Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
LORDI is ready for the release of the sixth studio album “To Beast Or Not To Beast”. The new album is musically the most aggressive LORDI album yet. The seeds of the new approach in LORDI’s music were originally planted and inspired by the technical and brutal way the band’s former drummer Otus played LORDI songs. For the first time in LORDI’s history, Mr. Lordi was not the one who set up the tone of the upcoming material. Amen wrote 3 riffs in the spring of 2011 inspired by late Otus´ drum patterns. Those riffs were to become the musical guidelines of the new album “To Beast Or Not To Beast”.
Year 2012 marked two anniversaries for LORDI, both the 20th year birthday since the band’s birth and the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut album “Get Heavy”. However, all the planned celebration was quickly toned down hard, as the drummer Otus passed away on February 13th. After the time of silence, the band played the confirmed gigs and Summer festivals accompanied by a musician mysteriously named as The Drummer. Another line-up change became reality in early August, when the long-time keyboard player Awa played her last gig with LORDI at the anniversary show in Rovaniemi. In late August 2012, the band went again to USA to record the sixth studio album under the production of Michael Wagener. In December, a new keyboardist (Hella) and new drummer Mana were officially announced to be the new members of LORDI.
LORDI was originally formed in 1992, when Mr. Lordi started doing demos under this name, but the project was still more or less a one-man-band, with few extra members playing guitar solos and bass here and there. The now infamous monster masks and costumes iced the cake in 1994. In 1997 guitarist Amen joined the band, alongside with keyboardist Enary and G-Stealer on bass. After a full decade of sending demos to record labels, LORDI finally secured a record deal in 2002 with BMG Finland. G-Stealer was replaced by Magnum on bass, and drummer Kita was the last one to join to complete the 5-member combo. The release of their first single “Would You Love A Monsterman” and the debut album “Get Heavy” both saw daylight that year. Before the album release, Magnum was let go and new bass player Kalma took his place.
LORDI´s bold and shameless combination of 1980´s influenced melodic Heavy Metal with the outrageous horror image immediately caught the attention of the Rock media and genre fans around the world. The band´s live shows became known for their horror film-like theatrics and bombastic pyros.
The band released their sophomore album “The Monsterican Dream” in 2004 and continued to tour in Europe, gaining fans and recognition around the world.
In 2006 LORDI went through another major line-up change. The new keyboardist Awa joined the band and Ox became the new bass player. LORDI participated in the Eurovision song contest and won the whole competition as the first and only winner from Finland, with all-time record breaking points at the time in Eurovision history.
The third album “The Arockalypse” was released within the same time frame, with the band´s own idols Udo Dirkschneider (Accept, U.D.O.), Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS), Dee Snider and Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister) appearing as guest stars. The success of the victorious single “Hard Rock Hallelujah” launched LORDI to new heights of media exposure, fan recognition and success that opened new doors for the band. Mr. Lordi´s hometown Rovaniemi named a market place area in the city center the “Lordi Square”. The LORDI brand was hot in the area of merchandising as well, with items such as LORDI postage stamps, LORDI candies and LORDI cola becoming available on the market.
In 2007 LORDI toured outside Europe for the first time, for example in Japan and in USA, where they played on Ozzfest and toured with Type O Negative. The band also released their own horror film “Dark Floors” in February 2008.
Late 2008 saw the release of “Deadache”, the band´s fourth studio album. It was a bit darker and heavier than the previous LORDI material, with the new costumes and parts of the stage show designed and built with a little help from Weta Workshop in New Zealand, award winnig cimena special effects house.
LORDI´s fifth album “Babez For Breakfast” was released in 2010. The album was produced by one of the world´s most famous heavy metal producers, Mr. Michael Wagener. Just weeks before the tour, the band´s long time drummer Kita was let go and the new drummer Otus joined in the group.