The State Of Music: Part 34: Colorado: Flashbulb Fires
After only a week of The State Of Music Vol 1 album being released I am already flagging behind with these State of Music posts. Things have just got a little more crazy. On Thursday this week I was contacted by Dave Mann, owner of the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie website and band promoter asking me if I felt there would be scope for a State Of Music Showcase at this years South By South-West Festival (SXSW). I ecstatically swore at him and started rounding up as many participants in this project I could get get my hands on, hoping that maybe 9 or 10 at most would make it down to Austin, Texas for the show.
16 Bands later and we not only have one show - but TWO happening on Wednesday 14th March. One at the Molotov Lounge and the other at the amazingly named J.Blacks Feel Good Lounge - both a stones throw away from each other on W.6th Street.
One of the bands who are making a 929 mile trip to be there is Denver's Flashbulb Fires. Likened in the American press to early Radiohead and Grizzly Bear they will be making an appearance at the State Of Music Showcase show at 6.20pm at J.Blacks Feel Good Lounge.
I caught up with the band earlier this week to get the low down ahead of the release of their new album (which isn't the one streamed below by the way)
CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who are Flashbulb Fires and where in the world would we find you?
We are a thoughtful group of deviants from Denver Colorado: Patrick McGuire, Chris Sturniolo and Michael James.
CMM: How long has the band been in existence and how did it all start?
Flashbulb Fires began in Fall 2009, but Michael, Chris and I(Patrick) have been making music together since at least 2007. This is pretty un-cool and a bit embarrassing, but we became aware of each other through craigslist and myspace. We have always had similar musical tastes and life perspectives. I guess you could say that our chemistry as friends has helped us to form our unique sound.
CMM: How best would you describe your music?
We craft thoughtful pop orchestrations that blend a lot of old and new elements. We utilize quite a but of lyrical satire(especially on our new album 'gasconader'). I'd say our newest music is ripe with tension and very dreamlike.
CMM: For people like me who have never been there, how would you best describe the state of Colorado?
Colorado is gorgeous. We have vast plains that stretch out all the way to the Rocky Mountains. A shit ton of excellent beer is brewed here. There are a lot of religious folks(mostly Christians). Our band writes a lot about religion because we are surrounded by it.
CMM: I really struggled to find a band in Colorado for some reason. How is the scene out there right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?
I wouldn't say there is a genre of choice or even a cohesive scene here at the moment. Bands like The Fray, Devotchka, and Flobots have sort of made the state notable, but those 3 bands couldn't be anymore different. There is actually a massive amount of music coming from Denver right now, and that's something we appreciate. But I don't think the music from our state is all that connected. If there is some sort of a scene here, we don't fit into it.
CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as an band you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?
YES! Like I said before there are many religious people in our state. If you've researched us at all, you can probably tell that our band thinks, writes about, and is connected to religion. The members of our band range from atheist to agnostic. I am a former Christian that became and atheist after high school. 90% of my friends and family are very devout Christians. A lot of art is inspired by tension and dissatisfaction..... We have a lot of tension and dissatisfaction to be inspired by here.
CMM: What other influences do you have, musical or otherwise?
I'll just list a bunch of em': Beatles, Pedro the Lion, Velvet Underground, Elliott Smith, Nic Drake, The Zombies, Charlie Parker, Debussy, Philip Glass, Benjamin Brittan, Of Montreal, Jonathan Franzen, C.S. Louis, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kurt Vonnegut.....
CMM: Could you perhaps give a run down of the music you have released so far?
Certainly. Glory- 2009, Gasconader- April 2012
CMM: Are you able to get out an play live much?. Where are your favourite places to play both in and out of state?
Yes. We love to play live. In 2010 we played 130 shows all over the country. In Colorado, we really enjoy play the Fox Theatre in Boulder. We love little places like the Evening Muse in Charlotte, North Carolina and Kirby's Beer Store in Wichita, Kansas. I can say with confidence that our tiny band has played some of the greatest and shittiest small to mid-sized venues in the country. Touring has been quite interesting for us, and we're excited to get out again to promote 'gasconader'.
CMM: What's next in the pipeline for you?
We feel that our newest album has a ton of potential. We are working towards licensing our songs. We plan to hit the road pretty hard after the release. We would love to be represented by a label and go from being a tiny band to a somewhat less tiny band.
CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?
Flashbulbfires.com...... we have a facebook page..... we're on itunes, amazon, ect ect...