written by Marko Jakob | 10.01.2022 |
Pix666: Hello Aleksi. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days? How are the other guys of Balance Breach?
Aleksi: Hi and thanks for having us! All good here in Mikkeli, Finland. We’ve been pretty busy with writing and recording new music lately. Because of the pandemic there haven’t been that many shows to play, but working together with new music is probably the second best thing to do when it comes to playing in the band!
Pix666: How did you get to know each other and what kind of music does Balance Breach make?
Aleksi: The rest of the guys have known each other since elementary school. Antti (drums), Terho (guitar) and Saku (guitar) played in the same hockey team and Joni (bass) came across in the school. I met the guys for the first time through the local metal scene back in 2011 I guess. Few years later the guys needed a new vocalist and Antti asked me to join the band.
Since day one our music has been more or less metalcore. Maybe not the most typical style of metalcore but however that’s pretty much the easiest way to describe it. Our music has a lot of energy, melodies and mostly the outcome is pretty aggressive. Balance Breach has always been all about the good songs.
Pix666: You changed the name of the band at the beginning of the band’s history – what was the reason for that?
Aleksi: We wanted to change the name after I had joined the band and we we’re ready to release the first EP with the new lineup. So in 2015 we made a fresh start and outcome with the new name and sound. It was definitely the right thing to do as things got a bit more serious and everyone in the band accepted this really ambitious attitude of working for the shared dream.
Pix666: In 2020 you released your debut album ‘Dead End Diaries’. The songs from the album have so many streams on Spotify. Do you like to look at such statistics and do you know where your listeners live?
Aleksi: Yes we did! Luckily people have found the album and listened to it. Spotify has made it so easy to follow your streams as an artist and I have to say that sometimes I stare at the statistics way too much. Antti is at least as deep as I am with this one, hah! Nowadays most of our listeners live in the States, Finland, Germany, Canada and Russia.
Pix666: At the beginning of 2020 you signed a contract with the German label Out Of Line. How important is such a strong partner nowadays and what influence did Out Of Line have on the production and promotion of your album?
Aleksi: I think that nowadays bands can achieve pretty good success in some cases even without any label, but that means hell of a lot of work, which can mean less time to spend with the most important thing, which is focusing on your music. It also means that you’ll have to put all your own money in, which means that you have to get the money from somewhere… and again it might mean that you’ll have less time to spend with music!
Anyhow in our case the global contacts, promotion and the fact that listeners and the people in the industry take a signed band more seriously have helped a lot. Gotta also say that it gives you some extra push forward, when you’ve got more professional people behind you who also believe in your band. So big shoutout and thank you for Out Of Line Music! Production wise the album was all in our hands.
Pix666: The album came out pretty close to the beginning of the Covid pandemic. To what extent did the pandemic destroy the following plans you had?
Aleksi: Well, all the tour plans we had became flushed in the toilet after the pandemic kept going on. Can’t help it! Pretty shitty year for the debut album release but who could have imagined this kind of situation. Though people have had so much more serious problems because of the pandemic, so we don’t really want to focus on complaining or worrying too much. Gotta focus on the future, right?!
Pix666: In February you have a concert planned together with Bloodred Hourglass – do you think that will happen or will the pandemic continue to shake things up? Do you have more concerts planned – maybe a tour through Germany?
Aleksi: In October we were lucky to play a show with Bloodred Hourglass, let’s hope that the situation will let the one in February happen also. Right now it seems pretty bad but who knows. We’ve got a lot of plans for Germany, just wait, we’re coming for you guys!
Pix666: Let’s talk a little bit about your songs. How do you create your songs? Is there a certain plan? Who in the band is responsible for what and what themes are the lyrics of your songs about?
Aleksi: Usually we start to write a song on the top of the riffs that Terho (guitar) introduces to the rest of the band. We like to write the songs together to bring in all the ideas already in the writing process. When there’s five guys working from the beginning we might end up in pretty interesting places sometimes with the song. It’s also a really fun way of working for the most of the times and allows us to challenge each other as songwriters.
Sometimes we bounce with some lyric ideas together but mostly they’re about something I feel like I’ve got something to say about. There aren’t any certain theme that would dominate in our lyrics but mostly they’re about some kind of issues that most of us has to face at some point of our lives. Sometimes the themes can be also influenced by the topics of social criticism.
Pix666: Now your debut album has been on the market for about 1 ½ years. Have you already written some new songs and will there be a new Balance Breach album in 2022?
Aleksi: Actually we’ve written a whole album of new songs! If the pandemic allows bands to tour, there will be a new Balance Breach album in 2022. No doubt about that! We’ve already released the singles “Escapers of Paradise” and “Overthrown” from the 2nd album.
Pix666: People say Finland has the highest density of metal bands. What do you do to help music fans find your band within this huge number of bands?
Aleksi: Live shows would be the best opportunity to stand out, and for us it has worked out really well. Being real and doing your own thing that you love is something that people will notice if you just have the chance to show it to them live. Since the situation with live shows became what it is, you have to try to be on sight everywhere, try some new things on social media, try to get your songs to radio and reaction videos. Just go where the people are!
Pix666: I heard there are also some good rock and metal radio stations in Finland. Do they play songs of your band?
Aleksi: Luckily we have at least a few radio stations here in Finland which are interested in playing new rock and metal, shoutout to YleX and Radio Rock! We’re grateful that both stations have supported us recently and played our songs.
Pix666: Tell me a little bit about your dreams…. In which locations or at which festivals would you like to perform and with which band(s) would you like to go on tour in the future?
Aleksi: We’re dreaming of playing all the big festivals around the world and taking over all the cool venues on tours with the biggest acts of our scene. At this point of our career it would be very helpful to reach the right audience by the support act slots. To name a few bands that I personally dream of touring with, I’d say While She Sleeps, Polaris, The Devil Wears Prada, Spiritbox and Architects!
Pix666: Do you have some – typically Finnish – hobbies? Here in Central Europe they say ice swimming and sauna is a must for Finns. 😊
Aleksi: Hah! Well sauna and ice swimming must be the most Finnish things that we like to do. Saku (guitar) plays ice hockey as a hobby, that’s a pretty Finnish thing to do also! Personally I’m a big fan of slaloming and ice skating in the winter time. Antti (drums) has crafted beer a few times, not sure if it’s a very Finnish hobby but beer is definitely a very Finnish thing to drink, hah!
Pix666: Do you have any other news, that you would like to share with the fans?
Aleksi: I guess right now there isn’t really anything special to inform, but I’d like to wish a happy new year to everyone reading this interview! Our latest single and music video “Overthrown” has been out for a month now, so go ahead and check it out if you already haven’t. Best way to keep on track of our moves is to follow us on Instagram and other socials. Stay healthy, hope to see you all soon on festivals and gigs. Thanks for having us, cheers!
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck for the future and stay healthy!!!
photos © Juha Vihavainen – Vihis Visuals & Kontrastia