You know how these interviews start. Could you describe your music and style to those of our readers who haven't heard of you?
Gyntsä > Raw and loud.
How did you three meet and came to eventually form a band? What were your original intentions and main influences with Chestburster, and are they still the same ones today?
Pyry > I became to know Gyntsä when he joined a stoner rock band I was in. In 2007 we decided to play some psychedelic shit as a duo. Paavo is Gyntsä's friend since childhood and joined the band when it was time to take this thing on stage.
Paavo > We also had a short-lived death metal band with Pyry and Gyntsä before I joined the band. My intention is to drink a lot of beers and to score a lot of chicks.
Gyntsä > Wipers, MC5, Stooges and Dinosaur Jr have had a huge influence on my life.
As of now, do you have some concrete goals you're striving to achieve with the band, or is it more about having a good (or bad) time?
Pyry > I guess recording a full lenght is one of our goals. Hopefully this won't take too long to achieve. Having a good time is also pretty important, we don't want to push things. It's better to let them flow naturally.
Gyntsä > I'd like to tour with this band. That's my goal.
As I haven't heard your first two tape-releases, could you tell us if they were similar to what you're doing today, or something completely different? I'm assuming a re-press of those tapes won't be done anytime soon?
Pyry > We don't want to spread those tapes anymore because the band's evolution has gone forward so much. There are same elements in those songs that we use even these days. I don't know how to describe the first tape, it's so unfocused, but the second sounds like a rough mix of Electric Wizard, old Hellacopters and Dinosaur Jr, haha.
Gyntsä > The first two tapes are confusing to me. We were trying to find ourselves back then and didn't have a clue which direction we should take our music.
Why the name Chestburster? I'm assuming it's a reference to the Alien-saga, but I don't quite see the connection between the creatures from the film and your music, so I might be wrong here.
Pyry > It does indeed come from Alien. I don't think Nirvana played any kind of Buddhist music in spite of their name? Hehe.
Starting with your own debut 7", you haven't exactly been hiding that you endorse cannabis. Is it something that affects the way you perform and/or compose, or in other words, is it an essential component in the sound of Chestburster or more of a personal statement?
Pyry > I wouldn't say it affects Chestburster's sound on a regular basis. Some of us smoke more, some less, it's just something that we do. I believe many young men like ourselves do the same. It's just a spontaneous thing. However, I think that in the right hands cannabis can be a valuable tool for self-exploration and medication.
Paavo > Pyry has a drug problem.
Gyntsä > I like to smoke every now and then just for boredom.
Regarding the above, is your composition-process more about pre-composed material or the end result of hours of jamming together? How often do you rehearse by the way?
Pyry > We rehearse once a week and try to keep it moving. Usually Gyntsä comes up with rough song skeletons beforehand and even records man-and-guitar type of demos by himself. I write a bunch of lyrics without hearing the songs and Gyntsä picks those that suit the music best. Then we finally jam the songs together as a band and Paavo and I come up with our own thing to them with bass and drums.
In all honesty, I don't really know what lies behind your lyrics. They seem to include some hazy mind-flow, pure hate and anguish of the modern world, but, again, I might be wrong. What are they about, and what inspires them? Do you see the lyrics as an important factor in your music, or is it way more about the compositions themselves?
Pyry > Lyrics play a very important role in Chestburster's expression. They indeed are written in a stream of (un)consciousness mode. Mostly they are collages built of dreams, feelings, and things that have happened to ourselves or those close to us. Much of it is expressed in nasty metaphors.
We don't really feel like singing about wizards or horror movies. Real life is a fucked up trip in itself.
One more recurring theme in your releases, from the album- and song titles and cover arts to the actual lyrics, is sexuality. Is there any specific reason for this, or is there a certain aspect you wish to bring out through your lyrics?
Pyry > Sexuality is present because we are perverse motherfuckers and it's an interesting subject. It's not about trying to be shocking or anything like that. I don't know if I can even explain this really. It's an obsessive thing...
Do you have any political, ideological or such foundations that affect your operations within the band? At least it seems that you aren't too fond of the police, heh.
Paavo > We have different opinions on some things but overall our outlook on life isn't too different.
Pyry > Still, we don't have a political or ideological consensus in the band. Quite the opposite...
The word "pig" doesn't really refer to the police in our songs although we've had some problems with the boys in blue. Our attitude towards authorities is complicated but personally I don't think that "all cops are bastards".
Aside of other bands, what are you inspired by? Does the environment of your hometown Kouvola inspire you, either positively or negatively? I don't think I've even been there, so I don't know what kind of a city it is.
Paavo > It's a love-hate relationship really. I have been thinking about moving to another city but overall I like living in Kouvola. So I would say it inspires us positively.
Gyntsä > The architecture is horrible, city politics suck and there are lots of insincere people. But there are also nice folks here. Music scene is also really active. There are few people organizing gigs and other similar activities on a regular basis. So it could be worse. On the other hand I think Kouvola doesn't really differ that much from other cities in Finland.
After your first 7"-release, you did a split 7" with Stasi. How did you come to make a split with them? I've understood that quite a few songs were left over from those sessions due to length limitations, will they be properly released sometime in the future?
Pyry > Perhaps all of our unreleased songs could be compiled when the time is right. However, in the near future we will focus in releasing new material.
I don't remember too good how the split thing came about. I think it was about mutual respect between the bands and we'd played quite a few gigs together also. Thanks for the labels who put that one out!
Gyntsä > I think it was someone from Stasi who came up with the split.
Paavo > Stasi was (is?) a great band. It's actually a pretty good split 7".
Do you have any other splits currently being planned - or in your dreams?
Pyry > No plans for split releases at the moment. A split with Bardo Pond or Räjäyttäjät would be cool, heh.
Onwards to the present: your newest releases are a 10" titled "Private Parties," after which you released a tape of older material titled "Born to Disappoint." I might be over-analyzing these titles and your general aesthetics, but are you some kind of world-loathing introverts, or is this kind of a "secluded" outsider-approach just a part of Chestburster's character?
Gyntsä > I don’t want to fit in. Most people are a waste of time.
Pyry > I think I'm speaking for all of us if I say that we've grown into an outsider mentality. There are times when I don't feel fit into this society and its expectations about how one should spend his life. It's a cold world out there and I'm beginning to feel a little frosty myself, heh... Outsiderism is indeed an ongoing theme in our songs.
Whereas the "Born..."-tape didn't blow me away (although I wasn't disappointed either, heh), I was very impressed by your "Secret Sex Tape"-tape and the aforementioned 10"-EP. Especially the songs on the latter are hazy and passive, but also very appealing and truly catchy at times. In short, for me it's the best recording you've done so far. Was it the goal for you to create slightly catchier material for this record, or is the image of catchiness just a by-product of you getting better at what you do?
Paavo > The BTD-tape has good songs but the production could be better. I don't think that Gyntsä really thinks much when he writes those songs. He he.
By the way... Why is there a photo of a cat in the cover of "Secret Sex Tape"? Your other releases seem to have a certain logic behind their visual side, but this one I don't get.
Pyry > The cover is shot by "Hena" and is located in a vacant house in Kouvola. The cat poster might have witnessed many kind of activities during the years it has hung on that wall. The expressionless face of the cat remains neutral to whatever actions have taken place. Perhaps even the shooting of a secret home video...
Aside of my comments, how have your releases and gigs been received? Do you think that people "get" what you do? As far as I know, there aren't a lot of bands like yours in Finland.
Paavo > Actually I think only a few people "get" what we do. Even I'm not always sure what we're doing or what we should do.
Pyry > There can be only one (the true) Chestburster, heh. Comments about the releases and gigs have been mainly positive and we're thankful about that. Especially the energy in live situations has been great.
Is Chestburster the same band in recording environment and in live-situations, or do you approach those two somehow fundamentally differently?
Gyntsä > Personally I feel more comfortable on stage.
Pyry > Recording sessions can differ from each other because of the guy who pushes the rec-button, equipment and so on. Sometimes it's been quite difficult to find the correct sound. On stage it's always the same fist-in-your-face type of approach. We're a live band for sure.
What lies in the future of Chestburster? Do you have some upcoming releases in the works?
Pyry > Secret Sex Tape will come out on vinyl in a couple of months. There will also be a few tracks on two different compilations that'll come out during the year.
Gyntsä > We're also playing in Estonia and Latvia at the end of august.
I've understood that some of you are a part of the "Brownhill Mafia"-collective that releases tapes and such. What do you have in store for its future; are there some upcoming releases you'd like to announce?
Pyry > "Able To Quit But Not Willing" compilation tape is in the works. It will include great bands from Helsinki-Kouvola-Lappeenranta axis. Stay tuned and support the Brownhill family. Contact: brownhillmafia(at)gmail.com
Paavo > Also we are going to do a small Baltic tour with Renate/Cordate in August.
As a closing question, you endorse the show Alf as well. What's so special about that one? I think it's been years since I saw an episode of it, so my memories of it are rather faded.
Pyry > The band's fourth member "Hena" is obsessed with Alf. And I think that the Alf-Baphomet he did for the shirt design bought our childhood horrors into a new light. It kind of gave a face to our inner demons.
Any final comments, questions, adverts, whatever?
Pyry > Thanks again, M. Keep up the good work! Chestburster in the web:
Facebook: (the true) Chestburster
Thank you for giving us a chunk of your time.
Gyntsä > Thanks.
Paavo > Thank you and all apologies.