What is the most useful thing your parents taught you?
Matthau Mikojan: Must be something mom taught me but I can´t think of anything in particular. I did inherit or acquire some not-so-useful personal traits, such as quick temper.
If you can be another person for one day, who would it be?
M.M.: The fiddler of Fiddler on the roof.
What is the thing you always wanted to do but never dared?
M.M.: If there´s something that I really want I´ll do everything I can to get it or get there. If there´s anything that I didn´t dare to do I´m sure it wasn´t very important to me in the first place. There used to be a couple of things, though. I used to think I´ll never be able to drive or ride a motorbike… Today I do both.
I would ask you about Tourette syndrome. You’d been fighting it, and still needs meds. I would ask, what exactly did this cause in your life, how do you manage it? What sort of advice do you have for people who suffer from such condition, or similar conditions, like Panic attacks, depression, etc.?
Was that ever any kind of heaviness for your music? Or does it make you stronger?
M.M.: I recently stopped taking medication and oddly enough I´m doing okay. It definitely was a strain – whatever it was. It all started out when I was a little kid. Every single day I would turn into a devil. There were several doctors and psychiatrists trying to figure out what it was that caused my violent, posessed-like, self-destructive behaviour but none of them ever did. I was the one who presented one of the doctors my theory of what I think is wrong with me. He agreed. Tourette´s syndrome ties into my childhood more than anything else. As far as giving advise is concerned, all I can say is take your pill and hope your world doesn´t come crashing down, again. Other than that, there wasn´t much I could do about it.
We know you can play many instruments, how does it come you stuck to the guitar? What other instrument do you like to play, which ones do you feel the most inspiring and creative?
M.M.: I believe I chose the guitar because of my father – who was a guitarist – plus there were guitars in the house so I would say it was only a matter of time when one of us boys would reach out for that dreamlike instrument. In this case, we both did. Learning other instruments was really a byproduct of starting very young. I thought I was the only one dreaming of being in a band, touring, giving interviews, venues, studios, fans, fame, money etc. until I met Paavo Pekkonen – with whom I later started Bloodpit. So, we had a place with a drum set and an amplifier. We would switch and later when we were given the opportunity to make analog multitrack recordings we would have to play the bass, keyboard and sing, as well. And that´s how we both learnt the basics of some other instruments. Guitar is my instrument – no doubt. For my new record I played drums and bass but I don´t practice playing drums or bass. Voice is a bit different… Whether you can sing… or you can´t and that´s it. For me, anyway.
Do you own some jewelry/lucky charm that has got a special meaning for you?
M.M.: Most of them do. I love my jewelry, always have. I got my 925-silver skull ring that I used to wear every single day for years. It used to mean a lot to me. I have a silver plate with my father´s picture carved on it that I was given by some mysterious person at a gig in Germany in 2006 ; I´ve got a few cool custom-made pieces, hand-crafted in Norway, that are special. I love my Moroccan treasures. Some antique jewelry. Mainly gem stones and silver.
Recently you’ve changed a lot. Your face look more smooth, contented, rested, all in all you seem to be happy as if you’ve found some inner peace. What has happened? I mean, we are incredibly happy to see such a great and positive change but we are intrigued of what had caused this?
M.M.: Thank You. I get that a lot! I dunno… I´ve lost a couple of pounds but I wouldn´t know about ”inner peace”.
What’s the biggest challenge for you at the moment?
M.M.: The album I´m recording right now. It´s my biggest / greatest endeavour so far.
What have you bought from your first self-earned money?
M.M.: I don´t remember. It could be anything. Perhaps candy or a music magazine. It could have been cigarettes, beer, a record. You know,it was probably an amplifier or a guitar or a microphone. I don´t know.
You’ve scared your fans pretty much on the 20th of January, when you’ve published in an open letter that your business became bankrupt. No record label, no booking agencies. Now a new album is on the way. We would like to congratulate on it, and we would like to ask what has happened, and is hopefully staying this way – in other words, record label and agency found? Only for one album, or hopefully a longer cooperation is going to follow?
M.M.: Nothing did happen. When there´s seemingly nothing going on I tend to come up with an idea or two and that´s what happened. Without a record company and their money booking a studio to make a record, which is a long process, would cost a lot of money. So I figured I´m gonna do it all myself and that´s what I´m doing. 24 songs – one asshole. I don´t know what´s gonna happen when the album is finished. At this point I´m prepared to release it myself. I may even go further than that. This is what I do and I will keep doing it no matter what. I will always find a way.
What would you do if you would be invisible for a day?
M.M.: I´d put a wig on?!
Can you remember what was the first CD/LP you ever bought and why?
M.M.: It was a cassette. I think it was Metallica: Ride The Lightning. My first cd was Megadeth: Youthanasia or AC/DC: Ballbreaker. I wasn´t into AC/DC or Megadeth when I bought the cds but since I had just gotten my first cd player I needed some music – any music. I´m glad Youthanasia was as good as it was/is.
And of course asking about this new album. Where are you recording it, how is it going, what it is going to sound like, will the music be any bit different compared to the previous albums, will it contain perhaps some acoustic songs, any guest musicians? What will be the mood, the atmosphere of the album, are you planning a tour with it either in Finland or abroad?
M.M.: The album is pretty much half done. I´m recording in Tampere. It´s going to be different from what I´ve done before not least because I am playing everything you´ll hear on there. I´m very pleased with my playing these days and it sounds the way it should. Out of 24 songs 1 will be acoustic. I can´t yet compare these new tunes to what I´ve recorded before simply because none of them is finished except for one song Tramps & Troubadours. In fact, many of them are still lacking lyrics and melody. I would love to tour this album so I guess I´m gonna have to see if any booking agency is interested.
Are you planning to join any touring band anytime as a guest musician, for example when Private Line goes to Germany at autumn? Would you like to co-work with other bands?
M.M.: I´m not planning such a thing and I don´t think Private Line is planning such a thing. If there was a good gig with some great people plus some money involved – sure!
What job would you like to do, if you were not a musician?
M.M.: Something to do with music and/or theatre.
What was the weirdest or funniest job you ever had?
M.M.: This is definitely the weirdest! I once had a job that included cutting down trees with a chainsaw and working in high places.