How would you describe your music to someone new to your band?
SI > Liskot plays mysterious punk music.
Are there some bands you could compare yourself with, or some you could recommend to people that like your music?
VA > Perhaps some parts of Liskot could be compared to bands like Valse Triste or Body Count. However there weren't any specific bands that influenced us when Liskot was started.
What were the original reasons or happenings that caused the birth of Liskot? Was it more of a coincidence or a mutual decision of three people with similar views and goals?
SA >I broke a string on my bass when we were recording a real album of a completely different band.
SI > We were trying to overdo our recording skills, and also most of the gear malfunctioned. We got somewhat pissed off and made something completely different with just few mics and recorded live. Vaskitsa had some notes and lyrics he planned using for a yet unborn project, and me and Sammakko absorbed his vision immediately. Yeah it was Liskot.
You chose the name Liskot (which stands for Lizards) for your band, and the three of you use some lizards as pseudonyms to hide your real names. What does the name Lizards represent, and why did you choose to appear anonymously?
VA > I wanted the band to have a name that was sympathetic and mysterious at the same time. So, Liskot it was. Actually only one of us has a lizard as a pseudonym. The other guys are just a snake and a frog. That's the joke behind the names really. Using our own names would even subconsciously restrict our expression. Now we can produce whatever filth we feel suitable.
SI > The finnish punk scene is close-minded and hard to get into if you aren't any "famous" person. Anonymity can be seen as a protest against that also. The ideas should matter, not what your name is.
Despite your anonymity, would you like to tell us something about your other musical and such activities that you have besides liskot? Is Liskot a part of a bigger whole in your expression, or maybe a whole different side of it?
SI > To be honest, it is not our only band. We have few other projects, but they are musically different than Liskot.
VA > But that doesn't make Liskot any less important. It just serves a different purpose in our expression. Liskot isn't so well-planned, it all comes really spontaneously.
What are the overall aims or goals of your band? Be they musical or other ones.
All > We would like to have a nice bunch of popsicles. Please.
You self-released two demo tapes without advertising them almost at all. Now you've self-released your debut album as a cd-r, but this time you've decided to advertise your band and you've even sent the album to be reviewed in some places. Why did you choose to do this now, and not before or later?
VA > I think when the first demo was made we didn't think this would really interest anyone beside ourselves. "Vampyyrilapsien kšhmintšš" demo and the full-length were spread more widely because we felt our ideas should be shared with everyone. Even with your mother.
SI > And with the religious leaders.
VA > I would also like to mention that Damned by Light is the only zine that has reviewed the album! So all the other elitist reviewers can suck my dick.
Not only did you release the album yourselves, but you're also sending it away for free! I'm curious to know how long you'll be doing this (both the self-releasing and keeping the albums free), and how much and where have you sent the album this far?
SA > We're giving the album for free as long as we feel we should. That may not last long, we don't know. At this point we have sent some 50 or 60 albums both to be reviewed and to anyone who has shown interest.
What are your goals with this, are you aiming to get some name, or are you maybe trying to find a record label?
SI > Those things are irrelevant.
VA > It would be handy to have some label to back us up but that wasn't the original intention behind sending free records. Perhaps it could also be seen as an attempt to break free (at least for a moment) from the vicious cycle of money transfer.
In your opinion, what musical influences does Liskot show in it's music, and what kind of musical influences do you overall have? It at least seems that you've got some influences from psychedelic and/or progressive rock.
VA > It's really hard to name any certain influences. I've been playing together with these guys for a decade and there's tons of things and different types of music that have influenced us. During the past five years we've mostly been into psychedelic rock, stoner, sludge and punk. As a group, I mean. Everyone has also their personal musical vices. Not really anything too progressive.
SA > Iím not into progressive rock. Iím more into old 60ís and 70ís muscle cars.
Speaking about the psychedelic elements: the last song "Anselmi" has an about five minutes long "outro-part" that's mostly some simplistic and groovy jamming with some echoed shouts. One could say that this part is there to lenghten the otherwise quite short album; therefore I ask you, is it so or does this part have a different reason for it's existence? Does this part maybe signify that Liskot will take a step for the more psychedelic waters in the future?
VA > We wanted the album to have a sort of cinematic and epic ending. I think there will be more this type of experimentation in the future. So far it's been mostly demented punk rock. Speaking about psychedelic waters... When we were recording MMONT?-album Sammakko really sunk deep into the caverns of his mind and was close to a serious psychosis. I really feel sorry for him.
SI > It was definately not made to lenghten the album. In my opinion, Anselmi as a song without the ending is quite crappy. The ending changes the whole tone of the release and makes the listener wonder what will be on the next album.
All your releases have been recorded live, so they could be seen as rehearsal recordings in a way. Why do you record live, and are you going to do so in the future, too?
VA > In my opinion they can't be seen as rehearsal recordings because the songs have been rehearsed (even briefly) beforehand. These are the actual and final recordings. Recording live doesn't make them less "real". Vice versa, I would say! I think Liskot will always record more or less live. Taking too much time to adjust the sounds and record every instrument separately would ruin the spontaneous feeling. However we've bought some more equipment lately and the future recordings will perhaps have a "fuller" sound.
How are these recording sessions like? At least some vocals sound like they were recorded while having some sleep debt (or deprivation), as they seem to lack self-criticism and -constraint.
SI > Self criticism in punk music? I really don't care about the sound quality, and by doing a crappy-sounding album I can ensure that no fruity trend-punks are listening to us.
VA > Most of the material is recorded at night because of our everyday lives' schedules. There's sleep deprivation and overall chaos. Also lots of brotherly love, I would like to mention. We arrive at the Liskot headquarters some time in the afternoon and spend at least an hour or two eating and chatting. Because we live in different parts of Finland we've got to update each other about recent criminal activities. Then we jam some riffs and fool around. When the night falls we're ready to record.
You explore many themes in your lyrics. These include criticism towards the society, the main religions and the (Finnish) justice system, but you also have an equal amount of songs about your less fond childhood memories and some child-like observations. Where do these two very different themes meet, and how did you decide to use both in your expression?
VA > We got into this by intuition. As you wrote in the MMONT?-album review, Liskot makes childlike observations about the world. So much fucked up stuff and strange characters has crossed our paths in the childhood that there's material enough for at least three albums. I also think that punk music should ALWAYS have a politic edge so we combined the two themes.
We all know that the government, the police, and the religions and their "leaders" so to say have been criticised and mocked within punk for more times than anyone could count. What are the reasons for you to use these rather traditional themes in your lyrics?
SI > Because the government, the police, and the major religions are still causing problems and grief in the world.
VA > Liskot targets their message also to teenagers and young people. With this target audience you have to start from basic things. The intention is to arouse doubt towards the authorities.
Your criticism towards the things mentioned above seems to be more focused on some individual events or experiences than searching for overall flaws. What are the reasons for this? And of course, what are the things you would like to change or alter within these themes?
SI > It's just natural to tell things from your own point of view. The second question is too hard to answer.
You publish no lyrics, but instead you've added explanations of each song's theme and ideas to accompany all your releases. Why did you choose to deliver your message this way?
SA > I didnít do the decision on this. But I like it.
VA > I can't remember really. But I think it might have something do with the fact that I wanted to express Liskot isn't only about retarded humor. The explanations possibly clarify that there's a real meaning behind it all.
It's noticeable that the lyrics haven't been written in the most serious way possible. Aren't you afraid that the humorous aspect damages the impact of your message, or it's delivery? One could ask the same considering your more or less humorous vocal styles, too.
SI > I think the message reaches it's listener, humor or not. It doesn't change the facts.
VA > About the vocals... It could be said that twisted lyrical subjects need a psychotic delivery also.
Speaking of which: what is your message? You had some "theses" written on your second demo. How do these ideals show in the music of Liskot?
SI > My message is "Be crazy and always recycle"
VA > I think the message of Liskot can't be squeezed into a clear ideology. But the guidelines could be something like this: One should preserve spontaneity, maintain a connection to nature, to cherish understanding of difference, aim to spiritual development and most importantly, to think for himself.
What kind of plans do you have for Liskot's future? You haven't done any gigs this far, is this going to change?
SI > We are trying to get gigs. The album was made live, but since our recording equipment isn't too fancy, no one has actually heard what we really sound like. And live acts would also have some other threatening aspects than just the music.
VA > We're rehearsing the live set and writing new material. There's plenty of new songs already. Perhaps we'll have a new release ready during the summer.
Regular guestions. I know that this doesn't affect Liskot at all yet, but: what is your view on music piracy?
SA > I donít mind if people use illegal downloading to get their music. I donít do that but some do and thatís ok. What I am more concerned about are legal downloading and services such as Spotify. If they get more and more popular, the record shelves and physical albums will eventually disappear. I have no intention on paying for an mp3-file. Ever.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
SI > Every house and apartment would have basements where people could hang out.
SA > There would be no SUVs.
VA > Maakkuel would be granted with an annual fund by the government because he's an endless source of inspiration for Liskot.
Your thoughts about these three small words: Music, Human, God?
SI > Those could be our next pseudonyms. I'm God.
SA > I could be Music, because I like music.
And, naturally, why should we listen to Liskot?
God > There's really no reason why.
VA > Some perverts could perhaps enjoy the morbid stories we tell through our noise.
This paragraph was saved for whatever you want to say, so feel free to speak your mind.
God > I have a hat.
VA > Circumcision of children happens even in Finland. And only because of a religious tradition.
Thank you for the interview.
All > Thanks for yourself! The pleasure was ours.