FIRExFIRE- Emerging Artist Spotlight

ENTER RANDOM DRAW TO WIN 2 TICKETS TO FIRExFIRE AT THE GARRISON IN TORONTO –  EMAIL US HERE AND PUT “FIRExFIRE” IN THE SUBJECT LINE. Winner notified August 15th  and must be over 19 to enter.  We also have 1 Signals CD autographed by the band  – email us here and put “FIRExFIRE CD” in the subject line – winner notified September 15th. Check out all our other open contests here


August 13 2012 – Very few things are as exciting as finding something new you love. Much like archeologists that dig to find hidden treasures, we here at T-Mak World really enjoy trying to find new bands that we love. Once we find such bands, we approach our favourites to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from Toronto named FIRExFIRE. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on FIRExFIRE’s website reads:

Formed in 2011, FIRExFIRE (pronounced Fire by Fire) is a “muscular, synth-heavy power-pop band” from Toronto with “plenty of experience cramming songs with hooks until they pinata-burst”. Their sound has been described a fight between decades, with influences from Phoenix and The Strokes to Depeche Mode and The Eagles. The band hit the ground running by playing their first ever gig opening for Universal Records artist and Youtube sensation Atomic Tom, who had just come off playing The Jimmy Kimmel Show. FIRExFIRE’s most recent high-profile gig was performing as part of the 2012 Canadian Music Week and North by Northeast festivals in Toronto, where they created quite a buzz – TorontoMusicScene blog tweeted “greatest @nxnefest find thus far”.
The band includes three former members of The Framework, whose debut album distributed by Last Gang reached #8 on the Soundscan chart for Toronto and top 10 on Canadian college radio charts across Canada. As well, the video for the single ‘Always Left Behind’ reached #3 on the MuchMoreMusic top 10 video countdown after weeks of airplay. FIRExFIRE features Chris Graham (The Framework, The Chris Graham Band) on vocals and guitars, Brynn Winter on keys, Scott Winter (The Framework, Ketch Harbour Wolves) on bass and Jon Fedorsen (The Framework, Crash Parallel) on drums.
FIRExFIRE is set to release their self-produced, debut album “Signals” on August 14th, 2012. The album gives nods to previous eras in music while still keeping an ear to the future, delving into themes around relationships – the naivety of youth, attraction and loss and the “signals” we send each other. The album was recorded by Justin Zoltek and Chris Graham, mixed by Dan Weston (Shad, Classified) and mastered by Harris Newman (Arcade Fire, Wintersleep). The band has a tour booked in support of the album, with dates across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
 Here is what they had to say to us:
1.  Hey FIRExFIRE, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
FIRExFIRE: We are a four piece band comprised of:
Chris Graham – Vocals/Guitars
Brynn Winter – Keys
Scott Winter – Bass
Jon Fedorsen – Drums
2.      How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
FIRExFIRE: The band has been in existence for about a year and a half.  It started as a side project with just Chris and Brynn, to use some of Chris’ unused songs that weren’t being used for other projects.  We eventually added Scott and another drummer who joined for only about a month, but provided the band’s name while he was there.  The band wasn’t officially the band until Jon joined at the end of 2010 and the plan was to just have fun and work on songs whenever we had a chance, but as fate would have it, we got an offer to open for youtube sensation Atomic Tom (who were fresh off playing on the Jimmy Kimmel show), so we got our act together and polished up some songs to play the show.  The rest as they, is history.    
3.      Who are some of your musical influences?
FIRExFIRE: It’s a real dog’s breakfast when it comes to influences.  We’ll catch Scott sometimes listening to some old Soundgarden, Chris pops in some Billy Bragg political anthems, Jon digs an old funk band The Meters, and Brynn is into Royal Bangs right now.  Little bits of things come out on the album.
4.    So based on the above how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
FIRExFIRE: The band has been described as a “muscular, synth-heavy power-pop band…with plenty of experience cramming songs with hooks until they pinata-burst”. Imagine Phoenix and The Strokes got in a barfight while Depeche Mode was playing on the jukebox.
5.      Why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them on any given night?
FIRExFIRE: Because it’s a guarantee that we will be a hot, sweaty mess at every single show, and they will be too.
6.   Not sure if you read the recent interview with Dave Grohl on Billboard, but the interview title was “Why Rock Will Never Die & Why 2011 Was His Best Year Ever”. So tell us your thoughts – Why do you believe rock will never die?

FIRExFIRE: Because there will always be kids who want to pick up a guitar and rock and with friends, in a garage or on stage and have a good time doing it.  There will always those people wanting to say something about what’s happening in their life and music is the only way to do it.  Because rock is always changing and adapting.  Being in a rock band doesn’t mean you’re just playing hard rock, although we appreciate Dave Grohl sort of carrying the torch for the genre, but rock bands now come in all sorts of colours and shapes.  You can combine synths, other non-traditional instruments, or styles – it’s wide open.  

7.      What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
FIRExFIRE: I scorched the land / With diesel fire / I seared my lungs, / With my own desires. (from Track 7 on the album, “Not That Easy”)
Because it’s a very personal lyric and I can really relate to it when I’m singing – those words just rolled out when I wrote them – Chris.

8.      Why will 2012 be your best year ever?
FIRExFIRE: Mostly because the Mayans are wrong; the world does not end in 2012, it merely begins–at least for us!  We’re releasing our debut album that we’ve been working at for the last year and a half.  Some these songs  are over 3 years old and we almost thought they’d never see the light of day, so we are super excited to finally get them out on this album.  We’re also touring eastern Canada in August, our first real band road trip, and have some videos coming out as well.  It’s going to be a busy summer and fall, and definitely, already shaping up to be the best year ever.  There’s a ton of excellent music coming out this year and we feel being a part of it is going to lead to something big.
9.   Imagine each of you were the guitarist/drummer/bassist/vocalist in another band. Would that band be: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath or Nickelback and why?
Chris – Pink Floyd – Love the melodies and epic arrangements
Brynn – Led Zeppelin – She went through a huge Zeppelin phase in grade 9
Scott – Led Zeppelin – Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.
Jon – Nickelback – Jon’s always jobbing as a hired gun in the city, and you really can’t get more corporate than being a part of the ‘ol Kroeger Express.
Signals by FIRExFIRE
10.  What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
FIRExFIRE: It’s gonna be crazy. Really really crazy. The future is really wide open – it’s like the wild west now, no one really knows where it’s going or how to make money, although they’re trying.  We think that although the format music is listened to on is always changing, people will still appreciate the concept of songs going in a certain order, although, we must admit, with the way the major labels are banking on singles right now, it does make us worried about the next generation of music listeners, the kids born in the 21st century are a whole different breed, and if you check what’s on their iPods, it’s often nothing but a huge string of singles so we have to be aware of that trend.  We have an album, yes, but we pared it down to seven quality songs, not 12, so it’s safe to say we’re adjusting for the future too.

As for our prediction? Deloreans or no Deloreans, we’d  probably bank on betting that the future of music consumption is definitely going to be digital, and it’ll be online and it’ll be immediate. It might be even more integrated with your OS on you laptop, tablet or phone.  Labels  will continue to try to look genuine with hidden Facebook ads, fake blogs pumping their artists up, and subtle online marketing, and who knows what.

The Big Brother fears in us would say we could even see the day the major entertainment industries merge even more, with streamed everything.  Right now we’ve seen, through our time in this industry, bands having to pay headliners to open for them on tours, hoping to repay their investments;  bands having to co-write songs with ill-fitted writers and producers against their will. We’ve seen bands have to re-record their albums again and again as the top 40 changes month to month, at tremendous expense. In the big leagues, we see musicians becoming even more expendable.

But luckily for us, that type of thing will also be combated with rock bands making music more affordable. It will mean less bands going into colossal debt.  It means they can better weather the storm while they build a real audience and keep doing what they’re good at; making great music. This will be very very good for everyone who loves music and this will be very good for the artists who are not in the major leagues!

People are going to have to discover FIRExFIRE, like us, fall in love with the music in their own, without the aid of a massive Facebook ads campaign or commercial product placements, or guest appearances on major television shows!  Lucky for us with SIGNALS, the economics are becoming more feasible for us every day. We’ve been able to record and sell our own music and manage every facet of our own careers independent of marketing dollars, quarterly reports and internal label politics. No one is going to drop us from our website, at least as long as we pay our hosting fees!  So we don’t have to answer to anyone right now, and our music reflects that.

11.  Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere? 
FIRExFIRE: It is being sold online at iTunes and Bandcamp, as well as at our live shows.
12.  At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What album do you think we should include in our top 10 albums of 2012 article? 
FIRExFIRE: My Morning Jacket’s Circuital was also a favourite of Chris’, probably his most listened to of the year.  Other greats that should be on the list for 2011 are The Vaccines’ What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? and Kasabian’s Velociraptor! and (Apparently it was important in 2011 to put some sort of punctuation at the end of your album title).
13.  Any closing remarks for our readers?
FIRExFIRE: Firstly, don’t believe the Mayans, and secondly, and more importantly we’d be happy to have you stop by and give our music a listen at  Even better, come meet us in person at one of the dates on our tour – we love meeting new people and chatting over a couple of pints.  Our CD Release Party in is Friday, August 17th at The Garrison in Toronto and we head out the next day touring across eastern Canada.  Cheers.
Thanks so much to FIRExFIRE. We hope that you can see them live. Here is a list of upcoming tour dates.
August 17 – The Garrison, Toronto
August 18 – Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa
August 20 – Baba’s, Charlottetown
August 21 – Plan b, Moncton
August 22 – Gus’s Pub, Halifax
August 23 – Shiretown Publicans, Hampton.
August 24 – James Joyce Irish Pub, Fredericton
August 25 – L’Absynthe, Montreal
August 28 – Montreal House, Peterborough
September 8 – Merchant Ale House, St. Catharines
September 13 – Maxwell’s Music House, Waterloo
September 14 – The Baltimore House, Hamilton
September 21 – Jimmy Jazz, Guelph
September 22 – Phog Lounge, Windsor
September 25 – Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
September 28 – The Montreal House, Peterborough
September 29 – Phog Lounge, Windsor
The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.

T-Mak World: Toronto’s site for music, movie and culture

Photos from FIRExFIRE’s August 17th gig at the Garrison

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