Saatanan Marionetit: Pure evil with a grin
Finland seems to be the number one nation in delivering this abundant supply of remarkable bands, like this one. Haunting live stages since 2004, they naturally caught our attention (Night Of Insanity). But let’s simply have those devil’s marionettes tell us their story themselves…
You have been around for quite a while, could you tell us a bit about the band history – the founders, the idea behind it, and who is currently in the line-up (introducing the band members)?
SM: It all started on a drunken night in 2004, Hiski The Satanick Dominator and Jui Satan came up with the name. Hiski never showed up again, but the band was formed by Jui and Nirz. The band has had several dismembered members since then until our current line up, Jui Satan (Bass guitar), Nirz Satan (Synth), Raato Satan (Guitar) and Tritonus Satan (Vocal).
Why did the old drummer leave, you found someone new, or at least a solution for upcoming live shows (guest drummer)?
SM: Our previous drummer decided to quit because his personal life took too much time and couldn’t participate in our evil rituals. We are currently looking for a new pair of satanickly destructive arms of krushing kaboom…ment. Until we find new mighty arms of destruction, we are warming up our side project HandNukes of Perkele. HNoP plays industrial metal versions of Saatanan Marionetit songs.
What is the story behind the band name?
SM: We were looking for something which is both stupid and provocative at the same time.
Jui: Hizki had the idea of marionettes stuck in his head and I wanted to form a band that would only write songs about Satan (a promise which I’ve actually broken myself), so we came to the mutual understanding that we (as humans) are all Marionettes of Satan. So stupid and provocative about covers it.
In the band history, what were the crucial changes, besides those in the line-up?
Tritonus: My awesomeness
SM: First public gig at Factory (now deceased music club). We found out that we actually like playing live, so we couldn’t stop and we wanted more and more and more…
Tritonus:… of my awesomeness.
It is easy to notice – when you see the band live – that your frontman has a theater background, could you tell us more about it?
SM: He is the gayest heterosexual in the universes, as you can tell by the way he holds the microphone.
Jui: And look at his legwork: he’s is a like a gay Elvis on steroids!
Tritonus: Well, I’m a drama queen and loving it. In my first play, at the age of 9 or 10, I was playing an old wizard (Väinämöinen), my beard made of cotton kept falling off. It turned out to be a comedy, instead of a serious folklore play. Got hooked on the laughs.
How did you meet him and recruit him for the band?
SM: He was the only one who brought a bottle of Jaloviina to the audition (which was specifically stipulated in the ad).
Where do the ideas for songs and lyrics come from, who is responsible?
SM: Alcohol and Satan is responsible.
Tritorunus: And some guy who smells bad, but gots some nice pills, we call him JormaJaakko or something like that.
Is it teamwork?
SM: Mostly we fly solo (if you know what we mean). Some awesomeness is teamwork, like hit songs It Came and Xmas Terror.
You seem to be inspired by movies (backdrop animations etc) – which ones, which genre, why?
SM: Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and loooooads of 50’s monster movies (especially Robot Monster). Because it has Robot with a gorilla suit and a diving helmet.
What is the philosophy behind your lyrics – for some reason I assume it is somehow related to Satanism… And my opinion about Satanism, when just a cross is turned upside down and prayed backwards (what “Satanists” usually do in movies), people basically follow the Roman Catholic Church model and only “invert” it … or would you disagree?
SM: Well, Satan is what ever you’d like him/her/it to be.
Tritonus: I like to think of the guy in red spandex and a plastic fork.
Nirz: Some of our symbols are inverted three times, so they’re like three times more evil. Joke’s on you, hahaa!
Humour – a very dark one – seems to be a crucial part not only of the live performances; for me it’s a bit like “Black Metal meets Monty Pythons”, and I don´t mean that in a bad way. So what´s your own definition of your style?
SM: Pure evil with a grin, like Skeletor.
Tritonus: Having a blue muscular body, no neck and a levitating skull held down by a hoodie is what I aspire to be.
Raato: Our style has many forms and every member brings his own mystic into the cauldron. The guitars are heavily influenced by old heavy/thrash/death metal, basses seems to be influenced mostly 80’s heavy metal and some strangeness, synths draw their power from various styles of techno and 90’s melodeath, vocal styles resemble hillbilly, valley girl and various grunts.
Jui: You have to be able to make fun of things you actually love. What you get is such a complex mixture of true feelings, irony and total bullshit that nobody can actually tell which is which. And that’s my definiton of fun.
Have you ever encountered an audience that did not take to your style / humour very well?
SM: On a daily basis.
Nirz: They are the reason why we still continue this after ten years.
Tritonus: I like cheese.
What are the biggest challenges to overcome for a band with a slightly controversial image, a Finnish band name and Finnish lyrics, in Finland / abroad?
SM: We have precisely 15 words in Finnish combined in our published songs. We might add some more words eventually if we feel like it.
Raato: We even spell Sauna in English.
Tritonus: My favorite Finnish word is Saatana.
SM: We overcome these kind of problems by ignoring them, though would be nice to dig in the brains of those who take issue with us, squish squish squish.
Nirz: A good option is also to ridicule them.
SM: If we can find a way to offend those who don’t like us, we tend to maximize their agony.
Tritonus: I still think brain poking is the answer.
Jui: Yes, but only to make the squishy sound. I don’t think we really care whether or not people take issue with us or not.
Guess I had too much of “kärpässieni” (toadstool) from “musta metsä” (black wood), at least this catchy song of yours stuck in my head forever, so that I thought you had more Finnish lyrics – is mushroom picking actually a favorite pastime activity of yours?
Nirz: I don’t pick mushrooms, mushrooms pick me
SM: That verse is actually written by dismembered vocalist Aargh Satan and we believe he is in the dark woods still eating those white dotted delicious red mushrooms.
Tritonus: No wonder he smells like Wunderbaum.
Jui: Having lost Aargh to the woods is actually why we had to replace him with Tritonus.
Your best / your worst gig – what happened?
Tritonus: Best: Satanick Seas of Suffering 2010, my first one, like losing my virginity, I’ll never forget it. Worst: Satanick Seas of Suffering 2010 again, I really sucked to be honest. I had lyric sheets and pretended to be all Metal with crappy manerics.
Nirz: We’ve had quite an array of gig experiences over the years, so it’s difficult to point out the exact best and worst ones. On in the top 5 would definetly be in 2013 when we were playing at YLE as a part of the EU Robotics Week stuff. There wasn’t a lot of audience there, but it was awesome with all the supporting techincal staff and pro-grade audio and lighting equipment. I want moar of this! The worst experiences involve really the other end of the technology gremlins. Without mentioning any specific venues, it’s pure shit to throw a gig when even the most basic audio tech is malfunctioning or inadequate for the show.
Raato: Best gig is still coming, but so far the On the Rocks gig was quite a success. Worst might be one in the Dark Side club when three band members were sick and we barely managed to play adequate gig there.
Jui: I think we have already had our worst gigs, because over the years we’ve learned to relax, ignore most of the problems and just do the show. Having said that, I don’t think you can ever repeat your first ever gig. You have shit in your pants from being so nervous, but are also more hyped than after taking drugs and you’ve just got to do it. After the first time it’s never quite the same.
What are your plans in the future? A new release, live shows, a tour (after of course finding a new drummer)?
SM: We are writing new evil songs for your pleasure and some are only waiting for the drummer to perfect them. We should shoot new band photos until fresh snow falls down.
Nirz: I’m planning on drinking some Jallu in the future, near and far. And present.
Tritonus: Any drummers out there?
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photos: Band / K.Weber