1. So, do you consider it to be the low point of your career to be interviewed for a site that has "AOR" in its' name? There goes your metal credibility out of the window? :-)

R: Any publicity is good publicity, even tough there is this infamous prefix, AOR in site's name… Or wait, what did AOR mean?[AOR-E: "Adult Oriented Rock", "Album Oriented Rock", "Any Ol' Rock"...] Well in that case I have to say yes, this is our low point. :-)
P: You can write a song to yourself or to someone else. This is the latter case. Out of the window? Well, I have practised climbing walls few times so I don’t think it’s so hard to get back unless that window is closed or neck gets broken.

2. Now onto the more "standard questions"...Do the members of Sister Manik have a heavy metal background or what kind of bands have you been playing prior to SM?

R: Not necessarily Heavy Metal but Hard Rock. We all have different backgrounds though. I played few years in the same band with Mambo (drummer) before SM was founded. I think before that he has some Trash and Speed Metal bands in his past. Anyhow, you can mix those different backgrounds and as a result of that you have endless opportunities to develop your music.
P: Mika and I have made music long before SM with Mikko… My poor Mikko! My sweetest personal cantor. What can I tell you more? Don't tell you any names, we don't dwell in the past.

3. Who are your biggest influences?

R: I like to keep my mind open to all kinds of music. There is only one thing I hate and that is Swedish trailer music! You can listen one chorus, but after that you are ready to kill yourself.
P: …or your neighbours. I think it happens all the time in the big trailer-festivals. One man gets always knife in his chest, because Jack the Ripper didn’t like his wife dancing with anybody else. Did you get an answer?

4. What kind of a "battle plan" you have for the next few months? You seem to be playing live quite often, do you have any plans to enter a studio soon?

R: Our Battle plan is to play live and loud in various places all around Finland. We still have some un-necessary free-time in our desk calendar, so this goes out to all you promoters: make a wise move and book Sister Manik to your festival, club or whatever!! We will play ourselves to your manik hearts.
P: That's the main plan. On the side there are plans to get in the studio in the late summer…it just seems that all the best places here in Finland are very booked at the moment but you can wait for new stuff and official release in the shape of 5-track MCD in the autumn. So keep tuned!

5. Let's talk about the CD-demo "Manik Heart". Does it represent the sound of the band well, or are the some sides that are yet to be captured on tape?

P: It's good start.
R: I think that “Manik Heart” is only the beginning of our musical journey. We have a certain red line in our music, but we produce new music all the time. It may not be so different comparing to our songs in demo, but we try to add new flavours to it all the time.

6. My favourite called "Hold On"...why on earth did you think it would be necessary for you too to have a song called "Hold On"? It's the 145th "Hold On" I've heard this year...:-)

P: Only 145th? Every self-respecting musician has to use at least one such a popular name as “Hold On”. Honestly, in this song “Hold On“ doesn’t mean the words you hear when your honey is getting horny or sitting with you in the roller coaster wagon. I wrote these lyrics in 45 BC and Ceasar was my biggest influence… and then he died.
R: I like holding on…

7. The SM live show is apparently something to look out for. I've yet to see you live; what can I expect? Plastic dragons and a laser show? :-)

R: If you want to I can get you some plastic dragons and lasers, but you don’t need those things in our gig. We try to provide massive show without laserdragons (Please, send us money so we can use lasers and dragons, maybe even stage-smoke!). Seriously, we try to give all we have at the stage and I think that the audience responses better when they see that the band is giving everything to them. Plus we have good songs.
P: I like dragons. Why don’t we have dragons? I want dragons! I want money, limousine and red Smarties. NOT those brown ones! [AOR-E: All hail Diamond Dave & Co!]

8. Have you been approached by any record labels yet? Would you prefer to start with a smaller label or go straight to a major label?

R: There's been some slight interest shown but as far as I know more from the labels outside Finland. But there hasn't been any serious negotiations yet. Of course we're looking forward to have a good deal but I wouldn't panic at this point.
P: Big or small? Both have their sides. I don't speculate with this kind of things.

9. Who would be your "dream producer" for the first real SM album?

R: Tony Mottola. Is he producer? No? Just dirty old man? [AOR-E: I guess Mariah C. would know...]
P: I' m not dreaming about producers. Obviously Rikke is…

10. When will our foreign readers have the chance to "get manik" - to see you live abroad?

P: There are no plans for touring Europe at the moment. We know that it would be very hard to arrange in many respects but of course we are open to all offers. All promoters out there take your mobiles, we are still cheap but not cheap!
R: As we don't have any big booking agency on our side it would be more realistic to expect band doing just couple of club-dates outside Finland this year, maybe in our dear neighbouring countries. But you never know, of course it would be cool to do a tour as a support act for decent headliner even now without our "own" audience.

11. A few foreign readers have visited your site and have been quite puzzled, since there's no english content. When will that be fixed?

P: Learn finnish! Seriously I have been promised that the stupid problem will be fixed very soon. In a month or so. There's also some new content coming as real video -clip(s) from gigs and tour diaries I've been writing so keep coming back!
R: We know that the situation has been fucked up for all non finnish-speakers and there are total 5 billion of you out there, all potential SM-fans!

12. Anything you'd like to say to our readers? Fire away, here's your chance!

R:Brothers and Sisters- It’s time to get Manik! Can I go now?
P: Remember this: little children taste more delicious with maple syrup and well-roasted. [AOR-E: Stay tuned for "Pinja's Kitchen", a new column starting in the near...or make that distant future.]

Interview by Kimmo Toivonen,
pix borrowed from