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Burning Point's Peter Ahonen: "…everyone has people in their "circle" that are always negative and kind of in a "bad mood". Those are the soul burners and consume your energy"

Interview with Peter Ahonen from Burning Poin
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 23 November 2021, 11:18 PM

At times, there is simply no time for past regrets, being angry at people that abandoned the journey while it is still on and relevant. It is a tough break to find new people to come along, join in, and take part in a vision, a dream, a stream of music that has to continue flowing. Peter Ahonen, leader of the Finnish Burning Point, had a few bruises with his past band members leaving the fold. Nevertheless, he overcame, rose to the challenge and came up being a winner. Continuing his band's legacy, Ahonen and Co. released "Arsonist Of The Soul", and it has plenty of reflections of the social order of mankind and inter relations. Steinmetal had to find out more about this new venture by the Power Metal band.

Hello Peter, I am pleased to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Hello Lior! Thank you for doing this, it's been ok, busy doing new music etc

It seems like the fourth wave of Covid is kicking gear in Europe, with several countries already taking measures that we remember from last year. What is your standpoint about it? How does it look in Finland?

I've lost track how many waves there has been, to me it seems that it has been always here. Maybe a bit better at times but always lurking in the shadows. Here the numbers are growing again sadly

What is more burning, this time around, is actually Burning Point. After five years, the band returns with a new album and new faces along with it, needless to mention a new Italian frontman. No doubt that you suffered from this kind of line-up changes syndrome, and from it seems, nearly the entire band was replaced. What happened earlier on? It is way too bad that it ended with Nitte, she is a fine vocalist.

Yes, I've always hated these line-up changes for sure, but sometimes those are unavoidable for whatever reason. Unfortunately, the case with drummer, bassist and keyboardist was that they just didn't have time for the band anymore, that was sad really. In case of Nitte, we never got any answers from her what happened. She just "faded" away. Nitte is a killer vocalist yes, but I'm the type of person that won't dwell in the past, I move quickly forward.

Would you say that with the new members in place, which some have been part of Burning Point for two years, made an impact on the image of Burning Point?

Of course! New guys brought whole lot of new energy within the band and we are doing things as a unit!

Your relationship with AFM Records continues, and under their dome you released "Arsonist Of The Soul", which as if aims at a personal nature rather than anything common. What is the background, or idea, that is behind this rather headstrong title?

Oh yes, AFM is killer label and the staff is just amazing! The title basically just reflects people in general that are very negative towards everything, they burn your soul if you need to interact with those type of people.

For one thing, and it was an impression, that the album’s title didn’t really reflect on the narrative of the songs on the record, but rather served as a kind of halo that didn’t affect much. Therefore, in your opinion, what makes these songs connect when it comes to their concepts?

Well, there's no really a "connection" between the songs, they are each their own story. Stories from life in general and stories with ancient history etc. I try to write lyrics that people would find it easy to relate to and Luca is writing also some Egyptian history etc.

What answers, or perhaps questions, do you have within "Arsonist Of The Soul"? What did you try to convey to the listener?

Well I think everyone has people in their "circle" that are always negative and kind of in a "bad mood". Those are the soul burners and consume your energy. I try to get rid of those kind of persons, do the same :)

We talked about the Covid pandemic. In your opinion, how does such a record as "Arsonist Of The Soul" serve as one of the many ways to escape our current reality, perhaps finding a niche for different thoughts and wanderings?

Music has the power to heal, that's for sure! I really hope that someone will find comfort from our little piece of musical history.

What can you tell about the Red skull, heart shaped image that I am looking at, observing your album’s artwork? What does it try to reflect, maybe that we are all human after all?

It was an idea that I had when we were thinking about the new artwork. I think it reflects perfectly the title. You are doing your best in the world and put your whole heart in and some people try to break your spirit with their actions and words.

Striking through with European Power Metal driven riffs, which has been your basis, your bread and butter, all these years, what does make "Arsonist Of The Soul" as that special kind of record, whether compared to your earlier discography and also of what has been up and running in the melodic Metal market nowadays?

To me the best word to describe Burning Point is, consistency. Our music from the start has always been consistent. We haven't tried to be heavier, poppier, faster, slower etc. If you listen our discography the music itself is always the "same", melodic heavy metal. In a way we are like AC/DC, you always know what you get :) I just heard the new Scorpions and Saxon songs and man oh man, those bands still kicks major ass! And hell, both vocalists are like 70 years and still they sink most singers in the gutter! Awesome!

In general, the songwriting on "Arsonist Of The Soul" is more or less straightforward, concentrating on the riffs, melodies and of course the standout driving choruses, which some ended up being wonderful sing-alongs. If a formula works, therefore, why attempt to change it?

Indeed! As said earlier, we have always been very consistent what comes to our music. This is the music we love listen and love composing, no need to try something we are not.

Since you have been a veteran songwriter, being the major part of Burning Point for the past two decades, I believe that every person, no matter how experienced, can learn a thing or two in every process. What did the creation of "Arsonist Of The Soul" teach you, whether about yourself or rather your songwriting style?

Absolutely, there is always something to be learned. I enjoyed doing lyrics with Luca as I have mostly done them earlier by myself. And I do like the fact that there are more discussions whatever things now and we are a tighter unit now.

You're recruited into Burning Point by the Italian singer, Luca Sturniolo. Other than a few stints here and there, his record isn’t that broad. Even though Sturniolo is a powerful singer, did you have any inner deliberations on whether to bring in a celebrity in the Metal scene or rather an unknown character?

Luca hasn't done much in the metal world but he has done some stuff in the music scene in Finland. He was one of the contenders in Voice Of Finland few years back, lots of troubadour gigs all over the country (and still doing) and lots of stuff in backing bands within the years. Great musician and a singer. He is very excited to be in the band and we all can't wait to get on stage to rock. I wanted to try more unknown person, I think they are hungrier :)

If you are talking about vocalists, since you were the vocalist, and guitarist, of Burning Point in the earlier days, did you have reflections about that after Nitte was out of the band? Have you thought about getting back to be the lead vocalist once again?

No, not as a BP vocalist. Maybe some leads here and there and I think I will sing some of the songs for a personal archives and maybe some leads when we are playing live. I love singing and I can do that a lot still, I sang all the backing and harmony vocals on Stargazery's as well as Burning Point's albums. And I joined a band called Fire Action as a vocalist and there is one other band too where I am singing :) So, lots to do hahahah

With Burning Point being virtually a new band, how do you find the impact of the new personnel on "Arsonist Of The Soul"? How did the work on the album contribute to the chemistry within the band?

Of course they all bring their personal touch to the overall sound but what is more important is that we are a tighter band in personal level too.

The title track, "Arsonist Of The Soul", is one of the album’s black sheep, and for the better. It being a slow heavy tune, along with aching melodies as the sugar on top, it carries a lot of depth with it, in contrast to the speedsters. What can you tell about the creative process of this song? How did it come to be?

The thing that amazes me was the fact that only few people notice the similarities with Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell song and the middle part is very similar to Symptom of the Universe hahahah but NOT the same, only similar. I wanted to write Burning Point's Heaven and Hell in short words

Since there was no way to let go of the speeding Power Metal bullets, I had a lot of fun listening to “Rules The Universe” and “Will I Rise With The Sun”, both songs by the playbook of the European persuasion. I guess there is no way to put this flavour of Power Metal to rest, even though a lot of bands have been trying to find different angles in order to be one with the times?

Yeah as said, we don't want to try to be anything that isn't in our nature. This is the style we love and the style we do. Melodic heavy metal gives us quite wide playground to work with.

Now, with a solid lineup, I am sure that Burning Point is bound to head out to support its new album. Where are you heading in this coming year?

This Covid shit is restraining a lots of touring and gigs in general. All the festivals that were cancelled this year will move the whole line-up of bands to 2022, so those are all booked already. We are planning for gigs for sure but time will tell do they come to live :) We are eager to play!

Pete, it was a great pleasure to have you for this interview, thank you for bringing back the last two decades of Power Metal into the present Metalhead community. All the best

Heyyy thank you very much for this great interview! I had fun doing it :) Thank you for the support and we do you all love the new album. Pete, BP



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