An Interview With Firekind

So I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with Firekind before their show in Norwich in support of Jack J Hutchinson on his The Hammer Falls tour.

What a great bunch of guys. So grab yourself a mug of coffee and some biscuits and have a read…

EXCELL ROCKS

It’s a pleasure to be here with you guys.

FIREKIND – JAS

Thanks very much.

EXCELL ROCKS

We’re here sat in the bar by the window so we can probably expect groupies gathering at the window or maybe zombies as it’s that time of the year!

EXCELL ROCKS

So following all the lockdowns and lack of live music how was it for you guys to suddenly find that you couldn’t get out there and play live music?

FIREKIND – JAS

It came on all of a sudden when we were in the French alps doing some shows with full on crowds and completely oblivious and then boom it was like shutdown and we were racing back to the border to try and get back to the UK.

FIREKIND – DAN

I think we tried to make the most of it, going from full on constant gigging and touring to completely shut off. It’s so weird isn’t it I get a lot of people with different careers and jobs it’s been mentally tough.  It’s like oh what can we do and nobody knew what was going to happen.

Glasses of beer arrive courtesy of O’Neill PR….

EXCELL ROCKS

Did you find that being in lockdown and being unable to do many things you would normally do that it was beneficial to writing new material and getting together some ideas for what you could do after lockdown?

FIREKIND – JAS

Totally. It gave us chance to sit and re-evaluate our action plan and put that in motion and I don’t think we would be in this position where we are now like touring the UK with Jack J Hutchinson and having all the awesome gigs we have lined up if it weren’t for that turn of events.

EXCELL ROCKS

So it’s been around 3 or 4 months since we were released and gigs could start taking place, you finally got to do your hometown show, was that one of the first times that you actually got to play the new album live?

FIREKIND – JAS

Yeah pretty much, we did one show in Coventry with Sons of Liberty and then it was that show and it went fantastic it was awesome to be able to play the songs.

EXCELL ROCKS

What has the crowd reaction been like to actually hear the songs live as all the album reviews have been like ‘It’s amazing’?

FIREKIND- JAS

Yeah it’s been like a bit of a snowball as we’ve been around for a while and people are like are you new!

Excell Rocks

You were the Morris Brothers and then in 2013 you won the Global Battle of The Bands.

FIREKIND – JAS

Don’t say the year as it makes us sound old!

EXCELL ROCKS

Obviously we need to talk about the album ‘What I Have Found Is Already Lost’ which is a beautiful collection of songs how did you end up working with producer Alain Johannes who has worked with the likes of Chris Cornell, P J Harvey and many more?

FIREKIND – Jas

It all came about through one of our old co-managers of the past and was definitely a nervous wait to see if he would say yes!

EXCELL ROCKS

So the album seems to be based around grief and loss but with an underlying sense of hope that things will get better.  How did this theme from the album come about was it from personal experience?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yes. We had recently lost our father, so I think that was reflected in the writing process.  I think I’m quite emotionally stunted and it’s a bit cliché I know but I put them into the songs.

EXCELL ROCKS

So Jas everyone always talks about your guitar skills being a former guitarist of the year.

FIREKIND – Jas

Yes guitarist of the year back in 1901!

Much laughing.

EXCELL ROCKS

We never really seem to hear a huge amount mentioned about your voice?

FIREKIND – Jas

That’s because I used to be terrible!

EXCELL ROCKS

Personally I think your voice combines perfectly with the guitars and music you make.

FIREKIND – Jas

Thanks.

EXCELL ROCKS

So there’s a mixture of material on your album, some rock, some like Adrenalin more of a Muse-esque type prog rock, do you put yourself in any particular style or is it more a case of writing and the style goes with the song?

FIREKIND – Jas

Pretty much that and then try and find enough songs in that genre to make a coherent album.  There’s loads of other tracks but there’s no place for them now.

FIREKIND – Dan

I think we had like 30 or 40 tracks that we whittled down to 10 for as Jas said the coherence of the whole album.  If it doesn’t quite fit with the album then it would sound weird with the genre change.

EXCELL ROCKS

So locked away could be Firekinds most amazing song that no-ones ever heard.

EXCELL ROCKS

So the album came out October 2020 so were most of the songs written before the lockdowns?

FIREKIND – Jas

Have I Been Living was written during lockdown and I recorded that in my own studio at home.

EXCELL ROCKS

I think the first time I came across you guys was through the NWOCR Webfest 4.  Was this a useful outlet to get yourself out there and be discovered by more potential fans?

FIREKIND – Jas

Absolutely. It was the first time that we had played loud for a long time because of lockdown and it was such a euphoric experience to be able to plug in and play loud.

EXCELL ROCKS

Was that the recording that was eventually used for the Live In Lockdown EP?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah that was the same thing, warts and all, no overdubs. We did three takes and chose possibly the second one.

FIREKIND – Dan

As we went on we found that it didn’t have that pizazz. The early takes captured something you know, even if a bit more rough around the edges it captures what we wanted to put forward.

EXCELL ROCKS

So it was like your own Cry For Help, set us free from lockdown and let us play live music again!

EXCELL ROCKS

As a band how hard do you find it to get yourself known around the country?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah it’s essential to get a good management and PR team around you and people like yourselves who provide reviews and simply getting out there on the motorway and driving to as many places and getting in front of as many people as possible.

EXCELL ROCKS

There seem to be countless little festivals popping up all over the place for next year with one probably every weekend from July to September are these a good way of getting yourself in front of new fans who may not have come along to solely listen to you?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah. You’ve been to a lot of festivals haven’t you Mitch and played quite a few as well.

FIREKIND – Mitch

There seems to be a bit of a mix. It’s a good chance for people who may have heard of your band but may have not seen you and haven’t had chance to go to a gig and there’s people who go to a specific festival to see a lot of bands who they feel the same way about.  With a festival you go to discover new bands as well as see the bands you already know.

EXCELL ROCKS

Festivals seem to be at both ends of the country with the likes of Cornwall Rocks and Wildfire and that must lead to a huge amount of travelling and driving?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yes Wildfire 2022 which we’re playing alongside fellow O’Neill PR bands Sons of Liberty and Jack J Hutchinson.  It’s a good one.

FIREKIND – Dan

We don’t mind the driving and myself and Jas tend to share that out between us, he’ll do the days and I’ll do the nights.  We did use to have an old bus that we used for touring but it is a bit impractical nowadays because of the size so we have a large van now.

EXCELL ROCKS

Oh yes I’ve seen it out in the carpark with Firekind plastered all over it.  Very rock and roll.

EXCELL ROCKS

I’ve heard rumours on the internet, there are a lot of rumours on the internet, some true some not.

FIREKIND – Jas

You’ve got to believe everything you read on the internet for sure.

EXCELL ROCKS

Well this one said that maybe you were writing new material for a new album?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah, we are actually. We’ve been in rehearsals this week where we’ve been going through some new tracks and will be going into the studio in the early part of next year trying to get everything ready.

EXCELL ROCKS

Could we then see a new album towards the end of next year?

FIREKIND – Jas

We haven’t set a date yet but it will probably be recording in January and February. It’s a process so going through the steps it could be towards the summer.

EXCELL ROCKS

I recall from speaking to Jack that he said that the process of getting a vinyl release sorted can take upwards of 3 or 4 months or more at the moment.

FIREKIND – Jas

I’ve heard that too. It’s insane.

Excell Rocks

Can we expect to hear anything different on the new album? Will there be a happy song?

FIREKIND – Jas

Obviously the aim is to up level and make a much better album.

EXCELL ROCKS

It’s gonna be tough!

FIREKIND – Jas

Thankyou. One of the major things for us is when you’re playing venues all the songs that go down best are the upbeat, high-energy tracks and I think we did have elements of that on the last album but maybe more slower tracks. We’re just going for a bit more punch to it on this one.

EXCELL ROCKS

One thing I’ve noticed both in your live performances, the album recording and even listening to the soundcheck today is that every time you perform a song it’s done with 110% energy, almost like it’s the one and only time you’ll get to perform it. Do you see yourselves as primarily a live band?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah definitely. We all love being in the studio, but getting out there playing in front of crowds is where the songs really come to life and you can see the feedback right in front of you. It’s always good to road test new songs because that’s how you know if they work with an audience.

EXCELL ROCKS

Do you find as a band that keeping in touch with fans be it through social media or meeting them at gigs is something that’s beneficial to you as a band?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah I mean if you don’t create a relationship with the audience then it’s less likely to want to come to shows and stuff and the fans are what makes it all happen. Mitch you’ve got quite a social following with all your drumming stuff.

FIREKIND – Mitch

Yeah that was something in lockdown to be honest with you. I had to keep myself busy and doing something everyday, so I started to do videos on drums and people quite liked it.

EXCELL ROCKS

I tried playing drums once.

FIREKIND – Mitch

How did you get on?

Excell Rocks

I haven’t played drums since!

Laughter ensues.

EXCELL ROCKS

One thing I’ve always wondered is where does the name Firekind come from?

FIREKIND – Jas

It comes from a really old comic book.

EXCELL ROCKS

And there was me thinking there’s a strange background story to it!

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah we were driving down the motorway once and the van had a bit of a fire and we pulled over and there was a shop called Kind!

EXCELL ROCKS

How about you pulled over because the van had a fire and some ‘Kind’ old lady helped you.

FIREKIND – Jas

Yeah that’s what happened lol It was kind of names in a hat and we pulled one out and we all liked the name so that was that.  It’s crazy because you think it’s easy to pick a band name but it’s not.

FIREKIND – Dan

It can be very descriptive and people might think of that like Queen when they came out you make the name into what it is.

FIREKIND – Jas

Red Hot Chilli Peppers, where did that come from!

EXCELL ROCKS

And you’ve also got to I guess think about logos and there’s definitely a lot more to it I suppose.

EXCELL ROCKS

So this one is for you individually, if you could only play one song tonight off your album what one would it be and why?

FIREKIND – Jas

I’d probably have one of our most popular tracks Sound of Rain, which is always great fun to play and we generally play it towards the end of the set.  It always has a great response from the crowd.  It was one of the last tracks to be written and it made it on the album. 

FIREKIND – Dan

I think I’ll go with Adrenalin actually because going back to the time and what the songs all about, the grief, the hope. I relate a lot to that song with my dad passing away and all that so I would say that one as it’s got that in your face sound and it’s got a nice bassline.  Plus the amp used on that track was the same one as used by Queens of The Stone Age and I tend to forget that but that’s pretty cool.

EXCELL ROCKS

Wasn’t that when you were in the studio in L.A and got to use like Dave Grohl’s actual amp?

FIREKIND – Jas

I used one of Dave Grohls Vox amp’s and it was just amazing to be around equipment like that.

FIREKIND – Mitch

Did it have a beard on it?

FIREKIND – Jas

It had Foo Fighters written on it.  When I was speaking to Alain it was like it’s going to be so expensive to get all our amps over to the states and he was like don’t worry about that I’ve got a couple of mates you know I’ll just ask them. He did say at one point I’ll ask Dave and I’m thinking Dave down the road not Dave Grohl!

FIREKIND — Mitch

It’s gonna be a different song for me, These Are The Thoughts. These Are The Thoughts is one of the tracks on the album that is not really like the rest of them in the sense that it’s pure energy all the way through, a really intense track.  I came into the band a few months ago so these guys had written their album and had it out a while and I joined the guys on tour and the first show was the Jolly Farmers show and I remember learning the set and hearing that one for the first time.  As a drummer when you’re learning the tracks that you’ve got to play you have to keep to the plot to a certain extent and have a little individual freedom but mostly you have to play and not chance it too much!

When you get that feeling of this ones going to be really fun for me as a drummer, it’s learning somebody else’s tracks and thinking oh my god that’s the one I’m really looking forward to play. It’s a great song to play and I whacked a few things in there but realistically that’s the one where I thought I’m going to put absolutely everything into. And people notice it as well.  At the Jolly Farmers show my mum and her boyfriend were there, and he came up to me at the end and was like what was that song about three songs from the end, you really earned your money on that one!

FIREKIND – Jas

Again, that track almost didn’t make it onto the album! We recorded that one very last in the studio and we were like no this is a chuck around track that had been kicking around for a while and then Alain was like ‘That’s great’.

FIREKIND – Dan

It was almost one of those muck around songs that you played before you worked on the proper songs and as Jas said it was so close that it almost didn’t get on the album.

EXCELL ROCKS

It must be hard as well choosing what songs to play at shows as much as it is to choose what goes on the album!

FIREKIND – Jas

During this tour alone we’ve changed the set like every night, trying to tweak it and make it better. It has been a tricky thing.

FIREKIND – Dan

You might see us tomorrow night just do the whole album as a medley, no talking.

EXCELL ROCKS

And almost finally another question and that’s what is your guilty pleasure to listen to? Where people would go, really?

FIREKIND – Jas

Too many to mention! Well, I did go to see Wicked! The musical recently so I’m going to say that.

FIREKIND – Dan

I’d say Hans Zimmer.

FIREKIND – Mitch

That’s not a guilty pleasure.

EXCELL ROCKS

So guys last question as I know you have work to do… If Firekind were a drink what drink would they be?

FIREKIND – Jas

We do like a tequila after a show don’t we.

FIREKIND – Dan

I think given the question we’d be a tequila sunrise.

EXCELL ROCKS

Well guys it has been an absolute pleasure speaking to you.

FIREKIND – Jas

Thanks for having us and you can see us playing with Kris Barras at the Kris-Mas show in December.

EXCELL ROCKS

Is that the one with Ethyrfield as well?

FIREKIND – Jas

Yes that’s the one.

Excell Rocks

That is going to be a great show.


Firekind are currently on tour with Jack J Hutchinson around the UK supporting his The Hammer Falls tour.

27th Oct – Bradford

28th Oct – Birmingham

7th Nov – Bedford

17th Nov – London

Links

Get Firekind Merch and Album here:

https://firekind.com/shop/

Get Tour Info here:

https://firekind.com/all-events/

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