Photo by Matty Thrash
(Today we have another new interview by Comrade Aleks, and this time he talked with the band Fires in the Distance, whose second album saw release in April by Prosthetic Records.)
Melodic death-doom outfit Fires in the Distance was founded in Newington, Connecticut seven years ago. Their debut album Echoes from Deep November (2020) demonstrated the band’s good taste towards dark, melancholic music with natural emotional depth. Prosthetic Records released the band’s second full-length work Air Not Meant for Us on April 28, 2023, and we almost immediately got in touch with the band.
The album is an amazing voyage to the fragile realm of autumnal melancholy and an effective exercise in expressing hidden griefs. Air Not Meant for Us grants high-level of melodies and drive at the same time, so it’s right to mention the names of those who stand behind the album: Craig Breitsprecher (bass, vocals), Jordan Rippe (drums), Yegor Savonin (guitars, synths), and Kristian Grimaldi (guitars, vocals).
Yet, not everything goes according the plan, and this interview with an anonymous member of the band was unfinished for reasons, speaking diplomatically, beyond our control. The album is worthy of your attention yet, and this interview will help to understand it a bit better.
Hi Fires in the Distance! How are you? How goes the promotion of Air Not Meant for Us?
Happy to be here! We’ve been thoroughly enjoying having this record out and into the hands of our fans. This record was finished in the spring of 2022 so the reception and feedback from fans has been phenomenal.
Craig and Yegor started together in the melodic death bands Archaic Decapitator and Engraved. Was Fires in the Distance a kind of natural expanding of this genre to the territories of doom metal? What pushed you in this direction?
The transition from Archaic Decapitator to Fires happened through Yegor’s writing taking a shift. It was not so much an intentional change, but being self-aware that stylistically songs were coming out differently. “Chained to the Earth” was the first FITD song and we found that we really enjoyed the musical shift.
Your first album Echoes from Deep November was released in 2020 in CD and vinyl format; also there was a digital instrumental version of this material. Was it your initial idea to represent Fires in the Distance without vocals as well? Did you get any feedback regarding this version?
Yes, originally we thought of FITD as an instrumental band. However, Kristian’s vocals added a lot of depth and an additional layer to the music, so we decided to integrate it into the band.
What was your general concept of Echoes from Deep November? It has remarkable artwork by Caelan Stokkermans, it has memorable and picturesque soundscapes as well, and this overall sentimental melancholy. It just looks and sounds like you had a detailed vision before you started recording it.
It was a bit of an experiment to tell you the truth. We had intended this to be a one-time studio project and were unsure about how the reception would be. We believe the songs are thematic and congruent but it was a bit of a risk musically.
How soon did you start to perform Echoes from Deep November live? Was it a rewarding experience?
We were shut down a bit from COVID 19, but we were able to play an outdoor release show with social distancing in October 2020. It wasn’t until spring of 2021 and summer of 2022 that we started traveling more to play live.
You recorded the instrumental version of the album and then you recorded it live at Telefunken Studio. It’s the Live at Telefunken (2022) digital album.
That’s correct. Live at Telefunken was part of Metal Injection’s “Slay at Home” series, but we decided to record the whole album live as part of the undertaking.
You signed the deal with Prosthetic Records, and I see that they supported both releases with videos, and that’s a good thing in itself. A lot of bands upload some stuff on YouTube. Did they help you with the organization of gigs as well?
They absolutely did. Prosthetic Records has been a fantastic partner and we’re grateful that they took a chance on us and our music. They’re quick to respond, offer good advice, and we feel that they genuinely care about the bands on their roster.
Fires in the Distance’s new album Air Not Meant for Us includes not only orchestration arrangements but also live violins and cello. How did you manage to find the right musicians? Was it a principal point to have live strings on this record?
This part of the record was handled by Randy Slaugh (Devin Townsend Project, TesseracT, Periphery). His vision and the atmosphere he composed added a new layer to our music and was a natural point to grow on from Echoes.
What was the most difficult experience during the recording of Air Not Meant for Us?
Logistics. We almost had our drum sessions canceled due to The Power Station’s engineer getting COVID; we were hit with an unexpected blizzard before our first day; and we had about 80 hours of driving to and from North Carolina to do strings and vocals. It was all worth it.
How do you see the further prospects of the band? Do you see a chance for a breakthrough if you put more efforts into it? And do you feel that you’ll be able to keep the same level of quality as well as continue to follow autumn’s ways?
We’re going to do the best we can to grow while staying true to our roots musically. It’s difficult to say where the future will take us, but that’s up for our fans to decide.
What are your plans for the rest of 2023?
We have about 20 shows between now and the end of the year to support the new record. We’re especially excited to be touring with our labelmates in Dawn of Ouroboros through the midwest and southern US this October.