This interview appears on approval of Flagburner fanzine. Made by the editor Janne Nyström. 1. Names, instruments, ages, what else do you do (any jobs? other bands? school?)? Petteri - guitar & vocals, 25 years, I work at the moment at a local cemetary, no other bands. Jantsa - bass & vocals, 27 years, unemployed, chief editor of Toinen Vaihtoehto, no other bands. Tero - guitar, 27 years, carpenter but unemployed at the moment, no other bands. Marko - drums, 27 years, mental nurse but unemployed at the moment, no other bands. 2. Have you had any other bands before this? From where the heck did you get your name? Whose idea was it? I (Petteri) used to play in a HC-band called Sabotaasi in the late 80's and I also had some bands before that, but they were "nothing". Jantsa played in Treblinka in the late 80's as well. Marko played in Jatkuva Hulluus and also in some bands before that. JJ is Tero's first and only band. Our name has been taken from Rudimentary Peni's song Slimy Member. We took it because it looked so funny (at first we didn't even know what it meant!), but I think it is also original. I (Petteri) discovered it, but we did have an election about our name, there were several alternatives, and this one won. 3. Do you have any certain message? Do you write the lyrics together, and do everyone in the band usually agree on what you sing about? Are the lyrics made as radical as possible on purpose? I think we don't have any certain message, or maybe it is to have this "positive mental attitude" and still be aware of things. I (Petteri) wrote most of the lyrics and usually everyone agrees. Although sometimes there are some discussions and also criticism appears. When lyric "comes", it just comes, I don't plan them beforehand (if that's what you meant). Some of them are radical but it's how I feel when I write them down. 4. Are you like this otherwise, too, or just in the band? Is this just an image, or are you anarchists for real? What does anarchy mean to you? Are you members of any organizations? Vegans? Petteri: Yes, I guess I am some sort of (green?) anarchist and for me it means many little things in my daily life; I'm a vegetarian, I try to recycle as much as possible, I try to avoid at least the "ugliest" multinationals, I don't by records of major labels, I don't usually vote, I am anti-European Union, anti-NATO, etc. things like that. So I think it is not "just an image" for me to be radical. At the moment I don't belong to any anarcho/eco/peace/animalsrights/etc. -organization but I do support them and we have also played many benefit gigs; our tape was a benefit for a Polish anarcho-movement, our next tape will be support for Anarchist Black Cross etc. I used to belong to the Antifa-organization when I lived in Seinäjoki, but now that I live in Tampere, I haven't been so active anymore. I know I should. Jantsa: I'm an anarchist in the way I think any kind of power structures are harmful in the end and that I think societies would be better organized from the grassroots locally to upwards globally - from free individuals to their communities - with co-operation not competition... Trying to put this into practice - as far as it is possible in this system - I try to not lead or follow but to treat people as equal, question authority, disrespect bureaucracy etc. etc. Well, I've only had time to be a working-member for the Antifa-Vaasa organization (and "a long distance member" for a few others) but I hope we'll get Anarkistiska Österbotten going (an inside joke that name still)... Yep, I've been veggie for c. 10 yrs. I try to be as vegan as it is reasonably possible - now 90% - but I'm not so strict about it e.g. I don't mind if someone puts milk in my coffee (although on our last tour I brought a lot of soy-milk powder from Czech for practical use for me)... Afterall I think a 100% global "vegan revolution" (=?) seems total utopia - but of course if people would use 50%...75%...etc. less animal products it would lessen the suffering & improve a lot of things... So it's a personal choice. 5. I saw you live in Lepakko sometimes this winter, but your drummer has some technical problems. Does this sort of things happen often? Best/worst gig? Do you play often? In what places have you played? Are there big differences in the scene/underground world in other countries and what kind of differences? Petteri: Yes, sometimes things like that happen, but what can you do? The best gig so far has been in Prague in the summer of 1994 when we played at the Ladronka-squat with Fauna. The atmosphere was really fucking awesome! There were people from different countries... great! Also a gig in Olsztyn, Poland, in April 1996 was really memorable and the party after that, as well... The worst gig ever is hard to say, because they are the ones I try to forget! Lately there hasn't been any real catastrophe-gigs but I can remember a gig in Sein“joki some years ago when I was totally drunk and we were terrible. Drinking and playing gigs is not a very good combination, you need some practise! Jantsa: In Finland we play an average of once in a month. Abroad we've had four tours (in -91, -94, -96 & -97) - then it's up to 20 gigs in a month. We've played in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Austria, Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Denmark, Sweden and ?land. And it's been nice! There may be some differences of personalities/cultures in different countries (but basically the "scene-people" are quite the same everywhere) but I think the biggest differences between the scenes in Finland & Europe is that firstly there's a lot more people in Europe and therefore more active people too (in numbers not necessarily in percentages) and secondly in Finland we don't have (coz of the laws etc.) any squats or autonomous centres - where people could easier organize things like demos, tours etc. - like they bhave in central Europe. But hopefully we'll get more in that direction (now that we're already at least mentally coming closer - as people). 6. How has people reacted on your records? Have you had lots of response and what kind of response? Have the records sold well? Outside Finland, too? Are you happy with them yourself? Your best record? Lately we have got really fucking good reviews all over the world, but this doesn't mean that we sell really lots of records. For Humanity has sold about 2000 copies (CD+12"+tape, all together), Positively Fed Up about 1600 copies (CD+tape together) and New Toys' pressing was 700 CD's (vinyls and tapes are coming out in the future). So it's not so bad. Our best record? Well, My Dream EP is not probably musically or lyrically the best, but for me it is a fucking important record and it brings lots of memories to my mind (we had this new line-up, I started to go with my current girlfriend, the studiosession was memorable, the EP was really up-to-date politically etc.). 7. Where have you got your influences? What do you usually listen to? Something else than punk/HC, too? The first record you've ever bought? The first punk/HC record? What got you into this scene, what was it that interested you? I got influences from all kinds of music, but 90% of the music I listen to is still DIY hardcore punk. Besides those DIY hc-bands, I like PJ Harvey, Bob Marley, Neil Young, Elvis, Therapy, etc. It depends on what kind of mood I am in. My very first LP's were (I bought them together) Rock'n'Roll Non-stop (some stupid rock'n'roll-compilation) and some Chuck Berry's album. I used to listen to 50's rock'n roll and rock-a-billy when I was 7-10 years old. I had more than 70 LP's of that kind of stuff! My first punk record was U.K. Subs: Diminished Responsibility LP, I still have it! I was 10 years old when I bought it. I got involved in the HC-scene with the big help from my big sister's that time boyfriend, Kari, who was like a big brother for me at that time. He took me to my first hc gig (there played WDM, Kaaos, Äpärät etc.), recorded many good records for me, explained the ideology for me and things like that. Thanks to him! And he's "punk over thirty", so he can still be an example for me! 8. Plans? Records? There are more melodies on New Toys than earlier and even a couple of 'slow' songs, why this change (do you wanna get known or do you just like it?)? Will your music change a lot in the future? Petteri: We have two studiodays reserved for 31.5. - 1.6. so we should record some songs for different compilations. I don't think we have changed musically so much lately at all! From the very first record Radicals of Today to these days we have always had some "soft" songs, too. We have called those songs "songs for the mothers-in-law", you know if you have to play your music to them it is good to have some songs like that, ha! We just don't want to be labeled and we will be playing all kinds of punkmusic; fast and slow, melodic or not. Trends come and go. Jantsa: I think that actually the record before, Positively Fed Up, was a bit exceptional 'cos it had 14 songs and only 2-3 of them were more melodic (on For Humanity there were 9 songs from which only 2-3 "harder", on New Toys 10 songs - half of them "harder")... "These things just happen" - based on feelings not rational plannings. I mean when we work on a song we usually try different ways of playing some tunes (faster/middle/slower etc.) and we choose the one that feels right: Some songs just "have to" be played hard&fast, some work better slower/more melodic and so on... We always play the kind of music we want to play (we'd like to get more known . but on our own terms)! Our music may still change - naturally (let's see what the future holds) but I doubt any total changes 'cos we still have some kind of "main thread" in our playing style, I mean we aren't any multi-skilful virtuosos or anything, eh... 9. Did you go to the army, the civil service or prison? Isn't it sexism, that men have to go to the army (or to the civil service)? What would be the best way to stop all killing? What would you change in the world, if you could change one thing? Me (Petteri) and Jantsa are civilservicemen, Marko got liberation ("doesn't fit in") and Tero was in the army but he returned his "soldierpassport" or military rank (whatever it is in English?) and he's officially now a civilserviceman, as well. About the sexism of this obligatory army-service in Finland; the problem is that the most of the Finnish men don't feel like they are oppressed, in fact they really enjoy their service (Pathetic!) So can it be sexism if they take the service like it was a privilege! In that way our armyservice only makes this society more patriarchal. Yes, I know that this (men's obligatory armyservice=sexism) is an argument some radicals use in court against armyservice, and it is a good argument for those juridical purposes! The best way to stop killing (at war) is to make friend internationally. The more you know about the other cultures the harder it is for the state to make you feel that there are some enemies out there waiting to kill you. It is like anti-dehumanization. If I could change one thing: capitalism must end. 10. What do you think of the following: * Maximumrocknroll * SAL * Internet MRR - what an excellent history! They had real big influence in the past. But they need some renewal real bad. SAL - we need organizations like this! Internet - it is good if it stays "ungovernable", I am not afraid of technology. But right now these e-mail and internet-things are still a little bit elitist hobbies. Aren't they? 11. If you were going to a deserted island, and you could take three things with you, what would you take? A good knife, guitar and enough rope to hang myself if things start to go too boring (and if there's no hope of rescue). 12. What kind of question would you want someone to ask you in an interview, that no one's asked yet? Answer that question, too. Jantsa: Q:"What does your symbol (that round-thing) mean?" A: Well, that's actually quite difficult to explain, that's what symbols can be for: to describe something which is difficult with words, 'cos basically it "just came" from the subconscience or somewhere "beyond". There just was something there that fascinated about this figure to draw it "out of head" when I was thinking about ideas for our first 7"EP... And we've ever since used it on all of our records - and even with different "meanings": It can mean the eclipse of the sun or the moon, "power of the earth", somekind of blow-up-discharge, emotional rage or energy (as in contrast to rational thinking - like on our gig-banner we have this black & red anarchy-flag and on top of it this symbol: means we like to have both pure & powerful emotion and also rational ideas in balance in this band: Jugular is, by the way, a blood vessel connecting heart and brain...) - something which is difficult to explain but like when you start to play at gigs you feel it bursting out... (and it's really "therapeutic"/liberating feeling by the way). And I've since seen a bit same kind of round symbols somewhere else too, so maybe it even could be somekind of common subconscious thing in human mind (e.g. the indians considered round-symbol having some spirits etc.)... Mind you, I'm not talking about any religious thing (they all suck) but about feelings... So actually we're just "searching" for the meaning of that symbol, so if someone could help us, please, tell us if you know something! 13. What political opinions do you have? What would be the best-working system? Do you think anarchy could work? Favorite politician and -philosophy. What are these theories, ideas, etc.? Does anti-violence fit together with direct actions? Are you against violence? Like some old punk-rocker used to say "I don't know what I want but I know how to get it"! I don't like to create any utopia's for the humankind in my head and I don't like anyone else's ideas 100%, either. The world is too complex for some "special social idea" and strict aims are dangerous, I think...? I used to like some leftist/green politicians but after some years of following their doing's and not doing's I have become enough wise to not let them fool me again! Fuck them all! It is the same thing with the philosophies; some have good ideas, but usually I can't agree with all they think. After all it is just about theories, and theories alienate the ordinary people. I think we all in JJ do hate violence! Self-defense is always needed! Self-defense against physical, mental and social violence. Pacifism doesn't exclude self-defense, at least that's how I understand it. 14. What do you think of these: * sXe * Skins * Hippies * Black Metalists SXE - In Finland they seem to be OK and "their" scene is tolerant, too! I think it is not like that in everywhere... SKINS - Nazis are stupid assholes; other skins can be ok. Hippies - I don't know any real hippies, but their image is funny to me. Black metalists - Funny people, so stupid! But seriously, as long as they don't kill or hurt anyone it is up to them what they do with their lives. In fact, it is interesting when you think the way how capitalist society idealize youthfulness, life and fitness. So is idealizing death the real rebellion against modern times? 15. Where did you get the toy car, that is on the cover picture of New Toys? Jantsa: Now, that's a quite complex story. It started even before we were going to the studio 'cos we had this idea of using a silly-sounding toy police car in the song Toy Voters. I remembered I had this very stupid-sounding police car as a child, so I went to my parents' house and searched everywhere...but it was lost. Next I went through all the toy shops in Vaasa, Petteri did some digging in Tampere, and even in Seinäjoki, just before the first day of the studio, all toy shops were searched. But without luck, we still couldn't find that exact sound (which I still had in my head). All the cop cars were either too professional-sounding or too american or had all kinds of other sounds like "Freeze! You're under arrest!" etc. but still not that exactly right sound... So we forgot it... Until the other date when we were doing the vocals I actually found a great toy-department in a supermarket just near the studio and we even went there with the studio engineer to listen to all these different kinds of toy-sounds (lots of fun...) and there even was some pretty cool-ones too... So we were thinking of buying/lending this one quite expensive copper-vehicle, but the engineer said we don't have to buy it 'cos we can just take a DAT-recorder with a mike and come to the shop to record all these sounds and then transfer it to the studio-track... But then finally, we actually ended doing the sound with the keyboards. And well, it didn't come out so well (as planned in our heads) but still OK. But the story continues: After a while, when we still didn't have a cover for the record (a toy police car was just one idea), I just happened to go to a small "sundry wares" shop in Vaasa and by accident there it finally was: this wonderfully stupid-looking toy-cop-car which also had even three different kinds of silly sounds (one of them would've been just what we were looking for) plus as a bonus even flashlights etc. So we bought it for 60 FIM for the cover picture and also because we can still use it - with the sounds & lights - at the gigs live (even if we sadly didn't get the sound on the record)... So there! 16. Last comment. Did I forget something important? Was this a good or bad interview? Petteri: Good or bad? You decide, because questions & answers make it together! Jantsa: Well, these questions were good at giving food for thought, even more than I managed to put down on paper. But let's give room for the readers to decide & think for themselves... And let's not forget our address which is: Juggling Jugulars, PL 1, 65201 Vaasa, Finland.