A very happy and prosperous New Year to you all this Sunday, and to celebrate what is going to be an outstanding year for rock n roll I’ve got a chat for you with the legendary Kieron Berry about his band BANG BANG Firecracker. Getting ready to start live shows in the next couple of weeks, Kieron has a lot to tell us, so nurse your hangovers, work on getting new ones, and enjoy!
VL: Kieron, welcome to the sofa! How would you describe BANG BANG Firecracker?
KB – BBF are a three-piece Metal band. We blend classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with elements of Modern Metal.
VL: Tell us a bit about your background – where you’re from, how you came to start making music.
KB – BANG BANG FIRECRACKER started out as my inspired solo project, after being on tour with Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P founder and guitarist) in 2017. I grew up in awe of this guy and his fellow Hellraisers. He was intense as hell and talking about all the new music he was creating… I started writing again very soon after – the songs flowed, and I’ll forever be in debt to Chris Holmes for essentially kicking my ass!
For the recording of the debut album ‘Welcome To The Slaughterhouse’, I took the lead on guitar and vocals, recruiting old friends including Marcus Wrench (bass) to handle the rest of the instrumentation. BANG BANG FIRECRACKER began its transition from song-writing project into a fully-fledged band. We originally took the album on the road as a four piece for eighteen months, we had various collaborations but eventually settled on Bob Ansell (drums) and the chemistry was so right we locked in and continued as a three piece.
VL: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
KB – We are all massive fans of Motorhead and specifically Lemmy as a song-writer and as an incredibly influential human being. Taking inspiration from the greatest 3-piece Rock n’ Roll band of all time has helped us forge our brand and create our music.
We have other musical influences including Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax & Slayer! Other lesser-known influences include Love/Hate, Shotgun Messiah and Life, Sex & Death.
Our lyrics are often inspired by real-life experience and current events. We aim to avoid politics, but there are a few subtle messages in the songs at times. Our latest album has a running theme of “Evil”, so there are songs about devils, demons and blood n’ guts. There are also defiant/anarchic and life-positive messages in many of the songs.
VL: What are your aspirations as an artist/band?
KB – We’re here to have a good time and spread our music far and wide. We aspire to play bigger and better gigs both here in the UK and overseas. And if we can get a gig at The Whisky on Sunset? That’d be a dream come true!
VL: What has been the proudest moment in your music career so far?
KB – Seeing the initial solo project develop through to a viable and tenacious band has been an amazing experience, also forging forward to create the “Evil” concept album and the entire process of conceptualising and then recording the “Unleash the Devil” video.
VL: Promoting music can be a real challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
KB – We chose to release the album as 3 EPs. There is a whole theory and story behind us doing that. It allowed us to keep current with our social media and stand firm in the limelight with reviewers and radio stations. We maintain a strong sense of independence having self-funded and self-released all of our music so far. This is an on-going experiment for us within the music industry having decided early on that we’d only strike a publishing deal if we were to truly see a benefit.
VL: Any performances coming up?
KB – We are starting shows again from January onwards, there’s a gig list on our Facebook page.
VL: What are you working on at the moment?
KB – We’re currently working on a lyric video for “Speak Evil” – the final EP within the Evil Trilogy. We’re also booking shows and festivals for 2023 and we’re working behind the scenes, creating fresh new material for release later in the year! Oh… AND we have a live EP that we begin work on next month!
VL: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, that you would change if you could?
KB – We’d change a hell of a lot! RANT alert.
Labels have always sucked. And the whole way the music industry works nowadays is worse. Its counter-productive and anti-music.
It’s more difficult now for any underground band to break through; simply because of the colossal number of bands trying to gain traction against the handful of gatekeepers who decide whether you can get into Metal Hammer or get played on Planet Rock.
Tits seem to help and unfortunately, we don’t have any!
Social Media is a smoke screen too. We have almost a thousand people on our Facebook and when we post or share an article, it reaches the same 12 people each time. So, unless we are paying for “promotion” to “boost” every post (which fans should automatically see) – we can’t even reach our own fans.
Myspace worked so much better for bands.
We’ve always used printed posters to promote our local events and we message our core fans individually now to ensure they receive the gig updates. Old school methods still work!
Streaming is horrible too; it’s a rip-off and it costs us more to upload a new album than we make back in streams for years! This aspect of the industry and how the listening experience has devolved has made discovering NEW music algorithm based and synthetic. The industry has total control and ultimate influence over those they allow to make it BIG in music.
Something must change! Which is why we won’t sign our music away.
VL: What’s the most outrageous thing you/your band has ever done?
KB – We have a real awesome track called G F Y. This remains a huge fan favourite at our gigs and is fairly controversial even by today’s standards!
We also have a street team of crack commandos who will stick a BBF sticker on your granny’s head! IF she stands still for too long!
VL: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Bang Bang Firecreacker links:
Band/Artist location – Stoke On Trent, UK
Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Merch –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for Bang Bang Firecracker