Stone: In my mind, we’re always a punk band. But it’s more just a state of mind thingy. As we all know, punk can mean nearly anything; there’s not such thing as “real punk”. For me it means passion, energy and staying focused and true to yourself. Whenever I feel like I’m in need of an inspiration, I put on some ’77 punk such as Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and Sex Pistols and I’m all good again. It makes my heart beat faster.
Japa: Well, for me Punk or Rock’n’Roll or whatever means the same thing, it’s all about passion, feeling, freedom and all that, thou for the most people those are only names of music genres. For some reason people always need some names of the genres to figure out what music is and should they like it or not. I’m totally bored about that “genre thinking”, I just like music that sounds good for my ears, don’t matter whatever it is. I think TNB is just a good ol’ RNR band and you can expect anything from us in the future.
Q: Is there a story behind your name?
Stone: The Noir Brigade as a name is a homage to The Clash, film noir genre, femme fatales, George Orwell, dark shadows and a glimmer of hope that cuts through the darkness.
Q: Tell us something about the process, how did you become a band? How did it all begin? Who was the “brain” behind this project, and who joined later?
Stone: I used to have this punk band called L.A.M.F. with which we had a brief reunion but as it came to an end in the summer of 2012, I had all these new songs we never got to rehearse really and since I thought they’re just too good songs to go to waste, I thought I could do them with some other group. I started to plan forming a new group with VV (the bass player) and just accidentally bumped into these other guys one by one and suddenly we had a band! Sometimes things just happen. I guess we should have named our band “The Hand Of God”.
Japa: I was actually the last one to join in the band. I knew Stone and VV earlier and couple of months before I joined TNB we were in a bar with Stone talking about music and he told me about this new line-up and I got interested when I heard he might want another guitar player in their group. Well 2 months went by and then I got message from him if I would like to come and listen their rehearsals and didn’t knew what to expect. Well I went on by, met the other guys aswell and I was thinking, ok here’s the bunch of weirdos again who might get things to turn out interesting. So the guys started their set with The Whos “The Kids Are Alright” and ended after 5 or 6 songs when drummer Aku kicked his drums all over the place like a newborn Keith Moon and I was just blown away! After that moment I knew I wanna be part of this group! And actually the guys told me after those rehearsals that you’re in the band if you want to, thou I didn’t play a single note in that night, haha! So after that we had only 3 rehearsals together and went to the studio to record those first 2 songs together that ended up to be “Bangla Road Blues” and Livin’ In A Box”.
Q: On your FB-page you have the description: The Naked Skydivers from Hell. We assume Hell is from Helsinki, but what’s that thing with the naked skydivers?
Stone: “The naked skydivers from hell” is a phrase coined by Steven Adler (GNR).
Q: Who is the songwriter? Do you share the songwriting process among yourselves? Is there someone “responsible” for the lyrics, or are you all cooperating?
Stone: We have this spiritual guide who is from parallel universe and he’s called Harry Beaver. He’s the one who gives us all the music and lyrics. Whenever he feels like. So we’re really depended on his grace. Thus far he’s been quite generous, we have loads of music to work on. I just hope Harry doesn’t turn out to be an Indian giver.
Q: Do you have some rituals before going on stage? Do you have some lucky charms with you?
Japa: I think our ritual is becoming to break up before every other show and the spiritual lucky charm is that we won’t haha!
Q: Can you please tell us some words about your tattoos (or lack of them)?
Japa: Well I don’t have any tattoos so nothin’ much to tell, someday those might hit on me or not. Who knows…
Q: About Japa we already know he’s also a member of Private Line. Do the others also have other projects next to TNB? How does it feel to divide between two or more music projects?
Japa: Well VV is also playing in the band called The Liar, Aku has his own The Legendary Statement Band, Kitten is singing and playing all over the places, also in this group called Superfreacx, Stone has a band called Grand Revolt and I think he’s still a member also in a band called The Smackfaces with the guys originally from Smack, The Fishfaces and The Flaming Sideburns thou they haven’t been playing for a while. So this is a group of musicians who just love to play with or without.
Q: In your everyday lives, do you have average jobs, or is it all about the rock, the music?
Japa: Harry Beaver only knows…
Q: Thanks to our Kerri we get some videos from previous gigs. Japa, you always wear a turned-back baseball cap. Is it only an accident that it came out this way or is it intentional, to distinct yourself from the PL-Japa?
Japa: Sometimes you have to wear a cap to drew a map, call it an accident or not!
Q: What are your plans for the future? Is there a special goal? You already have been in the East Sound Studios, is there an album coming maybe next year?
Japa: Actually we had our first studio session with Matias Melleri from the band called Devil I Know at his studios. Collaboration with him was such a great experience that I really think we’re gonna continue working with him also in the future! We’re planning to go in the studio later this year again and hopefully the first album will be ready during next year.
Q: Which one is your favourite own song so far, and what is the story behind of it? Please tell some words about it.
Stone: I guess my favorite song is always the newest one. At the moment it’s one special new song no-one else in a band has heard yet that has a working title “Higher Ground”. It should tell about our band and where we are going. But you never know until the song’s finished. I love ’em all and they all have some special story behind them. Bangla Road Blues’ chorus started to ring in my head when I was in Frankfurt in 2010 and I went to a tiny bar that had an open stage that night. Suddenly some old punk rocker in his late 60’s came in and hopped on stage with this really cool and expensive looking acoustic Gibson guitar and started playing some Bob Dylan’s songs. And the out of the blue (thanks Harry B.!) this chorus came into my head and luckily I still remembered it when I got back to Finland. The rest of the song came together really quickly after that. Livin’ In A Box is very heavily inspired by Bob Dylan too, but no-one seems to hear it. It’s a tribute also to Cliff Williams, bass player for AC/DC who was living in a box when he got an invitation to audition for AC/DC. And the rest is history.
Japa: My favourite songs to play from TNB are called “Rehab”, “Worlds End” and “On The Edge” at the moment, but it changes time to time like always.
Q: Stone once drew himself a map and got lost… how exactly could this happen?
Stone: “The map incident” is all too embarrassing to recall… I guess I just don’t know my neighborhood well enough! Only been living here for 10 years… That was the night we played at our friend’s wedding party, so maybe I was just too excited about it all. Luckily we played much better than I navigated that day!
Japa: Hahaha, mr. Navigator!
Q: And at last…. what is your message to your fans?
Japa: Remember, remember, the 5th of November… SO REMEMBER TO STAY NOIR!