Interview with Hundred Million Martians

The finnish rockband Hundred Million Martians recently released their forth album "Marseille".

Q1. Hi! How are you guys doing?

Hi! We're fine, thank you. Busy with our new album.

Q2. You recently released a new record. How does it feel? Was the response good?

Yep, our fourth album Marseille was released a couple of weeks ago. It always feels great to hold the finished CD in your hand for the first time. Just because you know that this is it, the record's out and there's nothing you can do about it anymore - musically, I mean. All the reviews have been good so far and people have told us that they like the record. We're really satisfied with this record we've made. Of course you'd always hope that people would find it and like it. But that's up to them now.

Q3. What's the difference between earlier records and this one?

The difference is in the details. I don't think we've ever put this much effort into our own playing in the studio. We learned a lot from the producer Danil Venho, he showed us how significant the smallest things can be. I can honestly say that I wouldn't change anything. Hundred Million Martians hasn't ever sounded this tight and clear. Marseille is like a combination of the smooth production of our second album Mars Bars and the roughness of our third record Solid Rock Planet.

Q4. I've heard you worked with Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, did he only play on one song or was he involved in the writing process?

He plays some mean harmonica on two songs, Passed and UC/BC. He also plays a cool saxophone solo in a song called I Still Love the Feeling. He wasn't involved in the writing process, but he was free to play however and whatever he wanted. He hadn't even heard the songs before he came to studio, but he mastered them really quickly. That's talent and experience.

Q5. How come you played with Michael Monroe? Why him?

Because we wanted a great harmonica player and a great saxophonist. Being familiar with his work both in Hanoi Rocks and solo, we knew he was the man to do it. Also, it was easy to arrange the sessions because we already knew each other. We live in the same city.

Q6. Are you going on any sort of tour now? If you are going on a tour, is it just in Finland or is it international?

We're playing gigs here and there every now and then. Basically just in Finland, although we'd love to get to play elsewhere, too. We don't have an agent at the moment and we're pretty picky when it comes to playing gigs. So, can't really call it touring. However, we're playing two gigs in Liverpool, England on May 23rd - yep, two gigs in one day. Does that count as a UK tour?

Q7. What influences do you have?

I guess we all have our own. Some of us grew up listening to rockabilly, my first idols were 80's metal bands. Our tastes meet in that we all like solid songs. Doesn't really matter if it's rock, punk or pop music. I also have influenza. I can't seem to shake this flu.

Q8. I've heard you played in a sauna in the beginning, how come?

It was warm in there. "Hot Rocking", like in that great Judas Priest video.

Q9. What do you do the 10 minutes before you enter the stage before a show?

We make sure we're in tune with each other, have a quick drink and pace around nervously.

Q10. Your most amazing gig, when, why and where?

Last time we played in Helsinki was pretty amazing. It was a Tuesday night and I was sure no-one would show up. But it turned out to be one of our finest gigs, the crowd was really good. Once me and Jyrki had been drinking for a week before a gig in Turku. It was pretty amazing that we made it through that gig.

Q11. Okay, you guys are from Finland, so, how often do you have a sauna?

Together? Rarely. Otherwise, as often as possible. I don't have one of my own, though, so maybe twice in a month.

Q12. Are there a lot of similar bands like Hundred Million Martians?

No. I can't name one band that sounds like us. And it's not like we're trying to be somehow original or different on purpose. Our tunes are really old-fashioned songs, with choruses and verses in their proper places. But what makes them stand out is that we have a great singer who has a distinctive voice, we have good lyrics and melodies, we have that pop sensibility that most of the rock bands lack. In my honest opinion, as they say online.

Q13. Your name, "Hundred Million Martians" is kind of different, how come you took this name and kept it?

I wasn't in the band back then, but I think the guys needed a name and had a song called Hundred Million Martians and decides to call themselves that, too. It was a song about a really, really bad hangover. It's a long and a difficult name for a band, but strangely enough, people tend to remember it. The name, that is - most people never get to hear our music, but they've heard the name.

Q14. What are your plans for the summer?

We'll play some gigs and promote the album. And I want to get some sun and go to some fun rock festivals and see bands and then I want to spend some time in our summer cabin in Lapland. We Martians are so down-to-Earth.

Q15. What are the band's expectations for this year?

We just want to play live, get some air play and let people know that we're back with a new album. Maybe we should start rehearsing new songs at some point this year. I think we all look forward to play in England in May. That's something new for us and should be fun.

Okay, some quick questions.

Vodka or water?
No thank you.

Blonde or brunette?
Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan.

Music on a CD or live?
Both fine separately, live CD's suck.

Gene Simmons or Nikki Sixx?
Gene for financial advice, Nikki for tattoo consulting.

Groupies or girlfriend?
Sadly enough, our girlfriends are our only groupies.

Cat or dog?
Allergic reaction.

Thank you guys and good luck with the new album and the gigs, and hope you get a good response when you play in England.

For more information visit the band's website or their myspace