Strummin’ Guest Band – a closer look at FIRE


Kenneth Calleja, main vocalist of Fire.

Hey fellow Strummers! All those who have participated in Strummin’ before know very well that each year we invite local artists as our ‘Guest Band’ to play a 15 – 20 minute set during the performance. So we decided that each month, we shall hunt the artists down for an interview to get to know them better, and also to see what they’ve been up to.

For our first segment, we got together with Kenneth Calleja, the lead singer of the great rock band Fire, who performed in last year’s edition, Strummin’ Chroma X, on one of the nights. Obviously, it would have been awesome to have the whole band on stage, but since it’s a logistical and technical nightmare to set-up a full electric band for just 20 minutes (apart from the fact that we Strummers hog the stage), Kenneth played an acoustic set with two of our very own Strummers: Luke Grech and Mathias Mallia. From the mellow tunes of ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ (much to my delight – Bon Jovi fan alert!), to groovier songs like ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, they had the audience (and all of us backstage) in a singing frenzy! So for you, here’s our interview with Kenneth Calleja. Thank you Kenneth for being a sport and agreeing to do the interview with us!

About the band

How was the band formed?

The band was formed a long time ago around 1996/1997. We were a different line up back then and I am the only original member. The band formed thanks five musician’s mutual interest in hard rock . In my opinion that should be the root reason of how every rock ‘n’ roll band is formed.

Why the name Fire?

The name… the name… the name!!! This was and still is a hot topic (excuse the pun). It was decided in the early days of the band’s inception where we needed a simple name that could be easily remembered. And there came FIRE. Today’s members still pick on me for choosing that name, but it stuck to us so it’s now going to stay.

Who are your musical influences?

Definitely Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and many other classic hard rock idols. We also love to listen to modern bands like Nickelback, Airbourne and others.

What are your hopes for the near future?

Our hopes are quite humble, we would like to keep rocking and creating music that we love for us and for the fans of this genre of music.

Which is your favourite band right now?

Our favourite band is and will probably remain . . . WHITESNAKE !

Did you have any experiences abroad as a band?

Yes, we had two performances in the UK back in 2007, one on Manchester and one in Camden Town. It was fun, a week with the band and all. Would love to do that again, maybe some place else like Germany.

Do you have any upcoming gigs or events you would like Fire fans to know about?

Next gig is this Saturday 14th April at BJs Music Marathon for Charity.

Kenneth accompanied by Luke Grech and Matthias Mallia. Photo: Chris Vella.

The Strummin’ Experience

Before we invited you to perform at Strummin’, had you heard of the concert before?

Yep I heard of Strummin’ before!

How was your experience at Strummin’?

Loved it at Strummin’ event! Would definitely re do it if possible! (hint hint)

Random Factoids

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done as a band?

Craziest thing would be …. hrrmmmm …. we are not that crazy!

Who is the loudest band member?

The loudest are definitely the guitarists. Their volume knob never turns clockwise enough!

Who likes to boss the others around?

Well I think everyone will say it’s me . . . but I would rather use the word “lead” other than the word “boss” around. Grrrr

If you could change places, with someone in the band for 48 hours, who would you change with and what would you do?

I would happily trade my place with the drummer. Would love play drums with the band.

And there you have it Strummers and other Fire fans out there… the next gig is this Saturday 14th April at the BJ’s Music Marathon for charity! This is a great opportunity to support Fire and other musicians during this marathon. Always an amazing week filled with talent and an awesome atmosphere!

If anyone has any comments or have any questions which you have been dying to ask local artists, feel free to send us your feedback and suggestions! We know you want to!

Until next month … keep Strummin’!

Jax and Genn

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