Interview with Paavo Lotjonen (16.02.2005. Zagreb, Croatia)

Original Croatian text:

What can you tell us about your new album "Apocalyptica"?

Paavo Lotjonen: We gave the name "Apocalyptica" to our last album, because we felt that we've become what we've wanted. We've found the right sound how Apocalyptica should sound.

That's the end of the way which we've started with the "Reflection" album. We wanted to continue working and developing on that same way and to get better as well.

Our heavy songs have become even more heavy, Betrayl/Forgivness is the most heaviest song, which Apocalyptica have made from the collaboration with Dave Lombardo, ex Slayer drummer. But there's still this other side of the medal, really nice and colorfull side of Apocalyptica with the more dark mood. There's still contrast between the songs, but there's this strong, fine line which is connecting all those songs. We had this main idea, when we've started with the making of the new album, that we want to make even more serious album. All our songs, even if they're heavy, they're not an entertaining ones. They're not entertaining at all! It's pretty much serious music for the serious audience.

We still hope that you won't become too serious!?

Paavo Lotjonen: We hope for the same, hehe. You know... In being serious and heavy, you have to remember that if you try to be too heavy or too serious, you're loosing part of the power.

You have to put yourself whole into what you're doing and still keep the blink in the eye and the smile on your face, because that's where the great power comes from, especially when we're going out on the stage, we're repeating to each-others the same thing whole the time.

To stay natural, to not try to act like a rock-star or to try to be too "heavy". That's really bad idea, because all of your power should come out of you in the natural way. It's really powerful if you can show yourself like that. That's where the right power comes from.

On the new album you've collaborated with Dave Lombardo, Ville Valo and Lauri Ylonen. Ville and Lauri sang on the song "Bittersweet". Tell us more about how did it happened, since the male duets are rare thing nowadays?!

Paavo Lotjonen: We had lots of collaborations in the past and we've concluded that it's interesting to have this kind of collaborations, because they always bring something new with their voice and the music and also they're showing our music in the different color and form. We know Ville and Lauri more than 10 years. Ville have sang with us for the first time back in 1996. and since then we've planned to record something together. With The Rasmus we've played also in 1996. in one TV show, what was ours and their first TV apperiance.

We have long history together with them and this was the first time that we've collaborated with our old friends. First we had the idea to make one song with Ville and another one with Lauri. But when Ville got to know that Lauri will be singing on the CD, he got the idea to record the male duet, because there's not much duets like that and I think that it was the great idea.

They wrote the lyrics together and Eicca wrote the music. Bittersweet was completely done by the three of them. We made a really successful collaboration.

"Bittersweet" was used as the main music theme for the new game The settlers.

Paavo Lotjonen: Yes. That's the "bad" side of the medal. It's really hard to get the good budget to film the music video, because it's something really expensive, costing over 100 000 euros and we've filmed it for the really cheap budget.

Scenarist of the video for the "Bittersweet" - Antti Jokinen is working in Hollywood and he made the last Korn video, so he's used on the expensive budgets, while this was the video with the cheap budget and we needed help from the side. The Settlers gave us that under the condition if we put the photos from the game in our video. Even if the computer game looks really nice, computer's grafics still can't compete with the something what was filmed with the professional camera. It's great thing for the game, but not and for the artistic side of the video.

But still it's not that bad. Sometimes you have to loose something... It would be really nice to make the art without thinking about the money, but surprise, surprise it's not that easy.

At the moment you're playing as the support band to Rammstein.
How's it going on the tour for now?

Paavo Lotjonen: We haven't toured for real, for the last 6 months, but we've played on couple of the festivals, so this is the beginning of our new tour. This first 30 days or so we'll be supporting Rammstein, we've already been in the UK, France and on the couple of places in Germany.

For now the tour is pretty successful, audience is great, also we're playing at the end of the Rammstein's set, where we're performing one song together with them. As it's for now... seems that Rammstein like us, just as we like them too.

The collaboration is very successful. We're the bands with the really different kind of the music, so there's no competition between us. Our performance is pretty different than their's.

They have massive and big performance, which is beautiful and it's really big kind of the show with which little number of the bands can cope with. That's something what you really have to see. Our performance is based on some totally different things, it's more natural and more made of the music, even if Rammstein sounds great even when it's based on the more simple songs and they're really big band, so we're really great match, I would dare to say. We're two pretty different bands and when we're performing together, that's the real thing for all the people and the money which they gave for the tickets to see our shows.

There's lots of drumming on the new album. Who's in the charge for that on your gigs?

Paavo Lotjonen: Mikko Siren. He was already with us on the "Reflections" tour and he's also playing on the new album. He's really talented, young, Finnish drummer and you'll have the chance to hear him if you come to the one of our shows.

How's the rock and metal scene in Finland in your opinion? It seems that it was never that powerful?

Paavo Lotjonen: I would say that as well. Heavy metal and hard rock scene in Finland was always so powerful, even since the 80's, when that kind of the music was still developing. Before that it wasn't that powerful, since the radio stations didn't wanted to play that kind of the music. In the beginning of the 80's, radio stations have started to play that kind of the music. Heavy metal in Finland has already big audience for years. Even when pop and dance have harrased the Europe, metal scene in Finland stayed very strong and that's the reason why we have so many and good rock/metal bands.

English translation by Natali
©, 2007

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