Burning Point Interview with
Guitarist Jukka Kyro
Interview by Rick
Burning Point hail from Finland
and play classic metal like few other bands on the scene today. I
recently had the opportunity to speak to guitarist Jukka Kyro regarding
Burning Point and his newly reformed band, National Napalm
you guys have just released your second CD called FEEDING THE FLAMES,
Burning Point is unfortunately not a household name in the metal world.
Can you tell us a little bit about how Burning Point got together?
It all started as a project called Planet Caravan, I had some really
heavy Sabbath style songs and I needed a great singer for the demo. I
knew Pete from work and asked him to do it. He did the vocals and after
that we started to write music together, then we found Jari and Tony.
Burning Point was born! That's the really short version... One promo CD
later we were in a studio recording "Salvation By Fire". We
were in a way very lucky to get a good deal so fast.
The sound of Burning Point seems to be influenced greatly by some
of the great acts in metal history like Judas Priest, Accept and Yngwie
Malmsteen. What are the influences of the band and where do you see
Burning Point fitting into the metal scene?
You just mentioned the influences we share as a band, maybe if you
add Black Sabbath you have the bands everyone of us love and respect.
But as individuals we all have different tastes in music, I'm more into
harder stuff like death/thrash metal and hardcore and Pete is totally
into melodic power metal and even some AOR! Tony is playing in Black
Swan which is a black metal band and Jari is a huge death metal
fan. I think that with our different music tastes we make a nice mix of
old school and newer metal. I have always thought and hoped that we are
a band that even a death metal guy can listen to!
I have heard many people refer to Burning Point as a "power
band. It is a tag that I don't think totally fits the sound of the band.
How do you feel about being called a power metal band and how personally
would you describe the sound of Burning Point?
Yeah, that's the tag we've been given and I can live with it as long
as it means for example bands like Savatage, Metal Church and Primal
Fear. I don't really see us as a "new wave power metal" band,
most of the new bands all sound the same high pitched vocals and double
bass drums and that's it. I believe that our older metal influences
shine through more than for example Helloween influence, we are more
into classic heavy metal like Dio. Usually we just describe ourselves as
a Heavy Metal band, plain and simple.
Point has just released their latest CD called FEEDING THE FLAMES. Can
you talk a bit about the album? Where was the CD recorded and who did
The album was recorded at the Neo Studio here in our home town Oulu,
the producer was the same guy who did "Salvation By Fire" Kari
"Kakke" Vähäkuopus. Kakke is like a member of Burning Point,
he knows how to get the best performance out of us in the studio. This
time we were more relaxed in the studio and I think you can hear that on
the album. The sessions were divided into two, first basic tracks and
later vocals and mixing. The album was mastered in Germany.
Fire seems to be a common thread that runs between your disc
SALVATION BY FIRE and your latest FEEDING THE FLAMES. What is the
fascination with fire and what if any is the deeper significance of fire
to Burning Point?
This is the question I have to answer in every interview! We didn't
plan anything, it just happened. Fire is a very good symbol for a change
and rebirth, a very strong element! We use it in the lyrics as a metaphor.
I usually tell people that we are not pyromaniacs and we're don't have
any strange fixation with flames. No Beavis and Butthead habits. We will
have fire in the next album too, but after that, who knows, maybe it'll
be time for ice and snow.
A favourite song of mine from FEEDING THE FLAMES is "I Am The
Silent One". Do you have any favourite songs from the CD and why?
The favourite track changes almost every day, at the moment I like
"Veil Of Secrecy" it has that epic feel and cool heavy riffs,
it's a very good song to play live. Of course "Into The Fire"
is a favourite as a thrash/speed metal man I need the fast stuff!
Was the instrumental track 'Malmikivi' a tribute to Yngwie J.
Yes it is, it's Pete's baby, he is the biggest Yngwie fan I've ever
met and "Malmikivi" is something he wanted to do to honour
Malmsteen. And I think it is a good prelude to "Resurrection
Machine" on the album, they go hand in hand very well.
The lyrics on the CD are not the typical dragons and demons lyrics
of many of today's bands. Who writes the lyrics and how is a typical
Burning Point song written? Do you bring a song to the band already
finished or is it a collaborative effort?
We usually write the lyrics together with Pete, one of us has a good
line or a chorus or something, and we start to work on it together. We
always try to write something with a real meaning in it, that dragon
stuff is not our cup of tea. If you have grown up here in northern
Finland, dragons and swords are not the first thing that comes into your
mind when you're writing lyrics , beside those fuckers would freeze to
death over here... We do have some occult stuff and fantasy elements,
but if you read the lyrics the real story is about this fucked up world
and stupid people. Well, there's two ways we write songs, the first one
is that Pete has the whole thing ready and we just arrange it together
or me and Pete write together at our rehearsal studio, I bring my bits
and pieces and we go from there.
do you and Pete spilt up the guitar duties and solos? Do you only play
what you write or are there certain songs that fit on or another's style
Most of the solos are Pete's, usually the wahwah solos are mine or
the more traditional stuff. I'm more a Tony Iommi guy and Pete is the
fast shred guy... It has never been my ambition to be a solo guitarist,
I've always liked to play rhythm guitar, but if the song needs solos
from both of us the of course I'll do it. We have a lot of double guitar
melodies and solos, so there's no escaping from solo playing.
Have you started writing any new songs for the next CD? Can we
expect more of the same great straight forward metal on the next Burning
Yes we have, we have seven new songs written and we're going to demo
the songs next month. The new stuff is a bit faster and of course
heavier! I'm sure that if you liked "Feeding..." you won't be
disappointed, we have taken our music to the next level with the new
You played at the Sweden Rock festival recently. How was the show
and how did the fans receive you? Do you think that the festival made
any new fans for Burning Point?
We played in the morning, so there wasn't as many people checking us
out that could have been, but the ones that were there seemed to enjoy
our set. There were some metalheads who even knew our lyrics and sang
along, I was really impressed by that. We're not that known in Sweden
yet, but I believe that we made some new new fans over there!
Are there any plans to tour in the future?
We will play here in Finland and there's some special plans for the
next year, maybe we will get the chance to tour Europe and maybe even
visit the States...
You just recorded a 4-song demo with National Napalm Syndicate.
Since you guys have been broken up since 1991 can you tell us a little
bit about how and why you got back together and who is in the band now?
I have been in touch with Markku ( the NNS guitar player) all this
time and we have played together from time to time. Now maybe a year ago
we just started to write new material and everything seemed to work like
in the good old days! There wasn't any big plans to do a re-union or
anything like that, it just felt right! After that I contacted the other
original National Napalm Syndicate guys and asked what they thought
about this, they didn't have any problems with our plans and we put a
new NNS together. First I asked Jari from Burning Point as the drummer
and soon after that came Tero / Catamenia (Bass) and Altti / ex. Eternal
Tears Of Sorrow / For My Pain (vocals). Now we have two more guys in the
band, Aki / Grinister and Pete / Burning Point giving some extra edge on
the vocal department. We have remixed and redone some vocals on the
4-song demo. Now it sounds like it was supposed to!! A thrash metal
Do you have trouble finding time to be in both Burning Point and
the newly reformed National Napalm Syndicate? Will National Napalm
Syndicate be a full time band or will you only work with NNS when you
have time away from Burning Point?
NNS is a on going project, when I have some free time we write riffs
and songs and we try to rehearse as much as possible. I see NNS as a
concept. We have big plans for the National Napalm Syndicate future,
maybe even some live shows... But my main job is Burning Point, NNS is a
thing we do to stay sane.
And I have mention that beside NNS/Burning Point duties Pete has a
solo band called Ghost Machinery, he's got songs written
for a whole album and it sounds great!
Will there be a full length NNS CD in the future?
If we get a good offer from some cool label of course! We have the
songs ready and this newly fixed line-up totally kills. I'll have to
send you a copy of the new demo!
Now that you have reformed do you think that you will reissue the
first National Napalm Syndicate CD?
I wish, but I don't see that happening, EMI has the masters stashed
somewhere and I'm 100% sure they won't do a thing. I once tried to
contact them about the matter but they didn't co-operate...it's a shame
because with the new technology we could fix the sound quality of the
album. In the old days albums were usually ruined at the pressing
plant...at least here in Finland.
So what have you been doing between the breakup in 91 of National
Napalm Syndicate and the start up of Burning Point?
I played in a hardcore punk band called "Amazing Tails" ,
we toured a lot and made few EPs and two albums. It was fast stuff just
like I liked! After that I had some projects but nothing serious.
Burning Point and National Napalm Syndicate are very different
bands sound wise. Do you see any connections between the 2 in philosophy
etc other than the fact that you are the guitar player in both groups?
There's the same element in the guitar playing, speed/thrash riffs
and attitude. Maybe there is some same lyrical themes and ideas but
otherwise these two bands are totally different machines.
How do you think the metal scene in general and the metal scene in
Finland in particular has changed since you first started playing with
NNS in the mid 80s?
Everything has changed, when I started we could only dream about
record deals. The studios didn't know how to record thrash/speed metal
and the magazines didn't want to know about it. There were a lot of
bands and there was a scene but it was extremely hard to get your music
out. Things changed after Stone released their first album, I think
after that the Finnish metal scene really took of. Nowadays world is so
much smaller because of e-mails and internet, it's easy to get contacts
all over the world. And the attitudes were shit when NNS started, we
were treated like antichrists in our home town, you know, long hair and
black clothing, Satan!!
The Finnish Metal Scene seems to be alive and very vibrant with
many great new bands. What do you think of some of the great new bands
I like most of the bands, it's feels good to see so many Finnish
bands making in the Europe and all over the world. At the moment my
favourites are Perfect Chaos and Wounds, two very good hard bands, you
should check them out!
You, Pete and Jope have signed an endorsement deal with Amfisound
guitar factory. How did that deal come about and how do you think it
will help Burning Point?
---The Amfisound guys are from our hometown Oulu and we heard they
are making top grade instruments, everything is hand made. We tried out
some of their guitars and were blown away! The guys are cool and they
know what a metal musician needs. After that we started talking about a
endorsement deal and they were interested, now we have the best possible
instruments for our music and a backing from a cool guitar factory! If
you want more information here.
Burning Point has an excellent website. How do you think the
internet has changed the way that bands get the music to the people
today compared to 10 or 15 years ago and do you think the internet has
helped Burning Point get its music out to the people?
I know that internet has helped us a lot, all the webzines etc,
fans can download rare stuff from our site and see what's happening with
the band. 10 years ago it took hard work to get your band known,
nowadays you can show your stuff to the whole world through your
website. Internet has helped us a lot.
Downloading music has become a major issue for bands and record
labels. How do you feel about the issue of downloading mp3s?
This is a interesting issue. At the same time we get a lot of free
promotion and people get to know us. But the sales we lose because of
file sharing could affect our possibilities to make another album. Bands
like us need the sales...
Kind of bit off topic but since you guys seem to be influenced a
bit by Priest, what do you think of Rob Halford rejoining Judas Priest?
Do you think they can release a great album?
We always knew this would happen! I thought Ripper was a great singer
and the vocals on the next Iced Earth sound great, but he wasn't THE
Priest singer! I believe there's the follow up to Painkiller on the
works, the return!!! Now we only need Burning Point supporting Judas
Priest on the next world tour!!!
That's about it for now Jukka. Is there anything else you would
like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?
---First of all thank you very much for the exposure and cool
reviews! Go and check out our music, we will do everything possible to
get to tour Europe and maybe even Japan and the States next year! Stay
Point CD Reviews