Today’s music interview is with north east British rock band Fires of Freya:
Band Name: Fires of Freya
Members: Cheryl Reynolds (Lead Vocals and Keyboard), Shaun Evans (Lead Guitarist and Backing Vocals), Dan Baldwin (Drums) and James Withington (Bass Guitar)
Founded: December 2017
Originated From: Based near Newcastle, band members from Scotland, Leeds and Sunderland
Discography: Take a Bow (single, 2019) & Complicated (single, 2020)
How would you describe your music?
Eclectic Rock, ranges from soft rock to blues rock to grunge and a whole host of sub genres in-between those! We like to keep it interesting sound wise and try not to tie ourselves to heavily to any genre/sub-genre.
What is your musical creative process like?
We have a couple of processes. The first process is a jam session where we all just play together and see what we can come up with. The second process involves one member of the band writes the “bones” of a song or has the initial idea. They would normally record the idea on their mobile phones, so if I write a song I’ll play it on keys or guitar or bass and sing it and send it to the group chat. I write all our lyrics so if Shaun or James has a bass idea then they will send the idea played on guitar and then we’ll all work on the song having had time to think about what could be done with the idea. This is my preference as I like time to process ideas first but a jam is always fun.
How did the band form?
Originally it was meant to be an all-female grunge band but we had no luck finding a female bassist so that idea soon fizzled out, we’ve had a few member changes with Dan and myself being the original members of the band as it is today. Shaun came in May 2018 and James a year later. Join my band was used to find our members, great website for finding musicians.
How did you come up with your band name?
I like Norse mythology; Freya is one of my favourite names and “Fires of Freya” sounded good and everyone agreed.
Who influenced you within the music industry?
Too many to mention them all, we all have different influences which helps us with our eclectic sound.
I love a good powerful vocal and strong melody to my music so bands like Halestorm and Evanescence are definitely influences. I grew up listening to bands such as Bon Jovi, Journey, Fleetwood Mac and Roxette so these also have an influence, to a certain extent, too.
You can also hear some HIM influences in our music, which was my favourite band when I was a teenager and some earlier stuff has hints of Alkaline Trio, so very mixed and that’s just my own influences!
Shaun loves John Frusciante, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, which can defiantly be heard in his playing style also!
Have you performed live much and what was your favourite gig to play at?
Yes, we have gigged heavily over the last couple of years to try and raise our profile, mostly in the North East but we’ve also played Leeds and various Scottish locations.
One of my favourites was a rock festival in Berwick, Rock the Point, which I believe is now Bear fest and has more than just rock now. This was a huge tent on the sea front where we all camped over, the stage was ace! Plenty people there enjoying what we do and then there was a sort of after party, open bar and all the musicians playing together till 5am! That was fun!
We also made it to the regional finals of Soundwave music competition and played the mainstage O2 Academy, which was amazing, the judges seemed to really like us and likened our energy to Bring Me the Horizon, which was very flattering. They said we suited larger stages so I guess we must aim to play more of them!
What is the best thing about being in a band?
The friends you make who are like minded, the laughs you have with these friends (band members and other bands etc. as well as fans!) and the mental health benefits of doing what you love and having a way to express yourself.
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far as a musician?
Getting people to listen to your music, like and support you! It’s very hard to build your profile and gain a foothold in this industry unless you have lots of money for promotion.
In the beginning and for a long time after it’s really relying on family and friends for support until you can find a way to create a buzz about yourself.
What plans have you got coming up this year?
Our main focus is our debut album. We are three tracks in so far and we plan to release it at the end of the year all things going well! We also plan to play more shows outside the North East so mini tours and festival slots are priorities for us.
What is your ultimate dream as a band?
To be a successful band with a decent following who love our music as much as we do, allowing us to give up the day jobs and do what we love instead!
If you’re in a band or a musician and would like to appear on this blog, please contact me and I’ll forward you an interview template.
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