FINPOP.NET - interview
When and how was your band created?
It started almost 10 years ago, as Aksu Blackrider (that's me) met his future wife Mary Christmas. We decided to do music together. Mary was one hell of a singer, and I am one hell of a guy.
Where is the name of the band coming from?
One of the early tracks had a sentence saying "don't look up to the sky, all stars are here in the ground". The song is called "Let's have a party" and it can be heard in our debut album "I've seen you all before". Sooner or later we realized that it's one of the worst band names ever, but who cares?
What musicians or artists did have a major influence in your life / work?
It is definitely the music that I heard when I was a little kid listening to the stuff that was listened at home by my parents: that would be music by M.A. Numminen, Piirpauke, 60's pop/rock etc. Everything that had a bit of an obscure and weird touch to it affected me the most. The situation has been the same ever since.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a musician in Finland?
I don't recommend this business to anybody. It sucks ass deeply. The only positive thing is band called Negative, but it's not too positive thing either.
How could you qualify your style of music?
We steal material from here and there, claim that it's our own stuff and take all the credits. We love delay and reverb, and try to hide the clumsiness with which we play our instruments behind massive effects. Sometimes (and more often nowadays) we turn the whole scenario upside down. We just do easy and catchy pop tunes with three chords.
During the years how has your musical style evolved?
It's coming closer to earth all the time. Once it was a necessity to put all kind of tricks to one song and mislead the listeners as much as possible. That was supposed to be fun and stylish. Now we have realized that it's not only fun, but also childish and amateurish. To be serious, it is easier to include catches and ambushes to a song than not to do things that way.
How do explain these changes?
We are getting old and dull. The music is a mirror of us as persons. We are honest until the very end.
What are stories/topics you tell/treat in your songs?
Honestly, I don't know or care much. Mostly the lyrics are developed around certain sentence or slogan. The end result rarely does have any connection to the first idea of the lyrics. Or it does indeed, but the connection is rather tenuous to the public.
Have you ever considered the possibility to change totally your style of music? If so, what style of music would you choose?
Our music changes all the time from one song to another. We cover pretty much all the music known to mankind: we have reggae, heavy, pop, progressive and jazzy tunes. If we are about to change the music completely, we'd need to change the line-up of All Stars, or get rid of all of us and let Mary Christmas perform these songs with acoustic guitar alone. That would mean certain change in the sound. The music changes only as we change. It does change all the time because we are lost in the music business, and we are lost as human beings. We are the driving in the lost highway of pop music. We are different every day. Yesterday I spotted our drummer wearing a wig and a Mussolini-mask. In my dreams I play with big orchestra behind us. You can spot a grand piano and a kettledrum on the stage.
What is your favorite song in your repertoire?
I would choose Gö-Star. This song is rather new. We did it right after Gösta Sundqvist, a Finnish musician died. The song has the most simple sound and touch to the whole thing, and playing this song has affected a lot to all the things that we do in the band. We owe a lot to Leevi and the Leavings, that was Gösta's band.
Do you tour regularly? Do you prefer performing your music live or in a studio?
We don't do that much gigs. It is not possible at the time as most of us are working or studying. I would like to play a bit more often, but to bigger audiences in more professional stages. Well, who wouldn't? To me All Stars is a band that should play in bigger stages, so that we could fulfill our dreams that were mentioned in the earlier answer.
During the process of making an album, what is the moment that you prefer?
The best moment is to realize that something good has just happened with the song. Something that has just been recorded kinda saves and justifies the whole song.
What kind of music / What artists do you currently listen?
I have 200 vinyls at home that I haven't listened yet. I don't allow myself to buy more music before I have listened to that stuff. Those vinyls mostly include music from 60's and 70's.
A stupid question but... what is, among all the songs you've been listening in your life, the BEST song?
What a stupid question indeed!! I choose California dreamin` by the Mama's and the Papas. It has all in it: nice composition, great lyrics performed by an excellent band. The vocals are rather amazing, and so are the harmonies on the background.
What is your opinion, as a musician, regarding internet?
It's the best thing happened to music for a little while. It's a great channel to spread the word. MP3 is definitely the best format after vinyls. To hell with CD's.
What are your actual and future projects?
All Stars is now recording the second album. It should be out early next year. It's sounding very promising already. Hopefully the big audience finds it too, because we are very big. Our basist Mikromikko 3.0 weights over 160kg!
Interview by Vincent Lefrançois - 2004
Older slower softer**
I've seen you all before**
Better Alone **
D'mon Everybody demo-97
American Brothers Awards 2004
Aisti Klubi, 2002
Fönsters of Rock - 98