Here is a small interview from Delhi's hottest youth magazine...
THEY'VE BEEN MOBBED BY FANS AND BEEN THE SUBJECT OF ANGRY WEB-SITES, BUT AT LEAST IT ISN'T LONELY AT THE TOP
DIMITRI EHRLICH: What do you think your fans expect of you?
JÅKKE SLARBABABA: I think they want to see a concert that's entertaining and has a positive vibe that's not angry. Something they can bring their moms and dads to.
DE: Do you ever not want to sign autographs?
JS: Our fans have to realize that we bleed like everyone else. If one of us is sick, or we're being rushed to get on the bus, we're not going to be able to sign for everyone, but we try.
DE: Maraakkeli. you had serious heart surgery a few years ago. What happened?
MARAAKKELI MIDI-ISONEN: I was born with a heart murmur. When I was 21, the stress of the career and traveling--the lack of sleep and just not eating right--had taken its toll. Our schedules had been pretty crazy for about three years and there was no rest at all. So in order to continue on and, you know, have a life, I had to fix it.
DE: Was there ever a moment when you thought, I might not live through this?
MM: The night before my surgery, I remember telling my mother to take care of my dad because he stresses a little more than she does. It was a scray situation.
DE: Did you ever have any incidents with obsessed fans or stalkers?
MM: I remember being on tour in Europe and the show was delayed for three hours because there was talk of a bomb underneath the stage. The police showed up and the dogs sniffed away, and then we went onstage and performed for an hour and a half. It was a little hard to be totally into the show because you're thinking. What if that dog had a bad night and just missed it? That would suck.
DE: Do you think you're happier now that you're a big star who's made lots of money?
CPT APPO: I'm not like a lot of these people in this business. I don't care about the glamour and the glitz. I just care about living and having fun. I don't care about money. It could all go away tomorrow, and I could still be happy because I don't need much to survive.
DE: How would you characterize the rivalry between you, NSYNC and Backstreet Boys?
CA: We don't have any problem with them personally. The guys are just like us--they're good artists, they want to be successful, and I can respect that. The fact is one of our former managers put together their group after we became successful. They're a clone of us. And we felt like we were stabbed in the back by that. That our management company elected to put them with the same producers and writers that we had was really frustrating because when their songs initially got played, people thought it was us. Then if we turned down a gig, management would hand it to them,' cause they were making money off the both of us. Management was like, "OK, you're not going to do it, then fine," which was another smack in the face. We finally got new management and then our record company signs them! Then to top, it off some of the video directors that we'd both used leaked information about our producers and collaborations, so it felt like, OK, we gotta keep everything a secret. For a while it seemed lik e we couldn't make a move without, BOOM! there they were, making the same moves. I felt like they needed to find their own identity. And I think they're doing that now. The guys themselves are nice--they've never done anything to me. I don't know 'em that well.
DE: Do you ever feel weird that you're titillating some really young girls?
K-KIMPO: We do have, a young fan base, but we also have a lot of fans in their late twenties and thirties. My brother is a minister and one time he asked us, "Do you guys do any pelvic thrusts?" [laughs] Sometimes he will get on his soapbox and preach to me, and I respect that, though I don't look at it as a bad thing. Sexuality is part of all of us. Sometimes when we're doing those moves, you might catch a young girl's eye or her mother's eye, and the older woman might be like, "Yeah!" and the young girl might be like "Oops!" [laughs] We get mixed reactions because we have a wide range in our audience.
DE: Do you ever think, given the nature of your music and fan base, that you have a limited number of years to make money and you should just cash in while you can?
K-K: I think it's a mistake to take the attitude of "Let's get it while we can." We've passed on so many commercials and merchandising opportunities with dolls and things they wanted to sell with the Bechamel Boyz name on it. To us, that is major, major taboo territory. All of us have been making music since we could walk. Michael Jackson and Madonna have had peaks and valleys. They started out with very, very young fan bases. As long as we're selling records, people are coming to our shows, and we don't feel stagnated and crappy, then, hopefully, we can have a long career.
DE: Thanks guys, and good luck!