LORDI mainman Mr. Lordi says that heavy metal and hard rock artists have once again become marginalized in Finland, where the likes of CHILDREN OF BODOM and NIGHTWISH regularly topped the charts with their single and full-length releases.
After LORDI won the annual Eurovision Song Contest — which is usually known for its display of bland Euro-pop music — in 2006 with "Hard Rock Hallelujah", the band's success was being hailed as a major boost for tourism to their home country.
Asked by The Age Of Metal in a new interview if LORDI's Eurovision win helped move heavy metal even more into the mainstream in Finland, Mr. Lordi said (see video below): "Maybe for a short time, yeah, but it's been almost eleven years ago already. So maybe for a short period of time — maybe a year, a year and a half — it was a little bit more… metal and rock got a big boost in Finland, in Scandinavia, it definitely did that. But right now, at the moment… I'm an old-school rock guy, and I'm sad to say that it's all hip-hop and rap now everywhere. It's, like, metal and rock has been pushed again to the marginal [areas]."
He continued: "Finland was known for years to be the country where you turned on the radio — any mainstream radio — and you could hear Madonna or Lady Gaga and then the next song could be, all of a sudden, CHILDREN OF BODOM, and the next song could be NIGHTWISH, and then the next song could be some classical music. That was the country. Now it's not. It's just hip-hop and fucking R&B and rap all the time; that's what it is now. Well, it's the sign of the times. I mean, times change. It is just, for me, as an old-school fart, it's really difficult to accept the fact, but that's how it is."
Back in 2013, Slate reported that Finland had the most heavy metal bands per capita in the world. While Sweden and Norway were said to have had only 27 heavy metal bands per 100,000 inhabitants, Finland boasted double as much, 54 bands per 100,000.
Some even claimed that Finland was the only country in the world where metal was "mainstream," and people actually studied Finnish and Norwegian to better understand heavy metal music.
People have speculated that the climate in Finland, which is characterized by cold, and sometimes severe, winters and relatively warm summers, has contributed to the population's disproportionately high interest in heavier forms of rock. Says the A Metal State Of Mind web site: "When someone is surrounded by cold and dark for long periods of time, it is only natural that some form of depression will start to set in. And how do many Finns combat this depression, release the negative energy, and make themselves feel more positive? Well, I can't think of one form of music more tailored to the release of the negative more than metal."
Although the suicide rates of Finland are higher than those of other Nordic countries, the number of suicides among Finnish men has gone down by 48 percent since the '90s, according to a July 2014 report in the Helsinki Times.
LORDI's latest album, "Monstereophonic: Theaterror Vs. Demonarchy", was released in September via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2014's "Scare Force One" was produced by Nino Laurenne (APOCALYPTICA, STRATOVARIUS, CHILDREN OF BODOM, AMORPHIS), who previously worked on the band's 2008 effort "Deadache".