Jo and Lori from The Safety Fire manage to miss all our difficult questions…
Photo credit: Katie Croft, KTcroft Photography
There’s big love around these parts for The Safety Fire. We rated their first two albums pretty highly – you can read our review of Mouth Of Swords here – but more than that, they’re just nice lads, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. Fun is why most people start a band, but many lose it. Not these guys.
I sat down with bassist Lori and guitarist Jo before their Sunday set – which we reviewed here – and somehow they managed not to pick any of the even slightly rude questions from our pot luck lottery. Still, we had fun talking about collar bones, dinosaurs and proper karaoke etiquette…
Chris: What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Lori: There is one thing that has been really amazing about doing this…I would like to say it’s a living but we don’t make any money (laughs). We have gone all over the world with music and there have been a few occasions where people have come up to us and told us little stories. For instance, there was one chap somewhere in the southern states of America. He said he went through a time where he was in hospital and he was listening to Pandora – which is an American streaming service like Last.fm – and he said one of our songs came on and it got him through a particularly bad time in his life and he attributes it to helping him get out of hospital, and when people say that kind of thing to you it makes you think just how much you manage to have an effect on peoples lives, and that’s not really why you go out and do it – you do it because you love music – but when you hear that, you realise that other people love your music too and it really touches you.
L: It was a really special moment, and it’s happened a few times now – different people, different circumstances. You know, messages on Facebook, similar stories – it’s just like “wow”.
Jo: For me it was the other day, I got told I have nice collar bones.
J: Which is the weirdest compliment.
L: Who said that?!
J: Some girl…I didn’t even have to get her drunk or anything, it was great! So yeah, that’s probably one of the nicest things!
C: That is pretty nice!
J: Yeah…but it’s like “why were you looking at my collar bones?
C: Safe. Okay, that was a really good start! What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?
L: If they had Battlestar Galactica (laughs) on Mastermind I would definitely…actually you know what, I wouldn’t even do that well on it. I would just be like “this chick was hot, some shit happened, there were robots or something but I loved every minute of it.”
C: Something about toasters…
L: Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, sci-fi in general I think.
J: Mine would be Jurassic Park.
L: We’re film guys.
C: That’s cool, that’s cool!
J: It’s a lifestyle.
C: A south London lifestyle
L: Yeah! You can’t go outside for fear of your life so you stay in an watch Netflix.
J: Just working out so you look tough.
C: Working the collarbones
J: (laughs) I’m glad someone noticed actually!
L: I’m gonna have a look later man.
C: Best cartoon when you were a kid?
J: Ahh, good question…oh, I got it man: Dino-Riders.
J: They had guns. Lasers on dinosaurs man.
C: On kids’ TV as well.
J: Yeah! The 80s man…and early 90s. Ren and Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, that show was disgusting, it was amazing.
L: This might be a controversial thing to say but classic Simpsons
J: No, you’re right.
L: And Futurama. Like, for me those are still my favourite I still watch that. New Simpsons is pretty terrible but…
J: Wait what was the question – what was your favourite cartoon as a child?
C: Yeah, well maybe from when you were kids.
J: Hah I’m going to stick with Dino Riders.
L: Okay I am gonna go with Ren and Stimpy. I love that show so much, they were so disgusting.
J: I think all I watch is cartoons man, there are just so many.
C: I mean there are some good ones these days.
L: Yeah. Adventure Time, I’m really enjoying watching that, and Regular Show,
J: Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
L: Yeah, Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
L: It has been really strong last few years.
J: But as a child man, it just put everything I wanted into a cartoon.
L: Man, you’ve already spoken of your love for Jurassic Park, and now Dino Riders.
J: It’s the one
L: There is a theme already to this interview.
J: I still reckon I could be a dinosaur when I grow up.
C: What’s your karaoke song?
J: Ahhh! Great…
L: Let’s get some background to this first of all: we always do karaoke, and it was Henry Selva of the Protest The Hero crew,
J: The Human Abstract bass player.
L: Good friend of ours. It was his birthday somewhere in middle America and so he was like “Boy’s we are going to do karaoke”
J: He has the best voice by the way, it’s like proper radio. It’s soothing to the soul.
L: What did you do?
J: I did…well, we always do the classic “Seven Days” by Craig David, you guys did Boys To Men.
L: We did a lot of Boys To Men, “I’ll Make Love To You”.
J: I almost did make love to you after that.
L I have done now on four different occasions, “Dance With My Father Again” by Luther Vandross.
J: We always do “Seven Days“ by Craig David whenever we go to karaoke. We always think we know it better than we do aswell
L: Yeah, the verses are actually really hard and none of us know it, we just know the chorus.
J: Pretty much any Craig David song.
C: He’s so under rated.
J: Yeah, so underrated…er Backstreet Boys. We sing a lot in the van, someone will just start it and everyone has to finish it. Er…Boyzone, big
C: May as well just do a karaoke set later.
L: Ahh fuck it all, yeah…
C: They actually did one on Thursday; one of the after-party sets was karaoke.
J: Any Craig David?
C: No…we had ”Crazy Train”, Northlane…
J: Northlane? This isn’t karaoke!
C: They finished off with “Bohemian Rhapsody“.
J: Okay that’s a classic
L: That’s fine, that’s settled. Come on, you can’t be singing songs you like now.
J: They have to be at least eight years old.
L: It’s like the unwritten rule of half your age plus seven.
J: I’m going to go with “Seven Days“.
L: Mine is obviously Luther Vandross.
C: You are stranded on a desert island; which band member do you eat first?
J: Calvin he’s useless.
L: Calvin is strong man.
J: yeah but there’s four of us.
L: He made a bench once.
J: He did make a bench once, he’s so proud of that.
L: He can do stuff, he might be able to make shelter
J: Actually yeah you’re right he’s not useless, Calvin actually would be really good.
L: Sean, he doesn’t do anything, he’s a singer, he’s just like “I’ve got to protect my voice”.
J: Yeah I think you’re right.
L: Dez would hurt his back at some point.
J: Yeah, as soon as he does we’d be like predators. You know when you see that weakest one in the herd? I’m not even hungry but I’m just going to kill him.
C: Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs?
J: I don’t even know man.
L: Fingers as long as my legs. Imagine the mischief you could get up to with them.
J: Yeah mate. What are those things with the huge eyes that poke for lavae in trees?
L: Oh, slow lorises
J: They have that one creepy long finger that just taps you on the shoulder.
C: How would you feel if your thumb wasn’t? just your fingers.
J: I reckon if you put some cellophane in between them you could be like the best swimmer.
L: Or you could fly.
C: If you could play in any fictional location where would it be?
J: Jurassic Park
C: Someone else said that actually, in the control centre.
J: And then afterwards you can be like “well we’e done here, right? So can we go and look at some dinosaurs now please? This is a theme park after all.”
L: Some kind of place, out of the Star Wars universe, like Mos Eisley.
J: “I have never seen a hive of scummier…” I can’t remember it.
C: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
L: That’s it.
J: You don’t like my face? What’s wrong with my face?
L: “I DON’T LIKE YOUR FACE”
J: Who shot first?
L: That is the question.
L: Yeah, Greedo.
C: You’re Winston Smith from 1984; what’s in your room 101?
L: I have never read that book, ashamedly.
C: Have you ever watch the TV show?
J: Room 101 is where they put something which you hate and it never comes back out in the world.
C: Basically what are you most afraid of?
L: Or what sickens you.
J: We’re happy people! Trying to make our way through life with a smile on my face? Um, shit. A lot of things anger me.
L: Jo is an angry man.
J: Dumbness, just stupidity in general, like I can’t fucking handle it.
C: I think there is a difference between stupidity and ignorance. If you’re stupid just because that’s not really your fault, but if you’re wilfully ignorant…
L: Just educate yourselves, don’t wilfully educate yourselves by believing every YouTube video out there but you know…
C: Which other band on the Techfest bill could you comfortably beat in a fight?
J: All of them.
L: Have you seen Joaquin Ardiles’ collar bones? Boys they be dazzled, they wouldn’t know where to look, and then Calvin comes along with his thighs of steel. Dez would just glare at them…I think we could take all of them.
J: And all at once, I don’t give a fuck. In fact, could you tell them? (laughs) Let’s do it after the show out here.
L: Except for Kaan [No Consequence]. I like him and he could probably take care of himself.
C: When you get home, look up a band called Stone Circle look at their drummer.
J: Calvin is pretty beefy man, he’s got dat beef.
C: Dem Guns.
J: Dem guns.
L: I saw today, I found out that is right bicep is huuuuge compared to his left.
J: Well he doesn’t have a girlfriend anymore… and he recently got 4G.
C: Okay, so we have a question from the previous band, Aeon Zen: if you happened to loose one member of the band who would it be (and you can’t have them as a backing track). So once instrument would be cut.
J: Dez. Dez is a cunt, I fucking hate him. Shit. Does the laptop count as a member of the band?
L: Yeah the laptop basically does,
J: ‘Cos he does it better than all of us to be fair.
L: The Safety Fire is a fucking unit man.
J: …It would be Sean.
L: He’s from north London man, we’re from South London. That’s on the divisions. We’re different people different worlds, he’s north London middle class intelligentsia. We’re ghetto, knife wielding…
J: …Fabulous. Sean, he’s out, no regrets.
C: and a question for the next band?
J: How much do you love The Safety Fire?
C: Well there’s only one answer to that…
J: fuck The Safety Fire. Um…if you had to pick one member of The Safety Fire who had the best collar bones (laughs)
J: …to replace one of your own members…
L: Who is the next band?
C: I think it’s Exist Immortal. It’s them or Destrage.
J: Destrage are that Italian band, right?
L: Yeah, I like them.
J: If you had to choose between Cannavaro and Pirlo on your team, who would it be?
L: Yeah, let’s go with that.
J: Or can you think of…Tardelli?
L: Tardelli scored the second goal in 1982, um but he wasn’t at that level. I’d say Maldini or Pirlo?
C: That’s fine. Sound!
The Safety Fire currently have one gig booked, playing Macmillan Fest at The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham with Bleed From Within and Heights. We hope this lack of touring means they’re writing and/or recording, and we’ll have new material soon, because we’re greedy like that.