Many thanks to Trial By Fire for answering this interview, for sharing their insights and stories about them as a band, and about their music.
About the Band
TRIAL BY FIRE is a young n' ruthless metal band with influences from thrash, groove and hard rock music, originating from Hamina, Finland. The band is known especially from its energetic and intensive live performing along with its tight musical playing.
TRIAL BY FIRE was formed in 2017 by the four original members of the band. The line-up have stayed the same since then. After starting to write songs straightaway together, the recordings of the band’s very first EP "Mayhem Uncovered” began in fall 2018. It was released on the 1st of September 2019 on all the platforms and the EP is self-published. The Mayhem Uncovered EP is just the start of the journey, the band have multiple goals to achieve and the work will be intense towards them.
At the moment we have played numerous shows in our home town along with the gigs out of the home town around the Finland. Hard work and those past gigs have made our live sound tight. Our biggest shows so far have been in local area for about 500-1000 people (for example in Hamina Bastion) and also the biggest one in Vantaa at Louhela Jam 2019 festival. We managed to get to the festival by winning a Louhela Jam band competition in winter 2019. There were over 90 bands in the competition and we were one of the bands to be chosen. 2.6.2019 we performed for 5000 people in Vantaa at the festival. After the festival we were voted to be the TOP 4th band in the festival (at the same the best band/artist of the second stage). People really enjoyed our show there.
We have also done a trip to Mikkeli in spring 2018 after winning a band competition in Kotka. We were rewarded with a financial award in Mikkeli at SOUNDS2018 music event. The professional jury gave the stipend to us from “skillful composing work and outstanding live performance”. Due to the slight promoting and gig possibilities in our home city GBOB is crucial to us. The competition would give us an opportunity to bring our music and energy just to the right target audience.
We have faith in ourselves and we want to give everything we got to this competition.
TRIAL BY FIRE is: - TUURE SUOMALAINEN, lead vox & guitar - TOTTI PAKKANEN, backing vox & guitar - TOIVO HANKIA, bakcking vox & bass - TINO PORKKA, backing vox & drums
How did you come up with your band name?
‘’Trial By Fire’’ was one of the first name suggestions brought to the band by our frontman Tuure. Nobody opposed and we just went with it. The title comes from the Testament song of the same name. Just thought it sounded cool and would be a fitting name for a band. Kiss also gets credits. - Tuure
How did you guys get together as a band?
All of the members met for the first time when they entered junior high school. Tuure, Tino and Toivo started the school in the same class and very found a common interest in heavier music. Tino and Toivo started their desired instruments very soon after and jamming sessions in school’s music classroom were very consistent. By sheer coincidence, Totti, a year older than the rest, stumbled across the guys jamming some tunes and joined in. There was a lot of talk going around about a band even when Totti and Tuure were in the same rock band at one point. A band competition and a school concert occurred, we played a medley consisting of ‘’Peace Sells’’, ‘’Master of Puppets’’ and ‘’The Trooper’’.
Shortly after we started composing own material at a stunning rate and have kept going ever since.
Can you tell us more about your EP, The Mayhem Uncovered? The groove really sounds awesome in the tracks. About your favorite artists and influences?
The EP consists of some of the earlier tracks written by the band that still keep showing in setlists and some at-the-time newer creations. Some Pantera and Metallica influences shine very brightly throughout the thing, and although the songs include influences from left and right, the band’s very own sweet-spot started to taking form in the making.
How did you start out as musicians?
As mentioned before, Tino and Toivo started playing their instruments of choice in the 7th grade. Totti and Tuure had been playing guitar for many years before the band’s formation. Tuure has a background in drums and, having played in a youth-orchestra for a few years. Totti had been playing in several band projects before. Currently Tino and Tuure are studying in the Kotka Conservatory and Totti studying music in his free-time.
How do you go about songwriting? Is there any recurring message, theme, or style in your songs? Would you consider yourself more on the "safe side", or experimental?
We draw inspiration from everything that occurs every now and then. Musical ideas such as riffs, melodies and rhythmic hooks come out of nowhere. We like to push ourselves and nessessarily try to create anything. We our ‘’heureka!’’ -moments and some creations build themselves. Some songs need more work than others but natural constructing is the way we want to go.
Then, what comes to lyrics, Tuure draws inspiration from different world occurring, different types of personal relations, different -sets, some good and bad encounters. Stories, books, movies and some news that spread all over media. Some of the lyrical content may more personal than the rest but some contain a common message from all us. Rock’n’roll, anarchy, a ‘’f*ck you’’ -attitude.
What does music and being an artist mean to you?
It’s f*cking awesome. It’s a passion we all share and hope to live with until the very end.
We hope to influence and positively affect people with our work and entertain. That’s why we’re always giving 110% at our shows.
Can you recall your earliest memory about music? That one thing that made you want to be an artist / musician?
Overall it’s just listening to our influences, and feeling a special connection with metal and rock music.
‘’My big brother showed me ACDC’s ‘’Back in Black’’ from YouTube when I was a wee lad and that sounded so incredible in the moment.’’ -Totti
‘’I was somewhere between 4 and 5 years of age when I went to a music event organized by/in a local primary school I went to later. My older sisters have some classmates with a cover band, playing some Metallica tunes and such. My glorious moment encountering metal music was hearing those guys playing ‘’For Whom the Bell Tolls’’ when I was in sitting in the audience with my mom. I still owe those guys my life.’’ -Tuure
Whats the best thing about being in the studio and making music?
Getting into a good work-flow and having the creativity shine through.
Can you describe your best gig so far? Whats the best thing about playing live?
Louhela Jam 2019. The most memorable one so far. We got to meet so many nice human beings and had a blast.
Most memorable, weird, interesting, or funny thing that ever happened to you as a band?
Being successful in band competitions, such as one leading to us playing at Louhela Jam last year. Also, the Sounds 2018 was quite and adventure and lead to some funny occasions. We’ll still be looking back on those memories when we’re in rest homes.