Again, thank you so much for doing this interview. The first question is basically the same I ask everyone. How long have you all been playing music?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - We all have slightly different backgrounds musically. John, our guitarist, started playing classical guitar when he was just five years old, where as Keith and I started in our early teens. Weirdly, both Keith and I spent much of our youth on other instruments. Keith was a drummer in punk bands for years before picking up the bass, and although I’d always sung a bit, my first real music lessons where as a sax player. I only got proper singing lessons later before studying music at college.
Since, we’ve all gone on to spend most of our adult lives as working musicians. Corporate bands, session work, teaching, whatever paid really, and it’s in those circles that we first met each other. After a decade or so of ‘work’ we were all crying out for something more creative and it was that and good timing that helped BiasFirey come about, and so far so good. So much so that we gave up work bands last year to focus on BiasFirey.
Wow! So music has been a part of each of your lives for a while now. It definitley shows in your music, the time and effort you have all put in. Speaking of the name BiasFirey, I have probably been pronouncing it wrong for a while, but what exactly does it mean, and where did it come from?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - The idea came from a fairy-tale my Nana used to tell me as a child. It was a ‘boy who cried wolf’ style story about a bias little creature made of fire who got a little too big for his boots, burnt down the forest and ended up having to cry back to the water imps for help. I have no idea where the story came from, if it was something she made up or if it came from a story book. I certainly haven’t been able to find it anywhere since. I was fascinated by it as a child and a wee moral reminder to stay grounded really doesn't harm in our business.
I love that! That sounds like something maybe some of my friends who are authors of fantasy could produce. Great idea your Nana came up with if it is her own story. You Scots are so lucky to have all the ancient fairy-tales in your history. Speaking of writing, do you all write your own songs?
BiasFirey kinda started as a band playing my songs, but it’s become much more than that now. I’m really luck to have the band mates that I do. We all add our own talents. Take any one of us away and it just wouldn't be the same.
In regards to writing, this is something I have always had difficulty comprehending. Probably even more so than the U.S. Postal Service. I’ve often wondered with the millions of songs out there, why there aren’t more songs with similar tunes. I mean, there have been instances here late, but how careful do you have to be when you are coming up with a new song to make sure there isn’t something similar?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - Any honest writing musician will tell you that it happens all the time. We’re forever playing parts at each and wondering if we’ve heard them somewhere before. Worse is when you start ripping yourself off. I’ve genuinely taken songs to the guys only to be told, I’ve ‘written that melody already’. So yeah, we’re aware of it, but that can only be a good thing as it pushes us into new places. One thing we’d never want is to feel we’re just writing the same song over and over.
BiasFirey (Lisa) - Awe thanks, it’s one of our favorites too. I wrote the song as I did all on the first album, and there’s actually two versions of "Pure." The original album version is dark, grungy, no frills alt-rock, and the guys got the arrangement spot on. Lyrically, it couldn’t suit any better. I think this version sums up our intentions and expectations of ourselves as a band pretty well, and it seems to be the song that others often get stood up against, so yes, we’re definitely working on harnessing that alt-rock sound. The other version is a remix John did as a wee side project and I never dreamed it would work as well as it does. It brings an energy to it that I didn't even know was there, and it’s a pretty amazing feeling to discover a whole new view point on a song that I wrote.
I must tell you, it's all fantastic. Does the band always consist of three, and when you do a show do you have to hire outside musicians?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - Yes, there really is just three permanent members, and it’s kinda amazing how many people don’t notice the lack of a drummer in our web presence. We did have one, for about a year when the band first started and we were playing gigs, but sadly he had to leave due to health issues. Around the same time, John and I had just come off a long work tour and were desperate to spend some time writing, so almost by accident BiasFirey became more of a studio project that we managed to fit in around work. We went on to record our debut album ‘Hundred Thousand Souls.’ The positive reaction and reviews that have come since have kinda taken us pleasantly by surprise. We’re keen to keep the ball rolling, so other than bringing in a drummer for the odd noteworthy gig or radio session, we’ve mostly been right back to the studio working on our second album.
BiasFirey (Lisa) - I have to admit, we’re pretty lucky and have little in the way of grumbles. So far we’ve done everything ourselves, but we own our own studio, so the normal complaints like budget and time aren't really an issue for us. Personally, I’ve loved learning how to do all the non music stuff like building websites and creating videos, but it is sometimes hard to balance everything. Knowing how much promotion to do versus how much writing is a bit of a battle. If the actual making music bit starts so feel like a treat, I know it’s time to put down the phone!
Very True Lisa. Now that we've dug into the music part, I would like to get a little personal with some random question. Honestly, they're not all that personal, just me being nosy. Since you're from Scotland, there is something I must know. Growing up, I had a neighbor who was from Scotland. She always used to brag about being able to open their windows without screens on them, because there were no bugs in Scotland. Is this true?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - It’s true. We have little in the way of bugs. It’s too cold most of the year! Worst case, in the summer you’ll come across a swarm of midges while out walking in the country somewhere, but in the cities and towns you won’t find a single window with a screen.
Since I love food, I was wondering if you could tell me what a famous Scottish food is?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - Traditional Scottish food is most definitely hearty, and heartiest of all is haggis. A spicey, oatey savoury pudding delight, which unfortunately also contains some bits of a sheep that you’d rather not think about. Other than that.. it’s yummy!! But don’t worry, there's a veggie recipe too. We’re not total savages.. haha!
Um..I've seen Braveheart Lisa. Speaking of movies, how is your American Accent?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - Funny you should ask as I might have had a promising career in musical theater if it hadn’t been for my truly terrible ability to speak with an accent. I can sing in most any accent you like, but talk, I just can’t do it. I got my first ever lead part in the musical Annie when I was about fifteen. I had to work so hard to get the New York accent that I ended up hating the whole experience. The minute the run was over, I left the company to join my first punk band. As you can imagine, my folks where delighted!
That is funny! My Scottish accent is actually really good. At least I think it is. There is one more question I really want to know. How hard is it to drive on the wrong side of the road?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - Haha.. yeah yeah.. but weird, as John and I did actually get into a little crash last year because some girl was on the wrong side. Seems some folks just don’t care which. (And you can keep the woman driver jokes to yourself too, thank you every much!)
BiasFirey (Lisa) - I’m a little ashamed to say that I’d never heard of Communion. I’m always drawn to something with a bit of edge and their track ‘Holding on to You’ hits all the right buttons for me. I will be checking out more for sure and suggest everyone else does too.
Last question, The Beatles or The Monkees?
BiasFirey (Lisa) - It’s got to be The Beatles.. huh? Love or hate their music, they turned pop into something else and only deserve respect for the journey they took. Overall I admire brave musicians. The Beatles did it their way, without compromise. I can only hope I’ll look back one day and feel the same about Bias Firey’s work.
It doesn't have to be The Beatles, Lisa. The Monkees revolutionized the idea that musicians were more than just one trick ponies. I forgive you for that. Just kidding! I do want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview and giving myself and our readers a glimpse into your music. You definitley did not disappoint, and I look forward to the many new projects you guys come out with for our listening pleasure. Thank you again!
If you would like to know more about Bias Firey, be sure to visit their website at
By Maxim Daniels