Wasted from Finland became the first interview out in 2023 and it is a group which I have wanted to interview for a long time. Really good group and one of Finlands most interesting groups. Ville have answered the questions

Why did it took 13 years between the two fullengthrecords?
-It was actually 9 years since our previous full length Here Comes The Darkness that came out in 2013. But we were playing shows all the time and put out The Truth Will Not Be Televised 12" EP in 2016.
Probably the main reason it took so long is that I moved to Berlin in the end of 2012 and I'm the main song writer, so things slowed down as far as practicing new songs. I also had two bands in Berlin, a hardcore project and Beginnings and I wrote all the songs for those bands as well plus I was playing shows with them. We recorded a demo and a full length album with Beginnings in 2018. So for me as a song writer there has never been a break, I've been writing stuff almost every day.

Have you been playing all the time together?
-Yeah, we've played a lot of shows in Finland and toured Europe almost every year. We've never had a year without a show since 1996 when we started the band. Between 2005-2010 we were playing less cos we were so busy with our other bands.

Do you have any other groups on the side of Wasted?
-Our bass player Jamppa has a band called Suosikki and he used to play in Abduktio. Miikka the drummer is singing in Korkkivika. Me and Antti had a band called I Walk The Line and we were really active between 2003-2010,  we put out 2 eps and 4 albums and played around 400 shows so that was also the reason why Wasted was not so active during those years.

Please tell me a little about every member, age, work and something funny about every one?
-I'm Ville the singer, 48 years old, living in Berlin for 10 years with my wife and a dog, I write songs and work part-time in carpentry/part-time screen printer.
Antti the guitar player, who's also my brother is 45 years old, works as a tattoo artist in Tampere. Jamppa the bass player, 40 years old, lives in Tampere, he owns a bistro bar and is a father of two kids.
Miikka the drummer, 45 years old, living in Helsinki, works as home appliance fitter and is a father of a son.  Funny hmm, we like to joke around but nothing I can tell you off the top of my head, sorry.

Have it been many lineup changes?
-Only once in 2003. The original bass player Kalle left the band, so for a while I played bass and sang and then Jani from Manifesto Jukebox filled in for bass for a while. Then finally we found Jamppa from a hardcore band called Abduktio, he's still in the band.

I think the drumsound is a little bit special, is that something you have worked on especially or did it only become this way?
-Oh, I don't think it's that special haha. But yeah It's something we worked on, we didn't want a typical overproduced triggered drum sound, but something rougher, rawer, more organic, more garagey sound. I'm not a fan of overproduced sound, every hit at the same volume, played to a click, then the hits are corrected, might as well program the drum track then.

You celebrated 25 years as a band last year, was it something that you did celebrate with a big party or something like that?
Yeah, we played a special anniversary tour in Finland with our friends Manifesto Jukebox (who disbanded in 2010) we played a special set with only songs from 1996-2000, it was awesome, 3 of the shows were sold out. The whole Helsinki show is on YouTube, you can find it if you search for Wasted 25th anniversary concert.

How is it to play this sort of music in Finland today?
-We never thought what is trendy or popular, we just always did our own thing, luckily some people are still into what we're doing. There are not many bands olaying this style, if any. And we're one of the few punk bands singing in English, most Finnish bands sing in Finnish. 

How is it to live in Finland otherwise, How about Nato, racists and politics overall?
-Well, winters are really long, cold and dark, the summer is really short but the sun is up almost all the time haha.
What I like most about Finland is nature. It's really clean and beautiful and there's almost 200 000 lakes.
In Finland everything is pretty expensive, especially  alcohol haha. On the other hand education and health services are free, there's a social security system, it all sounds good but of course it has a lot of flaws well.
Finland still has mandatory military service but all of us in the band refused to do it, we did civil service instead. If you refuse civil service you will go to prison, Finland really has to quit that shit. So for sure we're not fans of Nato but I guess the majority of Finnish people wanted to join Nato as we're neighbors with Russia. In an ideal world of course you wouldn't need and want things like Nato, borders etc. but you can't trust all the psycho leaders. There's no right solution here I guess, maybe someday people will realize wars are wrong and useless but I doubt it...

Is it good or bad to put politics in the lyrics? Which is your most political song?
-It's good for sure! We've always been political and openly anti-fascist. There's never too many political songs, the world is already full of love songs.
I've always been into lyrics that take a stand and have something meaningful to say, at the moment I feel like in punk there's not much of that going on, so  I've been inspired by hip hop lyrics more, straightforward and straight to the point, no metaphors, no need to listen to a song 10 times to know what it's about haha. And the world is really fucked up right now and it pisses you off so you gotta write about it. I would probably be in a mental hospital if I didn't have this outlet to scream my lungs out about all this shit. Hard to say what's the most political song, there's so many but for example  "These Streets" on the new album is an in your face anti-nazi anthem.

What does punk mean to you if you compare when you started the band?
-It hasn't really changed. Even though we're older we still feel the same way about things, even stronger. It's not only music, for me punk has always been the overall attitude towards life and it's good to be part of the worldwide punk community.  Doesn't matter where in the world you go you'll find bands and friends, doesn't even matter if you speak the same language. We toured Japan with our other band, we didn't understand what people were saying but we were still like the same family, still made some new friends by just seeing a band name on a t-shirt or something and you'll know you share the same values and will get along and drink some beers together.
When we started the band I  used to listen to pretty much only punk, hardcore and hip-hop but nowadays I listen to all kinds of good music. The punk is more in the way you do things rather than actually listening to punk.

And which other things are different if you compare when you started as a band back in 1996?
-Well, one thing for sure is different that people in the "scene" are older. In 1996 people were really young. Nowadays it's a good mix of younger and older people. At our shows the crowd consists of all kinds of people between the ages of 18 and 60. Also everything has gotten a bit more professional and organized. It can be a good thing in some cases but in a way it can also be bad, just waters it down, sometimes it feels like it's no different from any other music scene. For me punk has never been about a certain musical style or look, it's always been about diy, having an open mind, doing things your way and standing up against all the wrongs in the world. Punk talks about unity but in reality it's pretty elitist and divided in small cliques and scenes. We come from a small town where it didn't matter what music you're into or what you look like, as long as you're against nazis we were all together.
We have always liked playing all kinds of shows, sometimes there's hardcore, punk rock, ska and hip-hop on the same bill.

Is there any good band in Finland right now?
-There's plenty of good bands but for example Lapsuus and Custody are pretty good melodic punk rock, then for good post punk Dragsvik. Then some good hardcore: Foreseen, Kohti Tuhoa. Melodic hardcore: One Hidden Frame, Tryer.

Have you been playing in many other countries than Finland, where is best?
-We have played in around 16-18 countries. The craziest and most welcoming crowd is usually in smaller towns or countries where not so many bands play, like Poland, Czech Repblic, Belarus. We're playing mostly in Finland nowadays, so for sure the crowd is great there as well, that's where we probably get the biggest crowds.

Good swedish bands that you like?
-Abba and Herreys of course haha!
We toured Finland with Rotten Mind, they're great and nice guys. We also  played some shows with Vånna Inget, I like them as well. Masshysteri and Hurula are greatl. True Moon is also cool, with people from Vånna inget. Then of course Ebba Grön and Anti-Cimex.

You have never thought of singing in finnish, or have you done that any time?
-I have always written songs in English, even my first band in 1993 had only English songs. I've played drums in bands that sung in Finnish though. Actually the only time I've recorded singing in Finnish was a song on a Berlin band Gulag Beach's record, it was a collaboration between many singers from different countries singing in their native tongue, the song was a cover of Nick Cave's Death is not the end.

Can you think to do a song to something special, like some political, hockeyteam or something similar?
-We've had songs in snow-and skateboarding videos. We were happy to let them use our songs cos 3 of us have been skateboarding actively for a really long time. There wouldn't be Wasted without skateboarding, in the end of 80s I found out about all the best bands in skate videos and in Thrasher magazine. A Finnish skatecompany even did a Wasted skateboard  deck. Once I wrote a song for a snowboarding video. But I can't imagine writing a song for any other "sports" videos.

I read somewhere that you live in Tampere/Helsinki and Berlin, is that so and how do you do when you rehearse and do new songs?
-I only sing so the guys can practice without me and before shows I usually fly in one day earlier and we practice then. As for new songs, I send some demos over, Antti sends some riffs over and then we choose the best ones and talk about the arrangements and stuff, so it's a lot of sending files and video calls. Then when we record an album I fly over a few times for some intensive practicing sessions.

Please tell me a little about following songs
a.Rich man´s war
The song was written a year before the war in Ukraine so it's not about that, just the senselessness and cruelty of wars in general. Rich man's war, poor man's blood.
I wrote this song about what I've witnessed in Berlin for the past 10 years I've lived here. It has changed a lot to the worse, gentrification is on full force now. Squats getting evicted, old venues and bars as well. People who lived here all their lives have to move out cos they can't afford the rent. Of course the same shit goes with any bigger city in the world as well.
c.True colors
This songs is about the conspiracy theorists, covid / vax deniers, fake news and misinformation. I guess people's true colors came out during the pandemic, their selfish ignorant attitudes.
d. Abuser
This song is about #metoo / #punkstoo sexual abuse cases that came out in 2020 in the Finnish punk scene. It was shocking to see how many women had been abused in the punk scene, also by people we thought we knew well. Believe the victims rather than some asshole abuser who's playing down someone's traumatic experience.

You call your new record Modern Lie, is it something special you think about?
-Almost all the songs on the new album are about what's going in the world at the moment, modern life. In a song called No Time there's a line: "is this what we call evolution or is it just a modern lie "

Is it possible for you to put out a record only digitally or must it be a physical release(I hope so). Can you feel that you have released something if it´s only digital?
-We've always released a vinyl version of everything we've done. Hard to imagine only digital.
Even though releasing an LP is also getting really annoying nowadays, you gotta wait for 9 months to a year to get your Lps from the pressing plant.

Is there many songs which haven´t been recorded or haven´t came to a record? Maybe you can put it all in a box and release every song you have done?
-Yeah, there's tons of unreleased songs, for every album I usually make around 20-30 demos and we choose 10-12 best ones.  Or not necessarily or always the best songs but the ones that fit well together. For the last album there was probably 10 kinda melodic skate punk style songs but they didn't fit on this album.

You have a done a new record now, what happens now, touring or what?
-The new album came out in April, we played a release tour this year in Finland and Germany.
Mainly Finland though cos touring abroad is too expensive at the moment...flight prices doubled or tripled and others costs as well.

Are you planning for another record soon?
-I've recorded some demos but we haven't practiced any yet. Hopefully some day! We don't plan these things, we just go with the flow, when there's a bunch of good songs and we still think they're relevant and still have something to say, then we'll record them. We've been going on for 26 years now, it would be cool to put out an album and celebrate 30 years Wasted :)

Which is your own favoritesong among your own songs? And which song is the people choice?
-It's always cool to play some favorites like Fuel, Disconnected, Shopping Cart. Newer ones maybe Here Comes the darkness, Concrete Wasteland.  From the new album my favorite is Break You.

Which is the record that you always must have in the tourbus?
-No music in the van. We don't meet each other that often so we just talk and catch up.

Do you buy much records, or is it only Spotify and those type of things to listen to music? Is there any good record shop in your hometown?
-I'm mostly streaming music with headphones cos I listen to music mostly at work, at home I play guitar or drums, and when I'm for example cooking I'll spin a 70s soul record or something. I still buy and listen to LPs but less than before.
Static Shock is a good record store in Berlin. In Tampere Sammakka-pop and Swamp music. In Helsinki our label Combat Rock Industry had a record store but they quit in 2016.

Which was your first record, the latest you bought and the most expensive you have bought?
-The first album I bought was Kiss: Destroyer. Latest album is bought was Iconaclass – Changing culture with revolvers. Lately I've been into hip hop more and more.
I have never bought any expensive records. I'm not a vinyl collector and special editions don't interest me, the records are meant to be listened, not to be put on the shelf with the wrappings on and then later sold for profit.

Do you care about reviews? Which is the most peculiar you ever had, with this band or any other band you have been to?
-I read the reviews, it's interesting to read how other people hear the songs. At least the ones who actually dig in and not only copy the info / promo text we've written haha.
Can't think of any weird reviews tho. On some of the reviews of the new album someone wrote how the 2 guitars are working together nicely and the keyboard melodies are cool even though there's only one guitar recorded and barely any keyboards, maybe in 2 songs quiet on the background but you can't really hear it.

If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen?
-If I could take the time machine and go back to the early 80s, it would've been pretty cool to play with these bands:
Agent Orange, Black Flag (pre-Rollins), Descendents, Wipers, The Clash.

Futureplans for the band?
-Trying to hit the 30 years as a band mark! So just continue playing and having fun. Hopefully a new album some day.

-Fuck nazis, end wars. Don't be an asshole and kill your ego.

Anything more to add to the interview?
-I think that's all. Thanks for the interview!