Blind Hen: Finnish Progressive Grunge
Written by Shannon Reardon
Hailing from Southern Finland are Blind Hen, a progressive rock band group who draw influence from the grunge, hard rock, and psychedelic rock genres.
The band formed in 2015 when workmates Antti Valkama (bass) and Tero Kalliomaki (guitar) decided to go out after work and play together.
“We started playing [together, and] our chemistry worked,” said Valkama. “At the end of the first jam we had a bunch of good riffs and one song sketch, which later became ‘The Maze.’”
Once Valkama and Kalliomaki came to the realization that they wanted what was originally an after-work jam session to full-fledged band, they needed to acquire a singer and a drummer. Kalliomaki introduced Teppo Tirkkonen, a singer he had worked with in previous projects, to the band and he immediately started working to perfect their songs.
The next member to join Blind Hen was Joonas Pykala-Aho, a prominent drummer whom the other members thought would be too busy with several other bands. Valkama says that despite their original belief, Pykala-Aho was playing with them by the next day.
In early August Blind Hen released an EP titled, Life, and with all the songs Tirkkonen draws inspiration from an unlikely place.
“I think that Teppo hit the jackpot with idea of making every song tell a story about Leonardo DiCaprio movies,” said Valkama. “And not from Leo`s point of view, but from side actors. Everyone can listen our songs and try to figure out which is which, and in some cases the name of the song tells a lot.”
If the lyrics weren’t original enough for you, Blind Hen also bring a unique stage presence with them to their shows as well.
Valkama says that guitarist Tero likes to get off the stage and go into the audience, sometimes even playing on tables. While drummer, Pykala-Aho, plays the sets in a full chicken costume.
On and off the stage, the band attribute having fun together and with their fans is the most enjoyable part of the experience. They say that traveling together, the energy they feel from being on stage, and their love of playing to an audience are the coolest things they’ve experienced.
Despite their cool experiences and their love for fun, the band says they still face the challenge of being a group under the rock/metal umbrella.
“Our style is not ‘music for the masses,’ and that is the biggest challenge [for us,]” said Valkama. “But if you try to do something that you don´t like, it is not going to work. This style of rock has its own fans, they just don´t grow in every tree.”
For the rest of the 2017, Blind Hen plan on planning more gigs, shooting a music video, looking for a label to work with, and working on new material.
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