We Start Fires

Biography

Brought together through a mutual obsession with Courtney Love, Andy Warhol, the Manics, Blondie, 50s film icons, German electronica and great pop music, We Start Fires are an all guns blazing girl/girl/girl/boy gang, effortlessly fusing sky-scraping choruses and unassuming glamour with spiky guitars and ear-splitting synth noise.

Becky Stefani (vocals/guitar) and Melissa Marx (synths/vocals) had met in 2002, while at University in Sunderland, becoming friends after bumping into each other at various house parties, indie clubs and early Futureheads shows. Meanwhile Becky's younger brother Ashley Wade (drums) was at college in Darlington with Nikki Vaughan (bass/vocals). That summer, finding themselves in the same town, the foursome bonded over the nagging desire to do something creative. A decision was made - it was high time to form a band.

Over the next year the band put out a handful of DIY releases, the last of which, 'Caught Redhanded', impressed John Peel enough to give them a mention in his book 'Margrave Of The Marshes' as well as including them in his last Record Box; and in August 2005 they hooked up with London label Marquis Cha Cha. The band released two singles with the label, the James Ford produced debut Strut and NME Single of the Week runner up Hot Metal / Hipshake. A trip to SXSW in Texas, a whirlwind tour of Italy, sessions for XFM and 6Music, a festival appearance in Amsterdam with Dirty Pretty Things and a BBC Culture Show documentary were to follow; and, not content with simply rocking out on stage, the following Summer saw the band set up Club Strut in their hometown of Darlington, with Becky and Nikki moonlighting as glamorous DJ duo The High Kicks. The Long Blondes played the opening night and excited 'Club Of The Week' accolades in the press followed, along with a cult following in the town.

2007 saw the band supporting new fans The Rakes at a sold-out Brixton Academy, heading out on tour with Good Shoes, picking up an NME Radar feature and then, after a brief but impassioned courtship, signing to independent label IRL, with their own imprint 'Hot Noise'. The bands self titled album, recorded with Pat Collier (Jesus and Mary Chain / The Vibrators) and featuring NME Track of the Week 'Play You', was released on Hot Noise records in the UK on October 1st and on 51 Records in Japan on November 7th. Recalling Blondie if they'd been brought up on a diet of Mudhoney and Sonic Youth, the album received acclaim from the likes of NME: "Sexy, sassy, incendiary new wave, like Blondie doing Elastica doing Weezer. We Start Fires will launch a petrol bomb at your preconceptions"; Uncut: "A laser guided debut with sass rock dynamics that would do their foremothers proud." and Artrocker: "The best punk of Blondie and the pop sensibilities of Siouxie and the Banshees. A blazing trail of balls out new wave for the noughties." The release was followed with a rare acoustic session for Janice Long's BBC Radio 2 show.

The band ended the year with a bang in Japan, getting mobbed in hotel receptions, signing autographs and playing four sold out shows as main support to Klaxons. Since the New Year the band have been back in the studio working on tracks for their second album, due out this Autumn.

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