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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world



Brother Firetribe is the band that you feel can reach the heights in what has become a very crowded Melodic Rock scene: and on their latest album 'Diamond in the Firepit' they have set new standards of excellence.

Brother Firetribe is it! - the real deal and vocalist Pekka Ansio Heino tells us why!


JUNE 2014

Brother Firetribe has just released what is sure to be one of the albums of 2014. 'Diamond in the Firepit' takes all that we loved from the band's first two releases and hones it to perfaction. We spoke to vocalist Pekka to get his take on the new release and the meaning of life itself...

Brother Firetribe is one of our favourite bands here at The Rockpit, and the new album has to be the best so far, but you must be the only band in the World named after a tennis player?


PEKKA: Thanks, good to hear that! Now that you mentioned it, that might very well be true. At least we have SOME unique qualities in this band. Well one, but still!

Four years between albums is almost ‘Def Leppard-like’ these days, but I’m so pleased to say it was worth the wait. Tell us about those four years and the creation process for the new album?

PEKKA: Yes, it´s ridiculous. We didn´t mean to have that long a gap between the albums, life just went on and nobody noticed. Me and Tomppa got together every now and then and wrote a song or two but that was really slow as we were officially on a break with no schedule. After we had 6 songs together we kind of woke up, like "maybe we should actually start working on an album?". And that´s when things got even slower…! Another reason why it took so long to finish the album was because we really concentrated on making it the best we can. Each step on making it took it´s own time, from the song writing to the final mastering.

Are there many songs leftover from the recording of the album that we are likely to see in the future?

PEKKA: None whatsoever! After having written the last song for the album, our gloves just totally dropped. We didn´t have another song in us.

How do you feel the sound of the band for ‘Diamond in the Firepit’ has changed since it all began with ‘False Metal’ eight years ago now?

PEKKA: It´s matured. In a good way, I´d like to add! "Diamond In The Firepit" is more AOR where "False Metal" is more tongue in cheek hard rock. I like where we are now with the sound and the mood of our songs. Anyone claiming we´re getting old and wimpy is totally right!

The album was preceded by the single and video ‘For Better or for Worse’ back in March, on an album where we simply can’t pick a favourite how hard was it to choose the lead track? 

PEKKA: That´s definitely a good problem to have. We used a lot of outside help when choosing the first single. We had friends, families, colleagues walking to the studio and listening to the tracks. "For Better Or For Worse" was a strong contender from the start as it´s got all the elements of a solid Brother Firetribe song.

‘Love is not enough’ is an amazing way to open the album – it must feel special when you come up with a song like that?

PEKKA: To be able to come up with anything that brings a smile to our faces is always special. A huge relief! Then all you can do is hope that other people feel the same way about it. You just get lucky sometimes and that song was one of those moments.

DO you have any personal favourite songs from the album?

PEKKA: My favorite song on the album is "Hanging By A Thread". I love the mood on that one, it´s got this classic AOR vibe to it and the synth bass just kills!

Is the music that you make something that the entire band has in their DNA - the sort of heavily melodic Glam Pomp rock of Brother Firetribe or do you come at it from different angles as far as influences are concerned?

PEKKA: To a certain point, yes. We´ve never actually discussed about our individual influences that much but I know everyone has had their fair share of Van Halen and KISS at some point. I grew up on a heavy diet of AOR, that´s all I know! Emppu grew up listening Yngwie, Jason was into Soundgarden and such, Kalle loves Toto and no one has any idea what Tomppa listens to!

We love your vocals, they have a warmth and a power to them that really drives the songs beautifully – who are your personal role models?

PEKKA: Thanks, appreciate that very much! There are so many vocalists that I really look up to from all walks of life, but it doesn´t get any better than Steve Perry. He´s the Muhammad Ali of lead vocalists.

If you could compose with anyone living or dead who would it be?

PEKKA: Jack Ponti, Paul Stanley and Bjorn and Benny from ABBA.

Can music still have the power to change the world in 2014?

PEKKA: As long as it gives people something to think, as long as it cheers people up, as long as it brings people together, then yes. People in today´s world need to start feeling good again and music is one really important thing to make it happen.

If you could turn the clock backwards what time would you feel most comfortable?

PEKKA: I´m feeling good here and now but I wouldn´t mind visiting the 50´s in the USA around the time when rock´n roll was born. It must´ve been huge to be a part of it.

What bands do Brother Firetribe look to for their sound? Are there any real primary influences?

PEKKA: We just aim to please ourselves first. We like a certain sound, big keys, big everything. Keyboards are really important so there´s the obvious influence coming from Van Halen of the 80´s, no denying.

Why music? If you didn't have that innate passion what would you be doing today?

PEKKA: I have absolutely no idea. Period. It´s always been the number one thing for me, everything else has been secondary.

What are your plans for 2014 and beyond? Wed love to see you on the road more but I guess that is hard?

PEKKA: It´s always a bit of a challenge but we sure as hell aim to tour as much as possible after the summer until the end of the year. People are working on it to make it happen as we speak. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

You do however get to play Nottingham Rock City stage as guests of honour on October 26th 2014 in the 11th and final installation of FireFest. It should be a special show on what is really a sad day for one off Melodic Rock’s institutions?

PEKKA: It´s an honor to play there finally. I´m so glad that the kind folks at FF kept asking us to play there after all the times we had to say no. I love the festival and can´t wait to play and hang with people there.

What have been your greatest challenges to date, and your favourite moments musically?

PEKKA: It´s always a challenge to get busy with this band and deliver stuff that meets our quality standards but when we do, it´s the best thing in the world. We just received gold records for our previous album here in Finland which was really cool considering the kind of music we play and how records sell nowadays. I´m proud of that.

Thinking back to your early memories of music, what was it that first made you decide you needed to be in a Rock and Roll band?

PEKKA: That´s easy. Michael Monroe and Hanoi Rocks. I was 8 years when I got my hands on ‘Two Steps From The Move’ album, there was no turning back after that.

From what you’ve learned so far what is the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far as a musician?

PEKKA: Be yourself, always play from the heart, don´t fake it. That´s the basis of everything.

If you could have been a ‘Fly on the wall’ for the creation of any great album from any period, just to see how the magic happened and it all came together, what would it have been for you any why?

PEKKA: Elvis´ debut from 1956. That´s history in the making right there.

What is the meaning of life?

PEKKA: Making it a good one by enjoying the simple things that money can´t buy.



Pekka spoke to Mark Diggins May 2014





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