Prior to Finnish goth-rockers THE 69 EYES' performance in Los Angeles on May 1, vocalist Jyrki 69 spoke with Natalie Perez of Natalie's World. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
Jyrki: "I'm [glad] to be here still after all these years. You never know — when you get older, you start to realize that even though you're a vampire, your days might be numbered one way or another. I'm happy to be here after all these years."
On why it took a full decade for the band to return to the United States:
Jyrki: "It's really like everything changed in many ways after 2009, when we were here the last time. Then, when we were touring here, we were [a] MySpace band, if somebody remembers MySpace anymore. Then came Facebook, and now I think it's Instagram. Think how [the] world has changed since then. Also, there's no record stores anymore. Music is only provided [to] people by streaming services most likely, or they are consuming it that way. All this affected our little cult band in a way that we've been active touring around the world, making records, having a blast, but we just didn't have a chance to come to the States until now. I personally have been playing here with my hobby band, THE 69 CATS, which is my rockabilly band, and my solo thing, with whom I toured last year here. Everything I've done, I've been seeding this moment to happen — plant[ing] seeds for this moment to happen for that, so finally, the whole 69 EYES is here and touring. It's a happy moment, and it feels like homecoming, because we are our major influence ever has been American pop culture, and we feel very much at home here. It took a lifetime nearly to come back, but I'm glad we are here."
On the delayed release of the band's forthcoming album, which will mark the group's 30th anniversary:
Jyrki: "We spent too long in the studio with the upcoming record. It should have come by now. It comes out in September, so we decided, 'Let's call this tour sort of, like, [the] closing chapter of our 29th year.' The 30th anniversary year starts when the new record comes out in September. That's how we think of it. We're going to celebrate our 30th anniversary the next time we come to the States, which is as soon as possible... The first single comes out at the end of May."
On finding inspiration for new material:
Jyrki: "We're just eager to create new music celebrating our 30th anniversary instead of, like, releasing a compilation or something. We release a brand new record with brand new songs. We're looking forward. We think that THE 69 EYES has a future. When you don't have a future or you think you've done everything, then you do these [other] records, which is fine, but at the moment we haven't even thought about that."
On whether he'd ever want to perform with all three of his projects on the same day:
Jyrki: "I turned 50 recently, and I thought there was two options — to just disappear for a while or arrange a party. My idea was, 'Okay, let's do a party.' I'd bring all the three bands to play together one night, and I'll be on stage all the time. Then our co-agent said, 'Nobody cares and it's too expensive,' so I disappeared. When it comes to show business and the people who are the real vampires and get money out of me, they make those kind of decisions. It was easier for me to disappear."
On whether the band plans to release another live DVD:
Jyrki: "Does the world really need that? People are filming with their mobile phones. Once again, when you talk with the music industry people, they will tell me that nobody's going to buy it, [so] why invest in it? It's a sad world when it comes to being creative and [being an] artist, and then somebody handles the business side of it, unfortunately."
THE 69 EYES' forthcoming twelfth studio album — the follow-up to 2016's "Universal Monsters" — will be released in September via Nuclear Blast, with the first single set to premiere later this month.