The final of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision is just around the corner, since Uuden musiikin kilpailu (UMK) 2021 will take place this Saturday, February 20th, in Tampere, Finland. One of the finalists is Blind Channel with their song Dark Side. Blind Channel is a six-member band from Oulu, Finland, and it was founded in 2013. The members of the band are Joel Hokka (vocals, guitar), Niko Vilhelm (vocals), Joonas Porko (guitar, backing vocals), Olli Matela (bass guitar), Tommi Lalli (rummut) and Aleksi Kaunisvesi (keys, percussions). Blind Channel has done successful international career, and they’ve performed in many international festivals and concerts.
In the middle of the busy UMK preparation season Blind Channel luckily had time to give us an interview about them, their career and UMK participation. The answers are written by Niko Vilhelm, one of the vocalists of the band.
Hi Blind Channel and thank you for giving me this interview! At first I’d like to ask what is your relationship to Eurovision? Do you usually watch the contest and do you have some favorite Eurovision songs?
”Have to confess that we haven’t been watching Eurovision too much during the past few years, we’ve always been on tour when they’re taking place. But of course we know that it’s the world’s biggest music event and we’re familiar with the concept. Our band’s ultimate favorite Eurovision song is ‘Euphoria’ by Loreen. ”
Could you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the background of your band? How long have you known each other and how did you end up starting your band?
”Joel and Joonas founded the band in 2013, bass player Olli and Drummer Tommi joined from Joonas’s previous band. I met the guys at this random house party and we were vibing Linkin Park together. Next thing we know, we were at our rehearsal place ready to take over the world. Newest member Aleksi (Keys & Percussions) joined the band last summer and now our band is in better shape than ever.”
You have done a lot during your career and you have fans not only in Finland but also abroad. What made you apply to UMK right now and do you think your international fan bace would help you to do good in Eurovision?
”We released our third album and 2020 was supposed to be a big year for us. Then everything got canceled. We were pissed off and decided to pour all our anger into a song that would become ’Dark Side.´ We knew we had to think outside the box and get out of our comfort zone if we wanted to power through this pandemic. That’s when we decided to go to UMK. We have amazing fans all over Europe and we’re sure they will join the ’Dark Side’ as soon as we’re on our way to Rotterdam.”
How would you describe your song ”Dark Side” and the message of it?
”’Dark Side’ is a violent pop anthem, perfectly capturing what we’ve been doing for the past eight years: throwing our middle fingers in the air and going through the roof. When the pandemic hit the world we were frustrated and we figured that a lot of people all around the world must feel the same way. We dedicated the song to everyone who felt like giving the world the finger and screaming.”
What kind of stage show can we expect from you in UMK?
”It’s gonna be explosive. Intensive. 150% pure f*cking adrenaline and absolutely massive.”
Finland has done well in Eurovision with hard rock songs, the most obvious example of this is of course the victory of Lordi in 2006. Why do you think Finland has done much better with hard rock than other music genres?
”We can’t really say anything about Hard Rock because we don’t see ourselves fitting in that category. But it is true that Finland is known for its many successful rock and metal bands. We’re trying to do our own thing – something never seen before – and we don’t feel like being any kind of classic rock act. We represent the new generation and what rock music sounds like in 2021.”
What do you do when you don’t do music?
Besides your own song, which song is your favorite in UMK 2021?
”We haven’t really thought about it. All the songs are great, but we’re concentrating on our own game. We’re fully occupied in taking violent pop to the world and we don’t have the time to think about what the next artist is doing.”
What would it mean to you to win UMK and represent Finland in Eurovision?
”Representing Finland with rock music would feel like representing Finland in ice hockey. It would be mad.”
What would you like to say to our readers and your fans from all over the world?
”Thank you so much for listening to our music! We can’t wait to be back partying with you.”
Thank you so much for the interview and good luck to UMK-final!
You can listen to Blind Channel’s UMK entry Dark Side here:
If the messengers of the violent pop are your favorites to win UMK, don’t forget to vote for them in our poll: