I admit it. My favourite band are The Smiths. Its nothing to be ashamed of. I also like Jazz, funk, soul, indie – oh just about every genre of music there is. I always reckon there’s good and bad of everything, you just need to look hard enough. I didn’t have to look beyond Sheffield’s We Dig For Fire to find the good in intelligent sort of post-hardcore rock. Although there is a slight similarity in sound with Biffy Clyro, its unfair to link them together because these boys produce intelligent, catchy, adreneline-fulled songs of their own.
I’m hoping that 2013 will prove to be a bog year for the boys, so I spoke to them to find out how everything works in We dig for fire-land.
For those people who don’t know you or your music, can you introduce yourselves?
Brett: I’m Brett and I play guitar
Andy: I’m Andy and I play guitar also, and sing!
Joe: I’m Joe. I play bass and do backing vocals.
Marcus: I’m Marcus and I play drums, do backing vocals and also play the occasional violin!
How did you all meet up?
Andy: Brett and I met on the equivalent of a musician dating website! We basically started writing a bunch of tunes in his flat, did some acoustic gigs then things moved on from there.
Marcus: I met Brett at a party and we’d known each other for while when he asked me to join the band. We went out for a beer at Alibi, then booked a rehearsal room for a week later, they played me some of the tunes and I was sold!
Joe: I joined the band in October 2012. Again, it was through a musicians dating site!
What bands inspired you to make music, or continue to inspire you today?
Brett: Firstly Oasis in terms of their catchy songs, but then more Hendrix in terms of the different scope of sounds the could be made from the instrument. More recently I’ve been into a lot of bands who are quite renowned for their storytelling and energy, bands such as mewithoutYou, Brand New and Thrice,
Andy: I love everything from singer-songwriters right up to really heavy stuff, but I’d say for this band, for me the idea was to cross mainstream stuff like the Foo Fighters with more experimental stuff like Thrice.
Joe: So many! I listen to a lot of post rock and prog. Bands like Amplifier, 65daysofstatic, Porcupine Tree all explore extended song structures, which is always interesting! In terms of inspiration for the music we make as a band, Saosin, Anberlin and Biffy Clyro all make want to keep writing and playing!
Marcus: In terms of my drumming, the Mars Volta are a big inspiration but I listen to all sorts too! The Foo Fighters, The Refused, Thrice and Muse are all bands I love.
Love the name, where did it come from?
Brett: Well I stole it. Well, more accurately I ‘sought inspiration’ from a company in Sheffield called Dig for Fire that I used to see when I was driving around Sheffield as part of my last job. I thought the name was quite intriguing however, to avoid any blatant thievery I suggested we personify it by adding the ‘We’. I don’t feel too bad as since we’ve been using it the phrase ‘Dig for Fire’ has been linked to a song by The Pixies so I feel that company may have had the same idea as us in terms of ‘borrowing’ it.
Andy: It’s also tied in to an early song on our first EP called “…On this Town” – in the end it was either the song or the band name that had the “Dig for Fire” reference and we decided upon the band name!
How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard you?
Andy: If we were a drink I’d say we’d be a subtle blend of The Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro with a twist of Thrice and a dash of The Deftones!
Would you say your post-rock, post-hardcore? In fact, If you were to make up a genre to describe your music, what would it be? (I really want someone to say they are post-post-punk)
Brett: The genre would be called “Dave”. Everyone’s got a friend called Dave and there’s always room for one more
Who have you played with since you’ve been together?
Andy: We recently did a show with Freeze the Atlantic. Those guys formed out of Hundred Reasons, Reuben and Laruso; That was really cool – they’re awesome. We also did an acoustic show with Mike Tramp (Lead singer from 80s band White Lion), that was not quite a spectacular – though his pedal board did have a setting called “Mr. Tramp”.
Your going on tour shortly – fill us in about that? (dates/venues etc)
Andy: We start on 8th Feb. at the O2 in Sheffield and then carry on until the 23rd; There are a few days off in the middle but it’s pretty full on!
Any good support bands on the tour we should check out?
Brett: They’re not on the tour but Exit Strategy One – they’re like The Black Keys on steroids!
Andy: We’re doing a show on the 17th Feb. in Nottingham with our friends Safe in the Crossfire, they’re well worth checking out.
You Start in Sheffield – Excited about that one in particular, or are there other places you’ve been looking forward to playing in?
Andy: Yeah, we’re doing the O2 – we’ve played their before and it’s a great place to play, I’ve seen some great bands there too, so can’t wait to get back on that stage!
Brett: London, It’s the capital and would be a show to tell the grandkids
Joe: It will be my first time playing at the O2, so I’m definitely looking forward to that one. It’s a great way to start the tour, and it’s a home town show too, which is always nice. Another highlight is The Roadhouse in Manchester. It’s such a great venue and so many awesome bands have played there.
Marcus: I’m just excited about going on tour – it’ll be great to play some new places and hopefully win over some new fans.
We Dig for Fire – Across the sky EP
We can get hold of your EP ‘Across the sky’ at various places including iTunes.can you describe the songs you chose to put on that?
Change – A song you’d take to meet your parents
Calling – A song your nan might bop too
Hanging by a thread – A song to keep away from your daughter
Andy:It’s actually our second EP, but the first one was done quite a while back now. I think we tried to pick 3 songs that show the different extremes of what we do.
Whats the writing process like in the band?
Brett: It very much started off with myself and Andy grabbing our acoustic guitars and writing the old-fashioned way. Now most of our tunes grow from jams or ideas that either one of us bring to the rehearsal room.
Andy: yeah, it varies…it usually starts with either myself or Brett bringing an idea, then Marcus is really good at coming up with ideas for interesting arrangements or different rhythms and dynamics etc. The vocals usually come later I’d say.
Whats next for the band? Back in the studio?
Andy: Yeah I reckon so, we’ve got a bunch of new songs to record, who knows we might even do a mini album or something! We’re hoping to play a bunch of festivals in the summer too.
What do you make of the local scene?
Andy: I think it’s great if you’re a singer-songwriter or an indie band, but the pickings are slim for our genre.
Sheffield? What do you make of it? Where do you boys hang out?
Brett: F****** windy!
Joe: The Wick at Both Ends/The Old House are my bars of choice. Good food, good booze, good music..What more can you ask for?!
Marcus: Yeah I love the Old House. Bungalows and Bears and The Forum are good too tough.
How can we find you?
Joe: We’re always on Facebook or Twitter booking shows and keeping in touch with people so that’s probably the best way.
Andy: We have a swanky new bandpage which kind of pulls everything together – its wedigforfire.bandpage.com