Interview with Antti / Uniklubi

Apollo Club, Helsinki, 12.3.08  by Nora

Nora: As you aren’t that well known in Germany would you please introduce yourself?

Antti: Hei, I’m Antti Mattikainen I play drums to the Band called Uniklubi.

N: You have already played about 50 gig since “Luotisade”is out. How has the touring been until now? What was the best concert or did maybe something unexpected happened?

A: Ähm, nothing that unexpected but there are always some problems when we are touring. Instruments went broken or something like that but nothing that special. Everything is going fine, I think. But there are a few worst gigs then others but I think all of them have been really good. I can’t name one special gig or something like that.

N: And what was maybe the best gig until now?

A: It’s really hard to say, I think there are all pretty good, but there are some special place where it’s always nice to play, like in Lapland or on ships. There are pretty chaotic feelings, but I think all of the gigs are the best gigs for the audience and for us.

N: Is there anything you really miss when you are touring for longer time?

A: Home *laughs* and family…maybe. But touring in Finland is kind of...weekend touring, so you are home for 4 or 5 days and then touring for 2 or 3 days, so it isn’t that bad. In the Lapland you have to be on the road maybe for the weeks but it’s not that long.

N: What’s the strangest thing ever happened on tour?

A: Strangest?

N: Yeah, strangest!

A: I can’t name the strangest but…

N: Or most worst thing?

A: Worst thing was when Janne broke his hand when he run through the glass door at the hotel. It was pretty scary moment. It was…we thought that…he may never play again…so it was a shocking moment but…

N: …I can imagine!

A. Yeah, but nothing that more special.

N: In general, do you prefer playing at festivals or these quite small club-gigs…or maybe ship gigs??

A: Ships gig! It’s always when you’re playing festivals you miss the club-gig and when you play club-gig you miss the festivals. That are so different worlds but there’re good things in both of them.

N: Who got the idea for signing 500 copies of “Varjoon juuttunut”?

A: I think it was the record company which got the idea…making the singles more personal. Aaaaand…I can’t remember it, so I think it was the record company which got the idea.

N: How did you get the idea making a cover of “Koko talvi kesämökillä”?

A: We have been asked to play in Leevi and the Leavings Tribute record and we were thinking about the song we could play and Teemu got the idea of playing “Koko talvi kesämökillä”. It was…it was his favourite song of the Leevi and the Leavings and the rehearsed it. And I think it’s pretty good and we decided that we wanna record that.

N: Yeah, I really like it! It’s kind of funny when you get the translation of the lyrics and when you didn’t get anything of the finnis by hearing it or the first time, but the lyrics are quite funny…and strange.

"Varjot" is the new single, why did you choose this song and why is it for promo only? I guess there are a lot of people who'd love have this single in their collection.

A: Yeah, yeah! It’s….it’s record company- stuff, you know. First of all they decide all the singles, because when you’re making music and recording it and playing it and listening to it all the time, you can’t be that sure if the choice is right. So you have to have some person from the outside who listens to the songs and then decides what’s the best or what is the radio-filleted or something like that. And the thing that “Varjot” isn’t in the stores…it’s like…there are always some radio single, that bands published but they won’t come to the stores, because it isn’t…good for the record company…making a lot of single, because the selling is so low.

N: Yeah okay, Finland is quite small when you compare it with Germany.

A: It’s like when you publish…äh…4 singles…maybe 2 of them becomes single that end up in the stores and 2 are like only radio singles. It’s a pretty common way to do…

N: Yeah, but that’s not really common in Germany…the Bands publish quite a lot single, cause the people buy it…so it’s kind of different…
So…okay….are there already any songs finished for a new album or at least any ideas?

A: Lot if ideas! But…but…nothing is finished because we have been touring all the time…so we haven’t had time to rehearse the songs but…lot of good ideas. I think it’s going to be…pretty the same as “Luotisade”…but more rocking and more tempo…but it’s to early to say.

N: Yeah, of cause! But there are at least some ideas and you will to the studio maybe in the end of the year?

A: I think we start to make demos in may…maybe and then we are going to the studio in august but I’m not sure…I don’t know for sure…

N: …but after the summer?

A: Yeah!

N: Is there any artist you'd like to work with?

A: I would like to work with many artists. There are good artist in Finland…like Jorma from “Sara” and Toni from “Apulanta”…and guys like that. And maybe…if you take it world wide…it would be nice to Jam with “Red hot chilli peppers” …or something like that…but…

N: Nice, I would like it!
Imagine I don't know you and your music. How would you describe it to me?

A: *laughs* Melancholy, finnish rock. I don’t like to categorize music that much but…I think it’s melancholy rock.

N: Yes, at least when you have a look at some lyrics…like Aurinkoni…it’s so depressive…

A: Yeah!

N: The German fans really want to see you overthere. They try to get you there by collecting signature, now there are about 327. What do you think about that enthusiasm? They really would love to see you there although you are singing in Finnish.

A:  We would love to come to Germany but it’s always…äh…it’s always…a thing about…a thing with time and a thing with money…and that kind of stuff. I hope we get there someday but…but…

N: It’s hard…I can imagine…but there’s this “Helsinki in Berlin”- thing and every Band is going there like Flinch and Essentia, who don’t even have a record contract in Finland…we are wondering about that…

A: It’s hard because our record label is major…so there’s a lot of stuff at the papers we wouldn’t know and they’re always telling that maybe someday but it never happened until now.

N: But you were planning it…but the Jussi had the voice problems

A: Yeah then…it was planed to go there…but we had to turn it down because Jussi had the voice problems…but maybe some day…

N: We hope so!

A: We too!

N: What do you think about this “Finland-boom” in Germany and that lot of girls just use to travel esp. to Tampere caused of bands?

A: It’s pretty interesting and I think it’s the finnish melancholy…that is the sing in the music, because in Finland all the bands are kind of different…then in other countries in Europe, because I don’t know…the long winters…but it’s really interesting…and it’s really nice. I think it’s time to get some finnish bands to the world.

N: Yeah, but I think it’s not nice if this fans just come to Tampere…yeah, especially Tampere and sit around there and maybe ask bands in private for photos and so on.

A: Yeah that’s kind of depressing *laughs* People should have their private lives….but…I don’t know…let’s leave it there *laughs again*

N: If you would have the change playing in Germany, would also thinking about releasing your CDs there?

A: Hopefully. I would like to release CDs there, but as I said it’s always a question about Major recordlabel, because how they are connecting to eachother and stuff like that. And things with licence and stuff…it’s pretty….it’s pretty hard but I hope we can some day publish something on Germany or other Europe. It would be really nice.

N: At what age did you start playing music and why did you choose your instrument being yours?

A: I think I was like 9 years old when I was interested about playing the piano but then…a couple of years later when I started to listen to rock music more…it’s turned out that I wanted to play in a rockband and I played guitar and bass…and drums…just followed right…so I tried everything and the drums were the best for me.

N: Which question was the weirdest you've ever been asked?

A: I don’t think there’s one *laughs*

N: We all know about the so-called Rockstar-Image. Do you think you live one of this clichés, like “Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll”?

A: I really think it’s a cliché nowadays. Rockmusic is…is now like a job…but it’s just a really nice job, but there isn’t that much “Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll”- stuff anymore. Well it’s….it’s….you do it for living in nowadays and you have to do it good, so you can’t mess it up with drugs or a thousand of girls or something like that. You have to stay in the line and play the music for the people.

N: What are your plans for the rest of this year?

A: Next we finish the club tour in Finland, then we take a short holiday and then in the summer we’re staring to play festivals…and then we are going to studio and make the fourth album…I think. There’s pretty much to do

N: Do you have any special wishes at a musician or private person you would like to become true?

A: Äh…it would be really nice to publish our records in Europe or in Japan or something like that. Or get touring in Europe or to Japan and maybe in America but when you are singing in Finnish…it’s a bit hard going to America but I think it would be possible to tour and publish records in Europe. It would be really nice.

N: I think it would be really nice for the people as well.
Okay, thanks a lot!

A: Thanks!