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InterviewsFires in the Distance Debuts with Echoes From Deep November

Posted on Sunday, November 08 2020 @ 21:34:08 CST by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

Sea of Tranquility Staff writer Carl Sederholm recently caught up with Craig of Fires in the Distance. The band’s debut album, Echoes from Deep November, was released in September 2020.

SoT: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. We love Echoes from Deep November here at Sea of Tranquility and we hope our readers are discovering the band as well. To begin, please give us a short introduction to the band and to the larger metal scene in Connecticut.

Happy to spend the time with you and a sincere thanks for checking out our music. The band has been musically involved with one another for about 15 years, playing in local bands Engraved, 60 Grit, and Archaic Decapitator. Being friends and bandmates for this amount of time allows the privilege of a strong musical and personal connection and I think we all balance each other real well.

Craig: The two words that come into my head about the music scene in Connecticut is that it is underrated and overlooked. For fans of our music that want to hear a glimpse of what our state has to offer, check out bands such as Continuum, The Shape, Xenosis (which I also recently started playing bass for), and Svn Seeker. 

SoT: If I understand right, Fires in the Distance grew out of songwriting sessions for the next Archaic Decapitator release. Even though there are some clear similarities (and some differences) between the two bands, what made you decide to release this music as Fires in the Distance? If Fires in the Distance really takes off, do you plan to release more music under that name?

Craig: This sounds cliche, but it just felt like the right thing to do. The other part is the addition of Kristian in the band. He has a very signature rhythm guitar picking technique that just sounds very heavy and ominous. As a vocalist, he’s simply unmatched in our local area with his enunciation and prowess.

SoT: Much of Echoes from Deep November addresses the topic of mental illness and deep depression in ways that seem to be both sad and hopeful. How would you describe your approach to the subject? Would it be fair to describe it in ways similar to the Blues in that singing about pain helps people work through it?

Craig: I think that’s a fair description. Speaking for myself, music has always been a “problem digestor” if you will. For work, I own a financial planning business and you meet a lot of good people in somewhat vulnerable states or transitions in life. They could have had a death in the family, a divorce, etc. and when you truly empathize with some of the struggles people have, you carry a bit of that weight with you. 

To me, music is that non-verbal method of expression that gets that weight off my shoulders and recharges me for what I will.

SoT: Since we’re talking about the album’s themes, here’s another question. In “Elusive Light,” you feature two excerpts from Christopher Hitchens’s writing. How do his ideas influence that song?

Craig: Aside from the words Hitchens is preaching in that song, his tone is forceful, heavy, and purposeful. This being one of the heavier tracks on the album, it kind of went hand in hand with the theme of the music. This is what stands out the most to me.

SoT: Even though labels aren’t always very helpful, how would you describe the band’s music in general? How are listeners responding to the atmospheric and pulsating keys on the album?

Craig: People have been overwhelmingly accepting and enthusiastic about how Yegor crafted the keyboards in his compositions. For some people, it might be a turnoff but I think the message of atmospheric, pulsing, and melodic music was effectively conveyed.

SoT: Since we’re doing this interview in October 2020 and there’s still a pandemic going on, tell us what you guys are up to since touring isn’t currently possible. Are people discovering your music online?

Craig: Currently, we’ve written half of our next album and are working out some arrangements for virtual shows. I can’t disclose much at the moment, but we have something big planned so people across the world can tune in and see us play.

SoT: Where can we find more information about the band or purchase music / merchandise online?

Craig: The best place would be our bandcamp. For those that may not have the means to support us, we wholeheartedly welcome you streaming our music. It’s about enjoyment and connection, not the money.

SoT: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about the band?

Craig: What I’d like to put out there is how humbled and elated you’ve made us with your positive comments and words of encouragement. We’re all having a tough year, and the unexpectedly warm reception of Echoes was the highlight of our 2020. 

If any of our fans are struggling with illness, depression, or loss and are losing hope please reach out to someone you care about or reach out to us. This is a trying time, but the fans have had our backs over the last ten months and we have yours as well.

SoT: Thanks very much for the excellent album and for taking the time to do this interview. I really enjoyed Echoes of Deep November and I’ve been also digging into Archaic Decapitator even more and enjoying your music very much.

Craig: Thank you, we’re really happy to be doing this. For anyone that wants to hear our evolution into Fires, definitely check out the back catalogue with Archaic.

Carl Sederholm

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