Independent pop rock/rock/dance artist Fireflight are releasing their brand new album INNOVA on May 5th 2015! Full of heartfelt, poignant, emotional, explosive and impacting pop/rock anthems, as well as captivating ballads, this album is one of the most musically diverse and lyrically powerful albums of 2015! I had the privilege of interviewing lead singer Dawn Michele (second from left) recently via email, about the new album. We discussed the album, which songs mean the most to the band, what Fireflight hopes listeners will experience when hearing the new songs, as well as the band’s goals and dreams for the year ahead. Check out the interview below.
- First of all, for those of you who do not know your story or your testimony, about how Fireflight formed as a band or how you became a Christian; can you tell us a bit about the band and what God has been reminding you during this new season of being an independent artist again?
Fireflight formed fifteen years ago in a small town of central Florida. Most of us went to the same church and knew of each other but didn’t hang out. Glenn (guitar) felt a calling to form the band and he and his wife Wendy (bass) began seeking out other players. I graduated with Glenn’s younger brother and sang at a Christian service on behalf of the graduating seniors. Glenn and Wendy were in attendance and after the service they approached me and asked if I’d like to sing in the band. We began practicing and playing out and, after five years, recorded an EP that helped us to find management and then to sign to our first label, Flicker Records, which was founded by the members of Audio Adrenaline. Shortly after, Flicker Records was bought by Provident Label Group / Sony BMG. We have been under their headship up until about a year and a half ago when we decided to head out on our own as an independent artist.
It’s been a crazy journey, all of our steps ordered by God. At every turn we have seen God’s hand moving us forward, without Him we’d be nowhere. Now, as we’ve stepped out as an independent artist, it’s been an even bigger move of faith into the unknown. Thankfully God has caught us, and worked through our risk to show us even greater blessings through trusting Him. He is faithful!
- What has God been teaching you through creating these new songs in INNOVA and how are they similar or different to the process of recording your label albums such as NOW and For Those Who Wait?
God has opened my eyes in new ways to how His power and love are evident throughout every moment and experience here on earth. Too often we try to understand God through our own definitions and parameters, when He is so much larger! We can experience and share His love in every moment with every person we come in contact with.
These songs have been so much fun to create. We have had freedom to take all the time we need, because now we get to make our own timelines for recording and release. That freedom really acted as fuel for our creativity, and helped the process to be less draining than it always has been in the past.
- Your new single “We Are Alive” has a dance atmosphere and feel that isn’t like many songs you have recorded in the past? Was this musical shift in style intentional? What do both “We Are Alive” as well as “Resuscitate” mean to you and what do you think listeners will gain from the album?
It was important to us in this recording process to open ourselves up to new growth and expand our musical creativity. Because we wanted to expand, we chased every inspiration to its fullest and tried to let it have room to become all it could be regardless of whether it felt “safe” or not. As a result our new album is eclectic in a way that we feel is not only fresh, but also exciting!
“We Are Alive” falls in line with the new inspiration that God has been stirring in me to value every moment we have here and take advantage of them to share God’s love, hope, and joy!
“Resuscitate” is a darker narrative of when we find ourselves needing God to bring us back to life. Too often the weight of the troubles of this world starve out our strength and spirit, until we discover we need to be reborn in God’s strength.
- How would you describe you musical sound as well as your lyrics, for those of you who are not familiar with your music and singing style? Both musically and lyrically, how does your new album capture the experiences of you throughout the last few years of your musical journey?
I would describe our new music as a blend of rock/electronic/pop. This album charts our journey of renewal as we have stepped out of our comfort zone and into the unknown. It encompasses all that we have been, along with everything that we hope to become.
- Are there any artists/writers/producers you would like to collaborate and compose music with in the future, either on future records or other artists’ albums?
I worked with Solomon Olds on a few tracks that didn’t end up getting recorded for this project due to timing and scheduling. I’d love to work with him more in the future as it was an awesome experience.
- Who were your favourite artists you admired and looked up to musically in your earlier years, and is there any artist or band that you admire within the music industry currently, as a fellow artist, a spiritual mentor, or someone you ask advice from?
I grew up on a farm and my family listened to country music. I really admired Reba McEntire, the Judds, and Garth Brooks. Currently, I love hanging with the crew of Rapture Ruckus, they’re from New Zealand and they have such an awesome perspective on life. I feel so loved and understood when I’m with them; they have been such an encouragement to me!
- Has there been a recent song that has been ministering to people on the road? What are some of the encouraging stories you have heard from the impact of your songs on this upcoming album?
We’ve been off the road for the last several months due to my pregnancy and we are anxiously looking forward to the release of this album in May. We look forward to witnessing firsthand the impact that the new songs will have as we begin to tour again after the release.
- Is there anything in your life that places things in perspective as you travel and create music? Is there any song, or Bible verse, or even famous quote that reminds you about why you do what you do and why you chose music as a career and ministry?
The time I spend with God in meditation is the one thing that keeps my feet on the ground and God’s truth in my heart. There’s so much chaos when you travel, it takes one on one time with God to quiet the static. My life’s verse is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”. It helps me to remember that my life’s calling is not to be comfortable, but to comfort others.
- Though I started listening to your music because of your rock songs, it is the ballads that I absolutely love listening to! Do you think an acoustic album or maybe a worship, hymns or Christmas album is possible in the future? What other plans music-wise are in the pipeline?
We’re totally open to other projects, when time and resources permit. We love expressing our creativity through different avenues.
- You are filming a music video for “We Are Alive”, can you tell us a bit about that and what you hope viewers will gain from that video?
The music video for “We Are Alive” was a ton of fun to make. We worked with an amazing new director, Phil Earnest. It’s the brightest song we’ve ever recorded a video for, so it was cool to be a part of something so upbeat. My favorite part is the footage that our fans shared with us that is included in the video.
- You are releasing INNOVA independently, and you also used Pledge Music to fund the release of the album. What is your opinion of sites such as Pledge Music, Indiegogo and Kickstarter in general when artists use them to fund their albums, or sometimes fund the buying of a new tour bus? Do you think that in the near future labels will ‘die off’?
We loved our experience with Pledge Music, though it is frightening to put yourself out there and hope for the best! For us, we would not have been able to create an independent record without the facilitation of a crowd-fund. I can’t say as to what will happen to labels in the future, but I know they are all working hard to ensure their viability, and they have tons of professionals working towards that cause. The face of labels and their function may change drastically, but I think they will stand the test of time.
- Touring-wise in 2015, what can we expect? Headlining tours, festivals? Maybe you guys could tour Australia (where I live…)!
We’d love to come to Australia! It’s on our bucket-list! As for what we already have set, we will be doing a handful of festivals this summer all over the USA, and we’re going to be part of the Small Town America Tour 2015 this fall with Seventh Day Slumber, Shonlock, and Scarlet White.
- Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this interview yet? Any parting words, and encouragements that will impact the readers of this interview, either from your own life or from others around you?
We just want to remind people that God loves them so much, and He wants to be a part of every part of their lives. We’d also love for our fans to come talk to us on Facebook.com/fireflightrock and to look for our album, INNOVA, releasing May 5th.
Be sure to check out Fireflight’s new album INNOVA in stores May 5th! Also, check out Fireflight’s videos of the songs ‘Resuscitate’ and ‘We Are Alive’!