Meet the progressive post-hardcore band FTSA
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
We are Fire, Said The Albatross, A local band out of West Michigan. We are a 6 piece progressive post-hardcore concept band and our story has elements adapted from video games, dungeons and dragons, and other high fantasy. FSTA is also seen as a mathcore band composing our tracks with a great deal of care to include odd time signatures. FSTA is often compared to and grouped with Dance Gavin Dance, Hail The Sun, and Coheed and Cambria
The band was founded in 2014 by drummer Douglas Bishop and currently consists of guitarists James Falkowski and David Houseman, bassist Jonah Anderson, and Vocalists Lucas Story and Caleb Gatling.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Our newest single is Pumpkin Spiced G. Rover Cripes This song, in particular, is about an altruistic dog man (G. Rover) who brings supplies to a village of penguin people who are on the brink of collapse. G. Rover chooses to brave a blizzard to deliver them supplies he makes his way up the mountain and makes it there but the toll of the weather was too great and he passes, but the village is saved and the villagers put up a statue in G. Rovers image
It also has themes of being sick of your surroundings and being nostalgic.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
We live in Michigan so winters can be very brutal thus a lot of the imagery is that of harsh winter storms
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Caleb: I would have to say "Bro, Ashley's here" by Attack Attack because it was really the song that brought me over to metal and hardcore music.
Lucas: "The Black Parade" by MCR. Honestly, this album got me into music in general, I wouldn't be singing if it were not for this album
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?
We only have one true music video Poolside Parrot’s Parasol Party and I think we would all agree it is our favourite
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
Caleb: Playing video games, magic the gathering, and TTRPGS
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Caleb: Not usually I have always been sort of an attention hog like most frontmen lol so I love the feeling of performing and the build-up to playing the show, but there is a moment right when the lights go down and right before the band starts playing where I forget all of the lyrics and forget where to start, but right when It's my time to start my body kicks into go time and I'm back to having the time of my life.
Lucas: I don't really get nervous for shows at this point. I've done too many of them for me to get nervous about it, you just have to go out and do your best!
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
Douglas bishop: The story of Fire, Said The Albatross starts before its actual conception. Our previous guitarist Devon and I had played in our first band together. We were young and were just writing whatever we thought was cool and heavy. After some time, our band fell through and we then played in separate bands for a while. I was playing in a Grand Rapids band for about a year, but that was falling apart too. It was around this time that Devon and I started hanging out again, and I wanted to ask him about starting up a new project, but he had prior obligations to the band that he had been playing in.
I hit up a vocalist that he and I had met a couple of years earlier in our first band and I asked him if he had any musical groups that were in need of a drummer. He told me that he, his brother, and one of their friends were trying to start up a new band. I ended up driving out to his place, and the three of us drove out of his brother's place in Nunica. This was where I met James. He wanted to jam some riffs with me to see how I played. I guess you could say that it was "love at first breakdown".... or something like that because we've been writing songs ever since. He and I quickly started to have this vision of what we would want the band to be. Something new. Experimental. Familiar enough that it's approachable but different enough to feel unique.
We had this old joke between us that we wanted to be like the "hardcore Pink Floyd, or the emo Tool" if that's any indication of the type of sound we wanted early on. We ended up just continuing to write music without his brother or their friend. After about six months or so of coming up with ideas, we thought it was time to find some members. Our first real line-up was the two of us, plus a bassist and a singer. We had played gigs as a four-piece for a while before we picked up a second guitarist. Which was Devon. For a long time after this, we had a lot of member instability. For years, it was pretty much James, Devon, and I as the core members. Musicians would leave, some would come back. They would leave and others would try out. Friends would try out. We'd have previous members come back, for them to leave again. It wasn't until after Lucas joined about a year ago that our line-up has felt well-grounded to me. Caleb had joined in the summer of 2017. He was a fan of the band before joining, and we had met him because he had done a vocal cover of one of our songs. Still, the only person to do that! He and I had become buddies and we'd have him come up on stage to perform with us from time to time.
The two front-person setup in a band has always been intriguing to me. However, as a band, we weren't sold on the idea. That was until the summer of 2017. That following summer, I had come across Jonah online and emailed him to ask if he'd be interested in trying out for bass in the band. I sent him some tracks and asked him if he needed any help with working out the time signatures or the keys of any parts. He responded by saying "no", and four days later he posted a video of himself playing through a song of our's in its entirety. We asked him if he'd wanna come out and track bass for a new song we were working on, and he's been with us ever since. Shortly after this point, Caleb was our only frontman, as our other had to leave the band. We had been on the heavy search for a vocalist. Had some people try out. We talked about how maybe Devon should stop playing guitar and just sing, that maybe we should just find a new guitarist. None of that was working out for us as a band, so we just kept writing ideas for over a year as the five of us. It was a year ago, almost to the day, that we had met Lucas.
I remember sitting on my bed thinking, "there has got to be someplace I can just find singers or something". Coincidentally, I just searched on Facebook, "Grand Rapids Vocalists", and a group came up. Called exactly that. I was scrolling through it where I saw Lucas covering Joji and Anthony Green. I could tell that he had something special. So I sent him a friend request and messaged him. We video chatted later that day about music and the band. The next night, he came out and started recording vocals for us. I told him that the spot was his if he wanted it. Now, after almost a year of this line-up, Devon had decided to leave the band. We held tryouts and a few people were interested in the spot. Which ended up going to David. Lucas would bring him to hang out with us from time to time, so we knew him, but I didn't really know he played the guitar the way that he does until he came out to audition. His background with music and guitar playing adds a very interesting twist to the music we are writing. So I voiced my opinion of him joining up and the rest of the band agreed.
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
Our songs are mainly written by drummer and founder Douglas Bishop. He writes the skeleton and the rest of us supply the flesh, blood, and muscles. Our songs are about a fantasy world we have cultivated over the years and the trials and tribulations of our protagonists, but hidden within every song is a bit of real-world commentary and emotion for people to relate to.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Some of our inspirations would be Video games, TTRPGs, and other fantasy-based media. We also find inspirations in the love of our story, music, and from our friends and fans that love what we do and want more.
Lucas: I would say the passion of the people creating around me inspires me the most
WHAT IS NEXT?
We have a couple of singles, a couple of EPs, and a Full-length album in the works right now
PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.