|Formed in Helsinki's rock clubs back in the early 90s, the five-piece take their influences from far and wide. Elvis Presley, The Misfits, Guns 'n' Roses and a hefty dose of The Sisters of Mercy can all be heard throughout their music. From comic books to cult movies, The 69 Eyes capture the rock 'n' roll zeitgeist and turn it into the sort of music that makes you want to party. Hard. The 69 Eyes' formative years scream sex, blood and loud music as they played their way through Helsinki's underground glam clubs, leaving a trail of broken bottles and women behind them. They were soon snapped up by Finnish underground label Gaga Goodies and released four albums -'Bump And Grind', 'Savage Garden', 'Motor City Resurrection' and 'Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams.' But this was just the beginning.
In 1999, the future turned Goth, heralding a deal with Roadrunner Records in Europe and the release of 'Wasting The Dawn' (including a young Ville Valo on backing vocals). 'Blessed Be' came out the following year and featured the club anthem 'Gothic Girl'. It was the first album to be produced by honorary sixth band member, Finnish film composer Johnny Lee Michaels and the first to go gold in Finland, winning the unbeating hearts of a large number of PVC-clad über vamps. This was followed by arguably their most gothic album to date, 'Paris Kills' which was to be their last studio CD on Roadrunner and their second Finnish gold disc. It later turned platinum.
Appearances at Leipzig's Wave Gotik Treffen and M'era Luna Festivals illuminated the dark path to their greatest hits album. 'Framed In Blood - The Very Blessed Of The 69 Eyes' was released in Finland in 2003 and the 'Helsinki Vampires' DVD -mixing concert footage from Helsinki's famous Tavastia music venue and promotional videos - followed quickly on spiked heels and also turned gold. In fact, all four of their latest albums have not only charted at number one but also reached gold status in Finland.
As the moon of 2004 grew full, the band were snapped up by EMI/Virgin Records in Finland and album number eight 'Devils' was released. Produced by Johnny Lee Michaels and Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Sentenced, Moonspell) it was the disc that took The 69 Eyes from Helsinki to Hollywood. The key single, 'The Lost Boys' was based around the cult '80s vampire rock movie of the same name and the video was shot by Jackass director Bam Margera - the man behind HIM's 'Buried Alive By Love' promo.
Almost three years of solid touring followed, taking The 69 Eyes to Hell(sinki) and back via 16 countries. England, Tokyo, Germany, Sweden... they came, they saw and they conquered leaving a trail of empty bottles behind them. Then there were poster campaigns, guest DJ slots, television appearances and the publication of vocalist Jyrki 69's comic book, 'Zombie Love'. The tide was high and the band were surfing zombies on the waves.
2007 is now upon us and The 69 Eyes have released their Hollywood album, called simply 'Angels' and it's dripping blood and gasoline. The vision is Mad Max; the world is at the end of a nuclear war but the Helsinki Vampires are coming over the wasteland to save us, armed with blazing guns, tight leather pants and several cases of liquor. Once again produced by the Hiilesmaa/Lee Michaels combo, 'Angels' is the band's ninth studio recording and the flip-side of 'Devils' - the slutty rocker to the seductive sister.
The first single 'Perfect Skin' is a tongue-in-cheek anthem to Hollywood's obsession with size zero blondes and is illustrated by The 69 Eyes' sexiest video so far. While gothic ballad 'Ghost' features backing from Finland's orchestral metal maestros Apocalyptica, who paint an eerie bleakness over the dystopian landscape.
The 69 Eyes have also re-recorded the title track from their 1997 release, 'Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams'. The revamped track will appear on Bam Margera's new movie 'Dream Seller' based on the life of pro-skater Brandon Novak later in the year. The band's back catalogue is currently being re-released through Cleopatra Records in the USA.
This year, the band is back on the road. Support slots are already confirmed with Cradle of Filth in the USA and another way round for Wednesday 13 in Germany. "We're mainstream names in the rock scene in Finland," says singer Jyrki, "but we're still known as a dark and mystical cult band everywhere else. From the beginning, we've been like an imaginary American rock 'n' roll band; our roots growing from the streets of New York, Hollywood Hills and Marvel Comics! But being from Helsinki it's like we're this vampiric missing link between Hanoi Rocks and HIM!"
The secret behind The 69 Eyes success is their refusal to compromise. From the band logo, artwork, video direction and the songs themselves, no one tells this band where they're going. They know their own way, thanks. Get out your dark glasses because the Helsinki Vampires are here to stay.
(2007 - official website biography)