Time Out: Firesuite keep it personal

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MANY bands will lay claim to emotional roots in their music but for Firesuite there’s something genuinely and deeply personal about their first album.

The Sheffield-based quartet had been on the live band scene for a good while before settling down a couple of years ago with their current line-up.

Firesuite

Firesuite

After releasing three EPs, they have taken their mandate further with the release of a 10-track LP.

You’re An Ocean Deep My Brother is dedicated to Daniel Hindle, songwriter Chris Anderson’s younger brother and fellow musician, who died in 2002 at the age of 17.

A picture of Daniel adorns the album sleeve.

Although Chris quite rightly doesn’t want to make a big public display of his private loss or turn the album into a mawkish mournfest, there is a sense of melancholy which often pervades his compositions. It is “the culmination of years of songs, and shows, and everything...’’ he explains.

Although a long way from what is conventionally thought of as ‘soul’ music, there is a lot of emotion in their sound, with a claim that they want to “create something hugely affecting” and also different.

It’s a strange brew anyway, with quiet intricate parts suddenly washed over by huge waves of sound – a trick performed before in various ways by the likes of Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Mogwai.

“My Bloody Valentine, in particular, are a band who achieved a kind of other-worldly grasp of noise and melody, something we try to make a part of our music with varying degrees of success,’’ admits Chris

One other similarity with MBV is that the vocals are shared between male and female, with Chris and Sarah Griffiths – formerly of The Bollweevils and Bolster – singing and also sharing guitar duties.

“There aren’t really many bands where the ‘front person’ is fluid,’’ explains Firesuite’s main man.

“I like the idea that we each sing and carry the songs in different ways at different times.”

The backline, meanwhile, is provided by bassist Chris Minor and drummer Richard Storer. All four are fans of differerent types of music but, adds Chris, they are all unified on what sounds good or interesting.

This melting pot of melodic preferences helps Firesuite bring something fairly new to the proceedings.

Parts of this album could even be prog rock.

“I love a big chorus and hook as much as anyone else, I just like it bathed in swells of distortion,’’ Chris says.

“We aren’t slaves to structure, certainly in the conventional sense, but there’s a lot of negative connotations when it comes to prog.

“To be fair, only the other Chris and Richard are proficient enough musicians to play prog, and none of us really listen to it. The metal influence is more prominent, particularly more left-field bands.”

Some of the songs date back to the very early days of the band, and it took them “a good 12 months” to get it all together, recording at Sheffield’s Ebb Tone studios.

There are no local live dates imminent – the nearest is a festival in Crewe later this month – but they will figure in the line-up for this summer’s Tramlines festival happening July 22-24 at around 70 Sheffield venues, with the likes of Ash, The Crookes and Frankie & The Heartstrings confirmed for Devonshire Green.

In the meantime you can get You’re An Ocean Deep My Brother for a fiver (or more if you want) at http://firesuite.bandcamp.com – the download also includes liner notes, credits and images.

Fellow Sheffield band Bring Me The Horizon have been nominated for three Kerrang! Awards, including Best British Band and Best Album. The ceremony takes place in London on June 9.