Interview with Perttu Kivilaakso for Inked Panther magazine

I play violence cello

The journalists from the Austrian tattoo magazine "Inked Panther" had the great honor to meet Perttu Kivilaakso at "Rock in Vienna 2016" and to talk about becoming a musician, about the band, alcohol and Jabba the Hutt.

This is the translation of the original german interview by "Inked Panther"

Inked Panther: So, you play violoncello?

Perttu: I play violonce cello. (laughs)

How come?

Perttu: I started playing cello when I was 5. My father also played cello, that is why it was natural for me, that I would be doing the same. We've been playing in Helsinki philarmonic orchestra together for 7 years, until I finally lacked time, since Apocalyptica started taking more and more time.

How did you pass on to metal from classic music?

Perttu: It all started, when I was 12, with such bands as Skid Row, Judas Priest and so on.

I was getting old and my taste in music was getting darker and darker.

Then in was logical to make a teenager-metal band. And that was what I did actually.

What do you mean by saying "teenager-metal band"?

Perttu: It's just for fun, I sang and played drums a little. We played covers of our favorite bands and drank of course. What else to do, when you are young.

And who came up with the idea of Apocalyptica, how did that happen?

Perttu: I won't be lying, that was Eicca's idea – that is the other long-hair guy. I wasn't even in the first line up, they started playing in 1992-93. They met each other in a music camp and started playing there Pantera covers. I joined in 1995th, I was 16 or 17 at that moment, and that was quite a problem.

Because you are not allowed to drink at 16-17, or...? (laughs)

Perttu: As well, but also I wasn't old enough to be allowed to enter bars and clubs, where Apocalyptica played (grins). It was 6 or 7 of us in the band at that time, we changed from time to time, depending on who could play or who had time (laughs).

Alright, so that was also a band just for fun?

Perttu: Yeah, definitely. We played at parties and so on. We were young and wild cellists. Then it got more serious, when Apocalyptica released their first album, I had some obligations to some classic orchestras, so I became a full member only in 1999th.

"Young and wild" can be also said about tattoos. Let's talk about yours. Which of them was your first one?

Perttu: Hmmm... That was... What the f*ck... Wait a minute...

Yeah, it was this elven writing. It is 12 years old, I made it, when I absolutely gave up drinking. I just wanted to perpetuate this decision on my body. I think, many people do the same, when important things, that matter a lot happen to them, which they would like to chase somehow. To remember them, or so.

I can see that you have your whole arm made in this style. So can you say that "The Lord of the Rings" is your favorite theme?

Perttu: Yes, that's it. Almost everything here is about elves, Middle-earth and other Tolkien stuff. I grew up on these things! I also have a tattoo with Aragorn and Arwen kissing.

We must take a photo!

Perttu: Of course, but make sure my belly doesn't look too fat. My band mates constantly tease me a little, when they say that at first it was Aragorn kissing Arwen, and now It is Jabba the Hutt kissing Rosie O'Donnell. Maybe you can photoshop me sixpack? (laughs)

Don't you collect works of different artists as tattoos? You can do this while you are on tours.

Perttu: I'd like to, but that doesn't work out. I have one that I've made in the UK, but I usually go to the same tattoo master.

Who is the master, whom you trust so?

Perttu: I like guys from Paradise Tattoo in Helsinki, I definitely trust them.

How do you choose, which one to make next? Is it important for you that a tattoo has its meaning, or you just make whichever you liked most?

Perttu: I need it to have a meaning, or a story. Like giving up drinking.

Do yo plan anything new?

Perttu: Not really at the moment... Like I said – I'm a great fan of Tolkien, so it will be definitely connected that theme. But I'd also like to have something with Star wars. I also like that story a lot.

German interview: Stefan Orasch
Translation: Julia Bessonova
Photo:, Michelle Schoofs

©, 2017

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