Fireflight's Dawn Renews Herself with New Music

Rock n'rollers Fireflight have celebrated their 15th year together as a band, playing countless shows, touring and of course writing and recording music, leading up to their fifth independently released full-length album "INNOVA". That they have so much more in-store it's unbelievable. Frontwoman vocalist Dawn Michele discusses their fifth album, its single, as well as the band's influences, lyrical context, and what they have in-store for the future.

1. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Dawn: After traveling and growing together for 15 years it would probably be easier to answer what bands haven't influenced our band and sound, lol. Through the years we have been highly inspired by groups from every genre from eighties hair bands all the way to EDM. Some of our biggest faves have been Juliana Theory, The Cranberries, Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, U2, Blindside, The Working Title, Daft Punk, Coldplay, Journey, Def Leppard and Metallica.

2. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Dawn: Our lyrics follow our own journey and the journeys our fans share with us. Some songs are born from pain and struggle and others from victory and joy. Ultimately, our songs are about life and about finding hope and strength from knowing that each of us is connected both through our pain and through our joy by our inherent value in God's creation.

3. What comes to mind when you look at how you guys have been a band for the past 15 years?

Dawn: When I think about our fifteen year journey I think about the times we struggled and wanted to give up. Then I see how all of life's journey is the same story and that in the same way, perseverance through adversity is the key to learning everything possible from our experiences.

4. Why did you want to take the DIY approach to releasing this fifth full-length album?

Dawn: After so many years under the safety blanket of our label, and frankly, growing out of our immature attitudes of wanting a surrogate parent to solve our problems for us, we wanted to try to step out on our own have a more hands on approach. With social media such a fertile ground from interacting and receiving support from our fans, we felt like the time was perfect to put ourselves out there and basically sink or swim.

5. What do you think it is about the DIY method as opposed to doing it through a label that appeals to bands?

Dawn: As a creative entity it's always tough fitting yourself into a "business." Historically the label is an invaluable tool to rocket launch your exposure and give you the support needed to create. But, over time the structure needed to make these opportunities can also start to subtract from the freedom to explore. I think bands who eventually choose the DIY are looking for new ways to function that make them feel less like a commodity and more like an artist which is what they set out to be originally.

6. What's the story behind the single for "Resuscitate"?

Dawn: Resuscitate is about feeling like your at the end of yourself. Either physically or emotionally. Life is so hard sometimes that we can get to feeling like we've been rolling downhill so long that we simply cannot stand up and try to climb again. We find ourselves crying out to a power bigger then ourselves, desperate to be reborn.

7. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

Dawn: We've been fortunate enough to work with not one, but four incredibly genius individuals in the producing world. Kipp Williams, Josh Silverberg, Rusty Varenkamp, and Geoff Duncan.  These guys have been both an inspiration and a fueling flame to our creativity and growth. The encouragement and guidance they have provided has been the lifeblood of the entire project.

8. How would you describe the overall sound of the new album?

Dawn: We've been working so hard to grow, while also maintaining the strength of all of our musical efforts this far in our journey. The eclectic result could be best described as Rock/Pop/Electronic.

9. What was the recording process like this time around? Was there anything different that happened or was it the same old studio thing?

Dawn: Usually we have one producer and one studio that we create all the music in, so this process was totally different. The producers shared resources to some extent but overall we had a lot of variety when it came to environment and feedback. It made the process exciting in a whole new way.

10. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to previous albums?

Dawn: We've been writing for this album for well over a year, which really sets it apart from our previous albums since our original release. Usually, we are stuck writing in between shows and press and the last shreds of our sanity. This time we made our own schedule and suspended timelines. Making room for the process in a way we haven't really ever done before.

11. How is the vibe in the studio?

Dawn: The vibe was electric and exciting, a renewed passion for creativity and music, mixed with the fear of working without a net and stepping into the unknown.

12. What’s the writing and recording process for you?

Dawn: Writing was a lot of travel and a lot of time camped out in studios with our producers, searching for the best way to communicate, and the best vibe to carry the messages. Recording was a lot of fun watching the songs become a reality.

13. Are there any surprises or any collaborations on the album?

Dawn: Yes, actually we've just finished working on a collaboration with a friend, the epic lead vocalist Stephen Christian, of Anberlin. A unique opportunity that we are beyond stoked about.

14. What can we expect from this album and what is the message behind it?

Dawn: INNOVA is Latin for renew.  We feel this album represents a renewal and growth for us as a band both musically and as people. Overall, it's meant to be an inspiration to open our eyes and see the world around us and our own destiny with new eyes. Embracing the power of God's love in every aspect, we can leave the status quo behind.

15. When will this new album to be released?

Dawn: May 5, 2015

16. Any last words for the friends and fans out there?

Dawn: No matter how you may feel in this moment, you are not alone. We have all been created by God and we are together in our struggles. If we stop isolating ourselves and lean on each other we can tap into the strength that comes from pure love and the supportive understanding of shared experience.

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