BARBE-Q-BARBIES

I like the Finns. There is something about their mentality that suits my mindset. Finnish hardrock/metal is also something that is close to my heart so whenever the opportunity to interview a Finnish band comes along I grab it. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

What caught my attention was the name. When choosing a name was it important for it to tell the listener that you’re all females?
-Well, that’s just one interpretation. Actually the name of the band originates from the music video “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden: in the video there’s a little girl who’s barbequing a Barbie doll. Our drummer Niina came up with the name, and of course from the name you can quite easily draw the conclusion that we are all females, but just as well it could be an expression against the idea that we all should look like Barbies. But nonetheless, the fact that we are a female band is something that none of us needs to hide.

How important is it to give a glamorous, larger than life impression image wise?
-In my opinion, the visual side of rock music has been there since the beginning, and the listener is often curious to know what the band or the artist behind the music looks like,
what kind of style they have, what kind of clothes and make up they wear and so on. I think most people want to look their best and to me and the rest of the band too,
our image and the way we present ourselves is just a natural extension to the music we play.

I thought it was all gloom and doom in the Finnish hardrock/metal scene. How do you fit into the national hardrock/metal scene?
-I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the most successful bands that come from Finland are basically hard rock and metal bands. Take HIM, Amorphis, Apocalyptica or the 69Eyes, for example. But there are a lot of bubbling-under bands who make great music and in my opinion have it all which comes to making it big outside Finland, too. We too have a lot of “metal head” fans and fans from other genres too, and we have played gigs with bands from various genres. Maybe the best example is our warm-up gig with W.A.S.P a couple of years ago, the audience was basically the same we have in our own gigs.

What would you say is the single most important influence in the creation of Barbe-Q-Barbies?
-It’s impossible to name only one, because I think we all had somewhat different influences and reasons we wanted to be in the band. I’ve played different instruments since I was 3 years old and for me it was some kind of a challenge to learn to play guitar and write music myself. When it comes to influences from the music we listened, I think it’s safe to say that we all had a thing for bands such as AC/DC, KISS and Motörhead. Just to name a few.

Living in Sweden I can feel envious on all the chart success Finnish hardrock/meal bands receive. Are the Finnish hardrock/metal crowd more supportive than any other crowds?
-I think the Finnish hard rock and metal fans are very loyal to the bands they like: they keep buying the records (or maybe nowadays downloading them), merchandise, and going to gigs.
But I don’t think it’s just a Finnish phenomenom, maybe it has more to do with the music genre.

In promoting the band does it make it easier getting attention being Finnish?
-Maybe 20 years ago it would have been somewhat easier, but nowadays when people travel more and can get their hands in the music via internet it doesn’t have a significant meaning anymore. Of course there are fans for example in Germany where bands like HIM have a lot of fans, they could be more eager to take a listen to our stuff once they hear we are from Finland too.

I can feel that there are some major limitations to signing with a national label if you want to have an international career. What kind of promotion network does SOF have to take you away from Finland?
-Well, that’s a question to which you could receive a better answer if you asked directly from the people in SOF, but so far we don’t have complaints when it comes to promotion of the band.
Making it outside Finland needs a lot of work, not only from the record label, but from the band, too: nowadays when you’ve got social media like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and so on, the band has to be active and promote the music themselves via different medias. It’s a long way to the top… 😉

What kind of response have you had to your album so far? Do people get what you’re trying to do?
-So far the response we’ve had has been mainly positive, of course there always are different opinions concerning production, sounds and stuff like that. But I think it’s important that the band sticks to its guns, so to say. You can’t please everybody and you shouldn’t either. I think the most successful and long-lived bands are often those who have done their own thing since the beginning regardless of the response they’ve received from the critics.

I just realized that I know very little about Finland as a society. What kind of reactions to you get if you go on tour in like the North? Is it all cheers and show your tits or are they appreciative?
-Haha, sure we’ve seen that side of things too during these years… though it’s usually just one guy in the audience who had a couple of beers too many. In general the audience is very appreciative and supportive, and nowadays it has been nice to notice that we have more female members in the audience than in the beginning.

How does the future look like for Barbe-Q-Barbies? Where do you see the future taking you guys?
-We are already working on our next album, writing songs and making plans about the schedule. It’s all about the fans and the music, as long as we have them both, we’re doing great.

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