Blind Channel: “In Finland you’re told not to follow your dream – we want to be the biggest band in the world”

At the time Blind Channel first came to Helsinki, the band were all around 16 years old. As well as the character of their home city being to tell ambitious kids not to get too tall, another obstacle to success that goes with coming from such a place is actually being allowed to head so far from home with no real idea of what you’re doing.

“I think we need to thank our parents for a lot,” says Niko.

“My dad lent us his car for those early shows,” grins Joel.

“Yeah, which is a bit crazy to think now,” adds Niko. “We were just getting into beer and girls and all that, and we say to our parents, ‘We’re gonna go to Helsinki for a weekend to play some fucking rock’n’roll shows!’”

It was the same kind of thinking that had Blind Channel dreaming of going to America. Crazy? Sure, but let’s just go for it.

“We decided that before we broke up we needed to do at least one tour in the U.S.” says Niko. “We got there for the first time and it was like a fairytale. It felt like living the dream. I think it really made an impression on us, and you can hear that on the new album.”

“I still remember the morning I woke up on the bus in LA,” says Aleksi. “I went out from the bus, and I immediately saw the sign on The Whiskey A Go Go with our name on it. It felt like Grand Theft Auto. I saw the palm trees and I saw the Hollywood sign and I was just like, ‘Holy shit – this is reality.’”

This is caught in the track Wolves In California, where they discovered that as mad as they found LA, people looked at them with similar curiosity.

“When you come from here, this Scandinavian Nordic country, it’s different from Sweden, Norway, it’s Finland, and it’s a little weirder,” says Olli. “You have to embrace that. You can’t escape the reality that you come from here, so we have this ‘wolves in California’ mentality.”

“People liked it when we told them that up north the sun doesn’t rise for a couple of months, and we have wolves and freezing temperatures,” says Niko. “People thought we were really exotic.”