“The creation of social media platforms has expanded our networking capabilities as musicians. Our increased ability to network has also exposed us to so many talented local bands that we may never be exposed to via commercial radio.” – @Water_Over_Fire
GETTING TO KNOW WATER OVER FIRE
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Do you find that there is to much emphasis on being current and trendy…
As a band, we never really cared for what’s current and trendy. Our decision to make music isn’t to fit in, it’s to express ourselves in a musical context. Being trendy isn’t something that guides us artistically; we just play what we want to play and make the most out of what we have.
The Music Business…
Personally, I’m a little bit skeptical towards the industry as a whole for many reasons. We’ve seen the industry sort of crumble over the past decade or so. As a band, we’ve never really focused our efforts on a ‘business model’ – for example, we made ‘Divided We Fall’ available for free download on Google Play and Bandcamp.
At this point in our early years as a band…
we’re more concerned on building a fanbase/following that appreciates and enjoys our music for what it is. To us, creative control and musical freedom is paramount to what we do and we prioritize that over making a quick dollar off our singles. I guess that mentality also reflects our DIY/independent attitude that sort of embedded within the band’s culture.
What do you like about social media…
To be quite honest, there is a lot of things that I like about social media. First, the creation of social media platforms has expanded our networking capabilities as musicians. Our increased ability to network has also exposed us to so many talented local bands that we may never be exposed to via commercial radio. With regards to our own band, social media is our biggest tool for being able to reach out and disseminate our music. Social media alongside the internet has changed the industry quite dramatically. The old business models that reigned supreme in the 1990s has died off in favour of a DIY, social-media heavy approach which doesn’t emphasized selling albums. Instead if focuses on building meaningful connections with a variety of people across the industry whether it be fans, distributors, other musicians, reviewers, bloggers etc. etc.
Singles vs an album…
It really depends. For us it made more sense to release two singles before our EP drops. One of the reasons that we’re going down that route is to give new-listeners a chance to hear a little snippets of our EP prior to it actually being released. With the release of our debut single ‘Divided We Fall’, one of our objectives was to be able to essentially let people know who we are as a band and the style of music we play. Hopefully down the line, they’ll be interested enough to check out the full EP when it’s released.
For me, I started off…
strictly as a guitar-player along with our current lead guitarist Rayid back in high school. For me specifically, the first piece of music that inspired me to consider playing guitar was the guitar solo in ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’. I was roughly 16 years old when I first heard it, and it seriously just blew me away. As a band, we all sort of owe a lot of our early influences to early classic rock such as Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Deep Purple, Nirvana, Rush. It was at that point where I sort of decided that I wanted to play guitar. Overtime, I realized that I very much enjoyed writing my own music and lyrics as opposed to covering other band’s catalogue or mindless noodling on scales/modes etc. I am not a very ‘technical’ guitar player in a strict sense. I prefer to compose music that’s congruent and well-written because that’s what great bands do – they write damn good songs. Fittingly enough, I made the transition to being a guitarist and a vocalist so I could compose and write my own music. As a band, Water Over Fire is just over a year old now. The band was founded by our current lead-guitar Rayid, and our bassist Sergio and myself. Through Sergio, we met our second lead guitarist Sid and our drummer Emile. From there, we formed the quintet that’s essentially now known as Water Over Fire.
In a thematic sense, the song is very politically-driven. Throughout the song, there are various overtones of cynicism, distrust and alienation towards the military industrial complex and the concept of war being some sort of righteous endeavor. Largely inspired by the events that took place when I was a growing up (i.e. War on Terror), the song is essentially a overt jab at the jingoist pro-war lobby that uses nationalist rhetoric to justify killing foreigners in a different country – it’s something that I vehemently oppose and don’t agree with at all. Is there a back story about how it was written or recorded? As far as the recording process, I remember recording the earliest known demo back in 2013 in my bedroom. The song itself was very different when it was first recorded and considerably ‘primitive’ from a musical standpoint. Primitive in the sense that a lot of the musical components were not as developed in a technical sense but the key ingredients were still present. It was when we got together as a band a few years later, it sort of when we mapped out the song as a whole and started adding more layers and dynamics to the music. I remember being completely MIA for about a week while recording the early demo for ‘Divided We Fall’. From there I remember showing it our lead guitarist Rayid. Instantly, we both that we had our hands on something special. The recording process was considerably smooth. We did a few last minute changes on the vocals in certain parts which are a bit unexpected – specifically the bridge that proceeds the second chorus. Overall, the process was very comfortable and the final product itself was something we were all very pleased with as a band.
Tell us what we can expect from your music…
Our upcoming EP is a major milestone for us as a band, as musicians and as individuals. Our debut single ‘Divided We Fall’ is our first piece of music that we’ve released and heavily promoted as a band. It is essentially our official first step into the wonderful world of music and it has been a remarkable experience thus far. We’re considerably young and we have a long musical journey ahead of us, but this single is sort of the genesis or the starting point for all future releases, albums, shows etc.
We’re from Toronto, ON, Canada…
As far as the music scene, we have an incredibly diverse range of musical acts that reflect how diverse our city is. Our city is home to some great acts and musicians – ranging from urban music to death metal. As far as where we belong, we’re sort of outsiders to most musical scenes because of the fact we do not fit neatly into any assigned category. We’re a little bit too heavy for the rockers, but too hook-driven for the most stringent of metal purists. We kind of think ourselves as outsiders to both scenes in the sense that we have our own distinguishable sound that can’t be neatly compartmentalized or pigeon holed. As musicians, we strive to continually diversify our musical palette and never become settled on one particular sound, genre or style.
Outside of music, I enjoy the all sort of ‘outdoorsy’ stuff like biking, sports, spending time on a beach and hiking.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Elvis Baskette. He is a professional producer who has been involved in a lot of big albums that I’ve enjoyed over the past few years. I appreciate and respect his work, his style of production and his reputation among big-name artists. I would love to have a few minutes with him and discuss some of the practical ways he helps bands maximize their musical potential. Perhaps even discuss a few production tips as well.
I am most afraid of…
Becoming complacent or arrogant with regards to our music. We aren’t rock stars or celebrities. We are just everyday normal guys that go through the same stuff that other folks do. Even from a musical aspect, there’s always room to improve, grow and evolve. The moment you sort of put yourself on a pedestal is the same point where you develop lazy tendencies that hinder any sort of progress as a musician. 13. My personal definition of success is.. is to be able to have our music able reach out, connect and inspire people to do great things.
My overall goal for my life & career is…
to able to create meaningful music that will last the test of time and inspire future generations.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) I challenge myself in a variety of ways outside of music – for example, fitness, academia. A lot of the skills you learn in school or through exercise are applicable to surviving as a musician. The most important being the ‘drive’ or ‘hunger’ to become better than the person you were yesterday.
2) Setting deadlines for things to get done. We may be independent as of right now and work on our own schedules, but creating fixed dates for specific tasks puts us on our heels and doesn’t allow to get too comfortable.
3) Compare ourselves to our idols. It may seem counter intuitive, but we do strive to be as good as the bands that inspired us become musicians. Maybe one day takeover and inspire a new generation of budding musicians.
Social media links & website
– link where people can purchase your song