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INTERVIEW: Firestarter

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firestarterInfectious Magazine recently had the opportunity to chat with Albany, New York pop-punk band Firestarter when they stopped in St. Augustine, Florida for their current tour. The band talked about snowstorms, pizza bets, and working with Lil’ Wayne.

Check out the entire interview after the jump.

Firestarter are currently on the Firestarter and Friends Do America Tour with Trophy Wives until February 23, Nominee on February 25, 26 and 28, and Such A Mess from March 2 – 8. You definitely don’t want to miss this tour! You can buy concert tickets here.

To hear more from the band, you can purchase a CD here.

Infectious Magazine: First off, can you guys introduce yourselves?

Matt LaPerche: My name is Matt. I sing and play guitar

Matt Bliss: My name is also Matt and I play drums.

Jeff Henlin: My name is Jeff and I play bass.

Tyler McMullen: My name’s Tyler and I play guitar.

 

IM: How are you guys and how’s the tour so far? I know it’s still fairly new.

MB: It’s been great, besides the snow.

ML: The snow and cold have been the bane of our existence on this tour. So far, we played Poughkeepsie for the first day on Friday [February 13] and that was great. I think it was 70 or 80 kids and that was a great time. Long Island was supposed to be on Saturday [February 14] but the snow cancelled that on us. It was supposed to snow like six to 10 inches or something like that.

TM: It was a lot.

ML: Yeah. We played Baltimore. That was awesome. And we were supposed to play Richmond [Virginia] on Monday [February 16] and it snowed some more. We lost that show, too. We played Charleston, South Carolina last night [February 18] and that was absolutely wild.

TM: The kids went absolutely insane.

MB: That was dope.

ML: I got a bloody lip from it.

 

IM: So, this next question is going to seem a little dumb considering the current weather conditions right now. I noticed your tour dates are mainly in the south and warmer states, was that deliberate with all the snow or just completely coincidental?

ML: Yes, that is 110% deliberate. We hadn’t toured in two months before we started this one, and we wanted to do something just to keep it going. We had done a tour in January and February last year and went everywhere, like the entire country. That was rough. Forty-five days, and it was during that time of the polar vortex, so we were just like  (makes shivering motion). So we decided for this tour we were going to go south and just stay there.

IM: Well it doesn’t seem to be going very well for you now, but hopefully it gets warmer. I heard it’s supposed to warm up.

ML: Yeah, we play Sunrise [Florida] tomorrow so that will be like 70 degrees.

IM: Hopefully!

ML: Yeah, hopefully.

TM: I saw a picture of Marco today and he was wearing cutoffs, so it looks warm.

IM: Well I was wearing shorts last weekend, and you see now, we’re all bundled up.

ML: And then we show up and it’s 40 degrees!

 

IM: Yeah, thanks for that. You guys recently finished recording your third EP with Jay Maas. How was that whole experience?

ML: That was a lot of fun. Up until we had done this EP with Jay, we had gone to Mike Kalajian. So this was a little new. New producer, new engineer. We drove out to Massachusetts for it. We didn’t know what to expect, but we got there and we felt at home. We clicked really well with Jay and it was a lot of fun.

TM: Lots of jokes.

MB: Lots of things that shouldn’t be said.

ML: We had a good time.

 

IM: Can you give me any details on the new EP or an estimate on when it might be available?

TM: It has songs on it.

MB: It contains songs of original work.

IM: That’s good!

ML: Musicianship. Notes.

IM: Any idea when it could come out?

ML: We’re hoping by the summer.

 

IM: Last week on Instagram, you guys posted a picture that were back in the studio with Jay [Maas], working on “something secret.” Now I know you’re not going to give away what it was, but could you maybe give a little hint? Any idea at all?

TM: It’s another song.

ML: It’s another song for the EP we recorded with Jay. It’s another song for it. So we can say that much. It’s another song for the songs.

TM: So you can expect one more song on top of the songs you were already expecting.

 

IM: You guys worked with Old Again, who are from Orlando, on a split back in 2013.

ML: That’s so long ago.

IM: I know, it feels like forever!

ML: I mean, it’s 2015. That was a long time ago!

IM: If you were to do another split, what band would you want to do one with?

ML: Ooh that’s a loaded question.

MB: That’s a good question. Realistically or…

IM: (laughs) It could be your wildest dream or realistically.

TM: I have a feeling we’re all thinking of the same band.

MB: Blink-182!

ML: I’m thinking of the band ROAM from the UK.

MB: That would be sick.

IM: I’m seeing them next weekend!

ML: With Set It Off? That tour is awesome! We’re close Internet friends with ROAM. Like, we’ve always, since both of our bands started, tweeted back at each other and stuff like that. We made a deal , because we’ve been trying to get over to the UK and they’ve been trying to get here, and we’ve wanted to at least have some involvement together. They made a deal with us that whichever band made it to the other band’s home country first… It’s hard to explain.

TM: The losing band has to buy the other band pizza.

ML: There you go! That’s what I was trying to get at!

IM: So you guys are buying pizza for them?

ML: Yeah, we lost that agreement. So when they hit New York when we’re home from tour, we have to buy them some good ol’ New York City pizza.

IM: Hey, that’s a good deal for them though. So would that be the band you’d want to work with?

ML: Oh, we would love to do a tour with them, do a split with them…

IM: Anything at all?

ML: Yeah.

IM: They seem pretty cool. I’m excited to see them.

TM: That whole tour is stacked.

ML: Seriously.

 

IM: On your most recent EP, you have a song called “If You Ain’t First, You’re Last,” which is obviously a Talladega Nights reference. I know the song mentions being in first place, but why choose that exact title?

ML: Well the story behind that song is there was a girl, I used to live in the Albany area and I was seeing a girl from there, but she couldn’t decide if she wanted to see me or another dude who was also named Matt. Very ironic. And also ginger. Also very ironic. And she would go back and forth saying, “Oh I wanna see you. Yada, yada, yada.” Then she’d get iffy and go back to the other Matt. And it’s just like, if I’m not gonna be first, I’m not gonna be last either. That’s where I made the reference from.

 

IM: All the titles of your EPs give a sense of moving forward in life and, obviously, forgetting the past. But your past is basically what shapes you ultimately. At Infectious, we do these “Growing Up” playlists where our writers put together like 10 songs that define who they are. So if each of you were to put together one of these playlists, what is one band or one song that would definitely have to be on that playlist?

ML: Ooh, I can’t start this one, I need to think about that.

JH: “Dammit” by Blink-182.

ML: Alright, there’s Jeff’s answer.

MB: Uh, “Barbie Girl.” Who sings that?

Everyone: Aqua.

IM: Why that song?

MB: Because I love Barbies. (laughs) I don’t know. That was not an answer.

IM: It’s on the record.

MB: Scratch that from the record. The last 30 seconds, scratch that.

TM: I think if I had to pick a song, I feel like it would be “Hold Me Down” by Motion City Soundtrack. I mean, it’s got big meaning. I just love that song so much. I don’t even know how to explain it.

ML: It’s so sad though.

TM: Yeah, it is. Honestly, when you are growing up, there’s gonna be happy times, there’s gonna be sad times. Everything possibly imaginable happens while you’re growing up. That’s the sad truth.

IM: (to Matt LaPerche) They answered quickly. Did you have time to think?

ML: Nope.

TM: It’s gonna be a Silverstein song.

ML: Yes it is.

TM: Or a Bayside song.

ML: Ooh dammit! You just threw a wrench in the works. I was going for a Silverstein song, now you mention Bayside.

TM: Just pick a Silverstein song.

MB: I can’t even remember the question at this point.

IM: You can just pick a band. It doesn’t have to be a specific song.

ML: I know. Hmmm, there is a song that sticks out in my mind, I just can’t remember the name of it.

TM: You know another good one? “Every Man Has His Molly,” by Say Anything. That is a very good growing up song.

ML: Except Matt [Bliss] doesn’t like Say Anything.

TM: It doesn’t matter. Matt doesn’t matter. (laughs)

ML: Ok, here we go. This is super obscure. I remember the name finally. It’s on Silverstein’s record A Shipwreck In The Sand, the song’s called “A Hero Loses Every Day.” That goes along with the whole moving on, growing up and moving forward thing because, it doesn’t matter, you could be on top of the world and something could happen. Boom, you could be on the bottom.

TM: You could think you’re doing the right thing.

ML: Yeah, exactly.

 

IM: You guys had a very busy 2014 – multiple tours, you did a show on Warped.

ML: That was a good time.

IM: Do you hope or expect 2015 will be the same?

ML: We’re hoping busier, honestly.

TM: Like up the ante 100%. Like double it!

MB: Yeah, we’re trying to play two shows a day, on average.

JH: Yeah have fun, I’m gonna go home.

 

IM: What’s something you’re hoping will happen this year for you guys?

ML: That’s another loaded question.

MB: The next logical step for us – a full-length. That would probably be cool.

TM: Support tours.

ML: Support tours with some bigger bands. That would be cool.

TM: Get featured on a Lil’ Wayne song.

IM: That would be awesome!

ML: Have Skrillex do a remix of one of our songs.

IM: Hey, that all could happen.

TM: The sky’s the limit.

 

IM: Exactly! Is there any final comments you guys have for our readers?

ML: Keep an eye out for the new EP. Come hang out if you’re near any of the dates of the tour.

TM: Follow us on Instagram.

ML: Follow us on Instagram. Well, our Instagram is @firestarter_ny. That would help.

 

IM: Yeah, because I totally wasn’t going to link it when I wrote all this out. Find it yourself! (laughs)

ML: No, no, not at all. (laughs)  

TM: The discover button is there for a reason.

 

IM: Yeah, do your research. (laughs) Well, thank you guys so much!

ML: Yeah, thank you for coming out and doing the interview!

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Managing Editor of this lovely magazine! Music is my passion & I aim to make people love it as much as I do. I love concerts, cats, & quoting song lyrics on social media.

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