Friday, June 14, 2024

Interview with Borderline: FIRE

Five-piece heavy rock minstrels Borderline:FIRE are already one of Reading’s fastest growing bands. Formed in 2010, they quickly established themselves as exciting artists with a very unique sound. They combine sweltering metallic anthems with commercially viable and very catchy melodies. We spoke to then about working on their new EP – ‘This Trojan State’ and about any Chains that might connect and/or shackle them.

RAMzine: Things seem to be getting hotter & hotter for Borderline: FIRE. How are you feeling about the future?

“We are definitely very excited. We spent a lot of time getting to this point – where we are able to release material and show people what we’ve been working on – so to be a month away from getting it out to a wide audience is a great feeling.”

RAMzine: What is you main focus right now?

“Well, the release of the EP is taking up a lot of our time. But we have also written songs for our next release … already. We believe it is important to follow up the EP quickly and to maintain the flow of material. But definitely the EP is our main focus until the end of September. ” (‘This Trojan State’ is available from 23rd September).

RAMzine: What have you got in store for fans at your official ‘This Trojan State’ release party? (20th September Camden Barfly.) Do you expect it to be wild?

“We wish! We will probably all be driving and will be very busy getting everything ready and, probably, we will not have time to party. Everyone will be partying around us. We have a whole new set written with some of the new ones (from the next record) in there too … that we haven’t played to an audience yet. It should be really cool. We’ll celebrate with some cigars afterwards I’d imagine!”

RAMzine: Tell us about making your EP … How 1093753_580325855339636_765043191_olong has it taken to write and record?

“It’s been a long process. From writing to recording to then getting the tracks released … its been the best part of 2 years. From the beginning we wanted to make sure that the material and the quality of the recording and the release was at the highest level we could get. We spent about 6 months writing the songs, somewhere between 6 and 9 months recording them, and we have then spent another 9 months making videos, getting artwork made and just promoting it as much as possible. A lot of it was due to us trying to raise funds to finance the project – and the other part was that we all [wanted to make sure] that the quality of everything we have done is at the highest level possible.”

RAMzine: Which song’s are you most pleased with?

“I believe that each of us would probably say a different one, because we are very satisfied with the whole thing. I think ‘Trojan’ (in an odd way) might be my personal favourite (says drummer Chaz), as we had no idea what the outcome would be when we went into the studio. The drums for example, were one of the last things to be added, which was a complete reversal of all the other recordings. The favourite overall, in terms of a song for the band, is probably ‘Brainwash’.”

RAMzine: Where does the title ‘This Trojan State’ originate?

“It followed a discussion before we’d gone into the recording studio and were running through ideas or the concept for the E.P. The idea behind the word ‘Trojan’ was deception and trickery which we felt was happening in society as a whole, with the The Trojan Horse being an example of the ultimate trick. The word “State” we felt could be perceived as a state of mind, or an untidy mess, or even an establishment. We liked how this word left this quite open for interpretation.”

RAMzine: You worked with producer Sam Burden at Empire Studios (Guildford) on the recording – how did Sam approach the project?

“Sam is an ultimate professional. He approached in the same way that he would for any recording project that he does, and [we] could tell instantly that he was very good at listening to the ideas we wanted bought across in the recording. In terms of the production, we would give him an idea of what we wanted, and he would take this idea to another level and put something much better on it instead. He just seemed to have a knack of knowing exactly what each track needed, and never went overboard. To work with someone with his experience and knowledge of our genre was an exceptional opportunity for us. The phrase “bee’s knees” is thrown about a lot these days, but Sam is really every inch of the knee of a bee.”

RAMzine: It’s been a while now since ‘I Wanna Go’ – in what ways has the band grown and developed since making this single?

“The experience of the recording session from ‘I Wanna Go’ definitely proved to us that we were more than capable of creating music which, we think is great. It gave us more confidence when writing, and it was probably the first song of that level that we wrote. It meant that we could draw comparison when writing other music and has definitely just continued to help us to get better at this. Since then we’ve played bigger gigs, invested in new equipment, and just upped our game completely. The music has got heavier and more mature in a way. We think that our live show has now got more energy and is a lot tighter than it was before too.”

RAMzine: What chains (if any) do you think restrict the movement / progress of Borderline:FIRE?

“I think money is the obvious answer for any unsigned band. People on the outside don’t realise how expensive it is to go into a professional studio, hire a top level video director, produce CD’s and merchandise, or even just [cover] the cost of getting to a gig. Although we make money back … it’s a continuous re-investment. We read the other day that it costs an average band £17,000 before they start breaking even, we must be pretty close to that figure now.”

RAMzine: How would you advise people to get rid of any ‘chains’ that are preventing them from doing what they need to do?

“It’s really cheesy but… believe in what you’re doing and what you’re working for. Cliché’s like that are Cliché’s for a reason: You don’t win any prizes without taking risk. To quote Tintin :

“If you hit a wall, you just push through it”.”

RAMzine: How difficult is it for you to write music that is commercial and catchy?

“This is a difficult question to answer. Of course, we work very hard to create music that we like, but in terms of making it attractive or commercial … this seems to happen in a natural way. We’ve never really had a sound [that] we were aiming for … or ever made a notable target for how we wanted a song to sound … it’s always been based on how we feel when writing.”

RAMzine: How much of burden is it for the band to continue to come up with new ideas that are ‘marketable’?

“For every band its hard to write a lot of material that works, that’s why there is the second album syndrome . We have a belief that if we stick to writing music that we like, this will be marketable as we do not see any reason why anyone [else] would not like it. Honestly, as of yet, we have not found it to be too much of a burden.”

RAMzine: Thanks Borderline:FIRE and good luck with your EP launch and the amazing new Chains Music Video

Borderline fire

Neil Mach
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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