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"Firewood: Smokin' band snaps up some rewards"

Firewood lead singer/guitarist Whitney Dean loves the fact his band won the recent Demo Demolition at the Benchwarmer nightclub because it gives his group respect and exposure.

But what he really loves about winning is the stuff - 1,000 mastered CDs from Emulation Media, recording time from Xist Studios and $1,000 of band equipment from Rock Trax Records.

Firewood beat out 14 other local bands to capture the battle of the bands. The contest was narrowed to five through voting on the Internet and then Firewood was judged best among that group during a live showcase at the Benchwarmer.
"We were pretty excited about the whole thing," Dean said. "We really needed to win for the respect. But we also needed to win to pay some bills and get some recording time.

"Basically, everything we won is what we needed. It was like, 'please, please, let us win.' Everything has been headed in the right direction for us, we just needed the recording time and other things we won."

Dean and Brint Roden, bass, started Firewood as a three piece rock 'n' roll band in the summer of '98. After a three-year period of practicing and building a fan base in North Alabama, Firewood reorganized the lineup in 2001 with the addition of Whitney's brother, Bradley, on samples/DJ/keyboards and new drummer Justin Oliver in 2002. All members are graduates of Madison County High School and are now sophomores at the University of North Alabama in Florence.

"This is the best fit ever," Dean said of Firewood. "All the things that happened up until this point were just building character."

Firewood, Dean says, "sounds like the rock 'n' roll of Silverhair or Switchfoot with the thickness of Radiohead and the lyrical emotion of Dashboard Confessional, all sprinkled with Maroon Five's pop/rock." How's that for having your sound down pat?

The group has done a three-song demo and hopes to put out a four-to-six song EP soon. And, with the recording time the guys won, that should become a reality. It's safe to say winning the contest has pumped up Firewood's spirits and outlook for the future.

"The way I'm seeing it, we're already at a good level of playing shows and getting to know people," Dean said. "The wheels are turning, and this is putting the engine between the wheels and pushing it faster. It will help us get where we want to be."

- Huntsville Times

"Band on the run: Firewood"

What: The musicians say they fall somewhere between the rock 'n roll of Silverchair or Switchfoot, the thickness of Radiohead, the lyrical emotion of Dashboard Confessional, all sprinkled with Maroon5 pop rock. The band is from Huntsville.

Personnel: Whitney Dean, vocals, guitar, and piano; Brint Roden, bass; Bradley Dean, keyboards, programming and DJ; Justin Oliver, drums.

Disc: Firewood is recording an EP this winter.
Most requested song: "Don't Fall Asleep." Whitney Dean wrote the song after watching the movie "50 First Dates." "I know it's weird for a movie like that to inspire a love song, but I connected with it for some reason," Dean says. "`Don't Fall Asleep' is about being totally engulfed in a moment with someone you can't live without and not wanting to even be separated by sleep."

Where you'll see them: Firewood can be seen around the Southeast, including at The Nick on Southside, the Jupiter in Tuscaloosa, and the Brother's Bar in Jacksonville. The band will hit the stage Jan. 11 at The Vinyl in Atlanta.

Band in making: Whitney Dean and Brint Roden started the band in 1999 while in high school. The band reorganized the lineup, adding new drummer Justin Oliver and keyboardist and DJ Bradley Dean in 2002.

Behind the music: Vocalist Whitney Dean writes the band's songs. "I write nearly all the songs on acoustic guitar with the exception of one or two I just had a lyrical melody idea then worked it out on piano or guitar," Whitney Dean says. "Then, I bring it to the band and everyone puts their talents/ideas into making it have that Firewood sound."

Cover me: The group says some of its favorite covers are "Need You Tonight" by INXS, "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard.

Influences: Silverchair, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, The Album Leaf, Derek Webb, Michael Jackson.

What they hope to accomplish: "First of all have fun playing and creating music with friends," Bradley Dean says. "But more importantly to share our emotions with other people and connect with them in a special way."

How it's unique: "The uniqueness comes from how our music is a compilation of each band member's talents," Roden says. "For example, Whitney creates a new riff, and then Bradley, Justin and I will add our style to the composition which points each new song in a different direction and lands us with a collection of songs that don't quite sound the same or really like any other band's."

Name game: After a track practice in high school, Whitney Dean passed a sign that said firewood, the group recalls. The members thought it was easy to remember and sounded catchy.

Off stage: The band members say they like to run, canoe, camp or play ultimate freebie. They also enjoy playing video games.

Web site:

- Birmingham News

"Firewood: Doing what feels Natural"

Published: February 08. 2007

Firewood: doing what feels natural
By Emily Couch
Staff Writer

FLORENCE -- The new captivating and emotional songs local band Firewood recently released have their fan base talking.

With an organic sound that resonates with many, the proclaimed pop/rock/indie band is taking their music to the next level.

Recording and writing all their new material has given the band a certain edge and a chance to achieve the exact sound they've wanted to create for a long time.

"We're doing what feels natural," said Whitney Dean who offers vocals, guitar and piano.

Dean is right on when he described the sound. There is freshness, truthfulness and a depth to the new music that showcases their artistic growth.

The band has worked hard to get where they are today and has encountered a little luck along the way.

In 2003, everything seemed to come together with Brint Roden on bass, Justin Oliver on drums and Bradley Dean on the keyboard

"It was the right fit, and it came together at the right time," Bradley Dean said.

There have been bumps and sacrifices along the way, but today Firewood is confident in their new material and in their band as a whole.

In recent years, they have gone from playing frat parties to opening for big names such as Sister Hazel, Collective Soul and The Killers.

Their growth is obvious and their career goal is clear.

The band has a unique sound that pulls from each member's musical influences.

The music is a blend of their own unique sound, with some obvious influences from old and new artists.

If you were to dig around on their iPods you would probably find anything from Jeff Buckley to a little Frank Sinatra.

It's about the music you love," said Roden. "We love that we have different tastes in music, and I think that allows us each to bring something a little different to the table."

"We all come from different musical backgrounds," said Oliver. "That's what makes our sound."

After listening to a of couple songs you can download on, it is hard to deny the band's talent.

Firewood's creativity comes together in an unmistakable sound.

Songs such as "Classic Case" and "It's Too Late" have people flocking to their myspace pages to change their music profile songs.

People are hitting their Web site daily, in huge numbers to download the latest music, and Firewood is keeping the new stuff coming.

They are working on some new songs that will be released in the weeks to come and are working on some Southeast tour dates that have their fans ecstatic.

The next few weeks, fans should continue to check for updates and are encouraged to add their much-appreciated comments on the new music.

For anyone who can't wait a couple more weeks to see them live, Firewood has an upcoming show at the Brother's Bar in Jacksonville, and all the details can be found on their Web site.

Firewood is a band with heart and determination and with the band stronger than ever, they're ready to hit the road.

Emily Couch is a senior at the University of North Alabama, Florence

- The Times Daily - Florence, AL


*Old EP: on iTunes,, Tower Records, and more.





2006-Pour Cafe, Tuscaloosa, Al – Supporting –“NeedtoBreathe”
2005-The Nick, Birmingham,Al – Supporting –“The Working Title”
2005-Big Spring Jam, Huntsville, AL –Supporting- “Sister Hazel”
2005-Brothers Bar, Jacksonville, Al – Supporting- “Michael Tolcher”
2005-T.R.O.G. Fest, Scottsboro, Al - Supporting- "Angie Aparo"
2005-Spirit of America Festival-Decatur, AL - Supporting "Collective Soul"
2005-City Stages, Birmingham, AL - Supporting "The Killers"
2005-University of North Alabama Demo Contest-Winner
2004-WTAK-106.1-“Demo Demolition Battle of the Bands Contest-Winner
2004-University of North Alabama-Welcome Week’s “The Big Deal”
2004-The Nick, Birmingham, AL - Supporting -“Wheat”
2003- WZYP-104.3 Got Milk? “Shake Stuff Up” Tour- Battle of the Bands-Winner
2003-MTV "Real World Tour"- at Madison Square Mall Huntsville,AL
2002-Big Spring Jam-WTAK Stage- Supporting-"Gin Blossoms"
2002-University of North Alabama- Demo Contest-Winner
2002-UPN Locally Broadcast TV Talent Show Contest-Winner

Radio play on:
100.5-"The-X" Birmingham,AL
102.9-"The Buzz"Nashville,TN
94.9 "Star"-Florence,AL