See, here’s the thing. I’ve been to, and written about the legendary event that no one who has ever attended seems to have any memories of having been on – the event in question being Finland’s student metal group collaborative cruise Akateeminen Heviristeily. So, we don’t really want to hear me write your average, everyday report about how the two bands (Nuclear Omnicide and Noumena) were, how everyone felt already drunk when said bands were playing because the boat was rocking heavily (literally and figuratively, and probably everone actually was drunk already by that time at 10pm when the gigs ended), or to tell more stories about me and my friends’ drunken escapades on our voyage to Tallinn, which most of us didn’t survive to disembark to.
Instead, I decided to try a more novel approach, and since our little community is so connected to each other, I thought, why not have a chain interview, where each person who’s asked a question must ask someone else the next question, with the purpose to be for people who know each other to ask things that expose funny, embarrassing or very metal stuff about each other, and then see how far the chain can endure. And here’s what happened. Read away, and laugh at your comrades and cohorts. To their face, next time you see them.
LADY ENSLAIN -> SAMELI KESTO
What’s your favorite drink, and what’s the worst experience you’ve had with it?Um, I’d have to go with beer, Paulaner Salvator, it’s a German Dobbelback, 8,5%, but it tastes like taffy, so it’s really, really good. They used to have these nights in Kaisla where you could drink anything you want from the tap for €1,5… holy fuck? I’ve heard of the €3 or €5 deals they’ve sometimes had…This was like 10 or 8 years ago or something. So, you went in for afterwork beers, on like a Wednesday or something, and think, I’m gonna have 2 or 3 beers and then go home. And then you realize like, this thing is really good, I love this beer, and then you drink 10 of them, and end up missing work the next day. And have NO idea how you got home. Well, it’s not that embarrassing of a story, but it’s my favorite drink, and I kinda fucked up drinking that beer a bit too much.
SAMELI KESTO -> SUVI SAVILAAKSO
Why do you like singing Finnish songs in karaoke, and what is your favorite song to sing? And why is it so bad?
Well, this is kinda curious, you asking me, because, well we have had this thing for years that if either one of us wants to sing something in Finnish, it’s gonna be Tommi Läntinen. It’s not good; it’s humiliating… but it’s a thing for us! Like, one of us is like, “hey, I want this song, and I wanna dedicate it to you!” and then the other one is like facepalming…! [me: so, which song is it usually?] Usually it’s “Via Dolorosa,” but we didn’t find it in the boat karaoke tonight!
SUVI SAVILAAKSO -> MARCO LEHTIMÄKI
Ok, this is stupid… I dunno… so, you’re not participating in Movember… No I’m not… No, I know! That wasn’t a question, it was a statement. But… how about your hair?[taken completely off-guard] Hmm? It’s doing much better now, thank you! I mean like, I’ve seen your hair, but is there something special with it, right now?It’s getting better! I bought Tangle Teaser, it’s gentle to my hair, actually two, one for travel. [me: Is one of them pink?] Oh, COME ON, they’re both black! Completely black, just like my heart!
MARKO LEHTIMÄKI -> JUHANI (JUICE) LINDFORS
So, this is your 8th [Akateeminen Heviristeily] cruise… [me: EIGHTH CRUISE?!], he’s been on every fucking cruise, just like me. So why do you keep coming on these cruises? I’ve been on every one. Because I don’t have any other friends. [note, we all “awwwww’d” him and gave a group hug]. OK, I do have some other friends, but this is like a place where I can see those friends, or some of those friends, in NOVEMBER, because I don’t see my other friends in November. It’s like a heaven, because the whole autumn has been such a disappointment… [me: hey wait, you just saw me two weeks ago at the Selviytyjät club, fuck you!] …that was also one of the highlights, but I also had to get out of Tampere to see you! So basically if I would stay in Tampere, I would be miserable.
JUHANI (JUICE) LINDFORS -> MATTI MATTILA
So Matti, I wanna ask you this really profound question. And I want you to think about it also, what do you feel in your heart. The question is really simple, and the question is: What is love, to you? [The expected awkward silence and shifty-eyed expressions follow] [me: (laughing) Goddamn you’re an asshole!] Already we have one laughing woman, that’s already a quite good answer! So, thank you Juice, I’m done! So, love is a joke for you? Is that the answer? [me: I thought the answer is, “baby don’t hurt me!”] This is even getting better! Answer the question, what does love MEAN to you, what is most important in love to you, in your opinion?A good beer. A shit beer can make you happy, so, I think even a shit beer can be love. [me: that’s deep. I’m gonna drown myself after this!]
MATTI MATTILA -> JARU HIRSSO
What is the most epic heavy metal thing you have ever experienced or done? All the Iron Maiden gigs I have seen, those are metal. Yeah, but, go a little deeper than just the gig!Seeing all the people, different ages, new fans and old fans all come together for a great band, Iron Maiden. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. [me: Were you expecting more of an answer, something you know he’s not telling?] Do you remember of making sandwiches before the gig, to survive in the burning sun, and then buying this CD player… I think it was 2008. Yeah! We went to listen to Iron Maiden in Helsinki, and we made some great sandwiches and we waited for, how long… some 3-4-5 hours, it was a really hot day, on Finnish terms… and we bought this CD player, and we had plenty of beer, which I think was tossed away because we couldn’t take it with us.We were red like a lobster after, spending all those hours in the sun without a shirt. That was pretty metal, I think.
JARU HIRSSO -> JOHANNA KETOLA
Tell me about a heavy metal song you have a really personal experience with, a song that means a lot to you. OK, I have several of those kinds of songs, maybe some song from Nightwish or Stratovarius or something very basic Finnish metal. When I was a teenager, heavy metal or power metal had a really deep impact on me, but let me pick one… maybe Stratovarius “Black Diamond,” that has like a really catching melody in it, or simple words… yeah, that one, because I read online that Timo Tolkki wrote it for his dog! [me: OMG, that’s so cute!] That’s actually quite much more reason to like the song!Yeah, our family has always had dogs, so I think it’s a really beautiful love song for… a dog! Or your best friend, or something… [me: if your best friend is a dog!] That’s a little bit pathetic, but that happens some times! Especially when you are a little bit awkward teenager or something. Anyway, I’d say that song, because now that I’m thirty, it reminds me of my dog.
JOHANNA KETOLA -> MIIKKA HAURINEN
So we just heard Noumena. During the gig, what did you feel, or did it remind you of something that’s happened in the past, or in general, what did you have in your mind?Well uh, it was really melodic metal and it reminded me of several bands, especially from my hometown Tampere, there was this one band, and that band reminded me of In Flames… [me: Which band from Tampere?] That band was called Drawn Awake. [me: So, Noumena reminded you of Drawn Awake, who reminded you of old In Flames?] Yeah! And it just brought me some good memories from the past, yeah.
MIIKKA HAURINEN -> JULIA SIERRA
So, what is the most memorable gig you have experienced in Spain? In Spain! [me: In Spain, interesting! so, for some background, how long have you lived here?] Five years. Actually, I don’t know if it’s the most interesting or the most important or best or whatever, but the first thing that came to mind was actually this Manowar gig, it was the special Magic Circle tour they made a few years ago. That gig, I don’t know why, but I remember that gig like a very nice memory. It was a cool gig, they did their best stuff, they chose like a random guy from the public to play with them… Another one, the first time I went to a proper heavy metal gig was an Iron Maiden gig, it happened in a big bull-fighting arena! That was a very very good memory, I was even crying, because I was quite young, I was maybe 16, something like that.
(here the chain breaks, because I couldn’t find Julia again after going to retrieve a beer from my cabin! So we return to the previous link in the chain.)
MIIKKA HAURINEN -> JUSSI KIOVA
So, what is the most embarrassing memory for you from Akateeminen heviristeily? This is actually my first time on Akateeminen, but on other heavy cruises, I haven’t been on many, but speaking of cruises, I’ve been so motherfucking drunk in these various GOOM cruises [I ask what this GOOM thing is, and I’m told by Juice that “it’s one of these student people cruises, it’s the craziest, the one where everyone gets fucked or drunk or both, and not always in the nice way.”] There are some things I remember vaguely, and they’re fucking bullshit. [me: But there must be something worth mentioning!]I’ve never gotten laid on a cruise, if that’s what you’re asking! [Others among us brag about their conquests.] [me: so, what you’re saying is the most memorable thing about the cruises for you, is that you did not get laid, like every other person ever has?] Yeah, that’s basically it!
JUSSI KIOVA -> JOHANNES LUNKKA
Why do you want people to hear Bolt Thrower? Because Bolt Thrower is fucking awesome! [Starts replicating the guitar stuff we hear in the background of the cabin speakers with his voice] [me: but what in particular about them? C’mon, we need more!] It’s just so basic, but it’s still amazing! Because they’re so consistent, every song is just amazing despite, the sound is fairly basic, but individually and as a complete thing, the songs are just amazing.
(we maybe ran out of people in the cabin to question, so we circle back to me so that I can leave to another cabin and continue with fresh blood!)
JOHANNES LUNKKA -> LADY ENSLAIN
So your question for me? Why are you on this cruise; what’s wrong with you? What’s… not wrong with me?! I’ve been on this cruise maybe four or five times, and in the country almost nine years. There is obviously something wrong with me. But you know, one really nice thing about this cruise is that you can walk anywhere down the corridors and just share alcohol with anyone you don't know, and listen to different people’s tunes and chat about metal, and ask retarded questions!
(but… then it turned out we had more people interested, so, we go back a step in the chain)
JOHANNES LUNKKA -> ERIKA RANTALA
What’s wrong with you, and why are you here? I’m really troubled about it, because I’m feeling like, too old and bored to be here! But then there was this social pressure, like this friend next to me was first asking me like, of course we are going, right? And then there was this other friend who is in the same cabin with me who said like, I put you in my cabin favorites, so you need to come! So I was thinking, there is two people asking me already, so I perhaps need to come. That’s why. I’ve been here earlier, had a good time, but I have lost my memory, but I was thinking that now I’m old enough that I’ll be just fine, and tomorrow I’m going to go to the Old Tallinn because… I’m not gonna have a hangover! [me: yeah, that’s gonna happen! I guess right there you’ve answered what’s wrong with you!]
ERIKA RANTALA -> KAISA YLI-PAUNU
Do you know where is the North Star, and what do you know about it? Well, I know it’s a star… [long pause, and people laughing] This is an interesting question, but what do you mean where is it? Do you find it when you look at the sky?Well probably, if it’s not cloudy. Tell me more! Well if you wanna go North it’s gonna help you to look for it and… [sighs] That’s my question, I don’t have any other question. [me: I know this is an academic cruise, but that’s a rough one at this time of night!] OK… What do you think about Trump? A personal question! Is it gonna be dangerous for Finland?I don’t really think it’s gonna be dangerous for Finland, because, ok, he’s the president, but the system they have in the USA makes things happen that slowly that in four years, he’s probably not gonna be able to change that many laws or anything, and he’s honestly not gonna get that much done. Of course, there is a slight possibility that he’s gonna make someone angry like Putin or something, but I don’t honestly believe that they are so stupid that they will like create a third world war, because that’s just too bad for everybody, there’s always like advisors who are gonna stop that, because that’s just not good for anybody. Well for the ones that creates the weapons and stuff… but overall I think that it’s just gonna be a big bad joke in some years.
[here, there is some continued talk about world politics, which apparently revealed how little I actually know about… well… everything.]
KAISA YLI-PAUNU -> SERGEI BOROVSKII
So, she (me) said that she doesn’t know much about the world, so what should she know about Europe? [me: so basically, as an undereducated uncivilized American “journalist,” what should I know about Europe? We are a pretty small amount of countries, and we have a different opinion basically on every fucking thing. And if we are not in the same union, we start the war immediately. That’s the most important thing you need to know about Europe. [me: but we apparently tried this unionizing thing, and everyone wants to get the fuck out now?] And when it’s gone, then it’s war. [me: So do you think it’s better that we all have a different opinion, or that we have a united opinion on issues, kinda like we “theoretically” do in U.S.A.?] But your states are not in war with each other, so that’s the point of a union. You have federal power which prevents it. [me: So you think the E.U. is most definitely a good thing? European countries aren’t at war with each other either.] The Brits don’t care because they’re an island, so if they don’t want to go to war, they won’t.
SERGEI BOROVSKII -> ANSSI KANTOLA
Three things you must do to survive the apocalypse?OK. Get one bottle of whiskey. One bow. And a shitload of arrows. A fucking shitload of arrows, as you have been drinking the whole fucking whiskey, so you need a fucking shitload of arrows. [me: and who are you going to point the arrows at during this apocalypse? Who are you killing?] Meat. At meat! [me: (confused) At meat? Whose meat? What meat?] There should be flesh and bones. [me: anything that moves that might be meat?] Yeah it could be, it most likely will be. Yeah. And the third thing?Just for fun, dynamite!
ANSSI KANTOLA -> VIKTOR VESTERLUND
Assume that there was an apocalypse and you were supposed to survive somehow. And there was some sound engineer beside you, but, you’re not thinking of the sound engineer right beside you. [I’m not sure where this sound engineer stuff comes from?!] And you’re trying to survive. Three things that you want to do to survive the apocalypse.Well I would take a beer, at least. [me: so, one beer is going to help you survive the apocalypse, good to know!] And after that, what are you going to do?Take a second beer! And then, there’s no more beer left, so what are you going to do?(laughing while answering) Take a third beer!! Yeah, please do brew more beer!Yeah I would brew beer! There’s never enough beer.
VIKTOR VESTERLUND -> RASMUS MARJANEN
What album would you take to an abandoned island? Uh, (laughing) hold on, give me a moment… well am I allowed to like, listen to this album? Or can I just like, jerk off on it? You can just take it.Well I would still choose “Those Once Loyal.”
RASMUS MARJANEN -> DAMIAN MAIORANO
(to me) This is a magazine, right? [me: this is a real magazine!] Well then, I can’t go there! [me: (being devious) no, it’s not a magazine! Ask!] I was gonna ask… do you think you could’ve done better than him in 1940? (laughter) Fuck you man!! OK, fair enough, hold on… tell me why you have a domestic beer that’s better than the German ones? (we look around confused) He’s Italian. [me: Finnish domestic beer? He’s drinking Finnish beer?] Yeah, but like he’s a victim of circumstance. Yeah but like, I don’t understand the question anyway. OK, like do you think there’s a better domestic beer in Italy than the ones in Germany? Yes, of course, Peroni! That was the thing! I was looking for that answer, but I want to hear a reason, because I love Peroni!Yeah of course, we have to pay taxes on shitty lager beers of Germany… oh, oh! This is getting really nasty, like forget 1940, this is dark! And they thought I was politically incorrect, like you just shit on German beer! You don’t talk about that!
DAMIAN MAIORANO -> MARTIN PETTERSSON
(asks the question in Italian) Can you repeat the question? Why do I want to speak Italian? Because I really, really like… Italy! Italian girls?Here’s the deal, I hate most things about Italy, but I really love the food and the culture, (insistently) and the women…! They can make a pasta!No, no, NO! and the idea that you can go to Italy… and you can take a spade and you can just dig once and you can find like shitloads of archeological findings. I love history, and I love that in Italy everything in history. I would like to live in Rome for like a really long time. It’s nice! It’s warm. People are happy. I don’t need like that much reason for it. It’s warm and nice and you’re surrounded by ruins. What could be better!
MARTIN PETTERSSON -> JOEY HJORT
Are you gonna survive Romania? OK, backstory, Joey’s going to Romania… This little quest of mine started yesterday, with a school party I went to, drank a little too much, and today I’m here, drinking even more… tomorrow there’s an afterparty apparently where I have to drink even more! Then, the day after that there’s a sauna on the evening that I have to participate, and because of him I have to drink there also. Best friend code.Then I will go home on Monday, I will pack my new luggage, take a shower, fix everything up, and then on Tuesday I will go to Sweden to meet some of my Swedish pals, which I have met two times in my life, once in Slovenia, and when we met in Slovenia they were like, come to our festival in Sweden, and we were like, why not! And we went to their festival in Sweden; I drank, he slept, that son of a bitch… I thought there was a war…It was a war! But still, nice people, and then they sent me a text, hey are you interested in coming to Romania with us! Why the fuck not! My organs are pretty fucked anyway. So I will go to Sweden and then on Wednesday I will go to Romania and then I will be there about 10 years before I find a horse and a carriage that I can ride home to Finland again. But will you survive?(sings “I will survive!”)
JOEY HJORT -> SUVI VUORIN
What is the most interesting place you have done it in?I dunno… kitchen? Like kitchen table or the desk?Yeah, kitchen table… and the desk! Like different times or the same time? (laughing shyly) I don’t know! Both!
SUVI VUORIN -> ACHIM HERMANN
When and where was your first time?Which first time? OK… yeah, it was on a festival. It was inside a test. Same for me! [me: Really?! Was it great?] Yeahhhh, no. It’s like we were both drunk, and… yeah. We were both drunk!
(and somehow it comes back to me… thankfully on a different topic!)
ACHIM HERMANN -> LADY ENSLAIN
What was the time you were most wasted, and how was it? The most wasted? In my entire life? So like some time when you did something embarrassing, you know? Oh fuck. There’s at least ten different stories I could choose from off the top of my head… well, I'm making you all do this, so… ok, so… 2005, I went on a tour selling merch. Half of our tour was in Canada, the rest was U.S.A. At some point, I got quite bored of the fact that because I have to handle money and merch all day, I obviously can’t really drink until I’ve finished my job, and by that point, all the other European alcoholic motherfuckers I live with on the tour bus are already sloshed out of their mind! They just get off stage, and then they can go nuts. So everyone was always drunk on the bus, and I was completely clear-headed and super shy and nervous around them. So one night in Canada I took a bottle of tequila from the guys, and I polished it off completely myself. Then we went to a bar, and I continued drinking triple-shots of vodka or anything else that was handed to me. From the start of drinking until my last memories was probably only 45 minutes of consciousness, and then I woke up in the back of the tour bus the next morning with hospital pants on, doing the walk of shame towards my tourmates who informed me that I was taken to have my stomach pumped because I was completely non-reactive. But I don’t remember a fuckdamn of it! I was lucky as hell it happened north of the border, or else the fucking hospital bills…!
(and… the cycle was complete.)