Interview with Mikko Siren (4.06.2006. Zagreb, Croatia)

Original Croatian text:

This is the second time that Apocalyptica is playing in Croatia, so you had the chance to experience the Croatian audience already. How did you liked it back then and what do you expect from today's concert?

Mikko Siren: Feeling is great! I really like your country. We had the chance to take a walk through the city center (Zagreb) and I'm in love with the old part of the city. Everything's great, just that the concert venue is bit different from the ones that we are usually performing at, because it's a huge concert venue where it's predicted that people are sitting! It's going to be the challenge for us to play like that, but I hope that we'll have much fun.

But I think that the audience won't be sitting during the whole concert!?

Mikko Siren: I really hope that they won't be just sitting...In fact, I hope that they will be jumping on their seats, what the owner of the venue might not like, but we'll do everything to get up the audience on their feet!

As you're recording more and more songs, they're getting more and more heavy! How far are you planning to go in that way?

Mikko Siren: We don't have some special goal how much we'll sound heavy. Until now we made couple of collaborations, such as one with the Ville Valo and Lauri Ylonen with the song Bittersweet. That song is showing our softer side ,so and the song with Nina Hagen.
But then again we have this heavy side of our music and that's refreshing our work!

These collaborations are giving to Apocalyptica some other sound dimension!?

Mikko Siren: That's the fun part, except that we're working as an instrumental group, every now and then someone is collaborating with us, he or she always brings something new with themselves, what's helping us in the development of our musical style.

What "Amplified" means to you and does it brings something new to you?

Mikko Siren: This best of CD, in one hand is the mark on one of the chapters of our work. Apocalyptica has been together for 10 years now and this CD is very good "prove" of our work through the years. It consists of songs from the first album till the new ones, which haven't been released yet.

Can we take this album as the end of one era and the beginning of something new? Or maybe change in the sound of Apocalyptica?

Mikko Siren: Of course that there's always this feeling that we should do something new, something different, I don't know if the audience will be able to recognize it, we have drums in our band for three years and half already! Our tour is ending in the middle of July, when we will take a little break and will think what we're going to do afterwards. Probably we won't be making any new sound, but just will take the best from what we have already!

With every album, number of your collaborations is growing. Did you ever think about taking some of them on the tour with you and to perform these songs live with the voice?

Mikko Siren: I think that it's almost impossible, to gather the people we've been working with until now. We're really happy to have the chance to work with so many of them, especially because they have strong character and the specific voice, so it's impossible to find someone who would imitate Nina Hagen or Max Cavalera. We had couple of concerts on which there was one of them, such as we had this concert where Ville Valo and Lauri Ylonen have showed up on the stage and sang the song. Something like that maybe can happen again in the future, but that's really hard to plan.

Maybe when you will celebrate 15 years of the Apocalyptica, you might film the new DVD with the concert where will show up at least couple of those people with whom you had the collaboration!?

Mikko Siren: That's not bad idea at all!

You were on the tour with Rammstein and you made one remix for their song "Benzin". Is there any chance for the collaboration with them in the future?

Mikko Siren: I think that something might happen in the future. It was great to work with them and we had lots of fun on the tour. We've been playing together with them on one song and "Benzin" happened at the end of the tour. We hope to repeat something similar, sometime again.

As you're playing song Seemann on your concerts, I thought that you'll play that song with them and not "Ohne dich".

Mikko Siren: I think that firstly it was their idea and it seemed to work well! We started to play Seemann on our concerts for the first time on this tour.

Is there new album coming out soon?

Mikko Siren: We have lots of the ideas and we hope to release the new album in May 2007.
We don't have much time left, so we're constantly working on the new songs.

Until now, you've played on the couple of Summer festivals. In your opinion, which ones were the most interesting ones?

Mikko Siren: Of course that all the big festivals are interesting in their own way, like Rock Am Ring for example or Rock Im Park, where you're playing in front of the thousands of the people, but in the other hand if you're playing on some smaller festival, which is located somewhere in the nature and where the different kind of audience is coming is very nice too.
It's great to play anywhere.

LORDI won the Eurovision this year. Can we expect that Apocalyptica will compete on the Eurovision next year?

Mikko Siren: I hope that not (laugh), if you ask me, I definitely hope that not! Actually, truth to be told, we had this kind of conversation in our band, but I think that Eurovision is the worst contest ever after Helmut Lotti or Il Divo. If they would make the collaboration, that would be perfect for the Eurovision! In my opinion, ABBA is the only good thing which came from the Eurovision.

Have LORDI did something with the promotion of the rock scene in Finland, after winning the first place on the Eurovision?

Mikko Siren: I don't know if they got the good feedback in the whole Finland, but that's good thing for them that they won and I'm happy for them. They've been working for years on that project, wearing those masks, what's not easy thing at all!
I think that work which did bands such as: H.I.M, Children of Bodom and The Rasmus through the last years is much more important than this thing that LORDI won the Eurovision. It more looks like a joke, then as the reality.

English translation by Natali
©, 2007

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