Archive for February, 2012

Bill Hicks The Master

Recording continues this week for the next release. But rather than posting details of how that’s going (nothing exciting to report), I wanted to feature a video of the late, great Bill Hicks.

I’m reading a biography about Hicks at the moment. An uncompromising performer, he was a comedian on the edge pushing the boundaries with a razor-sharp wit. Hicks went places most comedians wouldn’t, and still don’t – vigorously attacking taboos & taking on political and religious hypocrisy. Hicks died in 1994 at just 32 years of age – but his observation of society, politics and religion is still profoundly relevant.

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The video above features some of his 1991 performance on HBO’s, One Night Stand.

Hicks was one of a kind. A man greatly missed.

Checkya later,
Fires out.

Sweltering On Record

The weekend gone in Melbourne was certainly a hot one, working in our home studio in 35 degree heat (95˚F) laying down vocals & guitars for the next release. And sweaty work it was – but we got there by late yesterday. The drums, played by Kent Aberle & recorded in Atlanta, sound amazing.

The On Fires, New York City, 2011 – pic by Lanita Adams.

So now we’ve got some keys and a few other small things to go. Then it’s off to mix and master.

Checkya later.
Fires out.


Life On The Road

Came across this short article today, written by Ian Ball from UK band, Gomez. It featured in The Guardian (UK) a few years ago, but definitely still relevant. Laughed when I read it.

“How do rock bands survive touring?”…
(Ian Ball, Gomez)

Prepare for insanity.

The hardest thing about touring is trying to survive an endless groundhog day lifestyle. People think you’re seeing all these great places, but you won’t see anything. You’re going to wake up on the tour bus outside the venue, probably hungover, slightly disorientated, hot and in desperate need of a shower. You’ll basically see the area around the venue, a restaurant, a soundcheck and that’s it. And its going to be like that for every single city in the world. It’s like being the detective in a surreal mystery. You’re constantly solving tiny little problems: misplaced shower gel, room keys, passports, sanity. We have all literally gone on stage and said ‘Hello’ to the wrong town at some point. Our guitarist Tom Gray’s classic was in Australia. I can’t remember which city he said, but he was at least 1,200 miles off.

The On Fires, Midi Festival, Beijing China 2011.

Have a great weekend.

Checkya later,
Fires out.

Little Changes

And after yesterday’s post (10 hours spent on 8 words), we changed them again last night. But it should be right now, shouldn’t it? The joys of songwriting…

A weekend of recording on the way.

Checkya tomorrow,
Fires out.

Missing Words & Mood Swings

Ah the joys of recording. Spent 10 hours of yesterday figuring out how 8 words might best fit together for the 2nd half of one chorus of one song. Nothing seemed to work for most of the day, then Max came up with the missing bit late last night. It’s the pointy end of the recording sessions. Mood swings, obsessive behaviour & underlying levels of stress (talking about me, not Max). It feels like every note, every word, every sound, every drum hit has to be there for a reason – otherwise it’s a nasty hitch-hiker who’ll eventually wake up in the back seat & stab you in the throat, somewhere down the road. Melodramatic? Me?

Live in Beijing, China 2011.

More recording today.

Checkya later,
Fires out.

Studio Weekender

Another weekend working on the new songs. Gave ourselves a few days away from it, to go back and listen with ‘fresh ears’. We’re spending a lot more time on the vocals for these songs.

Max in the vocal booth – Rangemaster Stuidos, Melbourne, last weekend.

There’s a new sound in the wings. We’ve taken the recordings into TOF HQ (home studio) to do the more intimate vocal stuff, without distraction. More news on the tunes as they happen.

Hope ya had a great weekend.

Checkya later.
Fires out.

Video Comedy Gold – Bad News Live at Donnington 1986

Continuing on from yesterday’s comedic video post, Bad News live at Donnington Monsters of Rock, 1986. For those unfamiliar with Bad News, they’re the guys from cult classic BBC TV show, The Young Ones. Bad News was a spoof-metal act, not unlike Spinal Tap, born out of a ‘mockumentary’ TV episode released in 1983, featuring a fictional tour of England. The show was (and still is) hilarious.

Bad News released another mockumentary episode in 1987 called ‘More Bad News’ – I haven’t seen that one yet. The video above is killer, showing the guys arriving and playing to 250 thousand people at Donnington. Check out the bottle & rubbish throwing from this massive crowd.

The ‘band’ also released an album, most of which is a recording of them fighting in the studio. Mat Ward gave me a copy some time ago, which I recently found again & have been playing on repeat the past few weeks. Comedy gold.

Checkya later.
Fires out.

Video & Still Recording

Jan H emailed us this video (ahhh, the joys of computer torment). It’s hilarious – and there is a language warning on this one.

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Thanks Jan!

And as for the latest release, we’re still working on the new recordings, adding bits… subtracting others… gettin’ there…

Checkya later.
Fires out.

Big Weekend – Party At Collingwood Footy Ground

It was a big weekend. Saturday was Clive “Dundee” Cooke’s birthday – and Deano’s, TC’s and Kujo’s birthday – celebrated at the Collingwood football ground.

The On Fires – pic courtesy Kerrie O’keefe’s Facebook – Miss Daisy in background, Sat 11 Feb 2012.

The weather permitted, so we hit the hallowed turf for three massive footy kicking sessions. There were goals scored, marks taken and injuries sustained. Our house-mate, Scotty, pulled a hammy & limped from the field (he was looking very sore on Sunday morning). Later in the afternoon, we broke out the acoustic & played a few songs from the first album – it was basically a Yak Bar re-union crowd. The beer kept flowing well into the night, back at our place.

Clive ‘Dundee’ Cooke & friend, Collingwood football ground, Sat 11 Feb 2012.

Deano, Scotty (torn hammy) & Kim, Collingwood footy ground, Sat 11 Feb 2012.

Yesterday (Sunday) we went back into the studio for more recording on the next release. Still got a bit to go – but we’re nearly there.

Checkya tomorrow.
Fires out.

Mat Ward – Roger Waters Review

TOF’s official photographer, Mat Ward, went along to Roger Waters on Tuesday night and emailed us this review below. Check out more pics at Mat’s site.

Roger Waters, Melbourne 7th Feb 2012 – pic by Mat Ward.

Roger Waters review by Mat Ward:
Oh my god – this was the most amazing show I’ve ever seen! I wasn’t allowed to take my SLR so I’ve only got shots from my pocket camera which really don’t do justice to the specatacle. It helps that I’ve loved the album (The Wall) for decades of course. The show was updated to include a major anti-war message covering all wars over the last 100 years or so.  Lights, explosions, fireworks – this show had everything! Amazing music, an awesome band with a 4 voice choir attached.

Roger Waters, Melbourne 7th Feb 2012 – pic by Mat Ward.

Incredible projection system with amazing visuals that only got better as the wall was built across the set. Scary giant inflatable puppets. A giant flying pig roaming around the arena. And the master himself, Roger Waters singing and performing some of his most personal work. Incredibly moving at times. It was an honour and a privilege and an absolute delight to see this show.

Still buzzing from the whole thing.

Roger Waters, Melbourne 7th Feb 2012 – pic by Mat Ward.

Many thanks, Mat.

Have a great weekend. We’ll be back in the studio on Sunday.

Checkya later,
Fires out.

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