Friday, June 30, 2023

Death of Darkness with Jyrki 69 of THE 69 EYES

In this episode of The Rock Metal Podcast, we're chatting with Jyrki 69 of the band The 69 Eyes about their new album ‘Death of Darkness’ out now via Atomic Fire Records (Valila music House in Finland).

During our chat we touch on a lot of great tips for musicians, such as what Jyrki 69 has learned working with some new producers, releasing singles instead of albums and working in a totally new way to produce great music.

'Death of Darkness' was Mixed and Mastered by Miles Walker (

The band The 69 Eyes is for fans of: Lacrimas Profundere, Charon, HIM, Poisonblack, To/Die/For.


Guest Resource - Connect with The 69 Eyes!

Guest Music Video

3 Heavy Hitters

1. Try new ways to approach the creative process, such as working on singles instead of an album, getting feedback with each release

2. Bring in producers from other genres to help bring fresh ideas.

3. If you're used to recording tracks separately, try playing together as a band live off the floor to get a sound that's closer to you as a group of musicians.


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Show Notes // Transcript

Jon Harris: Jyriki 69, thank you so much for coming on to The Rock Metal Podcast today. Go ahead and say Hello to all of our beautiful listeners. 

Jyriki 69: To all you vampires out there. Here's your favourite Helsinki vampire, Jyrki, the singer of The 69 Eyes. Hope you have a bloody time with us. 

Jon Harris: A very bloody time indeed. Indeed, my good man. So make sure you have your Bloody Mary's at the ready to enjoy while we have this wonderful chat. This record, Death of Darkness, what was the greatest moment for you producing this record, Jyrki? 

Jyriki 69: The idea of breaking out from the regular recording structure or the process that we as well, since we're an 80s band, we've been repeating twelve times before this. Which means, like, you write music certain amount of time, then you go through that music that you had written and then you choose the ones you want to put on a tape. Then you go to everything secret, of course. And then you go to another secret process which is recording the album and then mixing. And then when it's ready, then that is a secret too. And then in secret, you wait certain amount of time until you announce, like, by the way, we have new record coming out. Excuse me. And then comes the drum fill and then comes a new record out and then you celebrate with everybody and go on tour, talk about it a little bit and then go on tour. And then, you know, you you disappear again for a certain amount of time. So, you know. Not that anymore. I mean, during this time and space that we are living and been living for quite a long time, that's old school way to do it, but we wanted to try new way of creating a record. So that was like our A&R guy, he has a golden ear. He's like sort of Finnish version of Clive Davis. Mr. Kabi Haggan and he said, like, start writing just singles. Write singles, let's put out singles, forget the album, let's write singles and put them out. And maybe later on, if you have enough good material, we'll gather them as an album. And so that's what we did. We wrote songs, put them out as singles, and at some point we had enough material, some of them out already as singles and then some other tracks that seemed to be a good idea to gather them and put them out as an album. But we haven't been quiet until now. We've been very loud already a year by releasing these singles. And that's just for me. I'm impatient and I want to be loud, I want to be heard, seen, and I like this way of just being available, being also out there for criticism after each song. That was really interesting in the end. I mean, when you put out an album, will you get any kind of feedback from like half of the songs even? But now when you put out song after song, maybe somebody likes one song, somebody who doesn't, it's not the end of the world. So then you put out another song and that was really practical. Morin and exactly what everybody else except us who are rockers or in rock bands, we are somehow doomed to still continue the same process. I mean, maybe after a few years, I say like, hey, I want to do this old school process and blah, blah, blah, you can guess that. But at this moment, I'm excited about this and I would like us to continue releasing new music more often than just like, wait for some years. Okay? As this album is out now, the previous one came already, like something like nearly, well, four years ago, which is horrible, but. And that's something I don't like. So I think we need to start releasing new music, at least singles next year or something like that. That was the revolutionary part of it and that was very different. And I'm just trying to exaggerate a little bit, like just to I love to hear more music from my favourite bands. Maybe they start the same process. There's more music available us from all our favourite artists, and we don't have to wait for certain amount of time once they put out twelve songs. Ten songs. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. The old school, what, two to three year cycle? 

Jyriki 69: Or four year or something.  Then the rat race of doing the album touring, and we were part of that rat race all last decade. And on the other hand, it's not a rat race. I mean, many bands would love to be part of that cycle, release an album, do exclusive touring, then when quiet for a little while, and then come out with the new record and then go for touring. That's an achievement itself. But I mean, it started to feel old and like a rat race at some point during the last decade. It didn't bring anything new, it didn't take the band to anywhere. Obviously, anywhere means I think that we have something to achieve still. I think there's a bunch of people who would love to hear The 69 Eyes. And at the moment, there's also new generations coming up who seemingly have found us. I've heard that there's growing numbers, there's big data and statistics. So according to that, there's a new generation hungry for The 69 Eyes at the moment. So that's exciting. So it's time to change, to be a band living in the 20s.

Jon Harris: Yeah, that makes complete sense, now what was the biggest challenge for you on this record? 

Jyriki 69: Well, I didn't think about it as an album. I just approach every song as individual song. So I wouldn't say that there's a theme or there's some fine line going on. Every song is just not just, but every song is. I approach every song one by one. Even the ones which have not come out as singles, they were songs. And I left everything for guitarist who mainly writes the songs. Like he can figure out the track order, which he did. Actually spent a lot of time for that which I was scratching my head like I wonder why. But I found a reason when I listened to the whole album from CD. Noticed that for the first time a couple of weeks ago. So I understood that the track order was really nice. So no wonder he spent so much time on that. But the challenge was like I think the challenge is now the album comes out tomorrow morrow as we are doing this interview. So I'm actually weirdly kind of nervous. I don't know what happens when the album comes out. It's out there. People will write down their comments to all social media platforms. There's probably some reviews. What else? We have a new single coming out in the music video also, but strangely, I feel like being a little bit nervous. But it's an emotion, and it's good to have an emotion, right? At least I'm not, like, seasoned. I don't care. I don't give a f I'm nervous. The album comes out tomorrow. Whoa. You know, so that's the challenge. It's it's like, it's like and also, like, every time, every time you make music and and records. We've been doing few records earlier, so you make the music and you enjoy it a lot. You have good time, you put, like, your I'm proud of the lyrics, I'm proud of the emotions and proud of the vibes that we create. Proud of the singing, proud of the sounds, proud of how the band sounds, and we've tried and everything. It's a fantastic experience to record an album overall, in general, it might be stressful at some times, which belongs to we need to be stressful in life in general. So sometimes it's like stressful or schedule. You have to all oh, haven't finished the lyrics, and I'm I'm supposed to go to sing them tonight. What should I do? And those those kind of things, but I enjoy them fully. But the one thing which surprises every time after this is like when you see the first review. Somewhere and you forgot totally the feeling, how it feels when you see the review of you forget the whole thing that somebody's reviewing what you're doing. We were just talking about it. Does the reviews even matter these days to who they serve? Or are they just messages from sort of like specialists who have special ears? Are there messages for the band? Like this specialist in this country, these guys over there, this person who's working writing for this magazine thinks this. And is it like improvement, like feedback from specialists around the world? Does it serve for listeners? Because now it's open platform. Everybody, the fans can leave their message like a heart or fire or then something else, or devil's horns or something like that. And this really simply strong guy who's moshing with the two horns up, I don't know if that even exists anymore, but girl in the back. Yeah, something like the most challenging thing is to start to see the reviews because you're never prepared for that. But I'm honoured that somebody bothers to write the review as well, or fans bother to leave a message because this is all about communication with all of us, among all of us. And my communication with the world. Our band's communication with the world. We communicate by making music, bringing some kind of different wives than anybody else. It's all good, but that's a challenge to these reviews. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. That's what I was going to ask is about that review process. But I've heard that before that with the advent of how quickly a band is able to receive feedback in almost real time with social media. Now, what is the review process? Does it still even matter? But it sounds like it kind of does. I mean, it sounds like there's somebody out there who, as you said, has almost yeah, it a direct message for the band. 

Jyriki 69: Yeah. And it's like our record label sends links to their reviews. All of a sudden there's a first mail which has like five links, and it's like, oh, reviews, shit, I forgot this. Because you don't think of that when you make music, because it's such a beautiful thing to do, create something, and you put yourself there fully, and then it's one of the best things ever to create something. So then all of a sudden, then there comes the reviews and like, oh, no, I forgot these reviews. And do they matter? Well, they do. Obviously, you wonder, hold on. Even if it's positive, and most likely this time, they have been extremely positive. And that's fantastic. Also. On the other hand but we've been living such a long time doing records with this band. Such a long time. So there is also, like a very long period that we got the worst reviews ever, especially here in Finland, in our native country. Now, those records are considered as classics, like, seriously, not only in our band scale, but somewhere else. I pop up like, oh, hey, the best dark metal records of something like 2000, early 2000s or something. And then I see the record, which got like five star in the local newspaper here. And it's considered as classic, but that's how it goes. As I mentioned, it obviously it mattered back then, but on the other hand, nowadays what matters is that you are mentioned. Any kind of attention is always good, any publicity is good, and it's more easier, at least for me to understand than it was like ten years ago. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. Speaking of time passing, I have two questions for you. Jyrki. One is, and they might be intertwined, but how would you define success at this stage of your career? And the second question to that is what would you tell the Jyrki 69 of 30 years ago? What advice would you have for him?

Jyriki 69: Let's start with the success because I'm extremely excited to tell you this, that we we had our record label, Atomic Fire had a confirmation with us a couple of weeks ago because our streaming numbers, the streaming numbers of The 69 Eyes have grown extremely fast, like quite recently. And with the last single, the title track Death of Darkness, which came out about a month ago, we hit like half a million listeners on Spotify, but also in other platforms. We've been growing really fast and they said like 2000 percentage and also, like I said, not 202,000 percentage. And also as they've been studying the big data because they've been analyzing and they were like, hey, what's going on? It's mostly people who are it's it's mostly people who are under 25. So this is like something I would say this is success. We managed to reach let's say we're not doing anything, but the new generations discover us that way. So it's amazing. And we're super happy because I think we have something and we deliver and we have something that any other bands have anymore. So I'm excited about this. And I would say this is success. As creating new music is like your amount of listeners is growing without like there hasn't been any campaigns. We didn't even have a new album out or anything. They just have been starting to grow because we're unique and new generations have discovered that. I think TikTok has something to do with that as well. But that's successful and that's exciting and interesting. Yeah, very exciting and then what would I say to me like did you say 30 years ago? I mean this this cliche itself but I wouldn't have any advice. I would say that don't listen to any advice because that's what happened idea. Nobody was advising ever, and I just going with the instinct. Occasionally, I've been running into difficulties, which mean that I'll be indifferent than people have expected me and us to be. We've been criticized not to be professionals and something that we have wanted to do. For instance, we're always this is an adventure for our band, for us five guys. We're a gang, we're friends. This is an adventure for us. Like for instance this summer we're playing some festivals and that's the same excitement like when we ever get first time to play at the festivals we're excited to see our heroes on the same backstage field like this time around there's going to be Mötley Crüe for instance so I'm excited to see Nikki Sixx walking around and that's the excitement So like early days earlier, much earlier, not even 30 years ago, but later on when we were getting somewhere, we still are excited, like, hey, can we stay at this festival a little bit later or come earlier or something because we want to see this and this band, maybe Motörhead and so on. And then the criticism was like, that's professional. You should do it professionally. Which means like boring, you should be boring. Do it in boring way. So that's where all the criticism has come. So I think I wouldn't give any advice and I would say don't listen to anybody because that's a way act like your heart tells you. And that's what we have been doing. We've been listening to our heart and our heart is pulsating along the beat of rock and roll. 

Jon Harris: Pulsating along the beat of rock and roll, baby. Which takes me to my next question. I read in the EPK because I was looking for who produced the record and I read that it was a young fresh producer who's not old enough to be an 80s guy and who brought a special layer so maybe tell us a bit about that? What was that like working with this person? Was it a particular choice to work with this person? Take us through that.

Jyriki 69: Well, that was the thing that we got a brand new record label here in Finland and along with the label there's a bunch of guys and this fresh producer, he's not fresh in that sense but he's been producing the biggest artist here in Finland and also like a legendary Hanoi Rocks guy, Michael Monroe. And currently he's actually producing Sing new Sami Yaffa album, the bass player of Hanoi Rocks. But so he has other feet in a contemporary high end pop music. But on the other hand, he's also like putting his hand on real dirt like operating with glam and sleeves rockers like Hanoi Guys and us. So he came along with the new Finnish label. He sort of forced us to play also live once a while in the studio which we haven't done for a little while because in the modern technology you don't even have to see your band members when you are recording an album. But this guy was like hey, that's a whole key. Let's try to do something together. And that was also set us on fire because we hadn't tried that for a really long time. And also he's hungry to show that he's been doing high end pop music. So he's hungry to show that he knows rock. And of course I throw a couple of criticism there for him just to irritate him, to get his claws out. So that was interesting. And besides, he has this totally different ideology for the things and then in the end when he was arranging and producing and squeezing the best out of us then the whole package was sent to Atlanta for Miles Walker who mixed the album. So we found this very good process. I hate these words. I mean, it should be like rock and roll but we recorded in Finland and got the guy who was seriously interested in he was also making the record, showing what he can do in a way. So that was really cool. And then, you know, it was finalized by Miles Walker in Atlanta which is the guy who's been mixing like U2 and Coldplay and Beyonce and those kind of artists. So that was really cool. Fresh dream team. 

Jon Harris: Yeah, very cool indeed. Very cool. What's the number one thing that you would like people listening to the podcast to do? And that could be go out into the night and do vampire things that could be something special like follow your heart to the next victim. Even the place to drop what you're supposed to drop. Go pick up the record. But what's the number one thing that you would like people to do? 

Jyriki 69: I would like them to open up their favourite streaming service found Dark Throne there and pick up the track Graveyard Slut and play it loud. 

Jon Harris: Graveyard slut. Play it loud. 

Jyriki 69: Dark Throne, baby. 

Jon Harris: All right, well, that is absolutely fantastic. And that concludes all my questions. So head over to There you can get the transcript for today's episode. You can see some music videos, ways to connect with The 69 Eyes and so much more. So please go ahead and head over to, in the meantime, Jyrki 69, thank you so much for coming on to The Rock Metal Podcast today. 

Jyriki 69: Cool, man. 


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