Brisbane melodic punk band Fire Away are back with a new EP, ‘Not Drowning‘.

Released last Friday, the band are armed with a fresh line-up for this follow up to their 2013 debut five track EP which saw them pick up supports for the likes of Unwritten Law, Guttermouth and The Decline.

They will launch the release live on Saturday 15th April at Fat Louie’s in Brisbane with Ringpull, SLOJ and more TBA. See details of that [Here].

You can sort out a copy for $5 on Bandcamp [Here].

To find out a little more about the release, this week the band has answered our On The Record questions.

Stream the EP while reading about it below.

Tell us about the release title.
The title ‘Not Drowning’ comes from a cartoon drawn by Cathy Wilcox of Omid Masoumali, an Iranian Asylum-seeker who set himself on fire while in the Nauru offshore detention Centre. The Australian Government’s policy of detaining refugees is based on the idea of saving lives at sea, however there is more to surviving than just not drowning.

Tell us about the artwork.
The cover artwork is about being saved and trapped all at the same time. A ship in a bottle seemed like the simplest representation of how a refugee detention centre works. While your ship isn’t going to sink, it also cannot sail. A previous version of the cover included an old shipwreck in a desert.

What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
It’s a mostly digital release on Bandcamp and through streaming sites like Spotify, but we will release a limited run on CD.

Who will it be released through, and when?
The digital release was last Friday 24th March and we will have some physical copies available by our release show at Fat Louie’s on 15th April.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We recorded all the drums in one session at Tall Poppy Productions in Brisbane, they were recommended to us by a few mates who had recorded there last year, the rest was all recorded at Jack’s home studio.

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Jack Van Rynswoud is a good friend of ours from Townsville, where Fire Away started before escaping to Brisbane. He mainly works with metal and hardcore bands but we approached him to see if he’d be keen to work on a punk album and it all came together from there.

Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
We always aim to create something that is unique to Fire Away, but having a sound that encapsulates a lot of the bands we love is important but with our own brand stamped on it. These songs were originally written without any trumpet before Shaun joined the band. To avoid layering too many instruments on top of each other there is a lot of call and response between the lead guitar and trumpet which adds a really cool element to our sound.

Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
For the most part, the goal was to write a punk rock record combining some melodic elements used in post hardcore. This is probably more noticeable on tracks like ‘Cowards Way Out’ and parts of ‘Welfare Mentality’. We generally start with a few lead riff ideas and most songs are then built around that. Since the last EP in 2013 we have tried to leave some more room for vocal harmonies.

Were there any albums you were referencing in the studio to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
A few bands come to mind, but in particular we love Frenzals ‘Smoko At The Pet Food Factory’ album. They get such a huge sound out of their records. That’s essentially what we wanted this EP to sound like. I think we got some elements of that into ‘Not Drowning’.

How long did you spend in the studio recording?
It was about 4 or 5 months from the first hit of the drums until we had the final master in our hands. The band has grown from 4 of us to 6 since the last time we recorded so most of that time was spent listening back to what we had to find some space for all the extra sound we have added into the mix.

Tell us a little about the recording process the band used and was this any different to previous processes you have used?
We spent alot more time in between sessions before recording each instrument to work out exactly what was going where The first EP in 2013 was more of a get in, get out, get it in people’s ears type of a situation.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
We were keen to get a few mates in for some group vocals on a track but we ended up changing the song and that part was dropped. We plan to do something like that next time though.

When it comes to naming the tracks, is there any particular approach or process to it all?
The songs generally have their own process. After a big weekend or a gig we will usually find a song name or some barely legible lyrics scrawled on something like a beer coaster or guitar case.

Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
We used all our own equipment to keep the record as similar to our live sound as possible. The EP is a fairly honest reflection of what you will get at a live show!

Any memorable studio moments?
Ben took about 15 attempts to start recording his first track one afternoon at about 4:21pm.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We have a bunch of songs that ended up sounding much different to the type of songs that we recorded. Most of them will never see the light of day, the others might be cannibalised for parts on future tracks.

What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
The raw energy of ‘Welfare Mentality’ and ‘Nauru’ make them both really fun songs to play live. If we haven’t worked up a sweat playing those two songs then we haven’t done it right!

How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
As we wanted to allow ourselves ample time to do a bit of trial and error with various parts and tones, compared to our last release, the difference is massive. Our self-titled EP was basically just a rush job in order to get some of our tunes out to the world and the recording quality is nowhere near the level that we got from Jack for ‘Not Drowning’.

Anything else you want to say or about the release?
We are really stoked with how this EP turned out and we are super thankful for all the positive feedback everyone has given us. It’s motivated us to get started on writing the next one.

Fire Away


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