Finding That Free Spirit

Publish Notes: 

May 16, 2013

Finding That Free Spirit
Finding That Free Spirit
Finding That Free Spirit

FINLAND - Outside of bands such as Hanoi Rocks, Nightwish and Children Of Bodom, it’s - shall we say - unique, to associate Finland with rock and metal bands on an international level. Well, Finnish rockers Free Spirit is looking to change that notion, combining an eclectic mix of compelling, progressive melodies, hard rocking guitar riffs, atmospheric keyboards and thought-provoking lyrics which produce these unique slabs of tight melodic rock.


Photos courtesy of Free Spirit

The band features front-man Sami Alho on vocals, Vesa Yli-Maenpaa and Marko Haapamaki on guitars, Sami Hamalainen on bass, Pasi Koivumaki on drums and Timo Alho on keyboards, six musicians blending seamlessly together in a melting pot of bombastic rock. Free Spirit originally formed in the mid-nineties, its members coming together after having played in different bands with varying sounds.

“We decided to start a group where we could write the kind of music that we love the most,” front-man Sami Alho said in a recent interview. “The band started out with a different name and at first, it was more like a therapy group for its members… so, I guess the moment when this band became our first priority and set all the other projects aside, was when we recorded our first demo under the name Free Spirit… which was released as a C-cassette. The cassette became quite popular and it was sold out pretty quickly.”

Alho and drummer Koivumaki are the two remaining original members from the current lineup. “We were really just kids back then,” Koivumaki said in a recent interview. “The main purpose for the band was to have some fun and get some girls – and it still is! Before long, our bass player Nasu joined and then in 2006, Vesa joined… which became a whole new start for the band."

As their progression continued, Free Spirit began looking for a second guitarist to join the fray. “The band was looking for a new guitar player at a musician’s networking site,” Yli said. “So, I sent out a message to Pasi and he contacted me the next day. Then, Sami’s brother, Timo joined in 2008 and then Marko (guitarist Haapamaki) in 2009.”

Free Spirit’s unique sound has steadily evolved from their many influences, fusing classic and melodic vibes into their own powerful rock style, which resulted in their debut release titled Pale Sister Of Light. “We’re all into many kinds of music, but mostly classic rock,” Pasi said. “Van Halen was the first band I loved and to this day is my favorite band… quite amazing to be such a fan of one band for over 30 years. I believe that our music aspires to be timeless melodic rock, but with stadium-size choruses… and of course a loud drummer is a great addition to any band!”

Fee Spirit indeed, is an endeavor embedded in classic rock, however, they are ambitious and clearly expand their sound beyond rock's solid walls; melodic hooks, memorable guitar riffs and seemingly effortless vocal phrasing and lyrics.

“We try to mix different kinds of influences into our sound,” Vesa added. “And we often combine all these influences into one song. I guess, our music could be called a mosaic of 70’s, 80’s and modern style music. Our motto for songwriting could be ‘it could be even better and I have an idea…’”

The band has yet to reach American soil, but it is clearly a goal for all the members of Free Spirit to hit the United States. “It is very much a goal for everyone in this band,” Pasi said. “When we had finished recording our upcoming album, two-thirds of the band took a vacation and flew to New York for a two week holiday… we met our friends and fans and had a great time! We will hopefully, come back soon and this time, to play some gigs! Now, the second album is finished and we’re now focusing on album artwork… official album release dates will be announced very soon.”

The band also had the unique opportunity to work with producer Beau Hill, a world renowned producer, musician and label owner. His original band, Airborne, was signed to Columbia Records in 1979 (their debut album produced by the legendary Keith Olsen) and as a producer over the years has worked with such artists as Alice Cooper, Ratt, Stevie Nicks, Kix, Winger, Warrant, Fiona, Streets and Europe. Hill is also a founding partner of the influential music label Interscope Records.

“The opportunity to work with Beau Hill was very exciting… he’s been producing some of the artists that are the reason Free Spirit is what it is and why the band sounds the way it sounds,” Sami stated. “He genuinely seemed to like our music and it was an honor to meet and work with him.”

Free Spirit will also soon be choosing a releasing the first single from the new release, which is a tough choice to make. “The first single is very important because we want it to represent the entire album in some way,” Vesa added. “Beau Hill mixed a special version of our song “Far Away From Heaven,” which was published as a bonus track on the Japan release of our previous album.”

Moving forward, the band is currently rehearsing a new live set for upcoming gigs, with a larger variety of original material to now choose from. “We’ll be playing as many songs as possible from the upcoming new album, of course, without forgetting the best songs from Pale Sister Of Light,” Vesa added. “With the combination all these song, we’ll have a crazy, kick-ass live show for everyone!”

“After a long period of time in the studio, these are exciting times for us,” Pasi concluded. “The summer is drawing near and these new songs rock, so what else could we hope for… so enjoy the summer and get ready for some new Free Spirit music!

To learn more about Free Spirit and their forth coming new album, visit the band site at http://freespiritrock.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/freespiritrock.