In order to describe The Fireflys I am going to be a little cheesy but this allusion will be spot-on accurate. Their sound and presence is exactly like the beautiful insect that hovers in the night sky. They show us the light in a rock scene that has gotten dim and stagnant over the years. The Fireflys have revitalized the rock format with a heavy hitting sound and big presence on and off stage. Orange Country Reverb proudly presents the revived British Invasion.
OCR: You are have strong humanitarian purpose and have become advocates for animal rights, the vegetarian lifestyle, and raise social awareness about the issues of homelessness and suicide. How do you use your music to bring awareness and hope to these notable causes? If you were to create an advertisement reaching out to those facing hardships, what would it consist of?
FF: When I begin writing a song, I don’t really have a strong set of moral issues that I adhere to. One day it could be a song about a friend of mine losing all hope in life and I’ll write about that. I never tell that person the song’s about them. The next I’ll write about homelessness or despair, it’s a common thought process, and these themes keep surfacing in my lyrics. I find it impossible to write upbeat prose, despite me not being a gloomy person…so I guess these themes do need addressing, however I’m aware a band like us, at this stage has no massive voice, but we do like to raise awareness with our lyrics and our unpopular songs.
Any chance I get I’ll have a rant in an interview, so not wanting to be predictable…the recent Queen’s Diamond Jubilee…how much in taxpayers money was used in the setting up of that pathetic concert? I don’t know if you’ve watched it over in Canada? It was a bloated pastiche of humdrum talent and a waste of resources. I ask you this…how many homeless people were lying begging on the streets of London that day? Let me tell you Connie, thousands and all the middle and upper classes can do is sing along with Elton John and Stevie Wonder and brush it under the carpet. Britain has a great sense of “we’re doing all this for charity and the country” but we let people die in the streets whilst celebrating the Queen’s 50 years on the throne. Truly sickening. My advert would be: “Eject the Royals from their establishment, make them get jobs and pay their way. Make them pay taxes and force them to give their wages to the homeless and other deserving charities” The royals- Scum since forever.
OCR: When you guys were younger, did you catch fireflies in glass mason jars? How did you come up with the band name? What was the intension of the alternative spelling?
FF: Unfortunately, fireflies are very seldom seen in this country, almost never. I do wish we did had them though, but probably wouldn’t catch them in jars. The band name is from the film “The Devils Rejects,” of which I’m a huge fan of, and they spell it like that. I think it’s a reference to a Marx brothers film “Duck Soup” in which it’s also spelt grammatically incorrect. I think it might have gone against our favour though as people might be Googling “Fireflies” instead of “Fireflys” and not being able to find us…maybe. Ha-ha.
OCR: The UK is known for pumping out amazing musical talent however, they are also infamous for not completely realizing the talent harboured in their country until North American audiences accept them with huge fanfare. What is your reception at home? Have you travelled to other countries and felt a warmer reception?
FF: I agree completely. Our reception here is very positive, when we play shows we are always well received…although I’m not sure if that’s just because people are there and nice to our faces…Ha-ha! Reviews tend to be good and our interviews are generally quite good also. I think people know that we are in it for the music and want to create a body of work that holds up in ten, say twenty years time. We’re playing the long game and I think in these times of American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent people appreciate that we are nothing like the current trend of get famous quick, “instant pop stars just add water.”
In North America people have sent us quite a lot of emails and letters saying that they’d like us to come over and play and reviews of our music tend to be a bit more passionate. I’d really like us to get well known in another country before our own…there would be a greater sense of pride in that I think. Ultimately, if people are connecting with our music and us as a band, then I guess to be known anywhere would be an achievement.
OCR: Lee and Johnny, you were previously in a band together and then formed Fireflys. How did you meet your drummer extraordinaire Miss. Andie Packer? How did the band dynamic change from your previous musical project?
FF: Just after “Better To Burn Out” (our debut album which reached 27 on the Amazon chart) our original drummer left the band and halted the process of us wanting to do another album and to tour. We auditioned quite a few drummers in the summer of 2010, but nobody really fit in and “got” the style of the band. Literally, on the last day of auditions, in walks Andie and beat the sh*t out of her kit to a few tunes from our debut, then we did a funk jam to try and catch her out with Johnny doing his quite aggressive slapping techniques and she kept up and really rocked the hell out of it. IT made us both laugh that a girl so slight could drum so hard and tight and really lock in with us, so we asked her there and then if she wanted to join the Fireflys. The rest is history, let me tell you though, without her, “Cathedral For Your Ashes” wouldn’t be half the album it turned out to be. She saved the band. We really are very lucky to have a drummer like her.
OCR: Here is a question that has intrigued people for centuries: were does your English accent go when you sing?!
FF: Haha, I think only Morrissey sings in a local accent doesn’t he? I couldn’t possibly say. When I sing, that accent is the one that comes out, it’s not put on or anything, it’s certainly my natural accent. I think I do sing a few things in an overtly British way, to just try and sound English, but then it becomes too forced and I revert to whatever accent it is that I sing in. Good Question Connie!
OCR: Your debut single “Talking to the Satellite” from “Cathedral of Your Ashes” has big riffs, solid bass line, and roaring drums. It is safe to say Rock is still alive. You have the rock sound but a distinctly different lifestyles and mentalities. What makes you different from other typical rock bands?
FF: Great question. Bands like Motley Crue and Kiss whose decadent lifestyles overshadow the music, personally leave me a bit cold. In both instances songs about partying, taking drugs, and sleeping with lots of women makes me recoil in abject disgust. That lifestyle is so far away from anything I’ve ever been used to. It literally says nothing to me about my life. I mean, these people are role models to some, and what kind of thing is that to portray to a generation?
OCR: The music that The Fireflys play is so far removed from anything like that and I’m very content with how that comes across. We’re not selling the dream to anybody. We are three working class musicians from the North West of England playing music and talking about things that actually happen in real life. The fact that some of our songs involve the big rock riff model is a testament that you can play Rock n’ Roll and not have to go down the path well traversed by these so-called Rock Gods.
FF: Also, I think the fact that we aren’t devaluing our music by not giving it away for free is another thing that makes us different. Lots of new bands are just uploading their albums for nothing. I mean, I don’t mind giving it away for a few Pounds or Dollars but people tend to give a bit more time and respect to things they’ve actually bought. I know I do. We’ve spent a year making “Cathedral” and it wasn’t exactly cheap so when someone does buy our album it gives me a massive sense of pride. I obviously think it’s worth purchasing, I guess I’m bound to say that though aren’t I, Ha-ha!
OCR: What’s next from the Fireflys?
FF: We are in the middle of our UK tour at the minute and we have nearly finished recording our third album, for release early next Spring. You can find out all our upcoming news on www.thefireflys.co.uk
Buzz on over to The Fireflys’ website (http://www.thefireflys.co.uk) and follow them on Twitter (@thefireflysband). Have a looky at their shout out to OCR featuring a new demo track unheard by human ears!