INTERVIEW: THE 69 EYES

2012 marks 20 years since Finnish ‘goth n roll’ vampires, The 69 Eyes were created. On the eve of their album release, we chatted to frontman Jyrki69 about ‘X’, new inspirations and redefining their sound.

By Meghan Player

It’s been 3 years since we last spoke, what has the band been up to?
Basically we just toured till fans started to ask when we’re going to have new music out. Then the last year we’ve been writing the songs and getting ready to record them.

You’re about to release your new album ‘X’ – you must be excited about unleashing another wave of goth n roll on the world?
Our first album came out 20 years ago this year. Now this is our tenth album. We’re excited to create a new 40-minute soundscape for fans to escape the daily boredom of this world – into the melodies of our music.

What initially grabbed my attention about ‘X‘ is how much your style and sound has developed since ‘Back In Blood‘ – was this an intentional move?
Back In Blood” was on purpose a hard rocking, aggressive, American and sleazy album. This time around, it felt more interesting to concentrate on melodies and melancholies.

You still retain the underlying core 69 Eyes style with the new album – was it equally important to create something new as it was to hold onto something that defines the 69Eyes past?
We really wanted to get back to our melodic side of darkness. Inspired by our own past, we wanted to rise that into a new level with our Swedish production team as well. I think we succeeded perfectly. For me this is the perfect album. This kind of music I have always wanted to do.

Lyrically, the album is darker and more heartbreaking then I expected – what inspired the tracks this time around?
I happened to break up with my girlfriend at the time we started to write the album, so I really didn’t have to look further than a mirror to find the source for the songs. The lyrics are more personal, maybe even intimate – but on the other hand also more universal. Everyone can relate.

What do you hope both new and old fans take away from ‘X‘?
I hope they will enjoy the beauty of our melodies.

It seems like with each 69 Eyes album, you shift into a deeper, darker and more foreboding place – which is beautiful, at the same time it is heartbreaking – do you find each album offers a cathartic experience for yourself and the band?
We’re just making rock’n’roll. It’s true that we’ve put two decades into this but it’s still a happy feeling as we create something new. The 69 Eyes is our free way to live.

Do you think the band is in a different place now to what it was prior to ‘Back In Blood’, and even 20+ years ago when you first started?
Times change, naturally we change with them too. We want to make music for our fans. That’s been the main focus. That’s why I don’t see the point of reading reviews – unless they’re written by fans.

With the launch of the new album, you’ll be most likely hitting the road once again – where will this tour take you?
From Halloween to Xmas we will tour here in Finland. Then in January and February we will do Europe!


We’re definitely keen for the 69 Eyes to return to Australia again – are there any plans to tour here again?

Thanks! Not at the moment. Maybe someday again, who knows?

If the band were to call it quits tomorrow, what would you like the 69 Eyes to be remembered for?
“Lost Boys”!
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Many thanks to Jyrki69 for taking the time to chat to us.
‘X’ is out now through Nuclear Blast Records.

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