Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Feb 28th 2010 10:46AM by Lea Terry
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Little Richard, to begin with, and Alice Cooper, the Rolling Stones, the Ramones. Some of the blues stuff--Little Walter is my favorite harmonica player. Little Walter's the best. And I like some reggae too. A lot of punk stuff--Mott the Hoople, the Faces, Nazareth. Stiv Bators of Dead Boys and Lords of the New Church, one of the coolest front men of all time. And also Johnny Thunders, of New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers. When I was a kid, when I was eight years old, I saw Black Sabbath on TV. That was the first rock and roll I got into. That was like, 1970, 'Black Sabbath Live in Paris,' and I figured, "Hey, I want to be like that singer."
So that was part of what inspired you to go into music?
That was part of it, yeah. They had such a heavy sound, it sounded really big. And that's how I got into rock and roll. There wasn't much rock and roll in Finland at the time, so whenever you saw something on TV, you were like, "Wow." Then I saw this documentary about rock and roll in general, and saw the Stones, and then I got into Little Richard, and '50s rock and roll. I learned to play the saxophone by playing to Little Richard records, and the Coasters, and stuff like that.
How would you describe your sound?
I guess you could say it's energetic rock and roll with a good attitude, with a nice punk edge. Pretty hard rockin', but not heavy. It's good rock and roll with good melodies and good lyrics.
You just introduced a new band you'll be touring with. How did the band come together?
Me and Sami Yaffa hooked up at the end of last summer when he played Finland with the New York Dolls and I was jamming with them on stage. After the show we hung out and he said he'd really like to work with me again after all these years. I felt the same, of course, so we started keeping in touch and working on song ideas and stuff. I also met up with Ginger last summer and we worked on some songs too. In the beginning of last December Ginger told me that he would like to join my band and Sami and me thought it was a great idea. Todd Youth came along in the fall out of Sami's recommendation. Jimmy Clark was the only drummer I knew in the States at the time, so he joined in.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
Nothing that crazy comes to mind. Being on tour in itself is pretty crazy. Once at a show in Scotland there was a weird tension in the air throughout most of the gig. Then a very big drunken guy got up on stage, knocked down the roadies and security guys with one hand. He came toward me ready to kill, so I jumped up and punched him and surprisingly he fell down. A big fight broke out and there was chaos for a while. After things calmed down we hit the stage again for a few very punky songs and the crowd went totally nuts over us--we completely won them over.
What's in your festival survival kit?
For festival shows, like for any shows I like to have still spring water, some clean towels and some fresh fruit backstage.
What's your biggest vice?
Rock and roll, I guess.
What are your musical guilty pleasures?
I feel no guilt about musical pleasures.
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
They're both great, but I do listen to the Stones more.
What are you most looking forward to about playing the SXSW festival?
Opening up for Motorhead, playing at different cool occasions and meeting a lot of cool people, like Lemmy [lead singer of Motorhead], for example.
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