If you're one of those people who need a label before you can give a band a chance, Finland's GHOST BRIGADE might not be the right band for you. Those of you on the other hand to whom a good song is more important than the genre the band belongs to, GHOST BRIGADE welcomes aboard.
With their "Guided by Fire" debut album, these five long-time friends have created something that you just can't ignore by saying "I've heard all this before" or "It's pretty OK but it sounds a bit like this and that". You have to dig deeper than that to fully understand what's in the core of these 45 minutes. "If someone asks us what our influences are, we won't necessarily have a definitive answer", guitarist Wille comments. "I guess we are influenced by anything that we think sounds good. We all have wide and different tastes in music, everything from pop to electronic music and from rock to death metal, so listing our current favorite bands here to explain GHOST BRIGADE's origins wouldn't do us or the listener any justice. And it wouldn't probably make any sense either. We just try our best to make music we'd like to hear our ultimate favorite band play. We don't really waste our time figuring out what influences us and what doesn't. And besides, the source of motivation to do a new song doesn't have to be other music at all. It can be a movie, something you've seen or heard on the street during the day or a state of mind you're in. Anything that moves you, basically."
In many ways, "Guided by Fire" is a natural continuation to last year's well-received 4-track demo CD but at the same time, it dares to visit many unexplored territories, brings a lot of new elements to the table as well as shows characteristics previously unknown to the band. And because of just that, it hopefully has the ability to challenge the listener. "We try not to over-analyze things. When we compose a song, we just kind of go with the flow and see what comes out of it. We know in our hearts if it's a GHOST BRIGADE song or not. It really is as simple as that. If we get goose bumps from it, then it's good. And even if we have always tried to avoid locking ourselves in a genre and are incessantly searching for new ways to express ourselves, at the same time, when we make music together it always seems to come out as something dark, oppressive, melodic, dynamic and heavy. Those are adjectives we couldn't escape even if we wanted to. So there's definitely a common thread in there that ties all of our songs and this album as a real entity."
When GHOST BRIGADE was formed in 2005 in Jyväskylä, Finland, there were a few things that were agreed upon before the songwriting began. This would be a band beyond musical limitations and open-mindedness would be the main approach to making music. Anything would be tried out, regardless of if it's pop, metal or anything in between. In the end, quality, sincerity and being satisfied to your own doings are the only things that truly matter. Having read that, you probably have a better understanding of why the album has such title: "Now that we think of it, this album couldn't have any other title than "Guided by Fire". It just sums everything up and means so much to us. I think that if you don't put your heart into your music, you shouldn't be doing music in the first place. So in a way, this title is a reminder to us as a band and as individuals to stay true to ourselves now and in the future and to keep following the path we have chosen despite the consequences."
"Guided By Fire" was recorded, mixed and mastered during winter and spring 2007 at Seawolf Studios (AMORPHIS, SWALLOW THE SUN) which is located on an tiny island just outside Helsinki and partly at band's home studio in Jyväskylä. Engineering duties were handled by band's house-engineer Mikko Poikolainen and by Aaro Seppovaara, who is better known to some as the guitarist/vocalist of Finnish rock band BLAKE. "We have worked with Mikko many times before when we all played in different bands before GHOST BRIGADE so we knew he was the only guy for the job and Seawolf would be the perfect place to put the record on tape. Mikko knows exactly where we're coming from and how we want GHOST BRIGADE to sound like, so obviously working with him and Aaro was easy. They both also liked the material so it goes without saying that was a big bonus. We knew we could trust them and they would both do their best to make the album sound as good as it does even if the recording process wasn't so easy at times. We owe them the world."