2016 Hardcore- LIT
Mike Keller and Alexa Kabazie of Letters From the Fire Interview

Just recently we caught the hard rock band, Letters From the Fire, show as they are currently out on tour with the band, Art of Dying.  There were many things we observed while watching the bands at the Club Red show in Mesa, AZ. One thing, in particular, was there seemed to be a tight camaraderie between all the bands on this tour. It was great to see the unity and support they all were giving each other. 

As for a live sound, it doesn't get much better than what Letters From the Fire delivered. With the recent female front addition of female vocalist, Alex Kabazie, the certainty of timing and fate have interlaced themselves into creating again one of the top bands in the hard/metal rock/core genre out of 2016 to watch for. Make sure you catch Letters From the Fire out on tour as well as pick up their new album, “Worth the Pain.” It is the spin that rattles the metal cages of your rock n roll heart.

Song River: When on the road and touring how important is it for the bands performing and sharing a stage to have somewhat of a good relationship?

Mike Keller: If you want to have a smooth and pleasant tour...it's very important!  It's like getting along with your co-workers.  

Song River: Even the band itself, Letters From the Fire, on stage really showcased a band that understands each member has its importance as individuals and as a collective. How would you describe the band's inner workings onstage, in the studio, touring and during those rare occasions of downtime? 

Mike Keller: Other than Alexa and Brian, Clayton, Cameron, and myself (Mike) have been in this band since 2009.  We are fortunate that Alexa and Brian were able to just fall in place with how this band works and it's really becoming a well-oiled machine.  Everyone has their place and their strengths within this band and they stick to it.

Song River: As you have released your first single in the video, "Give In To Me" auditory it is the keeper of intensity.  Visually there seems to be a definite connect to the meaning behind the words. Can you expound?

Mike Keller: The video is actually the vision of the
director who shot the video.  It's a bit different than what the song is actually about.  But what we love about "Give In To Me," is that we kept it general enough for everyone to find their own meaning within the song.

Song River: Would you consider on your next video production creating and filming it to fit your own lyrical content?

Mike Keller: Not necessarily. We wanted a cool video that would be a little darker so we went with his vision. We wanted to be inspired and excited and that vision of the song did it for us. 

Song River: As with most artist and their work you want the audience to take what has been created and turn their own twist to it. Which is of course what was done. Who did the video?

Mike Keller: Most definitely we want that! And the video was created by, Jacob Voelske. 

Song River: Vocally Alexa Kabazie has been compared to Lizzy Hale and other strong female voices in the hardcore industry of rock and metal. There is something only the female voice and presence can bring to push a band's sound over the top. First of all how and when did Alexa come in?

Mike Keller: Alexa joined that band last June.  She was introduced to us by Mike Gitter (A&R: Roadrunner/Another Century).  At first, we were apprehensive about having a female front.  However, after listening to her demos, we knew we had to go for it.

Song River: Alexa for you- has this style of music always filled your lungs? And vocally you are a powerhouse that shakes the bones. Is your voice projection something that came easy for you?

Alexa Kabazie: Growing up (and even now), I listened to a lot of Pop, but I always had a love for singing and performing heavier music. So when the time came to choose, it was a no brainier. My vocal technique is actually rooted in the Musical Theater and Classical training I received throughout my childhood. But even before training when I was a tiny kid, I always had a pretty powerful voice. 

Song River: As Letters From the Fire have combined the talents of each individual you have created a very noteworthy new album, "Worth the Pain." Talk a bit about the songwriting process and the contributions to produce this phenomenal work of art.

Mike Keller: I wrote the majority of the music for this record.  I have my own studio so all I do is write. Cameron also came and helped me tighten some of these songs.  As far as lyrical and melody content, that was handled by Alexa and some of the awesome writers we had in the studio with us.  It was a very rushed process since we only had 6 weeks to finish and Alexa literally joined the band 2 weeks prior to going in the studio.

Song River: There isn't a weak or a 'let's just throw this song on because we need to fill space' song on this album. The album in its entirety is strong. How important was it to the band to create a 'complete' work that had each track stand on its own.

Mike Keller: We take pride in the songs we write.  Who wants a filler song?  And of course, that is going to be relative to individual opinion.  But we really did strive to have a strong record from beginning to end.

Song River: Out of the 13 tracks on "Worth the Pain" is there one in particular that all of you just get a kick out of playing live? 

Mike Keller: “Perfect Life” is definitely a favorite!  It's heavy, fast, and has a sweet solo.

Song River: The last tour list posted has you out on tour until the end of September. What and where are you heading soon afterward? Do you plan on touring pretty much non-stop all the way through 2017?

Mike Keller: It should say until November (laughs).  We are also working on a December run as well as planning out tours for next year as well.  We plan on being on the road for at least 2 years pushing this album.

Song River: Next video in the works? Tune, and film direction?

Mike Keller: We will possibly be doing a new video here in December.  Not sure which song yet. But stay tuned!  

Letters From the Fire Video
"Give Into Me"


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