Interview with Pete Ahonen (Guitars)
Interview conducted by MetalMike
Date online: December 29, 2010
Hi Pete, thanks for taking some out of your busy schedule to talk about Ghost Machinery and the new album, Out for Blood.
Hi Mike! No problem, my pleasure :)
What drew you to Metal and Power Metal, in particular? Who were some of the gateway bands for you?
It was Accept's "Fast as a shark" and Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" that blew my mind back then and dragged me in to metal. And it was Helloween's "Ride the Sky" and the whole Walls of Jericho album that opened my mind to Power Metal. Kai Hansen is The Master of the genre!
I think a lot of people recognize you as the singer and guitarist for Burning Point. What does having two bands allow you to do? How is Ghost Machinery different from Burning Point?
Actually three bands :) The debut album from the Stargazery will be at the stores early next year. Stargazery is a new band fronted by ex-MSG singer Jari Tiura. The reason I formed these other bands, Ghost Machinery and Stargazery, is not the fact that I want to write "different" kinds of music or something like that. I simply have so many songs written (and new ones coming all the time) and if I have a chance that someone will release them, what the hell, why wait? Why don't I use that opportunity? Of course I will take my chances; life's too short to wait! Of course some of the songs you could mix or use with each band, but I think that for example with Ghost Machinery I can express more of my AOR / Hard Rock side and so on...
Do you consider Ghost Machinery to be simply a "side band" or is it on equal footing with Burning Point?
It's been a band almost from the start! As well as Stargazery, too!
The sound of both bands is similar, but on Out for Blood, you opted to go with a lead singer instead of handling the chores yourself. Why the change? What does Tapio Laiho bring to the mix?
Well, basically I just wanted to try something different this time. He definitely brings his experience and professionalism to the stage performance as well as to the studio work.
As the principal songwriter behind both bands, you've obviously got to come up with a lot of songs. How does the songwriting process work for you?
Hmm, I basically don't have any control over my songwriting hah hah...guitar-riff, vocal-melody, lyrics etc., they can strike me at anytime...middle of the night, while driving my car, at the shop, while I'm eating, watching TV...you know. I can't say, "Ok, I'm going to sit down and write a song," that doesn't work for me :=)
Do you take inspiration from what's around, current topics and the like, or do your lyrical ideas come from within? You co-wrote some of the lyrics on Out for Blood with Tapio. What did he bring to songwriting process? Is there a particular message on Out for Blood?
Yes, my inspiration comes from the everyday life and I spice things up with little fiction. But all my lyrics are based on a true "story" etc. I think Taage brought his own interpretation of how he sees the lyrics, which was very cool. Yes, the message is "Have Fun Listening This Awesome Album!" Hah hah!
How do you decide which band gets which song? When working on an idea do you think "this is a Burning Point song" or "this would work better for Ghost Machinery?"
I can't explain it, it's just what my feelings about the song is saying to me :=)
How difficult (or maybe easy) is it to juggle two bands? How do the guys in each band feel about "the other band?"
It hasn't been a problem... yet. :) As far as I know (and I hope), they are ok with that.
Any plans to tour behind Out for Blood? When you tour, either with Ghost Machinery or Burning Point do you ever play songs from the other band?
We did few gigs here in Finland and more to come next year. We're doing our very best to get shows outside Finland, but as you know it's all connected to the album sales. Hopefully people will buy the album and not download it illegally from the Internet! Never say never, but we haven't played each others' songs....
Where haven't you played (with either band), that you would like to? Any favorite places you'd like to get back to?
Japan would be awesome, but "anywhere" is great! We love to be on stage and play heavy metal!
I've read comparison between your style of playing and Yngwie Malmsteen's. What's it like being compared with a guitarist like that? Do you feel you are a similar guitarist? Who were the guitarists that inspired you to pick up the instrument in the first place?
It's kind of "strange" to read those comparisons, you know. I have no visions that I'm on the same level than The Maestro! No way Man! I've just been his fan since '83 and maybe I have few solo licks that somehow remind people of his playing :) It was "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden that got me in to playing guitar; I wanted to learn to play that killer riff! Besides YJM I love Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, etc.
I love Ibanez guitars. I've used my old custom "warhorse" RG 550 with every album.
How do you spend your time when not working with Ghost Machinery (or Burning Point)? That is, assuming you have free time!
At this point not so much free time, but when there is, I watch movies and, you know, just lying on the couch, hah hah....and of course, I spend quality time with my beautiful girlfriend :=)
What is next for Ghost Machinery? Any chance we'll see you in the U.S.?
More interviews, little Christmas break, we'll start to record the new album, gigs...Well, as I mentioned, it all depends on album sales...or if one of us wins a lottery! :=)
Thanks again for taking some time to answer a few questions. Anything you'd like to say that we didn't cover?
Thanks a lot for these great questions! We want to wish all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Or should I say Happy Holidays :=)
Also thank you for your support!
Good luck with Ghost Machinery and Out for Blood!
All the Best,
|Other information about Ghost Machinery on this site|
|Review: Haunting Remains|
|Review: Out for Blood|
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