By Dylan Morley, Second Year History
Steve 'N' Seagulls headline The Fleece tonight
Finnish band Steve ‘N’ Seagulls grace the stage at The Fleece tonight. Stopping by Bristol on the extensive European leg of their tour, Steve ‘N’ Seagulls will be performing their unique hybrid of rock and country tunes, with a guarantee of quirky entertainment.
What does it mean to the band to export Finnish culture, and is this a prominent feature of your objectives?
'Well were not sure how much Finnish culture we are exporting . Of course as Finns we represent our culture and country somehow. We are proud of our roots and happy to talk to people about our country and culture. If we are able to give people a some kind of touch of feel about Finland, that is nice. In our music there is also some influences of Finnish folk and dancing music, so in that way we are also exporting Finnish culture. And of course most of our videos are filmed in Finnish nature and countryside. Let's say they we are happy to give people a little peak to Finland and Finns.'
How was the idea of your unique style and genre conceived?
'It all started as a side project and it somehow mixes a lot of our influences like metal, rock, pop, country, bluegrass, Finnish folk etc. It was supposed to be for only about 20 gigs at first, but it kept going. At some point we moved more and more towards acoustic sounds and started maybe experimenting more with different instruments. So in the end for us it is a good way to enjoy music with a lot less limits and a lot more experimental stuff than ever before. But that being said, we focus on the main thing, music, 100%.'
Were there any unexpected technical complications of combining classic rock and roll with a country bluegrass twist?
'A lot. How to mic stuff on stage so that the banjo, bass, accordion and for example drums don't all flood to each others mics and channels. How to get enough punch to the sound without losing the acoustic feel. How to make all these different instruments heard and on top of that how to add four vocals in. All that kinda stuff. A huge thank you goes to our unique and awesome sound tech Antti "Ministeri" Laitila, who has worked countless hours to make our live set sound so good as it does. And of course on albums we've had great recording engineers Simo Orpana on the first one and 2nd an 3rd we had Jyri Riikonen and Petri Majuri. So, we've focused on our sound a lot and had a lot of help too. But that's one of our main points, that the music is played well and sounds good.'
How much of your success do you credit to the modern age of global internet access?
'To be honest, we wouldn't be even at this point without internet, YouTube etc. We were able to reach people around the world with our videos and then have had the chance to show that we are good live band too. So it's been a big part of our band from the start.'
Was there a particular highlight to your previous tour of the UK, and how did you enjoy the unique atmosphere of a British gig/festival?
'Hard to name one certain highlight. We've had some awesome nights in UK. People know how to have fun and appreciate good live music. So that makes us push even harder on stage. And then when you win the audience on your side it's just a one big party. We've played in front of really good audiences in UK and sold out many venues so it's been great.'
Does the band have an idea of what the future holds regarding musical style and your next album release?
'On our third album Grainsville we tried to find new pieces and views to our music. And we feel we were able to take few steps forward. We included three original songs on this album too. So maybe we keep working on originals and at the same time we work on covers too. Hopefully we can dig in even deeper to the musical core of our band and make an album that is even wider and wilder experience to the listeners.'
What can the Bristol gig-goers expect from your performance on 6th December?
'Our live shows are somewhat different compared to our videos. We have worked hard with the live sound and that the band is as tight as possible live. So it'll be energetic, punchy, fast, sweaty, includes beer, handsome Finnish men and a lot of different instruments. It's best if you come and check it out yourself.'
Featured Image: Steve 'n' Seagulls / Grainsville
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