When I found out a country quintet from Finland that covers metal songs with bluegrass instrumentation was coming to Nashville, I knew I had to go.
I didn’t know quite what to expect from this unique band, with the humorous name Steve ’n’ Seagulls and members sporting overalls and fur hats… but they ended up blowing me away. I had seen their music videos before, so I knew they were talented, but seeing them in person was spectacular. For those of you who have not heard of them, Steve ’n’ Seagulls is a group of five guys who met in Jyväskylä, Finland and began playing music together just a couple of years ago. Having similar taste in music, they began covering hard rock and metal songs and making countrified music videos for songs such as Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. Featuring snazzy hillbilly sounds, great tunes, suspenders, and a mini horse named Benjamin, their music videos quickly went viral, and despite only having gotten together recently, they have already developed quite the fan base. They just released their first album, Farm Machine, earlier this year, featuring covers of everything from Guns ’n’ Roses to Rammstein, and they are now on tour.
Before the show, I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with lead singer and guitarist Remmel, banjo player Hermann, and cellist Pukki Kaalinen. I already knew I liked these guys just from watching their fun, quirky music videos, but upon speaking with them, I discovered that they are all the most genuinely sweet and down-to-earth guys. What a great combination— awesome personalities on top of extraordinary talent and the ability to play the heck out of some bluegrass instruments… these guys deserve every bit of attention they get.
As it came closer to showtime, people trickled in until the room was full of a very random crowd of people. You know a band is good when their audience has as diverse of a crowd as theirs did. Men and women of all ages and races were there, and after speaking with a few people in the audience, I found that Steve ’n’ Seagulls already has a lot of fans in Nashville who are very passionate about their music and were all excitedly awaiting the show.
From the moment they started playing, the crowd went wild. People were hollering, clapping, laughing, and dancing throughout the entirety of their performance. I love bands who do not have ordinary instrumentation – these guys played everything from the cello and banjo to the mandolin and an accordion. My favorite part was the very end of the show when Hiltunen, a very large, burly man sporting overalls and some sort of animal hat on his head surprised the audience by coming out with a flute… and playing it very well at that! Every band member was a pleasure to watch- they obviously have a lot of fun playing together and really enjoy what they are doing. Despite the fact that they are really talented musicians, they don’t take themselves too seriously and are able to let loose and have a good time on stage. That kind of energy is contagious, and throughout the show I noticed that everyone watching them had a huge smile on their face.
Before the band could even get off stage after playing their last song, the crowd was already screaming, “One more!!” It was a wild ride from beginning to end, and everyone who was there including myself had a wonderful time. It was an absolute pleasure watching these guys perform and being able to hang out with them for a bit beforehand. I have only good things to say about these guys, and I hope that any of you who are able to will try to make it out to one of their shows at some point in time. Their U.S. tour has just ended, but they are working on more tunes (covers as well as some new originals) and are only at the beginning of their musical journey and will most certainly be back. Until next time… Näkemiin!