Band of the Day: FireWalkWithMe

Their name inspired by David Lynch and commitment to faith, we look at the world of FireWalkWithMe.

Where are you guys from?

We come from Austin, Texas.

How did you meet?

All the people in my band I’ve known for at least 15-20 years. God, has it been that long?! We all know each other through playing in bands in the local Austin music scene for like the last 500 years or so. Sharing bills, stages, friends of friends etc. The usual.

How long have you been playing as a band?

The band was initially created myself at the end of 2012 and has had a revolving door of musicians. However, the current lineup is the strongest and everyone seems to have the proper level of commitment to do what we do as a band.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

The band was originally called The History of Future Cities. Then I shortened it to Future Cities. In 2014, my dad fell sick so I moved back to my hometown of San Jose, CA to help him out after which I quickly was reminded that he was the initial reason I left San Jose in the first place! The situation was basically torture and was an emotional hellscape for me. So I decided to re-name the band FireWalkWithMe to reflect my situation. If you’ve never seen the movie Fire Walk With Me it’s a very uncomfortable movie. It’s a sci-fi terror/drama film created by David Lynch whose directing style can possess a very dreamy and nightmarish quality to it.

I felt that this name reflected my situation so it stuck. I’m still waiting for the cease and desist letter from David Lynch…which may never come. But I’ve heard he’s not one to let anything slide by his periphery that involves any art he’s done. The band as a whole does not and will not make any reference to the actual film. A fire walk is when people walk across hot coals to test their faith. The phrase “fire walk with me” is to ask one to go with you on that journey. Whether or not this phrase was in the mind of the creator I don’t know but it is how I interpret it.

What are your influences?

The obvious influence here would be my friend’s band Trail of Dead. The other influences I’m not sure of. I listen to a lot of rap music, dance music, electronic music like drum and bass. I also listen to a lot of indie stuff like Interpol and Jawbreaker. But for the overall sound of this particular record I would say is directly lifted from Trail of Dead. Specifically the Madonna album.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Regarding the uniqueness part of the question: in my head the first thing that comes to mind is that we don’t use standard tuning. Not one tune on the album is in standard EADGBE tuning. They’re all drop tunings. Some as low as GGDGBD. That top string becomes a bit floppy and gives it this really drone weirdness to it. To describe my music on this project would be a journey into life, death, the after life, enduring loss, overcoming depression, anxiety and mental illness.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Every song on the album is about the after life and approaching death not with fear but with courage. The fearlessness comes from faith in God (in the general sense) and is strongly inspired by actual events that happened to me regarding ghostly encounters. When I say “God” I’m not talking about any specific religions, for I see organised religion as a corrupt middle-man or go-between between me and my desire designer. I also feel organised religion is counter productive to the spiritual journey I am on.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Our live shows are typically loud. Jason Reece from Trail of Dead plays drums in my band and if you’ve ever seen Trail of Dead you’ll understand the type of beast he is behind a drum kit. So we need to turn up to compensate. We don’t get too crazy or break things and we generally try to keep the drinking to a minimum before we play. We have collectively played about 20 shows. Unsure actually but somewhere in that neighbourhood.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

The time we played show and everyone showed up to the gig on time. That was pretty rad.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

As far as gear, we use whatever gear the club allows us to use. We are big fans of the backline situation and capitalise on it whenever possible. But our guitars and pedal boards are a different story.

I typically use 4 guitars: 1976 Gibson Custom LP, 1991 Fender American Telecaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Gibson SG. The only pedal I really use is a Memory Man Deluxe.

Jason Westbrook uses a Fender Jazz he runs through an Orange Bass amp.

Christian Kyle uses a 1979 Epiphone “Scroll” and a 70s Gibson RD Artist.

Jason Reece uses Backline kits typically but he does have a sweet Sparkle Champagne Ludwig with a 24″ Kick. So nice!

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We are releasing our debut LP, The Eternal Black Rainbow, which is being released on my own record label Velvet Coffin Recordings complete with radio PR, general PR, distro and Vvnyl and all that. The whole 9 yards. It’s a lot of work. Our record release was here in Austin at C Boys Heart & Soul August 29th 2019 w/Think No Think and an acoustic set by And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead.

What are your plans for 2019?

Release this current album and to finish and complete another release. I’m aiming to release a 5 song EP for FireWalkWithMe and then work on a new project for 2020 called Wave Trauma with the very talented drummer (as well as a dear friend) Chris Alaniz.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

What a fun question! Man…so many ideas. I would have to impulsively say: my friend’s band Think No Think (awesome and amazing Austin band you should check out right now), us (FireWalkWithMe) and Interpol closing the show. That would be amazing.

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