Pardon the pun, but Melbourne outfit Maefire are one of the local scene’s hottest bands right now. That’s probably attributable to their loyalty to rock in a musical climate where five metalcore bands can play one after the other and still be indistinguishable. We caught up with frontman David Scammell to chat about new music, tour plans and our changing scene.
You guys are playing Plastic tonight, right?
We are, yes.
Cool. Are you pumped?
Yeah, I’m pretty excited, yeah! Yeah…it’ll be alright (laughs).
That’s not that enthusiastic.
Well I am, I don’t know. I guess I’m nervous and excited. We’re on so late and I just want to get it over and done with so I can sit back and debrief on the whole thing.
I know what you mean. The line-up is awesome though.
The line-up is fantastic. I was in A Sleepless Melody ages ago and I toured with Masketta Fall so they’re my bros. and Daybreak, I’ve caught up with them a few times, so yeah.
It’s Melbourne Cup eve right now. Are you guys going to pick some horses?
No, I haven’t picked any horses yet! I don’t even know what’s in the running.
I know I have to pick one, so I guess I’ll just look at the paper and be like oh, whatever the prettiest colour flag or whatever it is… probably like the bright purple one or something like that. If it looks cool and stands out to me…
You have to pick the one with the best name. That’s my strategy.
Some of them are pretty ridiculous though!
Moving onto your actual band, you released a single earlier this year. What are your plans for your next release?
Well for the next music release, we just finished tracking our next EP which is really good. We’re in the process of editing it and getting it all mixed and mastered and ready for a mid-January release. It’s very exciting.
You guys are pretty known in the local scene at this point and you play a lot of shows with hardcore/metalcore bands. Is that a strength or a weakness for you guys? Do you play to crowds that exclusively listen to hardcore and get a brutal reception?
I guess it doesn’t matter, you know? Most fans that come to a show just wanna hear some really good music anyway. Most fans that come just wanna listen to some music and kick back and you know, if I can win them over, get them enjoying the sound, that’s just another 10 or 5 fans that we’ve gained for the band, you know? Which is fantastic. It doesn’t really affect our brand or anything like that, you know? I’d rather be playing to everyone. From like your pop acts to your Short Stacks to your Dream On, Dreamer fans, either way, you know.
You guys played the As It Is show in Melbourne. Was that reception good? They’re very pop punk and you guys are very rock.
It’s funny because the singer from As It Is comes up to me after we played, you know, and it was great, it was a great show, the crowd was fantastic, all the other bands were great too. I don’t know his name, the As It Is lead singer, was like ‘dude it’s such a breath of fresh air hearing a rock ‘n’ roll band play! All along this tour we’ve just been having pop punk and punk bands and it’s great to have something different!’ I was like, ‘aw thanks man!’
That band plays like a hardcore band anyway.
He did his little punk jumps and kicks and stuff like that (laughs).
Do you think that the local scene is going strong right now? Obviously there’s stuff like Plastic, Bang, Hot Damn, those nights are pretty important to the scene.
That’s a hard one really, isn’t it? I feel like it’s a bit worse than what it used to be.
In terms of what?
In terms of winning people over at shows and stuff, and fans rocking up. The genre’s changing, the whole type of music’s changing too. Everyone’s experimenting with new sounds and stuff, we’re all going in different directions. Which is a great thing, but some bands don’t accept it, some bands move onto something else, some bands stay loyal to what they already know, some are a bit scared to change….
Speaking of change, are you guys changing? Is your EP experimenting with new sounds or is it in the direction of your last single?
The new stuff is completely different. It’s still got a rock feel to it but it’s much more ambient, a bit more electro, a lot more piano based….it’s just because that’s what we wanna be. I guess when I started the band a year and a half ago I had these songs that were really rock ‘n’ roll and I was like ‘I just want to release these and get them out there, see the response to it’, which is fantastic. But now that we’ve all moved on, and the styles and genres that we enjoy have just changed dramatically. We’re enjoying more of the hip hop side of things, a lot of hip hop music, a lot of hardcore too, heavy rock…We’re just trying to mash it altogether. We really just want to keep, with our band anyway, the essential groove about it, to always bring a really groovy vibe. We just want people to dance at our shows and to look like they’re enjoying themselves.
In terms of 2016, what are your plans apart from the EP release?
Just release the EP I guess, and touring for the EP, and hopefully we want to get over to South-East Asia towards the end of 2016.
Do you have a fanbase there already?
I gained a fanbase overseas because I went over there with A Sleepless Melody and I’ve made quite a few fans over there. So I’ve still got fans over there and they will happily come to shows over there and there’s a high demand for it. I enjoyed it last time and I want to go back.
Is there a band that’s status you want to get to in the short-term, say in the next year? Please don’t say 5SOS.
I don’t want to become 5SOS, nah. Realistically, I don’t know. I just want people to come to our shows and just enjoy themselves, really. Status-wise, I don’t know. I really don’t know the answer to that question. Honestly it would be nice to be popular and famous and stuff, but I just want to write songs and I just want people to hear my songs and I just want people to relate to them and feel what I feel through them. The more people that get on board with that, that feels to me like I’m winning them over without anything else, you know.
Just to wrap up, I just have a couple of ‘of-the-year’ questions: Movie of the year?
What have I watched recently that I really liked…I don’t know. Straight Outta Compton was good.
The Simpsons? I just watch heaps of The Simpsons. I don’t really watch TV shows.
Album of the year?
The new Bring Me The Horizon album, ‘That’s The Spirit’, I reckon that’s fantastic. The direction they’re going is so different, I love it. It’s great.