BLIND HEN might be an odd name for a band but these Finns are well worth checking out. Antti Valkama, bass player and founder answered the questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-It was quite a long process. We made one song at a time and really thinked and chewed them to pieces before we got to the final form of the songs. I think our drummer Joonas was the only one who played most songs at the same recording sessions (that is because he is so damn good). And we have a good situation, because Tero, our guitarist, has his own studio with professional gear. Nobody is watching our back, but when you have time endlessly, things tend to slow down easily.
But we are happy how good record ”Life” is. We like the songs, how they came out. Sounds are really good. Tero is good guitarist and songwriter but he is also good with recording and mixing. Reviews have been nothing but good for us.
. I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-When we got to the point that band has to be announced and be ”official” we started to talk about names. Teppo our singer came up with the idea and said that he has bunch of names figured out. I think that he had seven/eight different names, but i don´t even remember other names. When we saw the name ”Blind Hen” it was settled right away. The name is a little bit twisted like we and our songs, but still not too ”goofy” if you know what i mean.. And the logo is more than nice. The ”chicken theme” fits for us. It has became our trade mark. People say ”chickens are playing and stuff”.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It means everything. It is the base of this thing. Of course you do this for yourself and we all have a need to create. But of course when you get the feedback and people come to thank you after the show or flatter you about the songs it feels really good. There you get the energy to do more and with even more passion. And when you hear that ”this and this” wasn´t so good, you have to try to figure out why. Is it this one person´s opinion or something bigger?
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-Image is important. Because the phones, laptops, tablets are everywhere all the time, the visual look has to be something that catches the eye. If you think person who is checking latest Instagram or Facebook feeds and there is four dudes with grey or black clothes, it doesn´t necessarily work quite so good. Or it might, that depends the person of course.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Our art work is made by Tuomas Valtanen, Dark Side Of Zen artworks. I ran into him at an art fair in Helsinki. I bought couple of his works on paper and later I send him a message, would he be interested of doing pieces for us. And lucky for us, he was. I tell you a secret that cover of Life is part of something really much bigger. We are saving it for later 😊. Art work on single ”Girls & Cocaine” is also from Tuomas. Just beautiful. You should check his stuff out.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-Hmm… This is a tricky one. It has is ups and downs. It is much easier to get your songs to the air nowadays, but to get them really to peoples ears is a different story. Sometimes it feels like there is a thousand new bands everyday and you don´t get your chance because it drowns to the mass. But it is much easier if you compare to the time when we made metal zines in -93, I think. We sended the questions to the bands by letter and waited for weeks to get the answers. Haha, but it was good times.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Our band is a little four man community. On stage it sparks to the flames from the first chord. We somehow transform to a different dimension or we become something different. World around you changes. You are sucked into a cloud of sound and movement. It is an unbelievable feeling. You just play somehow really focused but at the same time you are like a jelly, which is surfing at the stage. When you can reach the audience with the same feeling, you have done something really big.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-Well, Blind Hen music is not mainstream music and we are working in the middle, as you said it. We are reaching genres, working some in there, and visiting other styles. Finland is huge country what it comes to heavy, metal and rock. Last couple of years rap, pop and other styles have grown bigger but at the same time I have noticed that they have come closer to one another. Puritanic state of mind has changed and metal dudes are listening other music genres as well. I think that is a good thing. So guitar music has got smaller but at the same time different genres are closer. The Prothets Of Rage are good example. Good band by the way.. With Blind Hen we can do gigs easily with other rock-, metal-, punk-or progressive rock bands.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-At the moment we have couple of gigs ahead in Finland, cities of Helsinki and Pori. Let´s see what the next year brings. We are open minded about gigs in Finland and in Europe for example.
What will the future bring?
-Future will bring more music. We have couple of mind blowing songs ready. There is going to be a video shooting in next month. We are constantly moving and planning. Lots of crazy ideas, haha, let´s see what we figure out.
Thank you for the interview, good fall and prepare for the cold. Winter is coming.
Blind Hen is:
Teppo Tirkkonen, Vocals
Tero Kalliomaki, Guitars
Antti Valkama, Bass
Joonas Pykala-Aho, Percussions