Lordi's Mr. Lordi
By Jay Oakley
Mr. Lordi, thank you for taking a couple of minutes after your show to talk with me.
First of all, how was the set? How did it feel?
Sweaty. [Laughs] It was really nice today. Honestly, really. The crowd was really nice, the crowd was really good. They had a lot of energy, it was really good. It was a good night. It was really nice and we had some fun. We got a lot of energy from the crowd so we were fooling around a little bit too, which is always fun because it makes it a little bit more "non-practiced." A little bit.
It's towards the end of this tour and you're playing the states for the first time in a while. How has this tour been treating you?
Nice! The crowds have been nice, it's been awesome to see people with shirts, like you're wearing, that they got like nine years ago. But, people have been asking, "Why didn't you come here earlier?" and we didn't because blah, blah, blah and it's not about our decision why we didn't come so it's really nice to see the people. The only negative thing here from the tour is we got sick and I mean we. Like, pretty much 99% of the crew and the band, we got sick. Like Hella, right now, is sick. Yesterday, she couldn't even do the meet and greet because she was so sick. Every single person in the fucking crew and the band had been really fucking sick the whole God damned tour and it started day one on the tour. And it's like, I don't remember ever having such a long period, for weeks being sick. Like, I'm not getting out of it at all. It doesn't matter what you do because the schedule is tight and you're in a bus and the AC is just whirling around the same God damn bacteria, the same viruses, the same fucking germs and as soon as you think you're getting better, BOOM!, it hits you again. So, that's the only negative, that's it in a nutshell. But, the tour has been really nice.
At the times that you were fighting the sickness, did it affect your voice at all?
No, no. Well, my speaking voice, yes because it's quite different then my singing voice. But, I'm using a different part of the vocal chords. When I'm speaking, my normal voice is like this, but my singing voice is like THIS [Mr. Lordi says it in a deeper, grittier sound.] So, it's a different place in the vocal chord so it doesn't really affect that much. There were a few days when I was like this, where I couldn't really speak [Speaking in a whisper] but I could still sing.
Last year, you've come out with the latest Lordi album, Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy.) So far, how have you found the reaction to be?
It was interesting because it was a gamble because it's a slit album with ourselves. The first six songs are like classic Lordi, more like normal Lordi stuff, three minutes, sing-a-long, hooky choruses and shit. The other half is our first conceptual attempt with longer songs, more complex song structures, arrangements and shit. So, it was a bit of a gamble at how will people react but because we're pussies we didn't do it all the way. So, we were like, "Well, at least people will love half of it." So, so far, it's been really good. But, like I said, we're pussies so we didn't dare to play any of the songs off the Demonarchy side yet. We're going to do that in the summer, at the festivals because now we know that people did like those last six songs on the album.
Was this album designed at all as what they call a "concept album?"
The last half, the Demonarchy side, yeah. It was, pretty much, the plan because for the past two or three albums, well two if you exclude this new one, there has been a little bit of this new style of Lordi music because of the new lineup, new drummer and shit. So, that opened up new windows, how to write and there were a lot of fans who were digging that we were flirting with the more modern metal things and, of course, there were people that were like, "No, no, no. You should only stick to your guns and do what you've always been doing." So, yeah, it was the plan. Lets do a split album with ourselves. Lets do a completely separate sounding songs on the album and that's what we did.
Are you constantly working on Lordi music?
All the time.
Do you have any current plans to start designing the next album?
Oh, it's already going on. It's a positive problem but it is a problem. Already when we were recording this one, I already had ideas and things for the next one. I have a bunch of riffs already for the next one and yesterday I had a long talk with Ralph Ruiz who's doing a lot of voice things for our albums. I had a chat with him about my new ideas for the next one already. Yeah, it never stops.
One of the things I wanted to talk to you about, that I thought was really cool, was you worked a while back with Udo Dirkschneider and three weeks ago he was right on that stage.
Talk a little about Udo and what you got to do with him.
Well, he's one of my biggest idols. When I do my screaming voice it is my imitation of him, he knows that, I call it the Udo voice. So, that's how big of an influence he is to me since I was a little kid. Really scared, we asked him in 2005 when we were recording The Arockalypse, "Could you maybe come and do a little guest spot on the album?" and he said, "Yeah, why not." and he did it. I'm so proud and I'm so happy to call him, we're not only colleagues anymore we're friends, which is fucking awesome. Not that many people can say that you can call your idol your friend which is awesome. Udo is awesome.
What is it in metal that Lordi gives the fans, gives the metal world that other bands can't?
I don't know! [Laughs] We aren't the prettiest band on the planet. Every band has some sort of combination of shape of influences. There aren't that many bands out there that are just really original because everybody has influences from somewhere unless you were brought up in the woods, in the middle of nowhere and you have no contact with civilization. I have never been shy about my own influences. It's KISS, it's Twisted Sister, it's Udo, it's Alice Cooper, it's King Diamond, it's those bands. It is horror, it's horror films, it's Freddy Krueger, it's Leatherface, it's Pinhead, it's even The Muppet Show, it's The Hulk, it's just a combination if those things and with all the bands, they have influences from whatever suits you. I don't think that we are doing anything that any other band couldn't do, it's just the combination that we're doing, it's Lordi. One thing that I realized a long time ago, nobody can be a better Lordi then I can. Even my biggest fucking idol, Gene Simmons, couldn't be a better Lordi then I am. The same way that there can never be a better Gene Simmons then Gene Simmons or there can never be a better Dee Snider then Dee Snider or Udo Dirkschneider. I'm the best Lordi there ever can be. What we can bring to the world of metal is we can bring the best Lordi experience.
To spin off of that, being that you are the best Lordi because that's what you do, that's who you are. What has Lordi given you?
My life. Like, starting even from the name. That's my nickname. It was my nickname even before the band, I just chose to use it back in '92 when I started to do the demos under the name of Lordi, that's my nickname. Everything, it's my work but it's also my life, it's my lifestyle, 24/7 this is what I do. It's a combination of all the things that I think that I know how to do. Starting with the costumes, starting with the makeup, that's what I do. I do design all of the costumes, I do make them myself, I paint all the album covers, I do all the tshirt designs, I write 99% of the music, I write the lyrics, I write the music, I'm my own boss. So, what has it given me? It's given me, my life.
Something fun to wrap it up, not counting your work with Lordi, what album is out there that best describes your personality?
This is the first time ever that anybody has asked me this. My personality, well my favorite album is KISS' Destroyer but it doesn't really tell about my personality but it must be some fucking soundtrack from The Muppet Show. [Laughs] A soundtrack album is probably the best to describe my personality. It's a tough one, dude. I don't know what to say. It's somewhere between KISS' Destroyer and some Muppet Show album. It has to be somewhere between that. [Laughs]
Mr. Lordi, I appreciate your time, man. Thank you so much for putting on such an amazing show. It was my first time seeing you live because I really don't get over seas but thank you for taking the time.
Thank you! My pleasure.