Interview with Matthew LaPerche of Firestarter
With Song River of CowgirlZen Entertainment
Sometimes taking a chance means success. For the band Firestarter, taking a chance along with being prepared led them to the road of success that they are currently driving. Having released two EP’s and a full-length album due for release this winter entitled, The Time It Takes, along with touring and their time with Warped Tour, without a doubt these band mates are ignited… Firestarter is lit.
Song River: Taking chances can be scary. Is that how Firestarter began?
Matthew LaPerche: In every sense of the statement, Firestarter began as I (Matthew LaPerche / Vocals & Guitar) took the chance of moving three hours away from home into an apartment with my girlfriend at the time right outside of Albany, NY. Things with the girl sadly did not pan out, BUT in my time spent in the capital region, I founded / started Firestarter alongside drummer Matt Bliss and we have been touring and playing music together ever since.
SR: You have taken a road that many at times have been afraid to take… doing what you love and risking it all to do what you love. Was there ever a point where you thought it might not be worth the risk?
Matthew LaPerche: Being a musician involved in the fickleness of the music industry is honestly one of the toughest roads to take. I have spent many of times broke out of my mind just to make sure I am able to write music, play with the band, and tour the country. On top of being broke, It can certainly be one hell of a roller coast ride emotionally once things get to a certain level as labels, agents, and managers get involved and interested in what you are doing. In the end it is all worth it for me and the rest of the guys because being on stage is the one place where we are all happy and stress free.
SR: Pop Punk varies… do you guys have any early Blink influences?
Matthew LaPerche: Collectively as a band Blink-182 is one of our all-time favorites and we definitely think that is evident in our earlier material. Without Blink, I know I (Matthew LaPerche) would not be the person I am today when it comes to my musical taste and musicianship. Their music made it viable for a punk band to be the forefront of popular music as we know it and made it seem not as outlandish as it sounds.
SR: In just a bit over two years you have released three EP’s. Why did you decide to break down these tunes into EP groups instead of maybe one or two complete albums?
Matthew LaPerche: We decided to split up the material into separate EP’s as we feel each release portrays us growing as a band and as people. Each release continues to build on the sound we started in 2013, but adds something more and / or something new to the table. Up until recently we were still finding our identity and now feel we have finally reached the point where the music we are writing currently can cohesively work together to form a full length.
SR: Any particular EP that you felt encapsulates who you are as a feel, sound, and mood?
Matthew LaPerche:Our most recent effort, A Life Inconsistent, is definitely the EP I feel connected to the most. I am at an age and time in my life where a lot of the decisions I make could effect who I am for the rest of it and it leaves a lot of room for stress and uncertainty. The ups and downs we experience in our mid-twenties when it comes to our purpose in the world, love, and acceptance really take a tole on our collective physiques and I hit on that in the lyrics of each song on the EP.
SR: How was the band’s day at Warped Tour?
Matthew LaPerche: Our day on Warped Tour was an absolute dream come true. We are lucky to say this is our second time playing the tour, but this time it was on the Journey’s Right Foot Main Stage. Being surrounded by some of the most re-known names in the business right now as well as playing to a hometown crowd made it one hell of an experience. We hope to have a chance to do multiple dates of the tour next year!
SR: How did the opportunity come about?
Matthew LaPerche: We have the incredible people over at Ernie Ball for the opportunity as well as Kevin Lyman and everyone over at the Warped Tour who selected us to play the first ever Warped Tour date in Syracuse, NY. Without them, none of what came to be would have happened and we are eternally grateful for it.
SR: What made you choose the single “Worth the Wait” to tie in with your Warped adventures?
Matthew LaPerche: “Worth the Wait” is a song about having hope in the future, in your friends, and in the choices you make to get from a means to and end. We thought the subject sinks up well with everything you think about when it comes to the Vans Warped Tour especially the positivity you feel walking around it. The song captures that well and the video captures the fun we had that day just as well. The video can be seen in all Journey’s stores around the country all of October, so keep an eye out for it!
SR: Who filmed it and put it all together for you?
Matthew LaPerche: Our good friend Taylor Rambo from upstate NY met us at the fairgrounds early that morning, picked up his camera, started shooting and didn’t stop until the day was through. He did an absolutely amazing job putting together the video and we definitely recommend him to other bands looking for picture and video work!
SR: You have shared the stage was some great bands. Anyone in particular that you yourselves were in “awe” of?
Matthew LaPerche: We are very lucky to say that we have played with some of the best in the scene as well as some of our personal favorites. Honestly the band we had the chance to play with that left us in the most awe would definitely be Less Than Jake. They have been a band for so long, yet carry themselves like they are still playing small clubs vs. massive venues and on top of that, they are nothing, but great people. They were very welcoming of us on the show, shouted us out a bunch during their set, and even hung out with us for a bit after the show. To be able to play music the amount time they have and still love every second if it is one of my personal goals as a musician.
SR: You are now heading out on tour with Capstan. How many states are marked for this tour and what do all of you do while out on the road to help keep your sanity?
Matthew LaPerche: I believe we have 16 or 17 states penned up for the run and it was an absolute blast and pleasure to do alongside Capstan. Genuine dudes in it for all the right reasons. Honestly coffee is the key to my sanity and being on tour. The road can be very tiring, but an iced coffee at my side can make all the difference. Another key to sanity, is exploring every new place we drive into and just taking it all in. Seeing the scenery change from state to state out of the window of our van is something else.
SR: Touring to expand your fan base along with music that speaks to a wide audience base. I understand a new full length album is in the works? Any release date or title to be spoken of yet publicity? Where are you recording and who is producing the new album?
Matthew LaPerche: As of right now, we can’t speak too much of the record, BUT it will be titled “The Time It Takes” and should be out some time in the winter. We will be recording it in Upstate New York with John Naclerio of Nada Recording Studios. He’s had his hands on some of the most prolific releases of the mid-2000’s post-hardcore / screamo boom including releases by Brand New, My Chemical Romance, Senses Fail, Bayside, Polar Bear Club, Just Surrender, and the list goes on. We are really looking forward to it!
SR: Will you be back out on tour to support the new album once it’s released?
Matthew LaPerche: Without a doubt. We are unsure of a set-in-stone release date for the record, but once that is set, you will be seeing a whole lot more of us than you normally do after any previous releases! Be ready for it.