Everybody knows the Monsters and their catchy, melodic hard rock music! We are talking about Lordi, who got famous as Eurovision winners and continue to this day, releasing fine albums. Myth of Rock, always digging horror cinema, literature and music, came in contact with Lordi and Hella (keyboards) and Mana (drums) gave answers to our questions. What are the Monsters doing right now? What about their new album, “Screem Writers Guild”? Continue reading, please, because the Monsters came back!
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
Lordi are releasing their new album ”Screem Writers Guild” in a few days. Which are your feelings and thoughts now that your new album is coming out?
Hella: Only positive! It’s a great album!
Mana: Every day is a joyous jubilee.
Before “Screem Writers Guild” you had released a box set with seven new albums, “Lordiversity”. Why did you decide to release such a box set back then? Are you satisfied with the response of the critics and the fans?
Hella: Covid-19 cut off our European tour back then, so Mr. Lordi just had too much time!
Mana: It all comes down to “Killection” - album which was released before that. If we had a compilation album from a fictional timeline starting from the 70s then of course we would have to have the whole back catalogue of the albums where that compilation is compiled from. The original plan was to make ten albums, but the record label let us do “only” 7. And yes, the Covid-19 mayhem cleared the calendar and paved the way pretty nicely for all that.
Where would you trace the differences between the new songs and the songs of “Lordiversity”?
Hella: I think the new album is more like old school Lordi, with some touches of the new genres discovered on "Lordiversity".
Mana: We were pretty thrilled about how the “Humanimals” album turned out on “Lordiversity” and kinda got stuck to that sound. Production wise, this new one is very similar to that.
When and where was the new album recorded? Did you have fun recording this new album?
Mana: I did the drum recordings by myself at my rehearsal space, most of the guitar and bass track recordings were done by Mr. Lordi at his house in Rovaniemi and vocals were recorded at Here Studios in Helsinki by Toivo Hellberg and Mr. Lordi's long time collaborator & vocal coach Tracy Lipp.
Recording process is always like a rollercoaster ride. One day you feel great and one day you want to burn the drums. That doesn't change no matter how many albums you make.
Describe the whole production process of the new album. Which were your priorities during the production? Who did the mixing and the mastering?
Mana: The priority is always to make the most out of each song and that the album works as a whole. I think we formed a good production trio with Mr. Lordi and our A&R Janne Halmkrona. Mixing was done by the same dude who did the Humanimals album: Ilu Herkman and Pauli Saastamoinen was in charge of the mastering.
Did Mr. Lordi compose all the new songs and write all the lyrics? Which was the contribution of the other members?
Hella: Most of them yes, but also other members are always welcome to give our ideas and riffs on the table.
Mana: Exactly. Rest of us throws riffs and ideas at him. Some of them sticks and some don't.
The new songs are a tribute to horror cinema, as far as the lyrics are concerned. Name your five favourite horror movies of all time!
Hella: “The Exorcist”
Mana: “The Exorcist”, “Alien”, “The Omen”, “Pet Sematary”, “Psycho”.
Do you also like reading horror books? If yes, name some of your favorite horror books.
Hella: Horror doesn’t really work for me in a book form..
Mana: I got a bunch of Stephen King books in my shelf. “IT”, “Misery” and “Pet Sematary” are the most bone chilling.
Lordi has always played in a melodic hard rock style. Which are your music influences? What music do you listen to nowadays? What new have Lordi to offer to the hard rock genre in the year 2023?
Mana: Let's just start with the fact that KISS is the best band in the world and that is the most influential band for me and this band as well. Lately I've listened a lot of 80's prog AOR rock: Rush, Genesis, Yes etc.
We have a new guitar player Kone who has brought a new sound in this band. Definitely worth checking out!
Hella: I listen mostly melodic or progressive metal music, I believe that doesn’t really have much influence on Lordi music, :D .
In your opinion, which are the highlights, the best songs of the new album? And why?
Hella: My favourites are “Dead Again Jayne” and “End Credits”. But not easy to choose.
Mana: Same here. Album needs an ass kicking opening track and a good closure. Those songs are spot on.
If you were offered to compose the soundtrack of a horror movie, would you say yes? Why?
Hella: I am sure Mr. Lordi would take that offer!
Amen is not a member of the band anymore. Why did he leave the band?
Mana: It's a loooooong story and it's explained in Mr. Lordi's book “Lordiary”.I hope that the it gets translated to English soon.
Hella: His interest to put all the needed effort to the band was gone. He had been the member since the beginning, I think it was his time to let it go.
Lordi have experienced many line-up changes until now. Do these line-up changes have an impact on the band’s sound? Would you say that the current line-up is one of the strongest you have ever had?
Hella: Of course it has an impact, to the sound, look and to the whole dynamic of the band.
Mana: This line-up is most definitely the strongest sounding so far. Kone brings a lot of new energy and more technical style of playing to the band.
As everybody knows, Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, Greece, in 2006. How much important was this for the band and its career? How much different are Lordi compared to your sound in 2006? How much have you progressed as a musical act?
Hella: Eurovision Song Contest made the band more known all over the world, but I think the true fans have been found from different routes.
Mana: Hella and I were not in the band back then, but I believe this is current band is totally different than what it was back then. I think we can't deny the effect of winning ESC. The band gained a lot of new audience. Some of them saw the band for the first time and has sticked with us to this day.
Could you ever imagine Lordi without the “monster” looks? Would you be the same band, without the masks and the “monster” outfit? Why?
Hella: Lordi is a monster band, there is no Lordi without it.
How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect you as a band?
Hella: The same us other bands, we had to cut off touring, but for example we had a streamed special show and Mr. Lordi had time to write seven new albums so… not so bad?
Which are your plans for a tour?
Mana: We're hitting the road on 14th of April as a support act for Sabaton and were doing 25 shows all across Europe.
Send your message to the fans!
Hella: See you soon on the road!
Mana: Stay cool, be nice, drink water, sleep enough, exercise, don't do drugs, smile, enjoy life, don't abuse animals, vote, tune your guitar before playing, don't scream at your tour manager, don't drink and drive, sell your car and get a bicycle, don't invade a sovereign country... Let's start with those!