Tuesday, 1 July 2014

We're Only Here For The Banter - House Fire Kid

House Fire Kid is not some creepy 7 year old strolling round suburbia committing acts of arson, but the musical moniker of Edinburgh musician Jake Bailey.  Having aired single Risk It  a few weeks back on the show, I caught up with him for a brief introduction.

Hello! How the devil are you?

Awesome thanks.

It's the question everyone hates, but could illuminate our readers with a little bit about your music and your influences?

Well, when I was growing up my Dad played all of the classics (David Bowie, Pink Floyd and The Doors...).  When I discovered Radiohead through their album The Bends,  I was blown away. I have also been a die hard Muse fan, having seen them live over 20 times. More recently, I'm hugely impressed by James Blake and Bastille.  In addition, I love some epic classical music, such as Mozart's Requiem.

In terms of my music, I actually come from a guitar playing background, having been part of a three piece rock band until recently for a number of years.  I just started playing more piano recently.  I am lucky enough to have my own studio now.  With House Fire Kid I essentially take my love of alternative rock and classical and then play that on the piano to bigger, hip hop style beats.

What's your song-writing / creative process like?

Right now to earn some pennies I work and I travel a lot for work.  I'm never without my iPad and I use Garageband as a sketch book, usually on an aeroplane.  I then take my ideas and re-play them in my studio.  I generally start with a simple piano melody, then add some beats and strings.  I'll then drop some vocals and then add lots of textures with guitars and occasionally some vocal samples, like on my track Dreaming.  I play bass in the studio too. 

Also, I'm named House Fire Kid as a couple of years ago I had a serious house fire and lost loads of musical equipment.  That often inspires what I write about...

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Great question.  Perhaps a 21st century Dick Van Dyke a la Mary Poppins as it's just me!  In all seriousness, I have played music with my great friend Cal for years so he'll be on bass.  I will play guitar and keys live plus drop some samples and maybe someone on percussion, but not a full drum kit.  I've yet to play live as House Fire Kid.  My first show will be for a video launch and is likely to be special (thinking about hiring a church and having some epic visuals).  I'm also a bit of a show off so I intend to entertain the crowd as opposed to standing still behind a laptop!

Tell us about new single 'Risk It'.

It's totally awesome isn't it.  I'm really proud of the song.  It has a number of layers.  The electronic sounds in the verses are samples from my voice then replayed on a keyboard.  It's just recently been mastered in Chicago by the guy who ran the recent US tour for CHVRCHES.  It's getting a lot of props across the pond which is great. 

The song is essentially about risking everything for someone, giving up everything, for them to decide to go and be with someone else and do something else.  Happy eh...

What else have you got planned for 2014?

I've just had five tracks mastered in the US now.  These include two future singles.  The next one is a dancier track called Rain Clouds  which sounds epic.  The one I may release after that is a track I did with a great rapper from Ohio called Jay Wallace.  We met on this place called Twitter, I don't know if you've heard of it?  Ahead of that I will be filming a video for Risk It  which will involve me in 'risky' places.  I'll try not to die filming it.  I'll then follow that up with a live show and take things from there.

What are you listening to at the moment?

German football commentary of the Brazil/Cameroon World Cup game as I'm in a bar in Frankfurt right now answering this on my phone.  However, musically right now I'm enjoying the new Damon Alburn solo album, loving Royal Blood, rocked out to Rival Sons in Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms the other night and have a very guilty pleasure in Ed Sheeran's recent single Sing.  Also, big props to some stellar Scottish acts who I really rate right now, The Wild Curve, The Hazey Janes, Model Aeroplanes and Honeyblood.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

I'll keep it musical and clean...

"I found a trumpet growing in my garden the other day"
What did you do?
"I had to root it oot..."

Check out more from House Fire Kid

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