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Interview: Fireworks

Fireworks punk band

By: Andrew Katz

After releasing their newest record, Gospel on May 24th of this year, I was able to catch up with Fireworks' guitarist, Chris Mojan to discuss their current tour with Hostage Calm and Mixtapes. In addition to our discussion of the tour, Chris got right down to the point about the origin of the band’s name, the current punk scene of today, and advice to up and coming punk bands.

Currently, Fireworks has two more dates on their current tour. The first date is on June 20th in Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen with Hostage Calm and Mixtapes, and on June 21st in Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme with Hostage Calm and Mixtapes.


Whenever I hear the term “fireworks,” images of summer and good times come to mind, was this the band’s intention when the name was created?

I wouldn’t say exactly. We just kind of started writing music and the music ended up having that feel to it. Also, our last record and EP we did was mainly written in the summer. I think it just happened naturally.


How do you feel about the current punk scene of today? How does it differ from the past such as when Blink-182 and Green Day dominated the charts?

I think everything is separated into groups today. Back then, you can throw around band names such as Green Day, Blink 182, NOFX, Rancid, and even MxPx as sort of the same thing. They were all the same type of band. But nowadays it’s like, “these are pop-punk bands, these are hardcore bands.” Everything today is categorized. When I was younger I would get the Punk-O-Rama compilations, and some people would be saying that, “these are hardcore bands,” and others would say that “these are pop-punk bands or hardcore punk bands.” I feel that people were more open and accepting to these types of bands.  Everyone was having fun together. But now it seems like when there is a cross-genre show, a lot of people are asking the question of, “why are these bands playing together?” But they don’t realize that we are all friends and we are making music for the same purposes anyway. 


How is the tour coming along? Any crazy stories? How does it compare to previous tours?

It is going quite well. We are playing with Hostage Calm and Mixtapes which has been awesome. They are great people. However, because it’s not a full U.S tour, everyone is really just relaxed. The shows have been really good. Nothing really crazy has actually happened, but some of the shows have had hundreds of people come out. 


For the song “Detroit,” what was the inspiration behind the music video?

We just wanted it to be cool enough and have enough stuff going on. We wanted people to just keep watching. To me, the music video is all performance. It needs to be really cool, otherwise it is just boring. If it is not all performance, it won’t be successful. For this video, we had performance and something was going on. We were unsure on how to pull that off. We needed to decide what would be the most interesting thing for the video. We wanted people to want to watch it. We all like to ride bikes with our friends, so we decided on that. It was easy to film, and we were always moving around keeping things interesting. That was really it. 


I’ve noticed that your sound has been consistent throughout your career thus far. Did you guys ever contemplate trying to incorporate different genres into your music?

No. I think we have definitely progressed since our first EP. A lot of kids sometimes complain that our music doesn’t sound the same. But I think we have grown. I don’t believe in bands that sound similar to us trying to incorporate breakdowns. I think it sounds dumb. There are hardcode bands for a reason and there are punk bands for a reason. It is unnecessary to mix the two. Just because you can’t right a bridge, it doesn’t mean that you should put a “breakdown” in there to replace it. That is how I feel.  


What’s your best advice for up and coming punk bands. Since your sound is well known, what would you say to other bands trying to stand apart from the crowd?

Don’t try to stand apart. Be yourself. I believe the problem is that people try to emulate a sound so much; it ends up sounding like something else. The whole vide of what they are doing ends up like something that’s already part of a group. I think you need to always be yourself. For us, it was awkward at first, but people eventually caught on as we played more shows. Just do what you have to do, and if you work hard, things will work out. 

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