Heavy music deserves a heavier message, and that’s what Fire From The Gods, consisting of AJ Channer (vocals), Jameson Teat (guitar), Drew Walker (guitar), Bonner Baker (bass), and Richard Wicander (drums), deliver on their debut album Narrative via Rise Records.
We were lucky enough to catch up with AJ Channer and chat about how Fire From The Gods got their band name, the lyrical meaning to one of their songs, how it was creating their new album Narrative, and more. Check out the interview below!
1. What inspired the band name Fire From The Gods?
First off thank you for taking the time to interview us. The original line up got it from the movie "The Wizard." There's a line in the film describing the Nintendo Power glove as "The Fire From the Gods." It isn't referencing the old Greek mythology story of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods and giving it to man or anything like that. Although we do plan to make reference to that some time in the future.
2. When did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue?
I personally decided that I wanted to be a musician early in life. I made a few pit stops on the way but I am exactly where I need to be right now. This is the most comfortable I have been with my decision to be a musician. I believe the same goes for the rest of the band. We pretty much started pursuing music from early ages and we are still going.
3. Some may describe your music as rap-metal, which we found interesting! To us, that makes you guys stand out. Do you agree with that genre label? Why or why not?
When it comes to genres and labels I find that in order for listeners to relate to your music they have to familiarize it with something they have heard before. Hearing "Excuse Me" one would immediately say this is a rap metal band. But listening to "Inspite of Doubt" you would get the vibe that we are a metalcore band. And further listening to songs like "End Transmission" and "Lifeline" you would get the vibe that we are a melodic hard rock band.
So to answer your question we are flattered that folks have made compared us to rap metal bands especially some of the good ones. I don't think we are a rap metal band. We are influenced by hip hop as well as so much more, which I think helps us really stand out.
4. Congratulations on your debut album Narrative! What were the hardest and easiest parts of creating the album?
Thank you again. Narrative was a difficult record for the simple fact that we were on a bit of a time crunch. The opportunity to record with David Bendeth came about through a series of fortunate circumstances the only catch was we had to finish writing record and track the record 40 days. So we had our work cut out for us. The cliche goes there is nothing easy about recording music but I think the way the writing process flowed was probably the easiest thing about creating Narrative.
5. In the song “Excuse Me” off the album, some of the lyrics such as, “Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, equality and justice for all. Now you know you lying,” seem to be describing equal freedom. What inspired you to write such a powerful song and what do those lyrics mean to you? (Or just sing if you didn’t write it.)
I did write it to clarify. FFTG (Fire From The Gods) writes all our music. We collaborate with a producer but we write our music. To touch on the lyrics in "Excuse Me", we live in very turbulent times here in the States. Narrative touches on a lot of those issues. "Excuse Me" in particular talks directly about the prison industrial complex, racism, police brutality, and an antiquated justice system. Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are supposed to be basic human rights especially in our country. I feel some people are being robbed of that no matter your sexual orientation, race, social standing or religion. That's where those lyrics and most of Narrative comes from.
6. Which lyrics from that song mean the most to you and why?
The bridge where I'm saying "Excuse me Mr Officer....." as well as the following verse. We wanted to also portray and support unity. Non violence but making a statement that we are fed up with the system.
7. If you could sing with anyone on your next album, who would it be and why?
That's a very difficult one there are so many artists I would want to collaborate with. Maynard from Tool. He has one of the best voices in rock and metal. Probably Scott Vogel from Terror. He is a dude I have always looked up to.
8. We heard you’re going on tour with We Came As Romans and Counterparts! What songs could we expect to hear at those shows? Do you have a favorite? If so, why?
All new joints off of Narrative. I like "Diversion" the best live. Its pure energy start to finish and any one that has seen FFTG knows we put on a very energetic show. Diversion has everything you want a bit of a hardcore sound as well as a ton of groove.
9. What would you say makes you stand out from other bands when it comes to your live performances?
There are a lot of bands out there that put on super high energy shows and we do as well. But in our case we are a very dynamic band so there are just as many lows as there are highs. We try to keep that balance throughout the set in an effort to create a very good live show.
10. What are some of the most rewarding things a fan has told you when it came to your music? (If any, or multiple fans).
Touching back on some of the things I said earlier about our influences and how people have received FFTG the most rewarding things folks say is you remind us of a certain band. Well like hearing that because it is most likely a band that influenced us. Also those fans that write us and tell us that the music had a profound effect on their lives. As a band you strive to impact your listeners and Narrative seems to be doing just that.
11. Do you have any advice for your fans who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
Be smart and do want you want. Work hard. Do not try and take the easy route because it doesn't exist. What you might think or perceive to be success might not actually be success. Write music, tour and sell your music. PEACE!
Interview by Melanie Gomez
Check out Fire From The God's video for "Excuse Me" below:
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