Interview with The Jade, .Dezember 2009 ..[ mailer ]

Since October last year the official debut album of the Finnish band called The Jade is available in stores. Also outside of Finland “Seconds Away From Salvation” was released. Again a reason for darkmoments to contact The Jade to get some current information, especially about the first official album.


Lea: How`s everything in Finland? Shovelling a lot of snow?
Wille: It`s great, we all walk in coldness and darkness here. The Jade is celebrating the New Year with a bang as we will have a show at Gloria, Helsinki, on January the first.
Yes and our noses are filled with snow.

Lea: Congratulations! Your first official album “Seconds Away From Salvation” is in stores now. How did you celebrate the release?
Wille: We had a record release party at “On The Rocks” in Helsinki where we played the tunes from the album and after that we had our time to relax. But actually the band keeps us busy. Thus, no long-lasting tunnels of partying in the near future.
Thank you! Thereīs been just plenty of work since “Seconds Away From Salvation” was released, so there has been no time for partying.

Lea: How satisfied are you with the final result? Or did you already find something you would have made in a different way nowadays?
Wille: No, I donīt think so. The songs sound amazing on the album. I am very pleased with the way it all turned out.
Yep. Iīm satisfied with the album as well. I have no changes in mind.
The album sounds great! Just a few minor things could have been done differently, nothing major. We already reached the second deadline when we finally accepted the results. I find it hard to be 100 percent satisfied as I’m a perfectionist when it comes to sound and that. But the same goes for all the albums I have at home. Still, it sounds really cool, great stuff there. Leiden and Major were satisfied as well, so there you go. There are quite a few pearls on the album.


Lea: How have been the reactions so far by the fans and Media?
Wille: The Jade gets you going or not. Either you like it or not. However, the people who donīt appreciate us still say we sound very professional on every level. We just received a great review from Varusmies magazine. Iīm very passionately excited about that. I mean cīmon, a magazine concerning the Finlandīs military!
We havenīt seen very many reviews yet, but the most of the reviews we have seen have been very good. Just a few persons havenīt liked it. I believe that is how it should be. The listeners seem to like it. Thatīs what matters. Hope they will get the record, too!
Yes, the reactions have been overall just cool. Fans are always great. There should be more media exposure. I’ve found only a couple of bad reviews. On one the person had a really weird attitude. He wanted to bitch about personal stuff and all that. It has nothing to do with the music itself, so I couldn’t be too happy. Still, it seems like karma works. I heard that something weird happened to him and he cannot write anymore. When we hit the stage the songs start to live their own life, they work like a motherfucker, and that only shows that the songs are strong.

Lea: The album was recorded at the Seawolf Studios. You mainly worked together with Petri Majuri and Hannu Leiden. How did this proceed?
Wille: Hannu Leiden recorded and was a major influence in the vocal recording process. Heīs worked basically with everybody in the Finnish music business for decades. Therefore, he knew what he was doing. Hannu is a very patient and professional man and had very effective vocal harmony ideas. Weīre so glad he agreed to work with us on our album.
Hannu Leiden also had plenty of ideas after the basic tracks were recorded. He also brought this cool 12-string Tom Petty Rickenbacker to the studio which I ended up using on many of the songs. Petri Majuri was in charge of recording the rhythm tracks and completing the album with us. So after the first week of the sessions we spent a couple of last weeks of the process with him listening, editing, mixing and finally mastering the tracks. Brilliant man he is!
It was great all the way, heard great stories and we got along really well. It’s a great studio and so are the guys.

Lea: On your website is written that you had demoed around 30 songs. How did you decide which of the songs will become a part of the album?
Wille: We loved all of our songs almost equally. Thatīs why we let our record company boss to choose the tunes for the album. There is still some very quality stuff in our catalogue that was left out.
Yes, so basically we together decided also the songs we had previously demoed were too brilliant to be left on demo level. They simply needed to be re-recorded in the proper studio with these great guys, Hannu and Petri. But choosing the tracks wasnīt an easy job.

Lea: Some of the songs have already been published on earlier CDs. How do you guarantee that no one is bored to hear those songs once again on the official debut?
Wille: The songs have changed very much from the earlier releases. In addition, there are many completely new tunes on the album. 14 tunes. So the fans will get so much more than a few re-made songs.
We never guarantee anything. That would not be very clever. Still, if people only have heard the original demo versions of some of the songs, for example on Myspace, they havenīt heard the new versions which are totally professionally arranged, played and recorded. And some of them are also re-written. Plus the fact is that the songs from our previous self-produced EP “Slow Motions On The Fast Lanes” were only to be heard on our sites, so there are millions and millions of people who have never heard any of the songs before.
Yes, the guys are right. Now, when a band like ours gets signed, it’s the songs on the demos that the record company falls in love with. So they want them on an album. We were okay with it, and just to show that we care, we wanted to add quite a few new ones for the people who have been there for us from the beginning. I’m sorry, but there wasn’t enough space to add 100 songs on the album.

Lea: Are the songs on the album connected among themselves in a way?
Wille: They are a collective unit that makes this album cool.

Lea: And where is the connection referring to the album title “Seconds Away From Salvation”?
Wille: Iīll leave it to the imagination of the fans, but just think about it. How would you feel if you were just seconds away from the personal salvation of your life? I bet eager.
If people want to take time reading or listening to the lyrics of the songs they will definitely find the connection to the title.
Right. Also it works with the whole story of Bernini’s sculpture “The Ecstasy Of St. Theresa”.

Lea: What are your personal highlights on the album and why?
Wille: “Everlasting Memorial”, “Yesterdayīs Rain”, “Kingīs Cross” – just to mention a few catchy songs with perfect lyrics.
Pekko: Every track Iīve managed to write is a highlight. Also I really like the guitars on every track. They just sound exactly like they were supposed to sound.

Overall I dig the way I’ve done things. Sometimes I wanna do a loads on the bass as there’s a little jazz asshole in me, but in the end I just do what’s the best for the song. I love my groove on “Solitary Soul” and “The Flame”, for example. This and that on “Beautiful Things” is just really cool as well. I love everything that the guys did on “Roses Are Burning” and on the album, just cool singin’ and playing.

Lea: For your second single “It`s A Sin” you’ve shot your first official music video which is really cool. Please tell us a bit about the story!
Wille: The idea for it came from the director of the video and we were first a bit shocked that is this going to be a horror video or what. We negotiated back and forth with the idea. In the video, the actor Ismo Kallio represents an old guy that is haunted by fears of the future and past concerning his life. We actually shot the video in a real, old house and decorated it with a few candles. It was freezing cold, but cool!
I don't find that video too cool.

Lea: Are there any anecdotes you can tell us about the filming sessions?
Pekko: There werenīt any, if I remember correctly. But like Wille mentioned, it was a horribly freezing house, so there must have been some suffering going on while filming the video…
Still the meatballs were good.

Lea: Did you also have the chance to contribute own ideas to that video?
Wille: Some, but itīs been almost a year now since we filmed it, so I canīt remember what they were.

Lea: What about the second videoclip referring to the song “King`s Cross”? Iīve heard youīre not really satisfied with it. Why?
Wille: The idea could have been made better. I mean, Iīm proud of how The Jade performs on the video, but the crew on the video looks odd. Nobody understands what is the function of the outside people on the video. Itīs a mystery to me also. But as a band on the video, we have nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite, actually.
The lyrics of “Kingīs Cross” are sad and I wrote them when I was fucking desperate. Thatīs why I hate to see some idiotic humour in that video. The filming crew didnīt listen to us, so thatīs why itīs not what we were expecting.
I mean, just look at the guy who’s jumping around there. It’s like a fucking kangaroo. Then the band was shot like 60 times with different cameras from the different angles and only a couple of things are shown there. And not the best bits. Also it really doesn’t serve the song at all.

Lea: How would the video look like if you had produced it with your own ideas?
Wille: Just The Jade on it and no other people.
Some video clips from Londonīs “Kingīs Cross” area would have been quite okay. Couple of persons who are British wrote us once that we have captured the feeling of the “Kingīs Cross” area, so I reckon the clips would have been a good idea.
I used to hang in that area, so I certainly do know that Pekko captured the feeling of it 100 percent when he wrote the song. It’s the bad side of it, “King’s Cross” can show you many faces. It woulda been cool if there were street violence, prostitutes, drugs, gangs and the band doin’ their thing. You know, comfy Saturday on “King’s Cross” with your mates.

Lea: How`s your band status in Finland nowadays since you entered the charts?
Wille: I donīt think about it much, because otherwise it drives you crazy. Ambition is a great thing, but I wonīt let it kill me. Maybe you should ask that from our fans. There are many things that I smile back at, such as those chart positions of our previous singles.
I donīt know about this status thing. The singles on the charts, any charts or basically anything doesnīt seem to matter too much at the end. Itīs cool for the moment and then itīs gone. To get the status you need to be fucking loaded with money. And a brilliant team and a manager would be needed, too. Itīs all about the business.
Yes, we’re here for real and not for some status, we’re a rock‘n`roll band. The basic idea is that you need 500.000 Euros in order to make it happen in one year. Anyhow, the band is ready for anything. We’re stronger than ever and will get stronger all the time. We’ll be here anyway, so the sooner someone comes up with certain things the sooner they’ll make the most of it.

Lea: And how is it possible for someone living here in Germany to get your album?
Wille: You can order it online, for instance from Twilight Records. And itīs also available in record stores.
Yes, in case Sony has done their job.

Lea: Is a tour planned to present the new songs live on stage?
Wille: Yep.

Lea: I`ve heard that you were recently supported live on stage by a keyboarder called Tomi. Is he just some kind of part time member or are you thinking of becoming a quintet in future?
Wille: We hope that our union lasts for a long time, so we will see what the future brings.
He doesnīt live in Helsinki right now, so we mainly rehearse as a quartet. But he is an absolutely brilliant guy, so never know what will happen. We are getting along really well.
I hope he’ll stay with us. And at times he comes to rehearsals as well, that’s like 500 kilometres drive, so that’s pretty cool. A great guy and a great musician.


Lea: Are there plans to come back to Germany in near future?
Wille: We hope to come there soon, but at the moment we donīt know when.
Yes, we love our fans there.

Lea: What are your plans for New Year`s Eve?
Wille: I have no idea about the Eve, maybe Iīll party or not. I donīt make party plans too soon.
No plans. Maybe Iīll just stay awake and think.
I’ll go to see V For Violence, United Underworld and So Called Plan.

Lea: Do you have a “message of salvation” for your fans?
Wille: Yes and it is this: You are now Seconds Away From Salvation, so if you want to fulfil your needs of the future, go and get the album, because it will open the doors for you.
From the souls and hearts: Seconds away from salvation. Be safe and well!
Stay cool out there.

Interview from Lea Sommerhäuser [ mailer ]
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