Firekind a Rock trio from Devon ….. who have recently released What I Have Found Is Already Lost’ They travelled to Los Angeles to record their brand of rock Stateside. Get to know the band of brothers Jas and Dan Morris and Robin Shute (drums) and then buy the album!
Before we talk about the album, for many you will be a ‘new band’ this is an opportunity to introduce yourselves a three-piece band from Devon to Bluesdoodles readers.
Dan: We have Robin on drums, myself on bass/harmony vocals and Jas on guitar and main singing duties. Jas and I are brothers and we’ve been playing in a band together since we were teenagers, initially slogging the pub circuit and playing many local festivals down here in Devon. We’re from the same area as Kris Barras who’s a good mate of ours and our manager – Jas and Kris were in competition, but friendly, as the same age growing up, which was fun when we were playing pubs across the street from each other!
Photo Credit Rob Blackman
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up in South Devon?
Robin: I love Biffy Clyro, NoFx, limp bizkit, The Kinks, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin.
Dan: My main influence has to be my old man, I snuck into some venues to see him live and just knew this was something I wanted to do as well. One of the first bass lines I learnt was ‘Rebel Rebel’ by Bowie, I remember having such a feeling of accomplishment after learning it!
‘What I Have Found Is Already Lost’, will be for many the first time lovers of rock have listened to your brand of rock. How do you describe your approach to rock and where do you feel you fit in this wide genre of guitar led music?
Jas: From a guitarists perspective, I think it can be very easy to fall into the habit of playing the same type of licks, riffs and chords on the guitar. I have always tried to steer away from that and focus on the melody, songwriting and vibe of a track and then see what the guitar can bring to the song. So whenever I am writing guitar tracks, I always try to analyse whether what I am doing is actually improving the song or if it is just there for the sake of it. Whether or not I have succeeded in this approach is another question!
How did you decide on the intriguing album title, it feels as if there is a story to be told!
Jas: It is essentially revisiting the concept of “you don’t what you got till it’s gone” which is a trap I think many of us can easily fall into. We can all get caught up living in the future and then suddenly, boom, something devastating happens and you kinda find out that life was pretty great before but you missed it because you were too busy wishing life away.
The album has fourteen-tracks (including bonuses and acoustic versions), are all the songs penned by the band? And how did you select them to be part of your latest studio album?
Jas: All the tracks are original Firekind and in the run-up to going into the studio, I think we whittled down the finished article from a pool of about 30 or so songs. I think it’s important to keep writing on a regular basis as when you start to try and control songwriting into what you ‘want’ to write, I feel you never really get the best results. So the selection process was basically selecting all the best songs that when put together, made a coherent sounding album as a whole.
Many of the songs have an autobiographical texture. Are these the collective experiences of the band, or reflecting a band member’s particular experience?
Jas: I’m afraid they are all from my experiences or ideas 😂 . Most of the lyrics have wider concepts but 3 or 4 of them focus a little more closely on specific events, like the death of my father, the breakdown of a long term relationship and most recently, my experience going through the first lockdown and spending a large chunk of time completely alone.
Why did you choose Adrenalin as the single to showcase the album before its release?
Jas: We all felt it that it hits the ground running, is high energy and is quite representative of how we are at live shows.
Do you have a favourite track?
Dan: As much as I love all the full band tracks on the album one of my favourites has to be ‘Have I Been Living’, it truly reflects the emotion felt for me around the whole situation going on right now; and I know in many years to come I will look back upon hearing this track and reflect on how tough it was for us all. I think it’ll make me realise how we can take a lot of things for granted.
Robin: My fave tracks on the album are ‘Cry For Help’, ‘Sound of Rain’ and ‘Defend’. Maybe you’ll see a video of one of those next year.
Where was the album recorded? Prior to being produced in Los Angeles, why did you decide on going Stateside for the production of the album?
Jas: We recorded it all in Alain Johannes home studio in West Hollywood (bar the last three acoustic tracks recorded in the UK at our home studio). It wasn’t a case of wanting to record in Hollywood and then looking for a producer but of having an opportunity to work with Alain Johannes come up that we simply couldn’t refuse. We all love his sound and it seemed like the perfect match.
Prior to the album, you have toured with a wide number of varied acts including Feeder, Ocean Colour Scene, Reef, and Walter Trout, following winning the Global Battle of the Bands in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2013. Tell us about what these experiences have bought to your music and stage show?
Jas: I think getting support shows is such an amazing way to see how bands (which are in general much more successful than you) put on a pro show. It’s a great way to learn and improve. Also, it teaches you to adapt and work with what you are given, which again forces you to improve and become a better band.
As, COVID-19 has kept us all close to home for the majority of 2020, plans now swept under the carpet never to be made into memories. How have you kept yourselves busy and in-tune musically during the various levels of lockdowns and constraints? Following on from that what plans have you got for post-pandemic (sooner rather than later we all hope)?Jas: As we were so busy gigging prior to lock down it can sometimes be difficult to just sit down and write, so this has given us some opportunity to focus deeper into the writing process. Having this time to pause is also giving us some time to plan so that we can hit the ground running full steam when we are able to get out touring again.
Lastly, what music has been keeping you sane throughout 2020?
Dan: I’m a big fan of the Foo Fighters so have been listening to a lot of their music. On the other side of the spectrum, epic scores by Hanz Zimmer. One of my favourites is ‘Now We Are Free’ as ironic as it is in these times! I love sitting down with a decent pair of headphones, shutting your eyes and being immersed when I can’t play live.
Robin: My weekly Spotify playlists are tailored to similar stuff to in my Spotify library, my likes, and the new Biffy Clyro album.