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Interviews

Sami from St.HoodSt.Hood - Sami Halme

15/05/06  ||  Statik Majik

St.Hood Introduction by Statik Majik: St. Hood is a Finnish band that kicks ass. Really. They obviously play some sort of mix between hardcore and metal. Fuck if I knew how to categorize them. Anyway, they released their debut-album, “Sanctified”, last autumn. The fucker was featured in the April 2006 edition of Audio Autopsy and there’s also a regular review of the cd. So I decided to contact the band and see if they were up for an interview. Lucky for us they were. So, with assistance from The Lord, it’s time for a great chit-chat with Sami, the band’s singer.

Statik Majik: Good day. I noticed that you’re having quite a busy spring ahead. Loads of gigs and whatnot, so I’d like to thank you for having the time for this interview. So, how the fuck are you?

Sami: Right now, we’re fine. Thanks. It’s been good. We’ve been playing shows on a regular basis during the winter and from the beginning of May we will be playing a lot of shows in Finland when the Fullhouse-tour kicks in. Right after that we will continue to tour Europe for two and half weeks with our labelmates Down My Throat. That’ll be fun!

Heikki Iso-Sipilä from St.Hood Statik Majik: I’d like to congratulate you for releasing one fucking good album. Tell our readers briefly about it and why they should at least give it a listen or two?

Just to make it simple: “Sanctified” is a pure Finnish street heavy metal album that mixes hardcore and metal the way it should be done. We are not your average hardcore band but at the same time we aren’t that metal either. It’s a healthy mix for people with an open mind from both the heavy and the hardcore scenes.

Lord K: Let’s pretend I’m someone who never heard anything music-wise from your band, make me interested in what you guys do in 10 words or less. If you exceed the number of words I’ll dress all of you up in hoods and beat you senseless with a bamboo-stick.

In-your-face street-hardcore heavy music.

Statik Majik: While we’re at it, let’s get even deeper into the analysis: How would you categorize your music anyway? I mean, each and every person is so eager to label bands into certain categories and such.

When we started out, we thought about old Biohazard, old Suicidal Tendencies, old Mushmouth, some Judas Priest riffs, Sick Of It All, Subzero and all those bands which meant something for us back in the days. Then we wrote some of our own stuff and found our style. That’s just heavy metal influenced hardcore with hard groove involved.

Statik Majik: Yeah, well, the Biohazard-part was pretty obvious. What about the name, “St.Hood”... What does it stand for anyway?

That name, St.hood, stands for all of us underdogs waiting for our turn in the shadows… We’re all saints when given the chances and sinners by unjust circumstances. And we’ll still be lowlifes in their eyes when speaking of the music-industry. And we’re damn proud to be here representing our ‘hood!

Lord K: Naturally, have you guys seen “Boyz in the hood”?

Yeah, and that’s a good movie, nigga.

Lord K: What about “Robin Hood – Men in tights?”

Of course. That film is about us. We made it, fool.

Lord K: Do you think there’s a slight chance you’ll be revamping the whole “Horns up!” slogan to “Hoods up!”? Now thank me for giving you guys some ideas.

Thank you very much indeed! That’s a good idea! Everyone putting their hoods over their heads when we start playing… If that happens, we’ll be sure to mention you every time! Hoods up everyone, and have fun!!!

Lord K: Is wearing a hood metal?

Yeah. That’s just plain evil. You never know what’s hidden inside! The questions should be more like; Is wearing make-up considered to be evil or bad nowadays? And should everyone listening to metal look just the same? Is there a some kind of standard for looking like something until you can call yourself metal? Can heavy metal rust?

Lord K: What about wearing a robe? Is that metal?

Oh, that’s just bad-ass metal! Candlemass-style! And of course with a hood! ( Note by The Lord: Mentioning Candlemass just rendered you 666 free hoods in my book. )

Statik Majik: So, the first printing of “Sanctified” is already sold out? And the album was released like… what, last autumn? Now that’s what I’d call a pretty damn good achievement, don’t you think?

That is more than we expected. And there’s no need to say that we truly are proud of that. Although we believed in ourselves, we didn’t expect the album to do so good. And what makes us even more proud is that a lot of kids outside your “typical” hardcore-scene have bought it. And liked it too!

Statik Majik: Not that it’s any of our business, but how large was the printing anyway? And do you think you’re about to make another print of “Sanctified”? Or is that a decision your label makes? Or do you even care?

We care, that’s for sure. The more people buy our album, the more shows we are able to play. The first printing was 1000 copies and the second printing is on its way. Right now we’re thinking about doing some vinyl-versions of that album just to please all those vinyl-lovers out there. Besides, the whole cover concept is done to look great in vinyl-size too.

Statik Majik: You have a fucking solid and heavy sound on “Sanctified”. I especially love the strong guitarsound you got on it. How many euros did you spend for the studio anyway?

Actually not so many as you’d think. The whole album was done in a small studio that doesn’t cost too much. The guy who recorded the songs is a good friend of ours and even put some discount on the prices… But yeah, the album sounds good and we’re happy with how it all came out. The guitarsound is something that is a result of years of experimenting while trying to find that “own” sound.

Panu Willman from St.Hood Lord K: How much of those euro’s did you blow on coke, hookers and transvestites?

Most of it! Isn’t that just what you’re supposed to do when you play heavy music? Besides, we’re all big time playas, so that comes naturally… Especially without all those transvestites we wouldn’t be where we are today. They made us.

Statik Majik: Metallica spent like millions of dollars to get the “magnificent sound” for St. Anger. That’s like… shitloads of more money than you spent on your debut. But since you got so much better sound with nearly a fraction of the money Metallica spent, what advice you’d give them? I think you’re as good as any to answer to this, because “Sanctified” is a much more professional-sounding album than “St. Anger” will ever be. Please tell us that you at least agree with me on this one, hahaha?

Thanks for your words on “Sanctified” and I agree with you on “St. Anger”, but I guess they needed to do that kind of an album to realise where they stand ( Note by The Lord: And now they know that they were neck up in hen-shit, topped off with large amounts of goose-shit? ). They definitely aren’t that good anymore. If they make another album like that again, I believe it’s the end of the band. At least they should change their name if so. But it seems that everyone of those old heavy bands are doing some kind of a reunion shit and “going back to basics”, so it wouldn’t be any surprise if Metallica would do that too. So I expect them to “find” themselves again and do another heavy album in the vein of “...And justice for all” and “Master of puppets”. That’s what Metallica should be about.

Lord K: Ok then, would you be so kind to wrap up what “St. Anger” is about in 3 words? I ask you this because I don’t think anyone really knows, and it’d be nice to have someone from the hood telling us.

No good crap.

Statik Majik: Ok, briefly about the album cover… I think it looks damn nice, but seriously, don’t you think you could’ve gotten an album cover that’s like, you know, more “metal”? The very first second I saw the album cover I thought it was a rap- or even some punk-album.

The albumcover of Sanctified With all of these hardcore and metal album-covers giving you the impression that you are more tough than you’d ever even dreamed to be, I think that the“Sanctified”-cover is good for us. The whole idea was to have that old comics-like spirit in there, done with some new-school techniques. The artwork is done by a ex-Legacy Tattoo (Helsinki) artist who is a friend of ours, and he really understood what we wanted. We think it looks cool. It’s not your typical hardcore album-cover but at the same time, neither are our songs.

Lord K: Not only is the cover not metal, I’d say it’s ugly as fuck as well. Now what do you have to say to your defence?

Nothing. Some people like it and some people don’t.

Statik Majik: You’re signed to Fullhouse Records. Don’t you think you’re just a bit too heavy for them? Don’t they concentrate mainly on “regular” hardcore and punk-bands? Ok, you’re not the only heavier band on their roster since Down My Throat is signed to Fullhouse as well… But anyways, ellaborate.

I think we fit in just fine. They give us lot of respect and we respect what they do. We still play that hard music and we have that independent attitude that they appreciate. And as long as everything works out fine, we’ll be right here.

Statik Majik: Has Fullhouse treated you well? Are you already filthy rich and living in mansions and driving around in limos? Don’t tell me you all have regular day jobs? I mean that’s not really metal, is it?

What is more metal than having a day job? Of course we have limos and drivers to take us to our jobs but we try to keep our feet on the ground everyday anyway. It’s not easy, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do… Fuck that. We don’t have any money and we do have to work our asses off all the time. I don’t think that we’ll be filthy rich any time soon. We just don’t lick that butt enough. It’s not that we wouldn’t want to be filthy rich but I think that’s just not for us.

Statik Majik: So, I’d like you to badmouth Jysky from Fullhouse Records a bit or tell us something funny… I mean humiliating about him, but since none of our readers know who the fuck he is, let’s try something else… Tell us briefly about your fellow bandmates.

There’s nothing much to say about us. We consider ourselves to be pretty normal guys. We do stupid things all the time, especially when drunk, but that’s not a big deal. So do you. And that’s not something you really want to brag about. Come to see us at the shows and we’ll do something stupid together. You can then start your own rumours about us… Ha ha.

Lord K: On a scale from 1 to 10, how gay is the moniker “St. Hood”?

It depends on how gay you wanna get?

Lord K: Seriously, what kind of drugs do you guys trip on? The reason I ask is because no one in their sane state of mind would come up with this name and think it’s one absolutely awesome moniker for a band they are in.

Beer, blows, booze and hoes! And it’s all good. The name is awesome, say what you say. At least it sticks to your brain, right? Love it or hate it. But actually these are good questions to ask when you call yourself “Lord K”. That’s evil gay-metal name and all props to that.. ha ha ha. Let’s gay together! ( Note by The Lord: I’m gay-m. )

Statik Majik: I understood that you tend to have some pretty fucking intense gigs. I even heard some rumours about the gig in Avion (a crappy hotel/restaurant in Helsinki) where you had some nazi-fucks in the audience who didn’t know how to behave. Has it been like that on the other gigs as well?

That bullshit don’t happen all the time but every now and then you have some assholes there who wants to have a go at it. That’s mainly because some of the people don’t have any idea what’s going on at the shows. Not all of our shows have been intense by the crowd but we’d like to call ourselves intense on how we play live. You have to keep it tight. There’s no need to stand still if you feel it deep within. But yeah, we like it hard.

Statik Majik: So far, what has been the most memorable gig you’ve played anyway? And what has been the best band to play/tour with? And why?

Maybe the first gig we ever played in our hometown Lahti. We had only just released our first demo-cdr but about 200 people came to have a good time and it was crazy. Our album release-show with Cutdown and Last To Remain was also amazing. I believe that the best tour is yet to come when we hit the road in June with Down My Throat. That’s just one of best bands in Finland and they are good friends of ours, so we are really looking forward that tour.

Lord K: To stay on the subject, what bands turned out to be the most complete idiots of the ones you shared a stage with? Don’t pussy out now, spill the beans or I’ll slap you.

We haven’t played yet with bands that completely act as assholes, but there a lot of individuals in some of the bands that makes you want to rip their heads off. Some people think that if they play in a band they are cool no matter what they do or say… And if you ask someone else, they’d propably say the same thing about us. But some bands seems to be living a completely different fantasy and think they are way better than anyone else. And usually they just suck, both as a band and people.

Statik Majik: I more or less made sure that “Sanctified” will be included in the next edition of “Audio Autopsy”, although I’m not sure if the rest of the staff will appreciate it. Either way, if you don’t know what Audio Autopsy is, here’s some brief info: It’s a section where a selected amount of writers do brief reviews of about 15 albums or so. The question being: Since Global Domination is strictly about “trve” metal and Satan, are you at least a bit excited what kind of rating “Sanctified” will get?

Yeah, it will be nice to get a different view to the album from a different scene. We don’t care where you come from, it’s how you come. ( Note by The Lord: That could possibly one of the most homo-erotic replies in a while… ) That Global Domination stuff sounds like what St.Hood is about anyway… We’re taking respect. But not with waving anyone’s flag but ours. Neither gods nor devils can hold us down.

( Note by Statik Majik: Yeah, these questions were sent before the April-version of Audio Autopsy was made. Now that it’s already behind, it’s safe to say that I was right – I was the only staffer who loved the album. “Sanctified” got 4/10 overall whereas I rated it 8/10 in my review. )

Lord K: How did you feel when Finland lost to Sweden in the Olympic-hockey this year? And the year before that. And before that. Fuck, you’ve lost like 100 times in a row already, haven’t you?

Fuck that, just couldn’t care less. I still love icehockey, but don’t really care enough about it to worry about these things.

Lord K: Seriously, I’m losing sleep over the following: Lordi in the fucking Eurovision Song-contest thing? Seriously, what’s the matter with you Finns? Is the whole nation on drugs?

Ha ha ha! Which is worse; Lordi or that 78-year old milf, Carola Häggqvist? Both are ugly as hell! But seriously, how interested are you anyway in the Eurovision Song contest? Does it really matter to you who’s there and who’s not? Because the way I see it, it wouldn’t matter a thing to us if there was drunken Matti Nykänen or those cute boys from the Herrey’s singing there… ( Note by The Lord: You do know an awful lot about our national heroes to claim yer not interested in this, haha… )

Lord K: If you ever play in Örebro, will you make sure I’m on the guestlist and that I get free beer? On your tab even? Does it matter that I never heard of you before..?

We played there in last December. Where were you? ( Note by The Lord: On crack, obviously, coz fuck knows I don’t think you ever played here. )

Timo Erkkilä from St.Hood Lord K: I actually wanted to ask more hockey-related questions, but unfortunately this drunken jew known as Statik Majik is the one who thinks he’s conducting this interview and cares less about hockey. So let’s forget about ice-matters for now to keep him happy. That’s ok for you too, I guess?

Or do you absolutely need to share your opinion about Peter Forsberg? I do, but that wasn’t a question. Or was it?

Forsberg doesn’t differ much from Selänne ( Note by The Lord: Nah, except for Forsberg being a stand-out player, sober and beautiful ). They both make too much money. And Sundin looks like a drunken Finnish hillbilly with knife in a pocket. And some of the Finnish players look like Swedes. That’s that. But I think all the European players gained a higher status this year when NHL went through some rule-renewal before the season. And that’s good.

Statik Majik: Now that you’ve gotten to know Lord K a bit thru all his questions, let’s focus on him for a while ( Note by The Lord: Finally the interview is picking up ). I’m not sure do you know that he’s also the mastermind behind few astonishing bands like The Project Hate MCMXCIX and God Among Insects? I suppose you never heard of neither one of these because Satan knows their label hasn’t done too much promotion here. Anyway, I’d like you to listen to these two tracks and let us know your opinion of them.

The Project Hate’s “At the entrance to hell’s unholy fire” from their “Armageddon March Eternal” -album:

Are you sure the song title is not from Celtic Frost’s or Venom’s albums? “Armageddon March Eternal” sounds like Dimmu Borgir’s next album. If you call yourself Lordi K, what can you expect? The music doesn’t suck although.

God Among Insects’ “The bashing of skulls” of their new “Zombienomicon” album:

Bashing of skulls? For fucks sake! Do you guys ever go outside? ( Note by The Lord: Hell, no, there are zombies outside, damnit! ) Do you kill guinea pigs too? Zombieconomy sounds good.

Lord K: While you’re at it, you could briefly comment on the 30-second samples found on www.godamonginsects.se too. Anything to make this interview interesting for me.

Get full songs online! Short samples suck!

Lord K: We’re just trying to spread the gospel here, you better have been nice in the comments about my bands or I’ll saw your hoods together. And that would make it quite hard for you to see anything then, you know. What’s the nastiest shit you ever did to someone? We mean something genuinely evil. We hope it has something to do with a girlfriend and a pair of scissors.

You mean giving your girlfriend a nice haircut? Or cutting some flowers for your girl? What? We only do nice things like that. Peace and love and holding hands!

Lord K: That was probably one of the best replies I have seen in a while. It’s hard to imagine you guys are actually Finnish, haha… You are usually as fucken funny as a casket full of horse-porn. But anyways, was S.O.D right when they, already back in the 80’s, claimed “Fuck the Middle-East”? And how should the world deal with the Middle-East? Seriously now. Nuke it all to hell? Send them boxes of anthrax? Send them love? Send them Lordi?

Lordi would be fine, we’d get him the hell away from here and at the same time they could nuke him and that band too. And the world too while they’re at it. Fuck the world really, we’re all already dead in my eyes with how we live our lives. It doesn’t matter if you are from the Middle-East or US or Sweden, if you’re at it you can kill everyone if you find a right channel and right tools, you know. S.O.D. was right when they spoke about PMS and Celtic Frosted flakes, and that’s that. Don’t you think that they hit point with “Evil is in”?

Lord K: Ok, let’s stick to your home country for a little while… Are you guys ashamed of being the country that brought us bands like Lordi and Nightwish? Not to forget Stratovarius. You fucking should be. What’s your one favourite band from Finland? And which one do you think deserves a painful death involving a snow-shovel?

Well, all those bands you mentioned really don’t represent my world, so why wouldn’t we just let them be… Or should we as well bring up Roxette, E-type, Yngwie Malmsteen and Dr.Alban and all those real Swedes who gave definition to Sweden for a long time? Ha ha… We all have some serious skeletons in our closets, for sure! And we can’t do anything about it. Right at the moment I’m listening to the new Down My Throat, Anal Thunder, Breamgod and Cutdown cd’s. Most of the bands that get airplay at the Finnish radio-stations stink.

Lord K: Since this is so fun, rate the following Finnish comrades from 1 to 10. “10” is naturally “Master of puppets” while “1” is Lordi, Nightwish and Stratovarius lumped together:

Impaled Nazarene: 4
Demigod: 3
Nightwish: 1
Stratovarius: 1
Oz: 1
Amorphis: 1
Hyvvä Illta: God kväll? 12

Turo Pentikäinen from St.Hood Lord K: Who do you root for? The manager Marco and his cumbucket Tarja or the team of Nightwish in the whole debacle? Have you ever met the guys of the band? Please tell us they acted like real rockstars if you did.

Never met them. Don’t care. They already get too much advertising space.

Lord K: Have Amorphis pussied out? Are you guys friends with them? Do you know any “real” rockstars? Do you think anyone thinks you guys are rockstars (Statik Majik doesn’t count)? Have you ever, ever, ever written an autograph? If so, who was it for? Someone at the bank?

Amorphis has always sucked and I once saw Ville Valo from HIM. That’s propably the closest we’ll ever get to rockstars. We are not rockstars and we don’t know any rockstars. There haven’t been any true rockstars since Elvis. Everyone who claims to be a rockstar is a fake. If someone thinks that we are some kind of rockstars, he/she should seriously check his/her head.

Statik Majik: It looks like 2006 is going to be a good year metal-wise. Is there any album that’s about to be released this year that you’re eagerly waiting for? You can admit that “Zombienomicon” is going to be the number one on your “need-to-buy”-list now that you’ve heard the samples and all. Right?

“Zombie ja kummitusjuna” is definitely in our need-to-buy list! But I’m also looking forward to new Sick Of It All, Terror, Slayer, Bubba Sparxxx, Sodom, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden cd’s.

Statik Majik: If you could choose one singer to perform guest-vocals on next St.Hood album, which of the following would be the best choice? Jörgen Sandström (ex-Grave, The Project Hate, Vicious Art), Jouni Hynynen (Kotiteollisuus) or Antti Tuisku (a finalist at the Finnish Idol-contest year or two ago)?

Jouni Hynynen would propably sell the most in Finland and we’d get to be on television for sure! And it’s all about money, you know. If we would ever sack our singer, we’d propably get Antti Tuisku as a replacement.

Statik Majik: Of the bands hosted at our forums, which one would you like St.Hood to tour with? Headlining or supporting, you decide.

Entombed headlining and St.Hood supporting.

Lordi K: Are you enjoying all the “Lordi Gay Philipson” -questions as much as I do? Statik Majik has a hard-on for me obviously. Can you blame him for that? If you feel like it, you can rate my face on a scale from 1 to 10. I’d give yours a 2, though I have no idea what you look like but you are Finnish you know, and Finnish people aren’t exactly walking models. I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.

I really love how Darin looks like and I think all the Swedes look like him nowadays? Am I wrong? And yep, I’m enjoying this.

Statik Majik: Ok, I think that about sums it up. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for this interview. And thanks for showing some interest. Now all of you who read this through and got interested in St.Hood, go out and get “Sanctified”. And next time you get a chance, come see us live. You’ll get your moneys worth.

Statik Majik: Thanks a fucking bunch for both your time and patience. Especially for the patience. We’re not known for asking the shortest or most intelligent questions as you probably noticed. And that’s why you love us. You do, don’t you?

Just did! Thanks to you all. Cheers!

Lord K: Ok then, I’ll thank you guys too for a few reasons. You are ugly. You are very down-to-earth. You suck and you gave us some killer-answers for this interview. I salute you.