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Interview with The Rasmus | Lauri Ylönen

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Thank you, for your time. We are thrilled to have you.

Lauri: Thank you for having me. Always a pleasure.

 

 

 

You are carrying the Finnish flag for the Eurovision contest in Turin. How did that all happen? Whose idea was it to take part?

Lauri: It was mine idea actually. I took a big hit from covid personally. I was really devasted and depressed when we had to stop touring. I am kind of born to do this, concerts, interaction with the fans. I was feeling sick cause we weren’t able to play two years so I got the idea about the Eurovision thing, I had an idea about a song that sounded like a song that could stand there. That song became “Jezebel”. I think that covid has something to do with this.

 

 

 

Are you excited? How is it so far?

Lauri: Very excited. We had the first rehearsal a couple of days ago. We saw the stage, the venue. It was really great. It’s about 5.000 people capacity. The stage is huge but we decided to be close to one another, because we believe in the energy and the chemistry between us. Also, we wanted people from home to experience how we are and how we feel when we are on stage.

 

 

 

Who is Jezebel? Is there a story behind the song?

Lauri: Yes, Jezebel name comes from the Bible. Queen Jezebel lived 500 years before Christ. She actually was a very bad person, horrible woman and did horrible things. At the same time, she was very attractive, very beautiful, kind of seductive. She was a very interesting character in the history. That’s where the name came from. Our Jezebel is living in the modern world. She is independent, rebellious and a dangerous girl, who is in control of her life, I can relate myself to that. It’s about a girl but it would be about anyone who are feeling that they live the life how they want and maybe little at risk putting a lot of effort to be what they want and sometimes it’s not that easy. Been an artist for the last thirty years I had to fight for it, I struggled sometimes. It’s not an easy path to walk but it really pays off. I love to do it, it’s the only thing I want to do.

 

 

 

What’s the feedback you have been getting from the fans and the Press?

Lauri: Very good. Many people say that it reminds them of the first years of The Rasmus. We totally agree. That’s why we wanted to bring the yellow color on stage, cause it remind us the history of the band

 

 

 

How hard was it during the pandemic? Did you try to write new material during the quarantines, did you try to do new things in music in general?

Lauri: We were in different parts of the world. I have a home in Hawaii, the bass player is living in Australia, our keyboard player in Finland. We had to work in three continents over zoom and via laptops. It was really hard to get anything done. We were not in the same room to feel the energy, sharing things together. We tried though and some of that is really good. I believe that when you come together, a great idea can be developed. I got to tell you that Greece has an important role to the Jezebel song. I wrote the idea in Hawaii. I called a friend of mine, Desmond Child, the legendary songwriter and producer, I told him that I had this idea and we should go to Eurovision. He said “Come here, to Folegandros, let’s write it together”. The next day I flew 35 hours from Hawaii to Folegandros. It was worth it cause we made a beautiful song together. Folegandos is known to us cause 14 years ago we went there and wrote the album “Black Roses”. We have a connection to Greece and we will be at Desmond Child’s concert in Odeon of Herodes Atticus on 27th of June and The Rasmus will be playing some songs there. It will be a concert about all the hits he made. He had written songs for Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith etc., it’s going to be a great night.

 

 

 

Live gigs or studio recordings? Which one is more intriguing?

Lauri: I prefer live gigs. I love to write new songs, I really do; interviews I don’t like so much. It seems ninety per cent of the time I am talking to someone and only ten per cent playing and singing. Especially right now. I really like to play, that’s my cherry on top. When we will be going on the tour that it will happen later this year, in October and we will be playing for six months it’s going to be really fun to travel to all these countries, meeting the fans, getting the energy from them, experience new cultures, trying different foods. It will be amazing. That is the part I look forward to.

 

 

 

Open air festivals or small clubs? Both interesting as an experience?

Lauri: Small clubs. In an open festival is impossible to reach all these people. Small gigs somehow feel more personal.

 

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You are one of the most successful bands internationally; is there anything else to accomplish?

Lauri: Yes, there are many things. I have played in seventy countries all of these years but there are still many countries that we have never been to. We never played in Australia, in China. Those are dreams that I would love to fulfill someday. Now been in the Eurovision is another dream I had and made it true. We are very excited and especially now that we have a new guitarist. Emilia joined us last September and together we were prepared for the Eurovision contest. It was fantastic that we had something to do as a new line up. It brought us together with her. To experience something new you have to be brave. A lot of people hesitate and lots of accomplished bands also, to take part in this competition, because they think “What if we don’t do so well”? What if we are the last”? They think that they will ruin their career but it’s wrong. It’s a great opportunity to play in front of almost two billion people if you get to the finals. Everything that comes along with that is an amazing chance to find new things about yourself and the band. It has made us so much stronger realizing our own potential and identity. I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

What inspires you to make music? What is the driving force behind the band?
Lauri: I am inspired by many things, usually when there is a lot going on. For example, today we had a street gig, singing our songs on the street and watching the reactions of the people. It was so inspiring and suddenly I started thinking about new songs, put down some ideas. When I am on spontaneous mood, I get very creative. It’s hard to say when the inspiration hits. Usually when I am feeling strong and good. Not so much if I feel down and sad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Zarakoviti, Chris Mouskos

Black Velvet Radio

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