Producer Johnny Lee Michaels teamed-up with THE 69 EYES in the final months before the Millennium and together they developed the band’s ‘Goth’n’Roll’ signature sound on the albums ‘Blessed Be’ (2000) and ‘Paris Kills’ (2002). After over a decade the band has finally got its 6th vampire back and is now releasing their 11th album called ‘Universal Monsters’ on Nuclear Blast Records which again is produced by Johnny Lee Michaels who is also on keyboards, backing vocals and, most importantly, involved in the arrangements. This is 100% pure ‘Goth’n’Roll’ in 2016!
Universal Monsters has already been said to sound like an album that could have come out right after Paris Kills. Yet it’s as mysterious and surprising as THE 69 EYES have always been. Epic songs like ‘Blackbird Pie’ combining Celtic melodies with Ennio Morricone-ish string arrangements, Native American flute and singing together in the way music was once done and the west was won… or strange French-new wave rock with the chorus of ‘Miss Pastis’… or a Jim Morrison-esque mystic postcard from ‘Jerusalem’… “Nobody makes music like we do, man! This is our life, this is what we believe in,” says vocalist Jyrki 69.
The first single and video ‘Jet Fighter Plane’ represents the band more current and nearly political stance – though they claim to have just written a Cold War-era sounding retro song.
“We sound as fresh as ever, the music goes itself and takes us into undiscovered paths and soundscapes. How the album grew into what it has become just surprised us and you can really hear the creativity blooming there. And still it sounds nobody else but THE 69 EYES” tries the vocalist Jyrki 69 describe the mystic recording process.
And like always, the best backing vocalists can be found from the closest bars in Helsinki! This time the local latest hard rock heroes, SANTA CRUZ were recruited for the backing vocal sessions.
The cover artwork of Universal Monsters, as well as the first video single, were conceived by Finnish photographer and director Ville Juurikkala – known from his works for NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, HIM, APOCALYPTICA and MICHAEL MONROE. As the album title Universal Monsters refers, the band are portrayed in movie monster lightning, showing them as well classic and timeless creatures. “The covers are planned and designed as an old-school CD covers – remember when the booklets used to be as exciting as the album itself?! It will actually have five different covers being such a folder – each member of the band can be used as a cover creature of their own. Ville has really succeeded in capturing the classic movie vibe for the shots without any special make-up or photo shopping. THE 69 EYES are the universal rock ’n’ roll monsters – not so many of us left anymore,” says THE 69 EYES vocalist Jyrki. “So from real fans I wish they would get the actual CD in their hands to get the full album treatment as we have planned it to be experienced!”
THE 69 EYES started in Helsinki, Finland in 1989. Hailing as a glammy Dark Rock band their sound was described as ‘Goth’n’Roll’ by the turn of the century. With their platinum selling albums and radio hits in their native Finland, the band has toured all over the world for two decades. The easiest way to find their shows is to follow their fans who stand out from the crowd easily in the way the classic cult band’s fans do. The band has also gained a nickname as ‘Helsinki Vampires’.
They will release their new album “Universal Monsters” in April 22nd of 2016.
Jyrki 69 – Vocals
Bazie – Guitar
Timo-Timo – Guitar
Archzie – Bass
Jussi 69 – Drums
Photographer: Ville Juurikkala