You may know them as “the band who did a split with FULL OF HELL“, or “the band, whose member manage TOUCHE AMORE‘s European treks”… If you know them only for these gossips, then you might be really surprised after you get things freshened up and learn more about this pack. I’m truly honored to note we’re from the same country, especially since I found out that CONVERGE is supporting them on their 10th Anniversary show ;) Ladies and gentlemen, I’m giving you…. CALM THE FIRE, hailing from the Tricity, Poland!
Tight To The Nail zine called their music “the soundtrack to bar fights and people getting bike chains wrapped round their head”. Well, you be the judge, but please try not to kick up a fuss too much.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out my interview with the band, also to find out the real story behind the show with the almighty CONVERGE.
Hell yeah. You’re here and I’ stoked [smiles]. You’re definitely one of the bands that I’m stoked to host here. What’s up, gentlemen? How have you been recently?
Thanks man, it’s always good to hear such nice words, especially that our band has never been hyped or popular. Every time I hear things like that, it simply makes me smile. So, we’re totally good, just slowly living our lives. We rehearse few times a week, trying to get all new riffs together and record 7″. That’s our goal for this year. Euro tour would be also much appreciated. To be totally honest, we don’t have any big plans for now.
No shit! And what about just announced 10th Anniversary gig with… CONVERGE supporting YOU, guys?! [laughs] Tell me more about this sick show.
[laughs] What can I say? Every band gets a support they deserve, I think it’s all about karma [laughs]. But to be honest, we were invited by the promoter and the way he announced the show was a nice gesture. It is our 10th anniversary and it’s a good opportunity to celebrate. But of course it’s obvious who is the headliner.
[laughs] Sure thing, boys. But what the hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jake and his boys asked you to do the honors that night.
Anyway, tell me more about this show. How did you decide to celebrate such an important occasion in Warsaw?
I would be damn surprised because I’m sure CONVERGE never heard about us. As I said at the beginning, we’ve never been hyped or popular especially abroad. Our 7″ split with FULL OF HELL, which was released few months ago was the very first international thing done by us.
We never wanted to call it an anniversary show, but sharing stage with CONVERGE will be something special. We don’t tour much. We don’t play such a big shows. Mostly we perform at squats or small venues, so playing such a big venue to the way bigger crowd is a new experience for us and good opportunity to do this a part of 10th anniversary.
CONVERGE show is not the only gig we’re gonna play this spring. We’ve already booked a weekend tour 29.05-01.06. We’ll be visiting Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Nowy Targ. We booked it weekes ago, so if anybody want to see us at the smaller venue in Warsaw, please show up at Przychodnia Squat!
These are the only shows confirmed for this year. We’ll try to tour Europe with American band but we’re not sure yet if we are able to do it. It depends on our jobs and few more things.
Oh, yeah, they are giants, for sure, but they are still a hardcore band, Jake is a nice fellow and I bet something like that is still possible. Simply because of respect for local scenes and the idea that there are no headliners. Well, we’ll see what happens [smiles].
Any chances to reveal the name of the American band? [smiles]
I already said everything about show. It’s obvious that CONVERGE is headlining. There will be one more band added to the bill and believe me, it’s a killer.
I think it’s too early for any tour details. Both bands have to choose perfect time, take days off at work, Americans have to book their tickets and… you know, someone has to book it first [laughs]. If it works out, I’ll be super excited because we’ve never played any decent euro tour. We’ve been playing mostly Poland and some Eastern European countries.
Yeah, man. And sometimes I wonder how’s that even possible. There’s been a nice buzz around the band since 2012. Did your amazing split with FULL OF HELL put a big spotlight on your name? How do you explain last year’s success?
Many factors contributed to the fact that we didn’t play any large euro tour. We didn’t have enough time for taking 2-3 weeks off. Also we never had any bigger plan for this band. At the very beginning we were just a bunch of kids, totally excited about just making music. And believe me, this music wasn’t too good. It took us few years until we started creating music we really wanted to. In 2009 we recorded “Blackout” EP and that was it. Finally we wrote songs we always wanted to. Raw, pissed, angry. We played a lot of shows across whole Poland, something finally started going on.
Unfortunately we have chosen wrong labels. Of course, we appreciate the fact that they put out our records but both of our LPs were released with a massive delays and distribution was really bad. Additionally there were no reviews in internet or music press. We lost a lot of time waiting for our records to come. Because of this we were always unsure when to book a tour.
I toured with FULL OF HELL in May 2012 and we got along very well. During this trip, they told me that they would be stoked to do a 7″ split with CALM THE FIRE. So, that’s the story behind this split.
For the first time we are really satisfied with the recordings and the job done by the label. Holy Roar just killed it. That split gave us more that our previous records. The fact that FULL OF HELL is an awesome band influenced the fact that we reached a lot of new audience. Last October we played 6 shows in Poland together and it was a blast. Really, it’s really amazing how much more we have achieved during this six months than last 2 years.
Ironically, now when we have the opportunity to do something more, we don’t have a time for it. We are all in our thirties, we have our jobs and our lives and… we are okay with it. We want to write new songs, find a good label, release a kick ass 7″ and play some shows in Europe.
What other shows did you play last year? How do you remember Gdynia’s DIY Fest?
We played that tour with FULL OF HELL, hometown show with TOUCHE AMORE, bunch of shows more and DIY Fest. This was our third time when we played DIY festival and it was awesome as always. That’s one of our favourite events to play. Best bands, best people, best atmosphere. You all should come to Gdynia this year!
TOUCHE AMORE were in the middle of their gigantic tour with RISE AGAINST. The day after the show you mentioned they performed live at Stodola in Warsaw with tickets around 7 times more expensive [laughs]. What’s your opinion on that? Would you take such a chance to support such a big band?
I’m tour manager and driver of TOUCHE AMORE, so this is the main reason why they played in my hometown. They had two days off between RISE AGAINST shows, so I helped them with booking those two days. Of course it was great opportunity to share stage together. That was really, really great night, a lot of good memories. Day after, they played in Poznań, another small, totally packed show and then Warsaw. Honestly, show in Stodola was one of the smallest on this tour. They performed in 14.000 cap, sold out arenas. It was wild but they were killing it every night.
I don’t know, if we would take a chance to support such a big band because offer like that will never appear. Also we’re not this kind of band that would be excited about playing huge shows and supporting ‘rock stars’. We are a punk band that plays punk shows, mostly with punk bands. If we would have an opportunity to share a stage with bigger band, then why not? But that’s not our aim, we prefer small venues, squats and punk attitude… simply raw power.
Yup. It’s was cool of Jeremy to wear your shirt that night (plus at several gigs more, I hope) [smiles].
How did you experience the end of Elba, the legendary Warsaw squat shut down last year?
It’s always sad when place like Elba is being shut down. It was a pulsing heart of alternative culture in Warsaw and the best venue in town. Well, life goes on and Elba people have already launched a new place. It’s called Przychodnia and it’s located in the very center of Warsaw. New chapter has begun and I hope it will last longer than Elba. We’re really stoked that we are playing there on 31st may!
You mentioned your new 7’’. You’re quite breedy, huh? I like that. You’ve got 2 amazing releases last year and now you’re giving us even more. It’s very nice of you. How did you decide to release a few more tracks so soon?
Our line-up has changed in 2011 and since that time, we’re finally reached satisfying level. Split with FULL OF HELL gave us a new, positive impulse. We also realized that our music perfectly matches to 7″ format. Twelve minutes it’s totally enough for band like us. Not too long, not too short.
We are in the middle of writing new songs. If we set up euro tour in autumn putting out new release would be the natural thing. Also, we haven’t found new label yet. There is a plan but we are not sure if it’s going to work out. Maybe we will release it by ourselves? Who knows? All I can say for sure, we’ll try to put it out this year. However there’s no rush.
Any ideas who will be tapped for the production of the record?
The same guy who is responsible for our last production. He’s name is Piotr and you may know him from black metal/doom band THAW. He is a very talented person and working with him is a pure pleasure for us. Maybe we’ll enter MAQ studio in southern Poland or totally brand new studio in our area which is the best in Poland. One thing is sure, Piotr will take care of production, no matter what happens. He is the man!
Regarding the label plan you mentioned, are we talkin’ a “bigger” international label here? [smiles]
What do you mean saying “bigger”? If you’re talking about foreign label, then yeah, we’re hoping it will be released abroad. As I mentioned before, if it’s not going to happen, we will consider releasing it by ourselves. I think there is no one interested to put us out in Poland and I’m not surprised.
First we want record demo version, check if those songs are good, then do some corrections and then do the final record. I repeat it every time, we’re not doing anything under pressure.
Will there be a lot of evil and darkness in it, as usual? [smiles]
I’m sure it’s gonna be fast and heavy, so don’t expect any catchy anthems. You can call it dark, crusty, blackened or whatever you want. People like to fit music into the specific genre. I’m not really into it. In the end of the day it’s always about good old hardcore punk.
There are tons of amazing bands out there. It’s so easy to access music online now and it’s so easy to miss the real deal sometimes. Have you found some amazing new music lately?
I stopped searching for a new bands, years ago. There are so many new bands and following them is really difficult. Most of them are not bad, not good, sometimes boring or simply indifferent to me. Most of the time I listen to the old bands that I felt in love with years ago. Also, the older I am, the more my mind is open to the music I was rejecting through whole teenage period. I have the impression that once bands were more passionate, angry and creative. But not to complain all time, I really like TOUCHE AMORE who created something new and brought breathe of fresh air to hardcore. You should pay attention to FULL OF HELL. Their crazy grinding hardcore is really good. They are young, pissed off and they work hard to take themselves to the next level. Currently I listen to CHELSEA WOLFE, PISSED JEANS, DEZERTER (legendary Polish punk band), IZRAEL, SELF DEFENSE FAMILY and of course THE NATIONAL.
It always takes me a lot of time to get into some band. Usually I get psyched about band when the hype is over or band is no more around and I can’t see them live [laughs]. That sucks! [laughs]
Ha! Fortunately for you there are thousands of ever-hungry listeners who feel quite the opposite and thanks to this they have managed to reach your work [laughs].
Tell me, have you received a lot of positive feedback from far away?
The split with FULL OF HELL gave us more than all of our previous releases. Before that, we’re literally unknown to the foreign audience. Now more people abroad know about CALM THE FIRE but there are still not many of them. I don’t want to complain about that. We’re not good in all that punk PR/press stuff. A lot of magazines don’t even respond to our review requests. Try to find more than five review of our records online. Mission impossible.
Well, I guess this is how it works. If you don’t have label behind you or some friends, you can’t get through thousands of younger and cooler bands. We don’t have time for sending hundreds of promo emails, we don’t even know good online magazines. Believe me! [laughs]
It’s always nice, when you get an email from people from distant country with words of appreciation. Small things always make us happy, especially when people put some effort in reviews, commenting our music or criticism.
I bet the first CONVERGE show flyer will change things, you just need to promote it [smiles].
Before we finish, is there anything you’d like to discuss? Any news came up since we started talkin’? [smiles]
Let’s pretend you didn’t write this [laughs].
News? We posted brand new song called “Chce mi się wyć” from the upcoming compilation. You can also find it on A389 Recordings digital mixtape and we’re really happy about it! We enter CUSTOM34 Studio in Gdansk on 26th August to record bunch of new songs for our new release. We have not started looking for a label yet but I hope we’ll get this done before recording session. Oh, and probably we’ll play a cool show in Katowice in June. I guess that’s all. Thank you for your time!
Thank YOU! See you soon!