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Brit Prog Metallers The Safety Fire Nominated at UK’s Prog Awards

British prog metal band The Safety Fire just wrapped up a tour, performances at UK’s Sonisphere and
Tech Fest and are nominated at the Prog Awards for their second album ‘Mouth of Swords’

Anurag Tagat Aug 08, 2014
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(from left) Joaquin Ardiles, Calvin Smith, Sean McWeeney, Derya Nagle, Lori Peri. Photo: Tom Barnes

The Safety Fire – (from left) Joaquin Ardiles, Calvin Smith, Sean McWeeney, Derya Nagle, Lori Peri. Photo: Tom Barnes

How many prog metal bands get a shout out from pro wrestler and heavy metal band Fozzy’s front­man Chris Jericho, TV show Doctor Who’s lead actor Peter Capaldi and glam rockers Steel Panther? It’s even better that UK’s The Safety Fire ask these celebs to say “Fuck The Safety Fire” instead of any cheesy promo line. The slogan is characteristic of the band’s cheeky sense of humor. From their hilarious poses in the music video for “Yellowism” off their second album Mouth of Swords to their tour shenanigans [par­odying the challenging ”˜Bet you can’t play this’ series of guitarists showing off their shredding capability] with fellow prog metallers such as Periphery and Between the Buried and Me, The Safety Fire are all the rage on the UK metal scene.

The Safety Fire are now popularly called hipster metal, not just for the chaotic meeting of melodies and grooves, but also because of their colorful clothes and haircuts. Says The Safety Fire guitarist Derya Nagle aka Dez about the label, “I think for me, the definition of the word ”˜hipster’ is a very odd thing in the first place. It means something different to every other person you ask.”

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Alongside all the fun, The Safety Fire have also won the respect of fans and critics with a show of serious musicianship ever since they were formed in 2006. The band has been nominated for UK’s Prog magazine’s annual Progressive Music Awards, in the breakthrough category, alongside bands such as Animals As Leaders, Karnivool and India’s very own Skyharbor. Says Dez, “Even to be considered in the same breath of bands like Karnivool and Animals as Leaders is a huge thing for us.” Dez, along with guitarist Joaquin Ardiles, drummer Calvin Smith, bassist Lori Peri and vocalist Sean McWeeney, formed the band in London. All members were previously friends through school and had jammed before, but went on to create music only when they finished their university courses. Although their debut EP Sections [2009] gained them local fans, their single “Huge Hammers” in 2011 brought them tour offers.

In the last three years, The Safety Fire have supported a veritable who’s who of prog metal, from Protest The Hero to death metallers Gojira. Says Dez, “If you asked me five or 10 years ago, I don’t think I would have ever dreamed to play with some of the bands we’ve played with.” The guitarist says there are several bands on their touring wishlist including alt metal band Deftones, heavy metallers Mastodon, prog rock band Karnivool and Animals As Leaders.

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Their touring experience has influenced their second album Mouth of Swords, which released in September last year, says Dez. Adds the guitarist, “[Touring shaped] The overall process of seeing how bands work together.” Being on the road across Europe, UK and North America also made everyone in The Safety Fire realize why they will always remain a close-knit unit. Says Dez, “Some bands realize they can’t tour with each other because they don’t really know each other that well, whereas for us, it’s never going to be an issue. It’s ingrained in us to work in cohesion. That’s definitely a benefit for the band as a long-standing thing.”

This article appeared in the August 2014 issue of ROLLING STONE India.

Vote for The Safety Fire at UK’s Prog Awards here. Watch the video for “Yellowism” below

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