Lordi is a Heavy Metal band originally based out of Rovaniemi, Finland that formed in 1992 founded by Mr. Lordi, who is the vocalist, lyricist, and Artist. The band is also made up of guitarist Kone, drummer Mana, bassist Hiisi, and keyboardist Hella. They have released 19 albums over the years and recently released Screem Writers Guild that is through their new label home, Atomic Fire Records, on March 31st of 2023.
Mr. Lordi began drawing when he was only three years old, and his very first painting was of ET when he was eight, followed by a painting of Gizmo from The Gremlins, Gene Simmons, and then the fourth one was of KISS, all made with oil paints, until he switched to painting with his still-preferred method of acrylics. “I’ve been drawing since I could crawl, before I could walk. I’ve always liked to draw. That was my thing, I always wanted to be a comic book Artist when I was a little kid. I was drawing little comic books of my own when I was four.”
Usually, he paints everything in black and white first, then uses color afterwards. “I only use white and black. White and black first, and then color it with the toning. Then you get the whole contrast much better if you’re not trying to get the color schemes just right when you’re doing it. The ultimate black and the ultimate white, everything in the grey-scale and in between…And then when you’re done with that, you can start painting, coloring. It’s good with acrylics, because it gives you undo options!”
Being an Art student as a child and in college, Mr. Lordi would always go outside the box with his assignments. Teachers would have the class paint something that was on their desk, such as a vase, and he would add in little monsters crawling up the vase to make it interesting. The teachers weren’t such a fan and told him to start drawing other things, that he wouldn’t be able to keep up drawing monsters for the rest of his Life. Mr. Lordi exclaimed the following message back to his teachers, “WELL HERE I AM, FORTY YEARS LATER! Still drawing monsters and doing pretty well drawing monsters! So, it’s like ha-ha in your face!!”
In second grade, Mr. Lordi began playing with his Mom’s makeup, wondering what he would look like if he took his Mom’s eyeliner to draw a monster face on top of his own. That was a revelation moment for him, and it was also around the same time he started getting into Horror.
Mr. Lordi’s first Horror experience wasn’t from a movie, it was from Horror comic books that he found at his grandparent’s attic that were left by his older cousin, and saw one in black and white, “I was like ‘whoaaa! this is cool!’ I do remember the first Horror movie that I saw, and it was on New Year’s Eve, I must’ve been four years old, and it was playing on TV, and it was King Kong, the original King Kong. I was like “whoaaaa!” Even though King Kong isn’t necessarily Horror. That was like a Life changing experience for me. Not too long after that, I saw one of those Dracula movies on TV, they were playing it quite early in the evening. Those are my first memories, but it didn’t take long after that when VHS came to market that I started getting into The Shining, Alien, and then Nightmare on Elm St came out.” As a teen, Mr. Lordi collected VHS copies of every Horror film he could get his hands on.
In 1982, Mr. Lordi was exposed to KISS as the very first Rock/Metal band he heard. He had moved to another city with his parents and was the new kid in class, where a classmate asked him to go to the library and listen to KISS. The librarian put the vinyl on and Mr. Lordi’s mind exploded. He also credits Alice Cooper as one of his biggest influences, citing the Hey Stupid and Constrictor albums as his most favorites. An unknown Lordi fact, whenever Alice Cooper plays in Finland, Mr. Lordi has a boa constrictor that is also named Alice Cooper, and he presents the snake on stage to Alice to be part of his show.
Mr. Lordi, who creates all of the visuals, graphics, and costume designs, also creates the album covers for Lordi. On their new album, Screem Writers Guild, which was painted with acrylics by Mr. Lordi, who also produced the album along with Mana and Janne Halmkrona as executive producers, mixed by Ilkka Herkman, and mastered by Pauli Saastamoinen. Mr. Lordi didn’t need to listen to the new album while he was painting it, because it was so clear in his mind as they had been working on the album for six months already. He had the idea of making an 80’s Horror Movie poster feel, combined with the classic, universal monsters along with the Lordi style monsters, to create something that would give the vibe and the feel of both 80’s and the classic 30’s-40’s Horror.
Dead Again Jayne is the most recent single and Music video released from the new album. The song is based from the story of Jayne Mansfield, who in her day was commonly referenced as a more pornographic version of Marilyn Monroe. Jayne notably passed away after getting into a car crash that was rumored to have left her decapitated.
The most favorite part of the Music video for Mr. Lordi, who directed and wrote it, is when Jayne, who is played by Jaana Tolonen, is sitting there without her head on the table. “We had a little bit younger film crew there, and I was telling them, “we’re going to do this old-school, this is how we’re going to do it” and they’re like, “oh, no no no no no no.” I was like, “listen to me, this is how we’re going to do it, this is how I would’ve done it in the 80’s and 90’s.” And I’m so proud because it was tempting that there were some skepticism in the air of the shoot that this is going to work, but I think that shot is beautiful without the head, and the head on the table. They were not really that familiar with this kind of trick photography that is a very old-school way of doing that. That shot is my favorite because I like gore and I like people without their heads.”
While laughing, Mr. Lordi continued, “I like that! It turned out pretty good. I’m also really proud of the other side of the video, not the 1930’s… but also the 1980s cable TV horror show, because it really looks like that! I’m so proud of that, that it looks like a cheap 80’s late-night cable TV Horror show that they don’t really have that much money at the station, but they’re doing their best. It turned out great.”
Lucyfer Prime Evil released as a single at the end of January of 2023. The song is inspired by an amalgamation of Children of the Corn, The Omen, and Poltergeist. Another song on the album that is a very diverse style than Lordi has really covered before, even including on their Lordiversity seven album box set released in 2021, is called The Bride. It is more of a ballad type song. The band originally wanted to record ten albums, all different styles of genres for the boxset, but the label put their foot down at a maximum of seven. One of the albums that Lordi wanted to do for Lordiversity was going to be a Country style album, but since that was a no go, it inspired him to want to do something kind of like a Country song, with very minimal distortion on the electric guitars, and all clean vocals.
The song is lyrically about a Frankenstein Monster, imagining how he would feel when he gets his bride. “In the original story, in the movies, the bride doesn’t last that long, she’s not there that long for him to enjoy…I think there’s an undertone that he’s very happy, but to have a companion, but at the same time, he knows he’s the shit, he knows he’s the man of the house, in a way.”
The album closes with a track that goes with the cinematic theme of the record called, End Credits. It is a song that Mr. Lordi wrote to have his friends and family play at his own funeral. He came up with the concept after releasing the 800 page Lordi autobiography book as told by Mr. Lordi himself, also filled with his childhood memories. He wanted to try and put that into a song. “There’s a saying that when you die, your whole Life flashes before your eyes, like a film strip. I was just thinking how would that film strip look for me? If I die right now, how would it be?”
When he played End Credits to some of his friends and crew members, they thought he was dying and this was his final farewell, his final testament… “It makes me giggle when it brings a reaction like that to people, because it’s a song and if you want to write a song for your own funeral, you have to do it when you’re still alive, because it’s a little too late if you die first.”
His intention for the song was to deliberately make it as sad and as funeral-y as he possibly could, writing the melody of it very, very sad and also church like to evoke emotions. “And I’m saying this, that if they don’t play this song at my funeral, I will come and haunt every single one of them who were responsible for not playing the song! And I would not be a ghost like Casper! I would be like Pinhead! I would be a ghost from conjuring movies, not a nice, friendly ghost.”
It’s not the first time Mr. Lordi has done something like this on a record. There is a tradition in Finland where churches throughout the country sound off the bells for those who’ve passed away, and for people to go and listen to the church bells for their Loved ones. He recorded the bells from his Father’s passing and put them on the end of Sexorcism album. The producer of the album, Mikko Karmila, thought that it may’ve been a bit too macabre. However, Death is nothing new for the Finnish Monster, as for most of his childhood, he was used to going to a lot of funerals.
Rather than playing another Lordi song at his funeral, alongside End Credits, Mr. Lordi would rather be watching over & listening to God of Thunder by KISS, as that is his most favorite song of all time by any Artist.
You can catch Lordi on tour with Sabaton and BABYMETAL right now throughout Europe! The tour goes on through may, check out the dates in the graphic above, more info can be found on Lordi’s official website!
Mr. Lordi also goes into detail in our interview about his boa constrictor performing at Alice Cooper shows in Finland, as well as some amazing stories from when Lordi was touring on the mainstage at Ozzfest 2007. There is a funny story involving our beloved Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, and even a story about a bet that Zakk Wylde made with Ozzy’s band about Lordi…Listen above to hear it all and more!!