We recently interviewed Fireside Collective, one of our headlining bands for Sunday in the Park ft. Tunes from the Tombs. Learn more about Sunday in the Park (happening at Oakland on September 24) and get your tickets here.
If your band could collaborate with one artist living or dead, who would it be and why?
If we could collaborate with any artist, it would have to be Jerry Garcia. Jerry’s approach to music and philosophy on life has inspired an incredible amount of music over the years. He was so good at blending various genres of music into an original sound. His understanding of roots music and love for bluegrass added an element to the Grateful Dead’s music that brought the songs to life. His philosophy on music allowed the songs to change and grow throughout the years. He was able to play the same songs for years while allowing them to change and grow over time. It would be incredible to be able to jam with the father of jambands and one of the world’s greatest rock and roll musicians.
What overall message do you hope to impart with your music?
Above all, we want people to have fun. Our message encourages people to let go of their worries and troubles and to be in the moment. Life can be hard, but music allows us to connect with the deeper truths in life and transcend individual moments in order to feel one with all of existence. We want to encourage harmony and connection— principles that exist inherently within the performance of a musical piece. We like to mix up the songs and keep the show constantly changing in order to remind people that life is constantly changing, growing and evolving. We want to be a source of joy and love for people and we hope our music expresses this message.
What does “Fireside Collective” mean to you as a musical project?
Fireside Collective is an allusion to the experience of sitting around a campfire, sharing the experience of life and enjoying the feeling of togetherness. We celebrate community and connection. The fire is what brings us all together and the Collective is all of us working as one to create a better world for everyone.
How has your band’s sound developed over the years?
In the early days of Fireside Collective, we were searching for the sound, as many bands do. We eventually settled pretty hard into the bluegrass world and rode that sound for many years. We spent a lot of time tightening up the rhythm and getting our harmonies dialed in. We went to bluegrass festivals and conventions and had a tight set with a number of impressive bluegrass songs interwoven with early originals. Since then, we have started to expand and focus on improvisation and keeping the set different from night to night. We have a lot of extended jams and we bring in new material all the time. Our experience is now more similar to a jamband than a bluegrass band, though we still lean heavily on both genres. We are all very influenced by many different genres so we feel more authentic being able to allow our rock and roll, country and folk music influences to color the sound while still remaining rooted in bluegrass music.
Where do y’all find inspiration?
We find inspiration everywhere. From other bands, to our friends and family, to long hikes and deep conversations, we try to remain inspired. We make it a point to see cool sites and spend time in nature while we are on the road. We love going into National Parks as well as visiting historic sites throughout the country. Above all, we love meeting fans and hearing their stories. Learning about the people who support us reminds us why we do this in the first place. It means everything to us when a fan tells us how much our music means to them. It’s a reciprocal relationship and we want to keep the energy flowing.
What is one piece of musical (or life) advice that you would give your younger selves?
Take your time, be authentic and stay rooted in love. Don’t worry so much about accomplishing arbitrary goals and fulfilling expectations by a certain age or within a specific timeframe. Just infuse everything you do with love and honesty and the rest will come.