Intervju med Janne Jarvis i Hate Gallery!
Janne Jarvis är en finne från England som numera huserar i huvudstaden där han nyligen släppt lös den andra plattan från Hate Gallery.
Han spelade under några år i Kory Clarke´s Warrior Soul men läggerr nu all kraft på sitt eget band Hate Gallery och självfallet ringde jag upp honom nyligen för en liten pratstund om allt möjligt. Jag hade innan intervjun läst en artikel i Sweden Rock Magazine där han framställdes som något paranoid över hela samhällsapparaten och det fick bli början på vår konservation.
First of all, I´m just wondering if you´re a bit paranoid?
Janne Jarvis: Paranoid? Good question! Who isn´t? (laughs) It´s the old saying, just because I´m paranoid doesn´t mean they´re not out to get me. I suppose it´s healthy to be a bit paranoid, but I´m not paranoid in the sense that I think anyone is after me, but I´m paranoid in the sense that I think people are after all of us. I think we´re in a bit of danger and I have a bit of a bleak view of the world. The problem is, once you do lose your trust in institutions, once you lose your trust in politics, then it is a rocky road and decline into kind of paranoia and conspiracy theories and all that kind of thing. It´s difficult to have any faith in those kind of institutions. Maybe ten years ago people thought a bit differently, but I just come from a country where it´s ok to have an illegal war and it´s ok to have a prime minister who´s a war criminal. There´s nothing anybody can fucking do about it! When you lose your control and you lose the democratic process of being able doing anything about it, you do start to wonder what the hell´s going on, really? I´m not a apocalyptical activist.
Was there ever one particular incident that made you feel this way or just several thing happening?
JJ: I think it was really… I mean, years ago I was a very keen student of the Kennedy assassination and I still find it quite fascinating, but I think, really for me it was on the 11th of September and the WTC and whatever happened there and everything that happened afterwards. When it first happened I was like “Fucking terrorists!” and suddenly when I saw what happened straight afterwards and England went straight into Afghanistan and Iraq and what they had to gain from that, then suddenly it all started to make a little bit of sense. Those events all together and I think just the ground swell of realizing that it wasn´t just me who thought that, but most of my friends who are intelligent people and moderate, pragmatic people. None of them buying any of it! It was quite scary I think. You could almost taste the deceit in the air, but you couldn´t quite prove it or kind of know. It´s that kind of thing we know you know you may know we know but nobody can really prove it, so yeah around that time. You walk around town centers in England and there´s cameras everywhere! There´s cameras everywhere and they can follow you everywhere! They can follow you from McDonald´s to the pub to where ever and you don´t need to be a deep, deep thinker to see the danger in that. The danger if it´s abused and the possibilities of abusing that kind of infra structure. That made me very uneasy!
There´s always a danger with that, but also good things with that kind of supervision, like crime and so on.
JJ: I agree with you! There are absolutely that…
It´s a double edged sword in a way.
JJ: Very much so! To have a couple of cameras in like a hot spot where there´s a lot of trouble in the city center, of course, but when they´re everywhere and there´s so many of them… there´s just too many of them! But of course, there will always be a plus side and that´s how these things kind of happen. But I think they´re already being abused and… George Orwell, I´m a big fan of George Orwell and “1984” and he was the first to say that communism failed, because they couldn´t watch you the whole time and apparently statistics say that there´s been no decrease in crime since CCTV. People are drunk and violent, they´re not laughing about it.
It´s the same thing with the death penalty and so on. In some countries crime has even increased, so it doesn´t really help.
JJ: I think murder is such an extreme thing to do and a lot of the time there´s so little thought, that I think things like the death penalty and whether it´s right or wrong, is the last thing on someone´s mind! I think Stockholm´s fairly ok with the CCTV. It´s not great and there might be more coming.
Well, it´s not London yet. I guess you find conspiracy theories interesting then?
JJ: I think they´re been kinda hijacked. Only some of them sort of came from Sweden. Nearly all of these conspiracy theories come from America and to a point they get kinda discredited. I don´t necessarily believe that the MI6 killed princess Diana and that kinda thing, but the big things like the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and people who benefit from that and the financial crisis… you just gotta think. Someone like Tony Blair, how do these people sleep at night? How can they sleep at night knowing that they been responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands innocent people. It does take a certain kind of a psychopath to be like that. You have to have a certain DNA to be able to do that job.
It´s the same thing with CEO´s for big companies. You have to be a certain type of person to be able to fire people on the spot and get where you are and climb up the ladder.
JJ: I think it was Nestlé, knowing about the milk and someone was very aware of that at the top and with that kind of thing is that if they don´t do it, somebody else is gonna do it and that´s the way these kind of people think. It does take a certain kind of psychopath.
I saw you with Warrior Soul when you played at Marie Leveau earlier this year, I think.
JJ: Wasn´t my favorite…
Well, I enjoyed it.
JJ: A bit bad tempered but quite entertaining I´m sure.
I´ve always liked Warrior Soul and I´ve interviewed Kory a couple of times. He´s an interesting character.
JJ: Interesting character, yes.
As I understand it, you left Warrior Soul and… did you have a falling out?
JJ: Well, I quit Warrior Soul in March and I quit on the UK tour, really. I did one more show in Stockholm, but I mean, Kory and I are on very good terms and the thing about it is that I just got… I could no longer be in… the guys in Hate gallery were also in Warrior Soul and I just thought “This is a fucking joke! You can´t be in two bands with the same line up!”. I mean, you can´t escape from each other and it just doesn´t look good. The dynamics changed. Warrior Soul is very much Kory´s band and Hate Gallery is very much my band. The dynamics just get really twisted and it´s not healthy. Bands gotta have their own personality. The other guys couldn´t see the sense or the intelligence of maybe one of us dropping out one of the bands and I decided to fall on the sword myself and just make a clean break. I had a good two or three years and I´ve known Kory a long time and we made a pretty good record together. I just needed to concentrate on my own thing for a bit. It was getting a bit difficult to do both. No falling out really. We´ve always had our up and downs and he´s an interesting person, but we´re on good terms and he´s one of the last reaming people of his kind, you know.
He sure is!
JJ: We had some bad luck. Apart from Sonisphere which was really good and we played Debaser a few times which was really enjoyable. But like the Marie Leveau show… we just had problems getting a show in Stockholm and we just had to book something quickly so we could play and it never works in your favor doing that kind of thing.
What was it that made you come to Sweden in the first place? Was it about the music?
JJ: Yeah, actually I´d just finished the first Hate Gallery album and we were playing at Debaser with Warrior Soul and I´d always wanted to come here and I´ve always liked Stockholm. I´ve got family here and we played here and had a great night and were treated really well and it was just such a major difference compared to playing in England. Maybe now it´s time to try somewhere else? I decided at that point to give it a go! I was getting disillusioned with the music scene in England and for a country and a city of its size (Stockholm) there´s a lot going on in that aspect. It was a warrior Soul show that made me wanna move here and I´ve been here on and off ever since.
What´s the plan no, are you gonna do some kind of touring?
JJ: Touring, that´s interesting? The album´s coming out at the beginning of January in the UK… I´m not in a big hurry to get out there and start playing. I´d like to be a little bit more considered about it. This record was a very difficult record to make in many different ways. The band´s a little bit fractured at the moment, from a live point of view. I´ve said this in other interviews, making records today is a big, big commitment and it´s the kind of commitment where you have to give six months to a year of your life and it´s difficult for some people don´t have that in them. I´m one of the people that have actually structured my life, probably to my detriment, in a way that I can actually do that. In many ways, metaphorically and in a real way, I was actually the last man standing when the record was finished. I kind of played most of the instruments except for the drums. I wrote most of the songs and it isn´t an ego thing, it just happened that way. My cousin, who´s the guitar player, he left. He just disappeared and I don´t know where the hell he is! It´s really difficult these days to be in a band and to stay in a band because there´s no money! There is a to a degree, but it´s not the same as it was, but if you don´t stand your ground and you don´t go that extra mile, you´re never gonna make any great art. It is hard at the moment and I don´t think there´s a single person in a band except for maybe Metallica and they´re probably thinking it´s a hard time being in a band now since they put that record out. They´re probably suffering. (laughs) I do plan to play some shows, but I gotta put it together and I wanna do something a little bit different and it might take a month or two to plan, so I didn´t want to gout there and start playing shows before the album was actually out.
What made you get into music in the first place? Who were your influences?
JJ: I´m a huge Black Sabbath fan and they are my very, very first influence and the whole NWOBHM. Steve Harris from Iron Maiden was certainly a big reason why I started playing bass guitar. Those were my earliest kinda driving forces. In the last 10-15 years, the bands that have influenced me the most are Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails, Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith. Things you might not think. I´ve absorbed as much rock as I possibly can and I like to listen to stuff that is not so rock orientated. When you grow up you just wanna play and be like the best and Steve Harris is a great bass player.
Are you gonna go see Black Sabbath?
JJ: I will go and see Sabbath. I´ve been very fortunate that I´ve been able to see them three times on the reunion tour. In 1996. I saw them at the NEC and I saw them in a village hall near Birmingham and it was only 200 people there. It was a warm up for one of the Ozzfest shows. I have mixed feelings about it. I saw Ozzy at Sweden Rock and his voice was just shattered, but the Sabbath stuff is a little bit less demanding than his solo stuff, so hopefully they´ll pull it off. Rock and roll is still that young that we don´t really know what it´s like for our heroes to be so fucking old and awful! There should be a point where they just gracefully retire and tell stories to their grand kids.
Definitely! Finally, your name?
JJ: My mother´s from Finland! Born in Cambridge and she was the first generation of Finnish language school students and then she met my father and they got married and had me, but she´s very much English and she´s lived there her whole life. People in England say Jan and they can´t say Janne, but here everyone calls me Janne and my girlfriend´s Swedish and I find it really nice that people say my real name.
Do you speak Finnish?
JJ: Yeah, I speak Finnish! I know a lot of people here in Sweden with their Finnish mums and they can´t speak a word, but my mum is very… she was on her own and it was just natural for her to raise me speaking Finnish. It´s a crazy language! (laughs)They´re crazy, but it´s such a modern and beautiful country in many ways and then the population has just been kinda imported from, I don´t know… Albania or something? It´s an amazing country!
There´s a connection between Finnish and Hungarian.
JJ: Yeah exactly!
Well, it was great talking to you Janne and I wish you all the best with the album and forthcoming tour!
JJ: Thank you!