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A Dirty Dozen with LAURI LYYTINEN from GREEN KING – December 2022

| 30 December 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Hidden Beyond Time is the debut album by Finnish heavy metal group Green King. Inspired by the many sub-genres of heavy music, Hidden Beyond Time moves from hard hitting cuts fueled by chugging, galloping riffs that brings to mind the great metal era of the 70/80s and relentless, stoner metal infused adrenaline shots to more mellow, experimental tracks featuring folk inspired melodies. Formed in Helsinki, Finland, as a side project to play heavy stoner music, Green King quickly developed their style into a more traditional style of heavy metal. Drawing influences from the vast history of heavy metal, Green King fills their songs with monumental riffs and colossal guitar harmonies.” We get guitarist Lauri to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Not gonna tell, y’all have to listen the album over and over again haha. There are lots of inside jokes there that are not anyway audible to anyone else. Things like the main inspiration behind the lyrics of “Gates Of Annihilation.” It’s essentially a story about a trap for ants. You know the sort where a worker ant follows a bait into a pit of doom, then gets dosed with poison. Then the poor little bastards go back home and share the poison with the rest of the colony eliminating the whole population. On the last song “Lifetakers” the ending was taken from a drunken jam that turned into the most annoying song in the world. We wanted to close the album with some acoustic guitar and in lack of a better idea, we just shaped that drunken jam into what you can hear on the record. Seriously though, I hope that the album gives listeners something to chew on, everyone can find something different there what they might like and dislike.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I think there’s never been any other option for me. I remember staging rock concerts with my Legos when I was a kid. I built a whole stage, put the lil dudes standing there and blasted some music from my stereos. Luckily my parents were supportive and understanding. I got my first guitar at the age of 13 or 14, and that was pretty much it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Being a 90’s kid, the first album I got was Metallica’s Load. I remember hearing some stuff from the Black Album also. The pop punk scene was huge back then so the Offspring caught my ear pretty early on. As I grew up, I discovered Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd and HIM. They all sounded different and interesting compared to the other crap on the radio. The first gig I went to was Iron Maiden back in 2003, I was totally blown away by that!

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I’d love to do some guitar nerd out session with Brandon Ellis, but if he recorded anything with us , it would be almost impossible for me to replicate it because he’s so insanely good. We’ve always done everything totally DIY, with a little help from our very close friends, so having someone else meddling in our stuff could possibly feel a bit weird, not that I’m against the idea though. And we actually had our friends from Portland, Mare the band, to take care of vocal duties in “Prelude To Massacre.” They delivered!!

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Just trying to catch up with chores around the house, spend as much time with my kid and my partner as possible. I have a day job, two active bands and two not so active bands so I have extremely limited time off. I wish I had more time to just sit down, read a book and practice some guitar stuff.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Nothing too cringe so far, but it’s funny how people hear stuff that’d never crossed my mind. Let’s see when the reviews start kicking in. I’d say our music is part traditional and part modern heavy metal. We try to keep away from being retro, but when you play moustache heavy metal like this, it’s probably going to sound retro to a lot of people.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I’ll do the cooking, Eppu (our singer/guitsrist) will probably be the one to bring some extra beers. In Finland, everybody usually buys their own beer to a party. Myself and the bassist Hege have our little party bravura where play Maiden’s blood brothers four handed on a acoustic guitar. Ode (the drummer) is known for sleeping on a floor in a weird positions, he a bit feline that way. No singalongs for us thank you.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I remember seeing Ville Valo in a music store a few years back. I was getting my amp back from a repair and the guy from the store placed my amp on top of some old fender bassman 410 combo. Turned out it was Ville’s amp. He kindly asked if I could move my amp so he could get the bassman and be on his way. I’ve been listening HIM since I was 12, so yeah, I was a little starstruck.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part is when like-minded people get together and play music. It takes a lot of work to put a song together so that everyone is happy with their own parts and with the whole song. But when you do it in a good company, it doesn’t feel like work at all. There’s some weird connection going on. We’ve been friends way longer than we’ve had this band, so I’m feeling pretty lucky to play good music with this bunch of dudes that I’d be hanging out with anyways. Since we still haven’t sold a million records, I still have a day job in Helsinki university’s library. For me, that’s a good balance between the rock ’n’ roll and everyday life.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Q: Can I buy you a beer? A: Yes! This has been really fun interview so far, but there’s still two questions that can fuck everything up. I just saw this video where a journalist asked the prime ministers of Finland and New Zealand if they met up because they are around the same age. That’s a pretty stupid question.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Not really! I’ve made my mistakes and learned from them, and I intend to continue doing so. Although I wish I’d let my hair grow longer in my early Black Lizard and Green King days.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d love to see James Jamerson laying down the bassline for “What’s Going On.” The whole story behind that session is one of my favourites. Such a great song and one of the best basslines ever played.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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