Modern metallers Blind Channel has had reasonable success in their native land of Finland, however, it was their participation in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest which gained them fans beyond those borders. Now through touring Europe, they are building up their fan base more in preparation for when they release now music upon the world in 2024.
Recently the band came to the UK to perform at Download 20 so Damian grabbed vocalists Joel Hokka and Niko Moilanen from the band to discover more about the Finnish band.
Thanks for speaking to us. Now you guys have actually been going for 10 years. And I’m gonna be I’ll be 100% honest, I hadn’t heard of you until quite recently and it was something to do with The Eurovision Song Contest? I want to know about that because, I know you’ve probably spoken about it a lot, but that’s where I first heard about you guys.
Joel Hokka & Niko Moilanen: “Like, that’s where we blew up. It’s not a surprise. It’s the reality.”
So, how did that all come about?
“Well, COVID was obviously going on, we had just finished an album but then we couldn’t promote the album with shows because you couldn’t do any shows. So then we needed a platform to get our music to the people and then like there was only one platform that was big enough for our plans, and that was Eurovision. So we kind of took a leap of faith and we’re super glad it worked out. We used that platform kind of to enter the rock scene, the rock scene of Europe and it’s been going really well since then.”
Now you are doing a bit of a European tour but it’s mainly festivals you’re doing is that correct?
“Yeah, right now we’re doing festivals. I think the next headline European tour is gonna happen next spring.”
Now is there any particular festivals that you you dig more than others that you’ve played or anything particularly great ones? I mean, don’t say Download don’t suck up to this crowd. You’ve played your show now, it doesn’t matter. What has been probably one of the best festivals in your experience?
“Well, we really enjoyed Wacken Open Air, we played it two times, actually and there’s the metalhead audience, people seriously like to party. So we really enjoyed that. Like we played. We played on the main stage, we opened that last year and, you know, German audience, fuck, there’s nothing like that. I mean, Germans, they’re crazy, like there are super crazy inside there, and that’s why it’s so awesome. Like the party is on the next level.”
I have been to Wacken myself and one of the things apart from what you’ve mentioned about how crazy they are. I also noticed they were insanely efficient. You go into the campsite here, it’s absolute chaos. Over there, there’s perfect circles, squares, lines. I’ve looked at that. I was like, we need some efficiency experts. So yeah, the Germans. I’ll give you that. Wacken is the number one best one. Now your last album was released pretty much. Last month, I believe. Is that correct?
“Actually, it was released 2022, so one year ago.”
Now I’ve got egg on my face big time, actually more like sweat. So can we expect another full length record anytime soon? Or what’s the what’s the plan next?
“This summer is going to be very busy, we’re playing festivals in Europe and when we get back home, we immediately go back to the studio. We want to have a new album on our hands by the end of the summer and we’re gonna release it sometime next year, but new music is always coming. Even this year, we’re gonna release some new songs.”
Now, one of the things that has actually fascinated me throughout my research and I’ve got this correct this time, rather than like messing up on when the release of your album was, but you guys have actually had a pretty consistent line-up from start to finish. I can’t think of any other bands that have done that. I’m sure there are, but what is what is your secret to actually maintaining the solid line-up?
“I mean, we’re friends, we met in high school, we’re childhood friends, and we kind of share the same goal, we like the same things. Of course it’s rough at times when you spend a better part of the year with the same people but I think the chemistry we have formed when we will still like kids and the chemistry has lasted through adulthood if you know what I mean, that’s that’s probably the only secret there is.”
I think there was one member that joined sort of late is that correct?
“Aleksi joined a couple years ago. It felt like a natural add because we needed a guy that organises more stuff with the music production, is also great live. Now we’re gonna look like the original rock band like drums in the middle and guitarist and then the singers then there’s now there’s the DJ booth so it looks like it’s like mini Slipknot. Also it’s a Linkin Park lineup copy, but it doesn’t bother us because we love Linkin Park and they’re are Gods forever we look them up really high.”
So obviously Linkin Park, they are definitely an influence for you guys, who was was a big influence on your life and your career?
“Well, we really like modern rock bands as well like Bring Me the Horizon is one of our favorites. Boy bands like NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and then like, obviously, I come from like this pop music and rap music world. I’ve been listening to Eminem and Ed Sheeran lately. So we really have influences in the pop world as well. So a lot of lot of stuff. We drew out from this from a lot of different places.”
So you consider yourselves quite eclectic as a group then. Now, after you’ve done press, you’ve already played Download, technically, the works over, are you going to be hanging around for a bit? Are you going to catch any bands?
“We’re going to stay here for a couple hours. See I Prevail and Electric Callboy because they’re are brothers and we’ve been touring with them. After that we unfortunately have to leave because we have to go back to Helsinki to finish up the record, but we’d love to be here longer.”
When can we expect to see you guys back in the UK, are you able to give me anything about that?
“2024 we’re gonna play at some time when we released a new album, we’re going to do a big tour in Europe and in the UK. So that’s when it’s gonna happen.
Find out more about Blind Channel by checking out the Official Blind Channel Website