INTERVIEW: OUR CITY FIRES
Forming in 2018 and cultivating a lust for all the facets of the rock world, Leicester lads Our City Fires have relentlessly worked to stomp out their own brand of alternative rock in a very short space of time. And 2020 finds the next sturdy phase for the quintet with a brand new EP Foundations due out this Friday February 28.
Drawing on influences from the likes of You Me at Six, Foo Fighters, Incubus and Paramore, Our City Fires weld ballads with emotive anthems, melodics with churning riffs – plus a heaping serve of emotive flair that is equal parts relatable and catchy, and growing with each release.
With each member honing in on their sonic identity for this upcoming release, Our City Fires are poised to showcase their progression alongside their relatable rock and roll, and before the EP drops this week The Soundcheck grabbed some time with the band to chat writing, influences and a way we may be able to tempt them over to Australia in the not-so-distant future. Interview below.
TIANA: Hi and thank you so much for chatting today! It’s looking like a pretty killer 2020 for Our City Fires with a new song release and the news of your new EP as well – and we’re only in February! Obviously the news of ‘Foundations’ due out in a few weeks is equally exciting for you as it is for your fans…how does it feel to be so close to release now?
OUR CITY FIRES: To be so close to the release now, just feels amazing. We spent a year writing this record and then have spent the last 3 months waiting to release it. We’re at the point we’re we can’t wait to get it out.
TIANA: Your debut self-titled EP whipped up a heap of attention for you guys back in 2018, and you’ve had a few singles drop along the way as well, including ‘Runaways’ most recently. Are these new songs pretty good indicators of what’s to come with ‘Foundations’? I read in your press release that you guys changed your writing technique this time round, what prompted that change?
OUR CITY FIRES: I think our writing technique changed with us growing as a band, and trying to find a method that really works for us. We’ve finally found it and couldn’t be happier with how the EP sounds
TIANA: And ‘Foundations’ saw you guys team up with Matt O’Grady again – an undeniable legend with an artist rapsheet to die for!! – how did you come to work with him on your debut EP, and what was it like working with him this second-time round?
OUR CITY FIRES: Matty is just a dream to work with, he knows our sound really well and we feel super comfortable working with him. We recorded our first EP with Matty and keep in contact during our writing. At this point, we’re just really good mates, and would be crazy to go anywhere else.
TIANA: There’s a lot of emotion amongst the catchy melodics and riffs on a lot of your tunes that are already out in the world...what inspires you all as a group from a creative perspective, are you heavily driven by autobiographical happenings?
OUR CITY FIRES: We like to put a lot of ourselves into our songs – it just means when we play them live, we feel more connected to them. We wouldn’t say every song lyrically is written from our perspective, but we want to write songs that people can relate too.
RUNAWAYS (OUR CITY FIRES)
TIANA: While you guys are technically a “new-ish” band, you’ve been hustling and touring and recording relentlessly it seems since you first kicked off as a group…can you talk me through a bit how the band came to be?
OUR CITY FIRES: A few of the members were in previous touring bands and when they broke up, we all ended up coming together to form OCF.
TIANA: : And for yourself, as someone now ingrained into this alternative rock world, what music did you grow up listening to and loving? Was it always stuff of this rock-ish persuasion? And was there a particular artist or album that really heavily inspired you to pursue music professionally?
OUR CITY FIRES: That question would really depend on which member you ask. I think most of us come from an alternative rock background, but could pull influences from anywhere. If you’re asking me the question, vocally, I’m pulling influences from Incubus, Karnivool, YouMeAtSix. I think most of us just got into music to get girls at the time. But then found music is far more important. Personally, I listen to a lot of Karnivool or Dead Letter Circus at the minute. I’m on a prog metal vibe. You could just as easily open my car door and find Elton John blasting out.
TIANA: Our City Fires have previously performed headline and some awesome support shows in a short space of time…is the plan to get more touring under your belts after this next release? And given that I’m in Australia I, of course, have to ask if you have any plans to ever head on the extremely long plane ride to come tour here eventually?
OUR CITY FIRES:Funny you should say that, as we do have a good and growing fan base in Australia already, and would love to get over there in the future. Obviously this is something that we’re working towards and if things keep going how they are, it might become possible. If anyone wants to put us up in Australia, we’ll take you up on the offer!
pic by Ashley Reading
TIANA: To slowly wrap things up, let’s jump over into a cliched “desert island” question for a moment here…if Our City Fires were stranded on a desert island with only one other band for company – who would you want with you, and why?
OUR CITY FIRES: Motley Crew – if we’re going out, we’re going out drinking.
TIANA: And finally, in honour of your upcoming EP Foundations– from your experience over the past few years with Our City Fires, what are some of the key foundations you need to survive and thrive in the modern music industry? Any tips you’ve picked up along the way?
OUR CITY FIRES: In our limited experience, we think you need patience, stamina, Rennie’s, paracetamol, ear plugs and lots and lots of changes of clothes.
THE BRAND NEW EP FOUNDATIONS FROM OUR CITY FIRES IS DUE OUT THIS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28. FOR MORE INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER