs with the Cello and I can remember that we were very scared to get booed out at that evening. But then it came differently and the people really flipped out and wanted to hear encores. That was the beginning of our career.
What was the highlight up to now?
Paavu (yes with an u^^): In retrospective our first gig was meaning a lot to us. But the gig at the Eurovision Song contest this year was also surely a highlight. The contest is crap but it was still an honour to be allowed to present one's songs in front of so many of millions of people. And at the European Dance contest 2007 won the winner-couple also with a song from us.
Since your third album you're writing your songs by yourselves. How do you get in contact with all the top-class guest singers?
Perttu: That's happening from alone. We would never crawl into one's butt because of that. On this already mentioned evening, at which we had our first gig and got discovered by a boss of a label, there were also HIM in the club who were on the stage before us. It was one of their first public shows and we became friends. It was just a logical consequence that Ville Valo would sing for us one day, it was also similar with Lauri Ylonen from The Rasmus. We also founded an own Scuba-Diving-club. Besides we Finns need to hold together... (both are laughing)
The legendary Slayer-drummer Dave Lombardo is the third time on board on your new album "Worlds Collide". How did you manage that?
Perttu: We got to know him on a Metal-Festival. Suddenly Dave stood in our dressing room and asked, if we also had some Slayer-songs in our repertoire. Of course we said yes. 2 Hours later we were standing with our Cellos on stage for their hymn South of Heaven and were hailed. After the gig Dave said: "It was great, whenever you need a drummer, I'll be there." Since then we're friends.
You got the muse of Rammstein Jacob Hellner as your producer and else your guest are prominent.
Paavo: We can't complain. For the first single I'm Not Jesus we immediately managed to engage Stone Sour/ Slipknot-frontman Corey Taylor, with who we had lots of fun in the studio. Besides of him also Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil's and Adam Gontier of 3 Days grace were joining us.
What's about Till Lindemann and the "Heroes"-Cover version?
Perttu: That arranged Jacob Hellner. It was a dream from us for years to work with the Rammstein-singer. At the beginning he wasn't sure, if he could carry the David Bowie-Cover vocally and he was deliberating long. The result knocked our socks off. Even David Bowie personally encouraged us to record this song. He said: "I would be happy, if you cover my song." He already recorded it in German language for the German movie "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo". Helden will be the next single in Europe.
(Under the small picture: Perttu with his newly in London bought hat poses with M-Music-chef Micc Brunner and Paavu after the interview in the Viennese hotel "Das Triest")
English translation by Dreamcatcher, © 2007