Finnish hardrock/metal band Lordi was in North America in February 2017 on tour supporting their September 2016 release of Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy). I had the chance to chat with keyboardist, Hella while they were in Seattle and also covered their show (read about the show here). Check out the interview with Hella below.
YesterdazeNews: You joined the band in 2012, why did you decide to join Lordi?
Hella: It was a privilege that I was even asked. When the phone call came asking if I would be interested, I didn’t need to even think 2 seconds to answer them. I had played in a few garage bands and then to get a call from a band asking if you want to tour the world, it’s every musicians dream. Like, straight from the garage to the international stage, I didn’t have to think about it.
YDN: What were you doing before the garage bands? Did you go through any classical training?
Hella: I played classical piano from the age of 4 until I was a teenager. Then I stopped taking piano lessons and for years forgot music completely. Then I was somewhere in my early 20’s when I realized I could play keyboard. I was listening to metal music and I was like, “there’s keyboards as well and I know how to play piano, so why not”? So then I found a band that as looking for a keyboardist and that is how it all started.
YDN: Who do you listen to when you are home in Finland?
Hella: At the moment, I listen to a lot of children’s music. I have a one and a half year old daughter so there is mostly her music at our house at the moment. Seriously, I haven’t followed the music scene in such a long time, somehow I dropped off. I have enough to do with working on our own music so in a way it is kind of… I don’t want to go see live shows on my free time. I get enough on the road. Sometimes it’s fun of course, its music. But it is so relaxing when you are not on tour to completely stay out of the music business. So listening to kid’s music is good, but my daughter loves Lordi too.
YDN: What’s would you say is different on the new album from the last release?
Hella: The difference is only half of the album is the traditional Lordi hard rock music. The other half of the album, the songs come together to create a story and the music is a bit more experimental. Fortunately we’ve gotten a really good response from the fans, even the ones who are really into the old school Lordi sound. We’ve also found new fans too who didn’t like our old sound but like the new music.
YDN: I recognize more of a symphonic sound with the new album than previous albums. The USA is just starting to catch up with the symphonic scene that is so popular across Europe.
Hella: You can see that everything ties in together. Mr. Lordi writes the music and everything that surrounds him affects the writing. So you can see the new music is a new era of Lordi, but not purposely trying to change the sound, he writes what he feels.
YDN: What’s it like for you touring, especially having a small child at home?
Hella: The hardest part for me is being away from my child. If you were to ask a behavioral specialist what the recommended time to be away from a child this age they’d probably say one night is good. Then I am away for 10 ½ weeks. So it is very tough.
YDN: So when Lordi tours are being scheduled is there a typical length of time you are on the road for that’s pretty standard?
Hella: Well when we did the fall tour we were on the road for 7 weeks, meaning completely out of our homes and on the road. Pretty much playing a show every night and it’s tough because there is no way you can stop at home. We tried to have her out for a couple of days in the middle of the tour but of course that was tough as well. It’s difficult and that’s just how it is. This leg is a little different, it’s just 4 weeks so it’s pretty much perfect, just long enough but not forever and is much easier.
YDN: Do you prefer the larger festivals or smaller venue shows?
Hella: I prefer the smaller venues because we are able to have longer shows and bring out our entire stage show. I like the festivals and of course the atmosphere is amazing, but we are very limited to what we can do and how long we can perform because they are scheduled very tightly and are stricter. We have more freedom in the smaller venues on our tours to do more.
YDN: Any advice for fans who want to pursue music as a career?
Hella: I would just say trust in your own thing and don’t listen to what people say. If you look at the Lordi lyrics, they aren’t quite child friendly, but just because our fans listen to them doesn’t mean they want to hurt people. It’s just artistic expression. So express yourself through music, it’s a much better way than say, beating the shit out of people in the streets. (laughter) If you have the gift of creation whether art or music or whatever, use it no matter what other people say. It’s a huge gift to be able to share your gift with others. But it also doesn’t matter if the audience likes it, it gives so much more to yourself to be able create something. That’s also how it is with Lordi. We are also happy that people like what we create too. But, Mr. Lordi would still do exactly what he is doing regardless if anyone liked it or not.
YDN: That is all I have, thank you for your time Hella.