Sheffield based band Firesuite have been creating waves in their local music scene over the last few years. With a self- released album and an ever growing fan base times could not be better for the band. Their appeal is expanding too with BBC sessions recorded and several exciting live slots including one at Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival. Even a mention in Kerrang! Magazine hasn’t gone unnoticed. They are about to release new music to the world which this reviewer could not be more excited about. Catching up with lead singer Christopher Anderson it is clear they are a highly driven and motivated collective of artists who make music for the joy of it and not just for ‘the money’. Which is something highly refreshing in modern music culture. Here’s what Chris had to say on the band:
• If you could describe the band in three words, which three words would you choose?
• You self-produced your debut album, was that something you always wanted to do? Do you feel proud to have released it off of your own backs without outside help?
CA: Well, we recorded everything with a dear friend called Tom Henthorn at his studios (Ebb Tone Studios) in Attercliffe. He produced the record with us too. It was a very, VERY long process. We were snatching bits and bobs of studio time as and when we could afford it/could arrange for everyone to be there to record. Tom has worked with us on a few other little things, and really, we trust him…as much as we trust anyone around our noise. Creation is at times struggle, it can’t all be roses and butterflies, but Tom was there with us every single long tiring decision there had to be made. About three weeks in, I felt pretty strange. I didn’t feel connected to what we were doing, everything was going a little bit too smoothly, but we had a long session in the studio, there were arguments, tears and scrapping of things we’d recorded. It was great, I felt connected, it felt like we were achieving something.
Releasing the record was a gamble to a certain extent. We knew we were essentially releasing a record to very little fanfare, but we pushed on nonetheless. We will never not record music, and the very fact we’ve put it out into the world means we wish to connect to an audience. We have been fortunate in that we have, through releasing our record, met a great deal of wonderful people. We’ve played shows all over the country and recorded two BBC sessions through the releasing of our record. People we would not have normally met had we not put something out into the world. We have been very fortunate that our record has been met with such enthusiasm and positivity, so yes; on that front we are very proud.
• What is the main message you strive to promote with your music?
CA: We are just friends, friends that love each other’s company, have shared a great deal with each other and love creating music together. We’ve no overarching game plan; we don’t have a PR company working on our behalf trying to “sell” us. We just want to create the best music we can, be our own favourite band, and find an audience doing so. It’s those connections that count. It’s the High Fidelity thing…music, books, films. These things matter. If you gravitate to particular things, it’s always fulfilling connecting to other souls who connect with those things…
• What has been your proudest accomplishment with the band so far?
CA: Recording and releasing our record would be up there…So would be learning how to play ‘Beneath The Roses’ (a song of ours). We still struggle now though, but when we first nailed it…it’s such a tricky thing to play.
• What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened whilst you’ve been in
CA: Well, we had a gig in London. Transport for the gig was a van, and not a big van. Three seats in the front, and a rear meant for works gear. We crammed all our amps and a drum kit AND four strapping boys in the back and started our journey. We were an hour or so out of London, when our driver, who is usually as calm as a Hindu cow, quietly stated that the engine was smoking. That it was blue smoke…That blue smoke was never good. Needless to say, we were panicked. Not only were we in the middle of the motorway, but we were an hour away from London, and quite frankly, if any passing police vehicles caught us in the back, it would not have been a pleasant experience. Luckily, one of our number had an AA card, and they were promptly called. All the while, we in the back hid under a giant sheet hoping we would not be found by any potential police officers. Fortunately, our story ended well. We made the gig, the AA fixed the van, and we made it back to Sheffield. Shortly upon our return, the engine of the van exploded.
• What has been your favourite gig so far and why?
CA: Tramlines last year, Sunday night at West Street Live. It was full, there were other GREAT bands playing with us, and the atmosphere was amazing. We played a show at the Dublin Castle in London too which was wonderful, the first time we’d played there, and a show for Echoes And Dust (a London based webzine) again in London with some of the best unsigned bands I have ever seen.
• Do you plan on making a second album in the near future?
CA: Well, we are currently recording something. What that will eventually turn into we don’t know, but we are hoping to put some new music into the world this summer certainly. In so far as a second album, we have a lot of material written, we just need to sift through it and figure out how to play it. When we were recording our album, it took so long to write and record that I couldn’t envision making another, but we have ended up with almost an albums worth of material already. We will see….
• What does Firesuite mean to you?
CA: It’s about creating something, something you love with people you admire a great, great deal. I have been “in” this band (I kinda WAS the band for a long time), for longer than I care to remember so I don’t really know anything else. It’s as natural as breathing. At its base level, it’s a creative outlet, but my every waking moment is usually concerned with the band and music we are writing. I always wanted Firesuite to be a fluid musical project, able to take in sounds and genres making something worthwhile. Now, despite my very limited musical ability, I am very proud of what we have achieved sonically so far, and I’m really excited about the things we are working on.
• For people who don’t know about Firesuite what is the one thing you would tell them to get them interested in your music?
CA: I’m not sure…we take influence from loads of things, from Jeff Buckley to Mew to Smashing Pumpkins to Cocteau Twins. If you’re someone who puts a lot of importance in your music, I’d say come and spend some time with us. We are noisy and odd and BIG and small and, at times, quite pretty. We’ll treat you well.
Check out Firesuite on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/firesuitemusic