Banner image for Metal Digest - Advertise With Us

A chat with Blind Channel | Were they an extreme act, standing out against the crowd in Eurovision?

Hello  and  Welcome  to  Metal  Digest!  It’s  an  honor  to  have  you  all  here  so  thank  you  for  giving  us  the  time  in answering  these  questions!  So  it  seems  your  talent  has  indeed  shown  its  strength  as you were able to pave your paths  to  perform  on  both  Wacken  Open  Air  in  2014  as  well  as  performing  on  Eurovision  (2021),  even  placing sixth(congratulations  by  the  way).  Could  you  elaborate  on  both  experiences,  for  if  I  am  not  mistaken,  you  were formed in 2013, meaning in a one year span you were able to accomplish a tremendous feat by winning the Metal Battle,  would  you  mind  taking  us  to  the  past  by  giving  us  an  insight  on  that  journey.  Also,  where  Eurovision  is concerned, how was the experience from your eyes, seeing you were an Extreme act standing out against the norm.

–  Hi! And first of all: thanks that we can be a part of this interview! It feels pretty weird that we had our first band competitions in 2014 and lately we were performing at the biggest television show in Europe. Wacken was actually our first show ever outside Finland and we were just a bunch of teenagers back then. We drove to Germany all the way from Finland with Joel’s dad’s car for a couple of days just to play a 20 minute set but it was all worth it! Those kinds of trips are things that have raised us as touring musicians and we’ve also done those shitty camper van tours where  you  have six guys and three beds so we’ve basically prepared ourselves many years for that kind of journey like Eurovision. Three albums and seven years later we were more than ready for that television stunt even though the whole idea just became after covid had hitted to the whole music industry. We’ve always liked to execute crazy ideas and ESC was definitely one of those and it seems it ended up pretty well haha. We knew that we needed to be on  top of every sector of the whole contest if we wanted to pull it off. We didn’t listen too much to those random opinions that “you can’t do this and you need to do that cause this is Eurovision!” and we just went there to do our own thing 100% as big as we can.

So I would like to explore the term in which you coined your music as ‘violent pop’ (even giving the title to your third album),  would  you  be  so  kind  as  to  elaborate  to  the  readers  where  the  conception  of  that  term came about? In addition  to  this,  who  were  some  of  your  main  influences  that  pushed you to develop as well as craft this style of music?

–      Violent  Pop was just basically the first description to our music because we knew we have members who have rock history and we knew we had Niko who was listening to pop music and doing his rap stuff. We wanted to do crossover  music  and  being  a  crossover band from northern Finland makes it even difficult. In Finland we were too heavy for the pop audience and too pop for the rock audience. Rock has always been the backbone of our musical influences but we’ve wanted to do that kind of rock music that mainstream audiences would love. When we started this band first it was all about Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to mars. We really admired how they had created a career as a mainstream band and their songs were sometimes rough but catchy especially what comes to Linkin Park.

Forgive me if I may be incorrect, but Aleksi Kaunisvesi (DJ/Samples) is one of your newest members who joined the ranks in 2020? In your own words, how does he evolve the formula that is Blind Channel also in your vision what do you  think  Aleksi  could  offer  that  would  take  the  band  to  a  newer  level?  For  I  have  always read that when bands incorporate DJs and samples it’s really to accentuate the added atmosphere, so I am most curious to know from you all what are the future plans with having a DJ in your arsenal?

–      We’ve been friends with Aleksi for a long long time and we even did a collab show together back in 2019. Aleksi loves rock music and after that we basically hung out almost every free time we had so it was a natural decision to make him an official member of Blind Channel. He’s such a professional when it comes to working in a studio and of course his background with electronic music and pop music have strengthened our vision of what’s Blind Channel is going to sound like in the future. When we have six active members in our bands who have this naive dream  for  conquering  the  world  with  our  own  music,  the  energy  and  the  force  with  that  is  bigger  than everything.

Soooo, this is the question I have been most excited to ask you all about, for I would have never thought someone would  write  a  song  based  around  the  spirit  of  one  of  my  ALL  TIME  favorite  movie  characters,  ROCKY  FREAKING BALBOA,  so  yes,  about  the  track,  ‘Balboa’, what stirred up the creative side of you all ( besides the actually movie character)  to  write  this  single,  because  I  was  amazed with how you captured that fighter’s spirit within one track, heck, I’d even go as far to say, it’s the new ‘eye of the tiger’! So could you mind carrying us through the conception of the song as well as the making of the video, for the visuals matched the aura of the song beat for beat!

– It was just basically that Rocky is such an inspiring character and we keep him as an icon of the underdogs. We’ve also felt that we’ve been those underdogs many times even though we have known we are good and we’ve known we  can  pull  this  off.  Maybe  that’s  why  it  was  easy  to  use  that  theme in this song and also after the international success after Eurovision. The video was easy because we knew we wanted to do that boxing ring video we’ve been talking about for like six years haha. And now we had a chance to do that and it looks sick!

The track, ‘Dark Side’ which was created for the purpose of Eurovision, would you care to go over the conception of that track and the ideology that went into it, seeing as it was rather a vital point in the contest, I may be mistaken, but  with  the  studio  track as  well  as  the  live  performance,  it felt as though you all wrote it not for the purpose of being competitors, but it genuinely came from you, almost as an extension, it’s quite prevalent when watching the live video, feel free to correct me on my interpretation there!

–  Yes  you’re  totally  right.  We  didn’t  compose  this  song  for  the  contest.  We  knew  that  if  we’re  going  to  that mainstream song contest with calculated power ballads and pop stars we will definitely keep our own strengths and we’re going there with a kind of a defiance in our eyes. We wanted to present the song which is 100% Blind Channel and Dark Side is all about that. We also wanted that the show itself is the same kind of energetic chaos as we are as a band.

 Often vocals shared by two vocalists can be a hit or miss, but you all seem to balance that rather well, where at times it’s  the  opposing  factors  that  gives  it  a  distinct  aura, but it’s also the synergy and cohesion which I believe you all have mastered really well…would you share some insight on how that came about concerning the dual vocals as well as finding the right pattern and flows when sharing the duty?

– For us it has been super natural that there is not only one front man in the band or just one vocalist. Both Niko and Joel  have  their  own  style  and  character  and  they  are  both also magnificent vocalists so they can still double each other.  With Blind Channel that is definitely a strengthness. It’s more like if Slipknot were a boy band. Every fan has their own favorite character!

From what I gather, the band is working on a follow up to ‘Violent Pop’ which is due to be released in 2022, can you give us a sneak peek into the recording process as well as conception? Did the Eurovision contest ignite a spark that propelled  you  all  in  writing  new  material?  And  would  it  be  a direct follow up to ‘Violent Pop’ or can the listeners expect some new injected elements?

–      Of course so many things have happened after Violent Pop: covid, changes in our background team, a new band member,  worldwide  success… We’ve  also  upgraded  as  songwriters  and producers. What is different from the

album Violent Pop it’s that we’ve mainly produced the whole album by ourselves. Dark Side was actually the first Blind  Channel  track  where we were the main producers including our good friend Joonas Parkkonen. We were clever and we started to write the album already last fall when we knew we might have a chance to perform in Eurovision and we might be busy as f*** then. The recordings are actually now ready and we’re waiting for that diamond  to  arrive.  The  new  album will be the best Blind Channel album so far and it will be a versatile album without losing the common thread. We’re also optimistic we will have another crossover hit in that album. Let’s see what happens. Stay tuned for 2022.

I would like to end this interview tying back to my first question where I highlighted your talent, it is rather evident of the strides you have made, starting in 2013, releasing 3 albums with a fourth on the way, and this is just the surface level, not to mention the Eurovision journey…so my question deals with motivation, for I know that for every artist that  word  reflects  a  different  picture  to  others,  so  to  you…what  basically  drives  you…Inspires you to attain these heights? Also for young and striving musicians, who I am sure to them you all are a beacon, what words would you impart to them upon their own adventure?

–      Like I said earlier. The inner force and the drive is basically six active members who understand each other and who  share  100%  the  same  dream  for  international  success  with  crossover  rock  music.  That  makes  us  feel unstoppable even though things are happening step by step and when there are also misfortunes on the way to the top. Our tip for young musicians is that if you really want to do this you seriously need to put your musical career  to  your  priority  list  and  make  the  decision  that  you  will  do  this  every  day  even  though  it  will  take numerous years to get to the top. Of course that sounds rough and it is that for sure so you need to handle the balance  of  being  hardworking  and having a rest and your social relationships. Keep on grinding and never give up.

In ending here, I would like to express my thanks to you for taking the time to answer these questions, as it was greatly appreciated,  that being said, I would leave the final words to you! Anything you would like to tell the readers of Metal Digest?

– See you at the shows! Peace & Love.

Come on in!

Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

More Stories
We Thank You: A Tribute to Dusty Hill (1949-2021)