After this interview AOR-Europe has pretty much covered Hanoi Rocks from every angle in the recent updates. Anyway, as you might have noticed there has been some changes in the Hanoi Rocks line up after the 80´s so let’s hear what the rhythm section (Timpa and Lacu) aided with keyboards (Pate) has to say about that and many other things.
AOR-E: How big a step was it for you to start playing in Hanoi Rocks?
Timpa: For me it was easier because I had been playing with Michael for four years. Then there was Hanoi Revisited and that was already quite big for me… It would have been totally different if out of the blue someone came and asked me “Do you want to play in Hanoi Rocks?” Anyway I think Michael and Andy are able to see what kinds of people are suitable for the band and who can also keep their shit together.
AOR-E: You’ve been playing a long time with Michael but what did you do before that?
Timpa: We had a cover band called Three Cowboys” and we would play with many of the Finnish rock stars. Lacu played also in the band. Sometimes you had only a week to learn 12 new songs so we developed as musicians a lot.
AOR-E: I understand that you are the man behind the new Hanoi Rocks logo?
Timpa: Yes I am and I’m very proud of it and happy that I was given the chance to do it. It was a big thing for me.
AOR-E: Will you be taking care of the artistic work also in the future?
Timpa: Sure, it there’s a need for I’ll be happy to do it.
AOR-E: Didn’t you also have some kind of degree?
Timpa: Yes, I have a visual arts degree.
AOR-E: Lacu and Timpa, you go back a long way, right?
Timpa: It’s good to have someone that you’ve known for a long time in the band. There’s a downside to it too…
Lacu: Yeah, we’re like a married couple sometimes when we bitch and moan at each other. Timpa is also helping me to find suitable clothes…
Timpa: Not the jacket you we’re wearing yesterday, that was hideous!
AOR-E: Were you the guys who introduced Costello for Mike and Andy?
Timpa: Me and Lacu sat down one time when we were thinking about who would be a good guitarist for the band. So I suggested, half kidding actually, that we should call Costello. Then Lacu went and called him and he was delighted.
AOR-E: Pate, how long have you been with Hanoi Rocks?
Pate: Three months so far. So I guess my trial period is pretty much over… (laughs)
AOR-E: How much Hanoi influenced you back in the 80´s?
Timpa: For me it was the first band that would make me really flip and change the way I look quite radically. I was a fan.
Lacu: I never listened to Hanoi Rocks back then. Now that I’ve been given a change to learn them and play the songs I’ve really enjoyed them.
Timpa: So of course it is great to do new things with Mike and Andy and see that the material is turning out really good.
AOR-E: Some people have reacted quite strongly because there are new members in Hanoi Rocks. How do you feel about that?
Timpa: I have no pressure whatsoever. If the guys want us in the band I’m satisfied. I don’t care that much about opinions, there are so many of them, good and bad. I think that if Mike and Andy would have thrown us out after Hanoi Revisited and called Nasty and Sam and whoever, there might actually be more people complaining.
Lacu: Some people have really been against us but when they come to the show they are true fans again…
AOR-E: Timpa, you have also a family. How have they been reacting to all of this?
Timpa: The kids like the new songs and my son has started to listen to Hanoi Rocks. In my age you can keep your feet on the ground and appreciate all you have.
AOR-E: There’s always talk about substance abuse, alcohol, drugs etc. when people talk about rock music. Do you feel like you could be a positive role model for the kids.
Timpa: I think we could have more influence than some authority or some strict educator…
Pate: I’m more sceptical about that, the stereotypes are pretty strong when you think about rock bands…
Timpa: Drinking among youth is increasing and that’s not a good thing. Some people can handle alcohol better than others, but never a young person. They don’t know what they are doing with alcohol. Sometimes even their parents don’t know how to use alcohol which is often the biggest problem. The biggest influence comes from home, upbringing etc.
AOR-E: Michael once said that people who were supposed to ruin their lives in the 80’s by listening to Hanoi come now as a CEO of some company to thank him about the music. So they didn’t turn out so bad after all…
Timpa: Alcohol is legal for people who are old enough and you use it to relax and have fun. I remember Andy saying that you can’t be in this profession if you’re hammered 24 hours a day.
All in all I have to say that in addition to sounding and looking good on the stage these three are also really funny guys. I really enjoyed the fifteen minutes with them and fortunately managed to get some questions in here and there. If you haven’t checked our interview with Mike and Andy you can find it here. There’s also a review of the Hanoi gig with plenty of pics here.