Juggling Jugulars is a really good punkband from Finland which I interviewed for about 22-23 years ago but now I must do it again. June-2020


I interviewed you dor more than 20 years and what have happened since then with members. Have it been many changes?
- We added leadvocalist Arja in spring 2000, because we wanted to concentrate more on our instruments. Before that it was me, guitarist (Petteri) and Jantsa, our ex-bassist who was also did the vocals. Sometimes it was hard to make a tour when our singing/screaming techinique was somehow wrong and we struggled quite a lot with our voices during the longer (+10 gigs) tours.
The next change was when before mentioned Jantsa got brain hemorrage in September 2006. He survived somehow but his other side was paralyzed and he also lost his ability to talk and swallow. The next phase of his tragedy was serious mental problems he got and finally; he committed suicide in May 2008. Really sad. Meanwhile we were finishing our album “Salute No One” and our friend Jaani promised to take care of the basstracks for Jantsa but he ended up as our bassist/vocalist after all this.
The next line-up change is still going on; our former member and guitarist Tero suddenly died (heart attack) last November (2019). It was really big chock for us and we didn´t know if we can continue with the band after all this. But since the January/February we have gone to rehearsals and tried to get our band together as a quartet for the first time. We were supposed to play gigs again but then this corona hit the world and we are still waiting for the gigs to start again.

Which is the biggest difference with playing today if you compare with the late 90´s
- We are definitely still the same band musicwise, but nowadays I think our songs are better thought and arranged. In the 90´s we tried to be productive and make our songs really fast from rehearsals to studio; everything as fast/cheaply as possible. Sometimes it worked, but in many cases I think we should have spent a little bit more time with songs before studio and also at the studio. Now we try to spend more time getting the best out of every song.

I love your latest record and I think it sounds like a mix of anarchopunk and our own swedish Baboon Show. How have the reviews been on the record
- So far we have got really good reviews, many people seem to think that it is our best record. And it might be true – we are really happy with it!

Have you never been singin in finnish?
- We do have songs in finnish, but only a few. It might sound stupid, but we feel that our band-identity is probably more “european” than “finnish”. Finnish tradion is more 82-style of hardcore, but our influences and ideas come from wider range of international DIY-punk-music. We have got quite good feedback of our finnish songs (especially “Isän Rakkaus” from our Forward 12”EP) and even requests that we should sing in finnish, but it just doesn´t feel our thing.

How have you have it during the worst coronatimes in Finland?
- It has been hard; many people work at home, schools were closed etc. We didn´t even go to band rehearsals for a long time and many gigs were cancelled (including our gigs in Göteborg and Oslo that were supposed to be in May 2020). But we are all in the same situation, so what can you do? Now it seems a bit better – hopefully we will not see the 2nd wave of the pandemic though… It is really sad to see how many people have died of this virus and the number is growing in South America especially. It is not over yet.

I really love punk with a woman on song, I understand you agree and do you have any special favourites which is having a woman on song?
- Yeah, I agree. My favourites are (the first that come to mind): The Avengers, DIRT, Barcelona, Accidente, The Assassinators, La Fraction, Heyoka, Life But How To Live It?, Inner Conflict…

 How is to play this sort of punkrock in Finland?
- Well, we are not the hottest band in the scene… We are not trendy at all! We should be finnish-singing melodic 77-group or fast 82-style hc-band (in finnish), then it would be different. But we are Juggling Jugulars, so better get used to it

Have your view on punk been changing since the start or is punk the way you live?
- I started following punk since 1982 when I was only 10 years old, so I have lived throught the 80´s pen-pal -period when I wrote letters all over the world and changed records and fanzines. It was insipiring! I think punk-scene has lost a little bit of that DIY-attitude during the decades. The 90´s scene in Finland was probably more political as well comparing to this day (the rise of finnish anarchist-, antifa- and animal-rights movement), but it was maybe because there was political awakening of the new big generation (kids that came in when Green Day/Offspring/Bad Religion got big their following). But I don´t complain; we have more gigs than ever and nowadays it is easier to communicate internationally etc. But punks are getting older, so we would need a new young people to the scene.

How is the punkmovement lives on in Finland? Any good bands?
- We have few bigger cities; Tampere, Helsinki, Turku, Jyväskylä and Oulu where the most of the gigs happen. We are doing ok! My current favourites are: 1981, Kohti Tuhoa, Maailmanloppu, Lapinpolthajat, Wasted, Bad Jesus Experience, Influenza, Vapaa Maa… Only few to mention!

Have you been to Sweden and played anytime? Do you dare coming to this
Coronapandemic land anymore ?
- We have played there few times, but really we should have played there more during our history. Our first time in Sweden was already in 1990 when we played in Umeå at some punk/hc-concert with Step Forward, Dr and The Crippens (UK) and MomIDo7 (Germany) and some others.. Good memories! Since that we have been occasionally in Stockholm, Punk Illegal fest (2011) and at Göteborg once.. We should come back there as soon as possible!

In Inheritance of Fools you sing I hate fucking nazis, do you have much problems with that sort of stuff in Finland? We have our Sverigedemokraterna which is old nazis which fools the oridnary people that people from other countries is the cause of all problems in Sweden…
- I think we have the exact same problem here (and all over the western world right now..). We also have “Truefinns” (=Perussuomalaiset) that has the very same ideas like you have with Svergiedemokraterna over there. Under the surface - not even very “secretly” - the members are active in more openly far-right/nazi-movements, like now-banned “Nordiska motståndsrörelsen” or Nordfront that have a common goal with your nazis to force the nordic countries under some fascist-regime and blame refugees about everything. Fuck them!

You have had a lot of different of labels, how come?
- I don´t know; we have been around for so long that we are lucky to have many friends! It is also quite easy; when 5 labels in 4 different countries released our new album, the distribution works really well! When LP/CD comes out; it is already released in many countries. And postages within EU from Germany or Poland are cheaper than from Finland, that is why distribution in these countries is easier. One LP with postages from Finland to France or Spain = the price would be just crazy…

I compare you a little to Baboon Show and like if Subhumans had a woman on vocals.? What other comparasions have you got?
- Wow, that sounded really nice! We like both of these bands a lot and actually when we played at Fusion Festival (Germany) in 2018 we saw them both there! We have been compared to some old anarchobands – that we sound like “updated” version of them? That feels really nice! Actually people seem to say in the latest reviews that we have our own sound and no matter what we do, it always sounds like Juggling Jugulars. Not bad!

Do you care about reviews, which do you trust the most, the bad or the good ones?
- I am very critical of what we do, so I don´t mind that much what is written (especially bad stuff). In the end we basically make music for ourselves. Of course the music is meant to play live before audience, but when we make songs we try to make us happy with it, that´s it. If we think that some song is really good, we don´t really care what other people think: we enjoy it still. Good review make us really happy, but sure, it is always better if there is some good personal point in the review why it is that good or why it sucks.

The new Ep Asylum, is it only digital? You are satisfied with the songs?
- I had to think what you mean, but I realized that somehow it is in Spotify mentioned as our latest release? Well, it was recorded in 2012 and released in 2013 as 7”EP by Kämäset levyt (Finland). 300 copies out somewhere (sold out from the label). When it came out we were really happy about it. It has songs that we still play live; “Asylum” especially will probably be on the setlist many years to come.

Do you feel that you have released a record if it don´t come as a CD/LP/Single? Which is the best format to listen to music?
- In my daily life (at work etc) I listen music from my mobilephone (bandcamp/youtube/spotify/etc) and at home from my vinyls. Vinyl is my favourite format, absolutely. I think that the most of the young people (born after 2000->) are so used to digital music that they don´t care that much about physical release. My oldest son (20 years old) buys his favourite albums as vinyls, if possible. So the vinyl has still some value even with younger music-lovers, but they are not majority.
I think we could release some songs digitally (streaming) but definitely not a whole album... It wouldn´t feel right.

When you do your songs, are you doing them all of you or how do you do them?
- Basically I am the main writer, but sometimes Jaani (bassist) and Marko (drummer) make some songs or parts too. But the arrangements are very democratic and there our vocalist has a really big role.

Is there many interviews? Is it boring?
- No, this is also becoming more and more rare. I used to make quite lot of interviews in the past for fanzines, but not that much anymore... It takes time to write answers, for sure, but it is nice! Usually interviews tend to happen on our tours before gigs – or right after the gig, so it is always in a rush and you are not at your best in that live situation.

Which is the most odd question you ever have got in an interview?
- I am really boring here. There are some for sure, but just can´t remember them anymore.

Which is the question you never get but you want to have, please ask it and answer it?
- “What is the secret of 30-year-old band that is not really famous?” We give room for each other and respect each other´s priorities. That is why it is always nice to meet and play. Plus that our music is something we all like; it is mixture of old-school and modern punkrock. Small audience works for us very well; we are all on the same scene anyway.

Please tell me of the following records and what you think about them?
The first record you got?
– Chuck Berry´s some “best of” compilation, maybe titled “Roll Over Beethoven”.
The record that got you into punk/hardcore?
– UK Subs: Diminished Responsibility was my first punk LP that I bought, but finnish LAMA was the first punkband I loved before that.
The record that does that Juggling Jugulars sound like they do?
- You mean our main influence? In the beginning Bad Religion´s Suffer LP was a huge influence and I have always loved Rudimentary Peni´s Death Church LP and Dead Kennedys Plastic Surgery Disasters LP. But nowadays it is really hard to pick any huge influences.
The record with the best coverart but you got disappointed on?
- Crass: Yes sir, I will LP might be it; it is quite difficult musically. Not maybe “disappointment”, but still I wouldn´t call it their best work. Their artwork was always brilliant.
-The record you are ashmed of?
- I listen to many kinds of music and shaming music I sometimes like to listen, is not so familiar feeling. I could shame politically some records, but I think I don´t have any of that stuff; no Skrewdriver or Ted Nugent records in my collection!
-The record you have been wanting to be playing on?
- That´s hard! Musically maybe Cross-Stiched Eyes would be fun to play with, or more heavy-stuff, tuned down guitars, like Kylesa – just to play guitar differently with different attitude.

Music and politics, does it always goes hand in hand?
- I guess it does. Even if you are apolitical, that is also statement. But you can have a political band without political lyrics, if you work in the DIY-scene and express your views outside music and make a stand.

Do you have any of your fans which have been doing something that shows that they´re real fans, like tattoos etc?
- Yes, we have seen some JJ-tattoos! That feels great and weird at the same time!

Please tell me a really funny thing which have happened during your career?
- On our first tours across Europe when there were still a lot of border-control we were stopped for hours; customofficers were searching for drugs and we had to be naked somewhere in their office etc. It happened few times but we will never forget it. Or playing at some squat in Prague in summer of 1994; electricity come from street-lamps and we had a huge party going on. Atmosphere was really warm, unique and international: lots of travellers were gathering there as well.

Many rockbands do thier own beer, do you like beer? If you do a beer which sorts of beer would it be and what have it been called?
- Yes, I love beer! Bring me Jugu-APA, american pale ale. Or maybe Juguinness, dark stout?

Is there any good bands that you like which is from Sweden?
- Yes of course! I have listened to bands like Anti-Cimex, Ebba Grön, Invsn, Masshysteri, The Vicious, DS-13, Crutches, Baboon Show, Sju Svåra År, Allvaret, Burning Kitchen, Imperial Leather, Sex Dwarf etc etc. You have had a huge amount of different kind of great punk/hc-bands!

Is music a good way to get out frustration?
- Playing live or even at rehearsals, it helps a lot with frustration!

- When there is a will, there is a way!

Futureplans with the band?
- Right now we are waiting if we can play few gigs in September in Austria, Czech and Poland. But otherwise we try to make new songs and get our band working again.

For yourself?
- Right now I am waiting for my summerholiday. Normally we would have travelled abroad with the family, but now we try to find something interesting and relaxing here in Finland.

Something to add?
- If you haven´t checked us out; go ahead and visit our bandcamp, there is lots of records downloadable for free. And also from Spotify you can find our essential records as well. Thanks for reading this! See you at the gigs!