Kelly Simonz and his band Blind Faith was on “You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll 2002” tour supporting Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner. Anyway, here’s what we chatted when the tour stopped in Tampere, Finland. Simonz’s international representative Kikko Okaguchi was there to translate which made this interview somewhat different from the previous ones.

AOR-E: Can you tell us about your band (Blind Faith)?
Simonz: The band has been around for two years. Keisuke Nishimoto plays the bass. He also teaches in a music school. And the drummer is Tetsuya Hoshiyama. He’s drums and all kinds of percussion and he has studied also in Cuba for one year. The band consists of different kinds of musicians with different musical interests.

AOR-E: Do you compose all the songs or do the others participate?
Simonz: So far it’s been only me. I’ve also played drums on some of the albums. In the future Keisuke and Tetsuya are going to be more involved in writing the songs.

AOR-E: How do you like the Nordic countries and Finland so far? (the compulsory Finland-question :-))
Simonz: It’s brilliant, I’d like to live here one day. The environment is very beautiful and clean.

AOR-E: Have you been in contact with JLT and Glenn Hughes a lot?
Simonz: We’ve only been here for five days and we’ve barely met so it hard to comment on that one, but so far so good. They’ve been very friendly.

AOR-E: How did you hook up with JLT and Glenn Hughes and how did you end up in “You Can’t top Rock & Roll 2002” tour?
Simonz: We signed with Lion Music Finland and they introduced us as a support band to them.

AOR-E: Let’s talk about your influences… wild guess: Malmsteen…
Simonz: Yes, also Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Stevie Ray Vaughn and so on.

AOR-E: How’s the music scene in Japan at the moment?
Simonz: The same as Europe there’s not that big a difference. But some Finnish bands are also quite famous there in the heavy music scene like Sonata Arctica, Children of Bodom and Nightwish.

AOR-E: Do you have a website where people could find more information about you?
Simonz: and

We experienced our fair share of Japanese politeness and friendliness as Simonz’s international representative Kikko Okaguchi welcomed us and arranged a meeting with Simonz backstage. There’s something in the Japanese culture that we all could learn from. Thanks, Kikko!

You can also enter our competition where you can win the new and signed Kelly Simonz CD! More information here!


By Petri Kautto, and Kimmo Toivonen