First things first; what can you tell us about the line up of the band, how did you find each other?
Hi Winston, thanks for having me. Well, the origins of Fire On Dawson can be traced back to 2005/06. We were all studying at the same University in Karlsruhe, Germany. Back then, we had a different line-up. Martin, our current Bassist, was involved in an experimental project with Moritz Lietzenmeyer (Drums) and Nicolas Morales (Guitar). The guys had been jamming for around five-six months before they decided they needed a singer to complete the combo. So that's where I came into the picture.
How did the album 'Seven Billion And A Nameless Somebody' came together?
The album really has been around two years in the making. Ever since our first Indian tour, we have been stitching together ideas and concepts, recording bits and pieces of material whenever we could while fine-tuning them in the practise room. The difference between working on new material while on tour, especially in an exotic place like India, and thinking of ideas in the comfort of our studio is quite vast. On the one hand you have more inspiration but on the other not enough time to solidify your thoughts into concrete song ideas. This was also the first album where all the songs were written by the same four people, rather than experiencing major line-up changes during the songwriting process. '7 Billion..' is a true reflection of our musical evolution since the release of 'Prognative'.
What can you say about the title? Does it mean something specific, and the same goes for the name Fire On Dawson?
The story behind the band name is quite simple actually. Though the script took a while developing. We had been searching for an appropriate band name for our project for months. We each had around 500 ideas, but nothing really struck a chord. There was always a counter-argument for each of the names that we came up with. We never thought we'd agree on a name! One evening we were out in the town with a mate of ours who had recently been to Dublin, Ireland. He told us this story about how him and some mates of his enjoyed a night out drinking at his company's expense. To prove his point he pulled out a bill from this restaurant which was astonishingly in four figures. This restaurant was called Fire On Dawson Street. We all kind of liked the sound of that and decided to stick with it. about the album name, '7 Billion and a Nameless Somebody': As I mentioned earlier, the roots of our current album where laid in on our first tour to India where we played shows in front of massive audiences, for thousands of people. We came across so many different individuals, so many different stories drawn out on multi-layered canvases. We were surrounded by all these people at an arm hair's length away, yet for us they were just plain faces. While we started recording our second album, we wanted to make it about something more than just a collection of songs. Around that time, the media all over the world was drunk on the inevitable statistic of the human race reaching a count of seven billion. There was kind of a paradox at work, since we cared so much about a mere number while ignoring the majority of individuals that make up this number. Thus the concept of '7 Billion and a Nameless Somebody' was born.
Do you follow the reviews and general reactions to the album?
From time to time yes. More the positive ones than the negative! It's always interesting to hear what other people have to say about our music, since we like to take chances with our music, push boundaries that people might not expect. This also means that what we create is not everyone's cup of tea, so we might get criticized. What's important though is to take both praise and criticism in one's stride and continue creating what excites us musically. Your magazine, by the way, has been very kind to us, so thanks for that.
What are the band's real expectations in terms of a (professional) career?
That's a complicated question to answer. Everyone has different expectations from music. Some want to live it, some want to love it and some want to just enjoy it while it lasts. The times that we live in also make it more difficult for musicians and artists in general to generate enormous revenue, unlike in the years gone by. I guess it's important for every musician to figure out for themselves what they really want to achieve with music and work their way towards that.
Musical interests and influences often bring musicians together; what are the common shared favourites and what are the bands you might not easily expect as influence if there are any?
That's the beauty about having a multi-cultural band; we all have our own little musical world built in our system. We are lucky enough to be in a situation where we can have completely tangential ideas musically which, with a little effort and the understanding that comes with years of playing together, can transform into a sonic landscape that has a little bit from all of us engraved into it. It could be something minute, something supremely subtle. But it's there. And for me that's the most exciting part of Fire On Dawson.
What are the musical or other activities of the Fire On Dawson band members?
We make it a point to also have a life outside the band, which we feel is very important and also helps bring in new ideas and creativity to the project when the time calls for it. Each individual member also takes up responsibilities in certain administrative aspects of the band-sphere which ensures that we are always 100% in touch with our product.
On your website it is said that it is all about the music but also about evolution. So where is the evolution of Fire On Dawson leading you to?
Hopefully to be able to challenge ourselves to be the best of who we can be.
Is there a goal to reach or is the journey the goal?
The journey, definitely. Everything that comes along the way is such a learning experience.
Performing the music of the album must be a challenge for you, have you had a chance to do that?
Yes, this whole year we've been playing our new album at our live shows and I must say the response and the support of the audience has been fantastic.
Will we get to see Fire On Dawson on a European stage?
Well this year has been a busy year for us with the release of the new album which was accompanied by live shows in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. We also toured India earlier in the year. We are currently planning shows and tours for 2013 and hope to come to the Netherlands very soon!
Anything else you would like our readers to know about you and / or the band?
We love Vietnamese soup.
Alright, this wraps up the interview for now. The last words are for you...
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey so far. Our families, friends, ex-band members, fans that have always been there, event organizers who've kept their word, tour-van drivers who've made sure we arrive on time, chefs on tour who've made sure we don't starve. We wouldn't be where we are today without the contribution of each and every person who has been involved, in however small a way, for the last seven years.