An Interview with The Backfires
A blend of influences from both sides of The Atlantic, hailing from New York and the U.K., The Backfires are our new boy band obsession. We got to talk to them about their debut EP 'Consider the Backfires' ...
How did you get your start in music?
We’ve all been playing music since we were young. As far as being a band, it’s a bit more of a story. Matt and I (Alex) met in high school, and we both joined a songwriting club. By Senior year, I was looking to start a band and we got to chatting, and eventually, we formed a band with some other students. Going to university then became a source of conversation as we didn’t want to stop playing together. I was set to study in London for a year and we both grew up listening to UK indie music. We decided that I would go over to London with the intention to start a band. I ended up meeting Harry after a month of being there. Things clicked and so we started writing songs!
Tell us the story behind your guys new EP?
A lot of the songs are kind of about coming into one’s self. ‘The Man’ was the second to last song written for the record and it was kind of about reconciling with these nights of going out and dating and feeling a sense of emptiness. Living in a foreign country, isolated from everyone I grew up with, forced me to grow up a bit, but I’m not sure that I was all that ready to or interested in that. I think ‘Anything’ and ‘Falling’ and ‘Preoccupied’ (a song that Harry primarily wrote) touch on these ideas of youthful romance when the person you’re dating or going out with can consume all of your thoughts. This becomes exaggerated too when that person is in a foreign country and you want to be out having fun with your friends, but you also want to FaceTime or talk on the phone with who you’re with. There’s also a point when you’re getting older and navigating these early relationships that you ask yourself ‘what’s the point?’ and ‘is this going anywhere?’ Those are hard questions to answer at 18, 19, 20, or even older.
What was your guys favorite part of creating the EP?
In hindsight, the best part of creating the EP is that recording the songs is the last time we were all together in the same place due to the pandemic. We recorded the songs in January 2020 and mixed them remotely over the Summer after the pandemic had taken hold of the world. We definitely miss all being together, so we are excited at the prospect of being in the same place sooner rather than later.
What artists influence your sound?
For the EP, one of the biggest influences is probably Catfish and the Bottlemen. They were the first rock band I (Alex) had ever seen perform. I went and saw them at the 9:30 Club in DC when they were touring their second record. I loved how big their sound was and the infectiousness of their songs. When I got to the UK and met Harry, I started listening to more of the early Arctic Monkeys records rather than AM, which I grew up on. Those two artists influenced the record more than anyone else.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday?
The most electric way to spend a Saturday is by performing. Many of the shows where we’ve had the most fun have been on the weekend and there is something about going to a show on a Saturday and then going out with your friends after.
What is one album that changed your life?
An album that we all hold quite dear is Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not by Arctic Monkeys. It sort of changed the way we thought about lyrics and storytelling. Songs can be far more than just a couple of guitar chords and a melody.
What’s up next for you guys?
We definitely hope that the borders between the US and UK open at some point during the year so that we can all get together in the same place. We really have no gauge as to how it’s going to go, though. For now, we are beginning to plan for our next project. We plan to start recording some new tunes in the next couple of months with hopes that we can release another project by the end of Summer or in the Fall. We are also excited at the prospect of playing more shows, and we are beginning to plan shows for the Fall.