Interview with Apocalyptica for in Moscow, 01.10.2011

It has become a tradition that before a concert in Moscow Apocalyptica gives an interview to our web-site The last meeting was held in Moscow, Crocus City Hall on October 1. Paavo and Mikko had just returned from a meeting with fans and were in excellent spirits. After exchanging greetings and gifts delivery, we settled on chairs, carefully arranged by Paavo, and started a great conversation.

Ev: Mikko, btw, this is my third interview with you...

Mikko: It starts to be suspicious...

Paavo: Some kind of relationship?

Mikko: Yes, yes... damn...

Ev: We found on the internet, today is the 15th annyversary of your first album Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by 4 cellos.

Paavo(to Mikko): I was trying to remember the time. I guessed it was Spring when we released the album. Maybe... ok! (Note: the album was released in Finland in June 13, 1996)

Ev: My friends from Russia and Ukraine requested me to send you their congratulations and the best wishes. This interview is based on the questions that were sent to me by your fans.

Mikko and Paavo: Do you mean... Apo Russia site? Apocello?

Ev: Yes, the questions from visitors of

Mikko and Paavo wave at the fans: Greetings to everybody!

Ev: Well, the subject of our interview is "Everything but music".

Mikko: Perfect. We hate music anyway.

Ev: But if you will be too bored because of non-musical questions I have one about music...

Paavo: Shoe size? My shoe size is 44.

Mikko: Big feet - small... nose. (Both) Big nose - small... feet...

Both laugh

So, let's start. What makes you happy on a normal day on tour?

Paavo: Mikko's smile!

Mikko: Very rare! (Laughs) Not too many happy days! Good food! Sometimes you get good food, and then there's occasions you don't get good food for ages, and when you get good food that's always a happy moment for everybody! And when you get sleep that also helps.

Paavo: That helps a little...

Mikko: Food, sleep. We're happy for small things.

Ev: Good show?

Mikko: Good show but it wasn't supposed to be about music!

How many air freshners would it take to "freshen up" your bus while traveling?

Paavo: It depends on which section... If you take the sleeping section...

Mikko: If you take Perttu's bed, one month, 30 people I would say...

Paavo: We should travel with a...

Mikko: Yeah, with a crew of cleaners, but otherwise we are fairly clean.

What would you like to do if you were not musicians? Mikko, we heard about owning a restaurant, why?

Mikko: Yeah, that's something I really... I LOVE to make food. I don't say I'm a good chef, but I say I love to make food, and that's intriging, that's really hard work to own a restaurant, but...

Paavo: So you should have a really cheap restaurant (Laughs), there is no customers cause the food is really bad, but there's a happy chef!

Mikko: I wouldn't be happy if there wouldn't be customers! I would love to do something that was really local, really organic stuff. A small place. That would be nice. But not yet.

Ev: Would it be Finnish food or international?

Mikko: I think it would be a mixture, it wouldn't be anything from further east, because it would be like, what I know about food is more, like Finish ingredients and Finnish ways of making it but of course, to do something new, and do something a bit more original, to come up with cool concept would be interesting. But, I think some like cross Scandinavian kitchen.

Mikko, I always wanted to ask you - did you ever studied in dancing?

Mikko laughs

Ev: Sometimes you look like a ballet dancer or...

Mikko: You mean gay?

Ev (didn't heard well the question): Yeah!

Mikko and Paavo both laugh. Paavo jumping up from the chair and posing like a ballet dancer, Mikko half chocking, half laughing.

Ev: Not gay actually, I ment the professional ballet dancer because of the way you move...

Mikko: Egyptian dancer... No I never did study dancing. I'm really lousy dancer, but I like to dance as well.

Paavo: You like that band, that girl band, "Walk Like An Egyptian".

Mikko: Oh yeah, Bananarama... No, the Bangles. They're fantastic band.

Paavo: Shh! Not Music!

Mikko: Sorry!

If you could wake up next to anybody tomorrow, who would you choose?

Mikko: Wake up next to anybody? I think that if I don't wake up next to him (points to Paavo) I would be kind of scared. There is something that has gone terribly wrong. (Laughs) If it would be someone else than him, then I'm in trouble. I would say also it was gonna be him.

Your fans are collecting various editions of Apocalyptica. Do you like to collect items too, and what kind?

Both search...

Paavo to Mikko: You're collecting the backstage passes.

Mikko: Yes, I'm collecting all the backstage passes I am having, but like outside the job, I'm not much of a collector. I don't sell any instruments. If I buy something I keep it. But I'm not a collector, like you know there are people who have 50 guitars and they don't ever play them. I don't do that.

Paavo: Same with me, I'm not collector, but I have maybe 15 pairs of skis in my garage. (Both laugh) And different kinds of wind surfing sails. You know, they are like babies. You can't get rid of them.

Mikko: No, no no no!

Paavo: You love them!

Mikko: Yes.

Paavo: Even though you are not using them anymore, some of them, old ones. (Shakes head) You know, there's memories. You still can (deep sniff) smell them, good moments, good moments, and love from those!

What things in modern science and technology do you consider as most important and necessary?

Mikko: Snare drums! It's like fucking fantastique piece of invention. Loud. Annoying. Very small but still fucking loud. Snare drum, definitely!

Paavo: Crash!

Mikko: And crash cymbal, it's been older in invention....

Paavo: The thick and loud one!

Mikko: Yeah, really, it kills your ears, I love it!

Paavo: You know drummers are... (Shakes head)

Mikko grabs the ratchet, that he got as a gift from Ev before the interview, and starts whipping it around and yells "Wooooohooo!" Paavo laughs loud echoes.

What are you most annoyed and frustrated about in today's world?

Mikko: Greediness and selfishness.

Paavo: Hm, yeah, arrogance that comes from the selfishness...

Do you have any favourit artists/painters/painting style?

Both searches

Mikko: I was not too long ago in MoMA in New York, and for the firt time, I got really into Miró, that was really impressive, and I can't say that he would be my favorite, but... Came out into my mind first...

Paavo: There is not the biggest number one painter in my mind, but, for example, Finnish national romanticists like Akseli Gallen-Kallela was important for many Finns...

Mikko: Schjerfbeck? (Note: Helene Schjerfbeck)

Paavo: No, Schjerfbeck is not too... Too womanish for my style, but I like Gallen-Kallela a lot.

Ev: He illustrated Kalevala.

Both: Yes.

What was the last book you red or you're currently reading?

Mikko: I saw a book on a shelf, and it sort of screamed out my name, it's Dostoyevsky's "Idiot", so I picked up immediately. I haven't read it before, so... And when come to Russia, I thought it's cool to read something Russian, so I'm reading that at the moment.

Paavo: I just started a book, I even don't remember the name, wait a second... (jumps up and leaves the room)

Mikko: It's... I remember what it is. It's "Emmanuelle and Three Midgets", it's a great romantic novel he's reading, he's in "Emmanuelle's" novels, there's tons of pictures in them as well....

Paavo comes back, Mikko shuts up, Paavo shows the book.

Paavo: Vladimir Orlov. "Danilov and The Demons".

Mikko: Orlov! Let's see what the original name... Original title would be... Pectopah, Pectopah (That's a joke about him trying to read "restaurant" in cyrilic, then reading russian texts in the book) "Agendstvo bo avetorskim pravom..."

Ev: Hahahaha! Nice!...

Paavo (takes the book and shows to Ev): Here, you can read it from here!

Ev: Aha, yeah "Danilov, the violist: A novel" is the original russian title.

Paavo: Altist, yeah Viola Player...

Mikko: So Altist is sort of a violin player but not too good and not too clever?

Ev: Well, big violin...

Mikko: Yeah for more stupid people. Hints sort of like for stupid people, the violin, like, not too hard to play, like, second class violin...

Paavo: No Music!

Mikko: Yeah this is why I told you about alto violin, so it's not music, that's the thing!

What title would you like to have on your biography/autobiography if you'd have some?

Mikko: It's a shame that Dostoyevsky wrote a novel called "Idiot" already, I would love to have that one...

Paavo: I would say "Noisy Idiot"!

Mikko: "Noisy Idiot"... There's something... (Grabs the ratchet, turns it screams "Wooooow!!!", Paavo laughs.)

Ev: Nice title. And for you, Paavo?

Paavo: Erm... "The Man Who Knew Too Little"... (Both laughs)

How would you describe yourself when you were teenagers?

Mikko: Small, I was pretty small...

Paavo: I was small aswell. How to answer that? I guess... I was pretty lively but still quite shy... and kind... If you would ask that from my parents I think they would say that I was really easy as a child and my teenage was no problem, I was not making any troubles. Maybe my pre-pubescent years around my twenties...

Mikko: It comes out at some point, anyway...

Perttu aready told about his reason to have all his tattoos. What are your personal reasons not to have some?

Mikko: I haven't figure out any thing which would be good for me, but same time I was in MOMA, I saw a Dali's painting, you know, the Elephant, with long legs. And that was the first time I realized I would love to have it somewhere, maybe on my calf or something, but I think it's addictive. If you have one then you have to have many and I think in this field it's more original not to have any than to have a lot.

Paavo: I was thinking it maybe 15 years ago, but then everybody started to take tattoos and it came trandier and trandier, I would say it's pretty boring in my mind, cause everybody has those. You go to Thailand on holydays and then you got some tribal tattoos somewhere. Men have here (motion to upper arm) and girls have it there, on the top of butt.

Mikko: Sometimes somebody can make really cool things, and if it's a personal thing, what a hell, just go for it. But some rock persons in States, it's a big thing, especially for the girls, and they have got really daring tattoos, up to their neck and everything and it can be really pretty.

Paavo: Yeah, it's cool, but for example American bands, everybody...

Mikko: Ho, yeah...

Paavo: You got to have like a (show the entire arms and torso), all tattooed, you are not rock musicians if you don't have those tattoos. How boring is that? But if it's cool tattoos and if it means something for you...

Mikko: Yeah like for Perttu, it's really personal, every piece he has is piece of his mind, so, I understand it all.

Paavo, what do you think about being a father for 3 kids and do you have education advices?

Paavo (thinking): It's... a great thing, it's a heavy job to do, especially if you have 3 of those, hahahaha! I don't have any advices for others, everybody got to sort their own way to do that. I wish all the good power, may the power be with you!

Both laugh

Ev: You may use the experience of your parents.

Paavo: Yes, I have pretty good relationship with my own mother and father, yeah, they help!

Paavo, what will you do when your daughter will go to her first date...

Paavo (immediately): She's not going.

Mikko mocks hanging himself with his tie before Ev finishes asking the question

Ev: But in the future...

Paavo: But she's not going. (Paavo laughs)

Ev: Ok...

Paavo (laughs): No, of course she will...

Ev: ...and what the young boy should be like, in your opinion?

Paavo: I guess she is pretty clever girl, and she can decide that herself.

When you'll die and go to heaven, what would you like to hear God say when you reach the pearly gates?

Mikko: If he could sing to me The Hollies tune "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", I would be delighted. That would be great.

Paavo: I don't know.

Ev: Too early to think about it?

Paavo (shakes head): Yeah, I don't wait to hear anything.

Well, there is the bonus question - about music.

Mikko: Oh My God!

Ev: What is the most sexiest song from "7th Symphony"?

Mikko: I guess there is no sexiest songs in our albums! Can we choose some other songs, or from other bands?

Paavo (thinking): Sexiest song...

Mikko: There's not sexy songs. There can be erotic or romantic, but not sexy.

Ev: Ok, what's the most erotic song from your album?

Wicked grins from both and Mikko starts to laugh. Both search.

Mikko: I don't feel any erotic vibes to them. They are pretty, and they are really moody, and strong, like, feelings, but I don't feel any of them to be erotic. Maybe there's something wrong with me...

Paavo: Maybe you should answer that?..

Mikko: Yeah, you should answer, what is the most erotic song?

Paavo (with little naughy smile): Do you got some erotic vibes out of some songs?

Ev: Errr... For me the most... expressive song is...

Mikko: "Bring Them To light"? It makes it to you?

Ev: "2010".

Mikko: Okay!

Paavo: Ok...

Mikko: Some will like it rough, for sure...

Paavo: Hm, interesting...

Mikko: Yeah, like then, you should talk with Perttu, you will share the same state of mind, in a way... He showed us some videos today, that's what I mean, it has been disturbing... Oh My God...

Ev: Well this is all my questions. And I hope that we will meet again, maybe next time when you will be in Russia.

Mikko: We will be back to Russia in just two days.

Ev: Yes, yes, I mean Moscow. I can't go to other shows, but fans waiting for you in Kiev and Novosibirsk and other cities.

Mikko: We say to all fans that we are waiting for you. It's always a pleasure to be here. You are really sweet. I say, I mean it. I don't often talk that way, but you are really sweet. (Paavo nodding)

Ev: Thank you very much.

Mikko: Thank you! (grabs ratchet) Woooooo!

Questions: LiisaVeta Smirnova, Nastya Shalapinina, Melamory Tailor, Elena Jurievna, Michelle Schoofs, Dagmar Wasauchimmer, Ines Huber

Photos: Andrey Vinogradov

Special thanks to Apocalyptica management for making this interview possible
and to Vordaï Mercier and Michelle Schoofs for the help and support.

©, 2011

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