SPIRALFIRE
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SPIRALFIRE

Carrboro, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Carrboro, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Alternative

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Raleigh – On a cold Friday night, I find myself sitting down at the Deep South Bar. I had a stage light on me. The only thing is I wasn’t onstage. The bar decided to continue the stage lighting around the seating to shine on each individual booth, giving each booth its own light. Along with the badass lighting, the bar smothered their red walls with tons of famous band memorabilia and quotations etched in white… overall, a very cool, retro vibe. Soon after the opening act had finished, I notice a wave of people surge into the bar. As the bar filled with people, a talented alternative rock band by the name of Spiralfire took stage.

Spiralfire rocked it that night. Female vocalist and songwriter Sinclair Vernon led the band while playing keys. Accompanied by Riley Miller and Dom Ciampa on guitar, Brian Lawton on bass, and Jim Snyder on drums, Vernon’s vision is complete and evident in their great chemistry. Driving drums, grooving basslines, and crunchy guitars combined with Vernon’s powerful vocals, melting together to form an awesome rock sound. As she clutched on to the mic stand, Vernon belted out strong, soulful high notes decorated with trills. In between singing, she jammed with the rest of the band on keys and even brought out a tambourine during the show. Excluding a great cover of “Message in Bottle” by the Police, the high octane show was composed of all original material. Afterwards, I was able to get a hold of Vernon and gain some insight about what makes Spiralfire tick.

33: How did y'all initially meet? Who decided to start playing music and putting a band together? Or did everyone sort of "come together" so to speak?

Sinclair Vernon: I started writing songs in August of 2009 with the explicit purpose of putting this band together. I knew I wanted it to be guitar-driven music, so I started looking for a guitarist. I found Riley through a mutual friend of ours, and we worked on songs together for about three months before we found Brian, our bassist, on craigslist. After that, Brian found Jim, our drummer, through a friend. Riley, Jim, Brian, and I have been practicing together since last April, and we added Dom, our second guitarist, only two weeks ago (once again through the magical thing that is craigslist).

33: How is it different having a female vocalist in a male-dominated rock environment?

SV: I'd say it has its advantages and disadvantages, just like everything else. From my experience, it seems that the audience pays more attention when there's a differing element onstage, i.e., a girl in a band with four guys, or a female-fronted rock band on a bill with mostly male-fronted bands. People like to compare me to female musicians with whom they're familiar - I've gotten Pat Benatar and Joan Jett, among others. Otherwise, there don't seem to be too many differences. People either like the music or they don't, regardless of whether a male or female is fronting the band. Personally, I've had to overcome a few of my own hang-ups about being considered controlling or what have you; people expect you to be a strong female if you lead your own band, and sometimes it's difficult to dance the line between assertive and aggressive.

33: What is Spiralfire's drive? Is it the pay, the music, the fans, fame...?

SV: First and foremost, we love the music we make and want to share it with people. It's the highest honor to have someone tell you that they connect with a song you wrote; it means you're doing your job as a musician in relating to people and evoking emotions in them that they might not otherwise realize. Another goal of ours is to play to a stadium full of at least 40,000 people before we die. I can't even begin to fathom what that would
feel like, but I'd imagine it would be pretty amazing.

33: What kind of message do you try to send to your audience?
SV: The overall message for us is to inspire people to get up off the couch and live to their fullest potential. I hate the idea of settling for some mediocre, safe life just because you think you can't accomplish what you really want to do. It's a cliché, but you only have one life - there are no do-overs. And we want to rock people's faces off of their heads when they listen to us or see us live. That pretty much goes without saying though, doesn't it?

33: What are the future ambitions of Spiralfire?

SV: We hope to be signed at some point and to have a national (and international!) audience. Going on tour to Europe or around the U.S. and having people pay us to do it seems like a dream right now, but maybe it's not too far off for us.
- Magazine 33


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

"The only way I survived was by throwing myself into music," says Sinclair Vernon, lead vocals. "When a relationship falls apart, its hard not to let yourself fall apart too. Faced with the disintegration of a 10-year relationship, Vernon turned to writing music to save herself from her own darkness, drawing on the influences that had bolstered her during emotionally troubled high school years and that would now propel her to move forward from a bitter breakup.

Spiralfire was born from the rubble of that breakup. For months, Vernon subsisted on anger and wine, writing music on a nearly broken keyboard and dark, emotional lyrics in endless notebooks and intent on building a band once she could express her vision.

Spiralfire's sound hits that quintessential sweet spot where the lush indulgence of the late 80s symphonic rock was shifting towards the raw honesty and grit of early 90s grunge. Bands like Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Guns n Roses, Van Halen, and even The Police are as influential as Paramore, Muse, Chevelle, and more. Their modern approach to rock composition and performance is only strengthened and given depth by revealing classic elements like The Who, Journey, and AC/DC.

Sinclair met guitarist Riley Miller through a mutual friend in late 2010, and they began to translate the songs she had started on keys into the hard, 90s-influenced rock that they had both grown up on and which was in short supply in the alt-folk and bluegrass-heavy area of Carrboro, NC. They later secured drummer Manny Parial and bassist Keith Lewis to complete their sound.

The band's first full-length album was recorded at Fidelitorium Recording Studios and produced by Ted Comerford. The album is set to be released in 2014 and is preceded by the first single, Road Rising.

In a world of pop princesses, autotune, and fabricated beats, Spiralfire holds true to the best of what rock is and should be: smart, soulful lyrics delivered with a kick, coupled with searing guitar hooks that would please even the most finicky rock gods. The alternative rock world is a hard one to navigate, but Spiralfire makes it simple. With songs that embrace the darkness of the human experience while holding blindly and perhaps naively to the hope that things will turn out right in the end, Spiralfire radiates an intense desire to rise out of mediocrity and live life the way its meant to be lived, with passion and fire.

Band Members