So, let’s begin with the usual question: How did you get together, and why? Whose idea was this project?
HYTTINEN: Well, we have been friends for a long time, before this project and played together at Cold Cold Ground. But actually, the head of this idea to do this kind of a two drummer thing, was Sami, from Bar Bäkkäri. Good friend of us too. Bar Bäkkäri crew was starting to do those ‘Party Like A Rockstar’ party’s at The Tiger nightclub in Helsinki. Sami asked me one day last summer that if this two drummer thing sound stupid? The point was of course that not just drummers, but also the style how we play, lots of energy and stick spin and stick flips etc. Miikki and I both were totally in for that idea and started to think and make this happen, that’s how Drum Inc got started. We have done three shows by now, and every show had been a little different and we’ve kinda been trying out different stuff, what works and what doesn’t. Talking a lot behind the scenes, what kind of songs were good and taking the feedback from our friends what more we would need, and what we need to do better and etc. Progress! Now I think we are starting to have Drum Inc in control and the concept is starting to get in shape.
Although drum cover bands are not unheard of, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that in Finland you’re the first formation like this. How was your reception? Were you accepted right away, or (considering you both have played with numerous bands), did you get smth like „where did you leave the guitarist/singer/bassist/etc. this time?”
HYTTINEN: No nothing like that. The audience was totally in for this right away. This is new in Finland like you said, and lots of people wore on fire about this, which was great! But other drummers… they got a lot of sand in their vagina about this kind of a project. Not everybody offcourse, but drummers are the worst. Those ‘drumming is about drumming’ and like professional drummers.
I don’t know why they don’t see that this is not just a “two drummers playing songs”, this is a show, we entertain, that’s the point of this, it’s a one show number, not band or anything. But those who play the same beat one hour, don’t smile at all, not even move their head, just sit straigth and play with those tired Finnish popstars, they just don’t get it, for them the drumming is all about some lame techniques, 16th note and jerking new snare sounds, and stick flips have nothing to do with drumming.
But, I don’t care about that. They can cry themselves to sleep. I love drumming and I like drummers, I can find everytime something good about the drummer. Some of us can’t do that. But like I said. I don’t care, if they can’t face the reality then they can’t. This is how you can play drums too, get that or go home and cry your mommy about it. When we play a show and people are coming to tell us like that was so great, that was insane, that matters to me. They come to see us again. We do this together, it’s super fun and I enjoy it! We can do this shit and we have sky as a limit. You don’t need to play drums at the rock-venue at the stage. I wanted to play drums there, that no one have ever thinking that there could be play drums, that’s my goal with this project.
Drum cover group’s are not new, that’s true. But I’ve been checking some those from Youtube, drum covers can be done two ways, play drums with the songs, or play the songs like we do. Everyone is free to choose which looks good and is better. We play the songs and give complete show too. Anyone can play drum covers, that’s a fact. To play the songs like us – feel free to try!
Niko, you took part in 2012’s Marraskuu song, and I admired your stick flipping (actually, this is how I identified you, when saw Juho Rinne’s video about P!nk’s So What cover) I was like, okay, the flipping seems to be similar, but his looks seem to have changed… How did you get involved with the Backstache project, what was it like for you?
HYTTINEN: I was younger at the Marraskuu video, haha 😀 Yeah. That’s about Movember, and mustache. Backstache is our Movember-team too. And again, Bar Bäkkäri crew take this credit too 😀 They got this idea to do kind of a “theme song” at Movember. I have no idea why that song, probably because Marraskuu means November in Finnish. We did the Muotitietoinen (and english version Moustache Does Suit Me) in 2013 too. I’m not in those videos but I played the drums at the studio for the track. Bäkkäri crew got the idea and asked their friends to play different instruments in the studio and they do the singing. And offcourse I’m in for those kind of a thing! It was fun to do. And I hope we are going to do those song’s every Movember!
Miikki, you played in the short-lived band, The Salvation. This was the first time actually we heard about you, about a certain Mr. Kunt. As Jack Smack of Private Line put it, you were popular with this name among the ladies. Is that so, is that name a reference to that vulgar English word, or was it an accident?
KUNT: HAHAHAHAH! Actually the name comes from my Last Name Kunttu. First i used it as Mr. Cunt but then i tought that it’s too straight up and Kunt is more read between the lines name J
Also, if you could say some words about The Salvation (I’ve been nagging Japa for an interview about it, he said yes, but forgot obviously). The Salvation was short-lived, but this short life was chaotic. As far as I know, you were the one who had a near-death call during this period. What exactly has happened?
KUNT: Yeah! I almost died 😀 I had a bad heart disease. I was in ICU three days and it was a bit scary when the doctor said to me „We dont know will you wake up in next morning…” well I did wake up 😀
But that band… actually I don’t know have we even broke up 😀 well we got lots and lots of attention from magazines, TV, Internet etc… but everything just went wrong. Bass player Sohei was exiled from Finland by a finnish coverment, label totally fucked up, BUT we recorded Live album and you can buy it from iTunes and listen it in Spotify – that is the legacy of The Salvation
AND have you ever heard that any other finnish band who have not released ANYTHING…had a interview in a national finnish television show 😉
Mikkii, you’re into body building as well, it seems to be a very important part of your life. Why? Do you intend to take part in contests?
KUNT: YES! It all started after I had those heart problems. I didn’t want to be a skinny girly guy and I wanted to be in a better shape. First I just jogged and about two years ago I went first time to gym. And before that I hated the gym! I didn’t understand people who go to gym J but I got totally hooked up! Nowadays I go to the gym about five times a week. I dont want to be as big as Arnold. It is about the feeling after the gym and also all the good things what comes from it. It is not about the muscles, it is all things what that kind of lifestyle includes. Healthy food, gym, good feeling and all the muscles are more than welcome, but I’m not going that far that I will hire a hitman to kill my wife 😀 And NO, I will not be involved in any contest.
Drumming seems to be a lifestyle for you. Why the drums, how did it all began?
KUNT: I saw a VHS tape from the US fest 83 and the Mötley Crüe was playing there and Tommy Lee was on the drums. I started to smash the pillows and wached that over and over again. I was on the second grade when I got my first drum kit as a birthday present
HYTTINEN: Drumming is a lifestyle for sure dude, you nailed that. For me it started when I was 11-years old when i started to play drums. I was totally blown away by the first hit I made. That was it. It began when my friends wanted to have a band, they asked me to play drums, I haven’t played drums ever but I was like okay why not, I have no idea but let’s do this shit. I always had that attitude, I still have.
These days I have a 11 months old son with my wife, I’m a father now and wanted to be best father so I needed to learn to say No. It’s been hard sometimes 😀 But this year, it’s February now and I have got three contacts about drumming. One studiosession and two bands to join the band.
The year 2013 was great for me, played drums from two records, Snow White’s Poison Bite “Featuring Dr.Guesome and the Gruesome Gory Horror Show” and Cold Cold Ground “Lies About Ourselves”. We had a minitour with Cold Cold Ground at Czech Republic and Spain, and I played live percussions with Black Light Discipline and Fear Of Domination. A good number of gigs. This year I decided I’ll take things easier, learn to say No for a while. Now I have this new band hardcore band and we are making songs, still playing drums with Cold Cold Ground too, but more at the practice space with both of those bands, making songs and can go sleep at home. And offcourse, sitting a lot infront of the computer and having good ideas at the Drum Inc. We are having goooood stuff coming up, so stay tuned for sure!
You both have been drumming since more than 10 years. What physical setbacks does it have to be a drummer, how do you keep yourself in shape? Sometimes I see photos of drummer’s badly hurt hands, bleeding fingers. From where do you get the strength to go on with the show, against such hurtful wounds and bruises? How do you handle yourselves afterwards?
HYTTINEN: For me it’s lot of the attitude. But offcourse, it takes thousands and thousands hours of practice. I run and skateboard, thats how I get myself in shape. Nothing big, Kunt is working with the bodybuilding too. He can tell if that has anything to do with drumming? One really big thing is stretching and warming up before the show, hands, legs and neck. Few push-ups, little running and jumping, spinning the sticks. I think pretty normal, lots of water too. Bruises and wounds coming yeah, every show. But I don’t feel those when I’m playing, I might see that now I hit my knuckles at the cymbal, but the pain comes after the show. Afterwards… it’s just needs some time, hahaha! Streching a little, sometimes a cup of coffee (hello to friends who get this 😉 ). Like, after the first Drum Inc show, I was totally falling apart. Every piece of my body was hurt, places and muscles I didn’t know they exist! It took a couple of days to walk again normally and be able to turn my head, but it’s worth it, every fucking time.
KUNT: There is no other choice than just go on. Sometimes it hurts like Hell but you just have to take it J gym helps physically. Only bad setback for me was the heart thing. My shoulder is smashed up and sometimes it hurts sooooo bad but I just have to bite my tongue 😀
Do you plan to go on tour, or making merch, some T-shirts maybe with that awesome profile pic your current page has? (I’d buy it 😀 ) In Germany, for example, Finnish bands are really loved and welcome. Do you think you’d have a chance with the German audience?
KUNT : It would be SOOOOOOO awesome to go on tour! Just two D(r)ummers and nobody else! Yes we have thought of t-shirts and we will make those absolutely but don’t know when. I think that Germany would like this kind of thing. We can do a setlist by a place. So if the place is rockbar we can do rock and if it’s dancebar we can do you dancelist. Only sky is the limit 😉
HYTTINEN: And eat Döner.
You both have numerous tattoos, we’d like to know more about them. What symbols do you have, what do they mean?
KUNT: I have a lot. So I pick up few of my faves. When me and my wife went to get married, we took each other’s names to our back of the hand, Then I have my sons names tattooed, my whole back as a Brandon Lee – The Crow character. It was my first movie what I remember and the whole story behind it is so sad but great J. Then I have BATMAN. Why? Because im HUUUUUGE Batman fan. Then I have the chest piece which is dedicated to my father. Then DRUM LIFE and LIVE WIRE on my fingers. On my throat is coffin and text over it NEVER. I’m not religious and I will never go to coffin when I’m dead, so that is my own fuck you to the different religions.
HYTTINEN: I have basic stuff, about my mom, about my kid, drum stuff, favorite band logos, actor Michael C Hall (Dexter) portrait . Nothing weird symbolic stories or anything. Black and gray, that’s my thing. When I want a tattoo, it’s pretty much straight up the thing I want, like my kid’s name. I’m not that type who gets a dragon and it has symbol of my son cos dragons are something something something.
Did you ever have bad experiences with fans, stalkers, groupies? Do you get recognized on the street?
HYTTINEN: I just got my first fan art, which was great! Greetings to Gaston at Portugal for that. Also those ‘you are my favorite drummer’ feedbacks are awesome, makes me feel so great every time! Those I won’t get bored ever, haha. It’s awesome that someone really likes my playing. But nothing hardcore, sometimes someone recognizes me, but usually at the venue. Also the younger drummers or band members from other bands have been coming to chat at the bar or venue but that’s just fun to chat with them. I keep my personal Facebook as a personal account, I add only people I know, but I get a lot of friend request from the fans, I counted about 400 last year. And that’s probably nothing, I can imagine how “bad” it is for the singers and those who got a bigger band and are bigger name at scene 😀 I’m sorry for those but I wanna keep it personal, that’s why I have my artistpage.
What is the most important to you in your lives?
KUNT: Family, friends and health.
HYTTINEN: My son, Noa. More than anything. I could easily give up on everything else!
Why should people go to your shows? What can we expect from you?
HYTTINEN: If they want to see show. They see a show. It’s more than drumming, its a drum circus with tons of energy uploaded onto that. If I go to see a band, or anything, I wanna see a show! But if I see dudes standing and playing, and a drummer just sitting and playing, I will leave really fast. At our show you can focus on such small details like how the stick is spinning and rolling, or the whole show. There is lots of stuff to see!
And finally…. what is your advice to the readers of Crack in Reality?
HYTTINEN: Keep reading and stay tuned. Believe in yourself, and if you do something, even you have no idea what you are doing, do it with a full attitude! And remember to laugh at yourself, nothing is more funnier than laugh at your own stupidity, I enjoy it a lot!!
You can find Kunt and Hyttinen Drum Inc here: Facebook
Miikki Kunt, drums and percussions
Niko Hyttinen, drums and percussions