Interview: Passafire

Interview: Passafire

Warped Tour was getting hot in the mile high city and The Pier crew was given an invite to join Passafire next to their tour bus and sit under their tent to get a break from the blistering sun. Together we drank beers, laughed and discussed what’s on the horizon for these southern dub rockers. Their new album “Start from Scratch”, which is slated to be released on Sept 20th 2011, was the topic that these guys seemed most passionate about. We were glad to spend time with Ted, Will, Mike and Nick. This is what they had to say, enjoy….

The Pier: Your new album “Start from Scratch” which was featured on “The Pier’s 2011 Most Anticipated Albums” is slated for release on September 20th. You recorded this at Sonic Ranch Recording Studio in Tornillo, TX., the same location that you recorded your last album “Everyone on Every Night”. What was different this time around and how does that translate in the new album?
Passafire: We had Paul Leary this time and I’m sure you guys know who that is. This was the first time recording with a producer at all.

The Pier: Wow, so you guys produced everything else up to this point?
Passafire: Yep. And the first time we worked with a producer it just so happened to be Mr. Leary, so we feel very fortunate. There are three separate studios at Sonic Ranch. “Everyone on Every Night” was done in a smaller studio and this time we were in a bigger studio with better equipment and an overall better vibe. I guess you can say we moved up and graduated to the big boy room this time.

The Pier: You guys moved up to the big boy room and to the bus as I can see
Passafire: Yes we did! There are all kinds of reasons that this album is called “Start from Scratch”. There is a lot of new things happening in our lives as a band and personally. We are putting this album out ourselves too. This album is not on LAW like the last two albums were. We have a new keyboard player Mike who has adapted very well to our band.

The Pier: Mike, what were you doing before joining Passafire?
Passafire: I headed a little band out in Chicago called “Fluid Minds”, but other than that I was doing the 9-5 daily grind. I was doing geeky computer stuff but decided to leave it all behind to do this and I love it.

The Pier: You guys recently formed your own label “Flame Guy Records”. Where do you guys currently stand with that?
Passafire: We have decided that we are at a point in our career where we can do things on our own. There are pro’s and con’s in starting up your own label and we have decided that the pro’s outweigh the con’s so we have decided to roll the dice and see what happens. It seems that a lot of bands are out there cutting out the middle man and doing things on their own without having to share the profits with anybody else. We want to start something like LAW and do things our way and pave the way for future bands like they did for us. Those guys are very supportive with our decision to do this, so that’s cool.

The Pier: In your new single, “Start from Scratch”, you sing “Now we’re faced with time in a penitentiary”. What does this mean and what is the overall message you are getting across in this song?
Passafire: We have already gone so far doing what we have done as humans, damaging a lot of our natural resources here on earth. I realize the song is kind of dooms-day ish and I realize that “Submersible” has kind of the same lyrics but this song is kind of a warning that we are facing a dooms-day if we do not change our ways and start living in a more responsible way. People are constantly starting from scratch and recovering from disasters that happen and I feel that eventually there will be a disaster that we all will be faced with some day and we will all have to start over. It’s some 2012 shit. It’s crazy.

The Pier: In my opinion you guys are on one of the best record labels in the scene LAW Records. How has this relationship helped Passafire in reaching your success up to this point?
Passafire: We owe having a national fan base to Pepper. Those guys introduced us to the scene as a whole and we owe a lot to them. We were like a drowning puppy and they saved us. They pulled us out of the water, dried us off and put us in front of their fan base and their fan base was like “ahhh look at Passafire, those guys are so cute” and here we are. Those guys really showed us the ropes of how to tour and how to perform. Those guys and their charisma did not go un noticed on our first tour. If you looked at us on our first tour and compared it to now, you would see a big difference.

The Pier: A lot of us have been watching you guys for a while now and it only keeps getting better for sure! Have you guys been rocking with other east coast acts like Ballyhoo! and The Movement prior to joining your label LAW?
Passafire: Oh yeah! We used to do shows with guys like Ballyhoo! and The Movement back in 2006. People don’t realize it but we go way back with Ballyhoo!, The Movement and Lionize to name a few. Prior to everything that has happened up to this point. We are all east coast bands so naturally we have all come together at one point or another.

The Pier: What jobs did you guys hold prior to being full time musicians?
Passafire: We have done a bunch of stuff like delivering pizzas, waiting tables, construction, stage hand stuff. We all have done every kind of job you can think of.

Thank you so much for the time, love & support!

Passafire Links:
Passafire Website
Passafire Facebook
Passafire Twitter

Interview by: Chad Hillje and Kyle Hillje
Photos by: Kit Chalberg