Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fire on Dawson...Take Two; "The Interview"

Prog greetings from Karlsruhe, Germany one more time fellow progheads!  I hope you enjoyed your initial introduction to Fire on Dawson last week.  Tonight we dig a little deeper in the prog garden; peel back the petals from the flower for a closer inspection.  As promised last time we met, Fire on Dawson gives the Concert Closet a behind-the-scenes look into the heart and soul of a truly exceptional prog band.  So let us jump in with both ears, shall we?

Closet Concert Arena: Who and/or what are Fire on Dawson?

Fire on Dawson: Well, you could say we are a group of four individuals who find common ground in expressing our emotions and ideas in the form of music.  We like pushing the boundaries of what our minds and ears can comprehend and sincerely hope that it continues that way.

CCA: What bands influenced you growing up, and what bands do you believe influence Fire on Dawson's style today?

FoD: That's a difficult one, because as artists I think we are influenced not just by other musicians but also by things that might be easily overlooked and deemed mundane, such as a traffic jam or a really grey day.  But if we were to strictly talk about other artists, bands such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, Breaking Benjamin, Tool, and even performers like Michael Jackson and Eminem for that matter have had some part to play in our musical evolution.

CCA: Your current album releases have a dark, metal feel to them.  Is this your comfort zone,or will Fire on Dawson take new risks on upcoming releases?  

FoD: We are currently working on an unplugged album which will be an amalgamation of stripped down and restructured versions of existing songs from our first two albums, as well as some new tracks we are pretty excited about.  As I mentioned earlier, we are always looking to push the envelope and see what our musical soul comes up with.

CCA: Is there one main song writer, or are the songs a collaboration among all members of the band?

FoD: When it comes to the songwriting or brainstorming process for new songs, we usually bring a small idea to the table and then just try to impose our individual personalities on that piece.  So a song could be written in its entirety by just one person or stitched together with each of our input.  I am blessed to be in the company of three very creative and unique individuals, where each of them has a different take on a riff or a melody.  That makes this whole process very exciting and enriching.

CCA: Where do you go emotionally/mentally when writing?

FoD: I personally like to envisage a situation or a setting in my mind inspired from the mood set by the tone and feeling of an instrumental idea and then just imagine a story play out.  I then try to express that in words and intonations and work from there.  Some songs take maybe hours to write while others can play on for months before a satisfactory path is found for them.

CCA: If you could invite anyone to play a live gig with, who would you choose?

FoD: Jesus, followed by a few questions backstage.

CCA: You classify your music as alternative progressive; can you elaborate on that theme?

FoD: Well, the "generalization" of our music was never something that interested us.  But listeners, promoters, and everyone else wants you to put a label on it so they can decide before even listening to it if it's worth their time.  Our busy lives and short attention spans don't give us the freedom of really exploring art to its full extent anymore.  So when we were releasing our first album and had to send it out to reviewers, the first question was always, "What kind of music is it?"  We then made a list of all the bands we enjoyed listening to, checked their genres on their Wikipedia pages and by the process of elimination, came up with this description. Some things we do are artistic in nature while others are purely scientific... :)

CCA: How did you come up with the name "Fire on Dawson?"

FoD: A restaurant called "Fire" on Dawson Street in Dublin, Ireland.  One of our ex-bandmates was in that restaurant and happened to still have a bill from there in his pocket.  At the time we had been searching for a name for our group and had gone through at least a thousand ideas, all of which to no avail.  But when we saw the bill from this restaurant, we unanimously agreed it was the way to go.

CCA: You have a large following in Europe; any plans to bring your sound across the pond to the US?

FoD: It has always been a personal dream of mine to present our music to an English speaking audience; most of our lyrics are in English and I actually take a lot of time and pain to match the mood with the perfect word.  So it would be pretty exciting to have an audience that appreciates not only the musical side of things, but also listens and understands the lyrics so they can completely immerse themselves in the world which the songs find themselves in.

CCA: Your music has multiple layers that can be soothing, searing, and deep.  Who/what influences the arrangement of the music and the final product on the album?

FoD: It's very different for every song.  Some songs are written exclusively in the rehearsal room during jam sessions, while others are pondered over for hours in the comfort of our homes.  Once we are all satisfied with the basic structure of the piece we move into the territory of making it sound like we hear it in our heads.

CCA: Is touring something you look forward to or are you more comfortable in the studio?

FoD: It's circumstantial, really.  We love touring and playing live shows and have had the good fortune of performing in many countries across Europe and Asia.  Due to several different factors, however, we are not a band that is constantly on the road.  We respect bands that do that, but it was never a viable option for us.  That being said, we have played over 150 live shows so far--so it's not like we never get out of the studio space.  There is a special excitement to seeing people's faces when you present your songs to them in a live setting!

CCA: Is there a new album in the works?

FoD: Yes; we are currently in the final stages of writing and producing our third album,which we hope to release later this year.

CCA: Where can fans see upcoming shows?

FoD: We are planning shows across Europe currently, and hope to undertake our first UK tour this year. We would love to travel across the pond to the Americas for a lengthy tour someday as well!

Thank you Ankur Batra and Fire on Dawson for shining a light into Fire on Dawson's world, and exposing the heart of a really impressive, up-and-coming prog band.  Finding the words, emotions, and feelings with which to bare yourself to the masses is not the easiest thing to do...vulnerability is a hard trait to master.

I offer up one more piece from the band, a powerful song called "Willow."  The somberness of the vocals in underscored by the veracity of the music.  Fire on Dawson does indeed draw from an emotional place...and I for one would love to be a fly on the wall during the Q&A with Jesus...  

Please do yourself a favor and dig deeper into Fire on Dawson at http://www.fireondawson.com/ and
https://soundcloud.com/fireondawson.  Feel free to follow them on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/fireondawson and Twitter, @fireondawson .  Fire on Dawson may not have been totally scientific in describing their music as alternative progressive--but they were dead on accurate.  Digging deep into the recesses of soul, mind, and spirit, Fire on Dawson throws the gauntlet down with each song.  'Tis more effective to hit with feeling than to simply hit hard...

Suddenly fourteen days in Germany are winding down and the Concert Closet needs to continue the search for all things prog.  You certainly are invited to stay a while longer--please do.  Just don't forget to catch up with me on the next leg of this journey...until next week...

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