This interview was conducted by a fanzine (the name of which won’t be mentioned), that Masquerade members later found out to be seriously contradictory against their beliefs and denied, by Suzi, printing this interview on their pages. In any case, we decided not to waste the effort of her having already answered these questions, so the responses to questions are published on this page in full. The questions by the zine were replaced with topics.
About finding punk music:
I first got addicted to punk when I was 15, it was something different from what I had ever heard. The attitude, the clothing, the rage in music all appealed to me more strongly than anything else before. I used to be quite lost and at very least feeling different from everybody else until I discovered punk. I still consider myself unlike anyone else, even in the punk circles, but that music has empowered and showed me to the right direction.
About the birth of punk in Finland:
To my knowledge, punk came ashore Finland quite early, first popular acts being Ratsia in classic punk and Terveet Kädet in hardcore punk department. Lama is my favorite of early bands, it’s something in between those two subgenres. Since it was some twenty years before my birth, I have no idea which was the first English band to make themselves known here, I guess Sex Pistols but they were banned from performing in Finland by the government. Eppu Normaali even made a terrific song about it. Maybe Finland is more specialized in hardcore because the young punks drank too much to play something else than two chords following each other… haha. I honestly don’t know, but Finnish hardcore sounds great, I find it the best hardcore there is – and it hasn’t even anything to do with me being from Finland, believe me – at least something well done by this country, culture-wise!
About how widespread and active the punk scene is in Finland:
I believe that in every city and town of Finland there’s some punks to be found. Doesn’t mean that the gigs are well attended – some of them are, but it feels like punk and goth people (especially the latter) tend to get stuck re-watching their favorite YouTube videos from the 80’s rather than frequenting the concerts – also I’ve heard about some scenesters rather sulking at home than going to parties where they might run into some people they don’t like (usually for childish reasons). Well, good riddance!
About how long it did take from being just a listener to becoming a musician:
It didn’t take me long to form a band. From the very start I was looking for band members for a project where I would sing. First I tried it out in a sex-pistols-like band which played covers of Finnish and foreign ’77 bands (that was approximately in late 2008), but that didn’t work out and I already got hooked on hardcore. I pieced together a four-member hardcore band which happened to be all-female, but that turned out to be so called positive accident, because it was still quite rare. And the thing was to be as snotty and chaotic as “the boys” – we didn’t care about gender roles, except when we parodized them.
About being a young band and how were the gigs all around the world obtained:
Masquerade was established already in late 2012, so we’re not that young. Virgin in Veil is much younger. I (and Jacques after he joined) have worked hell of a lot to get those gigs, that shouldn’t be overlooked. Other than that, our merit is that we give 100% whenever we perform and contribute a lot to the diversity and passion of our music, as well as the visual side. I don’t give a shit about writing same-sounding material with most of the lyrics about graveyards. I’ll rather do a jazz-influenced song to mix things up a bit, and it would be about something more twisted and challenging. That’s what makes Masquerade so interesting.
About the difference of two bands and the point of having them separately:
In Virgin in Veil I only sing backing vocals and play synth. The two bands are as different as vodka and wine. And they were so from each other from the very start, there wasn’t even a question of merging them together.
About either working or leading a freer lifestyle, not giving a shit about i.e. politics and religion:
I currently study. Well, I always study, in one way or another. It would be the greatest achievement for me to get all my living from the music, nothing grand, but enough to pay the rent of where I and Jacques live, food and some nights out, and of course all the gigging expenses. I do give a shit about politics and religion, although I do not take part in either, I think everybody should possess at least the minimal understanding of how society works, because you just cannot escape it and your everyday choices make a huge difference. It’s better though not to care about politics and not vote, than think that you know enough and vote for some redneck and/or celebrity just because they are entertaining or make the noises you want to hear. I read a lot, most of it about things that really matter and touch every one of us. If you just want to drink beer and go to punk shows that’s fine, but at least don’t put your money into beer that intentionally destroys environment and go to shows that are in reality put up by nazis.
About the subjects of lyrics:
In Masquerade I sing about myriad of themes. On top of it it’s about dark mazes of human mind, also sadism, animal rights, intoxication, masochism, warfare and infanticide. The new album consists of two main traits in lyrics: obedience and obsession.
About current dispute in field of immigration:
Both my mother and my husband are immigrants, from Russia and France. I stand firmly in my position that cultures should mix and new people flow into this country, especially if they are in need of it. Fuck borders and nations. The greatest richness is in diversity and I’m very happy to be bilingual from birth and married to someone from such a different background. People who are xenophobic and oppressive towards foreigners are just incestuous losers. This is what I think and I’m not afraid to voice my opinion, especially in the frighteningly and openly racist environment that has rooted itself into Finland, and not only the ordinary folk but as well politicians and authorities. I hate those patriotic motherfuckers.
About how Masquerade has ended up on television:
We got approached via internet to give an interview/a feature on those TV channels. It isn’t usual for underground bands like us to appear on television, so I guess they saw something in us that is different from the other bands. We certainly never asked for it ourselves. We don’t even have a television in our household with Jacques, since 2010 I haven’t lived under the same roof with that shitbox. Nevertheless, it has been some good promotion.