Berlin, Carter Kennedy, Chritus Linderson, Cologne, Copenhagen, Darren Ivey, Doom Dealer, Dorian Walters, Garreth Millsted, Heavy Days In Doom Town, Jussi Myllykoski, Keith Nickel, Kimi Kärki, Lord Vicar, Mark Thomas Baker, Oliver Richling, Orchid, Paul Bidmead, Reverend Bizarre, Roadburn, Sigiriya, Signs Of Osiris, Simon and Garfunkel, Stuart O'Hara, The Church Within Records, Theo Mindel
Lord Vicar – that is vocalist Chritus Linderson, guitarist Kimi Kärki, bass player Jussi Myllykoski and drummer Gareth Millsted – just finished a Tour with label mates Orchid and Sigiriya and due to several factors (goofing arround, soundcheck, eating and so on) I did not managed to do an Interview backstage at White Trash Berlin. This night was special because the three bands played the tour finale and farewell had to be shared among brothers, ways were about to separate and one final occasion to hang out at a Hotel Lounge. But here we go finally, as Jussi pointed out “whenever I’m ready!”
Hey guys, really cool to have you here on my virtual couch!
Jussi: Thanks for having us. Your couch seems very comfortable.
Kimi: Jussi already assumed the luxurious freudian position, the rest of us can sit on the floor.
How was the tour for you and could you mention one true or even a few Highlights?
Milly: For me personally this tour was the favourite I have ever done. Everything went very smoothly for us and every gig was fun. Sigiriya and Orchid were great touring partners. Also it was a chance to let my hair down because I now live in the Middle East, I could do all those things that you aren’t allowed to do over there!!! The highlights would be Roadburn. I have waited years to play there and I have to say it was incredible. Awesome line-up, well organised and great atmosphere.
Kimi and I even got to sit in on an Obsessed rehearsal session, so that more than made up for the fact that we couldn’t see their set on the Saturday night. Poland deserves an honourable mention too. The crowds were fucking mental and we got a chance to party like animals after the show!
Jussi: This was, no question, the best tour I’ve ever been part of. Performancewise we did better than we have on ones before, the touring company was my absolute favorite ever and we got to do some very well organised and attended gigs. A bunch of great memories for sure, don’t remember a sad moment from this run. For me the whole tour was a highlight, life has been showing me its darker sides within the last year or so, so being out there spilling some of that crap out was surely an uplifting experience.
Brothers with Beards and Basses: Jussi and Sigiriya’s Stu O’Hara!
Besides of that, walking on stage every night was a highlight, as that’s one of my favorite things in life. Gigwise, I guess Roadburn was some kind of highlight for me though, I’ve visited that festival as a guest every year since 2008 and was truly honored to play that stage. Hopefully we will have the chance to do this again at some point.
Chritus: The whole tour was awesome! From bookers to staff at the venues, attenders, other bands, Orchid and Sigirya who we had company with. We shared van with Sigirya…don´t think I have ever laughed so much in my life…
Fell asleep giggling and woke up in bits! Also, of course, being a big fan of Orchid as I am, it was special for me to get to hang out with them aswell.I will really treasure that week for a long time.
Highlights? One that comes to mind, like Milly said, was Poland. It was MAD, Hahaha! Apart from that, I think every night had something special about it at one point or another. I´m chuffed by the reception we had from the audiences throughout the whole ordeal.
Chritus with Orchid-Drummer Carter Kennedy Backstage in Berlin
Kimi: I think watching The Obsessed rehearse at Roadburn was the moment when time really stopped for me. The tour was definitely the best we ever did. The gig where we had the greatest sound and perhaps also performance was Cologne, hails to the sound man there at MTC! The last night in Berlin was also notable because of the awareness of the tour ending there. When Sigiriya were finishing with ‘Deathrip to Eryri’, Jussi and me singing the last key line with Dorian, that was a sublime moment of brotherhood in the highest order.
Who came up with the idea of sending this brilliant package out on the road?
Milly: That was Oliver Richling, he runs Church Within Records (Lord Vicar, Sigiriya and Orchid are all signed to that label). Obviously it made sense to send out three of his finest bands as a package deal! Oli did a great job arranging it and I can’t thank him enough for that.
Jussi: I would also like to thank Oliver for a job well done. Hopefully we’ll get to ramble together more in the future.
Chritus: Yeah, What they said. Oliver is The Man.
Kimi: Whole lotta love to Oli from me as well!!! Do yourselves a favour and check out http://www.doom-dealer.de/
Lord Vicar carries out Kimi Kärki’s vision of a new Doom Band after Reverend Bizarre was buried in 2007, but along you another legacy was around. Sigiriya is the resumption of Welsh of stoner doom merchants Acrimony. Do you feel an unspoken bound to those guys because of a kind of comparably history?
Milly: I actually have some history with the Sigiriya guys, I have known them for ages. I was a big fanboy of Acrimony back in the early 90’s and I used to go to their gigs and Dorian and I would correspond by post. I even went to Nottingham to hang out in the studio with them while they were recording their second album. For me it was totally awesome to share a tour bus with them. It’s like everything has come full circle and I have to say it is an amazing honour for me that they are fans of Lord Vicar.
Jussi: Well, I met the Welsh Doom Metal Legends also known as Sigiriya when we played Dawn of Doom festival in Switzerland together. It was an instant fit. These guys are some of the best people I’ve met in Rock’n’Roll and our bond goes way beyond that of a similar past by now.
I look up to these guys and one of the most surreal moments of my life was on this tour when we played in Cologne. It was an awesome night performancewise for all of the bands. We really hit it off with the Vicar, one of the best performances in our career. After the gig my youth heroes expressed their feelings about our gig backstage, and that was truly mind-blowing and something I will never forget. They absolutely loved it and made sure we knew it. Being able to give that to someone while receiving so much from the same group of people is truly remarkable.
Chritus: Yeah. I used to listen to Acrimony a great deal at the time they were active. And like Jussi, met them guys (Sigiriya) first time at that festival aswell. Instant brotherhood.
Kimi: Back when we were starting with Reverend Bizarre, I remember Sami had recorded Spaced Cat #6 video from some music video program, and we were really enjoying it to the maximum. Great albums as well, and I love Sigiriya even more! Mind boggles that I missed them playing in my hometown, and then a little while later get to play with them in Switzerland instead, haha! The thing now is, if I had to choose one band to go on the road with, it would be Sigiriya. Amazing as people, amazing as musicians!!! Darren, Dorian, Mead, Stu, the kings of Wales… Y Ddraig Goch!!!
What would you say is the main difference between Lord Vicar and Reverend Bizarre?
Milly: Lord Vicar are good!!!!! I’m kidding
Jussi: Well the two are completely different, aren’t they? Reverend Bizarre were a lot slower and more hateful. The songwriting is totally different, as Sami wrote most of the songs for Reverend. Even the tunes Kimi came up with for that band are different to Lord Vicar. The stuff we’ve come up with after the first album is in my opinion a lot more Rockin’ and that is a direction I see the band going to in the future.
Chritus: Reckon the question of and comparison between us is inevitable due to Kimi´s past. I get this question every so often, but can´t really compare in that sense. I was kinda unaware of exactly how much impact Reverend Bizarre actually have had on the overall Doom metal scene until Lord Vicar came about. before that I didn´t follow the scene much at all, as the only musical thing I was involved in during a period of about four years after my previous band Terra Firma disbanded, was singing Simon and Garfunkel lullabies to my son…but I do like what I´ve heard of Reverend Bizarre, yes. Kimi has spoiled me with their discography!
Kimi: Lord Vicar is about love, Reverend Bizarre was about hate.
Three bands from several different countries and label Boss Oli Richling (Doom Dealer/The Church Within Records) from yet another one – how did you all got along, any communication problems?
Milly: We all get along great, one big happy Doom family. No communication problems, we all speak English, the widely accepted language of rock.
Jussi: Well, sometimes it takes a few different native languages to make out what a drunken Welshman is on about. So we had all we needed and there were no problems.
Speaking of which, how does a band with members from Finland, Sweden and the UK happens to have a German record label???
Milly: Our philosophy is to bring the spirit of international co-operation through the medium of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Jussi: CW was the best option when we were getting started with our first album. He was clearly the most eager to have it out. Oliver is very easy to work with and puts a lot of effort into his releases. And a cool guy as well.
Chritus: I totally agree, and in his own words, he´s a FAN of the movement on top of that. I think it´s a good thing as his heart is in it when it comes to take care of things. For instance, releasing the special editions of CDs and vinyls of the bands on the label. Personally I love that stuff…boosts my ego aswell as dampering the hunger of the collector in me! Hahaha! I can´t afford it these days!
Kimi: I really like motivated, lovely, talented people to live these dreams with me, and if they happen to live in some other country, so be it. These days it’s very easy to stay in touch, despite any geographical distance.
Enough talking about the past, let’s face the future: Are you allready working on a follow-up album to “Signs of Osiris“?
Milly: Yes indeed. I have already demo’d a song and have a few riffs and ideas to present to the band. Kimi told me he is working on several songs and Jussi has some ideas too, so we will have no shortage of material! No idea how this next beast will turn out, but for my part at least, I am keen to trim a little excess fat from the arrangements and make a more brutal and to the point album, perhaps a little more representative of the live Lord Vicar sound? However I am sure the other guys all have their own opinions on where this is going!
Jussi: The work on the third Lord Vicar album has commenced, yes. I have been busy with a lot of things lately, including giving a new band I started with my mates some effort and all the usual stuff that takes your time and focus off music, work and such. I’ve still found time to write some riffs and a couple of new Lord Vicar tunes are slowly taking form. There is one massively heavy song in the works and another one that is more mellow and sad I guess. I guess I would say the same about these two as my colleague behind the drumkit, my new material is more to the point, shorter songs and a little more raw.
Chritus: My contribution comes in at a later stage. I won´t touch it until it´s all served up for me on a plate…Ha!Which is when arrangements are pretty much done, I also get suggestions of vocal harmonies and lyrics. Then I have the freedom to do what I feel like based on it. Smooth, I get the best of both worlds!
Kimi: This next album will be called “Gates of Flesh”. It will perfect and overpowering music for making love.
Live Capture from Copenhagen
Any further plans so far or are still recovering from the Tour?
Milly: We played the Heavy Days in the Doom Town in Denmark in early May. Then there is talk of another festival in Finland later this year, however nothing is confirmed at this time. It is however unlikely that there will be any other significant touring activity this year, it is difficult for us with our day jobs and personal commitments. Plans are afoot for something big next year…….
Jussi: I am happy to tell you that Heavy Days in Doom Town gig was very successful. We played a very intense and aggressive set like we always do when we get together after some time apart. Apparently it went over really well. The festival audience might have had some of the last juices squeezed out of them since we were among the last acts of the second night. They were awesome in every way though. The DIY attitude the festival organisation has is awesome and they surely do a good job. I warmly recommend the fest and the Copenhagen scene to everyone. We’ll see what life brings to us. If the stars wound up right, there will be a few more Lord Vicar gigs later this year, if not, we’ll come back with a vengeance when the time is right.
Chritus: Yes. And yes again. The H.D.D.T fest was just pure MAGIC, We LOVED it! Hello Copenhagen! Until we get more invitations from bookers I guess we´ll continue working on the next album but also go on about our own business’ for the time being. We all have musical projects on the side from Lord Vicar…and I reckon now is as good time as any to pursue them until next time.
Kimi: I think the main focus in on the next album now, and more gigs will follow next year, unless we get really interesting offers. There are some things cooking, but let’s see… The world’s supposed to end this year, but I guess the Mayas didn’t see the Spanish coming either, so expect to hear a loud noise from our general direction in the future as well!!!
Do you have something you always wanted to tell the world?
Milly: Seems like a good time to quote Bill & Ted “Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes”!
Jussi: I’ve got a lot of things like that but I’ll simply go with “Stay true to yourselves, friends, and we’ll meet again.”
Chritus: Feels a bit like “what´ll it say on Your tombstone?”…haha, So FINAL! But yeah, hang in there and make the best of things. There´s always darkness at the end of the light.
Kimi: Join the slow movement. Try to have some proper sleep whenever possible. Stop doing everything simultaneously, focus instead on the important stuff at hand. Read more and do something meaningful with what you have learned. Furthermore, I encourage everyone to take care of their personal hygiene at all times.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, hope to see you around soon again!
Chritus:…Thank YOU! Much love, best wishes and cheers for showing interest in the band!