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Baker's Dozen

Pan Sonics: Mika Vainio's Favourite Albums
Albert Freeman , September 1st, 2014 07:19

Our series of articles curated by Kevin 'The Bug' Martin continues with a Baker's Dozen from Mika Vainio, solo artist and former member of Pansonic. He tells us about how the likes of Suicide, Neubauten, the Alex Harvey Band, King Crimson and more soundtracked a life of working in slaughterhouses and vegetarian restaurants


Suicide - Suicide
It was the year 1979 when I heard this in the most odd circumstances. I was traveling to my grandmother's place on some occasion with a friend of mine, and we had to change busses in a small city. We had some time to spend there, and we saw this shop for domestic equipment, like washing machines and whatever, near the station, but they also had some records. On the rack they had Suicide, the original Red Star edition, and it's astonishing how it ended up there. I really don't know. We looked at the cover and the sleeve, and it looked quite impressive with the photograph of the guys and so on. We asked if we could listen to it because we had very little money at that time and wanted to hear it first. The shopkeeper said, 'You don't really want to hear this… It's horrible, but maybe you can play it anyway.' When 'Ghost Rider' started, it was one of those moments when you know definitely that it's something really important. We bought the album, we put our money together and bought the LP, and since then I've been a really big fan of Alan Vega and Martin Rev both. We made two albums with Alan with Pan Sonic and have supported them in live concerts many times. They have told me many stories about how they had things thrown at them constantly while onstage performing. Scotland used to be one of the most dangerous places for all of the rock bands to go play. In the 70s I believe at some point the bands got a double fee if they played in Scotland because so many bands didn't dare to go there. Suicide went to play there, and they were supporting the Clash I think. Someone threw and axe at Alan, and it passed right by his head, a big axe, amongst all of the bottles and beer cans and whatever.