Finnish 80s goth band Musta Paraati are releasing their first album in 34 years. Not only will this be their first-ever album recorded in English, it also features Jyrki 69 (of The 69 Eyes) on vocals! What could be more fitting to breathe new life into this resurrected group? Black Parade is being released October 19 digitally via Bandcamp and on CD/vinyl via Cleopatra Records.
Despite their obscurity, Musta Paraati’s legacy has continued to live on, and now it feels like the band is finally being celebrated in the way it deserves. I had the honor of interviewing guitarist Saku Paasiniemi, drummer Yka Knuuttila, and vocalist Jyrki 69 about the band’s resurrection, upcoming tour, and favorite albums. Enjoy!
I read that Jyrki had been playing Musta Paraati during his DJ sets prior to working together. When and how did he become part of Musta Paraati?
Saku: We were working with the new material in Finnish and it felt like nothing was happening as fast as we wanted. The idea come out of the blue in the middle of the night.
What caused Musta Paraati to reunite after so long?
Ykä: The time and position of the planets were right. Our original keyboard player had a birthday party in autumn 2014 and we put the band together with Ylppö for one gig. Things started to grow faster than we expected. Suddenly we were playing in all major festivals in summer 2015. And autumn 2015 we started to make new material.
How did the rest of the band meet Jyrki and what lead to him fronting the band?
Saku: we all are old friends and actually Panda has been selling the 69 Eyes gigs early 1990s. Saku has also been working as a guitar tech for several 69 Eyes gigs.
Ykä: I actually saw my first 69 Eyes gig in Tavastia in the late 1980s.
How long has Musta Paraati been together and how long have you all been playing together with the new lineup at this point?
Saku: Two years.
How often do you all get together and what is it like when you do?
Ykä: me and Saku are recording weekly new ideas. Jyrki is busy with the other projects. And Panda is as well busy with his business
I see Stefen Bremer photographed the album cover in the exact same location as the original. That’s so incredible! Can you tell us about this?
Saku: It was Jyrki’s idea to take the new cover picture in the same location as in Peilitalossa. It is the certain corner called ”as Musta Paraati corner”.
I understand that you wanted to keep things simple for this project. What was the writing process like for Black Parade and what inspired the lyrics?
J69: I tried to picture me writing for them in the early 80’s, from a point of a young dark rocker without the weight of knowledge of a long life. I collected material (movies, books, records) from that era and sort of jumped into a time machine to take me back to 1984! Short and simple but effective.
Where will you guys be touring to promote Black Parade? You must be so excited!
Ykä: Our gigs start in December from Finland. Next spring our plan is to do some gigs in Europe and Japan and then come to US.
Jyrki, I understand The 69 Eyes are currently recording a new album! What can you tell us about it?
J69: It will come out in April 2019. It’s goth’n’roll as usual. The 69 Eyes is more rock’n’roll and cartoon like Ramones, Musta Paraati is cold and grey.
What is the goth/underground scene like in Finland?
J69: I have no idea.
Ykä: I have been in contact with punk/goth/underground scene all these years. The scene is now very active and many of the club organizers and DJs are my friends. I have been drumming in several tribute bands playing The Ruts, Dead Kennedys (this was really tough), Killing Joke, Joy Division, Siouxie, NMA and many more.
What are your top 5 favorite albums from the 80s?
J69: Billy Idol: ”Rebel Yell”, The Cramps: ”Off The Bone”, Sisters of Mercy: ”Floodland”, David Bowie: ”Let’s Dance” and Musta Paraati: ”Peilitalossa”.
Saku: Mötörhead ”No Sleep ’til Hammersmith”, The Lords of the New Church ”The Lord of the New Church”, Hanoi Rocks ”Bangkok Shocks and Saigon Shakes”, The Clash ”Black Market Clash” ep, Killing Joke ”Night time” – only because of the ”Love Like Blood”.
Ykä: The Ruts ”Grin & Bear It”, Killing Joke ”Killing Joke”, The Cure ”Pornography”, Psychedelic Furs ”Forever Now”, Depeche Mode ”Singles 1981-1985”