Leamington-based Firedaze come from a variety of musical backgrounds, but the three musicians all have a passion for rock, folk and roots music. They love making music that is contemporary, relevant and above all fun, live music that you can dance to and enjoy singing along to.
Vocals, guitar, bass, foot percussion
Steff is one of the founder members of Firedaze, and has been playing guitar since she was 10. Her first paid public appearance was at the age of 14, and she enjoyed it so much she’s never wanted to stop being on stage. “Being on stage, playing music together with two good mates, and knowing it sounds good, is just the best.”
Foot percussion is a key element of the Firedaze live sound, with Steff triggering drum sounds with a wooden stomp box and a bass drum pedal. “It can get a bit tiring during a long song, but I think the sound and added rhythm is worth it,” Steff said.
Muso anorak note: “On stage, I play a Patrick Eggle LA electric guitar or an Overwater Custom guitar, through a Marshall Valvestate amp. The amp, however, is like no other thanks to an enthusiastic techie who replaced all the boring gold and black knobs with a rainbow of coloured ones. Strings are usually D’Addario, and on the LA they feel gorgeous.
I also play a Stonebridge GS20-CM/C acoustic with an onboard Fishman preamp – it’s strung with ridiculously expensive Elixir strings that sound lovely and luckily last for ages. I sing through an AKG headset wireless microphone.
For foot percussion – my stomp box (literally a wooden box to stamp on with a mic in it!) is a Shadow Stompin’ Bass which we use to trigger bass drum sounds on a Roland SPD-SX . I’ve also started using a KT10 pedal to trigger snare sounds – even though technically is a bass drum pedal – and I use it back to front! Still it gives me a variety of percussion sounds – I love it.”
I have a serious passion for ice skating and ice hockey. I love skating and I’ve also become a dedicated supporter of Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey team. I decided the team needed musical support to boost morale – so I wrote a song for them.
You can hear it as the first track on our new album – Let’s Have Another One.
Fiddle, backing vocals
Jen first joined Firedaze in 2004, adding her distinctive fiddle sound to the band’s mix. At first she simply recreated the fiddle lines created by previous members of the band, but she soon started to shape these to her own style, and to co-write new songs with the other band members.
She’s been playing the violin since she was 6 years old, initially playing classical music and only moving on to folk style tunes when she joined Firedaze. “Adapting my technique to that of folk rock fiddle has been an exciting, sometimes challenging, but extremely rewarding process,” she said. “To play regularly so closely with two talented musicians, bouncing off each other musically and writing new music together, is a thing that lifts the soul – never has my fiddle sung like it does these days!”
Anorak note: “My violin was made in Germany in the mid to late 1800’s. It required some renovation in the 80’s, entrusting it to the loving attention of Milner and Hallows violin makers (now Alan Milner) in Richmond, North Yorkshire. It features a lion head scroll and mother-of-pearl in-lay flower pattern on the tailpiece.
Currently I am playing using an Incredibow on Pirastro Obligato strings. The strings are nice and bright and respond quickly enough to give clarity to rapid folky-fiddle work and the bow allows for great dynamic range. Onstage I use an Audio Technica Pro35 condenser mic through a Presonus TubePre pre-amp.”
Bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, foot percussion and loops
String is a founder member of Firedaze. Originally a lead guitarist, he has been playing bass since he was about 20.
After years playing a traditional 4 string bass he now generally plays a 5-string bass which has fulfilled his long-held desire for even deeper, lower notes. “There’s a sweet spot where we rehearse , where you can really feel those notes. It’s the best place to stand,” String said. “But there’s nothing to top the feeling of being on-stage when the band are playing really tightly and giving a great performance AND the audience are well into to it. I love that feeling!”
Anorak note: “My main bass is an MTD Kingston series 5 string,. Just occasionally on some older songs I might play my original trusty, rather ancient, Yamaha 4 string.
For strings I use Rotosounds on the Yammy and 5 string D’Adarrio sets for the MTD. My current bass rig is a Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2 amp with a Genz Benz Focus 2×10 and a 1×15 cab. It gives me clarity for the high notes and plenty of bass at the bottom too.”
String’s pedal board allows him to select a range of tones, sounds and delays for the bass plus some very useful distortions for the more rocky sound the band have gone for on the new album Let’s Have Another One.
For drum sounds live String and Steff work together with him controlling the Roland SPD-SX sample pad to select the drum sounds she’s triggering with her foot percussion. “I’ve also got extra pedals on my pedal board that i use to trigger the drum loops on the SPD-SX that we use for some of the songs,” he added.