Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: “Our song is a party rock in the vain of Tutti Frutti with a whole Lotta Be-Bop-A-Lula” (Finnish finalists – Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies, finalists of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision. “Caveman” is the song they will perform at the UMK’s final, set to take place on January 28th.

ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the national final for Eurovision 2017!

Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Well, we are quite an odd team, as we come from very different angles of showbiz. And maybe that is in fact why we are so unique and interesting. Knucklebone Oscar is a rock and show monster with an already 20+ years career of playing and recording old school rock n’roll and blues all over the world. One of his trademarks is a crazy over-the-top live show with lots of guitar soloing and fooling around. The Shangri-La Rubies is a highly regarded Burlesque show duo with an equally impressive reputation and experience of delivering visually stunning and entertaining burlesque shows.

We initially put our things together to do a kick-ass old school rhythm n’ blues & burlesque show with a full band. Our live sound for those shows is slightly different; a bit more vintage but rooted in the same old school 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music with live instruments and bands. We all love to, and live to, perform and entertain, full blast and live!

Knucklebone Oscar has released 9 albums, from blues to high energy garage rock. First dating back to 1996. I have been touring in Finland, Russia, all over Europe, China and USA. Also a movie theatre documentary, Knucklebonehead, has been made about our touring in China etc.’

The Rubies run Finland’s first actual burlesque school, have been featured in many magazines and television shows, host their own club and also perform actively at burlesque events throughout Europe. They performed, as part of a five-person troupe, at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas back in 2011.

ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “UMK 2017”?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Several people suggested to us that this could be just what the completion needs a lot different from the usual ESC music style but with an impressive, intense live show. We would not have thought of it ourselves at first! So a couple of odd twists and turns plus some luck threw us into the Finnish Eurovision contest. It’s all about the show, fun and music for us and here we are, ready to rock!

ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Not sure if we actually expected it. We hoped Yes, of course! And we were glad, albeit a little horrified and thrilled. All those at the same time! It’s terrific!!



ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Finland?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: It would be a true honor! I also think we’d really stand the chance to be successful as we are so different. And the different things tend to surprise! We are the Rock, with the Roll!


ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Well, it’s a party rock in the vain of Tutti frutti with a whole lotta be-bop-a-lula.

It is about letting go and just giving in to the music and dance however you want to. It’s simple, no fuzz about it, it’s coded in our DNA.

ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Good old-time guitar rock, party mood, good, a great and fun live show with a strong presence, awesome looks of course and last but not least: a great caveman dance! Do the caveman!

ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for UMK 2017?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Yes, it’s only eight days away and we will blow the roof! It will really be something totally different from what has been seen before! But we will not spoil the moment yet 😉

ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favourite songs in the history of the competition?

Oscar: I used to watch it a lot , lately sometimes. but still, yes.

TurrrboCherry (The Shangri-La Rubies): I have watched it ever since I was a little girl; it is a tradition! I still watch the competition every year.

As for the favourite, everyone agrees that it would have to be Lordi – hard rock hallelujah! (But the Rubies need to add that they are huge Conchita fans as well!)

ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: LORDI!!



ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies: Watch out for us, we are the black horse to surprise you and rock you soul!!

About Tony Rojas (Spain)

Spanish journalist. I love good music and I like Eurovision. I'm bringing you different interviews with the candidates of the European contests for Eurovision. Follow me on @tonyrojas and @tonyrojasofficial (Twitter and Instagram).

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