01.How do you feel about your debut album? Was it exactly how you want it to be?
I actually just listened to it for the first time in six months and was happily surprised how much i still liked it. When we finished it, the album was exactly how we wanted it to be, and that's what counts. Of course there's always things you would do differently after a while, but that's just natural progression. Realism is perfect as it is, however, if we made the album now, it would sound different.
02.Any particular concept behind the album?
No, or at least it wasn't our intention to make a concept album.
03.What's the story behind the songs "New Rules" and "Graduation"?
They're both rants of some confident young man who knows it better.
04.Before you found out about Paula Abdul liking your Associates EP, were there any other female vocalists on your roster?
We asked a few singers, but they were either too busy or it just didn't work out for other reasons. I guess it would be impolite to give out names.
05.Is "So Free" the only track you work with Paula Abdul?
06.What about Astrid Swan? How did you come up to work with her?
We've known Astrid for years and she lives in Helsinki, so it felt like a natural collaboration and also it was the easiest thing in the world to organize. She came over to our studio, recorded vocals for two songs, and we were ready by lunch time.
07.You seem to take a lot of attention to many aspects of music production, what part of it that absorbs your attention mostly?
It's nice to hear you can hear that. It's just something that comes naturally from us. Both of us have always been into both the writing and producing aspects of music, and that way we can complement each other when we're producing.
08.What about when it comes to playing live?
At the moment it's just the two of us when we play live – Mikko plays the guitar and keyboards, i sing and play the guitar. However we're planning to get a drummer for our future shows.
09.Aside from Pykäri being in Regina, had you been in another band? What kind of music were you playing/making then?
I have done some solo stuff and played keyboards in a band, but it was nothing major. Most of the solo material ended up never being released, but if you're really interested, you can hear a couple of old remixes (for Regina, naturally) at http://soundcloud.com/schmami. All in all, what i'm doing now is way more interesting.
10.The listeners can't help to feel that Realism sounds so 90s. Any particular artist from the era that you perceive to be great, production-wise?
This is something we could talk for hours. George Michael's Listen Without Prejudice is outstanding, same thing with Madonna's Erotica. The One Dove and Primal Scream albums produced by Andrew Weatherall are great, so is a lot of stuff by Electronic. Hypnotone produced a lot of good songs, too. Aaliyah's Age Ain't Nothing But A Number is also a mutual favorite, and Chapterhouse, Black Grape, Saint Etienne etc. etc.
11.Any new release plans for 2012?
We have a lot of new songs finished already, but there's no release plans yet. However here's a new track we posted online last week: http://soundcloud.com/shine2009/shine-2009-our-nation