The 69 Eyes’ Jyrki 69 Discusses Being Back from the Dead, New Music, Touring and More!

 Finland's own Helsinki Vampires The 69 Eyes have been around for the past thirty years. Come the fall of this year 2019, an all new album will commence, with more touring to follow suite of course. As the relentless foreigners of Finland are eagerly awaiting their return to the U.S. once more after this current touring cycle that took far to long to happen, ten years in fact. But to digress, vampire vocalist frontman Jyrki 69; took some one on one time to discuss the gap period of the band's departure since last touring, current touring, new music, and some anniversaries lingering in-between everything else disclosed.

1. First time interviewing you guys was back when you were touring the U.S. in 09, then two years later another interview would take place and now seven years later, my third interview would happen, would you say third time's the charm?

Jyrki 69: I hope so. My pleasure for your support and be here after all these years. You never know, you get older, even though you’re a Vampire, your days are numbered, and being here after all these years, thanks for your support.

2. Why did it take the band so long to come back to the U.S. of A?

Jyrki 69: Everything changed. After 2009, our last time here, is the simple thing to realize, is back then we were a “MySpace Band”, if anyone knows of that website, then it was the Facebook and now the Instagram. In that world, think of how much the world has changed since then, no record stores anymore, music is provided by streaming or consuming it that way. All of this affected us with this cult band, so we’ve been active touring around the world, having a blast but never had the chance to come back until now 2019. I’ve had other chances with my other bands The 69 Cats and my solo project, which with whom I toured with before. Everything I have done has been building up to this moment, so finally we are back and touring again. We are so majorly influenced by American pop culture, but it took almost a lifetime but I am glad we are here again.

3. Not only is it your guys 30th anniversary as a band but it's been 10 years since you guys last played the U.S. So was it decided that for your 30th anniversary together you were going to do this tour or did you celebrate in another fashion or have something else in mind altogether?

Jyrki 69: Yes, that is also kind of weird. We had thought to do that, we spent too long in the studio, it should have came out by now, but it will be out this fall in September. So we decided this tour, the closing chapter of our 29th year with our last release and material, with the 30th year being the next cycle with this new record of ours. I think that’s how we think of it, we will be celebrating our 30th officially on our next U.S. tour A.S.A.P.!!!!

4. Whereabouts in the process of your 12th album are you?

Jyrki 69: It’s done. We’re going to be using the footage we have filmed here in Los Angeles, with our first new single and video, that is being released at the end of this month that is May.

5. Besides being in The 69 Eyes, you are also a part of some other project like The 69 Cats and your solo project Jyrki 69, will we be seeing these other projects ever playing a show and or tour with The 69 Eyes or would that be too much for you to handle?

Jyrki 69: I recently turned 50 years old. So I had two options, either to disappear for a while and have some me time. Or to have a party. So I decided to go with having a party, and have the 3 bands together, on stage but the manager was like “Nobody cares and it’s too expensive”.  So I disappeared. When it comes to the show business, and the people who are the real vampires who get money out of me, they go and make those kind of decisions. So it was just easier for me to disappear…. I had already came here to Los Angeles to get drunk but that’s a whole another story.

6. Initially The 69 Eyes original style was glam metal but changed over to gothic metal or goth n' roll as you guys like to call it, but would we ever see a call back to the original style or that's in the past for good?

Jyrki 69: We just decided to melt the two genres together, but no one had done that before and it’s worked well for us. We are going to return to the glam style here tonight for our show in Los Angeles. We’re having some special guests come out on stage with us, during our set tonight, so it’s going to happen pretty soon.

7. Are you and drummer Jussi 69 related due to the name similarities or is it just that a similar naming of the two of you?

Jyrki 69: No, no, it’s just the number “69”. But thanks for paying attention. It’s just like The Ramone's, Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee Ramone. So we were thinking it was cool to put "69" at the end of our names, so it was a little tribute to The Ramones for inspiring us.

8. The band has only released one live release, "The 69 Eyes Hollywood Kills Live at the Whisky A Go Go", which came out in 2008, will we be seeing a follow-up release?

Jyrki 69: Does the world really need that. People using their mobile phones nowadays. I think once again, when you talk with the music industries, they will tell me, no one is going to buy, so why invest in that. It’s a sad world when being creative, as an artist then somebody handles the business side of it unfortunately.

9. Has the band or will you ever release an all acoustic album of all new material or revisions of your current works?

Jyrki 69: We have a couple of acoustic songs, somewhere that I can’t think of where. But we just are eager to write, record, and release all new music. In celebration of our 30th anniversary with this release, instead of releasing a compilation or something. We release a brand new record with all new songs. We think that The 69 Eyes has a future, when you don’t have a future or you think you have done everything, then you do an acoustic record or something else altogether which is fine. But at the moment we haven’t even thought about that.

10. In 2017 you went on to release a single track titled "Christmas in New York City", is that the closest we will be getting to a Christmas like release or would the band consider singing Christmas tunes for a release?

Jyrki 69: I mean, every self respecting band should do like a “Christmas” type of release or record. Now we did it, and it is a simple Christmas song for the fans and hope you can listen to it, and crank it up for Christmas and tribute to New York at the same time.

11. A variety of acts have gone on to play shows or even tour performing numerous albums or releases in their entirety, 2004's "Devils" the one that I think you're most known for, is 15 this year, any plans on doing anything like that for this release or any other?

Jyrki 69: Why not, thanks for the idea. We start tonight here with that song “Devils”. So that would be a good idea, thank you. When it comes to it, should we do a one off show or how many people would be interested in that. I mean, then there would be somebody through social media, writing “Oh I want to see them but they didn’t play this song”. You know, it’s like hard but we would have to plan it carefully, so no one would take it the wrong way. But yeah we would love to do it.

12. Whilst being quite known as the "Helsinki Vampires", have you ever considered paying a homage to the Vampire Lestat, especially his tracks in the film "Queen Of The Damned", you guys would do a killing of covers of his I bet.

Jyrki 69: Thank you. I loved the movie and how they made it. At some point, I was actually  thinking that they ripped off my image a little, with the jewelry he was wearing. But that is a good idea. We can try our own songs coming to that idea. Our second album “Savage Garden”, and the term comes from a Vampire Lestat book, Anne Rice making a night time world that is a savage gardening among the humans. All of that realm is close to The 69 Eyes, and thanks for the idea and reminder.

13. Do you have anything to say to the other vampires listening out there?

Jyrki 69: Well once in a while, because we have to live forever, we have to stick together and thanks for all of the support for the Helsinki Vampires. If anybody wants to know how to become a Vampire, the easiest way is to turn into a Vegan to clean your blood.

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