On the occasion of Fatal Smile’s ’21st Century Freaks’ album release Thunder Bitches had a nice chat with lead guitarist Mr. Y – enjoy!
TB: Describe a 21st century freak? (and don’t just say: that’s someone exactly like us ;))
MR.Y: In current usage, the word “freak” is commonly used to refer to a person with something strikingly unusual about their appearance or behaviour. The term “freaky” can also apply to a person who is sexually adventurous, or by itself as in “that person’s a freak” (in bed). As an extension of this definition, within pornography, the word can refer to someone who is viewed as being a particularly extreme sex addict, or for whom sex is a central focus of their lives.” Just take that info and add 4 bastards that happens to play in one of Sweden´s most notorious bands: FATAL SMILE and there you have a “21st Century Freak” – alive and kicking!!!
TB: How would you describe the sound of 21st Century Freaks compared to your previous albums?
MR.Y: I would say that it´s a pretty natural development since we wanted to do an “epic” album than our previous album “WORLD DOMINATION” that was more of a “stripped down” production and got more of a “live” feeling over it… We wanted a more “updated sound” but still with huge fucking balls and “in your face & larger than life” sound… With intro´s and outro´s almost like an concept album but just without any specific theme in the lyrics…Just to make it interesting to listening to…over and over again without getting tired of it… And I think we really managed to do this pretty damn well, we also have a lot of other things added on this album compared to our previous albums… We got “munk choirs from hell”, cello´s, strings, horns, bagpipes, piano just to mention a few stuff… But without sounding gay or wimpy, more just to make the “right” sound & mood for the songs…
TB: What’s your favorite song on the album – and why?
MR.Y: Hmm…That´s so fucking hard to say…Since it seems to change from day to day/week to week… But I guess one of them is “Judgement Day” since it´s got a heavy and epic feeling over it…that makes it really interesting with a really cool part in the middle… And I also just love “Welcome To The Freakshow” since it kicks you right in the face and makes you wanna raise your fist in the air and go fucking nuts….Larger than life feeling!!! It´s pretty hard to pick one favorite since I really like all the songs…in different ways…
TB: You produced and mixed the whole album yourself, together with Philty – why did you choose to do it this way? And what was the process like?
MR.Y: Yeah, since we´ve been working with legendary producers like Michael Wagener that´s done almost all the records that we all grew up listening to… Like everything from Accept, Ozzy Osbourne to Skid Row and Mötley Crüe and Stefan Glaumann famed for his work with Rammstein, Clawfinger, Backyard Babies just to name a few…And we learned a lot from these legends and we thought that the time was right for us to do it all on our own to make the “ultimate FS album” – 100% FATAL SMILE. It took almost a year to record and it was a year full of fucking frustration, hapinnes & drunkness… I mean recording an album is sure fun as hell but when you have to do everything by yourself for like 10-20 hours a day you get pretty fucked up in the end… And then “shit hits the fan” and you´re throwing out lap tops thru the window, smashing guitars & fucking up amps and shit like that… But, that´s life & you have to go thru shit like this to achieve your goals in life…and now since that´s all history we´re so fucking proud of the new album!!! We think that this album “got it all” and you can listen to it a million times and still be able to hear some new things every time, without getting fed up with the songs… That´s what I call an EPIC FUCKING ALBUM!!!
TB: Before World Domination came out in 2008, there was a complete change (except from you) in the band line-up – what initiated it?
MR.Y: I mean, everything changes in your life…for better or worse…And I always think that shit happens for a reason and no matter what, things can only get better, that´s for fucking sure!!! I mean, if you´re not 100% dedicated to rock´n roll & working your ass off just to trying to achieving “world domination” by touring the world and raising major hell…We´ll then you simply have nothing to do in FATAL SMILE, period!!! That´s simply the explanation for the several lineup changes during the years…You know, it´s like a fucking jungle…only the strong survive…
TB: In the current line-up you all have sort of ‘rock star’ or alias names – when changing the line-up did you also consciously think about changing the band’s image or did just kind happen by itself?
MR.Y: We´ll actually not really with that line-up change for the “WORLD DOMINATION” album…BUT we wanted to change our image for the new album “21ST CENTURY FREAKS” since we were fed up with always getting comments/reviews from press & media like “these good looking/pretty boys” bla, bla…so we simply said fuck that shit & let´s do something totally different since we think we´re so much more than that… Said and done, so here we are, ugly as hell & with even bigger balls than before… FATAL “Fucking” FREAKS!!!
TB: Do you ever reveal your real names?
MR.Y: Well sometimes we do…Like when we book flights etc… But besides that we don´t think it´s interesting at all…But it´s not like it´s secret or so…
TB: Who’s the biggest freak in the band – and why?
MR.Y: I guess we´re all really fucked up in this band and I think that´s why we´re getting along so well… It´s like everywhere we´re going in the world people really thinks we´re totally fucked up freaks… And we simply take turns being the biggest freak, asshole or whatever from time to time since you never know what mood we all are in and what´s going to happen…It´s like a “ticking bomb”…You´re sure it´s gonna explode but you´ll never know when/where and how much damage it will cause…
MUSIC & INSPIRATION
TB: Where do you find inspiration for writing your music and for the lyrics?
MR.Y: In life!!! Every day is different from the other so you just take some inspiration from that & mix it all up with a lot of booze & girls and you´ll have our main inspiration source for writing great songs and music… Actually the best inspiration comes to me when I´m pretty hangover… So with that in mind it´s like a really great idea to party all nite and write songs the day after…
TB: In your opinion, what is the greatest rock song ever written?
MR.Y: I would say “I Wanna Be Somebody” with W.A.S.P. or “Love Ain´t No Stranger with Whitesnake…or “Balls To The Wall” with Accept…or “The Rooster” with Alice In Chains…or “I Don´t Belive In Love” with Queensryche…or “Heaven And Hell” with Black Sabbath…or “Shout At The Devil” with Mötley Crüe…or “Holy Diver” with Dio…or “Welcome To The Jungle” with Guns ´n Roses…or “Youth Gone Wild” with Skid Row… To much great music so I can´t just choose one…Sorry!!! 😉
TB: Any personal heroes – or particular sources of musical inspiration?
MR.Y: I grew up with bands in the like Whitesnake, W.A.S.P. Dio, Mötley, Ratt, Dokken, Accept, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Twisted Sister, Ozzy, Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, Rainbow just to name a few… And my “heroes” back in the day was players like John Sykes, George Lynch, Warren De Martini, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde… Awesome players but these days I hardly listen to any one of them…
TB: Even though it appears to be much about sex (drugs) and rock n’ roll with you guys, you obviously also have a talent for writing love ballads, e.g. Broken Heart – are you all soft and romantic on the inside?
MR.Y: Hahaha…That´s really funny, cause actually we never had any ballads on our previous albums and people always asked us when are you guys gonna write a ballad and shit like that… And with that in mind we said: let´s give the people what they want and we wrote not just only one but two ballads on for the new album… And actually one of them is dedicated to Mr Ronnie James Rio – R.I.P. So the answer to your question is: yes, we are all very soft & romantic on the inside…When we´re sleeping!!! 😉
TB: Are your lyrics made from lived experience or do you dress it up a bit?
MR.Y: Hell yeah, almost 100% of the lyrics are “the real deal” & from lived experience… We don´t like things that´s “dressed up a bit”…if we´re not talking hot chicks of course…
TB: Do you have a band philosophy?- or any (freaky) band rituals before going on stage?
MR.Y: Yeah, and it´s crystal clear: “It´s better to burn out than fade away”!!! And we also have like an “unwritten law”: never ever leave any alcohol behind, no matter what!!! Before we enter the stage we usually have some drinks & building up what we call “pepp på näsan” & our TM Ola Frankki is doing his very best trying to get Blade dressed up & ready in time for the show since he have some slightly problems with the “time thing”…
TB: When going on stage what riff do you look most forward playing? - in your opinion what’s the coolest riff you’ve ever made?
MR.Y: I guess I´m looking forward to play the “S.O.B.” riff since it´s a straight in your face riff with loads of attitude & balls… Hmm…the coolest riff…???!!! That´s really fucking hard to say since I think the most of the riffs are totally fucking awesome…
TB: Besides you guys what band(s) do you think really rock the hard rock scene at the moment?
MR.Y: I´m sure there are shit loads of bands that´s really kicking it really hard & good…but I’m hardly listening to any hardrock music these days since I´m all fed up with that kind of music & I prefer some relax music to recharge my fucked up brain with…
TB: As a band FS has spend a lot of time on the road – how do you guys manage (prepare mentality/physically) ‘to bring it’ 100 % night after night?
MR.Y: Yeah, we understand that people sometimes think it´s hard to “bring it” 100% night after night but we never really have these problems since we love what we´re doing and our primetime is on stage, no matter if you have to puke 2 min before show, we still manage to get up and deliver 100%. That´s what´s it´s all about, all or nothing!!!
TB: You kind of get the idea that being on tour with Fatal Smile is more or less mayhem – describe a typical day on tour?
MR.Y: It is a total mayhem and I guess you can ask any of the bands that we´ve been touring with regarding this… We´re just a bunch of natural born “freaks” that like to rock and roll…It´s easy as that!!! Typical day on tour: get in to the venue, have some drinks & food, sound check, drinks, interviews, prepare for the show with some drinks, show time, meet & greet/signing/photo sessions, more drinks, party all nite + take care of all the groupies, hopefully get back to the bus in time before take off…sleep… and then it all starts over and over again… It´s a never ending story and we´ve been in a million of different & “unreal” situations during our tours…
TB: Has there ever been any ‘chick fights’ in the tour bus?
MR.Y: Actually not since we rather have the chicks to “make love and not war” with each other & it really seems to work out so far…
TB: On your band site it seems that you’d like to appear as quite the ‘scandalous’ band – are you trying to exceed Mötley Crüe in outrageous lifestyle?
MR.Y: No, we´re not trying to do that in any way… This is just the way things ends up when we´re on the roll…even if we´re trying really hard to not fuck up things and having like less drinks/dry bus or whatsoever things always manage to spin out of control…and crazy shit happens all the time…
TB: What’s the freakiest thing you’ve ever experienced on tour?
MR.Y: It´s really hard to remember it all… The guys “forgot” me & Alx in Toronto since they were all fucked up (including our TM) and when they woke up in Cleveland the day after they realized that we wasn´t in our bunkers… Alx & I had no phones with us so we got these 2 chicks to drive us to Cleveland and the rest of the guys didn´t even know if we were alive or if we´re gonna make it to the show…But finally we made it there, just 10 min before show time… That was pretty epic & people was pretty pissed at us…. And then, when we we´re in Wales… We´ll, fuck it, I´ll tell you that story next time… 😉
TB: Fatal Smile recently played in Copenhagen at the venue Sin City – how was that? Did anything sinful happen at Sin City?
MR.Y: That was really fun & we had a total blast, as always in Denmark!!! We love Copenhagen – the city of SIN!!! You have some cool strip clubs & really awesome swinger clubs that we don´t have in Stockholm…& we love your beer & your open minded women are to die for…You can bet your ass off something sinful happened…
TB: What’s your favorite brand of liquor? – is it the same for all the guys?
MR.Y: Actually, as long as it contains alcohol we´ll drink it for sure!!! Me & Alx are really good” friends” of Absolut Vodka and Don Pérignon, Blade is “in love with” Jim Beam & really loves beer, no matter brand he´ll drink it for sure!!! Philty likes ém all from Jack Daniels to Cristal Champagne…
TB: The last couple of years you’ve more or less only been touring Europe – do you have any plans for a new US tour or a world tour?
MR.Y: We´re actually working on a US tour for next year, we´ve been waiting for this a long time and finally it seem like we´ll be able to make it happen…I mean we had our release party for “WORLD DOMINATION” in Hollywood, Los Angeles in 2008 and we have a bunch of “die hard fans” that want us back…And also we´re working on a trip to Japan again since we toured there in 2007 and we feel that it´s time to get back for some more sake, sushi & the lovely geisha´s… And we also have some plans for some new countries that we haven´t been to yet…
TB: In an interview with ‘Queens of Steel’ Blade said: ‘achieving world domination isn’t done in a whiplash!’ At the moment how close are FS to succeed this goal? – And do you think you’ll have a quarrel with Steel Panther? Because, reportedly, they too are aiming for WD.
MR.Y: Fuck yeah, we´re really close to achieving that now, really… 😉 I mean we just trying to get out there and show the world what a really great rock show should be like: loud, bombastic with bombs, fire, pyro & smoke – it´s spelled entertaining!!! A lot of band get up and play really great & shit like that but their stage performance & show is like: “what the fuck?? are they still in the rehearsal room or on a stage playing in front of an audience”??? Boring as fuck!!! We prefer a kick ass show with an attitude from hell than playing it all 100% right etc…As I said, it´s only rock´n roll & we never said that we´re perfect…we´re just a bunch of kick ass motherfuckers having a blast entertaining people on our way to for world domination… And no worries regarding a quarrel with Steel Panther – they can have all the ugly chicks on their way to WD and we take all the good looking chicks!!!
TB: Where do you see Fatal Smile in three years from now?
MR.Y: Hopefully where we really belong: On The Top Of The World – Headlining all the festivals from “Sweden Rock Festival” to “Loud Park” in Japan – instead of all the “old bands” that´s been doing that shit for way to long time now!!! it´s time for a change!!!
TB: Last but not least, is there anything in particular you’ll like to share with your fans? – any brand new, not yet revealed, Fatal Smile news?
MR.Y: I just wanna thank you all for buying our new album and NOT for beeing such a greedy bastards that just download´s it on the web for free… Keep it real and support real music and expect some great fucking news during this fall…LET´S GET “FATALIZED”!!!
© Thunder Bitches