The original questions and answers, which then were translated in German.
When (and where) did you start playing together as a band?
Suzi Sabotage: The band found its first prominent line-up in the very end of 2012.
What´s your current line-up?
S: In addition to myself, Jacques Saph (bass), Rudy Soininen (guitar) and William Freyermuth (drums).
When did Jacques Saph join the band?
S: In spring 2015.
Did this have any impact on the sound of the band?
S: Oh yes, he turned things for a completely new course. For example, “Panic Paranoia” is (lyrics excluded) fully his handiwork. He has transformed the whole “Ritual” album for better.
What have been the band´s releases up to now?
S: Three-track demo in 2013, EP “Blood is the New Black” in 2014 and LP “Ritual” in 2016.
What sort of feedback have you had so far?
S: I only read reviews if they are brought to me, because most important feedback comes from the fans and your own satisfaction with your music. I’d say it has been very good so far.
How did the cooperation with Danse Macabre/Bruno Kramm, come about?
S: It was Jacques who recommended me Danse Macabre in the first place, so I sent a message to them and got an enthusiastic response. We met up with Bruno last August in Helsinki, and wheels were set in motion from there.
When did you start to record “Ritual” and how long did it take to finish it?
S: As perhaps all the previous and future Masquerade material, it was a bit of a struggle to finish “Ritual”. The absolute best result of it can be heard from the digital and CD release, where we enhanced the sound from the vinyl. We did an unexpected amount of work ourselves, with me recording my own vocals in full and me and Jacques doing the final mix and mastering. The whole process started by recording “Panic Paranoia” in October 2015 and the latest format of it, the CD, was released a year after.
The up-tempo songs like “Drawn And Quartered” and “Panic Paranoia” are quite catchy. Is this the reason you choose “Drawn And Quartered” as opener?
S: I was playing with the idea of “Deathmarch” being the first track, but “Drawn and Quartered” seemed a stronger option, fast and direct. Co-incidentally, it’s a pro-animal rights song. as was the opener of “Blood is the New Black”.
Can you please tell me more about these two songs?
S: Both are compositions of Jacques Saph, it can probably be heard from them.
The more atmospheric ones like “Siberia” and “ANGST” are kind of creepy: Can you please give me background information about these two songs? What´s the meaning of the Russian intro which opens “Siberia”?
S: I’m glad you think so! Disturbing people is always fun. Well, “Siberia” is about my childhood memories from Russia, for I am half-Russian and used to spend time there every year. It’s a mixture of flashbacks and fantasy, the lyrics. “ANGST” then is a depiction of how we are constantly distracted from real-world issues like war, right-wing propaganda and others, being drugged by shallow showbiz.
Do you have a favourite own song? Why?
S: From Ritual, I most like “Deathmarch”, “Salt the Earth”, “Siberia” and “With Razorblades”, they turned out the best for me. Also new songs we are currently working on, the titles of them I’ll leave unrevealed, they’re very primitive and hallucinatory.
Do you mind being compared?
S: To some degree, yes, because everybody does that. If the comparisons are the only descriptions of our music, it’s fucking dull and unimaginative. People, especially critics, should respect themselves more than that.
Are there any bands that influenced you? What are your main influences?
S: Plenty! The chamelion-like genius of Siouxsie and the Banshees is an obvious one, then X-Mal Deutschland, The Creatures, Miranda Sex Garden, Cocteau Twins, Jefferson Airplane (with Grace Slick), Schoolyard Heroes, t.A.T.u and many more.
Where do you draw the inspiration for your lyrics from?
S: From the complexity of human mind, my own and others, as the chief inspiration. Others include the tragedies and issues of the world, documentaries, stories I’ve read and watched on screen.
What are your songs about?
S: The main theme of Ritual, for example, is obsession and obedience.
How much of yourself goes into your music?
S: Any amount of time I feel inspired. The rest goes to planning and organizing our future shows and other band related stuff. I hate so-called everyday routines, I don’t cook, furnish my home, have other hobbies than reading and nightclubbing, I would prefer a life mostly on the road, touring.
How would you describe your music in your own words?
S: Intense, theatrical, dark.
What bands did you already play together with?
S: Mostly we share the stage with Virgin in Veil.
What´s next on the band´s agenda?
S: The world conquest, bien sûr! We are laying down the groundwork for the tours next year, and ache to present some new material is enormous, so very soon we will introduce new songs.
When can we expect to see you live in Germany?
S: Next year, more info to be announced soon.
Will there be a tour to promote the album?
S: There already was, last September, that’s why it was called “Ritual Celebration Tour”.
Can you please tell me more about the “Art museum punk: Masquerade & Virgin in Veil” gig in January?
S: I was approached by the curator of the renovated art museum in Vantaa, and we wound up having our LP cover (both sides!) on display in the exhibition. Now we are setting up a gig together with Virgin in Veil in their premises. It’s a very refreshing change from all the typical venues we’ve been playing at, and is going to be a lot of fun and frolics!
What´s the underground scene like where you live?
S: The punk/hardcore punk scene is very widespread, the deathrock/goth one quite small-scale. I wish there were many more gigs of the latter genre, for now the amount of them is painfully limited. Parties there are quite many a month, but not live shows.
Any final comments?
S: You can follow us on http://facebook.com/masqueradepunk, stay tuned for many new activities we have ahead of us.