In the current flux of the music business the new kings of the realm are the YouTube vloggers and cover artists playing the classic tracks of yesteryear. Finland’s favorite hinterland hicks STEVE ‘N’ SEAGULLS sort of unintentionally figured out how to be both.
A long story short: by nature, Steve ’N’ Seagulls is a Finnish band playing bluegrass(ish) versions of classic rock tracks with an astonishing arsenal of acoustic instruments ranging almost the whole alphabet starting from accordion, banjo, Cajon, double bass and so forth. Dressed in overalls, beaver hats and other clodhopper paraphernalia they look like preposterous stereotypes of your average moonshining, tobacco-chewing American corn-fed rednecks of bygone days.
Having originally uploaded their hilariously hillbillified but air-tightly played rendition of AC/DC’s seminal “Thunderstruck” on YouTube just for a laugh they found themselves in the receiving end of the shock of their lifetimes in the form of millions upon millions of viewers. The rollicking rednecks started to think there might actually be something here. After a couple more videos the joke first spun completely out of the band’s control, then grew bigger than them and has been snowballing ever since. Instead of merely cornering a predictable minuscule niche of their own, faster than a privileged internet social justice warrior can scream “cultural appropriation”, Steve ’N’ Seagulls ended up with a recording deal with Spinefarm Records, a continuous streak of tours and had their accomplishments plastered all over the pages and websites of all major metal media, with the likes of Guitar World, Revolver, Loudwire, Blabbermouth and Metal Sucks leading the charge.
After dropping their debut Farm Machine (2015) the band played 175 shows, toured in 20 countries and a dozen US states, made the audiences line-dance at the biggest rock festivals on the planet like Wacken Open Air, Sweden Rock, Summer Breeze, Rencontres Trans Musicales, Qstock, Nummirock and so on. Mere 16 months removed from the debut, the country dropped the foundations-shaking sophomore album, Brothers In Farms. The album was a revelation. Not only did it feature the first original Steve ’N’ Seagulls song amongst its 13 tracks, it conquered the #1 position on the BillBoard Bluegrass Albums chart in January of 2016, signifying not just the first time a Finnish band has hit #1 on ANY BillBoard album chart but also the chuckle-worthy occasion that a band from a country your average American redneck has never even heard of, beats the American hayseeds in their own game.
After the third album the number of countries where the Gulls have burned the barns is closing in on 30 and the mileage their trusty clunker of a van has had to endure can be challenged only by spaceships. And more is to come!
On their third outing, Grainsville, the Gulls’ musical evolution gets more risqué. The album comes armed with three originals, and the new song arrangements too feature some fresh, unexpected twists. Instead of just having fun and merriment non-stop, the songs feature curveball influences from World Music, such as Mariachi horns, stomping Balkanite beats and some flashy fiddling. The album even features a haunting version of the probably most infamous disco booty call ever…the way an obsessed stalker might sing it. With another landmark album under their belt it’s time for the Gulls to tour again ‘til the wheels fall off the wagon!