If you’re like me, you probably loved power-pop angels, CANDY, way back in the early Rick Springfield part of the 80’s and always carried a special place in your heart for that band, so when they reformed as Electric Angels in the metal years, you were undoubtedly delighted their songwriting had just gotten better and better. They were way, way better than all those Headbanger’s Ball assembly line corporate-metal blouse bands. “TRUE LOVE & FAIRY TALES” really was like the swan song for my breakup with a hot blonde bombshell Skid Row chick circa 87 or 88, she was a Midwestern preacher’s daughter, basically, so her very uptight and conservative and deeply superstitious, evangelical family thought me and this other chick I dated were scary, black clad, witchy goths, so they actually stirred up alot of needlessly nutty, church-lady, witch-hunt hysteria and slanderous gossip and gave us a lot of non stop hassles and smalltown grief. Meanwhile, the blonde chick moved on to some famous heavy metal dudes, before disappearing into Mexico years later. I had a blast with that chick riding around in her car listening to Peter Murphy and Bang Tango and Cinderella cassettes, spending all our money on Cold Duck champagne and rooms at the Diehlman’s Motel and Davis Plaza Motor Lodge! She was like a centerfold come true, we had a chemistry, I really liked her. I got her into Electric Angels and London Quireboys, and a lot of other stuff, forbidden by her P.M.R.C. parents. She mostly loved Skid Row and the Throbs. Even after she ditched me for a more famous guy, like they all do when you are a white trash nobody, trailer park Ramone in your late teens, I listened to that Electric Angels cassette like ten zillion more times back in my late adolescence, and it doubtlessly impacted my own songwriting.
“Doomsday Girls” is taken from the album ‘Anthems For Misfits’ album that was released earlier this year through Wormholedeath Records. It’s clear from the first beats of the song and video that you’re in for an energetic and fun rock’n’roll burst. Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Doomsday!
The video was edited by Eco Inkinen and shot at Suvilahti skatepark and Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki. These two surroundings contrast each other well and Elina Laine does an excellent job as the doomsday girl.
It’s always good to see bands that stick to their guns and PLASTIC TEARS are definitely one of them! Lead vocalist Miqu December tells us about the new album « Anthems For The Misfits » and much more!
You were one of the very first bands I interviewed back in 2000 I think. Can you introduce the band for those who might still not have heard of you?
We usually describe our music as sleazy dark rock’n’roll with a glam punk attitude. We’ve been around for a long time since, and we’ve had our ups and downs. So we’ve named ourselves the rats of rock’n’roll, we survive anything. We do what we love, good old rock’n’roll, and spice it up with a little bit of musical this and that. We’re not trying to please anyone, but I’d still say most people who like rock music might like us, as our music draws from different musical sources.
How did things change for the band in 20 years apart from the obvious line-up changes?
I guess we’ve stayed true to our musical roots, but of course the band has evolved and gotten better. We’ve always made music we’d like to listen to ourselves, so no need to make drastic changes. But I guess as we’re a bit more stable nowadays, concentrating more on the music instead of partying, I think we’ve matured much also in a musical sense.
Can you tell us about your new album « Anthems For Misfits »?
We started working on it pretty soon after the last album, Angels With Attitude, was released. So in about a year after the release of that album we were back in the studio again. We started recording summer 2019, did a European tour, and continued recording. Soon after that the pandemic showed up, and it slowed down the recording pace. So it was quite a long process, one or two day of recording, then a break for a couple of weeks, and we continued again. But this slow pace suits us well, and I think it’s one of the reasons why the album turned out so good. The album is pretty diverse, and there’s songs ranging from pop to punk, and everything in between. The opener Doomsday Girls is a fast funny rock’n’roll song that should wake up the listener immediately. Followed by the punk rock sirens of Riot Zone, at this point everyone should be awake! On the third track we lower the tempo to let the listener calm down with the pop desperation of Clash In The Night. Radar Eyes is a moody dark piece that I like a lot. Other highlights for me are the rebellious Restless Outsider, the dark gothic death waltz of Candlelight Hate Affair and the Elvis goes glam punk of Nobody Likes A Crybaby.
Your first single/video « Riot Zone » is quite appropriate in 2021 when looking at the state of the world… Can rock’n’roll still be rebellious to you?
Yeah, I didn’t guess when I wrote the lyrics how topical they would be. And when the label made the video for it just a few days before the Capitol Hill riots, it made the song almost controversial. Rebellious, it depends. Maybe r’n’r can be rebellious on a small scale. We’ve always been a band that has walked it’s own path and done what we want to do, no matter what others think. I guess that’s some kinda rebellion too.
We can still hear Hanoï Rocks/Lords Of The New Church influences in these new songs. Can you think of any other bands or artists that influenced you for this new album? « Hallucinations » for example seems to head in a different direction.
It’s not intentional, but I guess we come from the same school of rock as they do. And we do love those bands. I can’t say any band, at least consciously, has directly influenced this album. I listened a lot to Masked Intruder, The Interrupters and Cheap Trick before the new album, but I don’t think we sound anything like them. Songwriting, for me at least, isn’t usually anything that’s planned. The ideas just come from sudden bursts of inspiration. Hallucinations is actually an old song that we demoed ages ago. We wanted to remake it, as it was too good a song to be left unheard. It’s a really special song, and I really don’t know what to compare it to or to what genre it might belong. It’s one of the songs on the album that stands out, in a good way.
« Divine » is really catchy, was it the kind of songs that just come out naturally and was easy to write?
That’s the second old song remade, it was also demoed in the beginning of our career. That version was like a ska punk glam rock song, or something. Sounds weird, but it was really funny and catchy. Still, we wanted to make a more straightforward version, as we felt the riff and bass line were meant for a rock’n’roll song. So it has a long history, but if I remember right, it was a song that came out fast and easy. It just took it quite many years to find it’s final form. In the end, we’re really happy with how it turned out, it’s a catchy fun song that could cheer you up even on a bad day.
The last two songs on the album, « Communication » and « Imaginary Virgin Mary ” are great, one being a glam punk hit and the other one an amazing dark rock’n’roll song. Can you tell us about these two songs and why you chose to put them at the end of the record?
We gave a lot of thought to the song order, and wanted the album to be strong and balanced, yet highlight the differences between the songs without making it inconsistent. As you said, Communication is a glam punk song with funny lyrics about the invention and use of the telephone, with an underlying message about loneliness. If you stayed awake during history classes in school, you know that A.G. Bell, who is mentioned in the lyrics, is Alexander Graham Bell who was declared the inventor of the telephone. History lesson over! Imaginary Virgin Mary is probably the heaviest song on the album, but it’s still a rock song, not metal. It has a kind of creepy ominous feel and tells the story of being bullied and taking revenge. We wanted to end the album with a bang, so two tougher tracks at the end did the job. And the piano ending of Mary was perfect to close the album.
Is there going to be a vinyl release of the album?
We would love to have a vinyl version too, but it’s not part of our deal with Wormholedeath Records. So if anyone is interested in working with us on a vinyl version, please get in touch!
You released a split CD with Paradise Alley in 2019, can you tell us how it happened? Both bands seem to be good friends.
Yeah, me and Steve of Paradise Alley met already in the nineties and we’ve stayed good friends ever since. Paradise Alley got active again after a pretty long break and they wanted to release a new song, but they didn’t have a drummer yet. So they asked us if our drummer Eco could play the drums on the track, and he was happy to help. Steve and I shared the lead vocals, and most of us shouted the backing vocals. It was a fun and different collaboration, as we recorded in Helsinki and Paradise Alley in the UK.
What do you think about streaming shows? Would you play one?
I guess they’re an ok substitute for real live shows, but of course it’s not the same. Not at all. But I understand why they are done, and I’m not saying we’re never gonna do one. But to tell you the truth I’m not too excited about them. The intimacy and intensity of real live shows can never be achieved with a stream show.
Last albums you’ve been enjoying?
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening to the unreleased third album by Beat Angels, it’s great! I’ve also been spinning the new albums from Suzi Quatro, The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, Alice Cooper, Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders and Jason Ringenberg. All good albums, so give them a listen if you haven’t already.
Any new bands from Helsinki we should check out?
They’ve been around for a while and have already released two albums, but Daggerplay is a band I sincerely recommend. Their mix of punk rock’n’roll and power pop is very convincing and catchy. They’ve also just released a new single, so check that and the band out!
It’s hard to plan anything these days but please tell us if you have any future plans yet…
We’ve got some cool shows lined up for the summer, but it remains to be seen if those can be carried through. Otherwise, I think we’ll continue banging our heads against the wall and see which one breaks down first. At the moment we focus on promoting the new album online, as there’s not so much more that we can do. Have a load of ideas for new songs, so we’ll start working on those at some point. So our future plans are to stay safe and keep rocking, and we hope you do too!
Former SPACE AGE PLAYBOYS/TATTOOED MILLIONAIRES Johnny Jetson still believes in rock’n’roll. It might not be trendy anymore and the world might be coming to an end, but here he is holding the rock’n’roll flag high! “Knocked Out” is an good intro to this album, straight punk rock’n’roll guitars before announcing it himself: “I Believe In Rock’n’Roll”, a sleazy rock’n’roll song reminding me of early FASTER PUSSYCAT. “Love Me For My Car” brings Marc Bolan’spirit back in style while “Miss Devious” starts with a Gary Glitter groove and then surprises you with a guitar solo that could have been played by Ace Frehley. Some of you might remember that Johnny also used to have a band called QUEER FOR GIRLS, and “Mouth Made For Rock’n’Roll” reminded me a bit of them. Johnny showing his good tastes, you’ll also hear a bit of RUNAWAYS in “Hottest Night In Hell” and some glammy powerpop in “Hang Around With You.” If you missed simple rock’n’roll hooks and clichés, then you’ll enjoy “My Baby Likes To Rock”, “Get High Rock Steady” and “Make Your Move” and its bubblegum RAMONES melody. Guess what!? This album might be what you just need to to listen to these days! /Laurent C.
This song celebrates the friendship between these two bands. PARADISE ALLEY (England)’s frontman Steve Vincent met PLASTIC TEARS (Finland)’ frontman Miqu December in 1992 at the Hellfire club in London. These weren’t the best times for rock’n’roll, but there was still a scene and both vocalists were about to start their own bands. PARADISE ALLEY and PLASTIC TEARS have been through various up and downs and line-up changes, but the two rock’n’rollers remained friends and now share vocals on this song. We don’t often review singles on Veglam, but there are some special occasions/exceptions: The song is a mix of their HANOI ROCKS and LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH influences with an anthemic chorus and sleaze rock guitars, the kind of music we all need in 2019. Cheers to the Class of ’92! /Laurent C.
“Wait until I’m dead and you will see what all the fuss is about…” (-Dogs D’Amour)
Hollywood Rocker, cult-figure, quick-draw artist, and suave black magician, Evad Fromme lived with the immortal and mythological, galactic kid, Alistarr from the Ultras, on Hollywood Boulevard during the late eighties/early nineties English Acid glitter daze when bands like the purple haired Zeroes, Glamour Punks, Stars From Mars, and the Coma-Tones strutted up and down the walk of fame in eight inch platform shoes. Evad is a stand-out, singular talent, in that his distinctive vision and voice are always expressed in a unique and personal way, he is a quiet genius, with a gift for pure expression, who sees things through his own lens. While corporate media and the bipartisan police state shit-show make it seem like we are trapped hopelessly in a pseudo-echoing Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus ruling class product, no-exit, corporate purgatory; Evad and his talented friends, are steadily producing this really hauntingly glamtastic gothic cowboy music in the shadows of the Hollywood palms. Wow, it is like very old school, original Alice Cooper band, and the Faces. Lords Of The New Church, Jo Dog and Paul Black’s Sonic Boom, the Joneses, Quireboys, Slow Motorcade, Dr. Boogie. Bandido glam. Desperado rock. Tombstone minds. Best I’ve heard since Tyla and the original Dogs D’Amour were moping around in that graveyard of empty bottles. Evad and I share a lot of common enthusiasms, influences, experiences, and associates, but you don’t always like all of your friend’s bands, right? Well, I love the Factory Superstars, they blow me away, if I was not friends with Evad, I would want to be, upon hearing their very authentic, dirty, hellhound on my trail, switchblade rocknroll, because not everybody speaks our language, anymore. “Call Me The Devil” sounds like a lost track from “Killer” or “Love It To Death”, and it is, and I do! This is exactly the kind of band I’ve been wanting to put together since I was a gloomy death-rock waif first discovering the Alarm and Texacala and Lords Of the New Church! His guitarist, Paul Sanchez has got the silver. Really, the guitar throws down, just like the shag-headed Faces lads-on-the-tiles of golden lore! This is some real sleazy outlaw music, nastier than the Supersuckers or Lazy Cowgirls. Factory Superstars are keeping rocknroll evil, if you were a fan of the Four Horsemen or Hangmen, you will most assuredly also love Factory Superstars. They are really raunchy. They play punchy saloon-punk full of attitude and really reminiscent of the Lords Of The New Church‘s “Gun Called Justice” spaghetti western type stuff. “Lullabuy For Furs” is all western stars and spurs, cactuses, cow skulls, mysterious, scarfaced old wraiths in ammo-belts and black capes riding on black steeds. I love this kind of stuff. Clearly, his music is always right up my bottle strewn alleyway, but the thing I admire and believe in most about Evad is his originality, he always puts his own spin, his own vibe, his own unique poetry into the music, ties his own ribbon on it, which is just so tragically rare and exceptional in these dismal years, when most music is unimaginatively regurgitated, paint-by-numbers, showbiz-nephew, empty- product. Evad is doing his own thing with sincerity, style, creativity, and finesse, seemingly oblivious to whatever is going on in the default-reality straight-world. You might know his drummer, Tony Snow from Dramarama, or Shiteland Ponies. Factory Superstars are kinda like the ritualistic macabre theater of the Doors and scuzzy blues of the Stones “Goat’s Head Soup” spat back out, as a honky-tonk drinking band. Extraordinary.
Helsinki street rockers Plastic Tears released their third album ‘Angels With Attitude’ in June.
A new single and video for the track “Dark Passenger” from the latest album is released on March 29th.
“Dark Passenger is a song about the dark side of the mind and dual personality. When the dark side makes you do things you wouldn’t want to do and how you try to rid it. The song itself is hard rocking and Nauri Nykänen’s role as a psychiatrist with understated but meaningful expressions tops off the video. The video is made with a dash of humor despite the serious subject.” – Miqu December
Video directed and edited by Eco Inkinen. Filmed by Mikke Strandberg, Juha Kinnunen ja Eco Inkinen.
Lead role as psychiatrist played by experienced actor Nauri Nykänen and Elina Laine as dancer.
‘Angels With Attitude’ was released in June 2018 through City of Lights Records and has received great reviews globally.