The ‘Best New Band in the World’ – Firekind Q+A
They are the winners of the Global Battle of the Bands Competition 2013, hold the title of the ‘Best New Band in the World and have just been signed with an Australian record label with Universal Music Group distribution. Without a doubt, Firekind are the greatest and most exciting band to be bursting onto the global music scene, and Musically Fresh caught up with the Devon three-piece in an exclusive interview!
Could you give us a brief history on how the band formed? Who was behind the start of FireKind? And who are the most influential artists for each of you?
Firekind was born nearly 2 years ago now. It’s been the culmination of 14 years of hard gigging experience. Going back to the beginning, there was a music festival in Newton Abbot called Air Fusion in 2001. Jas knew the organisers and they offered him a slot, but he had no band! So he had the task of quickly forming a band for it. Brother Dan took up bass duties and Dad Dick Morris took to lead vocals with an old friend on drums called Garry Maber.
In terms of influences, Jas and Dan’s main inspiration came from their Dad having followed him in his band when they were small kids! Brought up with classic bands like Queen, Thin Lizzy and Wishbone Ash, but today our influences stem right up to modern day touring bands from Muse to Coldplay. We like to listen to a lot of varied music too, if it’s well played music and sparks that emotional response, we’re sold!!
So in 2013, you guys won the Global Battle of the Bands, for those that don’t know, just how many bands were involved in that competition?
As it stands GBOB is the biggest battle of the bands competition in the world, being that it’s open to any bands internationally, anywhere. Thousands of bands entered so as you can imagine we’re blown away to make it to the top spot.
How did it feel going from the qualifying Heat Stages, then to the National Finals, and then to the World final? Did you believe at any point from the beginning you were contenders for finals, let alone the overall winners?
It was quite a ride!! Initially when we entered for the competition the closest qualifying heat available was in Birmingham and so we had doubts to whether even go ahead with it as it would be a long way to travel. The thought back then of even getting through to the National finals was nowhere on our minds but good job we did decide to do it after all! After each heat, through to the world final each venue became more and more prestigious.
Strangely enough I think we always had the mind set of just having a crack at it and if nothing happens then it’s just a bit of fun and experience. Having got through to the National Final in London we knew that we’d be up against some serious competition from bands all over the country so again we didn’t want to get our hopes up so tried to expect nothing from it, even though that became very hard! Having won the final we knew that we’d be going to compete in the World Final somewhere abroad and that to us was mind blowing. Again we had no idea what was to be in store!!
What do you believe made you stand out as the winners? What was the overall factor or qualities you believe you have that made you shine above all the other competitors?
I like to think we were quite modest about the whole competition. We didn’t want to come across as fake or force ourselves in to performing in a way we don’t. We said to each other to just treat it like any other gig and the main thing was to enjoy it and have fun because what’s the point otherwise!
We also believed strongly in the songs we performed and knew they summed up what we are as a band so that in mind we let the songs kind of speak for themselves. We saw quite a few other bands going crazy on stage, it looked cool but there’s a fine line in coming across as ‘trying to hard’, if that makes sense, and I think this can sometimes put judges off. If you see us at a gig where we play a full set you’ll see us go crazy as the gig goes on but it’s like a gradual thing, as we always say, “you don’t want to peak too soon!” If we were to peak at the start of a gig it could come across as being ‘too much’, which I think can put people off. It needs to be eased in… “Oh matron”!
Throughout your time in the band, and competing in GBOB, you’ve had the opportunity to travel over the world – everything considered; the crowd, people, memories, food, everything – where has been the best place to visit and perform? Do you have a stand-out story from your time in the band?
There’s been so much!! Competing at the Final in Thailand has to be up there, we got to visit Elephants and a local tribe prior to competing, the GBOB team put on a few outings which made the trip really special. Apart from GBOB we self funded a European tour 3 years ago and that was an awesome experience, we played in 7 countries travelling from Sweden through to France. With each country we decided to have food from that nation, blodwurst (blood sausage) from Germany was an experience!
What was the total number for the crowd on the night of the final? And what were the initial thoughts from the moment you were announced the winners? And how did you feel 48 hours later?
The final was held outside on massive grounds beside a new Thai shopping mall. I don’t know what the number would be for people on the night but must of been quite a few!!! Initial thoughts, well to be honest I don’t think there were any. We all kind of went dumb. I think once we were on stage collecting the trophy it kind of hit us then and then we were on a high for quite some time after!
Winning the GBOB, you undeniably are labelled the ‘Best New Band in the World’ – what are the next steps on capitalising on this title?
Next steps are to keep gigging all over the country, building our fan base and spreading the word!
What have been the main changes in your careers since winning GBOB?
Most noticeably it’s really been the promo associated with it, venues and agencies have been getting in contact wanting to book us on the back of being the winners. It’s an easier route to getting gigs for sure and has also been sparking interest from record labels. Since the competition we’ve been signed under Universal distribution in Australia and South-East Asia, our songs are currently getting radio air play on major stations over there! And it’s exciting to think our music video to ‘If Theres Any Reason’ is being played on MTV and TV channels in the region!
And you’re currently touring the UK, how is that going? Are there any plans to go overseas for a tour yet?
We love touring the UK, we gig a lot locally down in Devon where we have a really good following. Touring abroad is always on the cards though, we want to tour as many places as possible we love everything that goes with it, from meeting new fans to sight seeing! In August we’re off to Norway to play a few gigs so that should be really fun as we haven’t played there before.
Your fans have been very vocal on social media, commenting with a flood of congratulations and support. Firstly, how important do you think social media is in today’s music industry? And do you think it plays a vital part in any bands’ success?
Completely, social media has come on so much over the past few years and I think it plays a very important role in getting a band noticed. After all, it’s the fans that can make it for a band so it’s vital to hear their feedback and it’s a great platform to promote anything and everything with the band. The first thing industry do now is check out your online presence, it’s all about online marketing which can take a lot of work so keeping everyone updated with gigs and news is important.
And finally, is there any overall message you’d like to give to the fans?
Just to believe in yourselves and go for your passions! Also worth mentioning that without our fans we wouldn’t be where we are today so obviously a huge thank you!!!
And there you have it. Musically Fresh just brought you the most exciting band in the world. And if you want to keep up-to-date with the guys, and purchase any of their fantastic music, check out their social media links below:
Website – www.firekind.com
Facebook – Firekind
Twitter – @FirekindBand