Metal Babe Meets The Monster: Interview with Mr. Lordi
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Live Photos: Jaymz Eberly (eberlyphoto.com)
It was an honor to have the opportunity to interview Mr. Lordi in person after their absolutely amazing performance February 8th at The Whisky. Lordi wore full monster gear and played 14 songs during their theatrical set, in addition to solos from bass player OX, drummer Mana, and keyboard player Hella. After the show, I sat outside The Whisky with Lordi for about twenty minutes talking, laughing, and learning more about the band. Lordi is happy to be back in the United States after nine years in support of their eighth studio album ‘Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy). Mr. Lordi told me about both extreme sides of the new CD, and he shared stories of how they determined their set list, created their monster suits, and how he came up with the idea for Dr. Pepper and Jameson.
CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW TO LISTEN TO OUR FULL (UNCUT) INTERVIEW:
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METAL BABE: It was great to see you play tonight and I’m so happy to meet you in person, and be able to do this interview. What do you think about being in Hollywood and playing the world famous Whisky A Go Go for the first time?
LORDI: It is awesome. Fans have tears in their eyes. The feeling is really mutual. It’s like, yeah… I know. I hope it is not another nine years before our next trip, and that we can come back a little bit sooner the next time.
METAL BABE: Yes, definitely. I hope so too. I was at the show you played with Lizzy Borden at the House of Blues last time you were here.
LORDI: So was I. (LAUGHS)
METAL BABE: (LAUGHS) Yes, you were. You’ve released four albums since you were last here, including ‘Monstereophonic’ which was released last September. How did you choose the set list for this tour, and does it vary from night to night?
LORDI: No, it’s not different. We have some variations that we can change. We are basically doing the same set that we did in the fall in Europe, but the set here is shorter. The playing times are an hour and twenty-five minutes. They are pretty strict as to what is given to us. Back home, it’s like ninety minutes minimum, or sometimes an hour forty-five. We don’t have any of our production with us. That kind of affects the set list too. It’s harder and harder every time to choose the set list. Even though it’s just the five of us deciding, we always manage to have some sort of a fight about it.
Then after the first few shows the fans start… Why aren’t you playing that song? That song sucks. It’s like ahhh. You know, it’s always like that. It gets harder and harder every single time. We chose the set list before the album was out so we could start practicing them, so we had no idea what the fan reaction was going to be.
METAL BABE: That’s so crazy. It’s probably more difficult since your set in the U.S. is so much shorter.
LORDI: Yeah, we did it this time by judging the reactions on the European tour. We left those songs out that were kind of ehhh. And of course we have a lot show numbers and tricks that we cannot do here. For example tonight, even if we could have the production with us, we could not have fit it there. Like, no way. This is one of the smallest stages we have ever played. Like I said, the stage was soft. It’s pretty f*cking hard with these kind of boots. It’s like whoa, it’s wobbly. It’s really risky and you have to concentrate. Honestly, I was really afraid that I was gonna fall and break my neck.
METAL BABE: Wow, I’m glad you made it tonight without any injuries. Most of your songs are pretty tongue in cheek, but the song and video for the first single “Hug You Hardcore” is really graphic. Can you tell me more about the song and the video?
LORDI: I don’t even think that the so-called uncensored version is that hardcore. I approve the video, I’m satisfied with it, but I wanted it to actually be hardcore. I wanted to see the blade go into the flesh, I wanted to see the dildo going up the ass, I wanted to see titties,… I wanted to see bare asses. That’s what I wanted, but the director… I love him, he’s a good guy, but said that’s my limit. I’m like, really dude? It’s so weird because I don’t have any restrictions in my head. What’s the point of making another video of a metal band playing in an abandoned warehouse somewhere? YouTube has a hundred thousand videos like that released every day.
METAL BABE: You want to stand out.
LORDI: Yes, I want to try to make a video that causes some sort of reaction. “Hug You Hardcore” kind of got a reaction, but I really wish that it would have been more extreme. Next time I’m not letting anybody f*ck that up. It’s like, uhhhh, don’t censor me. I hate all kinds of censorship.
METAL BABE: You should be able to see your vision through one hundred percent. Hopefully next time you can. Let’s talk about your most recent album ‘Monstereophonic (Theaterror Vs. Demonarchy).’ What influenced you to structure the CD with two different sides?
LORDI: Well, the past two albums ended up having two lines of Lordi music. There was the traditional classic Lordi, if you will, the 80’s orientated hard rock songs. Then there was this more modern, more metal, more complex (within the Lordi framework, of course) style. We got both reactions. Some fans really love that new style, and other fans were like no, no, no, no. You really should just stick to that old style and forget about the new sh*t. I really like both. “Scareforce One” was the peak when I first thought about how I could combine the two. Then I thought, let’s not try to do that anymore. Let’s go extreme on both ends. Let’s try and do really classic Lordi songs, like “Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man,” which is really 80’s, really melodic, really catchy, and really hooky. Split the album and do another half, which is within the Lordi framework, but really complex… Let’s keep these two sides apart.
METAL BABE: Make everybody happy.
LORDI: Yeah, yeah. Honestly we are making the albums for ourselves, not for anybody else. If somebody likes it, that’s a plus. That way at least, you would love half the album.
METAL BABE: I love both sides of Lordi, and both sides of the CD.
LORDI: Thank you.
METAL BABE: You’re welcome. Let’s talk about your costumes. I know you spend a lot of time working on your outfits, and you change them every album. What can you tell us about your new monster suits?
LORDI: Well, that one is also getting harder and harder every time because I have to come up with some kind of new idea. But then again, there are trademarks, so I cannot change it too much. I can’t make a pink Lordi, because then (MAKES BUZZER SOUND). So it’s kind of difficult with some of the characters, like myself and Amen. The costumes and masks are two sides, like the album. It’s more visible on some of the characters. For example Hella, the keyboard player, is really half and half. OX, the bass player, is half and half. I don’t think it’s that visible with my costume, or with Amen’s. It’s kind of like, sometimes you succeed better than other times, you know. (LAUGHS) That was the main point, to do two sides.
METAL BABE: The costumes are amazing, and you can definitely see the two sides. I loved when your wings came out too. That was an awesome surprise.
LORDI: Yeah, you know what I would love? I would love to come up with another great idea like that. (LAUGHS) You know where the idea for wings originally came from?
METAL BABE: Where did it come from?
LORDI: In 1996 when KISS announced they were doing a reunion tour I thought they would update the show big time. Of course it was huge, but I thought that Gene would have bat wings like that. That was really clear to me, that that’s gonna happen. And when the reunion started, he did not have any bat wings. They didn’t even think about it. I already had the idea, so I used it a few years later for the Lordi show. That’s where it came from.
METAL BABE: It’s great that you got to use them! I was thinking tonight it would have been awesome if you could have flown onto the stage somehow. I know you’d need a big production, and bigger stage for that, but maybe someday down the line.
LORDI: Yeah, that would be some heavy ass rigging.
METAL BABE: I have a curious question for you. Do you really drink Jameson and Dr. Pepper? I tried it because of your song “Nailed By The Hammer of Frankenstein.” It was pretty good; it was really sweet!
LORDI: Yeah, it’s a true story. I love Jack and Coke… Or actually whisky and Coke. A few tours ago, me and Amen were on the bus drinking and we ran out of normal scotch and bourbon. We only had Jameson Irish Whisky. The only black beverage we had was Dr. Pepper, which I love. It’s my f*cking favorite. I thought what the hell, let’s mix it. Surprising, it works. The combination of Dr. Pepper and Jameson makes a really weird combo. You either like it or you don’t. It was a happy surprise. Of course, we were drunk already by then. I have actually had it since then though. It works, but as you know, it’s nothing like a Jack and Coke.
METAL BABE: Great story! What last words would you like to say to your fans?
LORDI: Thank you. (LAUGHS) I would like to say thank you for being loyal to us. We’re blessed to have the fans. I don’t know what to say. Thank you. That’s all I can say.
METAL BABE: It’s great that you’re here in the United States. I know you have a big tour ahead of you. You’re only a quarter in, so there’s a lot of people in the United States who will be happy to see you soon.
LORDI: We’re happy to be here. Thank you for having us. We would have come sooner if we could have. It’s just a matter of mathematics, finances, and demand… There has to be a promoter who is willing to take on the band, you know… Especially if the band is coming from Europe. It’s not for free.
METAL BABE: Of course.
LORDI: Pretty much all the offers we have gotten, were so low, we could not even pay for the flight tickets. There’s no f*cking point to do that then. Like Australia for example, New Zealand… They’ve had offers. India. China even. I’m like, do you understand, even if we come with just the band and bring just the essential crew members, it’s already almost ten people? The flight tickets, and the rental of the whatever, so you know… Do the math.
METAL BABE: I’m glad it worked out again for the U.S, and hopefully you will be able to get to those other places at some point too. Thank you for the interview Mr. Lordi.
LORDI: Thank you.
February 8th, 2017 Show Review:
December 2014 Phone Interview:
Uncensored version of “Hug You Hardcore.” (Please watch with discretion.)