As they declare, The BARBE-Q-BARBIES are exactly what the world needs right now. In a sea of auto-tuned hard rock clones and sunset strip wannabes this Finnish all-girl band is here to set the record straight. Rock is, was, and always will be raw, dirty, and bad to the bone. Metaladies.com interviewed Kaisa, Niina and Niki to learn more about the band.
Why to form an all-female rock band? Was it the idea since the beginning or was just casualty?
Kaisa – I think the original idea was to play rock’n’roll and have a good time with friends, the fact that we all are girls was more of a coincidence than something planned.
Niina – We started the band with Ekkis back in 2002. The whole idea was just to play rock’n’roll music…One of the best things in life! So why just listen if you can actually play it. The “Girlband” thing wasn’t that much planned. We actually had some guys playing in the band at the beginning before the final line-up.
Niki – I joined the band in 2007 and around that time we also started searching for a bass player and as Niina said we actually had two guys at different times filling in , cause we didnt want to stop playing while waiting for the the right one to come along.
Do you think that being an all-female band makes it easier to catch media attention or the opposite; you have to work harder to demonstrate it’s all about serious and skilled music.
Kaisa – Basically the both apply to women making music and especially when it comes to genres such as rock or metal. These genres have been dominated by men for ages and that’s why peaple tend to get curious when they hear about bands consisting solely of women. So you could say it’s a benefit for us: if we were a band with 5 guys it would be a whole lot harder to get our voice heard, so to say. But on the other hand, I think you have a bigger job to do when you want to be taken seriously as a female band.
Niki – I agree with Kaisa .we probably have more pressure on us to do a great live act and to prove that we really can play and sing than an all “Male-rock” band but then again we dont really stress to much about it.
Is there any all-female rock/metal band in the world worth to be taken as a sample to follow, any of them you’d like to share the stage with (even if they disbanded)?
Kaisa – Nowadays definitely Girlschool, but if we lived in the 70’s, I would have loved to play with The Runaways.
Niina – For me it’s definately Girlschool also.
Do the five of you share the same music taste, or there’s a mix of them that ends in your sound?
Kaisa – We all have somewhat different taste in music and in my opinión that is something you can hear in our songs, too. I think it’s a positive thing to have different influences because in that way you also can create something new and exciting.
Niina – Yes, I also think that we have a bit different taste in music and it’s a good thing to mix those influences(spices) into our music.
Niki – well I grew up listening to Alice Cooper /Queen and even ABBA(because of my mom) and alot of music that i wount even mention hehe, but then as a teenager i was into dancing so i listend mostly to hip hop and Rnb, and still today i listen to all kind of music, mostly Rock but im sure all types of genres has influences me when writing music atleast in some kind of way.
Do you think there’s something in your music essence that makes it unique?
Kaisa – I should hope so , I think our vocalist Niki has a distinctive sound, and the way we combine old school rock’n’roll and a bit more modern sounds isn’t something that every band does.
Niina – definately Niki’s voice and bringing the refreshing sound to classic seventies rock’n’roll. So we somehow update the old school rock’n’roll so to speak.
Rock, metal, punk, sleaze. All of them seem to be in your magic potion. Which are your main influences and how would you describe your sound?
Kaisa – Our biggest influences include bands such as Motörhead, AC/DC, KISS and The Rolling Stones, and in some way I think tose influences can be heard in our songs, too. But of course we aren’t just a combination of tose bands but also something more, and that something is what makes Barbe-Q-Barbies the band it is.
Niina – I’m a big fan of “stadium rock” as AC/DC, KISS,Motörhead etc…to have a sound that’s powerful and kicks your “guts” out! So for me it’s always been really important to have that “kick” in our music. And really think it’s there and the main influences can be heard as a mixture.
Niki – Nirvana, Metallica, Skunk Anansie, Foo Fighters, Chris Cornel etc.. but like i said before i listen to almost everything it’s so depending on my mood , but lot’s of different genres and music styles has had an influence on me I’d probably say we are New-school-Rock ; )
Which are your real targets, the ambitions you think you’ll achieve with your feet on the ground. An which are the goals appearing in your dreams?
Kaisa – Well, basically only time will tell what happens, but I think the main point is to have fun, play rock with your friends and have a beer or two. Now when the album All Over You has been published outside Finland, our goal is to tour those countries in the near future. A World tour with Motörhead would be nice, too!
Niina – It would be nice to get the wheels rolling big time but most important :touring, beer & fun!Hahah…no really, touring in europe as much as possible!That’s my main goal at the moment.Now that we’re having the album released outside Finland,anything’s possible.
Niki – I always aim high keeping my feet on the ground, i have big hopes and dreams that this band will one day break through hopefully all over the world , but you never know what the future brings so i dont take anything for granted, i have enjoyed every second of helping to build this band and making it what it is today, and all i now wish for is that we can reach out to even more people, share our music, tour as much as possible and make many more albums.
You’ve just released “All Over You” in Europe. Describe this album as you want to convince the world to listen to it.
Kaisa – The album is all about having fun, so basically it’s rock at its purest form. Somebody once said it’s the perfect album if you’re about to have a good time and a couple drinks with your friends. I think that sums it up pretty well.
Niina – Exactly! The album has a really good kick-ass-party mood! Good spirit.
Niki – I would say this album has such a long history “hidden” inside of it, it took the band around 8 years to ever release an album so you can imagine during that long period alot has happend to all of us girls good and bad things and i think you can hear it in it, and the lyrics i’ve been writing and re-writing threw the years aswell they all tell a different story 😉
Will we find anything different in this release than original published in Finland?
Kaisa – The album cover and the leaflet inside are different from the album published in Finland. Also the music videos for Spell and Twisted Little Sister are included.
Even it’s your debut album, you’ve been as a band since 2002. How do you recall this early days? And how different is the band now than back then?
Kaisa – Not so different, really. The main point, at least for me has always been the same. Back in those days it was all about love for rock’n’roll as it is today. The best thing is the feeling you get when playing with your band, it’s the best thing you can do with your pants on 😉
Niki – I would say we’ve become a “Family”, it takes years to create a strong bond with people and we have done that , we have had our shares of arguments and disagreaments but all of that has made us stronger and now we are unbreakable as friends and band mates.
How will you celebrate these ten years of history?
Kaisa – We have been talking about doing a 10 anniversary gig, but let’s see… At least we pop open a bottle of champagne (or cheap sparkling wine).
Niina – Definately some kind of celebration!
Niki – We are crazy Party girls so i’m pretty sure we’ll think of something FuN 🙂
You’ve got a direct sound that seems to be thought to be played live. Is it like that, do you think on how will the songs sound live while composing them?
Kaisa – The songs are composed for live playing. In Studio we also try to get the sound as if we were playing it on stage rather than in studio. At least that’s something I would appreciate as a member of audience.
Niki – We have different ways of writing songs , we either do it at our band rehersal place jamming with the whole band and then you can tell how it’s gonna sound Live, but we also write songs while having a beer in the park or chilling at someones house but then using an acustic guitar and Ofcourse then its hard to know how it will sound in the end, before bringin it to the rehersal place, cause you do need a PA and loud volume tp get the feel of the song 🙂 The album was recorded on purpose to have that Live sound, and it was made all together in only a few weeks, and alot was recorded only once or twice so it is almost live, it’s pretty rough but that’s rock’n’Roll!
You were chosen as the “Best Live Act” in 2010 in the Finnish music magazine Soundi. It was voted by the readers, which make it even better. What’s in your live shows that makes them that special?
Kaisa – We often hear that the energy in our shows is something you can’t get in every rock gig. We have fun on stage and engourage the audience to do the same.
Niki – I would say we are pretty much our crazy selfes when we are rocking on stage,, we just have alot of fun every time, and i think people can feel that energy from us
The sensation of playing live could be compared to…
Kaisa – Running 10 K and sweating like a pig! Noo… it’s something quite unique, it’s hard to find a comparison.
Niina – Almost the same feeling than after 2 hours in sauna…hahah…yes, it’s a feeling that you can hardly get from other things in live. Excitement bursting into pieces and you feel a bit euphoric after the show.It’s amazing!
Niki – Sex! hehe…
And How was it to open for WASP and New York Dolls?
Kaisa – It was amazing, the guys in both bands were great and the experience was so valuable for us. I’m a fan of New York Dolls so it was pretty cool to share the stage with them and to get to meet guys like Sami Yaffa and Steve Conte.
Niki – It was great!! The guys from WASP were standing by the stage watching our gig and they really liked it, we became friends with some of them and we still keep in touch and try to meet up with them everytime they are in Helsinki for a few drinks, The New York doll support was really Cool as well, after the gig we sat backstage, had drinks and a good laugh : )
Where Those the most memorable moment in your touring history, or you can tell us something even greater?
Kaisa – I think those gigs definitely are in the top 5! Going to Spain last summer was also a lot of fun, and there also are some festival gigs worth remembering, at least QStock in Oulu last summer. The audience was fabulous…
Niki – I agree with Kaisa definitely in the top 5, but we have had lots of great and so many fun moments with the band, i really hope we get to write a book about it one day, cause being on tour with only girls is something no body can imagine if havent experienced it, i think you’d be supprised haha!! But last year in spain was a great and memorable experiance and i cant wait to come back there.
If you ever make an European tour think of Spain!
Kaisa – We definitely would love to come to Spain again, we love your country!
Niina – Yes, our minitour last summer in Madrid was great! Hope to come there soon again. A big hello to the guys from Angeles!
Niki – I love Spain, so i really hope we can come there and tour as soon as possible!