Interview with Paavo Lotjonen (Dec., 2005)

Original German text: Carina Ullmann -

How would you describe Apocalyptica's music with three words?

Paavo Lotjonen: (silence) Cello Metal Rock.
(my comment: told him he should do a different version than this)

And how would you describe yourself with three words?

Paavo Lotjonen: I don't. Someone else should do that - human being (silence, and then a lonh aaaaahm)
(me: one word is still left...) - yes...

I was wondering if you are still horseriding in your free time...

Paavo Lotjonen: Yes, sometimes. But this year I've only done it about five times...

So do you own a horse?

Paavo Lotjonen: No, it is just (silence, aaahm), it is a good hobby for me - it's like one of my hobbies. You know, I love to do all the sports. I try to keep the business away from me by running and bicycling. I'm a big fan of mountain-skiing and I'm also working as a skiing-instructor - and my biggest passion is mountain-skiing and free skiing (my comment: what is free skiing?!).

So, you are travelling around many places - do you always know where you are when waking up?

Paavo Lotjonen: Many times, no (silence laughing, silence)...!

Coz I was wondering if you travel over night and then get up and ask yourself (as the first thought): where the hell am I?!

Paavo Lotjonen: Yeah, yeah, that's true. When we're travelling by bus we leave after the show and drive. When we're driving all night we get to sleep during the drive. Then I get up when I want - afternoon maybe... I never get to sleep before two o'clock in the night so... and then the sleeping in the bus is not that good sleep you know - you're the whole time waking up and the bus is shaking so you got to sleep a bit longer!

In this case I was asking myself how you get along with the other guys during this long time and staying at the bus with them - I mean, you can?t say that someone shall leave you alone for a longer time...

Paavo Lotjonen: This year we have been at least 200 days together...

So - how can you cope with that?

Paavo Lotjonen: Oh yeah, soemtimes it is a bit difficult - but this year we have had an amazing year with a good feeling in the band. So we've had a good mood - but it is always the end of the tour - the last days, at the airport at least you are like warghahaha (acting like going mad and crazy, laughing) and so do the conversation are like (both laughing) - but we really had a good feeling during this year.

And what about the next year - it was mentioned that there won?t be many concerts - what will it be like?

Paavo Lotjonen: We will play some shows in January and then some summer festivals in Europe - that's it. But basically we are releasing some new material in spring and then we concentrate on the family too. And on composing and working on new material.

How difficult is it to be away from the family for that a long time?

Paavo Lotjonen: You know, we're not that long on the road - a maximum of three weeks and then we go home for a week - of course it is hard! I have a small son of two years and four month and of course it is hard to be away (swallowing hard). But it is good to see them every second week at least and you know, next year I'm basically at home the whole time or so. It's fine - everything is ok at home. I'm bringing money home - someone hast to ear the money and my wife, you know, is a lawyer, and she has also other things to do and I know that there is everything so well at home that I don't have a bad feeling, too. Of course I'd prefer staying at home - other options would be: would I like to work in the office every day? No... I think it would not suit me - for other people it might be ok...

What would you take with you to a lonely island - only three things once more?

Paavo Lotjonen: (silence) Lots of beer, a surfboard and a scuba diving equipment - and some kind of restaurant would be nice. (me: that are four things already...) leave away the beer, that's also in the restaurant!

Again back to your music - I see that you're playing very intensivly on stage and I am Wondering if you're really realizing the persons you are looking at (if you are) - only the crowd or even a single person?

Paavo Lotjonen: You know, depends on the mood, and what the concentration for the music is like and how the playing is; sometimes I'm just playing and concentrating on playing, and then I can't see anything or anybody though when I'm watching - many times I try watching the people's eyes and try to have a conversation with the eyes and try to get their interactive feeling between the audience and me - trying to get a good feeling for the show which is really important - between the band and the audience - that we're there together!

What do you think is typical for the finnish mentality?
Who has told you about that typical finnish mentality?

Paavo Lotjonen: Ahm, every person is different here, in common, if you think about the finnish audience - finnish audience is not reacting that spontaniously, they are more reserved with showing feelings. Depends on the person of course. Normally finnish people are a bit shy or quiet. Finnish people are basically not talking bullshit - if they want to say something, they will say it straight and honestly.

Talking about Finland - there are a lot of finnish bands which are very popular in Europe - what do you think might be the reasons for their popularity?

Paavo Lotjonen: I don't know. There is no reason. I don't know. (laughing) Seriously, you know, in Finland there is a really good music-school-system. It is easy for everyone to take cello or other music lessons because it is really cheap and poor families get it for free. So it is also very easy to get lessons for rock music and so it's kind of standard how good the really good players and singers are. And in this case the bands are playing on a very high level - if you can get lessons, that doesn't mean everyone is becoming that good - you can hear the differences between good ones and really good ones. I mean, it is really easy to find a practicing-room for those bands. There is really no competition between H.I.M., The Rasmus or Nightwish, we're just supporting each other. Maybe finnish people always wanted to be themselves and having their own thing.

Places out of Helsinki, in the nature or something like this - do you have any favourite places there?

Paavo Lotjonen: Yeah, many. You know, the Turku Archipelago around Helsinki, those small islands, you've got to take the boat to get there and go sailing or with a motorboat. It is really beautiful. My favourite place - there is Mellstenin Ranta (beach), a surfing beach; my greatest hobby is windsurfing... I do everything from parachute-diving, windsurfing, skiing - lots of things. So, Mellstenin beach is one place, and the National Park in north-west, it is a forest, or many saved forests. There are no houses at all. Many times I was there - last time just a few weeks ago. Like with some kind of rucksack to carry my son in it (like a chair...) and just walk there!

Times was over... just thanked Paavo and he seemed that he liked the talk with me.

Paavo Lotjonen - все интервью

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