FireHouse (band) life and biography

FireHouse (band) picture, image, poster

FireHouse (band) biography

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Charlotte, North Carolina
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2023-10-19
Credited as : Hard rock music, heavy metal, FireHouse songs and tour

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FireHouse: Successful Career with Hard Rock Music

FireHouse is a well known American hard rock band formed in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1989.

Current members:
Bill Leverty – lead guitar, backing vocals (1984–present)
Michael Foster – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1984–present)
C. J. Snare – lead vocals, keyboards (1987–present)
Allen McKenzie – bass guitar, backing vocals (2003–present)

Former members:
Cosby Ellis – guitar (1984–1989)
Chip Tunstall – lead vocals (1984–1987; died 2016)
Samuel Cherry – guitar (1984)
Richard Smith – bass guitar (1986–1988)
Perry Richardson – bass guitar, backing vocals (1988–2000)
Clay Campbell – lead guitar (1995–1996)
Bruce Waibel – bass guitar, backing vocals (2000–2003; died 2003)
Dario Seixas – bass guitar, backing vocals (2003–2004)

Early Years and 1990s' success

The band reached stardom during the early 1990s with hit singles like “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “All She Wrote”, as well as their signature ballads “I Live My Life for You”, “Love of a Lifetime”, and “When I Look Into Your Eyes”. At the 1992 American Music Awards, FireHouse won the award for Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist; chosen over Nirvana and Alice in Chains.

Despite diminishing success in the United States as the decade progressed, the band remained very popular in Asia, mainly in countries like Japan, Thailand, and Singapore. FireHouse continued to release new material throughout the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, most of which has successfully charted in Japan. The band has also continued to tour internationally as of 2007, having participated twice in the annual Rock Never Stops Tour with other bands of the 1980s. FireHouse is estimated to have sold over 6 million albums worldwide since their debut.

In December 2004, FireHouse became the first major international rock band to play concert dates in northeast India. The band’s first Indian concert date was in Shillong, followed by two more dates in Dimapur, and Aizawl. The band’s first Indian date, in Shillong When the Maharaja of Tripura Kirit Pradyot Deb Burman invited them, took place in front of a sold out stadium crowd of over 40,000, setting a record for that city.

For the most part, FireHouse recorded their albums quickly and cheaply; they spent the majority of their time on the road, where the power of their sonic assault could be fully communicated to fans. In 1991 the band made an unexpected move, however--they signed with a major label, Columbia. Though many of their supporters feared a sellout, FireHouse quickly dispelled such concerns with their eclectic, loud next set, Flyin' the Flannel. It was around this time that "alternative" rock, exemplified by heavy, punk-influenced "grunge" bands like Seattle's Nirvana, lay siege to the charts. One multiplatinum alternative album, 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik, by longtime L.A. stalwarts the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was, in fact, dedicated to Watt. "Alternative," to the horror of Watt and his cohorts, had become fashionable; the flannel shirts he had bought at thrift shops for years were suddenly being sold in fancy boutiques. "I know all about this grunge," he scoffed to Option. "It'll blow over in a year."

Watt particularly impressed his new employers with his business savvy. While most bands survive on advances and tour support, sacrificing later profits that the companies "recoup," FireHouse never took a penny to go on the road. "Most bands tour to promote records," Watt revealed to Billboard. "We make records to promote tours." He further noted in an Option interview, "We go out there in the van, and these [record company] guys see the shelf unit and the safe welded to the floor ... they've never seen this. They're used to signing $10,000-a-week checks to keep bands on the road." FireHouse's modus operandi, he added pointedly, is "punk rock"--not just a musical style, but "a way of doing things." Peter Fletcher, a marketing executive at Columbia, expressed to Billboard his amazement that "Mike can take care of himself start to finish. He gives us a tour booked six months in advance, drops the album package on my desk." The company only has to "get the record in stores and they'll do the rest."

1992 saw the release of the Live Totem Pole EP, a collection of mostly cover tunes. Rolling Stone noted of the outing, "Crawford has grown to be a compelling singer and incisive guitarist" and added, "this rowdy latest chapter will no doubt delight the faithful." Watt took some time to develop a side project, a two-bass and vocals band called Dos that he'd formed with his wife, Kira Roessler, formerly of Black Flag. But FireHouse issued another blast with 1993's Mr. Machinery Operator, which was produced by Dinosaur Jr. leader J. Mascis. Featuring a bevy of guest players, more of Watt's growling vocals than usual, and a sprawl of ambitious songs, the album nonetheless promised more than it delivered, according to Rolling Stone' s John Dougan, who called it an "indulgent hodgepodge." Still, Dougan remarked, "Bands this good don't go bad overnight. Mr. Machinery Operator isn't a harbinger; it's a misstep."

Whatever the fate of FireHouse records with critics, the band has demonstrated its ability to survive adversity through camaraderie and hard work; the ethic of "punk rock" that encouraged the Minutemen to pick up their instruments has helped Watt, Hurley, and Crawford through changing times and the labyrinth of the music business. Ultimately, Watt confided to Creem, it's about getting on a stage and performing: "If I'm not shuckin' 'n' jivin' in front of people, I feel like I'm failing miserably."

Here's a list of FireHouse's studio albums:

1990: FireHouse
1992: Hold Your Fire
1995: 3
1996: Good Acoustics
1998: Category 5
2000: O2
2003: Prime Time
2011: Full Circle (includes re-recorded versions of some of their older tracks.)

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