QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Ville Malja (Moon Shot)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Ville. The most important question right at the beginning. Are you healthy and are you well?

Ville: I’m healthy and happy, thanks. These last months… hmmm, or almost already a year have been weird though. Despite turbulent times globally things are running well I’d say.

Pix666: How are the other guys from the band?

Ville: It seems everyone in the band and their families are safe and OK. In general here in Finland this COVID situation isn’t as bad as it’s somewhere else. For many reasons I guess not least because of our low population and tight lockdown in the beginning.

Pix666: A few days ago your debut Single ‚Big Bang‘ was released – a really rousing rock song. There is also a great video clip. How difficult was it under ‘Corona conditions’ to shoot a video clip?

Ville: Hehe, you’re right, filming the video with this big crew we had wasn’t easiest thing to do. We filmed it in August and the band arrived from different parts of the country, director from Sweden and so on and it was quite a puzzle. Luckily we managed to make it happen without any quarantine stopping us. I couldn’t be happier about the result. The director Sami Joensuu made awesome work with his crew and the mood in a film is exactly how we wanted.

Pix666: Were there any funny moments during the video shoot that you want to share with the fans?

Ville: We did actually two videos in this same session. Another one will be released a bit later. When the first one was shot, we had to change costumes and stuff and move to next one straight away which felt a bit weird. I think it’s easier for professional actors to adjust their mindset from the scene to another, but for us as musician… ”Aaaa, we are not in that song anymore… this is totally different tempo than the first one,  this light is way brighter now” and on…

Pix666: You were very successful with your band Lapko for about 20 years – you hit the top 10 of the charts in Finland with every album. Why did you decide to form a new band?

Ville: We did a long career with Lapko indeed. It taught us how to play, how to behave as an artist and what could eventually happen when you do so, hehehe! We released our last album in 2015, did a tour after that and realized it was just impossible to continue. There was some tensions in the band during the years and eventually some of those problems became too hard to handle. The way I see it, we just wanted to walk in different directions and that’s it.

When Jussi called me and asked me to be part of this new band I had a gut feeling it would change everything and I immediately said yes! Being in the band with Jussi, Mikko and Henkka is like a dream to me.

Pix666: The other Moon Shot band members are also experienced musicians. Your bass player Henkka even was in the world famous band Children Of Bodom for more than two decades. How much does this long experience help you now with your work in the new band?

Ville: In the band we respect each others as musicians very much. Henkka has done such as phenomenal career with COB which I highly respect. He’s also literally lived in the tour bus last two decades and that’s something I believe he can use for Moon Shot’s benefit as well. Henkka also seems to know everybody in the scene. Who ever you mention, he has some kind of story about a guy. He’s a sharp, outspoken gentleman and spent years on the road so he’s having all kinds of contacts around the world outside music biz as well which is super interesting.

Pix666: You went to the studio together for the first time about a year ago. How many songs have been written since then? When will there be an full-length album?

Ville: We recorded around 15 songs altogether in two sessions. Unfortunately we don’t know the album release schedule yet, but sure it will happen next year. Before that there will be a few singles still.

Pix666: What is the current situation in Finland regarding live concerts? Do you have to postpone all plans until 2021?

Ville: The situation here isn’t as bad as it’s in GSA-area or in States for example. It’s possible to play shows in FIN but with limited capacity and strict safe space rules. It means often audience sitting or “standing on lines” etc. which makes it hard and a bit weird I’d say. So no chance for a mosh pit here in Helsinki neither.

Pix666: What else did you do besides the music during the contact restrictions? Do you have any interesting hobbies? Or is music simply everything in your life?

Ville: I’m a freelance photographer and sharing my time between music and shooting. Basically it means I’m doing photo works whenever I have time from music. Recently it has been almost only Moon Shot related things I have done. Being in a professional band means much more things than just writing songs and rehearsing and those other things have kept me busy – which I like a lot though.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Moon Shot, that you would like to share with the fans?

Ville: We have been stunned about incredible amount of feedback we have got from the fans everywhere in the world regarding this 1st single. I’m really, really happy how open minded the fans of our old bands have taken Moon Shot in their lives. It took a long time to get this first single out and I swear there will be more new stuff released soon. Also we are very active on our social channels and keep up active dialogue between the band and the fans – so see you there. Immediately when it’s possible again we’ll hit the road and start touring.

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Stay healthy!!!

Thanks for having me, BEST!



photos © by Marek Sabogal