I samband med releasen av Brother Firetribes nya singel ”Bring On The Rain” som släpps idag fick Peter Johansson en intervju med sångaren Pekka Heino! Mycket nöje!
Welcome back Brother Firetribe! For starters, just a quick recap over the last few years: What have you been up to since the last album and tour?
Pekka: Thank you very much! Now let me think…Sunbound came out in 2017, we wrapped that year after a stint in Europe and Finland, then did some festivals and a UK tour in 2018 while starting the writing for the next album. We were too optimistic about getting the new album out in 2019 but decided to go out and play in Finland anyway just for the hell of it. All the while working on the album. I’m glad we went out and did those shows, had a great time and people were glad to see us. At least that’s the impression we got!
Emppu Vuorinen steps down and Roope Riihijärvi steps in as your new guitar player. What signifies his playing compared to Emppus?
Pekka: Yeah, things change! Every guitarist worth a mention has a unique style, touch and vision about the approach to the instrument and both these guys make no exception. Emppu has obviously made his mark with his playing a long time a go and his sound and style is a big part of what Brother Firetribe is all about. He’s truly a unique player, very identifiable. Roope´s style and sound is perfect for this band, he’s gonna make his own mark anyway, no matter what. I can’t compare those guys as players, they both possess that X-factor that makes a great player.
Does Roope contribute in terms of songwriting and/or arrangement wise?
Pekka: He´s come up with killer guitar parts, sure!
You previously hinted that Emppu still will be involved in your new album, in which way does he contribute?
Pekka: Yeah, he had already finished guitars to two tracks before we sat down and made the decision of him stepping down from the band. So you’ll hear him on the new album, on this next single ”Bring On The Rain” and on another one called ”Battleground”. You’ll know it´s him from the first chord, of course.
You released ”Rock In The City”, the first single from the forthcoming fifth album, in february and the second single will be released on april 17. Tell us a little about the new Song!
Pekka: Bring On The Rain was one of the first songs we wrote after Sunbound. Rock In The City was written for commercial purposes actually, that’s why it has the kind of vibe like I Am Rock or Taste of A Champion have…but this song came out of nowhere without any guidelines or too much thinking and we finished it really quickly. It´s simple but clever and has a cool catchy melody to it, it´s intense and passionate and we´re really pleased with it. Mikko Karmila mixed it the first time around and did a great job as always but we had Jimmy Westerlund touch it up a bit just to make it sound more like the rest of the album since Jimmy later on took on the producing duties for the whole album.
I know there’s a lot of fans, including myself, very eager to hear more new music from Brother Firetribe. What can we expect from the new album and when will it be released?
Pekka: That’s very kind of you, thanks. But I bet we´re even more eager to see and hear how it ends up! I couldn’t be more excited at this point. Having a producer for the first time has obviously done a lot. He’s brought in great ideas and really pushed me as a singer. The bastard made me work my ass off. But God the sessions were fun and long. There’s a new twist to the whole thing but it still sounds very much like Brother Firetribe. The release date has changed because of how the world unfortunately is right now, we´re trying to figure that out as we speak. But of course as soon as possible as it´s basically really close to ready at this point.
There’s a lot of bands who’s been forced to cancel or postpone shows and even whole tours due to the corona pandemic. Instead bands do livestreamed concerts and various specials on their social medias. Is that something Brother Firetribe is considering doing as well?
Pekka: Yeah it´s crazy and really unfortunate. We actually got lucky, if you can call it luck, that we had to pull out from the European tour with The Night Flight Orchestra and One Desire at the last minute in the light of what happened to that tour. So sorry for those guys. Really hope we could make it happen at some point when all this madness has stopped. We´re planning and seeing the possibilities in doing some live stuff online, definitely. As we speak, actually.
How does the touring plans look for Brother Firetribe during the fall of 2020 and into 2021?
Pekka: The plan is to tour as much as possible after the album is out. But right now everything´s up in the air because of the global situation, we can´t really say anything about touring. We just need to live and see what happens day by day just like everyone else and act accordingly.
Speaking of the corona pandemic. A lot of people are either in quarantine or restricted to take part in social activites. What is ”The Brother Firetribe coping strategy” to this situation?
Pekka: It´s all about patience. This is all about protecting the ones who are in real danger with the virus so I’m doing my everything to do as I’m told by the people who know better than I do. I’m obviously totally out of job as a musician so I’m spending a lot of time home playing music, cooking, tinkering, watching movies. I do go out and do sports every day but keeping safety in mind there too.
Thanks a lot for taking the time doing this interview, i hope there’ll be a chance to see you guys live in the near future! All the best!
Tack så mycket Peter, kul att prata med dig. Ha de bra, hoppas vi ses snart!
Brother Firetribe are:
Pekka Heino – vocals
Roope Riihijärvi – guitar
Jason Flinck – bass
Tomppa Nikulainen – drums
Hannes Pirilä – keyboards
Band photo: Pete Voutilainen / One Eye Media
”’Bring On The Rain’ is one of the first songs we wrote and recorded for the upcoming album. The music and the melody are passionate and intense, and so is the lyrical content: it’s all about that deep physical longing that simply drives you up the walls”, singer Pekka Heino explains.
”Bring On The Rain” also symbolizes the beginning and the end: it was one of the first songs recorded to the album, but at the same time it was also one of the last featuring Emppu Vuorinen, who together with the group decided it was time for him to leave his active role in the band due to his busy schedule with Nightwish.
”As the song was recorded in the early stages of the album making process, Emppu is there on the guitar, playing as only he can. It was quite some time after that when – based on ongoing scheduling challenges – we decided it’s only fair for everyone involved for him to step down from the role of the guitarist of Brother Firetribe”, Heino says.
Emppu himself states the following:
”Little did I know that this song would be one of the last songs I’d record with the band when I was laying down the track. I’m as proud of the result as I am of all the other songs we ever did. This band will always be special to me, just like my friendship with the guys. On with the show!”
Brother Firetribe are now happy to announce the name of their new album: it will be called ”Feel The Burn”. Due to the current world events the release date has been postponed and is now September 18th, but the band will still be releasing more new material before the arrival of the awaited fifth record.
Peter ”Amber St Pete” Johansson