Cheryl Reynolds – singer and keyboards for Fires of Freya – kindly took some time to tell us exactly how how band rocks…
We’re based in the North East of England, but originally, I’m from a place called Wishaw in Scotland and Dans from near Leeds.
How did you meet?
One of the best things about music is that it brings people together simply by having mutual tastes in music and wanting to play with likeminded people. We all met through the site join my band, I put ads up and the guys responded. None of us knew each other prior but now we’re like a little family and we all get on so well!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Dan (drummer) teamed up with me in December 2017 along with different band members back then and our 1st practice was late January 2018. Shaun (guitarist) joined in May 2018 and then James (bassist) a year later. We’ve been performing live shows since June 2018.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
I love everything to do with mythology, especially Norse mythology. Freya is the Norse Goddess of Love and War, amongst other things, and “Fires” had a nice epic ring to it. It’s unique as well, no other bands or other anything had that name so it makes us nice and easy to find online.
What are your influences?
Too many to mention them all! We all have different influences which allows us to create such an eclectic sound. Bands such as; Halestorm, Evanesces, Fleetwood Mac, Hole, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, HIM, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters and even some Pop/Punk Rock like Alkaline Trio and The Distillers are all influences in our music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We don’t really fit into a specific genre or subgenre, we are a rock band essentially, but our tracks range from soft rock to grunge to heavier rock to more pop rock sounding tracks and our earlier material has a little punk rock in there too. We write what we think sounds good or what fit’s our mood at the time, we don’t restrict ourselves to fit a certain sound or genre. We focus on a strong vocal line and melody and try to add catchy riffs and ace solo’s and we always write lyrics that are emotive and based for an emotion that’s been felt or a situation wither that be happy, sad or blind rage! Our sound will also vary depending on who came up with the initial idea. All our songs are written for the band and we are the creators of each song but a song that had a base idea from Shaun will sound different to one I may have an idea for.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
We write our songs on emotions and situations experienced. It’s the most honest way of song writing I feel. Someone upsets you or lets you down? write a song about it and use it to express that energy. Sometimes other influences are used, such as if I have a wacky dream or read a book that has engaged my imagination as our lyrics don’t often describe a situation or emotion word for word, metaphors will be used to express things among other techniques.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We’ve played quite a few shows now, I’ve not been counting so not sure of the exact number. Over 50 I would say which is quite a lot given we haven’t been together all that long. We’ve played small intimate shows, large stage shows (O2 Academy Mainstage is a particular highlight!), festivals and we try to delivery an energetic and emotive performance no matter the size of the show or the amount of people there. We took part in a large nationwide competition last year and made the regional finals, played the O2 Academy Newcastle and the judges seemed impressed with our energy, said we suited a large stage and had the energy of bands such as Bring me the Horizon! That was a huge compliment.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Well we don’t bite bats heads off or roll around the floor dressed in nothing but sticky tape, have spinning drum kits or climb structures and launch ourselves off them into the crowd but we do perform our music. We interact with each other; Shaun often gives himself whiplash from throwing his head about and also sore heads from hitting the roof on occasion (he’s a tall boy!) and he’s known for wearing the most awful shit shirts on stage! We interact with the crowd, Shaun and myself often have a wireless microphone or guitar so we can get in amongst people and invite them to sing or just bully them (in a nice way) into joining in. Once I tried to bring big blow up beach balls to throw into the crowd but when I took it out the packages it was massive! Seriously, if this thing came at you, you’d be knocked into nect week! So, I didn’t use it… yet!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I have a Nord 6D Keyboard (Red) and it’s my baby!
James, our bassist, uses an Ibanez SR505 5-string bass. He recently upgraded from the 4-string version because, and quote “5 is one more than 4, and therefore better”. He also uses a Helix modeller, usually fed straight to FoH, instead of an amp because quote “I’m a lazy sod and can’t be arsed carrying an amp!”
Shaun, our guitarist, use a Fender Stratocaster for his main strat. He also uses; a Squire silver series strat, Yamaha Revstar and an epiphone 335 dot. For his amps he runs a wet dry rig using a fender hot rod deluxe and a vox ac15. He then has a lot of Pedals, probably too many to list but one is called the “big muff”!
What are your plans for 2020?
We are currently recording our debut album; we are 3 tracks in! we plan to release this at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021 and will release a few singles throughout the year! Our debut single “Take a Bow” is available to stream/buy now and our next single “Complicated” will be released February 21st so keep an eye out for that!
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!
I’d love to support Halestorm! Lzzy’s voice is just out of this world! A few of us in the band love their stuff and have seen them live multiple times! We’d choose our friend’s Odin’s Revenge to open for us, they are another North East based band up and coming and we’ve played with them a few times and they supported us when we launched our debut single. They are amazing, a bit heavier than us musically but melody, riffs and amazing vocals they have abundance of!