Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with progressive post-metal band, Fire, Said The Albatross.
1. How did you get started as a band?
Douglas Bishop: The story of “Fire, Said The Albatross” starts before its actual conception. Our previous guitarist Devon and I had played in our first band together. We were young and were just writing whatever we thought was cool and heavy. After some time, our band fell through and we then played in separate bands for a while. I was playing in a Grand Rapids band for about a year, but that was falling apart too. It was around this time that Devon and I started hanging out again, and I wanted to ask him about starting up a new project, but he had prior obligations to the band that he had been playing in.
I hit up a vocalist that he and I had met a couple years earlier in our first band and I asked him if he had any musical groups that were in need of a drummer. He told me that him, his brother, and one of their friends was trying to start up a new band. I ended up driving out to his place, and the three of us drove out his brother’s place in Nunica. This was where I met James. He wanted to jam some riffs with me to see how I played. I guess you could say that it was “love at first breakdown”…. or something like that, because we’ve been writing songs ever since. Him and I quickly started to have this vision of what we would want the band to be.
Something new. Experimental. Familiar enough that it’s approachable, but different enough to feel unique. We had this old joke between us that we wanted to be like the “hardcore Pink Floyd, or the emo Tool”, if that’s any indication of the type of sound we wanted early on. We ended up just continuing to write music without his brother or their friend. After about six months or so of coming up with ideas, we thought it was time to find some members.
Our first real line-up was the two of us, plus a bassist and a singer. We had played gigs as a four-piece for a while before we picked up a second guitarist. Which was Devon. For a long time after this, we had a lot of member instability. For years, it was pretty much James, Devon, and I as the core members. Musicians would leave, some would come back. They would leave and others would try out. Friends would try out. We’d have previous members come back, for them to leave again.
It wasn’t until after Lucas joined about a year ago that our line-up has felt well grounded to me. Caleb had joined the summer of 2017. He was a fan of the band before joining, and we had met him because he had done a vocal cover of one of our songs. Still the only person to do that! Him and I had become buddies and we’d have him come up on stage to perform with us from time to time. The two front-person setup in a band has always been intriguing to me. However as a band, we weren’t sold on the idea. That was until the summer of 2017.
That following summer, I had come across Jonah online and emailed him to ask if he’d be interested in trying out for bass in the band. I sent him some tracks and asked him if he needed any help with working out the time signatures or the keys of any parts. He responded saying “no”, and four days later he posted a video of himself playing through a song of our’s in it’s entirety. We asked him if he’d wanna come out and track bass for a new song we were working on, and he’s been with us ever since. Shortly after this point, Caleb was our only frontman, as our other had to leave the band.
We had been on the heavy search for a vocalist. Had some people try out. We talked about how maybe Devon should stop playing guitar and just sing, that maybe we should just find a new guitarist. None of that was working out for us as a band, so we just kept writing ideas for over a year as the five of us. It was a year ago, almost to the day, that we had met Lucas. I remember sitting on my bed thinking, “there has got to be some place I can just find singers or something”. Coincidentally, I just searched on Facebook, “Grand Rapids Vocalists”, and a group came up. Called exactly that. I was scrolling through it where I saw Lucas covering Joji and Anthony Green. I could tell that he had something special. So I sent him a friend request and messaged him.
We video chatted later that day about music and the band. The next night, he came out and started recording vocals for us. I told him that the spot was his if he wanted it. Now, after almost a year of this line-up, Devon had decided to leave the band. We held tryouts and a few people were interested in the spot. Which ended up going to David. Lucas would bring him to hangout with us from time to time, so we knew him, but I didn’t really know he played guitar the way that he does until he came out to audition. His background with music and guitar playing adds a very interesting twist to the music we are writing. So I voiced my opinion of him joining up and the rest of the band agreed.
2. How would you describe your sound?
Progressive Post-Hardcore. We have also been called Mathcore due to our use of odd time signatures. Fire, Said The Albatross has also gotten lots of comparisons to Dance Gavin Dance and Hail The Sun.
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
Our musical influences range vastly from Dance Gavin Dance, Of Machines, Coheed and Cambria to stuff like Underground Rap, Anime openings, and Musicals.
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?
It has definitely helped, the rise of streaming services and the inability to tour has put underground bands and mainstream groups on an even playing field and has been massively helpful to the little guys.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
Lucas: Probably playing video games with friends, working, or hanging out with my girlfriend.
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
We have a couple singles, a couple EPs, and a Full length album in the works right now and we hope to be on the road with some big names as soon as the world opens back up.