Interview: Ivana Sataić
Photo: Ivana Sataić
For two yeears after first announcement, full blooded Finnish rock’n'roll band, Sonic Roots, from the heart of Helsinki presents their debut album “Kill Street Blues”. With leading personality of the band, singer Henry Lee Roots, we had pleasure to talk to during August in Kallilo, Helsinki, where the whole story pulls their rooths, about the album who will see the daylight for few days, 03.02.2010.
VENIA: The last time we spoke it was right here some year ago. You were about to record your new album, what has changed since then. Were there some changes in a band, did some things developed and if so in which direction?
HENRY LEE ROOTS: Making the album was a long process but its done now and we are satisfied for the result. We are still the same Band and we are still rocking like hell.. Sonic Roots is still the band name and the album is .called”KILL STREET BLUES”First single is called”OBSCENE MEDICINE”It contains songs”OBSCENE MEDICINE”and”SHADOW IN YOUR HEART” feat. JYRKI69 + official music video..You’ll be one of the first who will get it.So we’re exited now.Guys from 69eyes took that single to States and gave it to Bam Margera and he aired it at his radio show which was pretty cool.
We finished the album in Suomenlinna with Aaro Seppovaara at Moonman studios it was a long process but now the album sounds like a kick-ass Rock album should-we mastered the whole package at Chartmakers by Svante Forsbäck..
VENIA: Recently you’ve presented your first single and video for the song “Obscene Medicine”. What can you tell about making video and why did you choose this song for your single?
HENRY: That song kicks ass!!Making that video was a lot of fun..we shot it Helsinki (Kallio). That area is kinda were all the rockers live..the area is also kinda redlight disctrict area and that shows also in the video.. theres some sexy lady cops chasing bike thiefs and so on check it out!! : ) Now we are making our second video from song called”The Power of Need”We have a cool video team”Brothers in Arms”Ville Mattinen&Heikki Mösö..cheers guys!!
VENIA: Your song ended up on the internet before it was released. The same happens to many famous artists around the world. What is your opinion about this modern way to get the music by downloading illegaly?
HENRY: Actually that song was”Obscene Medicine”and that is a bit sad in a way but also promotion in the other hand..
VENIA: Yeah. So, what do you think about that promotional aspect? You have myspace and facebook and so on to gather your fans…
HENRY: We have some really cool people helping us out through the web..and if youre reading this..we salute you!!Keep up the good work!!Yeah!!
VENIA: Your influences are rock bands from 70′s and 80′s. Do you listen to the same music now, or do you listen to some music of the new era and what do you think about bands that currently leads worlds rock scene?
HENRY: Right now i want to get” Them crooked vultures”album i heard few songs and it sounded great!!New 69eyes stuff rocks too and what ive heard HIM is back in business also..but i also like such acts as Vesa matti Loiri that guy is a living legend in Finlad and also M.A.Numminen and he goes to same category..
VENIA: Do you manage to track the music and new stuff in music or discover new bands or go for a concerts?
HENRY: Of course. We have a Roots Fest, you know. Did you know that?
VENIA: Yes, I’ve heard something but not too much.
HENRY: Yeah, yeah. Year 2008, I was sitting one morning in my kitchen. And let me fucking tell you, I smoked a cigarette,Then I had a cup of coffee. And it hit me. “Roots Fest”it came from the bushes.You know showcase gigs for the upcoming bands..Sonic Roots as headliner .We had four Roots Fests here in Helsinki like that allready. And we are planning to continue this year again..
VENIA: What is the last concert you’ve seen and which one would you label as the concert of your life so far?
HENRY: Hanoi Rocks! Hanoi Rocks at Tavastia on one of their last concerts. It was fucking amazing! I’ve seen Andy (Andy McCoy, op.a.) lot of times, he is fucking amazing. Everybody is talking bullshit about Andy but he is a great character, he is even more then that. I don’t know Michael Monroe, and I don’t know Andy either but we were partying some time together and he is a kind person under the thick skin. That is the last cool concert. Before that The Wildhearts. They also did some recordings at Suomenlinna.
Well, the concert of my life… I would name… The Cult at Tavastia. A surprise concert in 1993.
VENIA: A suprise concert? The Cult?
HENRY: Yeah! A surprise concert in Tavastia. That was a surprise for everybody because they warmed up Metallica here in Helsinki back then on the concert over there at the big field, it was not that good. But when they had a surprise concert after that at Tavastia it was totally crazy. I was there sitting and drinking my beer and at suddenly there was fucking loud tunes coming from the stage! That was pretty cool, I would name it as the one of the best. Also The Monster Magnet gig@TUSKA festival was great. There been so many great shows during the years..and you know that : )
VENIA: Finnish rock scene is very rich, with many bands famous worldwide. How hard is to find your place on that rich scene? Was it hard for you and is it still hard?
HENRY: Well I don’t know. It’s not hard, it’s cool to be alive. I think it’s not hard. If you choose something for your profession then you follow your way, the way you’ve chosen. I don’t know. What is hard? It’s a hard to fight in a war as a soldier. If you go to Iraq or Afganistan. This isn’t hard, this is Rock’n'Roll. It’s making music, not hard. I don’t wanna be rude but I don’t think it’s hard. In a way it is hard, maybe in some point of view but no.. it is Hard Rock.
VENIA: Two years ago you’ve played in Croatia. What are your impressions about Croatian audience?
HENRY: They were on fire, I really loved Croatian audience. It was really nice to play there. And afterparty and everything was crazy. We liked it. I’d like to come again to play some rock’n'roll.SO HELLO PEOPLE in CROATIA we love you!!!And of course PALINKA!!
VENIA: What are you plans for future? When can we expect the new album and to see you on tour?
- Album is in stores 3.2.2010 we have release party at Virgin Oil (Helsinki) 6.2.2010 and yes we are planning tour also..so lets keep ROCK`”N ROLL alive and peace out!!!Henry Lee Roots
VENIA: Thank you!