Their music hails from a time they were not even born yet or they rocked their nappies off. Still the guys from Basel country know exactly how to create good Hard Rock. Simon, Adrian and Florian of Fire Rose face our questions in this month.
Hey, could you first introduce the band, who are the members and since when has the band been existing?
Simon: We have been existing since 2005, and with the exception of me there are all different members in the band now. But since 08 we have been playing together, except our singer. And with our new singer Pascal we surely made a huge step forward. Musically but also vocal wise.
It was 2013 when Pascal followed the footsteps of Andreas Bossard. Was it difficult to find him around here? I can imagine that it is very hard to find a musician here in this region.
Florian: It is generally hard. But I think it is hard all over Switzerland to find a rock singer. That almost exasperates you.
I guess in the end you still had a couple to choose from, why did you choose him in the end?
Florian: We had a couple of singers invited to the rehearsal place and also a few with good voices, but they had all searched rather for a band for their own stuff and sang the songs that we gave to them in completely different style and we didn’t want that. And Pascal came and sang it the way we wanted it.
Simon: And he outclassed the performances of the other singers
Did you know him already or did you search via advertisement?
Simon: Well, I knew the voice already from Excentric where he sang before. But I never found him on the internet, because he was there with his artist name James Prayer, and then a friend of mine told me that he knows someone who was in Excentric and that he looks for a new band, and I immediately knew who he was talking about.
Adrian: He came around, we worked together and thought it fits.
Did you notice right away that he was the singer for your band or did it take some time?
Florian: For me it was clear right away that this voice fits very well.
Adrian: He surely had first to sing a couple of songs before we could say that it fits.
Simon: Before making it official we first had to warm up to each other from both sides, we had to check if fits also interpersonal, before we could say we have a new singer.
In the meantime all has settled and one can see and hear that it fits very well. How is it with the rest of the members? Simon and Florian, you are siblings, right? And the rest?
Simon & Florian: Right
Adrian: I first met Simon on a night out. We’ve always been in the last train together going the same direction and being drunk you start to talk with each other, both wearing leather jackets and having long hair. And at some point I came back from my holiday and they were looking for a bassist and that’s how I ended up in the band.
Have you played bass before or did you learn it for that?
Adrian: I’ve played bass already before in bands.
You’ve all been in other bands before?
Florian: I was.
Simon: I actually always made music together with Florian.
Quite common for siblings.
Florian: Yes, though I once played in to bands at the same time, back then as a drummer.
Aha and then you decided to change to the guitar in order to get more Groupies? (all laugh)
Florian: No, it was just easier, because one has to carry only a guitar. No, there was also a change of the guitar player and I wanted to play the guitar then. Until that point where it didn’t fit anymore and Fire Rose was just better and had more success, then I wanted to go back and play with them again.
And how did your drummer end up in the band?
Simon: Our old drummer went to Canada for half a year and we needed a replacement. And then once we met each other drunk and he said he could play the drums VERY well. Which I didn’t believe him immediately, so I invited him to an audition. And he played the songs twice as well than the old drummer, so it was clear that we wouldn’t take the old one back.
Simon, you are the founder of the band, is it right that you mainly compose and write the songs or are you doing this all together?
Simon: No, that’s how it is, it’s mainly me doing the songwriting and the fine tuning is done by everyone. Everyone adds his influences.
How is it now that you have a new singer, does he write his own lyrics or are they still coming all from you?
Simon: No, that is also done by me. But like I said, everyone adds his own style to it. Everyone can add his own ideas and a lot of the fine tuning just comes while playing.
So they all have to knuckle under you? (all laugh)
Adrian: Well, I mean the songs that he brings are awesome. I basically have nothing against it. And the own playing style each of us has brings the rest.
Florian: And in meantime, due to the years we have been playing together, there also are ideas popping up while jamming and if they sound good we develop them.
How would you describe your music and what makes you different from other bands in this genre?
Simon: Well, our music is not new at all. But it is something you don’t hear too often anymore.
Florian: We surely didn’t reinvent the wheel with our music. But there are surely all elements we like ourselves, from the Hard Rock, Heavy Metal section, and also the melodious stuff.
Adrian: What I like the most is the style that Simon adds to the band, when he writes songs. He just has a very unique way to write them. And one can surely hear what he likes to listen to.
Simon: I only listen to our single! EXCLUSIVELY! (laughs)
Aha I don’t believe that, therefore you are too often at Z7!
Simon: Definitive, but only as a confirmation that we are better (laughs) No Bullshit! I totally don’t think like this, in case I made that impression now.
That’s great, many Swiss bands have the feeling that the world has only waited for them. So how did you come up with the name Fire Rose?
Simon: That’s hard to say, I think I once saw a meaning behind it, which I actually seem to have forgotten during the years. (laughs) But I surely wanted an easy name which everyone can spell, can read, which does not contain any foreign words, and which one can remember well.
Well, without foreign words you should have chosen «Schwitzer Bebis»(laughs)
Simon: That’s true
Florian: One can read it and that is what I like. That’s not the case in Death Metal in most cases.
Why did you actually choose to make Hard Rock and not Death Metal? In Switzerland one seems to have to play Death Metal to be successful.
Florian: I personally don’t really like Death Metal. Adi and Dani like more styles but for me Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and the older stuff is way more my piece of cake.
Adrian: I just like to hear classic Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, but more the old stuff and also Death Metal. As I came to the band I played still in a Black Metal band. But my faves were also always AC/DC and that is still my favorite band. But Thrash Metal bands are also something I still like to listen to nowadays.
In 2013 you released a Live-Album single-handedly which was also your debut album, why a Live-Album as a debut?
Simon: That just occured. We played with Molly Hatchet at Z7, and were asked if we would like to record the sound, the sound man would just need to push the button to record it. Then we listened to the raw mix which sounded very well so we mixed it and released it.
But you don’t offer it on your website any more?
Florian: But we soon want to do that again.
Simon: With the new singer we just decided to take the old record out of the web shop, just that one first hears the current sound and when we offer it again we will surely add that it’s still with the old singer and also add a listening example, to make sure one is not disappointed.
Adrian: It is also not very representative music wise. We’ve been one year at the rehearsal place without a singer and worked hard. We developed a lot.music wise A new Live Album would sound totally different nowadays.
Do you plan to release an album after the single? Again a live album or finally a studio album?
Florian: No, No it’s time for a studio album. In May we go to studio.
Simon: Those three songs of the single will be on it too.
Adrian: Surely also 10 more, it will be about 13 songs.
Simon: We record it in Gelterkinden at V.O Pulver’s Little Creek Studios. The studio is really good. It is not only very close to where we live, which was not the main point why we went there, but it is also a very good studio. He is also one of the best in Metal style and I don’t think that if we had spent three times more money and flewn over to USA that it in the end it would have been better.
Last week you released your new single «Wheels on Fire» – what can the listeners expect from the three songs on it?
Simon: I just have something stupid on my tongue again. (laughs)
Adrian: Surely a good appetizer of the album. Three very good songs.
Simon: I just wanted to say that if one has heard the record, they will appreciate their lives again, because he thinks “Luckily I am doing very well otherwise” (laughs)
Oh come on, it is not that bad!
Simon: No. But it is a one-way record, it will explode after you listened to it (all laugh)
Good that you warned me. You do everything single-handedly and don’t have a record deal, would you like to change that or do you think nowadays you don’t need a contract anymore to be successful as a band?
Simon: We would prefer to have a record deal, but there are so many who do it nowadays but they don’t really help you. The small labels don’t help you a lot, so better a good label, or then by yourself. It always depends on the conditions.
So you think it is better to be a small fish in a big label than to be a big fish in a small label?
Simon: Yes, it’s better to stand somewhere where you can improve than to be on top already.
You played so far around 50 gigs mostly as support in smaller and bigger clubs in Switzerland and also a few festivals and you all have a daily job too – is it the big dream to live from the music or do you see it more realistically that it is more like a hobby which goes on next to the job?
Simon: It’s allowed to have these dreams, but it is a hard way.
Florian: I think we all are realists, who know that this won’t happen today and not tomorrow. But a small dream in the back of the mind is still allowed.
Adrian: It would be nice if you could reduce the job a bit or if you get a small secondary income that wouldn’t be bad either. But like this it is just our passion to make music and we would do it anyway.
What is your dream, what do you want to reach with the band?
Adrian: We had the dream to play at Z7, this dream we’ve fulfilled . So a dream we don’t really have but just the next steps that we want to reach.
Florian: It would be interesting to go on tour with a bigger band.
Do you think it is especially hard to be successful in the music scene as a Swiss band or is it the same everywhere ?
Simon: I think in Switzerland you are well off when it comes to gigs. In Germany bands like ours don’t get any money for gigs. But otherwise it is surely hard in Switzerland, but that is it surely the same also everywhere else. Especially when you do music that is not played on Radio and TV.
Do you have something to tell to our readers? Something they shouldn’t miss? Or they should check out?
Simon: Augusta Raurica (Roman village in Basel country) That would be something (laughs)
Why should they listen to you?
Simon: One can’t really say something to that without sounding arrogant. (laughs)
Florian: I think one should just listen to us or visit a gig.
Simon: Either you appreciate to live again because the music is so good or because it is so bad. (laughs) No, everyone who likes the 80s and the old bands should be happy about our music… word!
Good, then thank you for the Interview!
Florian: Thank you!
You can order their Single “Wheels on Fire”, including three great Songs here http://www.firerose.ch/shop/
A big thank you also to Caffe Mooi @ Guggenheim Hotel & Konzertsaal Liestal.
Photo: Marion Gross