ARTIST NAME: Fires of Freya
SONG TITLE: Complicated
RELEASE DATE: 21/02/2020
Eclectic, Emotive Rock! Fires of Freya are a North East of England-based electrifying rock band with exhilarating monster guitar riffs and powerhouse raw vocals. Their supercharged emotive music is an eclectic mix of rock songs that create a live performance that’s engaging from the very first note to the last.
Formed in December 2017 the band consist of:
Lead Vocals & Keyboards (Cheryl Reynolds);
Backing Vocals and Guitar (Shaun Evans);
Drums (Dan Baldwin); and
Bass Guitar (Harry Iveson)
Discuss your recording experience with your producer.
Cheryl: We do not use a producer currently; we write and produce our own songs with the help of sound engineer Adam Forster of The Old Church Studio in Thropton, near Newcastle. We’ve used Adam for both singles we have released. The studio is a small converted church. It’s beautiful and the perfect setting to get creative with our music.
Normally it takes about 2 days to fully record, mix and master one of our singles but sometimes takes more. The more complex and more instruments we use the more time it takes, which we don’t mind too much as we prefer to get it sounding the best it can.
Dan: We recorded our latest and last single at the Old Church, and it was a lot of fun. I have always enjoyed the recording side as well as playing; seeing each bit come together. It was great working with Adam, he’s extremely easy to work with and really listens to us. If anything needs changing after we get the song back from being mixed and mastered, he’s very willing to do so.
Discuss what comes first and last while creating a song.
Cheryl: It depends on who wrote the initial idea for a song. If Shaun writes the initial idea, he’ll play the riff or melody on guitar, record himself doing that and send it onto the band’s WhatsApp chat. I will then write lyrics for the song and the whole song will then be pieced together at band practice with bass and drums being added to finish and sometimes keyboards. We also sometimes have a jam at practice and songs have been created from them.
Tell us the piece of advice you will give to a new artist.
Cheryl: We are new artists so if anyone wants to give us advice, that will be greatly received! We’re about 2 years into being a band. We’ve had a few member changes in that time so not as far forward as we would like but we’ve still achieved a lot! And we’ve learned a lot too! We’ve played multiple festivals at home and further afield.
We’ve entered the battle of the bands and competitions (one of which saw us grace the O2 Academy Newcastle mainstage) and we’ve played more gigs than I could count at home and in multiple other UK cities.
I think the advice I would always give is to play live gigs, as much and as often as you can. Every new fan counts when you’re small and you need to start somewhere. I’d also give the advice – believe you’ve not yet written your best work. I always try to think this way and it makes me want to keep going, keep writing, and keep aiming for that golden song, album, etc. I think it’s also important to write songs that you like, not what you think others will like. If you believe in your own music, really feel it, and enjoy playing it, that will shine through and convince your audience that what your doing is something to listen to and pay attention to.
Dan: Try and start networking with local bands to help each other out. You can support each other to allow you to play at local venues. It can be hard to find good places to play and quite often other artists will know which ones are best to suit your genre of music.
Discuss your worst experience in the music business.
Cheryl: We were approached by someone who wanted to manage us. At the time we thought that was great. This person must really like us and wants us to go far if they are willing to put their time and effort into us. Wrong. This person spoke in riddles and did nothing to further the band. When they did book us gigs, they took most of the money earned that night for themselves, and once this person even canceled a gig we had on the day because they wanted to spend the night with a new flame and didn’t want to lose the opportunity to take all the payment for the night. We had to call the venue directly to learn this!
Safe to say, some people do not believe in you because they show interest. They want to use you and nothing more. We left this person quickly and now have brilliant management in Epic Venom. We looked them up and asked for them to support us, they only did after listening to our stuff and deciding they liked us and could provide a helping hand. And so far, they have helped massively in raising our profile and providing solid advice.
Tell us how you deal with rejection.
Cheryl: We take feedback on board and use it to better ourselves. We understand that not everyone will like our music and that’s ok. We aim to find those who will. We write music for ourselves; the music we like, and we try to remember why we do this. We do it because we enjoy making music together, we enjoy the friendships the band has brought us, and we just want to enjoy the journey. We have no idea where this will end up so there is no point in worrying about that.
Dan: Everyone has their own individual opinion about music genres, not everyone may like your music but it’s their own view. All I can say is try not to let it get you down. Just keep working hard on making music you enjoy and making it the best it can be and there will be people out there that will like it.
Tell us what you are doing to impact the people around you.
Cheryl: We play live shows, write music that’s based on life events, thoughts, and feelings. The music is really to get us through our own difficult or indeed happy times, and we hope others will relate and place their own meaning on our songs.
While we sit in lockdown, we have been impacted by Covid-19 and have lost a friend. We’ve written a song in our friend’s honor, a song that tries to explain the pain of what’s happening right now, the cost, and the love that holds us all together.
Dan: At the minute, the whole world is having to deal with a profoundly serious change with the Covid-19 virus, which is causing heartbreak to many people. We are using our social media platforms to keep in touch with our fans sending out clips of our music and are in the process of writing a new demo to send out to people, to help everyone get through this tough time.
Tell us the music that makes you happy.
Cheryl: Melodies that you can sing your heart out to, catchy riffs, harmonies from the heavens, soaring vocals, and blinding solo probably sums up the type of music that makes me happy.
Dan: Music has been a part of my life for a while now, I have a quite broad range of genres I enjoy. Nowadays, anything that has a good beat I will listen to, but my favorite genre has always been rock including blues, funk, and punk.
Tell us how you make instrumentation to your song.
Cheryl: Our songs are a combination of Vocals, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, and sometimes Keyboards.
Tell us how you feel when you sing, and your fans sing along to your song.
Cheryl: I don’t think you can describe that feeling in words. It’s just amazing to think that the lyrics you wrote are stuck in someone else’s head. They are moved enough by your music to sing it back to you. It’s doesn’t get better than that.
Dan: You would have to ask the other band members about when they sing lol, but it always makes me happy when you can see people at gigs singing back or recalling lines of the songs back to us after.
Tell us the goals you aim to achieve when creating a song.
Cheryl: We want each song to land in peoples’ heads and stay there. Memorable, catchy, powerful, meaningful songs are what we aim to create. We want people to be wowed by our vocals, melodies, lyrics, riffs, solos, and more.
Dan: When writing songs, we try to aim to make sure it is the best it can be; it involves breaking it apart and changing little bits if needed. The main thing is making sure people are going to enjoy listening to it and will want to keep listening to it. This will help us gain extra fans.
Tell us about your approach to writing.
Cheryl: Lyrics are written when the mood strikes, or if a song spurs certain emotion.
The actual music comes together often with each musician sitting down and adding their instrument individually to a song idea.
Sometimes songs are born from a fun band practice jam. There is no one way of doing things, that’s what makes music so exciting. You could give 5 people the same 5 chords to write a song and you’d have 5 completely different sounding songs from each. The possibilities are endless.
Tell us how you plan to develop a unique music style.
Cheryl: I guess you could say we are still developing our sound. We try not to pigeonhole ourselves into one specific genre or sound and that makes us quite unique. Not conforming to any one genre.
I believe our sound will change and evolve in the years to come, I look forward to that, it will keep us interesting and fresh.
There are many different influences in this band as we want to draw upon them all in a way to make our own music, how we like it.
Tell us how to record a song.
Cheryl: We record a ghost track 1st. So, everyone plays the song, as if it were a live gig. This ghost track is then used to aid each musician in building the song. Drums are normally laid down 1st, then bass, then guitar, the keys if we are adding them in, and then lastly the vocals.
Then we leave the raw recordings in the magical hands of Adam who mixes and masters our song into its perfect state.
Tell us if you are collaborating with other songwriters or you write alone.
Cheryl: For this band, we write alone. I have been asked to guest sing on other bands’ material and we would probably be open to this as well at some point further down the line. We write all our own music and lyrics and plan to continue this.
Discuss your experience with fans.
Cheryl: We’ve had some great times with our fans. We played a small venue in Newcastle called Bar Loco and honestly; this was one of our favorite gigs. There must have been no more than 10 people in the room, but they made us feel like there were 100. The feedback we got was amazing. We even got hugs!
Edinburgh was a great gig as well; we met our fan Brian who is sixty-something years young and still rocking out to live local band nights. He asked to get pictures with us that night and follows us religiously to this day. We really do have the best fans.
Dan: We love playing music live, showing everyone the effort, we put into the band, and creating music. We tend to have a fun experience with fans, and we have had positive feedback from them about our music.
Tell us your experience of booking gigs and shows.
Cheryl: It takes time to get the gigs rolling in locally, but they start coming eventually. Our 1st couple of years have been very busy indeed. It really does help to make friends with other local bands. We all play with each other and support each other and that’s where most of our gigs come from. Never consider other local bands as the enemy or competition. It’s likely your writing completely different music so why be threatened?
Agencies are helpful as well. We’ve worked with booking agents such as SSD concerts and Bedlam booking and they are both fabs. Have gotten us some crazy good gigs over the years in the best venues. It’s harder to get gigs outside your hometown because it’s hard to convince promoters and venues that you can pull people in to come to see you. But they do need to understand that you need to play the area to gain a following. You may start off with small numbers but with determination and some good songs that will change.
Tell us if you consider a song placement in TV or Film.
Cheryl: We would, and we have. One of the songs on our demo EP Crash and Burn made it onto two short films, one film named “Without Light” has our song “Give a Reason” in it and so does another film called Holli. We’re very proud of this fact.
Elaborate on the song.
Cheryl: We’ve recently released our 2nd single “Complicated”. This song talks of the demons of the mind and how they can destroy a good thing before it even has a chance to start. Have you ever liked someone who has recently broken up with someone? Have you ever thought that person would be perfect for you if someone else hadn’t broken them first? Have you ever thought you’d be perfect for someone if you hadn’t been broken first? Well, that’s what “Complicated” is about.
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
Cheryl: We’re working on our debut album, it’s yet to be named.
The band’s name is Fires of Freya. We named the band this after Freya the goddess of love, war, sex, and lots of other things in Norse mythology. We’re geeks and we like that sort of thing. “Fires” had a nice ring to it.
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