HEROES DON’T ASK WHY are back with a new record. A reason as good as any to ask them some questions. Answers by Jussi Pajunpää. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
-At the beginning, Heroes Don’t Ask Why (HDAW) was meant to be a hardcore group as our founding member and original drummer Joachim Kiviniemi had that vision in his head. He approached me in May 2015 with the idea of hardcore band and I accepted the call. We started making some songs, but due to musical differences we part our ways with Joachim at the beginning of 2016. Matias Kaunisvesi (gtr, bgv) and bassplayer Johnny Kivioja were with us from the beginning. Then we recruited our drummer Kimmo Puhakka into the band and with his aggressive and technical drumming style we started moving on to more commercial sounding material. I also started singing in the band, we had a screamer who left out of the group about the same time. So in a half year (April-November 2016) we wrote and recorded songs on our first self-titled EP.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big? That you had to come from a certain place to be sure to make it.
-Well, we’re a pretty new band so we play on a local/national level at this point. I guess world has changed a lot because of internet and bands have better opportunities these days to go worldwide.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
-Although we’ve been only playing in Finland, I think touring is hard work and then great joy at the same time. Hardest work must be the carrying of equipment and driving through the night.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback?
-We’ve had pretty good reviews about our new EP ‘Sound of a broken heart’. People are really enjoying at our concerts and most of them have said that we’re better live than on a record. I think it sums up great what this band is about. Of course feedback is important to us, but then again reviews are just opinions of an art, so I personally don’t put too much weight on them. I know what I’m doing, so to speak.
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
-Well, I really haven’t done any hit song, so to speak. At least a commercial hit. But you just feel when you make a good song. Its melodies stuck into your head. And I notice that when my daughter sings a new songs chorus, although she has only heard it twice at the time I composed it. That’s always a good sign.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
-Well, analogue is pure signal, so there are no sample rates. Digital takes samples of real life events. I don’t know how much that has to do with things anymore today. But I still like the urgent feeling of tube amps compared to digital amps. But technology is evolving fast and live mixing/record making starts to be only digital these days, so sound gets sampled anyway at some point. Both has its advantages, so to speak.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
-The first times when you see people singing your lyrics at the concert, feels little bit odd. Especially if you forget the lyrics and the audience is singing them. It feels great. Music brings people together.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
-Lyrics are very important for me as a lyricist. They are the main inspiration together with melody. I really rarely make lyrics to a already finished melody. It usually happens all together or maybe I record a riff on a looper and them write lyrics and melody at the same time. As for our drummer Kimmo, he says that he never pays any attention to lyrics. So I guess it depends on who you ask from.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
-We have a great graphic designer Terje Tiilikka who has made all the artwork and logos etc for Heroes Don’t Ask Why. He is the man behind our visual appearance. I think it’s really important. We’ve pressed CD’s of our first two albums and he’s made an excellent job with the artwork. Listening habits have changed over the years, people now wanna listen while jogging, sleeping etc, so it’s nice to have them on your phone. On the other hand, that’s sad that you don’t have that experience of a opening a new record and looking at artwork.
What does the future hold?
-We have our biggest festival show coming up on our home town Kokkola called Kokkolan Venetsialaiset. After that we start writing again. I have had great new songs coming up but I promised to boys that we will keep few months rest in writing after the album recordings last spring and on summer we had concentrated on our live set at rehearsals. We have some club gigs booked for the fall at this point, so we’ll move on as we have done this far. You’ll be hearing from us at HDAW camp definately in the future as well!