An Interview with

'Bill Leverty'

Guitarist Of Firehouse

Interviewed by Glenn Milligan on Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Glenn: What your favourite Firehouse material and why?

Bill: Definitely our new cd, "O2". I think it's some of our best work ever.

Glenn: Why was the last album called 'O2'?

Bill: We felt that it was essential FireHouse.

Glenn: What parts of the world do the band go over best?

Bill: It seems like we go over anywhere that people appreciate melodic hard rock with lots of harmony vocals.

Glenn: Was there a specific reason why 'Bring 'em out live' was recorded in Japan?

Bill: Our Japanese label, Pony Canyon, paid for the recording and set it up for us over there.

Glenn: How have the last two albums been selling?

Bill: Steady.

Glenn:What made you switch from Sony to Spitfire/Eagle-Rock? was it interest/promotion etc?

Bill: We actually put out an album on Mystic Records called Category 5 in 1998 (before we signed with Spitfire). We left Sony in 1997.

Glenn: Which song on the O2 album was planned to be a single and why wasn't it to be?

Bill: The label decides on the single, not the band. We've never had any say so in picking any single. I think that Spitfire met with some resistance at radio and decided not to release a single. Needless to say, we were very disappointed.

Glenn: Are there plans for a live Firehouse video in the future?

Bill: We're hoping to make one soon.

Glenn: What's your reaction if some people regard you as a hair band or as the band that recorded 'Don't treat me bad' - especially since it came out at least ten years ago?

Bill: It's good to be known for SOMETHING, but the hair band pigeon hole does diminish the great music that was happening back then by so many great artists. We are known for 2-3 songs that were released and promoted as singles, and being a band with a fair amount of musical diversity, it's always a challenge to try to get people to hear about our other music.

Glenn: How are the band musically with the new member - is going o.k. - will the bands style change at all as a result?

Bill: Bruce Waibel is AWESOME!! He brings so much musicianship and vocal ability to the band. I think that our next album will stay in the melodic rock style, but we'll stretch more musically and lyrically.

Glenn:What are the bands future plans with regards to albums/tours etc?

Bill: We'll tour as much as we can, all over the world, before we start writing songs for our next album, which should be out in 2003.

Glenn: Which artists and influences overall have played a part in the lyrical/vocal/musical style of Firehouse?

Bill: There are so many. I have a huge list on my website: From the site:"Some of my influences are Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, Led Zep, Carlos Montoya, Rare Earth, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Kiss, UFO, Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Outlaws, Allman Brothers, Steve Morse and the Dixie Dregs, Pat Travers, Eddie Van Halen, Al Dimeola, Allan Holdsworth, Scorpions, Randy Rhodes, Warren DeMartini and Ratt, George Lynch, Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, and my favorite guitarist of all time: Jeff Beck."

Glenn: How did you come up with the band name - was it after the Kiss song?

Bill: No, Michael came up with it. He was going to be a fire fighter.

Glenn: What are your recollections of the tour you did with Status Quo in '92?

Bill: It was the best tour we have ever done. Those guys were so cool to us. Their audience even embraced us. I hope we get to come back to Europe soon for another tour.

Glenn: What were they like to work/socialise with?

Bill: The absolute best. They let us eat with them. They played cards with us. They pulled prank jokes on us. They treated us like their younger brothers. I really do miss those guys.

Glenn: What sort of pranks did Status Quo play on you?

Bill: They did so many great pranks. One was that they made up t-shirts at the end of the tour that said "Quos thank the Hose".. and apologized for the misspelling. They also gave us each a Christmas card with $1 in it and a note telling each one of us how we were so much better than the others and that we should go solo.

Glenn: How did you hook up with them?

Bill: Our record company got us on the tour.

Glenn: Will the band return to perform U.K. shows?

Bill: I hope so soon!!

Glenn: What other humorous stories can you recollect regarding life on the road?

Bill: A fan gave us a life-sized paper mache' statue of herself that we hung by a noose outside Tesla's dressing room just above where the fans we're lining up. It looked so real, everyone was freaking out.

Glenn:Who would you like to tour with and why?

Bill: Anyone who we can team up with to play in front of a good audience.

Glenn: What is the mix of the average Firehouse audience like (age/sex)?

Bill: 50/50 m/f, 16-50 years old, but average age of 25-35.

Glenn:Do you guys socialise much outside the band work?

Yes, We like to go and watch other bands.

Glenn: What hobbies do you have outside music?

Bill: I play ice hockey 3 nights/week when I'm off the road.

Glenn: What are your top five favourite albums and why?

Bill: Aerosmith - Aerosmith: Great blues-based rock and roll, a true classic

Van Halen - Van Halen: Eddie rules

Jeff Beck - Wired: Actually anything Beck's ever done just blows me away.

Joe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien: Every song on this album is amazingFireHouse - O2: I'm just really happy with the way this cd sounds.

Glenn: What would you most liked to be remembered for?

Bill: Writing songs that helped people and made people feel good.

Glenn: What could you see yourself doing if you weren't in the band?

Bill: I'd be in another band I guess, or making music myself, possibly producing other artists.

"Thanks for the interview. Good luck with the website.
Thanks for your support..........."

Bill Leverty (FireHouse)