How does it feel to be alive in 2014?
Suzi Sabotage: Better than dead, but this age of pointless indulgence and lack of artistry in music feels very awkward to me. I hate the contemporary Zeitgeist.
Andy Taylor: I feel lucky. If I were born in Europe in the 17th century, I would have probably being burnt on a stake well before reaching my 30s.
What sort of things make you smile?
Suzi: I don’t smile. It’s overrated.
Andy: A good melody, the colours of a sunset, a task accomplished.
What kind of things bring tears to your eyes?
Suzi: Stupidity and ignorance.
Andy: Cruelty on animals and on innocent people.
Do you feel free to do what you like?
Suzi: In the most of occasions. If I don’t, I’ll do it anyway.
Andy: I think so. I’m not really a serial killer.
Have you learnt ways to turn life’s obstacles into opportunities?
Suzi: Yes, like abandonment of those regressive and lazy musicians in last June turned into an opportunity to get new ones into Masquerade and evolve in many ways.
Andy: Hopefully, yes. “Be water, my friend” (cit.).
What makes a dream feel real? And how do you know that you are alive, and not living in a dream?
Suzi: I sometimes encounter very realistic pain in my nightmares. My life has been so full of absurd events thus far that I don’t know, and actually don’t even care.
Andy: Probably the degree of involvement of our consciousness in the facts and sensations described in the dream. Of course I can’t be certain of the contrary, but if I were living in a dream, then I’d myself be a projection…so whatever, this is the Reality for me.
Play dead? How does that work? What is the trick to pretend to be emotionless, motionless, non-existing? Do you often or ever feel like that?
Suzi: In fact that song is about being hunted after and attacked, playing dead being the only way to survive. Going against every instinct in your body and turning limp instead of trying to escape or fight when it’s pointless.
What kind of people do you feel inspired by, what sort of personalities do you enjoy to be near to? What sort of creatures do you rather spend hardly any time with?
Suzi: I feel inspired by eccentric people that are impulsive and drastic in their ideas and appearance. Personalities near me should give room to my ego. I can’t stand narrow-minded human beings, shallowness.
Andy: I feel inspired by people who can follow their ambitions and second their will to power successfully, yet honestly. I like being surrounded by talent, so that I can improve as a person. I hate mediocrity and superficiality.
Life…music…passion…What have you learnt through them?
Suzi: Life is sick eased by music when passion drives it.
Andy: Life is too precious to be wasted in anger, enjoy it through music and passion.
What are you like on and off stage?
Suzi: Being on stage is a lot like a marathon, battle for survival… collision of orgasmic enjoyment and agony. Being off stage is just killing time until another show.
Andy: On stage I’m honestly showing myself to the people, being one with the music. Off stage between concerts, I’m practicing to improve and deliver better performances.
Your band has a layer of fresh energy, a gentle reminder of how things should sound like when you are in a postpunk band… catchy tracks, punkish simplicity, vocals to die for. As if Siouxsie Sioux was born Finnish… I do often wonder how much of our personality and life is influenced by the culture we are born into, the place you live in, the kind of people you mix with.. what are your thoughts on this? Do you feel there is a side of you that was hugely influenced by Finland, as a nation?
Suzi: Yes, there’s a significant amount of antisociality in me, this air of coldness towards other people. Living in a place that’s mostly dark and callous has influenced every aspect of my artistry.
Daylight and warmth dodges Finland. Then there’s the Russian temperament and sense of drama that has shaped my performances into fireworks of drastic elements.
When you are visiting London, what sort of things do you seek out…places, people, experiences?
Suzi: T.Chances is a great punk venue, I’ve played there twice already. Then some macabre historical sights, I like to go to anciently old places and breathe in the history.
Andy: I’ve never been to London (shame on me!). I can’t wait to discover a city with so much charm and history. And I’ll be looking for the platform 9 3⁄4 too.
Nina Hagen…and you? What is the connection?
Suzi: I adore the versatility of her voice and her striking appearance. There’s a touch of madness and talent of her that doesn’t leave one cold.
Joy Division and you? Any thoughts?
Suzi: Ages ago we used to play “Leaders of Men” as a cover. Nothing else I can think of.
Repeated patterns of behaviour…of any kind?
Suzi: Hatred, sadism, debauchery.
Andy: Perfectionism, narcissism, annoyance.
You know, those emotions that you struggle to cope with, and they are meant to be meaningful lessons to learn… bad habits you really should quit?
Suzi: I should really quit being so overtly bright and nice to people.
Andy: I should work a bit less and stop being annoyed so much by superficiality.
If you were thrown back and forth in time in the music world, what kind of experiences would you like to explore? Where would you like to go, who would you like to meet?
Suzi: France in the turn of 1930’s and 1940’s, then England in the turn of seventies and eighties. I would’ve liked to meet Edith Piaf.
Andy: Europe and US, late 60s/early 70s. Meeting Miles Davis and seeing his Bitches Brew tour, Cream on their Farewell tour and Black Sabbath, King Crimson and Led Zeppelin in their prime!
Who would you invite for your own funeral?
Suzi: No one, I want to be thrown to wolves (or alternatively on rocks to vultures) to be consumed by them.
Andy: Usually you don’t invite people to your funeral…unless it’s your wedding.
Have you got any favourite pieces of music or other forms of art that you are particularly drawn to, and feel close to at the moment?
Suzi: Moody classical music and psychedelic pieces of eighties. Early 20th century fashion (French in particular) and PreRaphaelite art.
Andy: Jazz fusion, 2oth century classical (e.g. Prokofiev, Messiaen…), surrealism.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
Suzi: I wanted to be a vocalist and a mafioso.
What advice would you give to the young you… with your current life experience and wisdom?
Suzi: Express yourself more. Gather knowledge.
Andy: Be perseverant, and talk less.
What are your earliest childhood memories?
Suzi: Teaching myself languages.
Andy: The falling snow, and the mountains all around.
Are you a creature of habit? Or unplanned adventures?
Suzi: Both. I’m an entwinement of neurotic and impulsive.
Andy: Feet firmly planted on the ground, arms ready to catch the right opportunities.
What is it like to be you? On a good day and on a bad day?
Suzi: To all of those: chaos.
Andy: I’m generally focused and optimistic, though on a bad day I tend to be frustrated.
What strategies have you got to deal with the chaos of the world around you?
Suzi: Shredding it to pieces and reassembling again.
Andy: I try to isolate from it. Inner focus.
Where do you hide away from the stress? Where is your sanctuary?
Suzi: At my place with no living soul around. I can go from being an extrovert to a complete lone wolf.
Andy: Home. Me, my guitars, my books.
Do you read any music magazines, if yes, what are they?
Suzi: Toinen Vaihtoehto zine I write columns in and Maximum Rock’nroll.
Where would you recommend me to visit for a “goth hearted” visit in the area where you live now? Are there any/many Goth clubs? What’s the music/goth scene like where you are?
Suzi: Probably Klub Kalma / Deadly Beat. I enjoy myself more in punk hangouts.
Andy: Club Anvil at Lady Moon, every last Thursday of each month.
I imagine you are very much like a DIY person. Have you ever walked into a room and bumped into someone wearing the exact same dress/top/outfit?
Suzi: No, I don’t think that’s happened ever. Some of the best of my outfits have been made from in example curtains and sheets. I even make my own shoes. Nobody else knows so well how I want to look like.
What do you see when you close your eyes?
Suzi: Thin skin and veins paired with hallucinations.
Andy: Nothing, as I want it to be.
If I was living life as you for a day or two, what kind of thoughts would I have? What kinds of dreams/nightmares would I have? What would be a morning routine for me? What would I do if someone upset me? What would I do to calm myself down?
Suzi: Anxiety and restlessness. Dreams of strange and absurd places, being intoxicated. Morning routine of frying hipsters for breakfast. You would make effort to destroy that certain someone. Drink and do drugs.
Andy: Planning and executing. Surreal dreams including your aspirations. Consuming a good breakfast while going mentally through the day’s tasks. Dismantling the person with words of harsh judgement. Meditate and/or grab an instrument and play.
What part do you play in society?
Suzi: Con artist.
Andy: The demanding teacher.
Would you like to time travel one day? If yes, where and when?
Suzi: I have it already, this year I’ve been to America, Russia, Holland, Germany, Estonia, Czech Republic and Spain and still have some to spare.
Andy: Giza, Egypt, ca. 2550 BC. To see how the Hell they could build those pyramids.
Do you believe in magic?
Suzi: I’d like to believe I have cast spells on people. Voodoo and witchcraft are very entertaining.
Andy: If you define Karma and Prana as magic, then yes.
Message for my readers?
Suzi: Get us gigs. Get our EP and torment thy neighbour with it.
Andy: Come to our gigs, you’ll enjoy them. Promised.