I first came across Alex sometime in 2005, when he and his band, which at that time still operated under the name Flippin´ Beans, shared the stage in the legendary Bratislava club Duna with the locals Plus Minus, with whom they also released a split record at the time. As a Part Time Killer, they currently have new EP out there. The frontman of one of Finland’s leading skatepunk bands remembered soundtracks on skate VHSs, working with the famous Jason Livermore, and how the pandemic taught them not to take certain things in life for granted.
We could recently notice the change in your line-up on social media, as well as a change in the band’s name, from the original Part Time Killer to an abridged version of P.T.K., what led you to these changes?
There was no drama with the line-up change. Three of us have kinda always done the songs etc… “The fight” album was just released when this whole covid-19 thing exploded so it meant a break for shows and everything. During this Covid break I took little time to think things over and write new songs. At that time, I didn´t know was those songs for P.T.K or some other project. We decided to record some of the songs, and it led to continue as a 3 piece band. Henkka Continued with his own band Last In Inside. We don´t know if there´s gonna be live guitarist on the shows and tours but the band will be 3 piece band from now on.
What comes to “changing” the name we´ve always called the band just PTK inside the band so it was kinda small change. We´re still Part Time Killer like RKL is Rich Kids On LSD heh.
What can we expect from the new recording and who is involved in recording it with you? What is the main inspiration or what topics will be represented in the new songs?
We´ve recorded 7 new songs. Those are bit different than before, but you can still hear it´s PTK stuff. We did the recording at Rat House Studio with Vesa Sinkko who´s the guitarist in One Hidden Frame. It´s so easy to work with him!
I´ve always had this Idea to write short Old School style songs, you know short and melodic. I kinda went back in time and tried to figure it out what was those first things that made me love punk rock. So, I started to wrote songs to myself but then Antti and Lari heard them and said that those could be PTK stuff. The topics on the new EP handle lot of personal stuff on the lyrics but something that whole band can relate.
Has the current situation around the pandemic changed you as artists or even as people themselves? Are there things that, for example, you did not realize before this crisis and now you perceive them?
As a band, I don´t know is it the pandemic or that simple fact that we´re getting older but somehow, we have started to have more fun with these band related stuff.
What comes to touring and shows, to us the interaction and seeing friends all over the world is the best thing playing in the band, so I think pandemic has changed us at least that way that we don´t take anything for granted.
It´s bit weird but I do see something good in this pandemic. I´ve suffered depression since my teens so this pandemic made me stop and change my life. As horrible this Covid-19 is, to me it was kinda salvation! I look the world, life and myself totally different way now. So good things can happen from horrible things. Life is weird.
The final sound of your last long-playing album, The Fight, was handled by the famous Jason Livermore from Blasting Room Studios. How did you get to work with him? What was it like working with him in the end, and what do you think this collaboration taught you?
Yeah, Jason Livermore mastered the album. He has mastered so many awesome records and he is professional, and he understand how this kind of music should sound so it was an easy choice to work with him. You know anyone can get their records mastered over there. We just went thru options and decide to do it with him.
Your inspiration for bands from behind the ocean is palpable in your work, but do you also have favorite Finnish home bands or artists who also influenced you in your beginnings? Would you be able to recommend to people someone up-to-date who, in your opinion, is currently worth the attention at this time?
This is true. We love US punk heh. Bands like Bad Religion, Good Riddance, Ramones, Nofx, Pennywise etc…has totally influenced our music. Also, our western neighbours No Fun At All, Millencolin, Randy etc…
In Finland hmmm. I think on our early years Endstand, Wasted, Manifesto Jukebox etc… thought us the DIY ethics and of course our buddies One Hidden Frame.
I´m extremely happy to see lot of new bands coming from Finland. The younger generation is doing amazing job. I think one way to check out new bands from Finland is to go and check out Fast Decade Records page(s). They are doing so good job in here helping new upcoming bands.
Is there also something special we can expect from P.T.K. in the future? For example, aren’t you planning to tour countries where you haven’t played yet, or to make a documentary or even write a book about the band from some tour?
Yeah! The next thing is to find label or labels to release the new EP and after that tour as much as possible. We have some plans to tour new countries, but we can´t talk about those yet. Unfortunately, no book this time hahaha.
What are the first pictures that come to your mind when you remember your beginnings with punk rock? What was the force that made you start making music and start touring the world with the band?
Oh my. Picture takes me back to late 80´s and early 90´s. I can remember my first Ramones vinyl and how it was something totally different than I´ve had ever heard before. Damn and I remember when we got into skateboarding and got our first skateboards. Of course, we copied skateboard VHS movies and discovered new bands from those. The band that made us to start a band was Bad Religion. Skateboarding, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Nofx, RKL etc. playing on the cassette player, Beer, teenage confidence, and the feeling that anything is possible hahaha. We´re from Finland so we´re kinda far away from everything so it was a dream that one day we could tour in Europe and it happened. DIY all the way. At that time there was no gps systems just old map book heh. Adventures! I think the same things that drives us to continue, you know passion for this kind of music and new adventures.
You’ve been actively involved in music for years. It is clear that the work on the songs itself is always quite demanding, and of course other issues related to the band’s operation as well. What do you still enjoy about it? Do you follow any principles or procedures, thanks to which your view of producting the new stuff is always fresh and the excitement does not leave you?
Yeah, we done these band stuff quite long time heh. I think we all have this high DIY ethic in all the stuff we do. There have been times when we have thought that maybe we should do something else, but after a while we get our asses back to rehearsal place and realize how much we love this band stuff and punk music. I still enjoy drawing cover art, t-shirts designs, writing songs etc… You can´t get better feeling than song that everyone in the band loves to play together.