Interview with Hellcity Punks

Well here we are sitting at dusky Liberte with the guys from Hellcity Punks. Only the guitarist Hooligan didn`t make it.
So I`m teasing Janze (voc), Johnny (bass) and Dennis (drums).

finnbands: So could u tell a bit about the history of the band?
Dennis: Well, we started to play with Hooligan somewhere around year 1 and 2. At some point it became Hellcity Punks. Think it was between 2003-2004. We had a different vocalist and a different bassist then. We had little problems with them, mostly musical differences. But we did what we could with them cause there weren`t any better things to do at the moment. So we did one single and one EP and gigs when we had time.
Then we decided that this is not going to work anymore. We were going different directions. So we stopped that thing for awhile and continued with Hooligan. We made songs that we though this thing would be. Then we started to look for the new singer and the new bassist. It didn't take too much time before Janze came to us. Pretty fast we noticed that this guy is serious with this thing. Same taste of music, style and same kind of ideas that we had. We were relieved. After the first rehearsals it was clear that Janze was one of us. I played drums in one project band and that's where i found Johnny. When he arrived at the first time to the rehearsal place I noticed the look of the guy and then he opened his bass case and pulled out a Thunderbird. That was it! I though that I have to get this guy to play with us.
finnbands: And everything is working great?
Johnny: Fucking great! We are making lots of songs and practice hard. And we have pretty much gigs also.

finnbands: Yeah! I noticed that u still have few gigs in this year. So what about the next year?
Johnny: Looks like it's gonna be busy.
Dennis: Looks like that yeah. There're many things to do but we haven't made any decisions about them yet. Looks like there might be a possibility that we could go and play somewhere else than in Finland. We have to talk about how we are going to arrange it because we are still doing things on our own without any bigger company behind us.
Janze: But there have been lots of interest from foreign countries.
Johnny: Lots of different countries.

finnbands: About the foreign countries. If there is interest do you have any channels you could use to go there?
Janze: Well it's mostly myspace that has working good for us. People have noticed us pretty well in there.
finnbands: So you don't have a promoter?
Janze: Nope.
Johnny: We are on our own.
Dennis: Yeah on our own. There're quite many street teams out there and they have been in contact with us and demanded that come here to play, god damn it! And wanted to take care of it. We have told them that of course we are coming if it's possible. They have started to do the promotion right away over there. We should get a booking agency, company or something like that behind us and someone to do promotion. It would be a lot easier then. It takes money to go somewhere after all. No matter if it's coming back.
Johnny: The main point has been that we could do gigs all over Finland as much as possible. So we could show our on goings in here first of course.

finnbands: Ok. Could you tell something about the songs?
Janze: Well I'm doing lyrics and we are doing the songs with Hooligan at the moment. And we are doing the arrangements all together. I don't know. The songs just come somewhere. Riff after riff. And for the lyrics I could say that it's kinda observation of life.
finnbands: So they are realistic?
Janze: Well, you could say so. If you are looking at the names of the songs they could be quite festal. But when you are listening to the story it could be totally different. Real things with a little theatricality in it. Nothing political or `baby and fast car` stuff. They might be a bit melancholic but it's quite hard for me to write so happy things personally. It's just easier to write a bit darker stuff.

finnbands: Where comes the name Hellcity Punks from?
Dennis: Hooligan would be the right man to answer this one. But yeah! Ok so we are in Hellcity aka Helsinki, right? And Punks isn't meaning what people used to think it means. And that is usually that they are expecting some hard punk stuff and this is definitely not that. It's more like...
Janze: Make my day, punk!
Dennis: That's right! Some creep kinda guy!
finnbands: At first I though that this is some kind of project band.
Dennis: No, this is a real name already. And we are standing behind it.
Janze: I think it's pretty cool that the name makes people talk about it. Just like: "What the fuck?! Why the hell have u taken a name like that"?!
Dennis: Yeah! I kinda like it; it's a fucking good name actually! Because everytime there's somebody who has an opinion about it. No matter if it's good. It's better that people are talking about it as having a fucking brilliant name and people are not talking about it at all. This has actually become bigger than we though it would. People have talked about it much more than we though.
Johnny: We all know what it really means. Other people have their own opinions and it's their thing what it means to them. We can't affect on that. And we don't even want to.
finnbands: So it's music that really matters?
Dennis: Yeah!

finnbands: Ok! So do you have any plans to make a record or EP or something like that?
Dennis: Actually we are making lots of songs at the moment. We are making demo tapes for everything that comes in mind. We are trying to do a record someday hopefully but if we are thinking about the near future I think there could come a single or maybe video before. More gigs and promotion. It could be realistic to think that the record would come out somewhere around 2010. There's plenty of time to do gigs, promotion and more songs beforehand. Have some name in here and foreign countries also.
Janze: There's no point to go to make a record with 10-12 songs. There has to be a bigger selection.
Dennis: Well, the songs are coming pretty fast and then there're those songs which are not ready and we put them to wait and see if there's coming something we could use for those. We are using all the riffs that come in mind right away.
Johnny: There's nothing to loose if you are demo taping them. There could be stuff that works with some other song that isn't finished yet.
Dennis: I love to be on stage. To perform to the audience. But the stuff you are performing should be ready and great too. Not like this song we did last night and now we are doing it here.
Johnny: It's a real thing for us to continue the promoting of the EP because we haven't had time to do that in 100% as it should have. Like we are starting to do in next year.
Janze: Right. Although the EP has been published in this year.
Johnny: We have send it to quite great places and so.

finnbands: There are 3-4 songs on the EP?
Johnny: 5 songs. We are trying to get as many gigs as possible for the next year so we could spread the word.
Dennis: We have been together for a year now and have made that EP and now we are sitting here. That's how far we have got in that time.

finnbands: And now everything's fucking cool, right? Heh!
Dennis: Absolutely! When the chemistry is working everything is working.
When there're always some fucking problems for example: you can't make songs you like because the singer can't or won't do it or some other reason like that. That confines right away what you are doing. And you are starting to think that why we are a band?! Then you have to change the players.
finnbands: So you are on the same wavelength?
Dennis: Yeah! That's right! It's all about the chemistry.
Johnny: We all know what our goals are and it's always getting higher. We won't leave on one spot.
Dennis: We have got so much done in concrete speaking when we have decided to do real things. Not always swinging around with the beer bottle. That's fun sometimes of course I'm not saying that. But there're so many things happening and you'll get so much more done if you are making yourself concrete goals and schedules you are trying to keep. Things are going forward much better then.
Johnny: I'm just saying that this is our style to do stuff. Maybe it's not the right way for someone else. There're so many different kind of bands. We are doing this thing this way. It works for us. Someone else is doing things really different way, much better and opposite. We have made this decision and it really works for us.

finnbands: Something to say for the fans?
HCP: Come to the gigs!!!! More shit on your pant legs!!!! Hope to see you soon!!!!

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