Interview with Remmel from the extremely talented
Steve 'n' Seagulls
Were you good at music at school did you study music and how did you decide a career in music was for you?
Well... I was a bit shy at school so at first it was a bit tough for me. We had the chance to take more music classes at the age of 13 or so but I stuck with other subjects. That being said - at home I was always interested in my dad's guitar, LPs, VHS tapes of live shows etc. Music for some reason was super interesting for me. A lot of it was 60s, 70s and 80s stuff. But as a kid of 90s - along came Metallica, Megadeth, Offspring, NOFX, Guns n Roses etc.
Music was and always has been a passion for me. I don't really know at what point I wanted to became a musician. Maybe not at any point. I just wanted to play music, listen to it, read magazines and books about music. I never really studied it other than taking some guitar lessons as a kid. Sometimes I wish I had studied. Because it maybe would help a lot now days.
We formed our first band around 1994-95. We played metal and some Finnish songs. Around -97 some other young musicians from my hometown asked me to join their band as vocalist. That band was more progressive and complex music. I learned a lot from those guys and we had a good time. I've played live shows since 1995 or so. Got a little pocket money then. Late nineties I joined another band and we played a lot of gigs around Finland. Maybe at that point it started to feel like it someday could be possible to become a professional musician. But it took many years before I became a 100% professional in a way that I could support myself as a musician. Sometimes it's hard to describe what it means to be a professional musician. You might as well be a total pro even though you'll have to do other stuff too for living. Maybe it's more about the state of mind.
What have you been up to in the last year with your music?
Year 2022 still started with COVID-19 stuff so January and February were more or less cancelled shows and hoping for the best. Since then we've played approximately 125-130 live shows in maybe ten countries and two continents. Europe and North America. So a lot of touring. We have also been planning our fifth album. Composing original material and arranging some songs. We will be rehearsing new stuff in the next two weeks and hoping to get our material ready for studio in April 2023.
We played a tour in USA for about four weeks. Another one in Central Europe. Then shows in Finland, Sweden, Norway etc. During the summer we played festivals around Europe. It's been soooooo good to be back on the road!!
What makes your music stand out from other acts. Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
Maybe we have (accidentally also) found a unique mix of bluegrass, rock, folk, metal and pop. I mean - other bands have had similar influences before of course. But maybe on our case there is some kind of new approach to it. Also people tell us that we are easy to approach and talk to. And that they feel good while listening to us. So there is an element of fun and good times - even though we take our music and playing very seriously too and work really hard to sound as good as possible.
Three things... I'll leave the most personal stuff out. But:
- I am a kindergarten teacher for my "actual" profession
- I play as a goalie in ice hockey
- Jimi Hendrix was one of my earliest favorites in music. Especially his Axis bold as love album.
If there are people who have never heard of you what song or clip would you send them and where can they find you on social media?
I'd send them two clips. Thunderstruck - because that's our most famous clip. And one of the very first ones too. Then I'd send Sweet Maria. That is something totally different, an original and has a beautiful video.
On social media - I'd first check out YouTube. Just write Steve'n'Seagulls in YouTube and you'll find our channel. And of course we are on Facebook, IG, Twitter and TikTok.
Tell us what you currently have out music wise and any gigs merch etc you have coming up?
We have released four albums. And also a lot of music videos on our YouTube channel. And latest one is our new single and video to a song Still loving you. We just finished our Central Europe tour - but we tour in Finland until the end of the year 2022. In March 2023 we'll head out to North America and Mexico. Then to Australia and Finland.
You can check out our merch from our store that we run ourselves. www.stevenseagulls.com and click merchandise. New stuff will come out sometime next year.
Who are your inspiration in life and in music. Also who are your biggest supporters with your music?
Oh...this is a tough one. I get inspired by good music. Nature is a big inspiration too. I live on the countryside and it helps you to get focused after a busy tour or something. But then on the other hand - after quiet time a busy city, people, noises and stuff like that can inspire too. Books, movies, other musicians. In life - my family - parents, sisters, brother, my grandparents and the whole family is inspiring and also a big support. Of course our fans give us so much support all the time that it's hard to express the amount of gratitude we feel. Thank you everyone. One big support is our manager, agents and everyone we work with. They do a lot of work for shows, albums and everything. They deserve a huge thank you!
Some inspiring musicians are Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Blaze Foley, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt, Serge Gainsbourg, Desirée, John Bonham, Jon Lord, Timo Kämäräinen and many others.
Bands like Led Zeppelin, Crazy horse (with Neil Young) Jimi Hendrix Experience, Megadeth (their latest is awesome), Ghost, Blue öyster cult, The Band, Gojira, Great Peacock, Boston and so on.
From witers I really like Jack Kerouac and Finnish Anni Kytömäki.
Some old photographs are very inspiring. Like a window to a time that once existed.
Have you ever written a song dedicated to a person thing or place if so tell us about it if not who or what would you choose?
On our latest album there is a track called Reckless Wrecking Ball. For the lyrics I got the inspiration from the autobiography of Aleksi Laiho. He was the guitarist, vocalist and the main composer of Finnish band called Children of Bodom. So maybe it's dedicated to him or inspired by his life and legacy. He was an awesome musician. I did not know him at all but that book felt really touching somehow.
Where are your favourite gig venues and festivals on your bucket list.What is your best memory at gig as a music artist and as a fan?
Oh no! It keeps getting harder and harder! Some of my favorite venues are in France and Germany. The Finnish venue called Lutakko in Jyväskylä is one of my favorites too. That's somehow our home venue if there is one.
My best memory (maybe) as fan is Neil Young and Crazy horse in Finland 1996 at a festival. The volume, distortion, sun, beautiful songs and seeing the band live for the first time. It was unbelievable.
As a musician... Maybe our first big festival. Sweden rock in 2015. We didn't know what to expect. Is anyone going to come and see us? And it ended being just awesome! A lot of people, huge noise, super nice crowd and just pure excitement and flow. I remember being just happy after the show. And we did have some beer backstage.
On the bucket list - there are so many. It would be cool to play at legendary Isle of Wight and Glastonbury. As well as Hellfest, Download, Tuska... As a fan those would be cool too. Red Rocks amphitheater would be awesome! Just to name a few.
What moments in your life have lead you to where you are today?
I suppose every turn is important - even if sometimes they feel unnecessary or even painful. Maybe one big moment was that I ended up going to study in Jyväskylä. I met Hiltunen, our accordion player and the other guys later too. It took many years, many turns, many moments of joy and sadness but it led to this. Actually it feels really strange every time I thing about it. One different turn and all could be completely different. Life is nuts sometimes. :)
One big moment was when I met those guys as a kid and we had ours first few bands. Or playing drums with my brother. First time I had the courage to go on stage alone was a huge moment. I was scared and sweating my butt off. There has been many important steps, turns and moments.
What is your opinion on social media and what is your favorite one to use?
Ah, it's important as a tool to reach and talk to fans and a good way to talk to people from all around the world. It feels very crazy too sometimes. But it is good to have a platform or platforms to stay in touch with people who for example follow us or like our music. We run all of our channels and social media ourselves. And we try to reply all the messages we get. We feel that they are important and appreciate highly all the support we get.
Personally I use YouTube the most. There is a lot of good tutorials, music, live videos and other interesting stuff there. I once changed the radiator on my car by watching a tutorial on YouTube. Hah, it actually worked!
What is your favourite food drink and place to be, also what do you like to do in your downtime?
For favorite food I'd say pizza and tacos. Beer or Tom Collins as a drink. Favorite place is sometimes home and sometimes a place with people I love.
In my downtime I listen to music, play drums and guitar. I like to go hiking here and there. And go to a restaurant in good company. Sometimes it's just awesome to sit down with friends and have few beers. And of course some ice hockey!
What has the next year got in store for you?
Next year will be busy. We will tour in Europe, North America, Central America and Australia. We will record and release our fifth album and some videos too. So that will keep us busy. But it's awesome - we can do what we love to do.
Also some ice hockey, few beers, good laughs and sauna at some point.