Fire in the Asylum moved from California to Colorado a little over six months ago and has been burning up the scene pretty well. FITA moved here in part to be more centrally located for their tour plans. They've also enlisted partner bands, like King Rat, to hit the road with them. The gang (drummer/manager Graham, bassist Roqui and frontman Josh) took a moment to answer a few quick questions before jumping back in the van...
Q: FITA is about to go on tour again. Where are you heading?
Graham: Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan.
Josh: We are going to a bunch of holes in the wall in the land of corn.........its our "Corn Hole" tour!!
Q: What made you decide to first start touring & how long did it take to make that a reality?
Roqui: Get out of LA scene???? We started playing together and less than a year after we were out for 2 and half months on our first tour.
Josh: Definitely, living in LA made us decide to start touring...any excuse to leave LA is always a good one.
Graham: What makes a plant decide to flower? Can plants actually make decisions? Was Michael Jackson actually a plant? I dont know, but I will say that the right combination of certain financial, musical, philosophical and physical challenges conspired to elicit our collective realization that unless we resist the status quo we will become obsolete. So we took the future into our hands. All the rules ceased to apply and our priorities became extremely simple. This whole transformation occurred over a period of three years in Los Angeles, which is more like 6 years in Cleveland.
Q: What’s it like being on the road?
Roqui: The upside is you get to play your own music. Get to travel, meet new people and new places. The downside is that tours are full of surprises. Sh-t brakes all the time, gotta be ready to fix it. Venues can be empty...
Josh: Being on the road is like getting wasted at a stranger's house...you wake up naked and have no idea where you are. I think that is both the upside and downside.
Q: You’ve minimized your cost of living so that you can do this. Anything else that helps a touring band succeed?
Josh: I'll let you know when we "succeed".
Q: How does band life in CO compare to CA?
Graham: In LA you see spectacular things, and it's right around the corner all the time, but the barriers to entry are numerous including the saturation level of the average listener, and the over abundance of charismatic sociopaths. On the other hand, the music community in Denver is supportive, encouraging, and thriving.
Josh: Well in CO, someone might actually help you if you are dying in the street.
Roqui: L.A. is overcrowded with musicians and lacking fans; it's expensive just to survive...the Denver music scene is great and the music community is like a big happy family, Denver is REAL.
Q: What would you recommend a band do to try to have the best tour experience possible?
Josh: Be ready for anything...and enjoy playing to nobody, and eat everything you are offered without question.
Roqui: Get your music/show together. There's two ways to do it: get ready to freeze your ass off, eat like sh-t, sleep in any random spaces you can find, drive for hours on end, deal with sound/venue/promo, or... B: have a lot of money and a tour manager to take care of everything. If you're not ready, don't do it.
Q: What’s your primary goal this year?
Graham: For 2010 it was all about playing shows. I think our calendar so far reflects that, with 78 shows played in 6 states and 13 more on the books thru new years. For 2011 it will be about recording. We have at least 12 new tracks to record that have now been thoroughly road-tested, and its been a year since our last release.
Roqui: 2011? Go to LA to record a new killing sounding record, distribute the sh-t out of it and keep doing what we do...
Josh: Primary Goal?? Get my head examined!!
Q: Any other advice for would-be touring bands?
Graham: Stay home and masturbate furiously. It will have generally the same outcome on the world and you'll end up with just about the same cash. Hahah, just kidding. Remove any obstacles, including drugs and girlfriends, and take the future into your own hands. Simplify your priorities. Set your goals and get your ass in the van.
Roqui: Have a plan, meticulously planned. Remember: sh-t will follow you! Be ready.
Josh: Stay home, get a job, die regretful and unfullfilled.
Thanks, guys - drive safe! Click here for a video of FITA's tune, Puppet Show.