Interview with The Safety Fire

This month The Safety Fire will be touring North America with Between The Buried And Me, The Faceless and The Contortionist.

The London UK based band first made a name for themselves with the release of their potent and well-received EP “Sections” in 2009. Their reputation as a powerfully energetic live band quickly followed. With their expansive atmospheres and soaring melodies, it’s easy to see why the band, consisting of singer Sean McWeeney, bassist Lori Peri, drummer Calvin Smith, and guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles are now at the forefront of the ever-growing genre of Progressive Metal.

RAMzine managed to catch up with ‘The Safety Fire’, before leaving for their U.S. tour, to chat to them about ‘Mouth Of Swords’ (out 2nd September) and their exciting year ahead.

RAMzine: ‘Mouth of Swords’ is out in less than two weeks – how does it compare with ‘Grind the Ocean’?

“It is 100% (if not 110%) better than ‘Grind the Ocean’.”

” ‘Mouth of Swords’ was written in a short space of time and feels a lot more cohesive than ‘GTO’ – which was written over three years – pretty much – as we were all still at Uni. We hate to say the same things as all the other bands say that when he asked this question, but it is more mature, it is more natural, not only in the way the songs are put together, but also in the way it sounds. Touring ‘GTO’ so extensively made everyone better. More specifically, the voice of Sean really stands out on this record.”

“If you listen hard enough, you can really hear how much our haircuts and our vests really give the album ‘tone’.”

RAMzine: You’re famous for putting on an exuberant live show. How difficult do you find it to replicate studio sounds for a live audience – or vice versa?

“Not difficult at all in terms of replicating the studio sounds: Without boring you to death with a run down of our live set-up, we have a backing track that plays any kind of synth sounds that are on the record, and a few harmonies that Sean does, everything else we play ourselves. We try and replicate the songs as close as possible to the recorded versions, and we thought about this much more when we were writing ‘Mouth of Swords’… these new songs are going to be very fun to play live.”

“The hard part is throwing yourself around the stage and playing cleanly. That takes true talent, of which we have in abundance.”

RAMzine: Which song from ‘Mouth of Swords’ will get the most enthusiastic reaction from the audience?

“It’s hard to say, but we think “Red Hatchet” will go down well as it was the first new song we released … and people really dug our clothing in that video … so the song would surely have stuck in their heads. One of our favourites is “The Ghosts That Wait for Spring”. We’re hoping that the intro riff will get people all buzzed up and aggro. And then we see some blood. Or tits.”

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RAMzine: You are touring the album in September- Where will you find your most enthusiastic audiences?

“We’re very much looking forward to the tour. Its hard to say really [where our most enthusiastic audiences will be] – because everywhere has it’s charm. We always look forward to playing London, the home-town show, our whole family comes down and they look real confused but full of pride. Confused pride.”

“The US shows will all be great, they like to have a good time out there. We are especially looking forward to New York as we get to see our good friend Reggy (BIGUP YOSELF REGGY) who loves to get sweaty in the crowd at our shows. That guy knows how to get a group of people all riled up.”

“If we remember correctly (and we probably haven’t) last time we were in the states, Houston went particularly mental. Sean’s mic broke so he was screaming everything directly into the crowd and they helped him out by throwing down, hard. Pretty sure that was Houston. We were all delirious from lack of sleep and food… so it could’ve been somewhere else. But we’re sticking with Houston.”

RAMzine: How about the Progressive Nation sea cruise?

“What excites us about that event is that the Hawaiian shirts that we invested in last time we toured the States … they will finally come in handy. Seriously though, everything excites us about it, not only are we playing with some amazing bands, but we get to go cruisin’ to the Bahamas. The ship is pimped out to it’s eyeballs, it will be the middle of a freezing cold winter here in the UK, but we get to work on our sweet tans and use the hippo slide (I’m not sure what that is – but it’s on there) until we all throw up with happiness.”

“The cruise is February 18-22nd, from Miami to the Bahamas and back. The line-up is incredible, we get to play with ‘Devin Townsend’, ‘Animals as Leaders’, ‘The Dear Hunter’ and many more. We are all incredibly happy to be part of the cruise. Cruisin’.”

For more info: www.progressivenationatsea.com

RAMzine: What do you expect from your US/Canada tour?

“Last time we were there we were met with a very warm reception from the ‘Protest the Hero’ fans, and we had a great time with all the bands. This time we already know the guys in BTBAM – after touring with them in Europe earlier in the year – so it will be really nice to see them all again and get to watch them play the new record back to front every night!”

“We expect it will be: Endless roads, lots of coffee, the smell of feet, some really good/incredibly bad food, countless gas stations, deserts, frozen lakes and glory.”

“We hope for: More cruises. More glory.”

RAMzine: We appreciated your existential Jean-Paul Sartre quote in your track ‘Red Hatchet’ track from ‘Mouth Of Swords’ – but isn’t ‘Red Hatchet’ quite a hopeful song? Is it not an invitation to collaborate and believe (in one another) ?

“We asked lyricist Sean about this – and this is what he had to say”:

“Sartre was saying that we don’t need to confine ourselves to rules imposed by others. The video of Kai the hitch-hiker really resonates with that, which is what most of the lyrics are based on. The happiest moments of my life have been hitch-hiking, with no money, no idea where I’m going, singing a song by the side of the road as a breeze gently caresses my bare balls. That’s freedom brother! Perhaps a freedom that Sartre wrote about but probably didn’t actually live. Kai lives that. Its a life that trusts in the good and selfless acts that complete strangers will do for you, like giving you a lift, or a blow-job.”

RAMzine: Do you ever feel dammed by freedom?

“We hope one day to visit the Hoover Dam and take a few pictures. Is that what you mean?”

RAMzine: Do you still consider yourself to be a 100% self-made band?

“This question implies that somehow our reputation as a 100% self-made band is under discussion. Nothing has changed. It’s the same line-up since we started, and we all broke our balls to get to where we are.”

“Point us to the jive turkeys talking that smack about us and we’ll go sick-head on them.”

RAMzine: Have you crafted a ‘Mouth Of Swords’ ceiling mobile (as merchandise) for fans to go out and buy?

“This idea is now officially protected by copyright … and you will not receive any royalties from it.”

Thanks The Safety Fire!

Please enjoy a full stream of The Safety Fires new album ‘Mouth of Swords’ below:

About Neil Mach

RAMzine Senior Writer - With a career spanning 30 years author / journalist Neil Mach is an expert on the music business and is a reliable guide. He especially loves heavy metal, prog & blues.

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