Surefire
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Surefire

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
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Meet Indie Rock/Blues band Surefire who is creating a buzz in the Indie Music Scene. The greatest part to this band’s magic is how they are incorporating African Blues laced to a Rock tune. This gives the band that unique factor that sets them apart for the rest of the music currently out now. In this spotlight with our publication, we spoke to Peter Hung (Vocals, Bass, Guitar) about the band’s music and where does he see indie music is heading. Here is what developed from our online meeting.

Isaac: Music is so important to many cultures. Why is music important to you?

Surefire: Good music transports you outside of space and time. It makes you experience emotions that you don’t usually have access to. It changes lives. For me (Peter) specifically, it is also important because new sounds and ideas pop into my brain all the time, and I need to get it out.

Isaac: What do you believe is the one element that makes your music, lyrics, and voice stand apart from others in the Indie Music Industry?

Surefire: I try to keep my songs bluesy and pentatonic, while at the same time energetic. I also try to incorporate West African blues into my music to make my songs more hypnotic. I think the exotic influence and a deep loyalty to Memphis/Mississippi Delta Blues sets my sound apart from others.

Isaac: If you have to name a few of your musical influences, who would they be and why?

Surefire: The 3 main artists that I look to for inspiration are the Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, and Tinariwen. I love Arctic Monkeys for their energy and perceptive lyrics. I love the Black Keys for making blues a viable genre again, and to bring the focus of the blues back into songwriting as opposed to long drawn out guitar solos. Tinariwen’s desert blues guitar playing changed my approach to guitar music, being from a music scene in Mali that’s minimally influenced by western rock and roll.

Isaac: What makes being an Indie Performer great in your opinion?

Surefire: The freedom to put your vision to reality is probably the greatest perk in my opinion. You don’t have to worry about record label’s opinion of your music before releasing it. You have complete control over everything from creation to release.

Also, the creative firepower and diversity in modern indie scene is comparable to that of the late 60’s, when an explosion of creativity happened. In many ways, the ethics remains the same. Artists bravely experiment while finding their own sound.

Isaac: What do you believe will it take for indie performers to gain the recognition as their mainstream counterparts?

Surefire: Fandom is truly the lifeblood of any indie artists. Unlike mainstream artists who are backed by large record companies, loyal fans are the key to an indie act’s survival and growth. However, loyal fans are extremely hard to come by given how many bands are out there, and it’s even harder to keep them interested. This makes indie acts more fragile, and forces us to make something that is more artistically compelling. There is no room for mistakes for indie artists.

Isaac: Why do you believe that mainstream radios are so reluctant to play indie music?

Surefire: They aren’t. Indies acts such as The Strokes, Arcade Fire, and more recently Mumford and Sons all have mainstream airplay. Mainstream radio plays whatever appears to be popular already. They amplify someone’s success. Therefore, as long as you have a considerable following, mainstream radios will notice you.

Isaac: Great feedback.

Isaac: What do you believe is the main reason why your music is creating a buzz in the Indie Music Scene?
Surefire: From my scene in Boston, there aren’t a lot of bands that has my kind of sound. At the same time, the songs we have are catchy and fun, and that’s why people took notice. Hopefully, we can do the same in NYC.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with anyone in the music business, who would it be and why?

Surefire: There are 2 people that I’d love to work with: Danger Mouse and Lykke Li. Danger Mouse was the producer of three of the Black Keys’ most successful albums and he was the key ingredient to help Black Keys reinvent Blues rock. I’m sure if he produces our albums too it’d be enormously successful artistically as well.

Lykke Li is one of my favorite contemporary artists. Judging from what I’ve read about her we seem to have a lot in common musically, which is uncanny because I thought my music taste is not shared by anyone else in the world. If she and I do a project together, it’d be amazing.

Isaac: How would you describe your music to others who are not familiar with your band?

Surefire: I always say that Surefire is a baby made by the Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys. That pretty much sums up our sound.

Isaac: What are you currently working on at the moment with respect to your music?

Surefire: We are relocating from Boston to NYC and are in the process of looking for a guitarist - Junior's Cave Online Magazine


Surefire
Surefire is a project with some interesting origins. Essentially the Surefire of today is the brainchild of Peter Hung, a talented musician currently living in NYC. His sound is clean and balanced, and some of his tracks are reminiscent of 90’s era rock music - a time when rock had some attitude, great song writing, and punchy sound. Peter works hard to write honest music that incorporates all of his influences, and he has turned to various musicians that he has met along the way to make his visions and concepts come to life. Some of the musicians he has worked with have become members of the band. To learn more about the origins of Surefire, and the music of Peter Hung, I got together with him via email for a brief interview:

From what I have seen, you play a lot of the instruments, with Steven Chen on drums? Are there other consistent members to Surefire?

In the beginning I viewed Surefire as a solo project with a band name, much like how The Cure works: 1 songwriter and some rolling sessions musicians to do live shows and record with. Fortunately I quickly found Charlie Bloom on lead guitar, Paul Derr on bass, and Steven Chen on drums, all are featured in our recordings and shows to date. Amazingly, Steven asked me if he could become a full-fledged member and said he’d move down to NYC with me, an offer I just couldn’t refuse. That leaves us with what we have today, Steven and I being the only 2 permanent members of the band. We will be looking for session musicians down in NYC but we’re open to new permanent members if it turns out that way!

How did the band come together?

Surefire was a band that I inherited. I was the bass player/vocalist for this band with 3 other members doing a very different style of music. However, life happened, and the other 3 members decided to focus more on school/job so they all quit accordingly, leaving only me in the band. At the time I wasn’t satisfied with the band’s sound anyway and saw it as a chance for a fresh start. Since we’ve already built a sizeable online presence and changing name would be a huge hassle, I kept the band’s name to be Surefire. Later when I accumulated enough materials, I went onto Berklee College of Music’s online job board to look for session musicians to help me record, and that’s where I found Charlie, Paul, and Steven. As of now Charlie and Paul are no longer in the band because of our move to NYC.

What are some of the influences that have helped shape the sound for Surefire?

At the beginning of this project I was obsessed with Arctic Monkeys and the Black Keys, and decided to fuse the two bands sound into one, which remains the direction I take today. I’m also a huge fan of African music and I added a lot of that influence in there too. Other than that, like many modern music lovers, I listen to a very wide variety of music, from Skip James to Modestep, and I just take whatever I like into the music I make.

You mentioned a move to NYC. Is this for musical exposure? If so, do you find that NYC offers more than Boston for musicians?

The move to NYC wasn’t originally planned. I am on a student visa and have just graduated from Boston University. Going to grad school was the easiest way for me to extend my visa. Miraculously, I was accepted into NYU’s master’s program, and that led me to consider the fact that NYC has a much bigger music industry and a less restricted gigging scene. As much as I love the city of Boston, it has some laws and ordinances that make playing shows rather difficult.

How did you come up with the concept for the "By The Street Light" video? And how was that experience?

I wanted the video to show the inspiration for the song, which is about many friends of mine who are in financial distress that’s caused by their enormous student loans. They are honest, hardworking people, yet they are burdened with large debts when they are just about to begin their adult life, not for lavish spending but for getting an education. At the same time the bad economy makes money really hard to come by, especially for young people. I know they are not alone in this, and I wanted the video to reflect what’s happening to them and people like them.

Do you have a process for songwriting?

It’s never quite the same. Inspiration comes to me very randomly, sometimes on the bus and sometimes in the toilet. When I do have an idea I immediately sing it into my phone and record it, then work on it at home. I also make sure I’m always listening to music, because that way I can constantly learn to become a better songwriter.

What are your plans for the near future?

Work hard, write better songs, and succeed.

There is no doubt that Peter, and Surefire, can succeed. He is one hard working man. He has already resuscitated a dismembered band, injected his personal flare, and has released some very catchy tunes. - Decent Xposure


We have been talking about five, four, three and even two-piece bands that manage to create something to remember. Something that will stick in our brains and will stay there for a while. However, with technology and everything, one individual is able to create what normally all these people work their asses off to come out with… that’s called talent, and that’s something we find in Surefire.

After all the members left and followed their own road, there was only one member left, Peter Hung. He left their old sound and changed it for something more along the lines of Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys, which you can feel right away in each of the tracks, especially “By The Streetlight” and “Say It Like You Mean It.” Here catchy and melodic guitar riffs combine with awesome drum beats and great bass lines with special vocals by Peter himself. It will surely get you up and dancing. “Another Take of the Same Difference 2.0? is a record that will just cheer you up right away.

“Weekend War Song” is everything but about sorrow and battles. Once again we find this contagious moreso than catchy sound that will literally empower our body and possess us with fun lyrics and a rhythm that is really entertaining.

In conclusion, get your boots ready and your fists in the air, and in just minutes be prepared to go wild. Everything in this record is planned to just make you lose control. - Vents Magazine


Various age demographics could enjoy this EP, but these three tracks seem especially well suited for the college rock scene. They make a delightful soundtrack to the petty dramas of young adulthood. - Skope Magazine


An intimate interview with the Vents Magazine - Vents Magazine


An interview about the new direction of Surefire - Vents Magazine


It is refreshing to listen to a band that shakes off the serious overtones and is poised to entertain us. There is nothing more cathartic than good times and lots of laughter. “Surefire” is a surefire way to forget your woes and let it all hang out. They are only starting their climb to success but have already come a long way in a short time. I intend to follow their journey every step of the way. What’s next for these guys? The sky is the limit. - Skope Magazine


Interview with the Skope Magazine - Skope Magazine


Rock / Pop
Papers

The Prostitute of Songs

Write About Our Love

I Wish I Was the Girl I Was

The Hardest Part of Breaking Up

Change At Jamaica

Welcome Home

Half of Us

Waste of Time

!!!Girl In The Sky!!!

Insomnia

Unfairytale - East Coast Songwriter Contest


Congrats Surefire you song My Star is this week's Secret Boston SONG OF THE WEEK.
? - Secret Boston


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Surefire is a Boston based indie rock band which was originally started by songwriting partners Peter Hung and Mike Leone in the winter of 2011. In the beginning, Peter, a 22 year old Taiwanese man, dreamed of becoming a musician most of his life. He took the leap and came to America to make that dream come true. In January 2012 the original duo (Peter and Mike) released their debut full length CD titled Another Take on the Same Difference which received significant attention from the Boston/Allston indie music scene. Their typical style of music at that time was post punk, garage rock, indie rock.

Surefire has gone through a re-birth since the original release of Another Take on the Same Difference. Peter was dissatisfied with the direction the group was taking. With a personnel change and changing up the style of music to a more blues rock sound, Surefire emerged with a delightful and refreshing sound igniting a resurgence of a brand new group.

Their latest project which is yet to be released Another Take on the Same Difference 2.0 contains a versatile group of songs that make up this eclectic EP. This single By the Streetlight is a prime example of the collective artistry and creativity that this group possesses. This song is named after a girl that Peter saw who was dancing next to a street light in Madrid, Spain. It is about the hardship that current youths have stacking up unbelievable debt at an early age. It is a fast paced electro rock song that will get your heart to skip a few beats. The drums really keep that rhythm of the song pumping with smooth melodic harmonies that capture your attention right from the start.

Surefires music is influenced by the blues and African music. You will recognize certain styles within their compositions that will spark a taste of these genres.

Surefire has played many well known venues in the Boston area such as BU Central, Hennessy Hooleys House, and Wellesly College and the Middle East. Although the band just went through substantial personnel and stylistic change, Surefire will not stop until they play large arenas. Now that the band is moving to New York City, new ideas and new environment will most undoubtedly spark yet another growth spurt. Always in the state of evolution, Surefire stays 10 steps ahead and never looks back.

You can listen to and/or purchase Surefires songs by logging onto the following websites:

www.facebook.com/surefirerox
www.surefirerox.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/surefirerox
http://surefirerox.bandcamp.com

Surefire is currently working with PromoFM in Sherman Oaks, Ca. for licensing, publishing, a record deal and/or placement opportunities. They can be reached at:

www.promofm.com
323-924-5897