He was a young criminal, whose only interest was to become a football player until he broke his back and had to give that up. After that he wanted to be a poet, he would read things like Arthur Rimbaud to me when we went to drink in the park with the alcoholics and the homeless. Pakarinen pointed Janne, the bass player to me. We were at a Lama gig in Lepakko, the squat music house in Helsinki, and Janne had a jacket with Motorhead logo in the back. He had to be the bassist because he liked Lama and Motorhead. Janne found Haba, the drummer.
They were neighbors and both their fathers worked for the City Transport driving bus, and they lived in a house that had no bathrooms and all the families in the house shared an outside toilet. Haba and Janne both had several punk pen pals around the world, through the Maximum Rock&Roll magazine. They knew the bands, Pakarinen and i had the 'we-hate-everybody' and 'we-are-nobody's-fans' -attitude, plus we were a year older. We all liked the Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Black Flag and Dead Kennedys, and some British bands like Anti-Pasti and Vice Squad. The Discharge and later the Crass era came a little later. Then in 1981 we met Nisonen who had just come back from the America and learned of the new kind of Punk going on - the HC of the time.
He was surprised we knew all the bands he'd just seen, and he proposed us a deal with Propaganda. That's when Pakarinen left, because "there was no anarchy in playing the same songs the same way again and again". That's about the history as far as anybody is interested, i think. Funny thing, but i have never told this to anybody this honestly. If you are a straight-edge, you just have to forgive me all the mentions of alcohol and other drugs in the story - you can't tell the story of HC82 without speaking of alcohol since in those days all the Finnish HC-bands were drunk all the time, in studio and on stage. Don't worry I don't judge people thought straight edge.
It's my choice and people have to make their own choices in their lives. If you chose to drink and it's your choice I respect that and if you chose not to drink I respect that too. So who had replaced Pakarinen when he left the band? I did, and Janne did some singing too. But it's my youthful breaking voice you hear in Russia Bombs Finland -LP, Lasta-EP and Hardcore 83 -LP.
I was also voted (in Hungary, i think) the worst singer to appear in 1982 - i shared the worst (or first, depends how you look at it) prize with my friend Pexi from Maho Neitsyt. :D Basically the classic Sekunda line-up was: Kivi - gtr + voc Janne - bass + voc Haba - drums You will hear Pakarinen singing when the "Skeletons Out Of Closet" -LP finally comes out, in that album is also some funny tracks where Hande (Varaus, Takuu...) tries his skill in singing and a track where i am singing with Takuu sometime in 1982 Worst singer? Hehehe. Good one. So was the "Russia Bombs Finland" first record on which you aperies (show up)? No, Sekunda's first appearance was on quite adequately named "Uloste" compilation cassette sometime winter 1981/82. Uloste means excrement (basically shit, but it can also include piss or vomit) and Sekunda performs songs "Vapaus" (Freedom), "Siat" (The Pigs) and "Nyt!" (Now!) with Pakarinen on vocals.
I think most of the legendary HC82 bands were on that compilation. We recorded those tracks with a cassette deck in the legendary LTS (Club of Creative Action), our rehearsal room where i also lived and slept when i didn't want to go home because of arguments with my mother, or because i wanted to spend the night with a girl without my parents and brothers interfering. There were rats the size of big cats there, since there was an open sewer nearby, so it was best to sleep with lights on. We also held big parties and private gigs there. Russia Bombs Finland happened sometime spring 1982.
We went to a demo studio in Lepakko basement with Ville Nisonen producing and played some 16 songs live to a cheap cassette in 15 minutes. The sound check took some more time, though. We would have played more, but the bass amp caught fire and started smoking, and since it wasn't ours we just turned it off and put the fire out with my leather jacket and rushed out before they would make us pay for it, ha ha. Now today i know it wasn't our problem and they would just have given us a new amp to continue recording, but that was my first time in a "real" studio, and i didn't know that the customer is not responsible for things like that. Well, anyway, those tracks form the basis of what was released in Russia Bombs Finland and Lasta-EP. In Lasta-EP i also play in the Markkinointioperaatio which was a duo - i played bass and guitar and Toffo played drums and sang.
I think Vilenius, the head of Propaganda Records, participated in vocals, too. Toffo who released the Lasta-EP later died on heroin overdose, may he rest in peace. He was a nice kid, but from a very rich family, and too much money spoiled his life. How many gigs did you have and have you ever tour? With which band did you like to play most? Sekunda didn't tour, in those days very few bands toured (the big all-Europe touring scene in squats and such happened only later, and when Riistetyt finally got to America (1984?) it was big news - of course they fucked up the whole tour playing sleazy hard rock in glam clothing which was not what anybody else wanted, but they were acting as Pyhät Nuket / Holy Dolls and making fools of themselves, bleah!). The gigs were rare, there was only one venue in Helsinki (Lepakko) that would take HC bands, one in Tampere (I-Klubi) and that was it. Two places to play for the whole country.
We played in Lepakko with Terveet Kädet, Appendix, Varaus, Kansan Uutiset, Nato, Kaaos and Riistetyt and in a small youth club Disco Monterosso with Kansan Uutiset and Maho Neitsyt. Disco Monterosso was the home venue of Nolla Nolla Nolla, probably the best unknown HC band of its era and certainly the one with best lyrics - unfortunately they never recorded their HC era songs. Of course we also had regular "private" gigs with Takuu and Alamaailma but those parties were not advertised and there was an audience of 30-50 people at most - diehard fans. I seem to remember we also played some youth club where they stopped our set in the beginning when 'our audience' threw 'their audience' out. Sekunda never gigged much; we were always fighting so we never could agree on anything.
:D Now, afterwards, i think in 1982 the best HC bands in Finland were Rattus and Lama. Rattus was unbelievably tight trio, which you will not believe if you hear their recent records, and they could do their songs live like a record but with a 100 times more energy. On the record Lama was tight and musical, but the gigs were like a fist-fight or punching match with lots of slam-dancing, very angry and violent, but with a hell-if-i-care laughing attitude. Appendix could not play in their own records in 1982, they had to tune down the guitars and then speed up the tape, so that nobody would notice the pitch change, but nowadays they can play their set better than any of those old punk fart bands. We had a Lepakko's Funeral gig in 1999 (when they finally demolished the house), i think, where i was with my present band Kätyrit (www.myspace.com/katyrit) and they were great, especially compared to Kaaos or Riistetyt that were very drunk and uninteresting.
Last spring i was the announcer in a punk festival up in Oulu, and Terveet Kädet has returned to play the old stuff live, which was great. Otherwise the HC re-warming are not very successful - i mean, Kuolema plays sloppy heavy metal and they've been drunk for 25 years non stop, that's sad. Kansan Uutiset has only one original player and they're even drunk than in 1982 - sad. It's not easy being over 40 years and keeping up the HC82 flag. So, Sekunda is a band from Helsinki.
In '80s that famous finish hardcore scene was in Tampere. Tampere had the most legendary bands and that stuff, (opaska Kivia. Tampere had three legendary bands: Kaaos, Riistetyt and Bastards. They were the first HC bands in Finland making records.
Other Tampere bands such as Pyhät Nuket or Kuolleet Kukat are mostly the same people as those three.) but what with Helsinki? Lepakko was only place where you played. Can you tell me something about Helsinki's bands now and then? No, we played other places too, Lepakko was only the one proper venue. But bands played any place - schools, parks, Lama played once in their apartment block spring party (lots of old people there) and 000 played for kids in a kindergarten, because a girl who worked in a kindergarten was their fan. We tried to get to play in a Metro (Subway) station opening with Sekunda.
Very funny gigs, anything we could get. You have to understand that Helsinki is very, very much bigger city than Tampere. Helsinki with its surrounding suburb- or satellite cities such as Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Porvoo, Mäntsälä, Lahti or Hämeenlinna has more than 25% of the population of Finland living in the south of Finland. Many good bands came from Helsinki. Lama, 000, Varaus, Kansan Uutiset, Takuu, Nato, Climax, Alamaailma...
and almost everybody lives in Helsinki some time, to study or to work, so even if Maho Neitsyt was from Kouvola they still lived in Helsinki working odd jobs and their bassist Sir Jyce being a welder in the Helsinki shipyard, and most guys in Terveet Kädet lived in Helsinki and visited their hometown Tornio (900 kilometres from Helsinki) only occasionally. Tampere bands stayed in Tampere, or more accurately, in Hervanta which is a separate housing project 6 kilometres from Tampere. It used to be a slum in 1982, but nowadays it's a nice little village with lots of student houses and a Polytechnic school. Rattus stayed in Jyväskylä. Appendix stayed in Pori.
Almost all other bands lived at least some time in Helsinki. I can't tell you anything about the bands now, i go to the punk/HC gigs but i'm not especially interested in any of those bands now (and most of them sound very unoriginal, like a carbon copy of Finnish, American or British HC of the past with a little Heavy Metal in it). Punk is not so much about music, clothes, haircuts (or whatever is in anti-fashion at the moment) for me anymore, i've had my share. For me it's a way of thinking and some common political views, and people can dress in disco glitter and listen to Polkas and accordion music for all i care ;-) Did you know that HC82 turned sour in 1983 for everybody? Even though they were present, most old punks don't know, they think that they drifted away alone, but in 83 at least in Finland the HC was in such a bad shape that everybody with half a mind turned away. Alcohol and drug problems, violence and petty criminalism (some punks would even hit their friends in the head and steal their clothes to sell them as "Punk fashion" to get money for drugs) was the thing then, and it was very ugly.
I personally quit the punk scene for a long time after some drunk punks had hit my drummer friend with a baseball bat (because he had a long hair - he was a Ramones fan) so he spent long time in hospital for skull fractures and another gang had beaten up Pakarinen, and dragged him across a sand field face down so that he lost the skin and muscle of half of his face (he had to be rebuilt by plastic surgery, with his passport photo as a model). There really was "No Future" and the music didn't change the world for a better place. Can you tell me something about Piikkilankamalli? It's your new album, right? Yeah, it's The New Album :-D Two years ago Hate Vilenius, the boss of Propaganda Records called me on the phone: -When was the last time you were in a studio with Sekunda? -25 years ago, as you should know. -Isn't it about time you made the long album, then? -Well, there is a problem. Janne is dead, Haba is unavailable and Pakarinen is mentally very ill and can't leave home. -That hasn't stopped you before, has it? -Well...
no. So what I did was to concentrate, listen to all kinds of old Sekunda demos (luckily i've always been pretty maniacal about demoing and recording), read lots of political and war history and watch old news on video. I even went to visit my mother to dig in her attic where I had my old diaries, because I really wanted to understand who and what I was at the age of 15. I understood that the thing in Sekunda was probably in the fact that we couldn't play but we didn't let it stop us. Listening to what other old farts like Rattus, Kuolema and Kohu63 had done lately made me certain that the LAST THING ANYBODY WANTS would be a musically developed Sekunda showing off our technical skills (remember, I've been playing guitar and writing songs professionally all these years). What I found out about myself, was that I was more political now than then, and I also am more angry now.
It felt really good to start writing songs for Sekunda again. When I had written 87 new songs, I decided it was time to record. I collected the band, people who know exactly what it means to play HC82 and who know what it means if somebody says: "Let's do a Exploited kind of arrangement" or "more GBH in this" or "let's do the Terveet Kädet thing", whatever. Everybody had a similar background in various HC bands. We agreed that we didn't want our names in the record cover; it would be much more effective to just be the Sekunda, a tight team.
It wasn't a studio musician thing, it was Sekunda. Then we went to our rehearsal rooms, an old garage in an industrial building they later demolished. We had a 1" 8-track reel-to-reel, an old Soundtracks mixing desk and some microphones and we recorded 40 songs in 2 days. There are no tricks, and almost all the songs are first takes, played live with vocals and all. We agreed that what we wanted to do, was to do the best album of year 1982 that nobody could make then.
I think we succeeded, i like the Piikkilankamalli a lot and i think it's a great record. We had to leave three songs out, because they were about Propaganda records and this record came out on a different label, BV2. Propaganda will release the missing tracks on another record. When we were listening to the tracks right after the recording, we couldn't believe how good it sounded with all the distortion and tape saturation. We agreed that it was the only way our new album could sound, so i took it to a studio and mixed it myself, not to lose the raw energy. We also had it mastered so loud and clear we ever could, and I was at the mastering guarding that nothing could go wrong.
BV2, the record company, agreed when we told that the only way they can do business with us is the way that WE make the record, WE make the cover, and they can take it or leave it. Only compromise was to leave out the three songs. If anybody releases Piikkilankamalli in vinyl, I really hope those songs will be back on the record as bonus tracks. It's a very rough record, but everything is just as it should be, and the songs are very good, political and aggressive but not boring or short-sighted. We had fun in doing it and it hears. I think that we are done.
Do you want to say something in the end? I believe in freedom and I believe in people's rights to express them and live, as they want if they do not harm other people. I'm very afraid for the world right now, because I see a new conservativism rising, and I think most of the people have lost their belief in that they can change the world by their everyday actions. That's sad. I mean - maybe you can't change the world in your lifetime but you're at least walking in the right direction.
As a Chinese philosopher said: "Aim for the moon, and you can at least get out of the well." I think people are quietly accepting nuclear power because they're more afraid of the global warming (and they should be fucking scared of it!) but I think they still make the research and use of alternative energy sources too difficult and expensive on purpose, which is gambling on everybody's lives. I see that famous people are not ashamed to wear fur - 10 years ago they would have been. I think that many "alternative" people (yes, punks too) are very narrow-minded and think their actions are justified because of their noble intentions even when they harm others. I think world has more right wing world leaders and less culture and civilization than ever during the last century, and things are getting worse very fast, faster than we know. I think this is a much more cruel and hopeless world than what we had in 1982.
I'm starting to think that people should maybe adapt some hippie ideals in their everyday lives soon to stop them hurting each other and themselves. They might be naive, but there's nothing funny in peace, love and understanding, is there? I mean - other that those things are on a very short supply right now... Let's be on the side of the living. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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