The Blackfires
Gig Seeker Pro

The Blackfires

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

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Classic Rock




"The Blackfires' Double-A-Side Song Premiere"

Today, presents an exclusive, old-school-style, double-A-side premiere of two new songs by New York City rockers the Blackfires.

You can hear "Woman Walks" and "Can't Get Over You" below. As always, be sure to tell us what you think of the tunes in the comments or on Facebook.

Over the past few months, the Blackfires have opened for Aerosmith at Moscow’s Olympic Arena, not to mention California Breed, which features Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham. The band's high-energy live show has been called “a volcanic, relentless assault [that's] seemingly tailor-made for Ozzfest or Donington.”

The current lineup of the band includes frontman Andrey Chegodaev (also known as Cheggi), Anthony Mullin (backing vocals/guitar), Joe Mitch (drums/vocals/guitars), Hector Marin (backing vocals/guitar/keyboard) and Grasebo Doe (bass/guitar).

Following the release of their debut EP, Live from the Cutting Room, they competed as finalists in front of Anthrax’s Frank Bello in the Hard Rock Rising International Battle of the Bands and played several sold-out shows around NYC. This garnered attention from Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford, who told them, “Your singer’s got some pipes.”

For more information and to buy the tunes, visit For more about the band, visit and follow them on Facebook. - Guitar World

"The Blackfires' Guitarist Anthony Mullin - The Art of Being Persistent"

With band members from around the globe including the U.K., Russia, Spain, Uruguay and New York, The Blackfires truly are an international and inspirational band. They’re not only making great rock music with a new vibe, but also extremely well educated.

With members touting a PhD with degrees from Oxford and Columbia, trained in philology, and film-making. The list goes on.

Leading this band of international pirates is Andrey “Cheggi” Chegodaev, with a soulful voice akin to Robert Plant and Ian Gillian with captivating onstage antics.

On guitar is the charismatic Englishman Anthony Mullin, who has jammed with the of Brad Whitford, Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, and Orianthi among other superb guitarists.

His ties with Aerosmith helped secure an opening spot at a recent Aerosmith show in Moscow, when the rockers were on their Let Rock Rule tour, boasting other opening acts such as the likes of Rival Sons and Slash on all North American dates.

Also on guitar is Spanish born Hector Marin who has a more schooled approach to delivering intricate leads and rhythms, that are in the realms of Iron Maiden & Thin Lizzy.

Then there’s Grasebo Doe from Uruguay who’s a rock-solid rock bass player. Rounding out the band is drummer Joe Mitch from America or more accurately New York City! His stick action tends to be a secret weapon in the arsenal of The Blackfires.

With their EP Live from The Cutting Room already out and a second full length CD due to be released this Fall, the band has been drawing attention from some notable music heavy weights like Aerosmith and California Breed, Glenn Hughes’ and Jason Bonham’s new band.

Having caught their act at a recent gig opening for California Breed (on their second show ever) I arranged an interview with guitarist Anthony Mullin. Anthony offered Guitar International an update on the band and what we can expect from the group in the near future.

Cheggi also called to give us a few more ideas as to what’s happening with The Blackfires.

Robert Cavuoto: Tell me a little about the band’s origins?

Cheggi: We started the band in 2011/12 when I came to New York from Moscow to pursue a music career. To organize a great band is always a challenge, especially in a new country, with no connections.

So, I posted an ad on Craigslist that read something like: “I’m a frontman, whoever wants to conquer a world with me, jump on board”. I got a response from a drummer. Later he confessed to me, that he only replied to the ad to find out who the “psycho” was that thought he could conquer the world. [Laughing]

Later, a friend of the drummer who played bass also joined. All we needed was a charismatic guitar player. I searched through the Internet and found Anthony Mullin’s profile on a social networking site called

Unfortunately, Bandmix only provides an obscure email address and makes you pay for their service to get the email. So I added all the possible email options like, etcetera.

I didn’t get a response for a month. When Anthony did reply, I thought it was a sign! I didn’t even know who he was, but I knew he was gonna be in the band. Later Anthony brought his friend to the band as a second guitarist. That’s how it all started.

Anthony Mullin: I didn’t realize Bandmix had obscured my contact info and wondered why no one was sending me emails.

When I got one I was happy, but I was late replying as I had some other auditions lined up. I listened to Cheggi’s vocals and was very very impressed. As my obsessive mind tends to do, I thought “Okay, but everyone puts their best foot forward online – I have to hear him live.”

So we arranged a jam and that’s where Cheggi brought a drummer, who brought his brother’s band’s bass player. Cheggi asked if I knew Led Zeppelin’s “Rock n Roll”. I was floored that he could pull off Robert Plant like that. That was it for me. I brought my mate to the next rehearsal for the much needed second guitarist spot.

Fast forward through many gigs and in 2012, tensions had risen about the band’s direction, song-writing, and the same old clichéd bullshit that you hear about. Cheggi and I really wanted to carry on as a band, but my friend on guitar eventually chose to leave. But not before firing our drummer. Then the bassist left with him to focus on non-music related work.

Cheggi and I spent most of 2013 auditioning for three new band members, which was pretty stressful. In order to keep the dream alive we played acoustic shows. During that time it was great to see fans coming out and supporting us, it really meant a lot to us.

The solution came late 2013, when Cheggi had reconnected with a drummer, Joe Mitch, from when he first moved to New York City. I thought of a guitarist friend, Hector Marin, whom I met when I first moved to New York City in 2008.

We then invited them both to play and Hector brought his Uruguayan friend, Grasebo Doe, to play bass. We liked the sound and that was it.

Robert: How do you define your music and how do you want it to be classified?

Anthony Mullin: That’s a difficult question, but I think the answer lies somewhere in the “rock” genre for want of a better term.

We’d want to be defined as a rock band, yet appreciated for our idiosyncrasies.

Our music is an amalgamation of all of our influences. I love the blues, Cheggi loves classic rock and opera, Joe is all about Queen, so our harmonies reflect that.

Hector has a degree in music theory and composition and can bring classical elements, while Grasebo loves heavier bands and loves riffs with plenty of low end. I suppose it’s a gestalt of rock that’s reminiscent, but also has a new sound.

Robert: Where do you get your inspiration from when writing songs?

Anthony Mullin: For me, ideas just come to mind when I’m doing something other than music. If I see something, or hear somebody saying a phrase, I often use that as a starting point. I think any experience can be inspirational – good, bad, and mundane.

On rare occasions I can hear fleshed out melodies to songs in my head. I’ll go to my guitar and play what I hear. It happened once while on the phone to my Mum so I had to call her back. I couldn’t pay attention to the conversation.

Aside from that, difficult times in my life have been inspirational like a break-up or a particularly heavy weekend propping up the bar.

Robert: What has the highlight of launching The Blackfires?

Anthony Mullin: Finding this new line-up. I really was grateful to Joe, Hector, and Grasebo for coming in and not only having great musical abilities, but being excited about the project.

For lifting Cheggi and I up when our stamina had waned. It’s difficult to be excited after something suddenly implodes that you thought was going well. I suppose another highlight was opening for Aerosmith in Cheggi’s hometown of Moscow at the Olympic Stadium.

As if that wasn’t enough, the week after being asked by Live Nation to be main support for Glenn Hughes’s California Breed at The Gramercy Theater in New York. We were over the moon. I think we still are.

Robert: What was it like opening for Aerosmith and California Breed?

Anthony Mullin: I moved to New York City to attend Columbia for my PhD. That got me a visa, but at the same time I had plans to start a band.

On a train back from Boston of all places, I ran into none other than Brad Whitford and Eric Johnson. We all chatted on the way into the city and I ended up going to their Hendrix Experience show.

Over the next few years Brad and I stayed in touch and I went to some of their summer shows. A couple of times he even spoke to Steven about The Blackfires. Then early this year I was out in Vegas and got to jam with Joe Perry, which sort of strengthened our relations.

We heard about their show in Moscow and that got my wheels spinning. I asked Cheggi to put feelers out in Moscow and it turns out he ended up knowing someone connected to the promoter for the Russian Aero shows.

We bothered them about including us as a potential opener when they pitched bands to Aerosmith, to which they agreed but assured us there were no guarantees. Then it ended up happening. Short answer: right place and right time, and many phone calls and emails bothering people with your unknown band. [Laughing]

As for California Breed, Live Nation got in touch with our drummer and said they had an opening slot and wanted to know if we would be interested. We said we were and that was that. Ideal coming off the Aerosmith show, which was only a week prior.

Robert: So, persistency pays off! What was it like to play for so many people?

Anthony Mullin: It was a dream come true, plus a mixture of a lot of emotions – excitement, anxiety, and self-doubt. It was surreal.

Approaching the stadium I felt what I imagine slaves felt approaching the Roman coliseum, I felt small. Once I saw the Olympic stadium I thought “Okay it’s happening, it’s go time.”

We didn’t get as much of a sound check, so that added to the anxiety. Even before the first song the crowd was roaring.

Once we dug into that first song there was no looking back. The crowd was giving off so much energy and responding to us that I have to say it’s the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on.

Girls in the front row even threw flowers – which never hurts. I think for Cheggi it was even more of a plus coming to his hometown. The prodigal son returned, with the proof that dreams can be realized [he’d left a good job in football journalism to come and sing in NYC]. Both his parents and my dad were there too, so there was a feeling of pride to do that in front of them.


Robert: Any favorite memories or stories you can share of that Aero show?

Anthony Mullin: I have two that standout. Having my dad there to watch was huge since he’s been a massive supporter of my music. He bought me my first guitar, so without him I’m not sure I’d have gotten into music.

Also chatting with Brad – who’s been a huge influence on my playing – before going onstage really was magic. I’ve known him for years now, but to have him waiting there as the house lights went down saying “Good luck have a great show, I’ll be watching from the side here,” these are the moments you live for. Also I reckon there’s no better talisman than before playing the biggest gig of your life so far.

Robert: What’s next for touring?

This summer we will likely be going to Philly, perhaps Boston and Washington D.C.

At the very end of August we’ll be heading to North Carolina to play with some other rock bands. That will coincide with finishing the next CD. Also we just heard from the Gibson Guitar showroom here in New York City, who are having us come in to record an acoustic session.

We’re also arranging a headlining gig at The Gramercy Theatre, which is nice. We love that venue.

Robert: Tell us about the songwriting process for the band? Did each member contribute to the writing of your current release – Live from The Cutting Room?

Anthony Mullin: Live from The Cutting Room is from the previous iteration of The Blackfires, but the songwriting process there was similar to what it is now. All members contributed which is a great thing.

Currently, we are recording our second release which we hope will be a full length CD released this autumn. Everyone has written both lyrics and music for it. Joe came in with a couple of songs almost finished. Hector had a song he’d written which we all liked. Cheggi and I had a couple from our acoustic sessions. The rest came organically through jamming in the studio or fleshing out someone’s riff.

Robert: What do you want fans to take away from your music?

Anthony Mullin: In general I want them to enjoy it and themselves whilst listening to it, if that’s not too much to ask.

I don’t think we take ourselves too seriously, but at the same time we are advocates for rock as a genre and a movement. For getting out there and making music. It’s been a long time but we feel like the music industry scene is seeing rock come back to the forefront, a paradigm shift if you will.

We were chatting with Glenn Hughes backstage at Gramercy, the gig you saw, and he was saying the same thing, that he feels rock is coming back.

The time is ripe for change. Their record just got to number one in the U.K., so he’s taking that as a good sign, as he should.

Also the date we played with Aerosmith is part of their Let Rock Rule Tour, so the message is out there and we want to help spread it. Along those lines, I’m sure you’ve heard of Rival Sons – they also opened for Aerosmith in May.

I was reading an interview with Scott Holiday recently and he said, “That people are aching for rock n roll and that the pendulum is swinging back”. I agree with him and want us to be part of it.

Also having people realize how much work has gone on behind closed doors to deliver the music. A fan in Russia recently told Cheggi that after seeing us open for Aerosmith and realizing our dream, that he too can realize his.

If someone listens to our music and gets inspired like that or to start playing, or take their playing out of the bedroom, even just smile to themselves in enjoyment, then to me that’s a great thing.

Let’s all think back to what made us want to play or what we loved about rock or music in general. I don’t know…pick a song by Queen, Zeppelin, GNR – not an exhaustive list, obviously – but there were elements that got through to you.

Robert: Any favorite songs on the CD?

Anthony Mullin: For me it’s probably “Gambit”. There’s plenty of variety in the song which keeps things interesting, both playing and listening-wise.

There’s a dark intro verse which turns into a lighter, more melodic sound by the chorus. I like that contrast, I reckon it adds to the romantic imagery that Cheggi is singing about. I also like the lead I came up with in the end, as well as getting to trade-off and harmonize with Hector who kicks arse on that song.

Coincidentally, Brad Whitford likes it too, so I’m taking that as a positive sign.

Robert: How did you come up with your name?

Anthony Mullin: When we all met, we each thought that Cheggi looked like Jack Sparrow. He was saying he liked the idea of pirates and so we went with that theme when trying to name our band.

At one point we had Blackbeard’s ship “Queen Anne’s Revenge” as a potential name. From there I got to thinking about pirate flags with the skull and cross bones as a logo. I’ve always liked black as a color, and it’s used in rock obviously a fair bit, as is fire.

I think it all came together from there. We wanted something that sounds rock n’ roll and memorable. I think we succeeded. Glenn Hughes said he liked the name, so we’re happy with that.

Robert: What does success look like to you?

Anthony Mullin: I think success for me is mixture of being persistent toward your goals and then seeing some of them realized. I say some, as even the most successful people still have some failures.

Success is having the motivation, guile, and wherewithal to try toward what you want out of life. Hopefully you achieve the goal or some semblance of it. Even if you don’t, at least you tried.

I forget the quote “the only failure is to have never tried at all” something like that. The success then in those situations might be trying your approach or forging a new path you didn’t even think of beforehand. - Guitar International Magazine

"Pretty New: The Blackfires"

*Article originally in Russian, text below taken from Google Translate.

Opening for the recent Moscow concert Aerosmith performing group The Blackfires from the glorious city of New York. Well, not really from New York. Who are - figured Musical-Express.

Opening for various honored starikanov usually perform quite well-known bands, but Aerosmith in Moscow warmed anyone here not see Americans The Blackfires. And so many memorable - the charisma and drive of the guys and the rod. But the most surprising aspect was the treatment vocalist to the public - in perfect Russian.

Jumping and screaming into the microphone, this guy can. Meet - Andrew Chegodaev (Cheggi) patlaty and cheer leader The Blackfires. Heavy guitars, old-school rock, dizzying travel and a dream come true - if after this interview you will not want to immediately quit your job and realize what is actually always raved soul - perhaps nothing can help.

At first ... Cheggi was a group in Moscow - maybe someone from the frequenters of the Moscow clubs remembers moving and alive "Belgians" (as they themselves recommend) The Almost Famous, whose singer liked to dress up in a pirate and as such fulfill cover of the Doors? So they were not Belgians.

Andrew, in your first Russian team was a team of The Almost Famous, or until he had a sample of a string?

"Yes, The Almost Famous - the very first serious band. Before the school was kollektivchik. We played the Beatles. even recorded one of his balladku I home to some clumsy instruments. At the Institute I had a cover band, we played glam rock. Kiss, Motley Crüe, Alice Cooper and so on. By 22 th year I podzavyazal with music and 25 vshtyrilo anew . Thus was born The Almost Famous, where everything was in earnest. Their songs, speeches, plans for the future ... "

At 22, Andrew has brought to television. He took a reporter on a sports channel, where instead of rock 'n' roll was talking about football. Now Cheggi recalls with humor about it - "nature is not fooled and desires, too," he says. Moved to New York five years ago, quite spontaneously, Chegodaev again took up the old.

After retiring from the television, you are somehow very dramatically changed the situation. It will soon be five years of your life in the United States. They say you get used to everything. What do you still could not get used to in America?

"I'm not used to the filth and rats in the New York subway. Yet I'll never get used to how many of our former compatriots vilify Russia at every opportunity."

What kind of music was the first that caught you many years ago?

"I love all kinds of music. Radically different. But that was the first ... In 13 years, my brother recorded tape, which was a piece of the album" Slippery When Wet "- Bon Jovi, EUROPE - "Final Countdown", Metallica - "Master of Puppets", and something else. Then came the channel "2x2". I watched the video of steep foreign groups and dreamed of becoming a super-world-rock star. Later, I dug up the tape Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, bought a rock encyclopedia some Soviet, wrote "the same age" and began to cling all that is associated with rock music. I know that for the majority to listen at the same time the Beatles and Metallica was something impossible at the time, but for me it was a rock phenomenon. I now interested in all its genres and offshoots. As, however, and all the peculiarities of rock culture.'s image, long hair, and so on. I imagined myself to Jon Bon Jovi, Ian Gillan , Robert Plant, Mick Jagger and Ozzy Osbourne in one person (laughs), plus Motley Crue and Kiss all the staff and all in me. "

At that age, when you appeared The Almost Famous, it is very easy to quit, but you have held for almost five years. How to create a gang?

"In fact, The Almost Famous lasted only three years - before leaving for America, where we all gathered, as soon as I drove with my wife. As a result, there had to start from scratch. Basically all. And even the current composition of The Blackfires the second in the last three years. Gather a group of like-minded people is very difficult to hold and learn to work with each other and hear each other even harder. This is such a management, you know.'s management team. In some ways, as a football club. I always compare a rock band with the football team. always be the euphoria of that "It's great that we are all gathered here today", and then start working weekdays: rehearsal, graters, ambition, ego. Especially when it is impossible to raid. A plaque with the rarely in whom it turns out. always have ups and downs. Surviving difficult times - an important test for any team. A year ago, I broke up the group. I was left alone in a strange city in a foreign country, and I wanted to spit and leave. Just as when something like spit when we Almost Famous did not win the competition "Global of the Bands" in Russia and broke a contract with an Australian label. That's the main thing that I realized during this time: life will always give you the test - if you do not spit, gather, and then go out to a new level. "

... Then, in 2007, fell another project. The Almost Famous tried to break into the warm-up - guess whom? Aerosmith. But this was not achieved. "I was at a concert, watched as Steve Tyler is laid out, and I thought," Well, I do Netushki! Nonsense! We'll have a look! "- Says Chegodaev.

History of the creation of the new group is dramatic. You yourself mentioned that changed several compositions. What is the difficulty?

"Difficulties arose after the first year. During this time we have played almost all the major venues in New York. About us talking. But friction began to emerge within the team. Our former guitarist, a very talented man, he pulled the blanket over himself. It turned out that he was a terrible control freak began to stir intrigue. I fell under its charm and ability to hang noodles on the ears. Besides, I was a new man in the New York music world, and fully trust him. As a result, we lost a drummer , then almost lost me. went to the fact that the group that I created, almost decided to change me for whatever their reasons. Did not work. As a result, the guitarist left-schemer and bassist. We were left with Anthony (Anthony Mullin - guitarist) . ... With Some guitars ... In the cold studio ... Outside, the rain and no one's hand to file a minute mental adversity. We lost a whole year. And all the achievements, well that is fanbeyz, huskies and Facebook are in Other stuck. We had to abandon performances in major halls. And the only thing we could do - to walk through the small taverns and play together speakers to keep New York City to forget about The Blackfires. And we have supported. I am very grateful to these people, our fans. And then on the bottom of the barrel, from different groups I dragged us to the current musicians. They all knew about The Blackfires and, I believe, were happy to join us. The new composition - a team of people with experience who survived more than one group, and not transgressed, continue to strive for the best. This is what I realized over the years: if you know that you go to work, but you can not live without a guitar in hand, take the guitar and play. It does not matter whether it's a stadium or a small bar in your area. Only these things will make you truly happy. Then you will not turn into a vicious loser-kicker, who until his death stings and poisonous saliva splatters. I realized it then, that in the winter when there was one. I had a choice to go back home to Moscow or continue. Thank you Anthony. Thanks to his support, we continued. Moreover, I realized: still can not not sing, I can not not play, do not go on stage. Too much time and effort spent on it. A year later, standing on the stage in front of the Olympic Aerosmith, saw thousands of people who took us so cool, I thought for a moment then himself. And I thought, "Fuck it, and yet all this could not be, if then I gave up the slack and scored at all!"

Story worthy of Hollywood. Without irony.

"I talked a lot with his musicians. Each of them had a choice - to score or continue. All continued. This is, you know, a small but successful. Very important to me is a signal that we are on the right track. Life gives you understand, dude, I see you still chose this path. I understood everything, he says, tells you your life, that's what you really want and aspire to, well, take it - try it. And then it all again in your hands. "

The Blackfires - an international group. In it, in addition to Andrew, a native of Russia, playing an Englishman, a Costa Rican, American and Uruguayan. Cheggi believes Internationale - this is the coolest option. And even a Costa Rican, which, in theory, should be quite different ideas about music, excellent fit in a rock band.

"Rock music unites all - this is the most amazing. We were of the same generation. Went to the festival in New Jersey. So as not to fall asleep, we had all the ballads sung 80s. Tried to find the pop or, as I say, cheesy balladku. Defeated Lionel Richie - "Hello"! And so we have the same music: Metallica, Guns'n'Roses, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Sabbath ... Oh and we ties with him secret love to Bon Jovi 80. At the same time we do not recognize anyone. "

When the Rolling Stones for the first time went to the audition, recording studio manager said, "Guys, you have a great group. Lipped remove only this ..." It was like that?

"You know, I have had failures. remember pinned on listening - looking for a vocalist in the project. I really failed him. perenervnichala. Frankly, really do not like castings and admire people who are forced to take them all the time, that is, more often hear the answer "no." This is intolerable. I was a bit undermined his confidence and went to study at the Film Academy . Cinema - my second life project. But he still hands have not grown. "

But grown hands to warm up Aerosmith. New York, among other things, taught Andrew that all you need to do yourself - sit and wait there's no point. On the management of Aerosmith The Blackfires out with the help of a former colleague Chegodaeva - known commentator George Cherdantseva. Send a request to warm-up, no answer came. Then Anthony accidentally crossed with Aerosmith tour manager and not miss the opportunity to recall the application. And after a while came the answer - The Blackfires approved. "And away !!! - laughing Chegodaev. - Visa something no one, and before the concert week. Whatever way made our musicians visa yes tickets. And forward !!!"

"Nothing like that was in the movie or in the legends about the groups are not. Well type - played in the club, someone came, saw unwound. Present showbiz arranged differently. Invents, he unwound himself involved in the promotion, himself knocking and looking for connection ... lucky? done! Bad luck? Keep up the good work. Everything being equal, by and large. question of efficiency, consistency and enormous patience. " It's exhausting. At some point, can not stay on the way to work. "plain truth. This is a big problem of today's young groups. therefore need a team, we need managers. But there are pluses in the current system. Thanks to the Internet, to promote the group no longer need to get on MTV . For the filming of the video is no longer needed million budget, and to record an album expensive studio. Individual work is exhausting, but it's part of the process. "

Immediately after heating Aerosmith The Blackfires hurried home to New York. There they waited for another big deal - the performance of the new draft Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple and Jason Bonham (son of drummer Led Zeppelin). Now Blackfires thinking hire a manager or agent - when things go uphill part of the duties can already put the blame on someone else .

In his 80th year at a concert in Iowa Ozzy Osbourne angry crowd pelted musicians dead cats. And you've already been obstruction?

"Nah. never happens.'s still early to hate us. first step should be full of adoration. Hatred will come later (laughs) , although once at a concert in New York club some dude long matter changes on -Russian from the audience. At first I thought that this is what is an American playing the fool, learned a few Russian swear words. Then he finally for me *** l, when brought to the microphone mop. I blasted him with this mop. Musicians fell silent, and I yelled the strongest three-story Russian obscenities, jumped off the stage and was ready otpinali it. history in the spirit of Axl Rose. dragged him. Me too. But it turned out that he was an American who has learned some Russian words, he did not really understand their meaning and in general was drunk in the trash. sorry. narodec But the club had frightened. Well I pissed scary. However it is extremely rare it happens to me. "

And you went to the scene, so to speak, under doping? After all, there is a stereotype: a rock musician - is a guy who thumps, sniffs and fucks everything that moves, but at the same time in any state is ready to give a masterpiece.

"Maybe it was a couple of these informal parties where we played, and I could not let afford to miss a couple of temples, but in 99 cases out of 100 I do not take performance enhancing drugs before the show. By MULTI reasons. I'm too active on the scene, I actually run a marathon and still while singing. Alcohol is absolutely contraindicated. Secondly. It sounds corny , but the scene - the coolest dope! Reaction hall - the coolest drug. After the first song included unreal drive. Some of my musicians drink beer on the go and in time. I squeezed out after the concert, I lose weight. According to me, dope-alcohols - more help in writing at work. On stage, I can not. Others can. "

I do not believe so at most. I grew up on the legend of the drunken orgies of rock stars.

"You know, Anthony somehow hung out with Zach Wilde. So they are even behind the scenes of drinking non-alcoholic beer. There are time when you play rarely, alcohol or drugs are not strongly affect the body . So it was that in the last month, we played two concerts a week with crossings and hops, and it became clear that even at the after-party must be careful. I read how Hetfield Axl Rose gave advice ... " What? "Rose during began to take the first round. Voice sits down and all that. And Hetfield told him, "Dude. This tour. You can thump and party only if the concerts in three four days, there is time to recover, but if not, then no serious partying. You just do not vynesesh. This work, Axl! The image of the image, but it does work. "If you know me, many say they are confident - I'm on stage under doping. Even scared me. This flattering comparison. They then are surprised when they learn that I only drink water. But once after - after party, turn the high beam and go into a tailspin. How we work and rest. Here, many died a heroic death ... Well .. Those who wish-drink The Blackfires ... Of course, I also admired the "exploits" of old rockers Woodstock or in Cleveland, but the last thing I want to be a walking corpse like Ozzy - with all due respect. "

The Blackfires - is:
Andrew (Cheggi) Chegodaev - vocals Anthony Mullin - Guitar Hector Marin - guitar Grezebo Doe - bass Joe Mitch - drums - Musical Express Russia

"The Blackfires Play The Bitter End"

With a beer in hand and the rush of hard rock running through their veins, rock and rollers The Blackfires take the stage at The Bitter End on a Friday night in New York City.

“These guys just opened for Aerosmith over in Russia!” a friend had mentioned to me earlier in the week. “You HAVE to come see them play this weekend, they’ll blow you away!”

It’s not the first time I’ve heard someone claim their band would blow me away, but if they’re good enough to open for Aerosmith, then they sure have my attention. I’m not the biggest fan of the Bitter End, but seeing these guys made the place sound so much better than I’ve ever heard it before. Their brash energy, tight playing, and all or nothing attitude reminded me that in rock and roll, anything worth doing is certainly worth overdoing. Long hair, loud guitars, ripped jeans- these guys had everything a great rock band should.

The band’s first time playing Bitter End saw them ripping through originals and a few covers, one being my absolute favorite blues song ever in ‘Red House’, a song the band pulls out every now and then and almost got Brad Whitford to come on stage with them to jam along to during their stint in Europe.

“I’ve known Brad since 2008, and we’ve slowly become friends.” Guitarist Anthony Mullin pointed out. “I saw him do that song on the Experience Hendrix Tour he’s always on, and I’ve noticed Aerosmith is known for throwing that into their set list. He didn’t have the chance to make it out due to our short set time, but he said next time we’re doin’ it and I’ll be holding him to it.”

The band closed out their set with an impressive cover to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’. Lead singer Cheggi has the powerful banshee-esque vocals of Robert Plant while guitarists Mullin and Hector Marin had their own chemistry as the duo traded leads, solos, and guitar mastery all night long.

By the end of their set they had a pretty crowded venue rocking right along with them. I was so taken back by how impressive the band sounded live as a whole unit and how fun they were to watch. No wonder they’re earning spots opening for some of rocks biggest acts. Knowing the band and I would share a love of hard rock, guitars, and partying, I had to get a word in with the guys backstage after their blistering set. Cheggi immediately made it clear (as if it wasn’t already) what he feels makes the band stand out among the hundreds of other New York rock bands.

“We love energy, we love making it into an actual show. We want people to move, to dance, and to have a really great time. We had 15,000 people chanting the words to one of our songs when we played over in Moscow. That’s the energy we want to bring to each show, regardless of what venue it is. I want to grab everyone’s attention. I want the first song to kick you in the face basically.”

“No matter where we play, I play as if we’re playing to a sold out Madison Square Garden. No matter if it’s two people to two hundred, that’s the way we deliver.” Drummer Joe Mitch added.

What brings them each together is their passion for unleashing that energy and playing rock music like their heroes. Unlike their heroes however, this band is aiming for a career in a music industry that doesn’t see a lot of hard rock bands on top of the iTunes charts or rock artists seeing very much money coming from labels in the form of advances. Like any smart musician who understands the flux of the current industry model, Cheggi understands where the bands opportunities come from today.

“We grew up in that era where you’re looking for the big deal from the big label, but now we understand that everything you need is already in your hands, and we’re in control. It’s a fucking hard job to do that but it’s really all you need. The playing field is much more even this way. You just have to work it. The only downside is that it takes away from the time spent working on your actual music. I wish I could spend more time writing and recording but you’ve got to balance this and that, which comes with the do-it-yourself strategy.”

With a great rock band like this, it only makes you hope that hard rock can climb back out of the ashes and back into the top-40 spotlight. The Blackfires seem to symbolize that raw, organic sounding musical energy that was lost sometime around N*SYNC’s first lyrical fart into a microphone and is only seen in glimpses around pop music today. The guys don’t seem to let that phase them though, as they are as certain as we are they there is plenty of opportunity and talent out there to keep rock music relevant going forward.

“It looks like everything is too overproduced right now, too polished and too fake ya know?” Cheggi mentioned. “Even in rock, I really believe right now there’s a great chance for us to get rock out there. We were talking to Glenn Hughes recently and he was talking about a paradigm shift on how rock is beginning to come back. There’s a new generation of kids at 14/15 years old that wear Zeppelin or Aerosmith shirts. There were a lot of really young kids at the Aerosmith show we played on that came up and thanking us just for being a young band playing their favorite kind of music for a younger generation. For them it’s almost something new again, just true, primal rock delivered honestly. That gives me hope.” - Pancakes & Whiskey

"The Blackfires at Grand Russian Festival"

Photo article of the event, please click the link to view - Michael Lofenfeld - Michael Lofenfeld Photography

"The Blackfires for UK Music Directory"

I came across a great rock band on ArtistSignal recently. If you like rock music, you really should take a bit of time to listen to this band. They have a passion that brings back memories of old favourites like Guns ‘n’ Roses and Led Zeppelin. The Blackfires have become quite a popular live band locally in New York, and deserve much more recognition. Currently, you can vote for them on ArtistSignal, at the following link I invited them here for an interview.


How long has The Blackfires been together and how did you meet?

CHEGGI: We started this band in 2011. I came to New York from Moscow, Russia to pursue a music career. To organize a band, a great band ideally, is always a challenge, especially in new country, with no connections. I posted an ad on craigslist. Something like “I’m a frontman, whoever wants to conquer a world with me, jump on board”. I got a response from a drummer – Ilan Harel. Later he confessed to me that he replied just to find out who the “psycho” was who thought he could conquer the world. But that is how the band was established. Later a bass player joined who Ilan knew. But we needed a great charismatic guitar player. I searched through the internet and found Anthony Mullin’s profile on this social networking site called know it’s like love at first sight, some chemistry. You don’t even know who he is, but you know he’s gonna be in your band. However there was a problem. He has no e-mail or contacts on his profile. Basically bandmix obscure e-mail addresses they detect in the code to make you pay for their messaging. So I just took his name, all that was there “anthonymullin@” and added all the possible email etc…I didn’t have a response for a month. But when he replied back – I was THIS IS A SIGN!!! It meant I’m on the right way. Later Mullin brought his friend Chris Daou to the band. And that’s how it all started.
MULLIN: Cheggi has it pretty much spot on there, but I do remember it a little differently. I didn’t realise bandmix had obscured my contact info. and wondered why no one was sending me e-mails. So when I got one I was happy but I was late replying as I had some other auditions lined up. I listened to Cheggi’s vocals and was impressed instantly. But then as my obsessive mind tends to do I thought “OK but everyone puts their best foot forward online – I have to hear this live.” So we arranged a jam where Cheggi brought Ilan Harel, who just happened to have brought his brother’s bands bass player, this lad Ryan Egan. Cheggi asked do you know any Zeppelin? I said of course. He said OK let’s do rock ‘n’ roll. I was floored that he could pull off Plant like that live in the room. That was it for me. I brought my mate Chris for the next rehearsal for the much needed 2nd guitarist.

You have an excellent EP available at the moment “Live at the Cutting Room”. How long did it take to put together the songs for that EP? Which are your favourite songs to play?

MULLIN: Thank you, it’s lovely to hear that about our music. Odd but good. I’ll get used to it. The EP actually didn’t take long to record itself. It was done live in one day, at the cutting room of course. We were all in the same room and played through the 5 songs. We did overdubs for a couple of parts the next day and that was that. Choosing the songs was the hard part. We ended up doing a vote so everyone had a pick with one extra song.
For me, I love to play “Just a Thrill” and “Gambit” the most live. “Just” has a great disco breakdown in the middle with Chris and I doubling each other in various positions on the neck. “Gambit” is more complex with Chris and pulling off some cool sounding harmonies. For “Gambit”, and all the songs for that matter, Cheggi sings so well. I sometimes find myself watching him like a fan onstage. And It’s true I am a fan. Some people think you shouldn’t smile and play it cool, but it’s hard to around that kind of talent.
CHEGGI: We were arguing a lot about which songs we should record for EP. These 5 were basically the result of our compromise. My favorite songs to play are: “Rocker Child” – it is really personal lyrically wise – telling story of a rocker guy -Rocker-me! and what rock ‘n’ roll is really about! What I had to face to be here in NYC and play rock music.
And “Just A Thrill”. – I love play this song live. Lyrics were written by Chris Daou and Ryan Egan – but it is so about me I guess.

Who writes the songs for The Blackfires?

CHEGGI: We all do. The songwriting process in every band is different. Even within a band. And I guess it changes with time. Sometimes it’s someone’s idea being developed, sometimes it’s a written song being adapted to the band. Lately we prefer old school rock ‘n’ roll writing – when the song comes out of a jammin’ in a studio.MULLIN: Yea what he said. We all do the writing. It just depends on where the idea comes from and in what state. Sometimes there’s a full song and everyone loves it and it’s good to go as is. More commonly though we have a snippet or we start from scratch and jam until it’s a song. As you can probably imagine songwriting can be really difficult and you can’t be precious about your ideas. Even though everyone is sometimes.

Where does the inspiration come from for The Blackfires’ songs?
CHEGGI: Personal experience. Books, Movies, Legends – especially pirate legends :) Love, Sex. Subconscious. But basically i’d say women are my biggest inspiration.
MULLIN: I agree with Cheggi although one word will suffice, “life.” One thing I’ve learned is that being open to anything is important for creativity. So our songs are commensurate with that notion.

You’ve been playing live quite a lot over the past year. What have been some of your favourite shows?
MULLIN: I’d grew up in Leeds which has a great music scene. But obviously I heard a lot about New York and it’s venues, Gramercy Theatre, Mercury Lounge, Webster Hall. To have played at all three has been a humbling experience and felt like a rite of passage for us. For me playing Gramercy Theatre twice was a great experience. To play on a big, professional stage is something you want. Also Mercury Lounge. We played Mercury as a sold out show on sticky August weekend night – it was a lot of fun, as was the after party from what I can remember.
CHEGGI: Gramercy Theater – I adore performing on a big stage. 

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

CHEGGI: I’d play everywhere whenever they want, even when they don’t wanna hear us. But I prefer stadiums. So I guess Wembley Stadium.MULLIN: Wembley would be amazing. If you think of those classic gigs like Queen, Live Aid, who wouldn’t want that? In the city I’m looking at Bowery Ballroom next, that seems like a fun venue. And while at it, Pink Floyd played in Pompeii amongst the ruins. I wouldn’t be against that.

I understand you’re working on a new EP/album. How is that going? Do you have an estimated release date?

CHEGGI: At this moment some line-up changes are going on within a band. We’ve had a long break as a result. We are really looking forward to getting back in saddle again, to quote our friends in Aerosmith. As for a record we are looking to release something in the first half of 2014.MULLIN: Yes unfortunately we’ve had to contend with a lot lately in terms of a change in personnel. We’ve been writing lots lately and have plans to release perhaps one track before/in the new year. With a larger release in the first half of 2014, as Cheggi said.

Do all the band members have similar tastes in music?

CHEGGI: There are plenty of bands that we all love and are inspired and influenced by – Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith to name a few. That’s how I guess it connects us to each other within the band. That’s how you glue. But we are different, with different backgrounds. So we also have a variety in our tastes which sometimes comes out accidentally. That’s where your band members discover your skeleton in the closet – for me some pop music. That’s when you have to experience a walk of shame, of sorts. And hey we are artists – so a mocking process from your bandmates, they could be very talented, but by this age I got used to stand even for my most shameful beliefs. But the funniest thing when everyone suddenly starts playin’ a most cheezy-pop song that you like and we all makin’ fun of it.
MULLIN: I think we do have some similar tastes in music that bind us. Rock music to use a generic term is the common link I’d say. We all love the giants, like Cheggi said Zeppelin, GNR, Aerosmith, Deep Purple. But as soon as you mention rock you have to go the blues. I know Cheggi and I love some of the old blues greats Elmore James, Robert Johnson, SRV, of course Hendrix is in the somewhere. But to tell you the truth we do differ as well which is important. For me I’m into heavy metal especially Metallica, Slayer, Black Label Society, Megadeth to name a few. Also some of the solo guitar players like Eric Johnson and Joe Bonamassa I’m really into. I know Cheggi likes some Russian traditional music and theatre like Jesus Christ Superstar.

Have you been to any good gigs by other bands recently?
CHEGGI: We support local music and our friends form other NYC bands. But I missed a lot of shows recently. I say Ten Ton Mojo – that’s a band I like to watch on a stage. They Rock.MULLIN: I’m out and about a fair bit and definitely like Ten Ton Mojo. Also a couple of CMJ bands stood out to me recently Strngrs who we are sorting a gig with, The Midnight Hollow, and The Dead Exs. In terms of bigger acts, I saw Buddy Guy recently at the Iridium who is always great.

Where are the best places for people to find out more about your band and music online?
MULLIN: I suppose our website Definitely facebook as well – music is available through our site and CD Baby, and a UK site Also soon we’ll be on Spotify and iTunes.

Do you have any other news for your fans?
MULLIN: First and foremost thank you. It is said a lot, but we mean it when we say we are so thankful and are humbled by your support. We appreciate you sticking with us through the hiatus but we have great new music coming your way and will be out playing live soon – December 6th Arlene’s Grocery, NYC at 10pm. - UK Music Directory

"The Blackfires Return to Gramercy Theatre"

We could probably write close to a thousand words about the latest Blackfires show at Gramercy Theatre last Friday, but we’ll spare you the agony. Instead, just relish what you missed by taking a quick gander at the gallery of photos below. The five-piece band of scallywags brought the ear-splitting “pirate rock,” as they always do, and were the showpiece of an otherwise ordinary bill in the Gotham Rocks showcase. - Bowery Boogie


recordings and a music video available at



The Blackfires are a hard-rock band that thrives on the live stage and will take you on a wild ride. The band originated from New York City, but the guys originally come from the Russia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, the UK and New Jersey, which has earned them the nickname “The United Nations of Rock”.

In the relatively short time they have been together, they have managed to perform with some of the biggest names in rock, such as Europe, Skid Row and most notably Aerosmith! for whom they opened a show at the Olympic stadium in Moscow, Russia.

Leading the band is Muscovite Andrey “Cheggi” Chegodaev with a voice and onstage antics that are immediately recognizable and captivating. Plant, Gillan, and Jon Bon Jovi all come to mind but there’s definitely something unique about Cheggi’s vocal stylings. Glenn Hughes even commented “you sound like a girl…in a good way” referring to Cheggi’s wide vocal range.

On guitar is Englishman Anthony Mullin, who’s jammed with the likes of Brad Whitford & Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, & Orianthi, to name a few. His rhythm playing is notable, however it’s his scorching blues-based lead improvisation which really draws the listener in and provides the perfect accompaniment to Chegodaev.

Also on guitar, we have our Costa Rican rocker Hector Marin who employs his classical guitar training and rock n roll passion to deliver intricate leads and rhythms that tastefully enhance each song. Onstage you can hear and feel his “take no prisoners” attitude when performing the music.

Uruguayan Grasebo Doe is a rock-solid rock bass player, with the energy of a raging bull onstage, and a thunderous sound that demands attention. This is NOT your typical bass player who will stand in a corner during a show.

Lastly, American Joe Mitch is the secret weapon in The Blackfires’ arsenal. Aside from delivering consistent and crushing rhythms on the drums, he also sings, adding vocal harmonies that complete the sound of The Blackfires.

You can contact the band directly via

Band Members