Who’s your favorite Kiss member?
Ah, for me it’s Paul Stanley—he’s so funny and good-looking, and [he’s] a very good musician. I like his solo albums too.
I read that the band actually met at a Kiss concert, is that true?
Yeah. I wasn’t in the band at the beginning, so I wasn’t there, but yeah. Our singer is the leader of the Kiss Army [in Finland], so he went to Sweden to see the Kiss reunion and they all met there.
So what inspires the lyrical content?
Those are Mr. Lordi’s. In every song there is this horror or rock and roll theme going on.
Given your horror movie infatuation and the fact that you are dressed up like various monsters, of course the media jumps on the stereotype that you must be Satanists too. Where does Lordi stand on the occult?
We are not a satanic band. Our inspiration is Kiss and Alice Cooper and even Motley Crue, so we wanted to make a big show and look very cool and rock and roll. It has nothing to do with religion. It’s entertainment and our inspiration comes from those bands and horror movies and nothing more.
Tell me a little about the struggle to get to where Lordi is now.
I’ve been in the band now only for a year and a half, so I don’t know [firsthand] about the beginning, but at first the band was only Mr. Lordi, then he met the other guys at a Kiss reunion in Sweden, then they made a lot of music and sent it to record companies, but the image and the music, every label said your music is good but not your image, or otherwise. But finally [after 10 years] they got the record deal from Sony BMG, so it was a good thing, but they had to work many years.
How long does it take you to get into costume?
For me it takes about an hour, but for Mr. Lordi—he has to glue pieces on his face, so it takes him about three hours. So [for all of us], it’s from half an hour to three hours.
Will you ever reveal the real people behind the masks?
No, no we want to keep the mystery. We are like Santa Claus, we want to keep the beard on, you know? We are really boring people under the masks, so it’s better to keep them on. (laughs)
Is there any one fact about Lordi that people may be surprised to know?
Under the masks we are real quiet, kind and nice people—not monsters at all.
I read that there is a Lordi credit card in Finland, a Lordi soda, Lordi candy, a Lordi comic book and even a Lordi restaurant. Will any of that be available in the States?
Well, the credit card probably not, because it’s a Finnish bank, but we would really like, of course, to spread the merchandise to America and everywhere else. Just like Kiss. (laughs) We’re a band of very big image, so hopefully… it depends on how we succeed there.
Are you looking forward to closing out The Bamboozle each night?
Yeah, it’s really cool—I don’t know how they got us there, but it’s great. We are looking very forward to coming there.
I know Lordi’s big on pyrotechnics and stage theatrics, but are there any special surprises in store for your show at The Bamboozle?
Maybe! We have been thinking a lot of different things, but we haven’t decided yet what our show’s gonna be like there. But there’s a lot of good things coming, and I can assure you it’s quite a unique thing to come and see. It’s not only a band playing rock and roll, it’s also a show, a theatrical thing. We have some horror things there and every one of us five monsters are doing something scary. I think the show is fun to watch even if you don’t like our music.
Are there any bands on the Fest that you’re looking forward to playing with?
There are a lot! I don’t even remember all the bands…
Then what would be your dream lineup?
Probably our biggest dream would be to play with Kiss, and of course, they would also wear masks, and that would be a dream for all of us. I think maybe three of us would really like to play with Motley Crue, I would like to play with Bon Jovi (laughs heartily) and Mr. Lordi with Alice Cooper.