QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Kauri Koponen and Jonne Nikkilä (BLOCK OF FLATS)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello and thanks for your time. How are you doing these days? How are the other guys of Block of Flats?

Kauri: Hello! Everything’s fine, thanks! We’re both on sick leave now, though.

Jonne: I don’t know who started this, but the whole band has the flu atm.

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music do you make?

Jonne: We’re Block of Flats, an alternative rock band from Finland. BOF sound combines our favorite elements from different genres, like melodic pop choruses and electronic sounds topped with tasty guitar riffs and attitude. You can call it modern-day alt-rock with some influences from modern metal.

Kauri: We don’t want to see us as a metal band, but of course, you can hear the metal vibes, especially from the latest releases and new stuff.

Pix666: Your EP from 2020, as well as the single “Nothing Is Gonna Be OK” got really good reviews. What about the new single ‘Feels Like’, which was released a few weeks ago? How have the reactions been so far?

Kauri: All positive! We’ve had excellent feedback about it. People liked the new sound. We’ve been invited to interviews on the radio, and they have played Feels Like on-air multiple times. It was set on a poll by Radio Rock where listeners could vote if the song were “rock” or “rubbish.” The result was 86% rock!

Jonne: We have tried to sound a bit heavier for a while, and with ‘Feels Like’ we managed to accomplish that. So it feels pretty good to have positive feedback and realize that people also like the heavier sound of Block of Flats.

Pix666: Will there be your debut album soon – I think you are already working very hard on it?

Jonne: Yeah, it’s gonna come out next year, and we’ve been working with that since this summer.

Pix666: … and how do you create your songs and what are your lyrics about?

Jonne: 90% of our songs are written by me at the beginning. When the first demo is ready, we’ll start discussing what is good in a song and what is not. And that is how the song starts to come together. I don’t have any specific topic for the lyrics. But usually, it’s something we’ve been through or seen somebody else go through.

Pix666: You covered the song ‘Sharks Love Blood’ by Blind Channel at the beginning of the year. How did that come about and are there more cover songs planned for the future?

Kauri: We’re on the same label (Ranka Kustannus), which was behind Blind Channel at the Eurovision contest. Ranka wanted to celebrate the good success of Blind Channel by making a tribute album for them, and Riku (head of Ranka Kustannus) wanted us to take part in this project. We immediately knew that we wanted to do “Sharks Love Blood”. There are more cool covers from other Ranka bands too! Go check them out. 

Jonne: Right now, we don’t have any plans for new cover songs. But we also did one cover in the same studio sessions as we did ‘Sharks Love Blood’. The song is ‘True Friends’ by Bring Me The Horizon.

Pix666: Finland is one of the leading and most important countries in the field of rock and especially metal music. Do they play your songs on the radio in your home country?

Kauri: Yeah, they do! As we mentioned, there have been a lot of plays on different radio stations. In fact, they play our music now more than ever. 

Jonne: There have also been a lot of “shout-outs” and discussions about our band in different radio shows and podcasts.

Pix666: I love the energy in your songs, they should work very well live on stage. Do you have any live shows planned for the rest of the year?

Jonne: Last show of the year is played at On The Rocks, Helsinki, on Saturday, Nov. 26th.

Kauri: I’m not sure if this interview is coming out before the show, but I will personally offer a beer to every German who comes to the show! Let’s hope our fans will shoot videos from the gig and upload those on YouTube so you can feel the live energy of Block of Flats even from home.

Pix666: You have already shot some great video clips. Which is your favourite one and were there any funny moments or mishaps during one of the video shoots that you don’t want to keep from the fans?

Kauri: My favorite is the music video we made for ‚Sharks Love Blood‘. In the video, you can sense the great atmosphere we have here doing our thing.

Jonne: I think I’m gonna say the music video of ‘Feels Like’ because it is the latest one. In the Done For Tonight music video, there is a part where these two guys are fighting. It was supposed to be acted hit to the face, and it accidentally became a real one. We got good material from it, so it was worth it.

Pix666: You have been on the road with your band for some years now. What were the most unforgettable or craziest moments for you?

Kauri: In Slovakia, we were playing in Roznava. During our gig our tour manager (Monty) was dragged to the basement of the venue, and he found himself standing in the middle of a local moonshine factory. He couldn’t help himself from tasting it, and man, I’ve never seen anybody that drunk since.

Pix666: Do you have dreams and wishes for your future with your band?

Kauri: Release the debut album and tour.

Jonne: Headline tour in Central Europe and USA.

Pix666: What do you do when you’re not into music – do you have an interesting job or extraordinary hobbies?  😊

Kauri: Jonne and I used to be skateboarders, but we are retired now ‘cause the risk for injuries is way too big.

Jonne: That’s right. I’m nowadays focusing on playing padel and Kauri to play golf. Safety first!

Pix666: Now a question for the Central Europeans, who fell in love with your country. If they want to go on holiday in Finland north of the Arctic Circle – what season and what region would you recommend?

Kauri: It depends on what you want to do there. For partying, I would recommend late spring. The parties at the ski resorts are crazy. For hiking, I’d say you should go there in Autumn.

Jonne: To be honest, I have never been in Lapland. So think my opinion comes out of others’ mouths. I have heard that autumn is super beautiful because of the color of the leaves.

Jonne: BTW, in summer, there are A LOT of mosquitos.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Block of Flats, that you would like to share with the fans?

Jonne: For years, people all around the world have been asking for online merch store. Now we can say that it’s finally coming! Soon you can order our merch wherever you are!

Kauri: Check our social media platforms and join the ride! There are a lot of cool things coming up, you don’t want to miss it.

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck for the future and stay healthy!

Kauri: Thank you! You too!

Jonne: Thanks!


▶ Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3D29F2N

▶ Instagram: https://bit.ly/BOF-IG

▶ TikTok: https://bit.ly/BOF-TikTok

▶ Site: https://wearebof.com/

▶ Facebook: http://fb.com/blockofflats

photos © by Aapo Mattsson