All For This – Talking Fires. Debut EP

Writing music reviews was not really what I thought I’d do with my blog, I believe there are enough magazines and webzines much more qualified for this job and this is why I usually say no when musicians ask me for a record review on my website. Yet, from time to time I make some exceptions and this was the case with my dear friend Alecksyy, long-esteemed music pro colleague and one of the most spontaneous, fun and kind people I’ve ever met. 

Alecksyy has recently formed a new band “Fires.” with his friend Michael and just a few days ago they have published their debut EP called “Close Eyes, Deep Breath and Run”. Not only I had the pleasure to listen to their piece of work a few days in advance but I also took the chance to ask them some questions about it. I think it’s time to dive in, but first, let me introduce you to Fires.

Fires. debut EP

Alex and Michael already played together in a band before forming Fires., something that helped them grow together as musicians and friends:

What's different now is that Michael and myself have grown up musically and as people. Before we wrote anxty and aggressive hard rock/punk songs. Now our influences have become much broader and we've managed to incorporate that into our new sound. Michael and I wanted to continue writing songs long after our previous project bit the dust. We did a lot of "sound searching" per se, writing songs spanning all genres from death metal to punk to pop. In the end, they were all pretty crap. At one critical point we had discovered bands such as Slaves (US) and our good friend Andy had just started releasing tracks with his band, Clarity (JP). This was a pretty big breakthrough for the two of us to pursue that sound.

If you have ever been in a band you know for sure what big guts it takes to start a new project from scratch, the amount of time and efforts that its growth takes and the difficulties that you encounter once you decide it’s time to make it happen for real. There is one crucial perk in being part of a team though: the fact that you can always count on the ones who share the same path as you do:

Michael and I have written so many songs together. We know how each other work and we're not afraid to be completely honest with each other. There are days where we head into the studio, argue for 4 hours and come out with a song that we both dig. Our personalities are way different, but we bring the best out of each other. It's rare you hear a working relationship like ours.

Yes, nobody said having a band is an easy task. Literally, nobody. I always say it’s like having a relationship, but harder, because most of the time you need to deal with a lot more than an argument on who was supposed to take the trash out on Tuesdays.

Enough with the chit-chat now, I suggest we start talking about these lads’ music and use words to try to make their EP justice. Honestly, I was expecting something good, standard good, since this was introduced to me as a debut thing and I must say I got a good feeling when I received a well-organised EPK (sorry, being an A&R makes you reevaluate simple things like receiving a well-written email).  But what I found listening to this EP was more than standard good, it was actually awesome and caught my attention from the very beginning with an intriguing intro, all the way through “All for This”, chosen as official single and personally my favourite of the whole work, I think the true taste of what Fires. are made of. But it’s a train that doesn’t stop and takes you places, a journey through feelings that look familiar and unexplored at the same time, a bit weird and a bit comfortable, a real mixture of what I think lies in the hearts of all of us, whether we realise it or not. Therefore, I will let Alex and Michael add the words I missed and some behind the scenes that might help you enjoy even more “Close Eyes, Deep Breath and Run”.

Intro - Fizzy Lifting Drinks

The EP as a whole is the story of where we are now, and where we’ve been over the last three years. We decided that we wanted an intro track in the vein of ‘To Sleep’ from Fightstar’s first album. We envisioned a slowly twisting and building 60 second piece to set the scene. Alecksyy took that idea and came back a few days later with the 4 minute version you can hear now.. We did consider cutting it down but it’s too good and epic!

Yeah, I definitely ran away with myself on that track. Definitely on a maybeshewill buzz at the point.

All For This

This was one of the earliest songs we put together for this EP and it’s also the one that’s probably changed the least since inception. It’s a warning and a love song to myself at the same time, a reminder of what’s important and a foreboding of what can happen if I lose sight of what really matters.

Change Your Mind

This is based on a very simple concept; it’s never too late to change course, change your mind or come back from the brink. No matter how deep you are into something, how many bridges you think you’ve burned, how many people you think hate you - you can always come back.

Dream

This features our friend Andy from Clarity - we sent him this song in an early format and he really made it come to life, he did such an amazing job with it. He turned it into one of our favourites for sure!

Forgotten Sons

This song was kind of the cornerstone of the EP for us - it’s the closest to what we used to do but also stretches into what our sound is now so it bridges the gap from past to present in a really nice way. The title comes from a conversation I had with an old man in a bar one night - he told me that my generation was in danger of being forgotten and ignored. He asked me if I wanted to be a Forgotten Son which kicked off the whole concept

A Life Worth Living (Taxes)

We still call this song Taxes between ourselves! This one was a blast to write, record and play. I think we always saw it as the closing song and we put the end together with that in mind. Vocally, this is my tribute to Chester Bennington, that’s my best Chester impression at the end!

This track to me is definitely an ode to Fightstar as well, Behind The Devil's Back is easily one of our biggest influences whilst writing this EP.

A thick emotional fil rouge made of intense lyrics and driving riffs is what will keep the listening audience focused. The sound is fresh, yet wise like if some meticulous scientific research has been made before seeing the much-awaited results. And there are no other ingredients for such a recipe you know, except for hard work and taste. 

I think the main binder is that every song has our personality all over it. While there’s some sonic and attitude differences, they’re all still unmistakably us - what we want to sound like and what we want to say runs through every song. We want people to hear it, as many people as possible. We want it to mean something to people - these songs really mean the world to us and we hope they have a positive impact on people who hear it. As for what’s next? Hopefully this pandemic goes away soon and we can get onto a stage to play these songs live. We’ve been writing again too so we hope to continue doing that and keep releasing music

We have never even played our first show yet! So we're not 100% on where we stand within the scene here. A lot of our friends had really digged our first few singles, so fingers crossed we'll get a great reception when we step on stage for the first time.

It’s nice to see a real effort coming from the Irish rock music scene where nothing really stood up since Thin Lizzy, U2, Sinead and Cranberries. We’re talking about something deeply different here though, you can perceive the will of pursuing another path, a modern one, one that would make sense today and actually express the voice of a generation. A sound that crosses hard rock, alternative, post-grunge reminding a bit of Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, early Shinedown with a pinch of early Alter Bridge especially in the song “Dream” or with a deeper taste of classic heavy metal like in “Forgotten Sons”.

“Close Eyes, Deep Breath and Run” is an incredibly mature debut EP, from every point of view and with a happy beginning like this I think it’s safe to say I’m expecting a lot in Fires. chapter two.

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