Finnish vampire rocker Jyrki 69 steps into the light to share some words about the band’s latest releases.
Your new album X
Very excited! I mean this is our first ever Australian release. None of our records have been released in Australia before and this is our tenth album so it’s about time. This [might be] my second ever Australian phone interview – I might have done one or two before but I can’t really remember. I have never done any promotion for Australia, probably a couple of interviews via email but this is a new start.
Your latest album, do we call it ten or X?
Oh it depends. It’s our tenth studio album and…I love certain classic rock albums which are titled with numbers…so I thought ‘this is our tenth record, come on, maybe we can celebrate a little bit and call this Ten’. On the other hand ‘x’ as a symbol is cool, it’s like when girls send me a text message they always end it with an ‘x’. Or it can also refer to ‘x’ as in a break up with my ex-girlfriend, so you can refer to it whatever you like but ‘x’ is cool. We’ve never celebrated anything, we’ve been playing rock and roll for 23 years we’ve never had 20th anniversary, 10th anniversary or conventions for that so I thought let’s celebrate at least a little bit.
Red and Borderline were two singles released this year along with the new album X. First Red, then the album X and then Borderline. Why did you decide to release a single after the album? It usually goes the other way around.
We released the first single which was Red and that was something the record company wanted to do so we would get some airplay on the radio…It ended up being the second most played track on radio stations here for weeks. It was on every commercial radio station like Pitbull and stuff like that so that was really cool. With our second single Borderline it was a little bit different, it was like a melancholy classic rock sounding song from the ‘50s. It sounded like a perfect song for the radio at this time of the year. On this side of the world it is very dark at the moment. Most northern parts of Finland the sun doesn’t come up at all, it’s very dark, like here in Helsinki where I live the sun comes up for like five or four hours maximum. So it’s a very dark, dark moment of the year and I think a song like Borderline creates an exciting mood. It’s like a little candle.
That single, Red, features the bonus track Rosary Blue with tattoo artist Kat Von D. What made you choose to do the duet with her over other female musicians?
Oh yeah well we wrote the song Rosary Blue and it was a cool, cool ballad, and I wasn’t really thinking I would like to do a duet with anyone. I didn’t think it interested me….I don’t think it suits The 69 Eyes album at all. Besides I can’t even think of anyone I’d like to duet with. We had the song and Kat is an old friend and she was visiting Helsinki and said she was going to do some music which sounded interesting. At the same time she said that someday she would like to do some collaboration with us and at the moment we had that song so it crossed my mind that wow, someone who is not known to be in the music scene or doing music at all would be really interesting. So it was a natural friendship thing to ask [her to] come over. She actually flew over to Stockholm where we were recording the album…The song itself, it’s a fantastic classic rock ballad…and the way she sings is really beautiful.
Random question time! If you could only choose one place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be?
Definitely here in Finland. I’ve been travelling the word for twenty years, even more and I’m a restless soul. I love to travel, I love the road, I have to go all the time everywhere. I live [near] the Baltic Sea so when I go to stand by the sea I always stare at the horizon and that inspires my mind and makes me long to travel…This place gives me freedom to do whatever I want. This country…has a free spirit so I can always come and go and I always want to come back here to the north. But that seriously took some travelling around and trying to find my place before I came to this conclusion. Now as I’m getting older and in my forties, I’ve started to realise that this is the place for headquarters.