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 Interview on the Record Journal

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The Rasmus Fan
The Rasmus Fan

Location : Germany / Cologne

PostSubject: Interview on the Record Journal   Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:22 am

‘The human mind is so that when something like that happens, at least me because I’m not that strong, I felt like the whole country was against me at that point’ recalls The Rasmus frontman Lauri Ylonen. In 2004 he and his bandmates took to the stage at Reading festival only to leave two songs later following a sea of bottles.

Forming in 1994 Lauri and bandmates Eero Heinonen, Pauli Rantasalmi and Aki Hakala hit the UK music scene with a bang when they released their single ‘In The Shadows’ in 2003. For the rest of that year the band where everywhere which culminated in their mainstage performance at Britain’s premier rock festival. ‘It was horrible. I wish I could just erase that’ remembers Lauri. ‘That was kind of the end of that first chapter. Everything was going so well. Straight to the top then BANG. Nothing was left, of me anyway. I took it really hard.’

Bassist Eero believes there is a simple explanation for the reaction, ‘it’s interesting because Reading is very much this attitude thing’ he explains. ‘It’s maybe the most prestigious rock festival in UK. People who go there are quite defensive about who they want there. One year [it was] Good Charlotte, one year us, then someone else. It’s decided on blogs before [which band] to take out.’

Despite the heartbreaking moment the band were able to rely on their fans for support. ‘We came back right after that to play the Astoria’ explains Lauri ‘and maybe for a few minutes I was thinking [about the reaction] then I saw people queuing round the building.’ The band are extremely proud of their UK fanbase and class them as some of the most dedicated in the world. ‘Some have been following us to the weirdest places’ grins Lauri. ‘They’ve been to Japan, America, Dominican Republic. I can’t name a place they haven’t been. There are these eight girls who have been [some] of the most active Rasmus fans in the world.’

With the dedication of their fans the band have released their third studio album (in the UK) ‘Black Roses.’ ‘It’s [a] very typical Rasmus album’ explains the frontman. ‘[It’s] very melodic, lot of influences from 80s music. This album differs from the previous ones as when we made we first created the story of ‘Black Roses’. A lot of text before we had the music. We made this mind map out of small papers in front of us and we had the skeleton of the story and started writing the music afterwards and that was very inspiring.’

The foursome travelled to Nashville to record the album with Desmond Child. ‘There is something very reliable about the mid-west US’ muses Eero, ‘everyone is quite similar in a way and religion is very important [and] the principles [of] how you live your life. Then when you are there everything is relaxed because everyone assumes everyone is living by those rules.’ Lauri admits to finding it all a little too much, ‘the whole thing in Nashville, working with these big names, massive studios, mansions, maids and all that. It’s like “waw” [and] it was really something I wanted to experience in my life but I feel like [all] I need [is] an acoustic guitar [and] I can [do] the album.’

It’s clear that Eero and Lauri have different needs to bring out their inspiration. ‘[Nashville] can feel like a restriction’ Eero admits ‘but it’s not like Los Angeles where you go somewhere like the Sunset Boulevard and there’s all sorts of freedom and someone is begging or shooting crack literally on the street but you don’t see that in Nashville and in some ways it can be a relief to be in a place where there is such rule.’

For this album the band have included more synth sounds. Having received some positive press from the media the band were a little disappointed with the albums reaction the UK. ‘Nothing happened with the album’ explains a clearly frustrated Lauri ‘we sold some thousands I think, less than 20, 000, It’s still a lot of albums but three or four years ago we sold 300,000.’

The slump in sales is something the band are unable to find a proper explanation for. ‘I don’t know [why our popularity slipped]. I wish I did’ sighs Lauri. ‘I’ve been thinking about it a little bit every day. Maybe it just peaked too fast and there was no base being built before that which is always healthy. I’m sure we’ll get another chance. This is not it. We come here to play these concerts because there are still people who bought the album and places sold out and it’s still good.’

It seems that very little will stop The Rasmus from fighting for their dreams. They will start work on new material almost as soon as their touring duties have been fulfilled. Lauri believes there is no reason to take breaks, ‘I feel I have so much music inside of me that [I] should get it out and whenever you put something down on the album you have more space for new ideas.’ No Reading crowd is going to stop that.

Black Roses is out now.



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