Hustle and flow. If Austin’s Fire From the Gods have a mantra, it might very well be that one: Over the years, the band has worked the circuit hard, all the while without losing its cool.
Before signing to Rise Records in October 2015, the quartet had already notched about 100 shows, oiling their gears so they were ready to roar out of the gate.
That hard-work ethic drew the attention of Sumerian and Mediaskare Records, according to AJ Channer (one of the band’s two vocalists) but it was Rise that eventually threw down.
“Linkin Park and other bands had multiple vocalists, so that wasn’t so far-fetched,” Channer says. “But we realized we had really good songs, plus I had experience in the industry, having done merch and managing bands since 2005. I thought my window of opportunity had passed, and I had gotten a bit disenchanted—but I stuck with it, and it paid off.”
Channer, after years of toiling in the industry, had teamed with electronic- infused extreme-metal band the Browning––or, in today’s parlance, EDM-meets-deathcore. A far cry from the more traditional metal/hardcore approach taken by Fire From the Gods, Channer’s manager nonetheless predicted in August 2015 that his fate with Fire was inevitably sealed.
“David [Dickens] had signed a deal with Pirate Management and said, ‘Something’s definitely going to happen’ because Rise was getting interested in me. I was pinching myself, and it just flowed after that.”
"I thought my window of opportunity had passed."
During the process of signing, he recalls, “We were still like, ‘This can’t be real.’ They had Devil Wears Prada, and Of Mice and Men just had their breakout record come out. We realized we might have hit the jackpot.”
From there, Fire From the Gods hunkered down in Houston and Austin to write four songs, then polished off their Rise Records debut, Narrative, during the 2015 holiday season with executive producer David Bendeth (whose credits actually include Of Mice and Men). Channer is apt to note that none of the band members spent Christmas at home with their families, such was their devotion to the disc.
“We hammered out the songs during all hours of the night from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. for about three weeks, but once positivity started coming out of conversations between us and the label, the prospects of success really hit home.”
Photo by Andrew Lipovsky
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