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By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Interview: Jyrki 69 of The 69 Cats and The 69 Eyes
Recently Rock At Night reviewed The 69 Cats third single “Let’s go (Psycho)” and totally loved the whole psychobilly vibe. The 69 Cats are essentially a goth rockabilly supergroup and the brainchild of the Finnish “Goth Elvis” Jyrki 69. The 69 Cats released their debut album The Transylvanian Tapes in 2014, which was comprised of goth rockabilly versions of classic songs like Elvis’s “She’s Not You”, Del Shannon’s “Runaway”, Dwight Pullen’s “Sunglasses After Dark” plus Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. Now, with a slightly different lineup, the band is releasing an epic 12-song album, consisting of original songs on April 16th via Cleopatra Records. Rock At Night interviewed Jyrkie 69 to get the lowdown on the new album.
Jyrki 69 said, “After seven years since the band’s debut, we are releasing the album Seven Year Itch.” He continued saying that Danny B. Harvey, the legendary rockabilly guitarist, jokes “it’s like the locusts that come every 7 years.”
Jyrki 69 noted, “The 69 Cats record was written in 2019 and in January 2020, I went to Austin to record my vocals. Danny finished the record with the rest of the guys remotely in Spring 2020.”
The current lineup of The 69 Cats consists of Danny B. Harvey (guitar), Kim Nekroman (stand-up bass), Rat Scabies (drums), and Jyriki 69 (vocals).
Jyrki 69 relayed the story of how the idea for The 69 Cats was hatched saying, “I was in Memphis about 10 years ago. I was on Beale Street at a fantastic bar where you could listen to authentic blues artist late in the night. I was sitting on the roof top of the bar in the day time. I was having a Corona. I was excited to be there at Graceland and Sun Studio and I texted Cleopatra Records. ‘Hey, I’m here in Memphis and I’d like to do some rockabilly. What should I do?’ I contacted Danny B. Harvey, who lives in Austin, Texas. We did a rock demo. It sounded very good, We did an “EP” first entitled The 69 Cats.
“That day was the happiest moment of my life. I was inspired after going to Sun Studio.” At that moment Jyrki was driven to play rockabilly–and it came from the heart.
The band began touring in small clubs because he “doesn’t think big and likes to keep things simple and close to the roots.” He said, “People discover the music. It’s nearly 10 years and people have discovered the band recently. After 7 years, it was time to do new music.”
One highlight of performing with The 69 Cats was playing at The Viper Room. The fans, many who know him from The 69 Eyes, are “really into The 69 Cats. It’s nice.”
In Rock At Night’s interview, Jyrki 69 discusses his fascination with Elvis Presley; how Finland is deeply rooted in rock ‘n’ roll and glam rock (think Hanoi Rock and Leningrad Cowboys); the impetus of The 69 Cats; and the new album Seven Year Itch.
Listen to the podcast interview and look for more on Jyrki 69 in our upcoming Summer 2021 print issue, whose theme is GLAM ROCK.
1. She’s Hot
2. Hollywood’s Bleeding
3. (You’re) The Kind Of Girl I Need
4. Good Time To Die
5. Graveyard Blues
6. Hey World feat. Sky Saxon
7. (Let’s Go) Psycho
8. Vampire Shuffle
9. Teddy Boy Boogie
10. The Hell Of The Mountain King
11. I’m Evil
12. It Ain’t Enough feat. Larry Wallis
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