We are based in Southampton: this is where FireFarm HQ is and where Alex has always lived like a Hampshire farmer! Levi came from Bristol for university… and stayed! Stephanie is an authentic East End London lass… That is us! We like turtles!
What about your sound and musical direction?
One of our biggest shaping factors is that we resent genres. They divide and conquer and prevent unity on the dance floor. Our sound is being designed to re-introduce that free rave dynamic back into whatever scene will have it. We’re also bringing back music, progression, dynamics and harmony: all things that can get ironed out a bit in the distilling and aging of generic music. Although we’re rave underground, we would like to be accessible to people who have no experience or interest in the rave or party scene and hopefully open their minds a little to some of the awesome music they may be missing. We think this is where vocals help massively. It gives that human connection with what could otherwise appear alien music. This is especially so on stage, as the energy we put out is multiplied exponentially when performing live.
If you forced me to answer: the best way to describe our sound would be epic, electronic song-based psychedelic breakbeat, drum/dubstep and bass orchestral psy-trance electro hip hop techno rave!
Tell us more about your live show.
We have tried to design our set to be a dynamic ever-accelerating journey though all eras of dance music, in a stylised modern context, and guided by live performance that engages the audience and magnifies the energy of music to its maximum effect.
We would like of think it as quite explosive. Our motto of “Do it like you mean it” powers our performance. For us, a live performance is best when the performers project an energy that matches their music. So this is what why try to do. Rare is it we come off stage without needing an entire change of cloths and 3 litres of water!
Tell us about your new leading lady.
We gigged and wrote with Laura for just over a year. It was so much fun. But over time it became difficult for her to balance her flourishing singer/songwriter career with her commitment to FireFarm. It came to the point where she had to choose between her own awesome projects that she had been working on for several years and a band she had only been performing with for a year or so. It was a no brainer. We were very sad to see her go but happy for her to be able to focus on her core passion.
So our search for a singer started again. This time we ran a Facebook campaign appealing for demos from people who were serious and interested. We had quite an overwhelming response and choosing was hard as there was some great talent. But at the end of the day, the band had a gap in it and it was Stephanie-shaped! And here we are: four gigs in with Steph and she has found her feet shockingly fast and settled in amazingly. She is remarkably talented and professional. She has well over a decade of experience singing and MCing live as well as having been in several bands, one of which is the legendary Ratpack!
We have recorded five tracks with her in four months, so get ready for some fresh next phase FireFarm tunes!
Rest of 2012: what gigs have you got lined up and what plans do FireFarm have in store for us?
We have just performed at the recent Shindig event. Now we are having a small break which will end on the 22nd of September at Alchemy Festival. The main reason for this break is that we’re moving FireFarm HQ. We are building a proper state-of-the-art isolated floating studio room,but this is a massive job and will take a team of five of us about two months labour.
After the move we’ll be back better than ever in creative mode, writing and releasing tracks! That’s right... we’re releasing tracks! We have left it three years since our last release but we have a lot of tracks saved up ready to let go.
Then we’re back on the road to Alchemy Festival and various gigs, including the Leeds locals 'Remedy' on the 1st of December.
Alex, this one is for you: what advice could you give an upcoming artist just starting out in production and wanting to develop a live show?
Do it like you fucking mean it! Be you, don't stop. Listen to other people's advice and take it on, but don't let it rule you. Collaborate! It is one hell of a learning curve and as always and there is strength in numbers. There is so much to be learnt by working with different people. And when I say collaborate, I mean get together in the same room with a couple of computers or whatever. Sending bounced files back and fourth over the internet is just not the same.
When you learn that next technique that takes your mixdowns to the next level, pass it on! As this knowledge is shared, so will it grow and evolve, thus raising the bar. In the process of teaching these tips and tricks to other people, it forces you to vocalise what you are actually doing which in turn affirms your own understanding of it. Win/win.
Don't get stuck in genres: try lots of different things. One can end up with skills that are far too specific to move on from. It's not how you might expect. It is weird. I can't count the times I have learnt loads about dnb while writing a trance track, for example. Mixing up the style and vibes you produce gives you a better perspective on what you do.
I should probably stop there or I would rant for hours!
You’re Shindig residents now: can you tell us more about this futuristic multi-genre mega rave?
Well, you know our motto? I think they have the same one! The first Shindig we played at was a warehouse squat with better stage production than Wembley Arena! They are all sound and lighting geeks. They pull out all the stops. Funktion One sound all the way and a light and laser show that would look at home on the main stage at Glastonbury. Now they are doing legal events and headed for big things. We had ice cannons and flame throwers at one of them! They have to be the best parties happening in London at the moment. The line-up’s are always great and very varied and it works so well. Big respect for the Shindig guys! Good vibe.
When you're not in the studio or on stage how do you like to enjoy your time?
Nothing out of the ordinary really. We all like to work out a bit. Alex and Levi do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and some MMA training. Steph is on a more Shotokan Karate and bodybuilding tip. We love our films and comedy a lot. To be honest, most of our time is taken by work so any time that is not spent working or training needs to be spent relaxing and sleeping!