Finnish nu metal icons Blind Channel returned to the UK this month, pausing their ‘Flatline’ tour (in support of their most recent single of the same name) to join I Prevail and Trash Boat for several dates around Europe.
Tonight, we’re at Leeds O2 Academy, where, before the show, isthismusic.com were invited to sit down with keyboardist Aleksi Kaunisvesi and catch up on all things Blind Channel.
IsThisMusic (ITM?): First of all, Aleksi, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. How are you doing today?
Aleksi Kaunisvesi (AK): I’m doing great! We’ve just finished our EU run supporting I Prevail and currently starting the UK run with them. A lot of touring this year, but we love it!
ITM?: You’ve just completed the first leg of your ‘Flatline’ tour, which saw you play in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, how did those shows go?
AK: The shows were awesome. We have a totally new setlist and also played the new song ‘Flatline’ for the first time on those shows. We’re looking forward continuing that headline tour in April.
ITM?: How has ‘Flatline’ been received by fans in a live setting?
AK: The feedback has been great! We’ve seen a lot of people sharing clips of the song from our shows and it’s always a party with that one. It’s always nice to have a new one in the setlist.
ITM?: So, you’ve paused the ‘Flatline’ tour for now, and joined I Prevail and Trash Boat on their EU and UK tour. How much were you looking forward to that and how have the dates gone so far?
AK: This is the tour we’ve really been looking forward for a long time and also the one that we’ve enjoyed a lot. All the bands are amazing, and it’s been such a pleasure sharing the stage with those two bands. Like I said, we just finished the EU run and now it’s time for the UK.
ITM?: What can fans expect from a Blind Channel live show?
AK: Our shows are always a high energy party. We spend a lot of time building our shows every time. I also think we’re a strong live band that people seem to enjoy a lot. That makes me extremely happy.
ITM?: Then after this run of shows, you’re back out on the road in Germany for headline dates part 2, is that correct?
AK: Yes! We’re going back to the ‘Flatline’ tour with our own headline dates, but also in between we’re supporting the amazing Electric Callboy on few of their Arena shows.
ITM?: Can you tell us a little bit more about your upcoming tour with Electric Callboy and then after that, you’re heading to the US with Lacuna Coil, correct? How excited are you for those tours?
AK: Really looking forward! This year is extremely important for us regarding touring and we’re thankful to have an opportunity to join these amazing bands on their tours. Also, it’s been a year since we toured the USA, so it feels great to go back there with Lacuna Coil.
ITM?: What else can we expect from you in 2023? I know you released ‘Lifestyles of the Sick & Dangerous’ in July of last year, but could we possibly see a new album released in 2023?
AK: We’re working on the new album this year. Recording and writing, but I can’t tell you the exact album release date yet. But for sure we’ll drop new singles this year.
ITM?: Is there anything else you’d like to mention for 2023?
AK: We have a great year ahead, with touring and a lot of amazing festivals so I hope to see many people there. Tickets to our own dates are also on sale now on our website: www.blindchannelofficial.com
ITM?: Aleksi, thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions and best of luck for tonight!!
AK: Thank you!!
Tonight, is a sell-out, and Blind Channel are tasked with warming up this capacity crowd for Trash Boat and headliners I Prevail, something they achieve in an almost effortless manner.
Opening with the one-two punch of tracks ‘Alive Or Only Burning’ and ‘We Are No Saints’, both from latest album ‘Lifestyle of the Sick & Dangerous’ the band bring the energy from the moment they hit the stage. Throughout their set, vocalists Niko Vilhelm and Joel Hokka plus guitarist Joonas Porko and bassist Olli Matela make use of every single inch of the stage, jumping, pacing and headbanging around like men possessed.
The band then take things back a little bit, with ‘Over My Dead Body’ from 2020’s ‘Violent Pop’ before returning to their most recent album for ‘Bad Idea’, an unapologetically raw and emotional track, penned by Vilhelm in the summer of 2018 following a particularly ugly breakup.
This is followed by latest single ‘Flatline’, which seems to already be a crowd favourite, though, this comes as no surprise, having already amassed almost 700,000 streams on Spotify within a month of release. The track was co-written with songwriting duo Blyne, and in their own words is “Blind Channel on steroids, one of the heaviest songs we’ve ever made”.
Blind Channel bring their set to a close with arguably their most well-known track, ‘Dark Side’, which was Finland’s entry in the last year’s Eurovision Song Contest. It sees the entire crowd raise their middle fingers in the air at the bands request and sing along with them: “Middle fingers up, take a shot, throw it up and don’t stop!”.
A fitting end, as with several tours lined up for the rest of the year, new material coming and their latest single thriving and bringing new fans into the fold, Blind Channel don’t look like stopping any time soon!