LETTERS FROM THE FIRE...... "COOL FOR THE SUMMER" BUT ON FIRE WITH DEBUT ALBUM WORTH THE PAIN AND NEW SINGLE AT WAR
BY: Stephanie Stevens
LETTERS FROM THE FIRE have had their ups n downs through the bands inception but once they found the shining light in vocalist Alexa Kabazie the band was rejuvenated and ready to bring the rock world to their knees. With the band’s debut album WORTH THE PAIN, I think they have made a pretty damn good dent in the world of rock and from the likes of the super tours and constant touring and singles flying through the radio and video community these guys have a bright, bright future.
The band formed in the Bay area consisting of Cameron Stucky (lead guitar), Clayton Wages (bass), Mike Keller (rhythm guitar) and Brian Sumwalt (drums) along with the ambitious and beautiful Alexa. The band have had worthy singles likes GIVE IN TO ME,WORTH THE PAIN and just released their newest single and video of AT WAR. But the album WORTH THE PAIN isn’t just a few songs that are worthy the whole album from start to finish bring out melody, edgier and heavier parts and lots and lots of power. With almost a year under the albums belt I am ready and I am sure the fans of this band are ready for new stuff. So I caught up with founder/guitar player Mike Keller to ask him about the sophomore disc, the new cover song they did and how the summer tour with Seether has been.
FOR YOU PERSONALLY WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START DOING MUSIC AND WHY THE GUITAR?
When I was 16, I saw my first concert. METALLICAAAA. As soon as Kirk came out and raised his guitar, I saw 25,000 people lose their minds. I remember looking at my dad and saying "I want to do that."
IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE BAND YOU WERE A ALL MALE BAND NOW YOU HAVE A FEMALE VOACLIST HOW HAS THAT ENHANCED YOUR SONGWRITING AND ELEMENTS YOU CAN DO MORE WITH A FEMALE VOICE?
Having a female vocalist doesn't necessarily "enhance" the bands ability to write. What enhanced the band in general was her overall talent in singing and writing. We were able to focus our sound a lot more and have a message.
THE VISION YOU HAD TO MOVE FORWARD AND RE INTRODUCE THE BAND TO THE ROCK WORLD WAS IT HARD TO REGAIN ASSURANCE AND CONFIDENCE TO START OVER?
Not really, this was version 4.0 of the band. We had already started over several times before Alexa joined the band. We were very confident in the album we made.
NOW THAT WORTH THE PAIN HAS BEEN OUT FOR A BIT NOW AND YOUHAVE TOURED AND SEEN FANS WITH STORIES OF HOW THE SONGS ON THIS ALBUM HAS AFFECTED THEM DO YOU HAVE A DIFFERNET PERSPECTIVE ON THE SONGS THAT YOU CRAFTED?
I would say that our music is always our music. But the fact that fans have been able to create their own meaning for many of these songs means we did our job. You want to be able to write music that helps others express themselves the way they feel.
MY FAVORITES ARE BRUISE AND MY ANGEL IN A BRIEF SUMMARY IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT DO THOSE SONGS MEAN TO YOU AND DO YOUHAVE A GO TO FAV TO LISTEN TO AND PLAY LIVE?
MY ANGEL is the first song Alexa auditioned on. How you hear it is pretty much the first thing she sent back vocally. So, it really represents the start of something new, aka LFTF 4.0 haha. BRUISED is a universal song that I believe so many can relate to. We for some reason are okay to take abuse for love. We are all already bruised whether it's because of a past relationship or the ones we are in.
AT WAR IS THE NEW SINGLE VIDEO….LOVE THE CONCEPT OF THE VIDEO DID YOU GUYS HAVE INPUT ON THE CREATIVE VISUAL AND DO YOU FEEL VIDEO IS A BIG THINGS FOR BANDS THESE DAYS
Thank you! We have had Jacob Voelske do all of our videos so far. So, we had a bigger budget for AT WAR and told him to have fun with it. I think he did a great job. Videos are big for a band initially and if, and only if, they push the boundaries visually as they progress. You can only watch so many performance videos. We plan to push the envelope on the next record music videos.
YOU JUST RELEASED A COVER OF COOL FOR THE SUMMER WAS THAT FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL AND WHY DID YOU PICK THAT SONG?
Honestly it was just a quick thing we did in an hour for fun. We ended up sending it to our radio guy and he started freaking out. We probably picked up because Demi fans have been coming out calling Alexa a darker Demi Lovato.
HAVE YOUGUYS WORKED ON NEW MUSIC AND IF SO WILL THERE BE A NEW RECORD COMING SOON?
We have started writing a bit. We are trying to figure out where we want to take the music. I believe we will start recording this winter.
WILL YOU BE WORKING WITH THE SAME PRODUCER?
Not sure yet, we will certainly be writing with him.
WILL YOU BE EXPERIEMENTING MORE IN A HEAVY ATMOSPHERE OR ANYTHING VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE SOUN ON WORTH THE PAIN?
That’s what we are trying to figure out. People love the heavy...but they also love he melodic. This will be our sophomore album....so the pressure is on! Haha
YOUR STILL GOING STRONG TOURING THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER DOING SOME OFF DATES AND THE SEETHER TOUR. HOW HAS IT BEEN OUT WITH SEETHER AND WHAT MOST INFLUENTIAL LESSON HAVE YOU LEARNT TOURING WITH THAT BAND?
The biggest lesson we have learned is about respect. Seether and their crew have been nothing but amazing to us. They don't treat us like an opener but friends. We hope to have the opportunity to extend that same courtesy to younger bands as we grow.
WE ALL HEARD OF THE PASSING OF CHESTER OF LINKIN PARK HOW DID THAT AFFECT THE BAND AND YOU ON A EMOTIONAL LEVEL?
It was definitely a shock. But I don't think anyone was emotionally destroyed by it. Unfortunately, people die every day. All human life is precious...famous or not. So, to hold one man’s life in a higher regard when there is so much suffering going on in the world is something we don't really do. But our hearts go out to the Bennington family as well as his fans and friends around the world who truly are hurting.