Mike T West catches up with London tech-metallers The Safety Fire ahead of their upcoming Berlin gig in support of Protest the Hero. Moustache chat: engage.
Now that all that yuletide-kindness-to-your-fellow-man nonsense is over for another 12 months it is time to sober up (or down) and shed those Christmas pounds with some good ol’ progressive metal from London. The very excellent The Safety Fire have begun the year trekking through Europe with the equally excellent Protest The Hero and TesseracT. We had a chat with guitarist and excellent chap, Derya “Dez” Nagle about their assured (and indeed excellent) new album, Mouth Of Swords.
Hello Dez! How are you?
I’m very well thank you. Enjoying a little break in between tours!
You’re beginning 2014 on tour with Protest The Hero AND TesseracT! How does this make you feel?
Extremely excited! We are good friends with both bands, and they are just awesome guys to hang out with. Add us in the mix and a splash of lime and it’s all going to be a lot of fun.
The line-up is unbearably excellent. Is there such a thing as too much prog-metal?
Thankfully, I don’t think you can overdose on prog-metal, so hopefully all should be well.
Have you been to Berlin before? And if so, then where do you like to go? And if not, why not?!
We have been twice as a band, and very much looking forward to our third excursion. We have friends in Berlin who take us out, so I wouldn’t be able to name any of the bars we have been to, but all I know is I very much like the food, coffee, drinks and general vibe of the city. Definitely one of our favourite places to tour.
Your moustache is epic. Do you think you would fit in amongst the more refined expatriates here?
Thank you kindly. When I come to Europe I always feel like less of an oddity. There aren’t many people in the UK rocking the ‘stache, although being half Turkish I do feel I am fulfilling a national stereotype.
Berlin crowds are renowned for their polite indifference at concerts, what cheesy crowd encouragement does The Safety Fire incorporate to combat this?
Offer them sex.
Your sophomore album, Mouth Of Swords, is bloody brilliant! Discuss.
Thank you. We enjoy it muchly, so are very happy to find others agree! What we did with [debut album] Grind The Ocean was to make people aware of the band, and what we were doing as a band, so MoS was an extremely important release for us. I think our sound has matured since our first album and extremely proud of what we are doing.
The blistering “Beware The Leopard (Jagwar)” features post-metal Jesus, Tommy Giles Rogers Jr., as a guest vocalist. How did this come about?
We toured with Between the Buried and Me last year in Europe and became good friends with the guys. We talked with Tommy about doing a guest vocal on stage with us during that tour, but it never came round, so I joked with him, “not to worry, we’ll get you on our next album”, which he agreed to. When I wrote that song the part felt like it suited him so sent it over and he was down. He is one of my favourite vocalists so it was a very surreal process.
One of the reasons why I left the UK is that the metal scene was shit! Why is it now only started being brilliant again?
I can’t really answer that, I suppose these things come in waves – almost reacting to the fact there is a gap that needs filling. I think the music scene in the UK in general is great at the moment with some incredibly interesting albums having been released in the last year.
And finally, what does 2014 hold for the band?
As much touring as possible. We are having a lot of fun playing this new material so want any given chance to do so. Especially if it’s on a boat! Which we are being given the chance to do in February with the Progressive Nation At Sea cruise.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions and good luck with the tour!
The Safety Fire are playing our second home in Berlin, Magnet, on Wednesday January 8th and across Europe throughout February.