EMQ’s with ARCHED FIRE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with Finland based Heavy/Speed Metal band, Arched Fire. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Ari: We’re Arched Fire, a Heavy Metal/Speed Metal band. Kristian Herkman (vocals), Janne Särkelä (lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars), Mika Rytilahti (bass), Aslak Purojärvi (drums), Ari Väntänen (rhythm guitar).
We’ve been playing together for about three years, but the first year and a half happened 30 years ago. Kristian is the last one to join, the rest of us played together already when we were 15. WormHoleDeath recently released the first Arched Fire album “Remote Control”.
How did you come up with your band name?
Mika: I looked up some words from a dictionary. I didn’t like “Arched Fire”, but I thought the others would have other options for a name. They didn’t and they loved what I had, so we became Arched Fire.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Ari: We’re from Finland. Originally from Finnish Lapland, now from all over the country. As 1Star Music stated in our 5/5 album review: “Finland leads Europe in terms of metal bands per capita as the country has 70,3 metal bands per 100,000 residents (2019).” Based on that, the Finnish scene is doing fine.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Kristian: It’s our widely praised debut album titled “Remote Control”.
Ari: A couple of the songs, ‘Remote-Controlled End’ and ‘Wormhole’, have been released as video singles, and there’s at least two more to come.
‘Escape (Lyric Video)
‘Wormhole’ (Lyric Video)
‘Remote-Controlled End’ (Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Assu: I love many old-school bands like Metallica and Obituary, I like everything fast and dangerous. There are a few newer bands that I like, like Red Eleven and Lost Society. They both are from my home city Jyväskylä.
Kristian: For vocals, my greatest influences for all time have been Rob Halford, Eric Adams, Bruce Dickinson and Sebastian Bach. Lately Jordan Jacobs, Heri Joensen and Joey Belladonna have been at the top of my list.
Janne: My biggest musical influence has always been Ritchie Blackmore in all his bands and incarnations. Even my first guitar was white because of him.
Ari: As a band, probably the Big Four of Thrash. Their classic late Eighties records, to be exact.
What first got you into music?
Janne: I’ve been fascinated with music as long as I remember. My older brothers used to listen to 70’s rock, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and it was through them I got into rock music, without even noticing it myself. Music has been essential for my survival in life.
Kristian: A Finnish rock band called Dingo was a big thing in Finland when I was three years old. There’s a VHS tape of me singing their song “Autiotalo” at that time.
Ari: Bands like KISS, WASP and Twisted Sister were huge among my 10-year-old peers in 1984. That’s when the madness started.
Assu: I listened to all kinds of bands when I was young. My mother travelled a lot in Europe, and from every trip she brought me new music that I wasn’t able to find in Kemijärvi, where we lived. I wanted to form a band since I was like 10.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Kristian: We could play together with Anthrax.
Ari: I’d love to do something with Läjä Äijälä of Terveet kädet.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Kristian: I wanna play at Tuska Festival in Helsinki since it’s here where I live and I haven’t played here yet.
Ari: Sessiorock in Kemijärvi, Finland. We played there in 1989 and we want a rematch.
Assu: I’ve always wanted to play Wacken, Germany. I’ve been there once and I loved the atmosphere.
Mika: Wacken because I’ve never been there before – so why not start from there?
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Assu: A girl gave me her rain boot and kept the other to herself.
Mika: Never received any fan gifts… It would be weird to get one.
Kristian: I don’t remember receiving any gifts. Some have offered me drinks. Maybe those two are related.
Ari: All I’ve ever gotten from them is cool air. Big metal fans do a great job.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Kristian: You are the best!
Ari: Send me weird gifts. No organic materials, please.
Janne: Thank you very much, you mean a lot to me.
Mika: Keep on dreaming, and good things will happen.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Kristian: Dimebag Darrell since he died way too soon. R.I.P.
Ari: Razzle from Hanoi Rocks. The guy really loved life.
Mika: Cliff Burton.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Mika: I love the feeling and the flow when the new music or lyrics are happening through me…because I don’t feel that I’m creating something, it’s just coming from somewhere outside or from the cosmos, I don’t know. I think it’s some kind of magic. I hate rehearsing.
Kristian: I enjoy the flow state of mind when you start composing a song from nothing and it just creates itself and surprises you. I hate being apart from my family for a long time.
Janne: Of everything I do, making music gives me the biggest feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. It makes me think that I don’t need a lot of material things and keeps me in an active and youthful state of mind.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Ari: I’d love to see musicians getting more money from streaming royalties. A lot more. The way things are now is plain ridiculous.
Kristian: I’d create small robot figures that would play the music of the album. Each band should have their own figures that people need to buy to listen to the music.
Mika: More music in vinyl format. Thank you.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Assu: Carcass – “Reek Of Putrefaction”.
Janne: Deep Purple – “Made In Japan”. I remember my brother and I playing it loud and being all excited about it!
Mika: Entombed – “Clandestine”.
Ari: Radiopuhelimet.- “K.O.” Intense, original, humane – ask Jello Biafra.
Kristian: Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” is my all-time favourite. I bought the CD over twenty years ago and I could not believe that I had not heard from it sooner. I was thrilled by the epic dystopian feelings of that record.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Kristian: Nowadays I prefer streaming, but twenty years ago I really liked sitting down and reading the booklet while listening loud to CD’s from the big stereos I had then. That experience should be provided to kids nowadays also.
Ari: Vinyl for the cover art and the needle ritual. CD’s for being so handy. Cassettes for being so cool. Downloads I do not like.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Mika: No good gigs in my repertoire. Always something goes wrong…Spinal Tap gigs, mostly.
Kristian: There have been a lot of fun gigs, but the biggest audience for me was when I played a guitar solo with Manowar onstage in Turku, Finland in 1999. Joey DeMaio told me that I could get lucky with the ladies that were on the stage. Although Eric Adams said that I played well, the tour crew soon led me back to the audience and I didn’t see the ladies again.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Kristian: I’m doing finance. Science is also my thing.
Ari: I’d write about music. Actually, that’s what I do anyway.
Janne: I could be a carpenter, or I’d work with computers. I work in a school now, and my current job allows me to use many of my skills.
Mika: I’d be a game innovator.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Kristian: I’d invite Esko Valtaoja, Matt O’Dowd and Michael Stevens for interesting topics, Ismo Leikola for comedy and Elon Musk to pay the dinner. Arched Fire would play a gig at the end of the night.
Assu: I would invite my mother and father (they’ve both passed away), and then a big-breasted blonde, and then two more big-breasted blondes.
Janne: I’d invite four – the guys in the band.
Mika: Me too. We don’t see each other too often because we live all over Finland.
Ari: The Rolling Stones.
What’s next for the band?
Ari: “Remote Control” is now out for streaming, and it will have its worldwide cd release this summer. We’ll boost it with a couple of videos.
Kristian: We are working on our second album. We have a lot of new and old songs and we will choose the best ones for the album.
Mika: More and more music. That’s what it’s all about.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Kristian: They are a biscuit because they are too small to be a cake. Cake is a lie!
Ari: Biscuits with orange marmalade and dark chocolate on top. I just had a couple with coffee.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Kristian: Stay strong and keep heavy speed alive!
Mika: Keep on rockin’!
Ari: Don’t believe everything you read.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.