Interview: Day of Fire — "The best lyrics are the lyrics that you're almost afraid to let anybody hear."
Sat, 20 Mar 2010 17:27:04
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Day of Fire have tapped into something quite classic on their latest album, Losing All. There's a raw and real energy at the heart of the record that summons the spirit of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, while lighting a fresh pyre for the genre. "Dark Hills" bleeds with an epic melodic sensibility and elegiac lyrics, while "Landslide" pulsates with pummeling grooves and riffs. There's reverence for the genre's legends, but there's a whole new Fire burning on Losing All, and that's precisely why it's is the ultimate 21st century hard rock record.
"It's the first record that I've ever done that I actually like listening to," laughs vocalist Josh Brown.
The rest of the world is most likely going to love it as well….
Day of Fire singer Josh Brown sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for this exclusive interview about Losing All, why Quentin Tarantino may want to direct the flick, telling stories in songs and so much more…
Where do things typically start for Day of Fire?
For me, melody and lyrics write each other. One thing that makes this album the best Day of Fire album to date is we all brought songs to the table. I write the bulk of the lyrics, but there are lyrics written by every member of the band and that's what makes the record great. We all trust each other as songwriters, and we work off each other very well. Losing All is telling a story of heartbreak and getting through it.
Are all of the songs connected?
Definitely! I grew up on Pink Floyd—not that I would ever compare my record to a Pink Floyd record, because they're too awesome [Laughs]. However, when you listen to Animals or Wish You Were Here, all of the songs are connected by a story. That's how this record is. It takes you on a journey. Lyrically, I try to always take the listener back to a place and a time that you can visualize. I see things in pictures. I love that part of it.
If Losing All were a movie what would it be?
It would be a movie about heartbreak, drug addiction and redemption. My favorite writer and director is Quentin Tarantino. I hope, one day, we could compare our music to a Tarantino movie [Laughs]. Lyrically, I feel like rock 'n' roll has to be dirty and gritty. It's got to be genuine. When I listen to rock music, a lot of it feels disingenuous. I sing about drug addiction, heartache, hope and all of these things because I've experienced them. We try to bring that out in the music with some reality—some genuine feelings.
"Airplane" stands out. What's the story behind that song?
It's written about me and my wife. During the writing of the record, we'd been married for eight years and we were separated for a year there. We almost got a divorce. For me, that song is one of the most truthful songs on the record. It's about wishing you could go back and change things—even if you couldn't change them, you would go back and do it all over again. Dean Deleo from Stone Temple Pilots listened to it and thought it was awesome, so that's good enough for me. My favorite records are from Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. We definitely aren't to that level yet, but that's who we strive to be like.
What's "The Dark Hills" about?
It's about being at the bottom, and when all hope is gone, hope finds you. We desire to show that light at the end of the tunnel on all of our records. We all have faith. We're believers. Growing up, music was my religion. I listened to Alice in Chains, Nirvana and all of those bands. I identified with those bands because they sang about what I was going through, but there was never any hope there. If one of those guys, after they OD'ed, would've come back and said, "Guess what? I found another way…there's hope. There's light at the end of the tunnel." I would've followed that light. That's what we try to show with our music—just like a Johnny Cash record. There are always songs about murder, cocaine and Jesus. For me, a great record is going to have all of those elements because this is the real world. We all go through things and we all need hope.
Music's the best way to show that.
No doubt! Rock 'n' roll music is a place where all kinds of people can get together, shake off their problems and let loose. It's like that U2 song "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"—we all need a place where we can just shake it off. That's what it's about for us. When we play a live show, we're able to connect with people we'd never have a chance to connect with otherwise. Music is like a common denominator. When I sing about what I'm going through and someone connects with that, it means we're not alone in this world. That's what's awesome about it. It's therapy.
The lyrics definitely feel that way.
The best lyrics are the lyrics that you're almost afraid to let anybody hear. If you can let that out on an album, then you've got something. That's how this record is for us. Before a grain of wheat can become a plant, it's got to die. It's a process man. The record's about rebirth. It's the dying process and rebirth in the end.
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