Vanity Ink hail from Finland and recently I got to interview guitarist Juha Bandit and bass player Miki Peltola. There were times here where I felt like I was in an Abbott and Costello routine on this one. However, after hearing their "On your skin" CD I can certainly say this is a band that is really worth checking out.
MM-Tell us about your band?
JUHA BANDIT: It..s a rock band.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, and a good one.
MM-Your sound seems rather varied. Who are your influences?
MIKI PELTOLA: Uuuhh, where to start...? Anything everything anywhere everywhere anytime everytime. You live you learn and pick up things from what you see and do. This is our life, you know?
MM-What was the first or some of the first rock albums that you really got into?
MIKI PELTOLA: Mötley Crüe: Shout at the Devil, Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind and Motörhead: Iron Fist. Still love them.
JUHA BANDIT: Dingo: Nimeni on, Guns n.. Roses: Appetite for Destruction, Smack: On You, Rattlesnake Bite and Salvation, Mother Love Bone: Apple, Joan Jett: Good Music.
MM-Were any of you in any bands prior to forming Vanity Ink?
JUHA BANDIT: Yes many of us were.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, I totally agree.
MM-Your album “On your skin” came out earlier in 2007. What has been the reaction to it?
JUHA BANDIT: At first I didn..t want to listen to it until I fell in love with it.
MIKI PELTOLA: A kick ass album I would say. Try it, you might like it.
MM-Have you written any new material? If so then how do they compare to your previous material?
JUHA BANDIT: We are currently writing new material to the second full-length. Nah... writing sounds too artistic. We have a good time together, drink beer, put riffs together and wake up wondering where the songs came from.
MIKI PELTOLA: That pretty much sums it up. And of course the new songs are louder faster dumber more!
MM-What have been some of the top highlights for this band so far?
JUHA BANDIT: Finding these amazing friends in the band and touring. Every gig is a highlight for us. It doesn..t matter if there is two or two thousand people watching, we are still having a party of our own on stage.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, the party thing is our thing. Vanity Ink is a highlight.
MM-The line “rock n’ roll is not a lifestyle, rock n’ roll is a bloodtype” is in your song “Voyeur Boy”. On your Myspace page your have written “rock n..roll is not a lifestyle, it's a bloodtype” in two different places. So where did this motto come from,what does it mean to you and why is it important?
JUHA BANDIT: It runs in your veins and you have no other choice versus superficial crap.
MIKI PELTOLA: Yeah, that's right. No choice. And being a walking talking rock'n'roll cliché is so groovy.
MM-Have you played much outside of Finland? If so then what size crowds have you played to?
JUHA BANDIT: Our debut album On Your Skin brought us to Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There's a lot of people there.
MM-You have done two EPs and one full length album now. Has your approach to songwriting and recording changed any since this band first formed?
JUHA BANDIT: When we were doing our second EP Vanity is a Full-time Job we wanted to try writing lyrics together. It worked even better than we thought so we wrote most of the lyrics to our full-length On Your Skin together too. You know, being wasted on the sunny rocks of Herttoniemi where you can see the whole Helsinki city...and to wake up wondering where the rhymes came from. That's something we are definitely going to continue with, being wasted together at the Herttoniemi rocks... I just figured out that it might as well be some good willing homeless bum who wrote the lines and put them in the hands of passed out rockers. Thank him...or her!
MM-Where do you get the inspirations for your song topics?
JUHA BANDIT: You have to find that bum to figure it out.
MIKI PELTOLA: I think I met him/her once when I was getting wasted in Kallio. The guy got some really wicked lines so we don't have to worry about the next album. There's going to be a lot of inspiration where to draw from...
MM-Why should people listen to Vanity Ink?
JUHA BANDIT: Just because. Let yourself be the one who found Vanity Ink in your neighbourhood. That makes you the cool guy around, a step ahead of your pals. And you can start a street team too.
MIKI PELTOLA: It's cool to listen to Vanity Ink. Be the first in line. Be trendy and love us.
MM-What goals do you have for your band in 2008?
JUHA BANDIT: To record the next album and to play more gigs in Finland, Italy , Bosnia and Herzegovina and maybe Russia too.
MIKI PELTOLA: And play some more gigs around the world.
MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your band or your music?
JUHA BANDIT: Rock n roll is not a lifestyle it..s a bloodtype!
Thanks to Juha and Miki for doing the interview.