Heroes Don’t Ask Why are the latest in what sometimes seems like a treadmill of excellent Finnish metallers. With a new album on the cards we thought it was high time we brought them to your attention. Their self-titled 6 track album was released at the tail end of 2016 and it is an album that I have been playing on repeat since I first heard it. What I love about it is that on the one hand this is straight forward heavy metal album, played and executed superbly and with a strong production for a relatively new and unknown act. Yet there is an emotional level to Heroes Don’t Ask Why, partly by the delivery of the vocals, this is basically a heavy metal hard rock band, if such a genre is possible but also the lyrical content. It is a lot more personal, delivered like Bruce Dickinson but this is not adventures of Avalon, monsters and ghouls, these are topics you can relate to; the band describe themselves as ‘divorce rock’. This is a band to look out for.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We all live in Kokkola, a small town located in the western coast of Finland.
How did you meet?
We have cousins as guitarists, Jussi Pajunpää (vocals, guitar) and Matias Kaunisvesi (guitar, backing vocals), so they have known each other from the birth. Jussi P and Jussi Kivioja (bass, backing vocals) have met at work in a psychiatric ward. Kimmo Puhakka (drums, management) came to a band through a Finnish musician.net (muusikoiden.net) forum wanted page.
How long have you been playing as a band?
The band was originally formed in summer 2015 by Joachim Kiviniemi (ex- Deep Insight) and Jussi Pajunpää. Jussi immediately made contact with bassist Jussi and his guitar-playing cousin Matias and asked them to join the band. It all started as a hardcore outfit, but in the spring 2016 Kiviniemi quit the band feeling uninspired and Kimmo Puhakka was found through some kind of miracle from heaven.
Before you get sick of being asked where does the band name come from?
Joachim “Pooki” Kiviniemi had this name Heroes Don’t Ask Why in his back pocket for years. It sounded cool and rest of guys immediately liked the name.
What are your influences?
We have very diverse influences. Drummer Kimmo and Matias lean more to the modern side of metal while the two Jussis have more traditional musical taste. Kivioja likes Finnish rock groups Popeda and Hurriganes and also states that his greatest idols are Lemmy and Cisse Häkkinen from Hurriganes. He wants to be their bastard son. Kimmo likes In Flames, Soilwork, Bullet for my Valentine etc. Matias’ greatest band of all time is HIM. Jussi Pajunpää likes Linkin Park, In Flames, Dream Theater as well as Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai and Andy Timmons. So we have these all sides of rock represented and we cook them up for our unique blend of rock music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our bass player Kivioja stated in the very beginning of our career that this music is called “divorce rock”. It’s a combination of broken heart lyrics, literal hate themes and unique blend of metal, rock and very tender guitar work. So there’s lots of dynamics going on, not just pure head-banging.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Well, the name divorce rock sets the tone for lyrical landscape. But of course there’s much deeper meanings in lyrics never to be quite clear for the listener. Sad and heavy topics are the primary lyrical inspiration, but also lyrics about war in the earliest songs recorded on self-titled EP. Pajunpää usually writes lyrics with some meaningful phrases from Kivioja. He doesn’t like to reveal too much about the actual lyrical content leaving room for listener to create one’s own imagination.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Well, they are loud. And there’s always funny stand-up show going on with cousins Jussi and Matias. We have played a few shows so far after the EP was released in December 2016, but we have shows coming up later this year.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at live show?
Well, Kimmo likes to take of his clothes off. We have a strong following among ladies that already know his stage antics. Pajunpää has played solos on his back at early teen years, but nowadays his hips don’t like that anymore.
What kit do you use/ guitars do you play / etc?
Kimmo plays Pearl drums, Meinl symbals and Vic Firth sticks. He likes to keep his stick burning. Matias uses Peavey 6505 head, Randall cab and Ibanez guitars, Kivioja uses Isohanni Custom 2-string bass and Epiphone T-Bird bass and Ashdown amps. Pajunpää uses Mesa Boogie Road King head with Mesa cabinet and Music Man JPX 6 guitar.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are promoting our first self-titled EP Heroes Don’t Ask Why at the moment. It can be found on Spotify and iTunes. It’s been receiving some good reviews in the press and our fans have stated that we’re even better live than on the record. That’s always meaning that something has went well with our shows this far. You should check our tour and studio videos at our Youtube channel: HDAWBAND.
What are your plans for the rest of the 2017/2018?
We have shows coming up in Finland and we are planning to enter the studio in the spring 2018 for new material to be released before summer 2018.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Supporting band would be Miami Wiseguys. We share the same rehearsal space and the same very odd (even for Finland standards) humor. We would like to open for In Flames.
From previous Band of the Day Young States: Have you ever caught your band mate doing something embarrassing before? If so explain…
Kimmo was auditioning for drummer seat at our rehearsal space back in the spring 2016 and Matias had his self-made wine bottles hidden behind his Randall cab. At some point he grabbed Jussi’s Gibson Les Paul and tried to play one last song with that. Well, it turned out that he had taken a one sip too far and was about to fall on his back (and breaking well-known the fragile Gibson headstock). Well, it never happened and Kimmo decided to join the band anyway. It sure was a embarrassing moment.
And from previous Band of the Day Spylights: What do you do to stay inspired and creative during rough times?
When there’s rough times going on in the band, it’s always perfect time for general Kivioja to step up, cut the bullshit and lead the band to the right direction.
And from scary band Yovel: Will you just stand and wait, until the day they seal our fate?
Well, Kimmo is never standing still, so the rest of us have to move with him. In Kimmo, we trust.
Can you give us a question to ask a future Band of the day?
How does it feel to be a Band of the day at The Moshville Times?