EMQ’s with AGE OF FIRE
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Charlottesville, Virginia based Metal band Age Of Fire! Huge thanks to guitarist Greg Brown for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Greg Brown and I’m the guitar player and founder of the band. Age of Fire dates back to 1988! We started out in South Florida as a thrash band and within a couple years morphed into a Prog band but changed the name, then disbanded in 1993. I then started studying classical guitar and went a whole other direction for many years although I was still listening to more metal than any other genre. About 10 years ago, I revisited our old reel to reel tapes and moved to digital since tape degrades in time. This was released on iTunes, self- titled even though we weren’t performing. Last year, I re-mastered it again but added some bonus tracks. I had such a blast doing this and wanted to really write again in the metal genre. So I wrote a bunch of tunes, mostly instrumental, but also did the vocals and bass and had a few drummers sit in and the response was beyond anything I was expecting. The disc is called “Obsidian Dreams”. This year has been epic for the band. I started working with Michael Heck who has been laying down bass and drums for a new release called “Shades of Shadow”. He has also been helping on the audio side as well. We re-recorded some tracks and he’s also mixing and mastering the new release. We also have Laura Viglione on a few tracks which has been awesome, her voice is amazing and I can’t wait for everyone to hear her!
How did you come up with your band name?
I’ve read many theological books over the years. The end of times or Armageddon has always fascinated me. There was something I read that referred to the time just before the end, when everything has gone wrong as the Age of Fire. It resonated with me.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from the US. Like I said we started in South Florida in the late 80’s and there was a vibrant metal scene but I moved in 1993 after the band split up. We are based in Charlottesville, Virginia and there is no metal scene whatsoever. No venues and no real support beyond a once in a blue moon gig or house party. For the last year and a half the band has focused on studio work and getting it on the web. With the newest release “Shades of Shadow”, we hope to be hitting the stage in larger markets and festivals.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
The first single is “Time Is Running Out” with me on vocals/guitars and Arnaud Krakowka guesting on drums. Check it out.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Wow! Originally AC/DC. When “Back In Black” come out I knew I wanted to play guitar. Not necessarily as a career but I wanted to play. Then “Number Of The Beast” came out and I was blown away. Early Metallica also had a huge influence on me. Over the years I’d say: Van Halen, Pantera, Nevermore, Satriani and Nightwish.
What first got you into music?
AC/DC – “Back In Black” for sure. I love that disc. It’s really a complete package.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I’d love to play with Nightwish. I think they are epic. I would also love to play with Jeff Loomis. I’ve met him a few times over the years but never played with him.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Wacken, without a doubt! Because it’s Wacken! It’s the largest metal festival in the world with tens of thousands of die hard metal fans. It would be great to expose our music to that many people at one time, what a rush.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A baritone ukulele! I was teaching a theory class for adults in the evenings and after the semester ended, one of my students gave me a baritone ukulele. So out of left field!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you all for your support!!! That’s such a biggie. As an artist we want to get our creations out in the world and hopefully get appreciated. To know that there are people listening to our music is such a great feeling. Without the fans we are just playing in empty rooms and airwaves.
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Randy Rhoads, he left us too early. His playing and legato solos were so well thought out. Incredible player!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love creating music. It’s such a process, coming up with ideas and seeing them come to fruition is truly gratifying. As far as hating music?! Hmmm, there are some very negative social connotations about being a musician. It’s funny though, some of the most well respected musicians were outcasts and thought down on at the time. Mozart died poor, Beethoven notorious for his temper and Bach even spent time in jail over his music.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The lack of payment from streaming companies is criminal. Currently a necessary evil!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Operation Mindcrime” by Queensryche! It never gets old to me and I’ve been into it since it came out.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Recently I’ve been expanding my vinyl collection. Best? I think it depends on lifestyle. I have CD’s laying around everywhere in my car but have a full collection of downloads as well.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
That’s a hard one since I’ve been gigging for 35 years. There are a few that standout. New York City this past January as a solo artist stands out. In 1992 we did a gig in Orlando for Hurricane relief. Disney paid for advertising and we got to play through Foreigners PA system. Lots of people helping other people, good time!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’m a total space nerd. Astronomy and human space exploration! I don’t want to go to space but I think it is something worthwhile for the human race. When you see the magnificence of space it helps my day to day worries go away. It’s so vast, it just helps me put it in perspective.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Loomis, David Lee Roth (he cracks me up), Bruce Dickinson, and Todd La Torre.
What’s next for the band?
Finishing the next CD “Shades of Shadow” is top of list. Lots of things are happening really fast. Updating website (www.age-of-fire.com), then marketing the new disc and shows in support of it! We are looking into touring certain areas next Summer, too soon to fully disclose where.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Not sure I know what they are but if they say cake in the name, I’m going with cake.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
For streaming our back catalogue please check out ageoffire.bandcamp.com/
Thank you so much for the interview! It’s greatly appreciated.
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