Though they list Death Cab For Cutie, Radiohead, The Lemonheads and The Cure among the groups that have influenced them, Firetop Mountain are true originals. Their sound is an infectiously melodic combination of resonant guitars, frenetic percussion and arresting harmonies, punctuated by lyrics that are at once dreamy and emotionally haunting. Romanticized surrealism that you can dance to.
The group originated in 2006, when vocalist/guitarist Michael Stensen Sollien and drummer Ola Helland-Pedersen, members of Oslo act Featherstone, parted ways with their band mates and recruited Michael’s younger brother Kim Stensen Sollien as lead guitarist. Since then the band has changed shape several times, existing for a short time as a 4-piece rock band after the release of their first album. Finally, in 2014 with the departure of the original drummer, the band settled as a group of five led by the Sollien brothers.
Firetop Mountain played their first live show in June, 2007, to a crowd of about 100 hard rock fans. The band’s significantly more mellow set was enthusiastically received, and the positive buzz was instantaneous. A common reaction among audience members was “this is not pop; this is rock and roll,” which is often repeated by fans as the melodic songs on the records make way for an energetic live show that blends the various members’ differing musical inspirations.
The band released a full-length album in 2009, “Indians Aren’t Afraid of Heights” where they enlisted the help of producer Ørnulv Brun Snortheim and distribution company Indie Distributions to create an impressive debut offering, showing that Firetop Mountain are definitely talented and prolific enough to stand alongside their finest contemporaries in today’s alternative scene. Later releases, “All the Best Ideas EP” in 2013 and the single “Complications” in 2014, were self-recorded and distributed by the band’s own label Mother Likes It Records. Both releases were warmly received by various indie playlists and has helped the band build a steady fanbase.
In 2016 the band released its long-awaited second LP entitled The Quijote Predicament.