Canadian post-hardcore band Words Like Wildfire recently took the time to answer some of my questions. We spoke about a variety of topics including their new single “The Rain”, what bands they are currently listening to, and whether they prefer coffee or tea.
Stream/Purchase “The Rain” Here: https://smarturl.it/therainwlw
The band released their debut EP ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ three years ago and has since won over fans at major events such as Warped Tour and opened for bands like Secrets, Courage My Love, and Famous Last Words. Their new single is the opening song of a three part video trilogy and is based on a true story with a factual indication of hardships that people face daily, whether it’s through addiction, mental illness, or heartbreak.
Looking to make their imprint on today’s music scene, Words Like Wildfire will be releasing their upcoming EP soon via SounDrive Records.
Q: Let’s start with question to get to know you. What sparked your interest in music? Did any bands or particular band members influence you to become the musician you are today? If yes, in what way?
Ian: My parent’s cultivated my musical interest when I was young. Listening to bands like Styx, Rush, and The Guess Who. Once I was old enough to appreciate it, they bought me a set of drums and I quickly started learning. Bands like Silverstein, Taking Back Sunday, and Saosin were very influential to me in my high school days when I finally decided to take up singing, so I naturally gravitated to learning and singing their songs.
AJ: Alexisonfire’s selftitled LP, the one with the catholic school girls in a knife fight. One of my first bands ever learned a bunch of those songs and it hooked me. I loved (and still do) every second of that album. I wish I wrote every single one of those songs. The other biggest influence for me becoming a musician at all was going to local all ages shows. We had a thriving venue near my house and watching the cooler older kids get up there and perform their hearts out- it was just like “yah, I wanna be those people”.
Avery: A lot of my family are musicians, dancers, actors, and comedians even. So it’s been a part of me since I was a kid. I grew up doing musical theatre and dance. I think a huge influence being from Ontario would be Protest The Hero, and Silverstein. Probably cause they’re just dudes from small towns around Toronto like me. If they can do it, why can’t I?
Anthony: Definitely. I’d have to say the big 3 bands that inspired me the most as a kid (everyone’s most influential years) were AFI, Thrice, and Thursday. Particularly the guitar players of those bands Jade Puget, Teppei Teranishi, and Tom Keeley. Those 3 guitarists probably influenced a lot of the guitarist that I am today.
Q: Clearly “The Rain” sheds light on mental health. What is the story behind the song?
Ian: The song is about someone looking in on a loved ones struggles with either depression, or substance abuse, ext. Although they might not fully understand the situation, they patiently stick by their partners/friends side hoping to wait out the bad times.
Avery: I think initially it was written to be a very happy sounding song, with a heavy breakdown to shake things up a bit. I wanted to give you the feeling as if you were crusin down the coastline in the Daytona USA arcade games. It’s a little ironic now when paired with the subject matter of the lyrics.
Q: The new single is the opening part of a video trilogy you guys are doing. What was the inspiration behind the video series, and what’s the story it will tell?
Avery: Yes 3 parts, diving into the dark depths of mental health and addiction. The inspiration comes from real life. I can’t tell you too much right now as we don’t want to ruin it, but you all are in for a ride.
AJ: The actual storyline follows a couple who meet, fall fast in love, one half falls equally in love with drugs. It shows the uncomfortable side of substance abuse and addiction and how they can stem from or even cause mental illnesses. The realities we tried to portray were based on a multitude of real life stories.
Ian: The purpose behind the song and its respective trilogy, is to show how bad these situations can get if left unchecked. But often times people turn a blind eye, or downplay, or even glorify substance abuse. Which is why we went with such a graphic approach. Stay tuned for Part 2!
Q: The Distress & Crisis Centre of Ontario has supported the new track. How did that collaboration come about? Can you tell me a bit more about what they do and their importance within the community?
AJ: They are an incredible resource within our province for people who are vulnerable or in crisis. That could be from domestic violence to homelessness, depression to drug abuse and everything in between. They provide call/txt support and aid with access to programs and protections that are sometimes hard to access -the sad irony is – for those who need it most. I’m very glad we resonated with them, it feels like an unofficial “we got it right” stamp.
Q: Given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, do you feel shedding light on mental health will help people who may be struggling, and how?
Avery: *in Cardi B* CORONA VIRUS!! IT’S GETTIN REAL!!
AJ: In all seriousness we’ll be the first to, frankly, berate people for not self-isolating/practicing social distancing. I do really hope that people stay connected in other way throughout this evolving era we’re in. I hope the light we are shining encourages someone to reach out. Whether it is for the help they need, or reaching a helping hand to someone they haven’t heard from in a while.
Ian: It’s a very different situation… But I will say that I’m sure people are feeling alone and isolated during the quarantine, and might turn to drugs to cope. Shedding light on the situation might be the difference between breaking the cycle or not.
Q: How about a question to lighten the mood… coffee or tea? No matter which you choose, what’s the best kind, do you drink it hot or cold, and what do you put in it?
Avery: TEA!! OMG ORANGE PEKOE TEA. My Life Juice, I put a lot of sugar, and cream. When it hits prime chugging temperature too…. UMMMMMMMMMPPPPHHHH.
Ian: Love coffee, I recently switched to drinking it black to avoid the non-essentials, sugar, milk, ext. Love tea. I personally drink a speech oriented tea called Throat Coat. It uses licorice root, and marshmallow root, which both help keep your soft palate and throat areas hydrated.
AJ: Ccoffee! As often and as large as possible. 3 cream, 3 sugar.
Anthony: Black Coffee, biggest size sold please.
Q: Are there any bands that you are currently listening to and feel people should have on their radars? What about any local (to you) bands that you would like to highlight?
Ian: Currently I’ve been listening to I Prevail, Falling In Reverse, Silverstein, and Slaves. Local bands to highlight, The Ocean Cure, Flight 97, Cold Shoulder, and The Story Untold as an honorable mention.
Avery: Lately I’ve been jamming a ton of Dayseeker and Picturesque. I think locally Nightwell, and The Parallel.
AJ: I have to say that Canada – Ontario in particular- has some WICKED talent growing. It’s hard to pick a few but top of mind because of new releases are Conversation, Incase We Crash, and Hawking. If you like guitar driven music and can’t find something to love in those 3 catalogs, I don’t know what else to tell you.
Anthony: Definitely been appreciating both Earthshatter and Brand of Sacrifice heavily. Man have they ever been pushing the boundaries of heavy music. The Northern, Burna Bandz, Pressa, Cold Shoulder, Even The Trees, CONVERSATION, Jessie Vickery. Right now… there’s so much amazing music coming out, I could go on but let’s stop here.
Q: You have played shows with the likes of Secrets and Famous Last Words. What would be your dream tour lineup to open on? Is there an artist or band that you would love to collaborate with, maybe one that may surprise people?
Ian: A tour with I Prevail, and Sleeping with Sirens would be my dream team. Not only because I like their music, but because I feel it touches on similar aspects of the music Words Like Wildfire is writing. Collaborating with an artist from a different genre would be interesting. Shamelessly I’d love to collab with Justin Bieber, Halsey, or Tyler Carter (Issues).
Avery: I’d love to tour with Issues, Protest The Hero, and Fall Out Boy. I think for a collab it’d be cool to have someone unexpected like Kendrick Lamar. Patrick Stump or Brendon Urie would also be a hell of a feature. From our scene it would definitely be Tyler Carter of Issues, Vic Fuentes of PTV, Ronnie from Born Of Osiris, and Dave from WCAR.
AJ: You’ve likely figured this out; but I would do things I can’t publicly admit to play with Alexisonfire. A fantasy tour line up would sound something like Four Year Strong, Every Time I Die, and Alexisonfire. I’d like to collab with Issues. I have to admit I did not give them credit for the sonic dynamics they possess. Avery turned me on to them and I kicked myself for not giving a listen in earnest before.
Anthony: Jeez if we could have opened for that Armor for Sleep tour my prepubescent dreams would of been fulfilled. I’ve talked about it before 😛 Us opening, then These Silhouettes, Then Sydney, Then Armor for Sleep. Worldwide. I would die. Even if there was only mediocre draws for a majority of the international dates.
Q: What do you hope listeners gain from your music, whether they stream a song once or are a fan?
Ian: That no matter how dim the situation is, you can always reach out for help. The hole in one’s heart gets filled by others around you. Friends won’t flock to someone who abandons the memory of his friends and gives up on the world just because things don’t go the way he wants them to. That won’t help fill the hole in your heart. And people won’t help those who run away and do nothing. As long as you don’t give up, there will always be salvation. “Kakashi Hatake”.
AJ: I want to be to anyone what Alexis and ETID are to me. I don’t care if we sell a million billion albums, as nice as that would be. I’ll feel like we’ve “made it” when a packed house sings our words back to us, and can clap every rhythm like it means as much to them as it does to us.
Avery: Yeah and if you’re gonna clap just please don’t do it on the 1’s and 3’s. Um honestly I just hope people like it and come to a show. We want to meet people from all around the world so come say hi!
Anthony: I hope that they are able to capture the quality in lyrical substance that I was able to find before I joined the band myself. I genuinely believe that this band stands for the people and issues that we talk about in our music. Every day issues that everybody encounters throughout life.
Q: Is there anything else going on with the band that you would like to mention?
A: We have a lot brewing behind the scenes that we can’t wait to show you stay tuned to our socials for all official announcements!