Having wiped the floor with audiences all over Sydney in recent months playing at My Filthy Riot, Come Together as well as with Tom Ugly and Washington as part of both their East Coast tours, Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! aren’t a band to be caught sitting on their laurels, a fact proven by the release of Animal Spirit Guide, their follow up single to the triple j hit War Coward, and also from their debut album slated for release with Remote Control early next year.
Hailing from Adelaide the band, as the name suggests, are a crew of characters to say the least. Their music is a heady broth of genres all filtered through the sieve that is the bands progressive pop sensibilities. Self described as ‘post-hardcore-tech-folk’ their live shows are at times impassioned and restrained, although this if often due to Dave’s impossible injuries (he tripped over a broom?) with lead singer Caitlin’s voice possessing that rare visceral power that lends itself so well to the bands musical histrionics.
While in the middle of one of our feverish cybersex sessions we use to fill in the time we spend separated by South Eastern Australia I managed to sneak few cheeky questions over to guitarist Dave amidst sweet nothings.
Music Feeds: From War Coward to Animal Spirit Guide, there seems to be a bit of a focus on individuals of varying backgrounds in your music, why is that?
Dave: I think with us, it’s always been about pop music to some degree or another. We’re not too fussy as to what genre and we certainly have no intention of limiting ourselves in that regard. While its definitely true to say that we all, in the band, have genres and styles we tend to lean towards, if we think a fledgling song in any form has potential, then we’re all on the band wagon. War Coward was appeasing one side of ourselves, the tech element, then the folk element cried out for attention and so we went reeling back the other way in the form of Animal Spirit Guide.
MF: I know the band’s Animal Spirit Guide is the Mantaur, can you explain what that is? Also is the song about the Mantaur or is the song about another Animal Spirit Guide? If so which one?
D: The consensus in regards to the Mantaur is that its the creature with the body of a man but the head of a man, its like 3/4 man and 1/4 taur. I think Art and Sam are more intimately acquainted with the beast in question, I won’t go into what the means exactly… As to what the songs about, the band, being fond of anything deemed “epic” agreed that the idea of an Animal Spirit Guide; some creature crossing from the temporal realm to guide you in times of need, was pretty fucking awesome. Shit, I’m surprised we didn’t write a song about it sooner!!
MF: Animal Spirit Guides usually come hand in hand with a spiritual journey, is that the sort of thing the band goes in for? Could you describe what they’re like?
D: What, spiritual journeys? The only spiritual journeys I’ve ever gone on are with you Mikey, you tell ME what they’re like! In the band we’re all pretty level headed, none of us go in for anything transcendental. Keep our eye on the prize, that’s us. Maybe that’s why we’re so damn boring as people.
MF: Do you try to recreate that when playing live?
D: In the live setting I think we try to convey that we enjoy what we’re doing and if we look like we’re having fun on stage then we are. I’m always very unimpressed when I see people in bands flailing around like Omar Rodriguez-Lopez when they’re not actually getting into the music, they’re just doing it because they feel like they should be doing it, because its “cool” or something. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at Omar, the guy iss definitely feeling SOMETHING when he’s flailing about, whether or not its the music is a different story.
MF: How do you achieve such ambitious goals? Black magic, monkey sperm or a pact with Satan?
D: Well, see the thing is, monkey sperm is all well and good insofar as it will give us the raw genetic material we need to construct our Monkey Warriors but it won’t provide the souls for them that we need, in order to train them and make them love us, so they’ll do our bidding no matter what. That’s why we need Satan, cause he’s got souls aplenty. But problem with that guy is, calling him a ‘shrewd businessman’ is putting it pretty lightly. There’s something about him I don’t trust, I can never put my finger on it…
MF: You’ve been hitting Sydney up a lot recently, what brings you back?
D: From the moment we set foot into Sydney we loved it. I don’t need to tell you Adelaide isn’t exactly a thriving metropolis, not that it’s without its charms or nothing, but Sydney is such a completely different kettle of fish. The people here, almost without exception in our case, are friendly, open and pretty keen on getting on with things and having a good time. We feel like we’ve already made enough friends in the city to warrant going back even if it wasn’t for anything band related.
MF: Will you be making a Spiritual Journey back here anytime soon?
D: As soon as humanly/mantaurly possible. We suspect when the album comes out we’ll be coming down to flog our wares.
MF: How does the music in Sydney compare to Adelaide?
D: From what I’ve seen, experimentation in pop music is a lot more embraced within Sydney. I feel like bands in Adelaide, include Fire!, are still playing it a little safe, at least where pop music is concerned. It seems like Sydney folk are more than a little hungry for their artists to start ramping the creativity more, and I mean in every way. I’m not saying Adelaide doesn’t have that potential, its just a matter or working at it. There are plenty of artists in Adelaide doing an amazing job at pushing the boundaries, I just think sometimes the audiences aren’t around to appreciate them.
MF: Are there any bands from either city you’d recommend?
D: Plenty. Steering By Stars, Like Leaves, Aviator Lane, No Through Road, all amazing bands and fucking awesome dudez.
MF: When can we expect the fucking album?
D: SOON! Hopefully February/March next year!! LOVE YOU MIKEY!
For more on Fire! Santa Rosa Fire!, head over to their Myspace page. Stay tuned to Music Feeds for news on their next tour and the album release.