Welcome to our website with your debut album. Could you introduce yourselves to those who haven't heard your name sing around already?
Hi everyone! I am Lori, the bass player of The Safety Fire. The other guys are Sean on vocals, Dez and Jo on guitars and Calvin on drums. We are a fivepiece progressive metal band from London, UK. We have been making music together for close to ten years now after becoming friends at school. We never thought that jamming in Calvin's bedroom would lead us to where we are now!
It seems like you've been working for a quite long time on your debut, but it has actually only been two years since your 2009 EP 'Sections'. How did you experience the developments from 2009 to where you are now? (Also, it is perfectly okay to say that you don't know where you are now.)
We have certainly developed a lot since we released the Section EP back in 2009. I think we have found a more cohesive sound than we previously had. However to say where we are now, is an extremely difficult question to answer. I think because we are all constantly listening to new music, from so many different genres, our influences and inspirations are continually developing. Therefore musically I believe we will always continue to evolve. I suppose you could say we are at a point where we are enjoying making the music that we are and we can't wait to get people listening to more of it!
I'd like to enter a compliment into this interview, since your album is a very well-crafted piece of work, from dynamics over the course of the songs to the beautiful artwork. Do you still, in this digitalizing age, see an album as complete piece of art, not only in sounds but also in visual design?
Thank you for the kind words! An album is definitely a complete piece of art. We wanted to ensure that we had artwork which we felt was more than simply an afterthought, something that visually represented the music on the album. It always seems a shame when you see bands who have great music but have taken little care in producing a decent package for the album. We have extremely high standards with everything we put out, whether that be music or a simple YouTube clip, the artwork for 'Grind The Ocean' needed to meet those standards and I think what the artist, Kim Taylor is simply fantastic.
Your sound fits well into the new often-so-called djent scene. Yet still, I bet you have many other influences and reasons for how you came to make this music. You mentioned you grew up learning to make music together; could you tell how this developed itself from/at the very start?
Growing up together has certainly had an impact on our musical development. Sharing new bands with one another from a huge array of genres has led us to the music we produce today. Bands such as Between The Buried And Me, Karnivool, Opeth, Sikth and Mastodon are obvious favourites of us all, but I feel what helps us create our sound are the less obvious ones such as Peter Gabriel, Prince, Kaki King, Bjork and Jaga Jazzist. Listening to different styles of music certainly opens up creative avenues which you may have not considered before, and I hope this helps us create a unique sound.
I read you are going on tour with Periphery, Protest The Hero and Jeff Loomis, quite the line-up! How did you manage, and are you excited about it? Also, is it your first time touring the United States? Oh, and could you get that line-up to tour Europe as well while you're at it? :-)
The line up for this tour is incredible and we are so happy to be a part of it! Considering it is our first US tour too it makes it all that lit bit more special. Everyone should check out Today I Caught The Plague Too, who are opening the tour every night. It would be awesome to bring this tour over to Europe, haha. You never know it may happen one day.
It is inevitable that you are going to be compared with other bands. A Dutch one would be Textures, who themselves are seen as one of the forerunners of the djent movement, while they actually don't
see themselves as a djent metal band at all. Do you have specific thoughts about all the djent-fuss? And are there perhaps specific bands that you see as major inspirations?
Concerning being labelled as a Djent band, it isn't something we consider ourselves to be, but it's cool if people want to put us into that category, there are a lot of cool bands doing that right now. We see our music as progressive metal but we are easy on genre labels. Textures have been a personal favourite of mine for a long time, and I know the rest of the guys are all big fans too. We would love to play with those guys, we saw them on tour with The Ocean recently and they were brilliant.
I read some criticism on your album, saying that it sounds a bit generic, specifically on the vocal front. Now, I have to disagree with that, and also give my compliments to the excellent vocals of Sean McWeeny, who I think has a personal and intriguing delivery. And instrumentally, you show great atmospheric diversity, sounding closer to Karnivool than your typical djent metal. So, what do you think of people saying you sound like yet another scene-band?
Once again thanks for the kind words, especially with the comparison to Karnivool, what a fantastic band they are! I couldn't disagree more that we sound like a scene band. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions though. We do get a wide ranging opinion on Sean's vocals, with more people saying they absolutely love his performance than don't. We think he is fantastic and love what he does.
Having seen you live with Periphery and Monuments, I can't remember many calm parts in your show. Have you been planning on bringing the atmospheric parts more to the front in your music, also on stage, or is it just me not remembering those passages from the show? (The question could also be like this: are you looking for a balance between aggression and melancholy - since many metal acts seem to get stuck in the aggression part.)
We believe the key to our live show, like our music, is dynamism and energy. The contrast of calm and aggression we certainly do employ in our live shows and next time we are out in Europe I am sure you will notice this has been implemented more.
These were my questions for you. I hope you enjoyed answering them, and thank you for patiently working through them. I could well have forgotten to ask for some essential things; in that case, feel free to mention them below, along with your last words of this interview to your readers and listeners!
Thank you for taking the time to interview us guys! For anyone who wants to know more about us please check us out on Facebook, twitter @thesafetyfire and YouTube. Be sure to check out our debut album 'Grind The Ocean' which was released in Europe on 27th February!