Many if not most music acts from the 80’s have settled for becoming a novelty act. They tour, and play their songs that people associate to their memories of the past. And that’s IF they still are together. Firehouse is one band that has not only excepted this role, but they still strive to put out new music that is true to who they are. They have a new CD out, titled Primetime, and are currently touring to support it. Wisconsin Music recently caught up with guitarist Bill Leverity to find out the latest in the world of Firehouse.
WM: Primetime is getting rave reviews! Tell us a little about this new album. Was creating this album approached differently than other FH albums?
BL: We just wrote the best songs we could and picked the best ten. We wrote from the heart and collaborated more on this one. We’re very happy with the way it’s turned out.
WM: You’ve just recently released a new solo cd, Wanderlust. When did this project start, and what can you tell us about it?
BL: I have been writing songs that fit my voice and style for about 3-4 years now and finally had enough to make an album. I never actually said, “Alright, I’m going to make a solo album now.” It just sort of happened over a long period of time. I got Michael Foster to play drums on it and I had the late, great Bruce Waibel play bass. I did all the vocals, guitars and keys. It’s similar to Firehouse music, but with me singing. The overall sound of the album is a bit more Southern and bluesy I’d say.
WM: Firehouse has stayed a steady force in melodic rock through the years. What has your band done differently than other rock bands? How different is this when it’s no longer embraced by the mainstream?
BL: We stayed true to our roots. When grunge came into vogue, we didn’t put out a grunge record. We put out a melodic rock record. We also still manage to get good enough gigs which enable us to keep the occupation of “musician” possible. Lastly, we all get along well with one another and that’s crucial. Everyone gets an equal vote, so there’s no dictatorship.
WM: Wisconsin music fans love Firehouse, and we’re lucky enough to have you pass through here several times a year. Is your reception the same where ever you play? Are their some states more than others with diehard Firehouse fans?
BL: I think that the midj
WM: What’s it feel like to know your songs are still played at weddings all over the nation?
BL: That is such a gratifying feeling. We have so many people that we meet who tell us that they used our song on their special day and we always thank them.
WM: Do you ever get tired of playing the same songs year after year?
BL: Not at all. I love playing every song we do.
WM: Any plays for a Firehouse DVD, or re-issuing previous albums?
BL: DVD, yes. Releasing old stuff, no. We want to move forward.
WM: Many bands have recently started releasing demos and/or unreleased tunes. What are your thoughts on that, and would Firehouse release uncovered gems like that?
BL: We’ve never released any demos and I don’t think we will. We like the idea of making our songs sound the way we want them to sound, and quite often, demos sound differently.
WM: Do you recall the first Firehouse gig?
BL: We played many gigs under our old name, WHITE HEAT, and had to change the name later for legal reasons. Our first gig as FireHouse was at a drive-in theater in Maryland. It was a lot of fun.
WM: In closing, anything you’d like to say to your fans in Wisconsin?