RED ELEVEN is one of these bands that I had no prior knowledge of before I got to interview them. So read this interview to get better acquainted with this Finnish band. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-No it wasn’t, as Tony & Teemu already had made some demos under the name ”Red Eleven Project”, so we just dropped the prefix and that was it. I think the name originally came from a punch in the face; that usually causes the ”red eleven” under the nostrils. Also you can hear the line ”Red Eleven standing by” in a certain movie.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
-I think it comes mostly from the nineties, only updated to present day. There’s also Teemu’s guitar sound and touch in playing, as well as Tony’s versatile vocals and everyone’s own style and groove that updates this nineties-sound to modern days.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Well, the slow tempo can stretch the song length of course, if you stick by the ”rules”, but we don’t care about rules in music. I played in a death-doom band for 10 years, so there was more challenge keeping the beat solid and steady going something like 50 bpm, than when playing this kind of music.
How does your music work in a live environment?
-This kind of music is perfect for a live show, lot’s of curves, groove and dangerous situations. We’ve had A LOT of good feedback as a live act, and we all love playing live.
You have some releases to your name. Which one are you the most proud of?
-Of the three albums of Red Eleven, I myself am most proud of ’Collect Your Scars’, though I love playing older songs live too. It’d be easier to say like three songs from every album. But I guess after we’ve made out fourth album, I will say that is the one I’m most proud of, haha.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Yes it is. Nowadays it seems people are lazy to check out new music, either sticking with the music already ”out there” or just listening to what ever is on the radio. New bands have to work really, really hard to get noticed. And just good songs or albums won’t necessarily be enough for that to happen. Our first step was the music video for our first single ”Stuck On This Feeling Of Feeling Nothing”, by the time the single was released on Spotify. So I guess Youtube was the first alley we took. Since that, we’ve released a couple of more music videos and a lyric video too. People seem to find most of new music from Youtube or by seeing a good show from an interesting band.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-It depends on the music. I love the cover Tony made for ’Collect Your Scars’, it has the feeling of the music and the colors are what got my attention immediately. Apart from colors, I really like a cover to have something for eyes to linger more than a couple of seconds, the first one that came to my mind is the cover of ’Left Hand Path’ from Entombed.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-Although hip-hop, rap and pop are now what most of the youngsters listen to, metal music is still doing pretty well in Finland, but I kinda feel we’re not enough ”metal” to metal fans. There are lot of Finnish bands touring around all the time, and new ones come all the time. A young thrash band Lost Society from our hometown just did an European tour with Exodus, which is very cool.
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
-Well, since we don’t have a management or a major label behind us, we don’t have a very big promotion. We have our label promoting us the way they can, and also we have a guy in Finland doing promotion for Finnish media. I think playing lots of live shows makes the band known well too. But as for advertising, it all comes down to money. Record sales have been going down for the last 10 years or so, so smaller labels don’t necessarily want to invest much on the promotion.
What does the future hold?
-We’re about to start our album release tour in two weeks, with more than 20 shows in Finland confirmed at this point. Hoping to get something outside Finland soon too, there’s been some interest from the US and Russia and Germany at the moment. We’ll see how things work out, again it all comes down to money, sadly, because we’d love to get on a tour soon.