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Stephan Sileghem (Metal To Infinity)
The Metal Gods Rock Show
10/31/2014- STEFAN SILEGHAM FROM "METAL TO INFINITY":
On November 14, 2014 - Phoenix Arizona based Power Metal band Born Of Fire will unleash their second, brand new effort “Dead Winter Dead” through Pure Steel Records. The activation of the band took place in 1998 and debuted with the mighty “Transformation” effort in 2000. I am convinced that US Metal fans will find this album as a highlight of their own collection, unfortunately BOF took a hiatus for 10 years shortly after. Now their back with some kind of a vengeance and along with new, word class singer named Gordon Tittsworth, I welcome these guys with all of my heart and the pleasure’s all mine having the following conversation.
Q: Hi guys, glad to have you on board having an in depth conversation regarding the life of Born Of Fire. Once again, I would express my appreciation for the new album Dead Winter Dead” but we will talk about it later on. Lets’ go back to the very beginning of the band, by whom, when and how BOF was established?
Steve - Well it all started long ago around 1998 with our former member and founder Micha Kite, although he is not a current member of the band we are all still good friends and all we all played prior for many years. I contacted Micha and had him answer a few of the questions that only he could give you the correct answer for. So here is what Micha had to say……
Micha - This is actually kind of funny. Back in 1998 I had heard about the Maiden Tribute and was interested but didn’t have a band. Kinda like the Metallica story where Lars heard about the first Metal Massacre record but didn’t have a band. I lived in a band house / studio with a group of musicians and asked drummer Keith Heaney if he could help me record some demos. I thought we could figure out the details later. In the past I had worked with several musicians who I felt confident could get the job done even if this was simply a project band. I called in an old friend Nick Rivero on vocals, Bobby Chavez on bass, Victor Morell on guitar and of course Keith on drums.
When the CD came out we were so surprised by the outcome of the compilation and the reaction we received we decided to turn this into a full time project. Along the way people came and went (including myself) which brings us up to where the band currently is today.
Steve - To add to what Micha said…..Bob, Vic, Micha & I all played in a band called Psychic Pawn 1989-1995 we also put an album out and several demos. At about the same time Micha was putting together the BOF project I was at the end of a long needed break from the Pawn days. Micha let me check out his new power metal project and I loved it! I told him dam….i always wanted to do this and you wait till i am retired to do so….ha ha. I said I am done being retired I WANT IN. He just so happen to have a drum opening in the band so I grabbed it and never looked back. We immediately started to write and work on the songs for the “Transformation” album.
Q: Why did you choose this band name – what were the ambitions during the very early days of existence?
Micha - It was something I just came up with. I thought it sounded like a great name for a power metal band as its naturally a powerful suggestion. At the time I had no idea this is also the name of a Slayer song. I was at a concert when to my dismay Tom Araya announced the next song as, “Born Of Fire”. As far as ambitions go I really just wanted to hang out with my friends, drink beer and play metal.
Q: Did the search for suitable musicians went smoothly? How the first line-up looks like those days?
Steve - Well it was everyone from Psychic Pawn plus a new singer and whole new style of metal from what we played in Pawn.
Micha Kite - Lead Guitars
Victor Morell - Lead Guitars / Keyboards
Bobby Chavez - Bass Guitar (currently lead guitarist)
J. Davis - Vocals
Myself on Drums for the “Transformation” record to present. So it was easy, we all knew each other musically and it came together fairly quick & seamless. But the band was constantly evolving and we were try to roll with the changes and keep it all going.
Q: What can you remember from the very first few rehearsals?
Steve - I remember loading my drums back into the practice room, feeling at home again after my long break, hanging with the guys, the camaraderie was missed and it felt good again. I also wanted to play in a power metal band for a long time because I thought it was a better fit for me. I was excited to be playing again, being in a PM band….. I was defiantly re-energized.
Q: One year after the forming of Born Of Fire, a first 4-demo has been recorded in 1999. Can you give some more details on the effort?
Steve - Again this was done around the same time Micha conceived BOF and did the Maiden America tribute CD. I was told it was real low budget and a quick in and out at the studio. I did not record drums on this first demo just everything after that. This was the demo I heard when I told Micha I wanted in!
Q: Another 3 track demo saw the crack of dawn in 2001, one of the songs called ‘In The End’ has been downloaded at least 60,000 times… what’s the story behind?
Steve - Yes….this is one of my favorite all time demo recordings. When Micha left the band after “Transformation” Bobby moved to guitar and we hired Joe Dunn to handle the bass duties and he was only on this demo due to the fact that life issues had come up where he had to leave the band after we recorded the demo. Chris Nelson RIP actually took over the bass duties after that until we went on our 10 year break. The 3 songs on this demo Bob, Vic and myself wrote. Bob was having fun playing guitar now and our writing style had evolved & enhanced. The “In The End” song is something i cant tell you how or why we wrote it but we just came together and just did it. It was magical. We got tons of positive feed back on this song & the entire demo. We were right in the middle of strong negotiations with Capital Records in the US at the time until Sept-11 2001 happened then everything changed for us!
Q: As I wrote in my review, my first contact with your style of Metal came along with the release of “Maiden America”, a strong tribute to legendary Iron Maiden! Besides the cover song ‘Remember Tomorrow’, there was also an own composition added to the tracklist of the second CD. May I assume that this participation has resulted in the international publication of the band?
Micha - Yes and no… at the time we did shop labels and supported many international acts live but basically walked away empty handed. Later, the band contributed the track Heaven And Hell on the tribute Hail To The Stonehenge Gods: Black Sabbath. I believe it was at that time World War III offered the band a deal but because of inner turmoil this never happened. Fast forward a decade or so and it was No Remorse who came into contact with the band because of the original Maiden Tribute, thus releasing all our past recordings as Anthology.
Q: Born Of Fire also participated on “Stonehenge Gods”, a tribute album to Black Sabbath. You covered one of my favorites entitled ‘Heaven and Hell’ as an honor to the one and only Ronnie James Dio, right?
Steve - Yes when were offered a deal to do a track for the Black Sabbath Tribute record of course we were thrilled! They told us to pick whatever song we wanted and right away I knew we could pull off “Heaven & Hell” very well. It also was an honor to pay a tribute to Ronnie. Even though I have never met him, he was a big impact in starting my musical career. This album was released when he was still alive and i always wonder if he has ever heard the track or the CD……..
Q: How have you handled the sad news regarding the death of this little, everlasting God of Metal?
Gordon - That was a rough time. I remember because it was just after we lost Peter Steele from Type O Negative. My wife is the biggest RJD fan on planet Earth so it was a rough time at the house for a bit.
Steve - Its sad whenever you lose someone as iconic as this. Its tough! He had such an inspiration on a lot of peoples lives. When an artist passes there music stays timeless forever! Its a documented piece in time if you think about it….its chilling! I am proud that we got to tribute one of Ronnie’s favorites songs “Heaven & Hell”.
Q: Apparently all was getting better and better, a first full-length album “Transformation” saw daylight in 2000. Who wrote the songs and how was the response of the international press community.
Steve - Micha, Bob, Vic and myself wrote the songs and the singer wrote the lyrics for “Transformation” Everyone seemed to like it and it got great reviews but our main purpose was to shop it for a deal but we never got picked up.
Q: In what way you’d like to describe this cut?
Steve - The production of “Transformation” to say it nicely sucked! No of us were pleased with the final outcome. In my opinion it was a terrible representation of BOF . The production did the songs no justice at all and is probably the reason we didn't get picked up by a label. I remember the recording studio we did this in was a real shit hole…… literally!
Q: Have you been on Tour to promote “Transformation”? With which bands you’ve shared the stage with back then?
Steve - We didn't have a label or any tour support for “Transformation” it was a self released record that we used for a demo so to speak. We did play with many big acts such as Armored Saint, Flotsam & Jetsam & Destiny’s End to name a few.
Q: Followed to the debut album, BOF created a 3 song demo which opened many doors and a better recognition around I guess, right?
Steve - Yeah i think so the whole process was building and getting better and better. The song writing structure started to evolve with Bob now on guitar and a new bass player. We wrote 3 killer songs with the goal in mind to make a pro demo this time and shop the hell out of it! Bob, Vic & I wrote the 3 songs and had them polished and ready for the studio. This time we made a big change and went to Minds Eye Recording Studio with Larry Elyea. We had a great studio and producer this time around and it came out Great. Just a side note Larry Actually did the “Heaven & Hell” track for us and also just mastered our new album “Dead Winter Sun”. Larry has done large acts recently such as Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Seven Dust, Slip Knot and many more so we are very proud to have Larry on our side. The dude is amazing!
We shopped this 3 song demo CD all over the world to magazines, fanzines, radio, record labels, distributers, anyone and everyone….thats really how the buzz got started. We got killer reviews and we were in negotiations with Capital Records until 9-11 happened as I talked about earlier.
Q: Everything was almost perfect, still shortly after the news was circulated regarding the cessation of further activities. May I ask what exactly happened, why this drastic decision?
Steve - I think there was many things that happened, Our deal didn't go through with Capital, Bob got in a serious life treating accident, the wind was going out of our sails, family, kids, life… I think we just ran out of gas fighting the fight everyday to keep it all together.
Q: Born Of Fire fell of the radar for at least 10 years, what kept you guys busy during this time?
Steve - Well I can probably only speak accurately for myself. I am sure the guys all have a different story to tell but for me I just focused on family & my business. After the 9-11 tragedy in the USA I really had a different outlook on life. Now I live everyday to the fullest, I don’t fear trying to live out my dreams at this stage in my life. Life is too short and I want to make my Mark and to be remembered after i die. I traveled to lots of places with my family and just enjoyed life. Most importantly the time off enabled me to be a good dad to my son who was only 2 when BOF went on break long ago. I feel that everything happened for a reason. Now he’s 14 and thinks its pretty cool that his dad is a heavy metal drummer.
During our time off i also really got into film making, directing and acting, I have been in several independent movies and some well known TV shows. I really enjoy this part of the entertainment industry. With the experience, knowledge and access to high end productions I directed all 3 of BOF’s music videos since 2012. “In The End”, “Dead Winter Sun” & “Tears” which is yet to be released. I also filmed and directed a music video and a feature length documentary on my old band from high school RIPSAW who got together for the 20 year reunion, filmed the documentary and did a side project album and released it on No Remorse Records, the CD also comes with the documentary DVD. Most all of the mentioned videos have been selected to national & international film festivals including the Phoenix Comicon 2013. My next film venture is to make a short comedy film just for fun and film festival runs but most interestingly I am planning on doing a documentary on the full story of BOF someday soon and release to the fans.
Q: Can you tell me something about your daily professional activities?
Gordon - I have a FT job that has nothing really to do with music. It would be nice if I could do music 24/7 but by playing rock/metal in 2014, that is just not realistic anymore. I am a quality analyst at my company. It is the best situation I could possibly be in without music being my FT job, so I’m happy about that.
Steve - I manage the band and I own my own communications company. Everyday is a mixture of band business, working my communication business, film auditions, promo and marketing, being a dad and family man. What more could i ask for???……well i could squeeze in a 2015 euro Festival run ……
Q: Back in 2012, No Remorse Records re-released both demo’s plus the debut album on one CD called “Anthology”. Who was the bringer of this generous initiative?
Micha -That was a collective decision between the old vocalist J Davis and myself (Micha Kite). They showed interest and at that time we really had nothing to lose. It had been a long time and someone wanted to release all our recordings, why not? They offered a very honest and genuine deal.
Q: Has the album encouraged you to give Born Of Fire a so-called rebirth or have you been reunited for any other reason?
Steve - Yes most defiantly. This is sort of a re-birth. I think the “Anthology” record brought us together. It did well and we filmed the music video “In The End” to support it. That was a tremendous take off with the fans. Then we said to ourselves lets kick this into serious mode and make a killer new record and re-brand Born Of Fire. I think we are very happy with our full package we have to offer now. The best its ever been in my opinion!
Q: Okay, with the comeback were also a few other musicians adding themselves to the ranks. Picture the current line-up and a few words on their past musical activities would be interesting to know…
Gordon - Well, Stefan, as you know, we go back at bit- my long-time band is Images of Eden and I also worked with All Too Human, Dread The Forsaken, among others, and have done vocals for hire for a number of years now. My site is http://www.gordontittsworth.com for anyone who wants to research my previous efforts more... (too much to go into on this thread).
However, I can also announce now a) I am no longer doing vocals for hire unless a major game-changer would come my way that could shift my career path to becoming a FT musician. My goal in ever doing for hire work that was to find a band that I could go levels higher with. Well, I found them. Also, b) it takes too much time away from my FT projects. That will NOT happen anymore. From here forward, I am pleased to say that I am FT with IMAGES OF EDEN (my “solo” project) and BORN OF FIRE with no intentions of “branching out” further. Also (BIG NEWS)- that Steve Dorssom from Born Of Fire will be playing drums on the 4th Images of Eden CD, titled “Soulrise”. Recording is underway now for a 2015 release. Sorry......went off on a tangent but had to make sure I touched on these points.
Steve - Well our base members Bobby Chavez - A life long musician, guitar player, bass player. His dad was a pro musician and studio engineer / producer so Bob grew up around this all his life. Bob also played in Pawn as our bass player and vocalist.
Victor Morell another life long musician, guitar player, keyboard player, studio engineer / producer also was the lead guitarist in Pawn. Vic is a great song writer and does movie music score work on the side. Michael Wolff is our newest member we most recently brought on board to take over the bass duties. Michael is about as cool as they come. Very talented guitar and bass player with lots of studio qualities as well. He is also a graphic designer and artist. Gordon is just the icing on the cake! The lyrics he writes really moves me. They are brilliant! We have so much talent in this current group the possibilities are endless and for me thats very exciting. So we have a pretty well round group of guys.
It has taken so much work to get to the point we are at right now. We have many obstacles to overcome and mountains to climb but we have made it back to the playing field and are ready to go. I am extremely proud of all our guys!
Q: With all due respect and appreciation for the other band members, Vocalist Gordon Tittsworth is the most important asset to me personally. I really like his way of vocal delivery, all the bands he’s involved with seem very interesting to me. Gordon, do you mind to give a little background history on your musical career so far? In addition to singing, you also have other musical skills in your body, speak freely about please.
Gordon - Sure thing. First, I really appreciate the great words but I have to give the guys credit for providing me with amazing songs to begin with. I just did what came naturally.
So, I partially answered this above but I have been a musician since age 13 (started on guitar, but later learned bass, drums, keys, etc.) but really found my niche when I started singing at age 16. Was in/out of bands over the years, took formal vocal lessons, etc. In 2001, I founded Images of Eden as my “solo” project, did recordings for hire, which was priceless because it allowed me to become a multi-dimensional vocalist. Until I recorded with Dread The Forsaken in 2008, my vocs were all very mid-range to high and clean. I have DTF to thank for opening my mind (to say the least).
Also, with being involved in multiple CD releases, I became quite educated in the release process (promo, distro, radio, etc.) and knowing that Steve Dorssom is also the “PR guy” for BOF, I knew that if we combined our efforts, we’d be sure to have the best chances of hitting a home run. We have worked together on EVERYTHING herein and it definitely makes life easier when you can divide and conquer. I look forward to a long journey with Born Of Fire which (hopefully) includes many more CD releases.
Q: How was the creation of the new songs handled - who wrote the songs and what were the lyrics all about?
Gordon - This is probably one of my favourite stories. This is long-winded but well worth the read....
I was first contacted by Victor Morell (guitarist) approx. Oct 30th, 2013. He basically gave me the quick history/ current state of Born Of Fire. At that time, their CD (later to be “Dead Winter Sun”) was finished with the exception of vocals, the label was “ready” to go. Bottom line, they needed vocals and IMMEDIATELY, well...... 90 days to be exact (after negotiations took place)! At the time, I was living in South Carolina, USA (approx. 600 miles away from Delaware) and we were preparing to DE move in December. The timing for BOF to contact me was at its absolute WORST!!! But, after watching their video for “In The End”, I knew I would do everything I could to work with these guys.
So...... here’s how the conversation basically went with Victor Morell:
GORDON - “Let me get this straight- in 90 days, I need to a) pack my entire house, b) move 4 states away, c) buy my house, d) unpack, e) make the transition seamless to my FT job (which I had just gotten a promotion at and needed time to ramp up, f) write a full album of lyrics, melody lines, etc., and g) get everything over to the band to mix and be on the label’s desk on Feb 1, 2013?”
VICTOR - “Pretty much.”
GORDON - “You guys are out of your minds!!! Count me in!!!”
I could not remotely pass up this opportunity, and I am very glad I did not! Somehow, some way, it all worked out and I was able to get moved, get the vocals done and over to the band to deliver to the label on time. I think what made it easy on me was that all of the songs were in my natural comfort zone. The band emailed me 9 MP3s labelled 1.mp3 – 9.mp3 and said, “Have at it.”
Honestly, as far as the writing went, I didn’t have time to think, I just dove in and ran with it, started unleashing every song lyric/ idea that came to mind in a word doc, then started moving things around, copy/pasting, etc until I had 9 working lyrics, then I dove into each individual instrumental and started laying down vocs.
Everything happened so fast that I didn’t have time to stop and really think about what was going on.
So, to actually answer the question, the general theme of the CD is mixed.
- Spiritual Warfare/ Echoes Of The Lost- deal with internal struggles and “Where does your heart lie in the grand design and where will you be going in the end?”
- Hollow Soul- is about beating life-threatening addiction.
- In A Cold World- deals with animal abuse/ neglect, told from their point of view (a very personal subject with me),
- Last Goodbye- was inspired by me losing my aunt unexpectedly without being able to say goodbye when I had the very opportunity to do so.
- When Hope Dies- deals with how the American media is trying to brainwash its people to keep them in fear at all times so they can control us.
- Cast The Last Stone- is about how no matter where we live, society wants to dictate who we are and what we should be, regardless of what we are and want to be. How our lives are predetermined and how I very much dislike that fact, but we have to deal with it nonetheless.
- Tears- think of it as a sequel to Last Goodbye and a response from the departed to the living.
Q: At what location and under what conditions, the album was recorded? Who was in charge for the production, recording, mixing,… duties?
Gordon - All of the vocals were done at my home studio in Delaware, USA. I would track vocals then send rough MP3 exports to the band to get their feedback. Once I got their final approval on each song, I would send the raw, unprocessed files to Bobby Chavez (recording engineer) to upload into his recording app. The cool thing was that the entire CD was complete before I even met the guys in person.
Steve - The studio album was written, recorded and mixed at Bob’s recording studio Immortal Audio. Bob was our studio engineer and producer with Vic and I lending an ear when needed. All three of us wrote the songs together but mainly Vic & Bob had the base ideas in mind. We took our time with this record. Its the most time i ever spent on a record in my life. We spent 1 year carefully crafted each song to our perfection. There is a laughing joke we have that we are all so anal the mix is never done….That really goes for everything in the entire process. We all pick it apart and try to make it the best it can be. Extreme Analism!!!! But its a good thing…..ha ha ha.
Q: What's the story behind the title of the album “Dead Winter Sun”?
Gordon - I am not sure how we decided on that title. Steve?
Steve - Well we had a few possible titles we were throwing around….I think toward crunch time to make a decision we choose the song title “Dead Winter Sun” because it fit well and it was our music video song so now we have a mini concept if you will for the album title, title track and the music video. We thought that was cool.
Q: Also the cover artwork looks great, who has made the design?
Steve - The cover was done by Kostas Tsiakos and he is the second artist to make an effort for our cover. The first artist we had to part ways with because we were not getting the right feel / impact that we felt was needed. We brought Kostas on board and Gordon & i explained the concept idea to him and he took off with it. We feel he did an absolute amazing job on the cover.
Q: Born Of Fire’s new album ready to hit the stores, I had the opportunity to check out all of the songs in advantage and guys, you blow me right out of my socks. What a great effort, are you agree with my, already posted, review?
Gordon - Interesting that you ask if we agree with your review. It was great, Stefan. I totally agree with you because it is very obvious that you are extremely knowledgeable about the genre.
We have found that some reviews are not always unbiased. There have been times where our CD goes to the press contact at the zine and they simply hand it off to a random reviewer. Sometimes the death metal or black metal guy will get the prog-metal CD and they slay the band in the review. This kinda thing pisses me off because they are biased about it and not giving it a fair review. I would say at least get the CD to the prog guy and have him listen. Of course the death/black metal guy will most likely not like it. I am not asking for a great review every time, but as long as they give it a fair review, I’m cool. I just don’t like it when they blast it and are unprofessional because they don’t like the genre.
Steve - I am glad you like it and not to be conceded but yes i agree with you…its really like you took the words right out of my mouth. It was an honest positive review. loved it. Thank you for that!
Q: While writing down my thoughts on the album, I made a quote about the fact you’re as strong as the famous Fates Warning… what’s your reaction to that?
Gordon - A Major compliment to be compared to FW and to be able to hold out own alongside them. My very favourite album of all time is Fates’ Awaken The Guardian, so it is huge to be listed next to them.
Steve - WOW thats a mighty comparison and i am flattered.
Q: Both vocal service and musical style of Born Of Fire kicks me right into the direction of Fates Warning mainly. Has frontman Ray Alder and the rest of FW already heard your music?
Gordon - I doubt it, but would love for them to hear it.
Steve - I only met Ray a few times and I doubt he even remembers me but I doubt they have even heard of BOF. Hopefully they will get a chance to hear the new record when it comes out and I would love to hear what they think.
Q: What do you think is the strongest asset of the band, musical wise?
Gordon - From being a “newbie”, I can say that all 4 of the guys are pros at what they do and are all amazing people. When I flew out to AZ to shoot the videos for “Dead Winter Sun” and “Tears”, I felt like I was returning home to my family I had not seen in a long time. Everyone embraced me with immediate open arms. Also, the material is very strong and all members of the band are VERY musically hungry! Kinda like working with a group of rapid wolverines on PCP!
Steve - I would say all 5 of us together make the strongest asset of the band. I takes all of us to make it work and work well. We dont try to sound like anyone, we just do what we do and let the music flow out of us naturally. Thus you get “Dead Winter Sun”.
Q: Do you have certain songs that get a preferred treatment?
Gordon - Very hard to say but I’m going with Last Goodbye, When Hope Dies & IN A Cold World.
Steve - As far as I am concerned all of them! But really our video songs probably got the most attention.
Q: At times there is a clear dark atmosphere present, how come?
Gordon - I noticed that too, and I love it. My general writing style (which anyone knows from Images of Eden) is more bright/ positive, so it was a cool departure. The music on several songs sounded darker so I naturally had to match the lyrics/ vocals with the tone of the music, specifically in Dead Winter Sun, Echoes Of The Lost and Tears.
Steve - We like a dark mysterious feel to our music. Its just our nature. You most likely will not catch us writing happy go lucky songs skipping down the sidewalk eating a popsicle. ha ha ha……
We want to write music to give you that feel….to move you…impacting presence!
Q: I suppose that “Dead Winter Sun” has already released as Enhanced CD in the US, right?
Steve - No the CD has not been released yet anywhere. Nov-14th worldwide it will be released. The CD will be an “Enhanced” disc that will have our new music video “Dead Winter Sun” as a bonus track.
Q: In what way American Metal maniacs have reacted on the effort so far?
Gordon - It’s still too soon to get a clear big picture, but our American fans have responded very favourably so far, but as always, it seems the biggest fan base lies in Europe. That said, we have gotten great responses from our European contacts/ fans.
Steve - Great responses so far but its still too early to tell. But I do hope everyone loves it and buys the record to support our future.
Q: Pure Steel Records will unleash the album in November the 14th.2014. How did you get in touch with this label? Would this be the start of an interesting prospective cooperation?
Steve - I came across the label when I was putting my label list together for mail outs of the promo demo. 60 days into the label shopping process I was contacted by Andreas & Stefan at Pure Steel and it really made my year! After working with them the past several months on our release I have found they have been great to work with and are very professional. I believe this is the start of a great business relationship as long as BOF can sell some records.
Q: Throughout several years, we’ve made a lot of reviews for this label. They really have very good US Metal bands under their wings so to me, the deal with them will certainly benefit a great time for a band like Born Of Fire. What about your expectations and mutual future plans with Pure Steel Records?
Gordon - Since this is our first release on PSR, we don’t know exactly what to expect in comparison to other labels we have all collectively been on so we will have to see how well sales go, which will determine the next steps. However, in speaking on behalf of myself and not the band, I have been EXTREMELY pleased with Pure Steel, their entire crew, and how they are handling this release. I feel as if it is getting more attention than any release I have been on to date. Pure Steel is very “hands-on” and they work with us on even small details to ensure the greatest success. This spoke worlds to me! I have nothing but positive things to say about the other labels I have worked with, but I feel like we have been getting some extra attention at Pure Steel that I am not used to getting, which is very refreshing.
It has also been an education for me. All labels I have worked with have been US labels and to work with a German label, I noticed differences I did not expect, specifically cultural differences between the USA and Europe. I have to specifically acknowledge Stefan (at Pure Steel) who opened my eyes to some things.
Bottom line, they are an awesome label and are 110% professional.
Steve - Like i said i love Pure Steel Records and I want to build this business with them together. It really comes down to the fact that we need to sell some records. We are going to do everything in our power to make that happen with our 2 big production music videos, all the cool merchandise and with all the promotional support we are getting……hopefully that will generate some record sales and justify a follow up album from BOF sooner rather than later. It sure wouldn't hurt if we can get on a festival circuit for 2015 as well. time will tell.
Q: What’s the most conspicuous difference between the debut “Transformation” and the new one “Dead Winter Sun”?
Steve - Simple! the song writing, lyrics and production kick ass on the new DWS album. The song writing is great on “Transformation” too but as I said earlier the production was bad and did no justice for the songs at all.
Q: I’m totally hooked on your early days of US Metal service and I truly adore the refreshing, somewhat innovative sound of today! US Metal rules at Metal To Infinity webzine so guys, be sure that we will spread the word as good as we can. Before we let the curtain fall on this interview, what will be the next step in the career of Born Of Fire? Maybe touring across Europe playing a dazzling show…
Steve - The rest of the year we will spend marketing and promoting the new release. Jan 2015 we will release our next music video “Tears” to support the vinyl LP release in Feb 2015. As we go through all that we would love to start booking festivals for 2015 for sure!!!
Q: How important is a little webzine like Metal To Infinity for a band like yours?
Gordon - I would not call MTI a “little” webzine. Quite frankly, Stefan, Sloof and Officer Nice have been MAJOR supporters over the years and I would be willing to give MTI a breaking story before someone else simply because of this. Bottom line, as artists, we would be nothing without our great press contacts so we value you more than you know. That being said, rest assured that Born Of Fire (and Images of Eden) will always support MTI!
Steve - Its very important! because without you promoting us none of the fans would know who we are. Thank you my friend!
Q: A difficult one - Talking about the International Metal scene we all know there are uncountable sub-genres in the running by now. Which form of Metal you guys dislike for sure – why?
Gordon - Ouch! Loaded question. Personally, I gravitate to the more “positive” aspects of life/ metal so I’m not into negativity. I always feel by writing/ listening to material with a negative vibe, you tend to adopt that vide in your everyday life. I don’t want to do that! I could go without death metal or black metal due to its negative overtones. That said, I still love bands like Opeth who have the “death metal” sound, but I can do without the negative energy that most extreme metal brings.
Q: Which bands can be mentioned as absolute faves?
Gordon - So many!!! I have evolved over the years. My #1 style I love now is a drop-tuned modern hard rock/ metal along the lines of Alter Bridge, Tremonti (basically anything under the sun with Myles Kennedy singing and/or Mark Termonti on guitar that is “post-Creed”), Killswitch Engage (with both Howard and Jessie), Mudvayne, etc. but I grew up with the great classics- Fates Warning, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Dream Theater. Also, Type O Negative (anything Peter Steele), and anything with Lance King singing.
Steve - Black Sabbath, King Diamond, Maiden, Max Cavalera fan, Sacred Reich, Flotsam, Scorpions…. I have a wide range that I like, the list is too long…..
Q: Well, it was a real please and honour to have a conversation with one of my favourite US Metal bands at the moment… THANK YOU ! Close this interview as you want it yourself. By The Grace Of US Metal !
Gordon - You guys are the best. As long as you keep covering metal, we’ll keep you busy with new material.
Steve - Thanks Stefan! I appreciate the interview and the great review. To all our new and old fans and people who are not sure yet….Thanks you for supporting us by buying our new record and we hope you love it.
Our new web store goes live Oct-31 at www.bornoffireusa.com check out 4 different styles of shirts, embroidered logo patches, autographed CD’s and much more. Also give us a like on Facebook and keep up with all our current events. Cheers to you all!!!
10/31/2014- SEB DI GATTO FROM "THE ROCK GODS METAL SHOW":
MG:Hey great to meet you!
Steve - Great to meet you too and thank you for the interview.
MG: Can you give me brief history of Born of Fire
Steve - BOF was created back in 1998 and did the 1999 Maiden America tribute CD followed up by the full length “Transformation” CD in 2000, then we went back into the studio in 2001 to do a 3 song EP that we used to shop for a major record deal. While strong negotiations were going on between Capital Records & BOF, we were invited by WW-3 Records to do a track for the Black Sabbath Tribute CD which we did “Heaven & Hell”. Right after the US tragedy of 9-11 no labels were signing bands anymore, our A&R contacts at Capital Records were now gone and things just drifted apart. Life happens and we just went on a long break…..that long break lasted about 10 years.
In 2012 we reunited to do a best of BOF record with No Remorse Records featuring all of our previously recorded music called “Anthology”. During our 10 year break our guitarist Bobby had built his own recording studio and really polished his skills in studio recording & mixing. At the same time I got into film making, directing and acting. With all these skills in house now we decided to produce, film and direct our very first music video for the popular song off the “Anthology” record “In The End”. This really took off well with the fans so much that we decided that we have some un-finished business and wanted to write and record a brand new record. This time we wanted to record it in Bobby’s studio with him taking the lead on engineering and being the studio Producer (its in his blood, Bob grew up in his dads recording studio as a kid).
As we were in the middle of writing and recording the new record the summer of 2014 we had a fall out with our vocalist which forced us to cut ties with him and move on with finishing our record but we had to find a new vocalist first & another record label all at the same time. Then literally 2 days later magic happened…..We met Gordon our current vocalist and he fit us perfectly. We knew we had great songs put together and we just needed the right vocalist and boy did we find him. The dude is amazing! We have so much in common, we get along great and now we are best friends and business partners.
Such a blessing! Then we brought our new Bass player on board Michael Wolff who is a multi talented, extremely cool dude that fits us perfectly. We put together a great demo and promo package and shopped it. We ended up inking a deal with Pure Steel Records 60 days later. Now we have overcome all of our obstacles, up’s & down’s and have put together a killer line up with an amazing new record that we feel the fans are going to love. We want to bring a new flavor to power metal and i think we accomplished that.
MG: Why the album title "Dead Winter Sun”
Steve - When our new vocalist Gordon dug into all of the songs we have, he did a great job with the titles, lyrics etc. “Dead Winter Sun” was the second song we tracked with Gordon and later on after going through several album title suggestions we all felt that “Dead Winter Sun” would be a great album title as well as some visual concept ideas for the cover. We also filmed and directed our own music video for this title track as well. So its somewhat of a concept idea with the album cover, album title, title track song and the music video….it all ties together.
MG: Do you have a personal favourite track on the new album and why ?
Steve - Well everyday it seems i have a new favorite track. I really like all of them. We carefully crafted these songs in the studio with the fans & listeners in mind. Our goal was to capture their attention and take them on a musical journey. Right now my favorite track is “When Hope Dies” It tells the perfect story of the world we live in today! Government, Media lies!, humans destroying the earth….. lets face it….todays world we live in sucks! Look at our album cover and see how we feel.
We are a US band…..ha ha. But seriously it has a global meaning and its not just the fall of the US government.
MG: The Album cover is interesting can you tell me a bit about it and did you have any input into its design
Steve - The album cover was done by Kostas Tsiakos. To get to the point we are at with the current cover was also quiet a feat. We had to go through a previous artist before we could come up with a good impacting cover. Once Kostas was brought on board, Gordon & I brainstormed the concept direction and proposed it to Kostas and from that point the full band provided input and crafted in to completion. We are really happy with the cover, color tones and the bold impact it has.
Kostas knocked one out of the park for us. The over all concept is whats inevitable that this world is coming too…….
MG: What inspires Born of Fire ?
Steve - I think what inspires us as a group is that we have some un-finished business to take care of. We want the world to really see and hear who Born Of Fire is. We just came up a day late and dollar short in the past but now its different, we are more than ready to take this on with a vengeance!
MG:Plans for the rest of the year and what will 2015 bring ?
Steve - For the rest of the year we will be promoting our new record really heavy and we will be launching our new web store where you can choose from 4 different style BOF shirts, mens & women’s apparel, embroidered logo patches, autographed CD’s and we have branded our own Hot Sauce. “Born Of Fire Heavy Metal Hot Sauce” we think the fans will love it! For 2015 we will have our full album released on vinyl in Feb and we will also be releasing our next music video “Tears” to help support the new release. This video is a jaw dropper and I can’t wait to release it to the world.
MG: What are your personal Musical Influences
Steve - Everyones influences may have some common ground but each one of us has our own taste for things as well. Me personally growing up I loved Iron Maiden, WASP, Scorpions, Metallica, Anthrax, Black Sabbath, Queenryche (but nothing after operation mind crime), Flotsam & Jetsam, Sacred Reich to name a few.
MG: Can you tell me what you have been listening to recently
Steve - Most recently I am really getting into King Diamond again. But being locked in the studio for this last year i shut down my listening to other bands for a while to focus on our project.
MG: Best and worst things about touring
Steve - Well I haven’t been lucky enough to have spent a whole lot of time doing that unfortunately. But my good friend Greg Hall from Sacred Reich told me ……..”When I am at home I can’t wait to go on tour…….When i am on tour, i can’t wait to get home”
I would really love to travel the world and share our music with everyone. Hopefully many 2015 festivals will be booked soon!!!!
MG:Please describe Born of Fire in four words!
Steve - Sophisticated Veterans of Metal
MG:Finally, anything to say to our fans and your listeners
Steve - Thank you so much for all your support! We hope you love the new album and new music videos we did. We did it for all of you the fans….... Your enjoyment is our fulfillment. Pick up the new record when it comes out Nov 14th on Pure Steel Records and let us take you on a musical journey. Fans can pre-order the new CD at the Pure Steel web store and for the first 50 fans to order the CD, they will receive a FREE Born Of Fire embroidered logo patch.
Also fans can visit our web store on the BOF web site www.BornOfFireusa.com to check out all of our our cool merchandise that goes on sale starting Oct-31
Thank you all for supporting our new release. Without you the fans none of this would be possible.