The Backfires are keenly aware of just how magical sharing your music with an audience can be. “There’s nothing quite like going to a concert, so being on the other side of that is a very cool experience,” muses Alex Gomez. “Living in New York, it feels like concerts are this alternative way for people to go out with their friends and meet new people in the same way that one might go to any bar or club for a night out. They’re not as occasional as just going to see a big touring act coming through town. There’s a sense of community at a concert (especially with newer bands) that can be hard to find elsewhere, and being a part of that is incomparable.” Hopefully, their new single “Joyride” sets the tone for some amazing nights. “We just want people to listen to the song and have a good time. It’s pretty fast paced, so it’s the kind of song that feels the best when you’re blasting it in the car while you’re driving. If people listen to it, and they feel happy, that’s all we can ask for.” The quartet has been through their fair share of transatlantic trials. Their pride in triumph is evident. “The journey of our band has definitely translated through to our music,” Harry Ruprecht says. “Until we all moved to New York City in January 2022, we were a very studio focused band. We had to be. After we formed the band at college in London, we were all separated by the pandemic. Two of us were living in the UK and two in the US. Most of what we did was written on FaceTime and Zoom. We met up in London to get into the studio, or recorded songs remotely and collaborated online. As a result, we never really considered what things would sound like live. Everything through to our last single, ‘Reflections on My TV,’ was recorded to sound good in the studio. We had to rework our catalog to make it sound good live. Now, for the first time with ‘Joyride,’ we’ve taken the opposite approach. We worked ‘Joyride’ to sound good live and tried to capture that in the studio. We’re all in this for the live shows – that’s why we love music – and ‘Joyride’ represents the beginning of a new approach and era for our band. One that we spent the whole of 2022 developing and one that we will be actualizing further this year.”
They are eager to present a fresh batch of songs throughout 2023. Leading the pack is the carefree “Joyride.” “‘Joyride’ is the first of a collection of songs we plan to release this year. It is the beginning of a new sound for our band and one that is rooted in our live show. The song comes out on February 21 and we will plan to celebrate it at our first US headline show of the year at Baby’s All Right in New York City,” explains Harry. It’s a reflection of their affection for their adoptive city. “New York City isn’t any of our original homes, but it is the home of our band. Although Alex, Max, and I started the band in London in 2018, we all moved to New York with Matt in January 2022. The rock scene in the east village and lower east side of Manhattan has shaped our sound and how we approach music. We’ve all spent a lot of time at Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, and plenty of other rock clubs across the city. We feed off of the energy of the other musicians and bands in the scene and are inspired by the huge legacy of the early 2000s NYC indie rock scene. When I moved to New York in January 2022, ‘Joyride’ was the first song I wrote and then finished with Alex. It really was inspired by the time we spent bar hopping in the East Village in those first few months. When we put it together for a live show, it was a turning point for our band. It was one the first times we’d felt a song really fill a room with energy. Before ‘Joyride,’ we wrote songs for the studio ; since ‘Joyride,’ everything we’ve done has been designed to add something to our live show. Rather than setting out to capture the soundscape of New York, I think New York inspired the song. ‘Joyride’ would never have materialized without this city.”
Harry feels nostalgia for his early days as a transplant. “Outside of music, I think my favorite NYC memories are all from spring 2022. I’d just moved to the city and was getting to experience a culture that was extremely similar to my own in England, but somehow different in all the small details. Exploring the city and its nightlife in those first months with all the new amazing people I’ve met here definitely made me love this city.” Alex can’t wait to usher in their tour with the new single. “We’re playing at Baby’s All Right in New York on February 22nd. Our friends from Nashville, Secondhand Sound, will be supporting us. We’re going to be playing a lot of new songs that we are very excited to play live for the first time.” Sounds like grounds for a joyride to us!
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The Backfires Capture the Thrill of NYC in New Single, “Joyride.” Photo Credit: Lexi Yob.