Helsinki Vampire's The 69 Eyes' Jussi 69 says Things are Just getting Started!

Finnish Helsinki vampires The 69 Eyes are in their twenty third year as musicians but to them it feels like things are just getting started. Drummer enthusiast Jussi 69 caught up to discuss the band's tenth studio album, comic book, and touring plans for the now into next year.

1. How amazing do you think 2012 has been for you as a band so far?

Jussi 69: Well 2012 has been the biggest year for us and for me in my life. We're getting better and better with making better songs, making every melody more beautiful and making those rock songs rock even more I'm proud to say.

2. Your band has 10 albums under their belts what runs through your mind?

Jussi 69: In a way it feels like we're just getting started. Things are finally starting to roll since we've been around for nearly 20 years but it doesn't seem like it. With every album it gets more exciting with new things and with each new album it takes us to new places. On our last album we went to 27 different countries. So things are just getting more exciting year after year. Like some people have asked me "Are you getting tired of doing this" but I don't understand that question to me and us it's the only dream we've ever had so we're having the time of our life's right now.

3. What was the inspiration for the album name X?

Jussi 69: Well it's 10 songs, it's the tenth album, and X means 10 so it's pretty logical. We had the time for the album almost a year ago and I really liked the title and it looks really cool on a t-shirt. It's a great looking album cover and I really love it. I think it's great when a person goes to a store and asks for the album "The 69 Eyes - X" I think it's pretty cleaver and smart.

4. Why did you pick "Red" as your single?

Jussi 69: With this album we didn't play any songs or demos to anybody. Usually there's always someone from the record company who thinks there smarter than the musicians, someone pointing out you should do this or that but we make the choices until we had it altogether as a package. Then we gave it to the record and told them to do their job and they picked out the singles. So there's no comprises when it comes to creating and writing music but when it comes to picking out the singles every major radio station goes and plays it and this single has been played like hell here. So it's their job to make the decision but I don't understand it. Like the last time we started with the most aggressive song on the album "Dead Girls Are Easy" but this time we started off with a ballad so it's nice to hear that every mainstream  station is playing it. Last night we did a filmed charity show at an arena playing for 8, 000 fans and we played the song for the first time so we're only getting started right now as we speak.

5. You shot a video for the song "Red" can you tell me about the concept behind it?

Jussi 69: The whole album was done in Sweden so it was logical to shoot the video there too. Patrick Ullaeus directed the video and is known well so we had wanted to go to a castle and do something there so we had the girl from the movie if you have seen it The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and also had some Playmate girls as well but we wanted to have that type of movie video. But it's pretty simple it's us, the girls, and a beautiful location.

6. What was most different about recording X?

Jussi 69: After all of these years I'm pretty happy to tell you that I still found recording to be very magical. Making music and creating stuff that works and stuff that doesn't work to then having it work it builds memories. Like I will never forget the song "If You Love Me The Morning After" it took me to some weird place where I lost the sense of time and didn't know how many times I had played it. So I had probably played it 200 times over and over so the song itself was playing me and I get that feeling now and that song. I just loose the sense of time and could listen to the song forever on repeat.

7. What is your favorite song from X?

Jussi 69: "If You Love Me The Morning After" is a very special song for me. But I think the opening track "Love Runs Away" is one of the best love songs and the second song "Tonight" is something different from The 69 Eyes and the tempo and feel of it and how the feel of it you just feel like you're flying.

8. Your band has been around for nearly 25 years how does this make you feel?

Jussi 69: It's the 23rd year but like I had said before, it feels like we're only getting started. Every year there's so many things we go and do, places to visit, new things to discover, and we're not even half way through it. Like on our last album we went to so many different countries that it's exciting for us. This is something we love to do and sometimes it comes to a surprise when a journalist tells me how long we have been around. But after all we are vampires so we got a couple of thousand of years left.

9. Can you tell me about the comic book you have coming out this fall?

Jussi 69: That's something I am happy and proud of. We are the comic book and movie band and our characters represent that. We don't do the make=up thing but I would like to compare us to Rob Zombie or Kiss. We are the Helsinki vampires so we are telling our story and if I remember right it started in the 18th century where Jyrki is hanging around and after a couple of years we run into each other having met in Hollywood one night. So for us it's exciting and a dream come true. We had released for the first time ever 7-inch singles before the first album, so that had tiny comic books so if you own those you can pay your rent by selling them because they're pretty rare maybe 1,2000 copies were printed. But now we have a real comic so that's what we're all about the comics and movies that we do we put a visual into the sense of it and get really excited about it.

Also I have to add that we had wanted to have our own blood in the ink of the comic just like Kiss had done when they had printed their own comics. But we couldn't do that because if you send your DNA across the sea it's a crime so we couldn't do it. But it's weird if you send a tiny drop of blood it's against the law so I'm sorry to tell the fans this but there is no blood involved but it's still exciting.

10. When it comes to touring where hasn't The 69 Eyes been too?

Jussi 69: Well there aren't that many places to go too anymore. There was talk about going to China but it's difficult, on our last tour we had gone to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Rio de Janeiro, where I had spent 10 days partying my ass off. I also had spent the last 10 days in Tokyo and I can't wait to go back. Before we even started as a band our dream was to tour in the U.S. So we had to wait a long time before that dream would come true and it did in 2004. So we can't wait to come back whenever we get the chance.  There are some plans in the works of where and when but I'm not sure. We were suppose to tour with Alice Cooper but we missed the time for it so we couldn't do that. I myself would love to tour with Rob Zombie that would be amazing. Every memorable moment for us was always something that had happened while we were in the U.S. like the first time we played the Whisky A GO GO we had sold the place out so that was a moment I won't ever forget. So we can't wait to return to the U.S.

11. What are the upcoming plans you have for the rest of this year?

Jussi 69: Last night was our arena show we had done for charity where 8,000 fans were in the audience and it was shot live on national TV so now we wanted to start the tour in Finland because the last time we had toured we didn't get to tour in our country. Our fans here in Finland sometimes get pissed off because we never play in our country but now we are. So up until Christmas we will be playing in every city. Then next year in January we will be touring in the U.K. and Europe and before the festival season starts we'll be playing in the U.S. then later on return. The pieces are already put together for 2013 so I can't wait.

12. Anything else you want to add for your fans?

Jussi 69: To the fans wait until you hear the new album because it truly is the best album we have ever done. It's what The 69 Eyes are all about and it's the album we've always dreamt of doing so now it's there so we can't wait to tour and tour in the U.S. because it's our ultimate dream to be in the tour bus and play every city out there.

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