Turmion Kätilöt: Live on a Sofa

This band is quite controversial, once you dig a little deeper. The performers you witness on stage – e.g. at Helsinki Metal Meeting here – are very difficult to relate to the actual men behind: Warm, pleasant, humane and actually not all that threatening! This is STALKER´s second talk with the notorious “Midwives”, who revealed even more personal and curious facts and band stories. So whilst you let their show and music inspire and satisfy your fetishes, let´s get to know MC Raaka Pee (Petja) and Spellgoth (Tuppi) a little better!
(You can also read their comments on the 7 sins  here  )

MC Raaka Pee: and for you to know, we are the singers in the band. My name is MC Raaka Pee and he is…
Spellgoth: …spekkelis-spokkolis…
MC Raaka Pee: …Spellgoth.
Spellgoth: You know, I saw his flat, and there´s room to do everything! It´s his house, his sister´s house, and he´s renting it from her and there´s huge space and a studio, and I was astonished. I live in a little flat and my LPs and CDs take almost all part of it and my wife´s shoes take the other part!

Are you married?!
Spellgoth: I´m not married, but I tend to call her my wife. We are so connected! For the first time we saw I couldn´t talk about anything else than Ulla. She´s like my…
…second half?
Spellgoth: no-no, I´m more like one third of our life, she´s the other two-thirds, at least.

This is too cute for this kind of interview!!! (all laugh) Now, come on!
How do you feel now about the U.S.C.H. album, it´s been a few months since it´s out…

Spellgoth: it´s the best one so far. When MC Raaka Pee gave me the songs the first time, as a preview, there are only two songs in which I sing on the album. When we play live, I sing more, but on the album I´m only in those two. It´s like MC Raaka Pee makes all the music, he sings, he plays, it´s his show.
Doesn´t that bother you? You´re also part of that band, you´re the face of it..
Spellgoth: it´s a great honour for me to be in Turmion Kätilöt, like I told you. When I first heard them I just thought how great it would be to play or sing in that band one day.

So what´s your impression on bands like Satyricon, who did idolize themselves, when the front man rules the entire parade?
MC Raaka Pee: I don´t know… I don´t think there´s anything wrong if somebody does it because they have the right to do it…
Spellgoth: …yeah…
MC Raaka Pee: if somebody does something which is great for some people, I don´t mind, all the glory… But me, no, I don´t need it.
Spellgoth: I´ve listened to Satyricon for at least 10 years or something, but the last albums, I don´t like the music, and I´ve seen all the gigs they´ve had in Finland, and a lot of the last ones have been like this rock attitude, but it´s like MC Raaka Pee said, if they want it, get it then. For some bands, like HIM, it´s ok. But black metal isn´t about that, it´s about Satan and such things, not for glorifying yourselves, or for putting up monuments for yourself. So that´s why I don´t like new Satyricon, but still, I have them in my heart.

What is the difference between MC Raaka Pee and Petja?
MC Raaka Pee: well, Petja is a daddy and MC Raaka Pee is an artist. Petja is also an artist and a musician, a composer, but MC Raaka Pee is the crazy guy on stage. After the gig ends, that guy goes away, so it´s just that character, who´s only for the Turmion Kätilöt music. MC Raaka Pee means “MC Raw P”, as in letter “P”, nothing else. But Petja also starts with a “P”, so maybe there´s the trick, I don´t know…

You have children then?
MC Raaka Pee: yes, I have twins, a boy and a girl, who just had their 2-year birthday.

So then do you think the kind of music you make and the kind of artist you are, have an influence on what kind of parent you are?
MC Raaka Pee: well… I´m not sure, but our kids they really scream a lot and often have a moshpit (laughs), I think in some it influences in some way. I produce and record many other bands, so there are always a lot of rock musicians in our house and eventually I think that will have an influence on the kids too and the atmosphere they are growing up in.

Anyhow, do you think this album is different to the previous?
Spellgoth: if you listen to it, it´s like night and day! This one is more playful…

It reminds me of the 90s, E-Type´s “No, no…”
Spellgoth: yeah! Only not E-Type, but 2Unlimited! That was an influence, of course. Petja is… I mean, MC Raaka Pee is an old fan of the 90s and he´s been doing those DJ gigs, Euro-techno stuff, he has almost 2000 singles of all that stuff, Leila K and stuff, and all that has been a huge influence on Turmion Kätilöt´s music.

It´s just somehow on this record I could hear it a lot clearer than before.
Spellgoth: this time we had more freedom, there was no one to tell us what to do. Well, actually Spinefarm never told us anything for the first albums also, so we… I mean, MC Raaka Pee always had the freedom to do whatever wanted. It was his time to experiment with the sounds and the equipment, and being the talented guy he is, it always comes out amazing. And we are all more than happy to play with him on stage, but we don´t interfere with the studio process. When you´re in the studio, it´s always pain in the ass to make an album, just to do the lines, do it again, sing the lines, more, more, more. Here we just meet, drink together, go on stage, have a good time.

Which song here do you think is the “Teurastaja” of the new record?
Spellgoth: mmmm… I think the last songs “Million Dollar Business” and “Hardest” are the ones, because they have the indent sound on them and those are the absolute killers for me! First time when I heard “Hardest”, I listened to it at my homes and I was just rolling on the floor and laughing – “what the fuck is happening?!” – this is the best song I´ve heard in a very long time!

On this album also you´ve a few more songs in English, which is a bit unusual for you.
Spellgoth: yes. I´ve made some lyrics for the new album, I´ve made one whole song and some lines for the others, and I´ve made the layout for the CD.

That´s why there´s you on the cover?
Spellgoth: yes (laughs). I don´t want to cast myself into a statue, but I want to be on the cover of a CD! Is it so obvious that it´s me? I gave my mother and father this CD, and they were like “yes, our son is on the cover, it is you: why?” Actually I came home at 5am, after working at Inferno Bar, and MC Raaka Pee told me that I should make the covers. There´s a shirt that´s red and black and has the same picture on it, as the cover of “U.S.C.H.” , only the outlines and even from just those outlines my parents recognised me!

So being on the cover must be pretty good for your ego?
Spellgoth: no! But what should I do? Call my neighbour and photograph them to be on the cover? No! Myself was the only thing I had at hand to produce any kind of material for that cover.

Do you think that the cover image somehow relates to the content of the album?
Spellgoth: well, U.S.C.H. means usch! It´s a reference to one of the most famous persons from our home-town, which is Kuopio. This person is insane in the brain, he won the silver medal in karate of Sweden, Finland and Norway, he´s like the Scandinavian champion. And he´s always going like: “USCH! My white warrior brother! USCH!” And so here´s how we have the album name. So the image on the cover is like a prayer – “don´t kill me”.

What are the lyrics about?
Spellgoth: there´s no concept or anything, but just like all Kätilöt songs there´s everything that comes into your head: lust, life, hate, love, food, Haddaway, Leila K.

Yes Leila K and Turmion Kätilöt are inseparable! And then, how does it feel for you to be on stage, especially towards the end of the show?
Spellgoth: very good. It´s the best thing! Actually no, not the best thing. The best thing is to be next to my lovely girlfriend, having an intercourse, or different things, going into different orifices of the body. But the second best thing is to be on stage with Turmion Kätilöt. It´s an interaction between people. There are some who are showing their middle finger, even though they like the gig and you´re all pumped up and keep going forward. Sometimes when I cut myself on stage, it feels sooooooo… It doesn´t even have to do with the pain, but it just flows and it´s great and really fun! There´s never a bad feeling when I´m on stage, although a few times I´ve had bad migraine attacks.

Would you say you´re shy?
MC Raaka Pee: (to Spellgoth) are we shy?
Spellgoth: do YOU think we are shy? (MC Raaka Pee laughs) At least our band is very outgoing, we´ve met our fans… What was that place? Pohjanmaa, which is in the west of Finland, we call it “the knife area”, because everyone carries a knife there. So we were in Pohjanmaa, and this guy who sells our shirts, and I and Petja/MC Raaka Pee was there for a little while, we went to the market get some beers, we´ve met some local people, we were just drinking with them, and they asked about the band, we told them, they were like “wow!!” and were “so what?! We´re just like you here, drinking!” And we played a gig when we carried sofa on the stage, and played the gig only for the people on that sofa, in Kalajoki…
MC Raaka Pee: …in a place that takes 2000 people, and we had two gigs at the same place on different days, and we were wondering where´s the audience and only 7 people came…
Spellgoth: …and only 6 watched the gig!
MC Raaka Pee: …and we thought if we should cancel the gig, but nooooo, let´s play!
Spellgoth: so we carried the sofa on stage, took the drinks from backstage and our mixer just turned off the PA system, and only mixed the monitors on the stage, so the whole gig we played to the sofa!
MC Raaka Pee: and we asked them if we should take a pause, go smoke some cigarettes, so we went, and then asked them if they wanted more songs, so we played some more, so that was unexpectedly a very private gig. But the next day there was about a 1000 people…
Spellgoth: 700 actually, so quite a difference between the two days!

What kind of effect does alcohol have on you?
Spellgoth: a lot of my friends, when they drink alcohol, it´s like “rähinäviinaa” in Finnish, when they take alcohol, they become violent and aggressive, but we are the total opposite! When we take beer or some stronger alcohol, it´s more soothing for us, we sit and laugh and talk good things, remembering the past times and everything.

Is there anything that you think should be added to those sins?
Spellgoth: if we think what a sin is, or if we invert it – “what is love? – baby don´t hurt me” – well, I would think that from those classic seven, half aren´t even sins at all, to me. They are just a part of human life. In 20th centuries I would only add drugs to those sins. I have never used any, I´m trying to keep myself away from even basic painkillers, everything´s that not natural. Even when I have a headache, I don´t even take anything! Also pot, although it is natural, but I´ve seen so many times that it just makes your lazy and careless and indifferent, so yeah, drugs would be my addition to the deadly sins.

Actually Vatican has already added another new 6 ones to those original 7 and drugs was one of them…
Spellgoth: Ok, only I won´t collaborate with Vatican. I want to see Vatican in flames.

I´m curious of your impression of the new Rammstein? I´m not sure it fits them…
Spellgoth: ?!?!?!? WHAT!!!?????? When I heard that first single for the first time, I didn´t see the video, I only heard the song, and I really liked it! Because it´s so rude and so straight-forward. Well, it´s classic Rammstein, isn´t?! It´s telling: “you have a pussy, I have a dick-ah…” and it´s just like joking around with the subject, it´s not offending anyone. When I saw the video, for me it wasn´t anything shocking, offensive or porn even, it was just fun! And the faces they´ve made… fun! And that line “I can´t get laid in Germany” – so it´s like doing their thing! We played one time with Rammstein in Turku and the bass player and guitar player were drinking with us, and we had to pause our gig for almost an hour because there was this thunderstorm right at the top where we were playing, and the venue was pumped up with Rammstein pyros and stuff, so we had to pause, so those two guys just came to where we were and they were like “hey, this is really great, something that we´d like to do!”

What kind of a DVD was this that MC Raaka Pee made the music for?
MC Raaka Pee: it was a Sideshow night here in Helsinki, with one group from Las Vegas, one from Norway and one from Finland, called the Savers…
Spellgoth: …formally known as Circus Mundus Absurdus, two guys from there, Lassi and Jussi, and they arranged this Sideshow night. Jussi wanted MC Raaka Pee to make the music, but on quite short deadlines.

You´ve the same tattoo, as Mikko from Swallow the Sun…
Spellgoth: or Mikko has the same tattoo as me! We are very good friends. I´ve heard his other band some 10 years ago and back then we had those oldfashioned phones that you had to dial… Mikko´s a little younger than me, so he was living with his parents back then, we were like 13 and 14 years old then. I called Mikko and his mother answered… and since then we´ve been best friends. You should do a separate interview with Mikko and me, because we´ve had so much mischiefs and happenings together the last 10 years! We are almost like brothers you can´t separate! And so we took the same tattoos, first me, than him, also the singer of Sotajumala before that… Pentagram over the heart is very common. We didn´t plan it, we just happened to have the same wish. When we had that incident when we had blowjobs on the stage, in Kouvula… * The picture on the tabloid showed my chest and tattoo on it, and Mikko´s parents called him to ask what the hell has he done on stage, and Mikko said that no-no, not him, it´s Tuppi there, Tuomas from Turmion Kätilöt, and they were like “ah, Tuppi…” because I´m also close with his parents.

Other than that, any other bad consequences of that incident?
Spellgoth: yes, I was wanted with the police. I went to get my new passport and they were like “hey, go to a different office, because in the papers it says that you´re wanted” because I haven´t paid the fine for the gig, I was charged to pay 300 Euros for that gig. And I didn´t do anything, it was our bonus-performers who did the blowjobs, I wasn´t even in it! Even Mikko told me then “great promotional trick you did!” and we were like, “no fucking way!” This was no promotion in any way, because on the next day´s morning my grandmother calls me – “what the fuck you have done?!” – yeah… And my mother, who´s a teacher, and her students know my band and of course they were like “TUPPI!!!” and she was like…
…“That´s my boy!!!”
(all laugh)
Spellgoth: of course as a band we want to do shocking stuff, but this one only brought us negative things. We want to make it sophisticated, at least, not like doing blowjobs on stage. When we asked the people on stage at that gig, that the last song is “Karsi” and that means “suffer”, so make some SM scene, use whips and all that, but they went all the way on the stage and we were like “yeah…” And when it´s already happening, you can´t stop it!! And when your grandmother calls you the next day, that´s not the result you aim at.
Author: Marina Sidyakina, transl & photos Klaudia Weber
* some years ago a TK concert in a youth center became a “scandal”, because contrary to Finnish pracitses also underage crowds were allowed, and they came with their parents… (the ed.)


GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski