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Lordi Interview

A Conversation With Vocalist Mr. Lordi


The End Records
It was a huge surprise when a masked metal band from Finland won the 2006 Eurovision song contest. It’s a very popular contest in Europe with nearly 40 countries participating. The people chose Lordi and their anthem “Hard Rock Hallelujah” as the winner. It launched them to superstardom in their native country. They opened a Lordi restaurant, and have all kinds of products including their own credit card, soft drink, candy and comic book. Their album The Arockalypse was extremely popular all over Europe, as they brought their theatrical stage show with pyrotechnics and over the top antics. Lordi is now trying to conquer North America. Their album has been released here, and they plan to tour the U.S. beginning in April. I spoke with the band’s founder and vocalist Mr. Lordi about their success in Europe and plans for the U.S.

Chad Bowar: Lordi are hugely successful in Finland, and have done very well in Europe as a whole. What are you plans and expectations for the United States?
Mr. Lordi: Plans and expectations can be two different things! The plan is to tour there and see how it goes and see how the audience will react to us and our music and the whole package. Our expectations are to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Everybody in the band is optimistic about everything, but on the other hand you have to be realistic at the same time. We are hoping we’ll be a huge major act there, but we have our feet firmly on the ground. We’ll see what happens.

It must have been an amazing experience to have 600 million people watching you win Eurovision, and then be welcomed home by the President of your country.
We’ve been doing this for a while, and we’ve been doing our own thing against the mainstream. Any critic in Europe will say that we’re just about the image, it’s just a gimmick. But that’s not true. We’re 100 percent honest in what we do. With Eurovision, we didn’t think we would win. We thought we could win, but we didn’t think that kind of miracle would happen. To suddenly go from being a marginal heavy metal band dressed up as monsters to national heroes overnight has its pros and cons. It’s nice to get recognized and be treated well by important people in your own country. Orf course that feels good. But then again Eurovision is something no rock band should do if they want to keep a shred of credibility. But we won and still did our own thing. It was nice we won. We got all sorts of good stuff because of that. One thing leads to another.

How would you describe Lordi to someone that’s never heard or seen you?
There are some cute quotes from other journalists that have been quite precise. One said we are “Kiss for the new millennium.” That was the highest compliment a bunch of Kiss fans could get. Lordi is a mixture of Alice Cooper’s theatrics and the Kiss pyro effects. The music is pretty melodic, and we are not trying to hide or deny our influences. It’s an eighties style pop rock heavy metal. It’s like Kiss, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper with big singalong choruses and a lot of hooks with a vocal sound that sounds like Lemmy or Rob Zombie. We are monsters who play melodic hard rock.

How did you line up all the different guests for the album?
It started as pure coincidence. It was 2005 when we were recording the album, and we had a two week European tour right in the middle of the studio sessions. We had a day off, and the Eric Singer Project was playing in Copenhagen, Denmark. We went to check it out. After the show I was pretty drunk so I went to Bruce Kulick and asked him if he wanted to appear on a Lordi album. I gave him my information and figured I’d never hear from him again. I didn’t think there was any way Bruce Kulick would want to guest on a Lordi album. But when we got back home there was an email from Bruce saying he would do it. The more you eat, the hungrier you get. So we decided to ask Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister if he would do a solo on another song. He said yeah, so we thought if we got Jay Jay we could probably get Dee Snider to speak on the intro. Then we contacted Udo Dirkschneider, one of my favorite heavy metal singers of all time. He agreed to sing on the album, too. When all these people said they actually wanted to do it we had a positive problem. We didn’t plan on this. About half of the album was already done, so we had to figure out what they would do and on what song.

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