We are so excited to finally relaese this Q&A. We interviewed I The Fire a while ago but we wanted to coincide with the album release for ‘Disable The Ego.’ Well the time has come so join us as we hang with Joe and the amazing band from NY, I The Fire!
@skopemag: Where are we talking from and do you think winter will ever quit?
We’re talking from NY and technically its spring now….but not really cause there’s snow in the forecast this week. I don’t really mind winter, I’m a fan of the significant changes with the seasons cause not everyone in the country gets to experience that the way we do here.
@skopemag: It feels like everyone was @ SXSW this year, did you all attend?
We did not attend SXSW this year. Yea, seems like it was the place to be so maybe next year!
@skopemag: How did the 5 of you link and were you friends besides the music?
I’ve known Bobby our bass player the longest. Music is what connected us first and we’ve been playing in and out of bands together since childhood. I linked with JJ (guitar) somewhere in the early 2000’s when joining a band he was in and we’ve been playing and producing music together ever since. Mikey our lead guitarist has been friends with Bobby for a bit so when we were auditioning players to help track during the recording we knew who to call. And JJ and I met our drummer Randy when searching for a mix engineer to polish the record up. A mutual friend introduced us and we ended up becoming great friends. Eventually Randy hopped in on drums, it just happened naturally. We all get along and hang out outside of the band too so it never really seems like work, always a great time!
@skopemag: What does the band name – I The Fire – mean and how did you come up with it?
The name I The Fire means recognizing your inner ability to achieve anything you want in life, and that it’s your responsibility to ignite that fire and keep it burning. You can’t let anyone or anything deter you. I think that most people give up so easy and accept their current situations as their fate in that “nothing ever works out in my favor” or that they always “get the shit end of the stick” cause thats “just their luck.” It’s so easy to be stifled by negativity that we get blinded by it and box ourselves in to our own little somber worlds. Then this allows the negativity to fester and snowball which will naturally cause deeper self doubt and depression. So our music is meant to be uplifting in sense where we want it to empower listeners to say hey, Fuck you! If your gonna try to bring me down step aside or you’ll get mowed down. And then set them on a path to seeing that they posses the power to be great and nobody holds that over them.
@skopemag: How long did it take to create the niche sound for I The Fire?
That’s a good question in that we never really set out for a specific niche sound other than the fact that we knew we wanted it to be a bit aggressive and forthcoming…and hard rock of course.
As the infamous Johnny Cash says, “if you aren’t gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all.” That’s the route we took with ‘Disable the Ego’, we didn’t want to hold anything back.The songs we’re all written during a period of time where I was very angry with my decisions in life and needed to make some changes – I never intended to write with any specific sound in mind, this is just the way it came out which was the result of what I was going through emotionally. I always admire people who can sit down and say, I’m gonna write a song today, and it’s gonna sound exactly like this….. i have friends like that and I can’t do that. What comes out is what I get and I never know when it’s gonna happen really either.
@skopemag: I love the video for – ‘Stomp You Out’. Why did you choose that single and who came up with the visual for the videos?
Thank you! We chose this song as our 2nd single because a lot of the early feedback we got during mixing was that everyone really dug it and thought we should release it early in the life of the record. So we did. It’s actually influenced by the NY football giants as well as MMA/UFC. We couldn’t use NFL footage for the video because of licensing issues so we went the MMA route. Our lead guitarist Mikey (who’s featured in the video as the underdog fighter) is actually professionally trained in MMA so we got the idea to feature him in the B role since it was a natural fit. It also worked out pretty well because he was delayed getting to NY for the filming of the filming of the band performance and missed that. So he ended up with the lead acting role instead. Not too shabby right? He’s now ready for Hollywood, haha!
@skopemag: Your album, ‘Disable The Ego’ is out now. How long were you working on that album and what studio did you use?
Yes, ‘Disable The Ego’ is out now and available on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon and also our website www.ithefire.com/shop.
So we started working on the album in 2015. All of the tracking was done in my home studio and I was originally gonna mix it. I thought better of that because I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, to a fault. Funny side note: I have another record of material I never released that my friends joke about and call “Chinese Joemocracy” to play off of how long it took Axl Rose to release the last GnR record. That may see the light of day sometime haha.
So after deciding to look for an engineer for ‘Disable The Ego’ we found a studio out of town thinking we’d get a fresh perspective on the mixes but it didn’t quite work out the way because the engineer just didn’t get what we were going for. It was several months of going back and forth and we weren’t making progress. It was a painful process so I started dabbling with the mixing again. It quickly got to the point of me getting so frustrated I almost thought to scrap it all and start writing all over again with someone else producing. At the time I got an offer to go work on some music for a TV show with some good friends out in LA which turned out to be a godsend because I was able to step away from the album for a long while. Months later I came back with a fresh perspective and we hired Randy to “Randalize” it as we say now. He operates his own studio called Pasquarella Recordings (https://www.pasquarellarecordings.com) and his specialty is heavy, so when he touched it, it FINALLY started coming to life. We couldn’t be happier with the final product!
@skopemag: How does it feel when you get a good review or a nice note from a fan?
It’s the reason we still go out and perform this shit so it’s so rewarding. And we just started so we’re hoping to connect with a lot of people this year! On the flip side, although it hurts, it’s also good to hear the not so nice notes too because it really allows you to take the pulse of listeners/reviewerrs to see what is putting them off to. We have gotten a little slack about the profanity but that’s ok. This stuff is not for everyone.
@skopemag: Where would you see the band in 2 years and what is the plan to get there?
We are going to be a household name in hard rock! We are not going to stop until we get there. The plan is to write, record, perform and repeat.
@skopemag: What is coming up for I The Fire and where you @ online?
This summer we are going to be playing some regional tour dates and a few scattered national runs. You can find our tour dates and everything else I The Fire at www.ithefire.com. We are also on ALL social media platforms. If searching look for @ithefire or @ithefireband.