INTERVIEW WITH SIXGUN RENEGADES SINGER AND LEAD GUITARIST NIKO RÄTY
Date: February 13, 2018
THERE IS NO ONE WAY FOR A BAND TO BREAKTHROUGH. SOME PAY THEIR DUES FOR A LONG TIME SUCH AS STEEL PANTHER WHO CHANGED THEIR BAND NAME A COUPLE OF TIMES AND RELEASED AN ALBUM UNDER THE NAME ‘METAL SHOP’ BEFORE BREAKING THROUGH WITH ‘FEEL THE STEEL.’ SIXGUN RENEGADES HAVE ALREADY RELEASED FOUR EPS BUT THEY HAVE DECIDED TO RE-RELEASE QUITE A FEW OF THEIR BEST SONGS ON THEIR DEBUT FULL-LENGTH SELF-TITLED ALBUM, WHICH WAS RELEASED LAST MONTH VIA THEIR NEW RECORD LABEL V.R. LABEL FINLAND. SLEAZE ROXX CAUGHT UP WITH SIXGUN RENEGADES’ FRONTMAN NIKO RÄTY TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE GROUP’S NEW ALBUM AND MORE!
Sleaze Roxx: Congratulations on your new self-titled album! When I previously interviewed Teemu and Niko in 2015, I pointed out that your three song EP ‘Big Trouble‘ had the song “Renegade” which previously appeared on your self-titled EP in 2011. Now, the first track on your debut full-length album is “Renegade” [laughs]! So what’s going on here? Is it that you don’t find that the song has been appreciated on the first two EPs [laughs]?
Niko Räty: Hi Olivier and thank you! I’m glad you asked. We do realize that the opening track ” Renegade” has appeared on our previous releases. First time being a demo and on ”Big Trouble” it was reworked completely as a song bearing only the title name and some riffs. You could say that our debut album is kind of a best of from our ten years of existence so we wanted to include the best songs we had at that time. Now, it is the same version as on previous EP but with far better production. That was also one of the reasons to include it, to make it sound better. I understand those who may like the older EP version and you can listen to the whole ”Big Trouble” EP on Youtube. We also included re-recorded versions of ”My Way Or The Highway” and ”Rock City Blues(Born Under A Bad Sign)” for the same reasons. All the other tracks are new songs.
Sixgun Renegades‘ “Renegade” video:
SIXGUN RENEGADES- RENEGADE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO// BIG TROUBLE EP OUT NOW// Get it on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6IQwbafhMjcB3F5vyoxdS0 Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/fi/album/big-trouble-single/id981524727?l=fi Recordshop X: http://www.recordshopx.com/single/sixgun_renegades/big_trouble/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SGRband Video by: Jasu Siitarinen Production Assistant: Kim Leskinen Camera Gear: Über Creative Oy Lights: Kinos Rentals Music: Sixgun Renegades Mixed and produced: AJ Syrjänen Mastered: Minerva Pappi, Chartmakers Oy ©Sixgun Renegades, 2015, All rights reserved Contact: [email protected]
Sleaze Roxx: After releasing four EPs, Sixgun Renegades have finally released a full-length album. Why did you decide to do that this time around?
Niko Räty: I and the rest of the band felt that the time was right to finally release a full-length album as we had the songs ready and also from career standpoint, it was the right time do it. It is really hard to make it these days in this current state of music business and to have even a little bit of success, you have to do things right. That’s something we learned the hard way. So we felt that the only way we could ever move forward and take this to a next level was to record a full-length album featuring the best songs we had. No fillers — just nine, damn good songs with great production. Very much in the same way like Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ or Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria.’ An album where every song could stand on their own feet. Also finally having a label to back it up helps a lot.
Sleaze Roxx: It’s been two and a half years since Sleaze Roxx’s first interview with Sixgun Renegades. What has the band been up during that time?
Niko Räty: A lot good of things have happened for the band during those two and a half years. We’ve been really busy and we’ve been touring locally as much as possible and we started to work on the material for the album about a year and a half ago. So, for the whole last year, we focused on making the album. Me and the rest of the band have been working harder than ever. Things are finally going forward and the reception for our album has been tremendous. We are really happy and proud of it.
Sleaze Roxx: How did Sixgun Renegades end up with the record label V.R. Label Finland?
Niko Räty: In 2015, we were approached by a Finnish music education program called Turku Rock Academy, which is dedicated to help young bands. The producers of Rock Academy — Mark Bertenyi and Tuomas Riihimäki — offered to produce a single for us. And that single became “Unbreakable” which was released in 2016. Turku Rock Academy has really close ties to V.R. Label Finland and luckily Jussi Vuola [V.R. Label Finland] liked it so much he decided to release it under his label. Fast forward to 2017 when we had the songs ready, we had an absolute blast working with Mark, Tuomas and Jussi, so it was no brainer to work with them on our album as well. We presented the idea and when they showed the green light, the studio was booked. It took us two and a half weeks to record everything. It was recorded and produced by Mark Bertenyi and Tuomas Riihimäki at Auran Panimo in Turku. Jussi Vuola did an amazing job mixing the album and Svante Forsbäck (Rammstein, Nightwish, Amophis) added the finishing touch by mastering the record.
Sleaze Roxx: For older Sixgun Renegades fans out there, what’a the difference between the band’s four prior EPs and the new self-titled full-length album?
Niko Räty: The difference between our previous efforts and this is better production, playing, singing and songwriting. Everything really. On this, we feel like we’ve now grown and matured as band and as individuals and our vision of Sixgun Renegades is clear and stronger than ever. We have our own thing going and we like to take that far as possible without thinking what everyone else is doing or what’s trendy. All that matters to me and the rest of the band is the songs. Songwriting is the key to success in my opinion.
Sleaze Roxx: I agree. You need great songs first and foremost. What are your favorite tracks on ‘Sixgun Renegades’ and why?
Niko Räty: I love every song for different reasons. My favorite tracks currently are “Here To Stay”, “Loaded Gun”, “Lost And Found” and “All For One…None For All.” I just like them a lot and they are so much fun to play live. “Lost And Found” has the best guitar solo I’ve done so far. At least, that’s how I feel! “Loaded Gun” is also very guitar heavy. Every song is full of cool moments and riffs. Also the backing vocals just kick ass on every track. We had just so much fun working on this and you can definitely hear that on every track.
Sleaze Roxx: How did you end up choosing “Loaded Gun” as the track to do a lyric video for?
Niko Räty: We chose “Loaded Gun” as the single for the album as it is a perfect song for that. Fast paced with killer guitars and vocals. Big chorus you can sing along to. Full of great riffs and backing vocals. It is our favorite live as well and one of the best songs on the album. I mean every song is a killer but “Loaded Gun” really stands out.
Sixgun Renegades‘ “Loaded Gun” lyric video:
First single from the debut album ‘Sixgun Renegades’ out in January 2018. © & ℗ V.R. Label Finland 2017 Produced by Mark Bertenyi and Tuomas Riihimäki Recorded by Tuomas Riihimäki, Auran Panimo Mixed by Jussi Vuola, V.R.
Sleaze Roxx: Why did you end up calling your full-length album ‘Sixgun Renegades’ taking into account you have already released an EP in the past with that name?
Niko Räty: Because we couldn’t come up with anything better [laughs]! No. We looked our album in the same way like Metallica’s ‘Black’ album or Whitesnake’s ‘1987.’ Usually, that’s when there’s a change of direction in a band’s style or when a band releases a debut album. Since we feel like we’ve matured and grown as a band and are ready to present the current Sixgun Renegades in the style we have now, it felt like the right thing to do. It’s also a nod to Van Halen’s first album and Iron Maiden’s debut album. It is a statement saying we’re now ready.
Sleaze Roxx: Is there any significance behind the album cover for the new album?
Niko Räty: Yes there is. If you listen to the lyrics of the songs and their themes, you can see all these things in the album cover. It has references to many of the lyrics like “Renegade”, “My Way Or The Highway” and “Lost And Found” to name a few. The cover presents what we think the album sounds like. The cover art is also designed and made by our drummer and my brother Teemu like all our previous releases.
Sleaze Roxx: What are Sixgun Renegades’ plans for the rest of the year?
Niko Räty: Right now, our goal is to land a deal with an agency and maybe some management since we have a record deal for this. That would be the next natural step forward. Getting better gigs is also a priority. We try to tour as much as we can and we’ll try to push this album everywhere and grow our fanbase. We are trying to have this released in Europe through a bigger label. So now, we just have to shop around and see who wants to release it. We haven’t forgotten to write new songs and are all ready to start writing the next album. So in a year or two, Sixgun Renegades’ album number two will probably see the light of day.