Interview with Matthau Mikojan
03.07.2008 Hamburg/Logo

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First of all: Welcome back to Germany
Matthau: Thanks. It’s really good to be here.
Do you remember the last time you’ve been here?
Matthau: It was nearly two years ago. It was in November 2006 with Bloodpit and we stayed here for like two weeks or so, touring. It’s good to be back.

Who had the idea with those acoustic shows?
Matthau: Here? *looks at Corinna who is sitting next to him* We did! *laughing* We started talking about these shows in the beginning of this year and now after all is organised and everything, we make it happened.
Actually you only wanted to make vacation here right?
Matthau: Well yeah, this is combined. Vacation and a few shows.
So you are staying here a bit longer?
Matthau: We’ll be leaving on Monday.
Are you going to do some sightseeing?
Matthau: Of course, of course! There is enough time to.
What are you going to visit?
Matthau: I don’t know yet really. Whatever we come up with. I think we’ll see a little bit of Berlin and some other places.

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Okay, you are playing a lot of covers at your shows. Which songs do you like to cover the most?
Matthau: Well, you know there are so many songs that I like to do. But right now, let’s say Estranged by Guns n’ Roses. It’s a great song and it’s like seven or eight minutes long and I love to play that song.
Are there any songs that you’d like to cover but you don’t dare to?
Matthau: There are no songs. No.

What makes a good concert?
Matthau: A good crowd and it doesn’t really matter where you are or the venue. Whether it’s a small venue or a big venue. If there is an interaction between you and the audience then it’s great.
So it all depends on the crowd?

Matthau: Pretty much yeah.

Do you like older guests or the younger ones?
Matthau: Usually in the audience there are a lot more younger people. But I really hope to increase the amount of a little older people as well.

What was your best concert until now?
Matthau: Until now?! *thinks* Let’s say last time we played at Klubi in April. 

(we have been interrupted by the support band which was coming in the backstage area. So we had to change the location for the interview to get away from the loud noise.)
(After finding a place inside the venue at some bar table, we continued the interview)

And the worst?
Matthau: Hmm, the worst until now? Maybe it has something to do with the King alcohol or something like that. You know? When you’re not at your best.
But there is no special one you want to forget?
Matthau: No, not really.

How do you get ready for the show?
Matthau: Usually? Hmm, *thinks* Well, I try to think of the songs and try to put the lyrics in my mind. And usually it is a lot of waiting, sitting backstage before the show and sometimes I do absolutely nothing.

You said that you try to remember the lyrics. Do you often forget them?
Matthau: Very often, yeah. But I think that’s quite funny. When you fuck up with the lyrics, people know it and to me that’s only natural. You can’t always know it. It’s not that serious.

And after a concert? How do you calm down?
Matthau: Calm down? Usually it takes like a few hours to really calm down after the show because there is still a lot of adrenaline in your blood and the worst thing would be to go home because you are all over the place. You really have to feel what you do!
So nothing special?
Matthau: No, nothing special.

As a child, did you have an idol?
Matthau: Yeah, I had many. The biggest idol when I was a kid was Axl Rose from Guns n’ Roses. I pretended to be him in front of a mirror. You know with a bandage and sang his songs.
Did you really want to look as bad as he did/does? *shocked* I think he isn’t pretty at all.
Matthau: Well, no. *stroke through his hair with pretended arrogance* There was a time when I wanted to look like him. But actually one of my friends looked exactly like Axl Rose and I was so jealous of him. I wanted to look the same.

What woman did you want to marry as a kid?
Matthau: As a kid? Sophia Lorén.
Why?
Matthau: Because I think she is the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.
She still is?
Matthau: Yeah, she still is. And the offer stands *smiles with hearts in his eyes*  *laughs* I'm just kidding.
Okay, but isn’t she a bit too old for you?!?!
Matthau: *with lovely voice* No. *dreaming* she is not!

You get a lot of presents from your fans. What was the best one?
Matthau: Maybe a little silver platter necklace with my fathers face on it. This was specially made for me and my brother. And on the other side there is a text “Your Guardian Angel is always by your side”. This is very touching. I don’t know today who gave it to me, because somebody gave it to our sound engineer and I had it after the show.
Okay, let’s try to find out who it was.
Matthau: Yeah. But it was here in Germany.
 Do you keep all the presents or do you give some away?
Matthau: Actually I think I have all of them. I have those huge boxes for stuff like that.
Do you remember a lot of those people who gave things like these to you?
Well, some of them...

Be honest, how much time do you spend in the bathroom?
*looks confused*
To get ready...
Oh *starts laughing* I just thought you meant like: How long do you shit?
I thought: WHAT?
*laughter*
In the bathroom? ... hmm ... well today I think it’s gonna take me for a while to get ready ‘cause i am sweaty and it's so hot in here, and right now my make up is all over the face. So I guess it will take me for a while, hmm... half an hour?!?

You have got a cat.
Yeah.
Do you talk to her?
Of course.
By the way: is it a she?
Yeah, she... Siiri.
What do you talk with her?
ehmm.. hmm.. well, *laughs* you know... *thinks* yeah, kitty kitty kitty.
Nothing too profound.

And what about flowers? Do you have any?
Flowers? Hmm.. at the moment. Well I do have some cactuses.
Oh they don't die that fast.
Yeah. Everytime I have some plant it ends up dying sooner than it's supposed to.
They need water.
I know. *looks suprised* Do they?
*laughter*

What is the special thing about your music?
*thinks a long time* Well, maybe the fact that I write about personal stuff, about my life. Maybe that is special.
How would you convince me to buy your record?
I wouldn't.
You wouldn't?
No!
So I shouldn't buy it?
*smiles* No!
Okay I throw it away...

Yes..*laughs*

What about songwriting? You write all your songs alone. Do you have some favourite place?
No, anywhere. Anywhere...
So there is no place you aren't able to write?
No, not really. Whether I've a cell phone or a notebook I put it down and later, you know, I put a song together.
Even on toilet?
Yeah. *grins*
So you use the toilet paper?
For writing, yeah *laughs*

You said that your lyrics are very private. So what are they about? Do they tell a story that has happened or just something else?
They are out of my life and what I see around me, and people I know and people that I meet, and all the good and bad things in life in general.

Do you want to get on as a musician, do you want to continue the stuff you are doing right now? Or do you want to change your style of music a bit?
You never know what the following album will sound like. Whatever songs I'll come up with. The last song I wrote is actually a punk song, punk rock. I call it "Iggy Pop" *laughs*
Aha. Sounds good.
No, it doesn't *laughter* That sounds terrible.
You played a new song last week at your gig...
Yeah that's the one - "Iggy Pop".
How did the audience react?
They ran away. *laughs*
Oh, all of them?
Yeah *sad face* they all started crying and ran away and started throwing things.
No no no, they took it very well...

Could you imagine playing in a band again?
You never know. I like being solo ... *smiles* artist. You never know what's gonna happen.
So you could go on with your music stuff all alone for the rest of your life?
Sure, sure.

Is it easier to be your own boss?
Well, I like it that way. You don't have to ask anyone about their oppinions. But of course I do, when you have band and stuff of course you ask how they feel about things.

Did you write a wishlist to Santa Clause?
To Santa Clause? Hmm.. I still do.
What did you write on it? Or what do you write now?
Like, bring me this toy and bring me that guitar, and bring me this and that and this and that...
And did you get it?
Never *sad look*
Have you been disappointed?
Yeah...

What do you expect of the gigs you are playing here?
I expect them to be good and I hope some people will show up, hopefully. And it's so good to be here.
Will you play some songs you haven't played yet? Maybe covers...
I don't know because I haven't done a setlist yet.

Today it's an acoustic show. But the other two days as well. So what is the difference between those two shows today and tomorrow and the last one at the Bretterbude? Because they said it is 'totally' acoustic?
It's a different day. *smiles* I don't now actually. Just the setlist, maybe?
Do you like the smaller gigs more?
Depending on the crowd, you know? If there is no one here it gonna look stupid. *laughter* I prefer a small venue with a lot of people than a huge place with only three or four people.

You'll be back here in Germany in October with your band for a few shows.
Yeah.
Why did you decide to get back to Germany so soon again after starting your solo career?
Well, we have a good set of promoters here and they arranged it.
Do you want to visit some other countries as well? Is anything planed yet?
Probably at some point I think we gonna play in Russia, at least. And Italy maybe and .. let's see.
Which country has the best audience?
In Brasil *laughs*
Have you ever been there?
No!
*laughter*
But I've heard, I've heard. Somebody told me.
Do you want to go there?
No! *even more laughter*
But I guess the audience is good?
So... *laughs*
Okay then stay in Germany...
Okay, sure...

If you wanted to buy something here in Germany, could you do it in German?
Absolutely not.
Really nothing in German?
Nothing... Can you teach me?

(We tried to teach him German words he had difficulties to pronounce like 'Fischstäbchen' (=fish sticks) or whatever but after we all got rid of laughter we continued seriously. )

If you hear about Germany and German, what gets into your mind?
Nothing  *laughs*
Hmm.. I think it's pretty much the same. It sounds the same to me as Finnish language because there are a lot of consonants and sharp letters, and you say 'r' *is rolling his Finnish r* quite the same as we do.
And what about the country itself?
I know that it is terrible to be in Germany hangover.
So you made experiences?
Yeah, right now.

So, -
not true
What?
*smiles* nothing.
Hmm.. the show tonight .. -
is cancelled. *laughter*
Not yet *smiles* But do you want the show to be cancelled?
No!!!! *with played enthusiasm* Yes, I want the show to be cancelled *laughs* For sure NOT!

Are you afraid of your fans sometimes?
No...
I am... -
Are you?
They are a bit extrem and don't like the Germans.
They think we take their man.
*smiles* But you do.
Do you like it when people from other countries visit your gigs in Finland?
That's amazing. It keeps amazing me that people spent a lot money going abroad and seeing some bands play there.
Would you ever do it for one of your favourite bands?
No!
Do you go to concerts at all?
Very rare.
Which band has to come to your town so you would get there?
Well, the Rolling Stones didn't make it, Kiss didn't make it, so I think it has to be The Doors with Jim Morrison or stuff like that.
So you are listening to those old rock bands.
Pretty much.
Do you listen to something else, some current bands?
Recently. Obiviously I listen to a lot of bands and some of them still exist.

Some last words to the fans.
I am sorry! *grins*
Why?
Because I caused so much trouble all over the years. *laughter*
Oh... okay you only want to say sorry?
No.
(after kidding for a while he came to end)
Just say them HELLO. *waves like crazy and says hello again and again into the camera*


(c)LahjaDea & PinkBambi, Katzuja

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