Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, FIRES. is a powerful alternative rock meets melodic metal duo. Known for energetic tunes with touching lyrics, Michael and Aleckssy are a boundary-breaking force of nature. We speak with the lads about their debut EP Close Eyes, Deep Breath, Run, musical inspirations and future plans.
How did FIRES. come together and how did you choose your band name?
Michael: Alecksyy and I have known each other for years, we were in a band together before. When that band ended, there was no one else I wanted to write songs with so we just started writing as many songs as we could. Three years later, here we are!
We’d been talking about potential names for a long time and we both had lists that we were sending back and forth, but nothing ever really hit us as the name. I think we just took a step back one day and realised that fire was a running theme in everything and suddenly FIRES. just clicked!
What can you tell us about your debut EP Close Eyes, Deep Breath, Run?
Michael: We’ve been working on this for a long time, almost four years at this stage. We wrote a lot of songs to get to the six that we released here. It took us time to really figure out what we wanted this to sound like, how we wanted to present them. These songs are a really good snapshot of where we’ve been over the last few years, both musically and personally and we’re really proud of them.
Alecksyy: We definitely wanted to avoid the typical “first band release” in terms of style and production. We spent so much time making sure everything was as perfect as can be from our end and also picking the best people who can help bring our production to life.
What inspired the EP?
Michael: From a musical standpoint, we have always been pretty mixed in what we both listen to and what we both bring to the table. Bands like Rise Against and Fightstar have always been really important to me, but melodically I’ve always been really drawn to singers like Brendon Urie, Lynn Gunn and Myles Kennedy just in terms of what they do with melodies and line structures. Alecksyy really pushed me melodically on these songs to be more and more interesting.
Lyrically, each song has its own meaning. I think they’re bound together by the fact that they’re all unmistakably us, our personalities and fingerprints are everywhere.
Alecksyy: As Michael pointed out, there are only a handful of bands that interconnect our musical Venn diagrams so to speak. I listen to a lot of pop music and grime outside of FIRES. and I really tried to push Michael to come up with different types of hooks to make sure that some of our melodies live in the listeners’ heads rent-free.
If you could change anything about the EP what would it be?
Michael: How long it took us to finish it! I’d also really like to not have had to release it mid-pandemic, but I’m so happy with the reception we’ve been getting. It really means the world to me that people are connecting to these songs.
People always ask about favourite tracks, but what is your least favourite track on Close Eyes, Deep Breath, Run?
Michael: I actually don’t know how to answer this – I love all my children. I think the song that I have the most complicated relationship with was ‘Dream’. Our original demos of that song never hit right for me and I could never quite put my finger on why. Then we decided to ask our friend Andy from the Japanese band Clarity to collab with us and sing the verses and he just brought it to life. He brought a flavour that I was trying to hit and just took that song to a level where it’s become pretty high up on my list of favourites!
Alecksyy: They’re literally all my favourite songs. I don’t think Michael and myself could release a song that we wouldn’t like. What I think we do best is that we can listen to our songs through a different lens and be able to critically reflect on them, and be honest if that song is any good or not. We don’t really get too attached to them, we’re pretty honest with ourselves when it comes to that.
What advice do you have for emerging artists nowadays?
Michael: Never give up. Never think you’re finished. Question everything. Surround yourself with people who always push you to be better than you just were. Make sure every song you put out has your entire heart and soul poured into it because people can tell when something is phoned in. Take your time. Get it right. Have fun!
is the writing and release of an album more challenging than for a single?
Michael: Well, it definitely takes longer! I wouldn’t say harder, just different. A single can stand on its own so there’s no need to consider flow or themes or anything like that. We put a lot of work into song order, how they flowed together and what each song brought to the table at that point of the listening experience.
Describe Close Eyes, Deep Breath, Run in three words.
Alecksyy: A great experience.
What are your future plans?
Michael: We want to get through this pandemic and play some live music! We’re working on new songs again so we’ll continue to do that, but getting out live is something I’m really looking forward to.
Alecksyy: : I agree, we’re absolutely dying to get onto the stage. But as of right now, we’re just trying to bounce ideas around for the next batch of new songs.