January 24 – FIREFORCE (Begium) – A Talk With ERWIN SUETENS (Founder/Guitarist)

Stefan: Welcome Erwin, I am honored that you would like to participate in this conversation. First of all, congratulations on the release of your latest, stunning album “Rage Of War”. Before we start talking about that I’d like to take you back to the deliberate period where it all started for you, I suspect somewhere in the 80s. What made you want to be a musician in a Metal band – how old were you at the time?

Erwin: Well, I’d just turned 18 at the time. I was completely immersed into NWOBHM when my parents got me my first guitar. A cheap Maya, a black & White Stratocaster model like the one Dave Murray used at that time. Because my parents wanted to buy something special for my 18th birthday, they asked me what I wanted to have. A motorcycle was first on my list, the guitar second. You already know which one they bought for me! I always wanted to create things, so making music was one of the possibilities.

Stefan: What bands did you look up to in your youth – which guitarist inspired you at the time?

Erwin: My favorite bands at that time were Tygers Of Pan Tang, Picture, Bodine, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, The Scorpions, Black Sabbath, Rainbow and many more. Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Jan Bechtum were my favorite guitarists when I started playing the guitar. My favorite song, “Set the Stage Alight” by Weapon, gave me the energy to run around like a madman, even before I could play one note!

Stefan: With the help of YouTube, you can now learn how to handle a guitar but back in the day, none of that existed – How did you master the skills back then?

Erwin: I was terrible at hearing out the songs, so I bought myself some songbooks that explained a lot. For example the songbooks from “Volume 4” by Black sabbath and “The Eagle Has Landed” by Saxon, helped me a lot to find out about playing the songs on those albums. Later, I taught myself basic musical theory so I could understand the musical rules, and how to break them, haha! I also learned a lot through observation. Standing in front of the stage, and watching all the chords those guys grabbed on their necks of their guitars! READ MORE…