Exclusive interview: Ivana Sataić & Vedrana Mastela
Photo: Ivana Sataić

The newest sensation from Finland is coming from Tampere, it’s called Negative and it’s just on it’s way to Europe.”Remember to believe in your dreams”, is a message that charismatic Negative’s frontman, vocalist, lyricist and composer Jonne Aaron would send to the people who would pay attention on their music. We met friendly Jonne Aaron for exclusive interview for Venia-Mag in Negative’s hometown Tampere short after their concert as a part of Tammerfest on 16th July 2005.

VENIA: First of all we’d like to ask you to give us a brief information concerning the history of the band for those who haven’t heard of you yet!
JONNE AARON: We started to play in 1997 and actually I met first our drummer Jay and we were more like garage band. I’m very big fan of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain and Jay also and we used to make a lot of gigs together but there were some classmates of mine also in the band in those days and there was one guy playing bass and also one guy on the guitar but we got interested in other things than the music and we were 14-15 years old, then the girls came along and the motorcycles and it was really hard to find right guys around you who have the same kind of attitude and passion for music, for playing because since I was 14 I’ve been living only for this band and for my dreams and now seems like my dreams come true. Day after day when I get on the stage it reminds me why I started to write my own songs.
But it’s, actually, history of the band, I met Larry and Antti and Christus and Snack in some kind of underground band scene here in Tampere. There was Larry, he was actually singing in one other band and we used to play some gigs together, that’s how I get to know him. In this days it’s really hard because you have to be… all the adult people, parents are telling to their childern that you should get to school, get a job and you shouldn’t believe in your dreams. But there are some bands who are just playing for living but we are living for playing. That’s huge difference between those two things.

VENIA: It’s been said that Negative is a band that looks like Hanoi Rocks and sounds like HIM. What do you think about that?
JONNE AARON: I think we are, we all have our own heroes in the band. My biggest hero is Guns’n’Roses’ Axl Rose and also Kurt Cobain and I’m listening a lot of different kind of music from classical music to really hard rock music but I like Hanoi Rocks’ style they used to play in 80’s. It was something new, something never been before, never seen before in 80’s but you can’t hear any elements from the Hanoi Rocks music in our music. I think so. Maybe our first record “War of Love” sounds a bit like guitar riff hard rock but it’s, I don’t know… I like HIM very much because I like the way Ville, you know, his strong and beautiful sense of melodies. I love beautiful melodies. And maybe when we are young, new band,it’s usual that people are always comparing to other bands. You know, when you’re listening to the radio you hear some new band and new song and you’re thinking that it sounds a little bit like Bon Jovi but this is not exactly, just a little bit elements of it and blah blah…
I think people will see when we’re going for a tour, when they’re coming to see us live on the stage that we are not HIM or we are not… I think we are pretty unique in a way we are going.

VENIA: Your album “Sweet & Deceitful” brought you international attention and it’s one of the best ranked at Croatian dark webzine Venia-Mag. Can you tell a bit about the album and the whole process of making it?
JONNE AARON: It was pretty different then the 1st album because we got this record deal and we signed ourselves for Gbfam Records here in Finland and we went to the studio for recording our 1st album and there was, you know, we were just drinking and it was all new to us and we were like: “Oh, this is Rock’n’Roll!”, and acutally really near by where we are living here in Tampere is studio, I mean Cosmic Studios and we used to spend lot of time there and we were drunk almost, now I’m not lying if I’m saying, 22 hours in a day. And sometimes when Christus couldn’t play his solos because he had too terrible hangovers so we had to went to booze store and get some booze to him and he was able to play.
But for the 2nd album we had more professional additude when we went to the studio. Of course, it’s still same kind of… how can I say, we were of course excited about this album but it was more like… I wrote with Larry all this songs for this 2nd album and there is a big difference between 1st and 2nd album because when you are listening “War of Love” you can hear that there is Negative’s history on that album, those songs between 1997 and 2002.

VENIA: One of the most often mentioned songs on the album is “Until Your Mine” with Ville Laihiala. How come you made this song together?
JONNE AARON: It was pretty amazing because when we went to the rehearsing room first we tried this song and I was like: “This song sounds exactly like Sentenced.” Actually the title of the song was in those days “Sentenced song” and it was actually Antti’s and Larry’s idea and I was like: “OK, they’re joking. He’s not coming, I’m sure about that.” But then I got his number and I called Ville and he was really excited. Of course he told me after the recording session that he was thinking that moment when I called him: “Oh, whatta fuck, what kind of pathetic ballad he’s gonna send to me and I’m not going to do this”. But when I sent that song to him and he heard it he was sure that he want to come. And we wanted to try our limits also in this 2nd album, it’s more international because we wanted to concentrate more what the whole package after the recording session will be.

VENIA:“Sweet & Deceitfu”l also brings a cover song, Neil Young’s “Hey, Hey, My, My”. What was the main reason for cover it?
JONNE AARON: I think it reperesents what’s Rock’n’Roll to me. You know, there’s all the lines, all the titles like: “And once you’re gone, you can never come back/It’s better to burn out than to fade away”. It’s a perfect song, there’s all about Johnny Rotten.

VENIA: What are you plans for future – more festivals, European tour, new album?
JONNE AARON: We’re going to play in Germany two festivals and we are going to do one more show in Switzerland and after two months, eight weeks, going to start our first tour for middle Europe. So, it’s gonna be Germany, I think Italy, Spain and Austria and hopefully your country also. There’s coming more and more shows so I think we are able…
We’re going to shoot our 2nd video and it’s going to be “Frozen To Lose It All”, it’s going to be our 2nd single released for Europe.

VENIA: In the end, do you have some message for your fans in Croatia?
JONNE AARON: I have to say that it’s not about us, it’s all about… there are so many things which are going to make the whole thing that we are able to some day come into your country and I want to say be patient. And I’m actually surprised, I didn’t even know that there are some people that knows us. You know, it’s amazing. It’s amazing!
Please, believe in your dreams and whatever you do just be honest to yourselves and do it from the bottom of your heart. And we are coming soon!