We had the opportunity to ask Steve ‘N’ Seagulls a few questions, and with the release of Grainsville around the corner, we asked questions regarding the past, present and future of the band, hoping to delve into some interesting facts. Below you’ll find what Tomi (Remmel) had to say in response.
For most covers, you seem to stay quite loyal to the sound of the original song. How come the cover of I Was Made For Loving You ended up sounding so vastly different from the original?
Well, the first idea was to make this song into a country ballad. While we were arranging the song with our producer Jarkko Viinamäki, we ended up flavoring it with some “spooky” elements. So, it kinda came together naturally like this.
Grainsville features three original songs, one of which is Ghost Town. What can you tell us about this song? What’s the story behind it? Did you draw inspiration from any specific bands/songs/styles for this song?
Originally this song is from our banjo player’s mind (Herman) and it’s been inspired maybe by movies and some certain locations. After the first raw demo we worked on the song together and finished it up in few rehearsals. Writing and arranging original songs is a lot of fun, since we’re not tied in to some certain genre or sound.
Will the original songs receive any kind of ‘special’ promotion compared to the covers on the album?
Well, they have earned their place on the album and are part of it, so probably nothing special.
Have you decided what songs to create music videos (or live recording videos) for (besides Panama)?
Yes, we have some ideas, from which some are a well-kept secret. But we do have a video coming for I’m Broken.
Are there specific criteria you judge songs on when deciding on what songs to cover?
Well not really, but the song must have a good riff, melody or something to work with. If it feels and comes out naturally we work on it. Metal and rock seems to turn this way naturally, but we work on other genres too.
Have you ever had to back out of doing a cover?
Yes, many times. Some have come back and some have been forgotten and never spoken of again.
What is the origin story behind your band name? Who came up with it, and when?
We take no responsibility. None. It came from someone close to one of the band members. But let’s say there were some other options, which were not as good.
Would you ever like to collaborate on covers or original songs with other artists? (for instance with 2CELLOS whom also covered AC/DC’s Thunderstruck)
Why not? We are open to different kind of ideas. If there is a good reason or idea.
Where do you see the band 5-10 years from now? Any specific goals or milestones you want to reach?
Well, to make better and better albums, maybe more original songs, stay creative and have a good time. We hope to keep this thing going naturally. Not to push anything too much.
Are there any plans or aspirations in the band to (eventually) release an album with only original songs, or do you prefer to keep focusing on making covers in your own style?
If we are able to write good enough songs, they will end up on the album. But we also like to work with the arrangements too. So let’s not rush into anything. We like both, originals and covers.
Out of all the bands you’ve covered, are there any bands in specific that you would like to tour with?
Uuuh, that’s a tough one… Maybe Iron maiden or Rammstein.
If you were performing at a concert or festival and a band you’ve covered is playing there too, would you adjust your setlist to include your cover of their song or would you try to arrange for some sort of live collaboration to happen on stage with that band?
We’ve played at same festivals with few bands we’ve covered. Offspring, Iron maiden, Rammstein and Nightwish at least. We were excited and maybe a bit nervous, but it didn’t cause anything special. It is always fun though. Offspring‘s Dexter at least seemed to like our stuff.
What memories with Steve ‘N’ Seagulls are you most fond of? Any artists that have reached out to you to congratulate you on your awesome rendition of their song? Any unforgettable experiences with fans?
Maybe our first big festival gig at Sweden Rock is one. Of course recording albums and touring has been filled with memories and stuff that has happened. Meeting people after gigs in different countries and continents has been priceless. Meeting Dexter of Offspring or late great Vinnie Paul of Pantera. Looking forward for many more.
Which one of your songs are you most proud of and why?
Hard to name only one. But let’s say that “I Was Made For Loving You” on our new album feels good. It turned out to be something we hoped for. A version that honors the original but also comes out as something totally new. We have a video coming up for this song and we’re REALLY looking forward to it.