The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one's personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.
At the end of the nineteenth century, when Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language confession album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future French President Félix Faure, entitled An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.
Our new interview-series on www.mirgilus.com will follow some of the real players from the metal (and non metal) underground which we really appreciate, so here is Sami Hynninen from the mighty Reverend Bizarre, Opium Warlords, Spiritus Mortis, Azrael Rising, etc, etc.
Sami Albert Hynninen was born in Lohja, Southern Finland, in 1976. Producer, composer, arranger and performer of music. Lyricist and writer of articles, reviews and prose poetry. Draughtsman and old school graphic designer. Student of folkloristics and religious studies. Only goal is to follow the true vision – to give it as pure form as possible, with clear composition, flow, and essence.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Years 1976 – 1985.
What is your greatest fear?
To get cancer or to become paralized.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I deplore everything else in me except the creativity. Outside my artistic work I am waste of flesh and blood, and should be killed.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Cruelty towards animals.
Which living person do you most admire?
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I think people generally lack too many of them, so I can't name any overrated one.
On what occasion do you lie?
If the truth would hurt – too much – someone I love, but basically I always speak the truth or remain silent. If something looks like shit I am not able to say it is beautiful.
Storytelling is, then again, a different thing. My stories are mixture of truth, delusion, and fantasy.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My degenerated and uneven form. I hate myself deeply, but try to learn to love.
Which living person do you most despise?
Every abuser of animals and nature, and all the racist and homophobic assholes. Hard to name one. They are all around. There is something ugly in all of us.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Kindness of heart and soul.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Kindness of heart and soul.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“kind of”, “like a”, “rather”, “quite”, “sort of”, “obviously”, “naturally”...
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I love couple of people, but my love towards trees, and plants, and flowers, and air and water, and stars, and animals, goes above the weak essence of human life.
When and where were you happiest?
Back in 1980 – 1985. After that, I have only experienced flashes of some strange euphoria, not real happiness. I do not even know how happiness feels anymore. There is always something heavy around.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Perfect ability of the worlds most effective martial art, both spiritually and physically, OR perfect ability of five more languages.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be someone else.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I saved a squirrel from drowning in 2004. Squirrels are my favourite animals. This memory brings some “happiness” to me.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
An inhabitant of the Hollow Earth.
Where would you most like to live?
Close to the Central Park in New York. Maybe around there were Mark Chapman shot John Lennon. I have visited that place and liked it a lot.
What is your most treasured possession?
A strange and beautiful “cuddly toy” created by a loved one. It has her true essence and soul in it.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Heaviest possible suicidal, psychotic depression, that makes your whole body shiver of anxiety, and locks your breath with something cold and dark inside of you.
What is your favorite occupation?
What is your most marked characteristic?
Extreme nervousness and anxiety
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
Edith Södergran, Antti Hyry, and Jouko Turkka. In a way my favourite writers are William S. Burroughs and Yukio Mishima, but there the persona is in the focus!
Who is your hero of fiction?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Close to “heroes” come Jouko Turkka, Läjä Äijälä, Mark E. Smith, David Bowie, Keiji Haino, Brett Andersson, and Glenn Danzig. And late Andrei Tarkovsky, Rozz Williams, Robert Calvert, and Edith Södergran. And Elvis of course!
What are your favorite names?
Aurora, Dorian, Florian... these are not Finnish names at all. Most Finnish names are hideous.
What is it that you most dislike?
People raping this earth and causing suffering to its fauna.
What is your greatest regret?
That I did not went to see my father that last time.
How would you like to die?
What is your motto?
Don't have one but if I act as I had one it could be “Per aspera ad astra”. I am always trying to reach the light!
by Mirgilus, 2014 September