The singer of this band Marko(Marty Blitzkrieg) was so kind to answer a lot of questions.They are one of Finlands oldest punkbands They have been on the road for 20 years now and that´s really good. This interview take it's place in the end of January 2007.
-It all started back in '81 when I first heard The Ramones on the radio.
I got the idea to form a band but things didn't really start to happen until I saw an advertisement in a music magazine in '85.It was Miikka Kirveskoski (aka Gil Blitzkrieg -guitar) an old schoolfriend of mine looking for musicians in order to form a band that would play punk.I phoned him and we decided to give it a try. A little bit later on I recruited Mikko Kivinen (aka Mike Blitzkrieg-bass,drums &backing vocals) also a schoolfriend of mine.
We had our first rehearsals in the wing of a mansion of our first drummer Marko Wallenius.We played some Ramones songs and some finnish punk tunes. Then Marko decided that our music was too simple for him and left the band.
So it was time to look for a drummer.After a while we found one thanks to an advertisement in a music magazine.He was Tero Kyllönen (aka Tony Blitzkrieg).He was 14 and we were 16. Then we made a lot of modest recordings with a cassette player. And then '87 we got a record deal with Raktor Records that published our first Ep.It came out '88. Then it was time to do a tape for an Lp.We found a publisher from Germany (Teenage Rebel Records).Our first Lp "Back from nowhere" came out '89 as well as the reissue of the Ep. Then we were asked to do a live LP in Germany.They arranged us a 15 concert tour.The live tape got made but the tour didn't go that well.Partly it was our fault and partly theirs.If you want the facts and the truth then just ask us.
Because of that tour the band split up and I got very depressed.
But after a while I was back making music.There was a band called Diehard Losers ('91) and Nobody's Heroes ('93-'94).Arska used to be the drummer for Nobody's Heroes. Then it was time for the Blitzkrieg Boys comeback.
The players didn't get along with each other and nobody seemed to want us.Well at least 2 studio tapes got made and one concert got videotaped. This was '95-'97.And JK joined in to play guitar. Then after a finnish singing band Taistelukala (2000-2005) it was time for this second comeback. So here we are with our "20th Anniversary Album".And the line up is:Marty Blitzkrieg -vocals, Gil Blitzkrieg -guitars & backing vocals, JK Blitzkrieg -bass and Arska -drums. And if you want to know the whole (hi)story then visit our website: www.blitzkriegboys.com or read the shorter version on our album ("20th Anniversary album") cover.
Please tell me a little about every member, age, family, work, interests and something bad about every one?
-The average age of the band members is 36.We are not married.2 of us have children.I am unemployed but Gil works in a school and JK works in a hospital and Arska works in a metal work shop.Our main interest is to make music, see our children grow and get things right.Arska drives Harley Davidson. Maybe it's bad that sometimes we like to drink a lot. Can't think of anything specific bad about each of us.We are only human after all.
My review...what about it?
-We were never a coverband.We played some Ramones songs in our early concerts but that's all.Most of the songs were our own. I must also say that the early Cockney Rejects was also a big influence.
Is there any other bands you're being compared with?
-When we played as Nobody's Heroes we were told that we sound a bit like Stiff Little Fingers and '95-'97 we were said to sound like Bad Religion.
Do you care about reviews?
-When we were younger we cared a lot more about them than these days.If the reviews include good ideas about how our music should be then what the heck...we are openminded. A good review is always great.It gives you strength to carry on and lets you know you're in the right way.And if they put you down then hey -what's new.We are very stubborn anyway so we don't really mind because we know that there are people who like our stuff.And in the beginning we were more or less doing this stuff to please ourselves.
Which is the most peculiar review you ever have got?
-Can't think of one.They have always been very understandable.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-"Not too bad" or maybe "Ramones orientated punk". Maybe "150 or less" used to be the keyword in the beginning.
How is it to live in your homecountry?
-People should be allowed to drink in public places and alcohol should be sold 24 hours a day.Otherwise things are pretty good.Darkness sometimes gets you down...too long winter.When you're unemployed you get too little money.There should be more training places for the bands.There should be more punk on the radio and in television.Finland is a hard but nevertheless a good country.
What about the government?
-I hope it would be more left wing.The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.And as there are more rich people than the poor then what can you do? Child molesters (or is paedophile the right word) should get more harsh punishments.
Do you think that music and politics go hand in hand?
-Sometimes I think they should but on the other hand I think there should also be other things to sing about than politics.We have some political songs but mostly we sing about personal stuff.Too much politics can be a bit boring in the long run.Well you need politics but you need other things too.
Best political band?
-Finnish artist Pelle Miljoona (and his various bands),and also a Finnish band called Kohu-63, Ebba Grön, Asta Kask, The Clash, Angelic Upstarts and various English Oi bands.
Is there any good bands in your homecountry now?
-It's hard to say because I mainly listen to our own music.But I can tell you that there are quite many good Ramones orientated bands (Häiriköt is my favourite) and good punk bands too (my favourite band is Kohu-63).
What do you know about Sweden?
-Should I say that I know at least as much about Sweden as you know about Finland.In school we learn a great deal about your country and we learn more from the TV and the newspapers.I have heard that your welfare services are much better than the ones in Finland.I mean you take better care of the poor, unemployed, handicapped etc.I think that it is very important.My parents used to work in Sweden in the 60s.They've told me that it was a pretty good country even back then. I have heard that you have quite much very violent nazis in your country.In Finland there are only few of them.
Have you heard any good swedish bands?
-I used to like Ebba Grön a lot.Also Asta Kask is great.Also a band called the Strebers is/was good. Then there's this band Ultima Thule.Don't know if they are a nazi band but at least their music is good.And let's not forget The Troublemakers.And as I remember correctly there was a band called R.I.F (Rescues in Future) that was great.
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-I've never dressed up like a punk -more like The Ramones.Punk means solidarity and tolerance to me.What the punk has taught me is that I should try to avoid every kind of narrowmindness and help those who are in need of help.I try to help if I can.
Please rank your five favourite records, five favourite concerts and five most important things in life?
-Five records (not in order):Cockney Rejects -The greatest hits vol. II & The Power and the Glory, Ramones -Pleasant dreams, Ratsia -Elämän syke, The Misfits -Walk among us.
Five concerts (not in order): Die Toten Hosen (YO-talo, Tampere, Finland '94), Dee Dee Ramone (Tullikamarin klubi, Tampere, Finland '94), Danzig (Roskilde, Denmark '91), Sielun Veljet (Koivu ja Tähti festival, Finland '85), Jason & the scorchers (Koivu ja Tähti festival, Finland '85)
Five most important things in life (not in order):health, my 3 year old daughter Pinja, friends, making music, mother (my father died '88) +love
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First record I ever bought was "King Creole" by Elvis Presley back in '78. Last one is "Stardom is here" by a finnish band Hybrid Children.I bought it because they used to be good and the CD only cost 2,99 euros. The most expensive record is a 12" radio promo single of the Ramones.It cost 25 euros.Bubling under are Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers:L.A.M.F. (the original one) 20 euros and the only album Eater ever made (the original) 20 euros.I'm not that much of a record collector.Sometimes when I've run out of money I've had to sell some of my records.For example I bought "Beware" by the Misfits for 5 euros and sold it for 70 euros.
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-Can't think of one. All of them are there for a purpose.
How could a band be together for 20 years? Will it be 20 years more?
-The band was formed in '85 but we've only been together for about 8 years('85-'90, '95-'97 and now from '05 to eternity). Well I felt that as long as there is me there will be The Blitzkrieg Boys -one way or another.And Miikka (Gil) has stood by my side since the beginning.After we split up in '90 I always dreamed of a comeback.Time seemed to be right '95 but in fact it wasn't.This last time things seem to be right -we've found the right players, we got new album (it's been 17 years since the last one), we got about 60 songs waiting to be rehearsed and people seem to be interested in our comeback.And I always felt that we got interrupted just when things were starting to happen.And when you learn to do music it hard to quit.It's in your blood.
Will there be 20 years more?
-If you ask me then I say why not.But you never know what will happen in the future -someone might die or paralyze.But anyway -it's been 20 years and there will probably be 20 more -I hope.Making music is the only thing I'm good at then what the hell...I've been training it for 20 years so it can only get better.I'm already looking forward to our next album.
Do you do any covers on stage?Why or why not?
-At the time we have no covers.Maybe it's because we rely on our own material.If there would be a cover or covers they would be Ramones, Adicts, Cockney Rejects, Angelic Upstarts or Dictators songs. Back in the early days we used to play Ramones (I wanna be your boyfriend, Chasing the night & Bye bye baby -a speeded up version) and Misfits (I turned into a Martian & Astro Zombies) as covers.
Is it many interviews?Is it boring?
-Since this second comeback ('05) we've had more interviews than we ever had before all together.Sometimes it's boring when the questions are the same but we ain't complaining.We need the publicity and at least I've got time to spare-being unemployed and all.Your questions have been good so far.The most boring question is the History.I would like to answer that one saying "Visit our homepage!" or "Read the story on our record cover!".
But I ain't complaining -it's nice to get our views and opinions through.
Which is the question you never get, please ask it and answer it?
-Where do you get the inspiration for the lyrics?
There are some songs about people who have died -my father, Gil's mother, friends who have committed suicide or died too young, some observations about religion and politics, some songs about love and some songs about being young in Finland.We remember how fucked up it was being under 18 when you couldn't do almost anything and some of those songs were written when I was under 18.We also have a "Friends"-trilogy. My favourite subject is that you shouldn't give in.I also had some mental problems in the 90s and I have done a few songs about that.
Is it any chance to see you in Sweden soon?Have you ever been here?
-We would truly like to play in Sweden but nothing of that kind has been arranged yet.We have been in Sweden only as tourists.
Where is the best place to play?
-Vastavirta klubi here in Tampere (Finland) is very good, good feeling and it only takes about 100 people to fill it.We are going to do a DVD there 3.3.2007 with 3 cameras.
What kind is a good gig for you?
-It would be good if we wouldn't have to pay to play.And of course the fact that the band members would be sober enough.It would also be good to have enough audience (the amount depends on the place).And hopefully have audience that are excited about the band.And maybe to get an encore.
Marty plays acoustic (unplugged) on the CD.Is it something you often do?
-I usually play acoustic when I'm arranging songs at home.We've been asked to play unplugged live (me and Gil) but we haven't done that so far.Maybe one of these days.
What shall we do with all the racists?
-Well this is a difficult one.There's no easy solution.Well maybe we should send them to the concentration camps but that wouldn't be fair either 'cause they are humans too.I have no real answer to this one.
The best band in punkhistory? In finnish punkhistory?
-The best is Ramones but I used to like the early Cockney Rejects and Misfits also a great deal.Also Pelle Miljoona OY was close to my heart when I had hard times at school (bullies were all over me).It used to give me strength to carry on. So the best finnish band would be Pelle Miljoona OY.Also Kohu-63 was (and still is) great.So many foreign and domestic bands are bubbling under that it's really hard to say.
The most important punksong?
-This is really hard.There are so many great ones so I'll give you three:
Angelic Upstarts -Solidarity, Cockney Rejects -On the run and The Business -Fear in your heart.And as I told you there are so many bubbling under.
Futureplans for the band?
-We are going to do a DVD 3.3.2007.Then there's gonna be a 10 concert tour to Germany and France in the end of March.Our record company should release our 7" split Ep with Heartburns this year and we are also going to go to studio to record new material for an album(?) that will be released this year or the next.We are also trying to get concerts in Finland with the same kind of bands (Häiriköt?) and abroad.Also T-shirts and badges are gonna be made.
-I'm trying to stay unemployed.Write more and better material for the band.Be there to see my daughter grow (me and my daughters mother are not together anymore).Trying to quit smoking.Trying to get enough money with the band so that I wouldn't have to go to work.
-Hold on to your friends and hold on to everything you love.You may get depressed but it's not forever so don't do anything hasty.Don't do hard drugs.Try not to be narrowminded. And don't give in!
Something to add?
-Pick up a guitar and learn to play.It'll give you comfort for years to come. "If you love someone/You'd better let him or her know/Know it right away/'cause tomorrow or even today/It may be too late"
My E-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
and the band's website is: www.blitzkriegboys.com