Posted On 22 May 2017
They are a group of musicians, singers, comedians, actors, writers and filmmakers that have formed the indie comedy band/troupe. The six-member troupe formed within the hallways of famed The Second City Hollywood where they created and performed “The Untold Story of Indie Rock,” which is a mock history of indie rock music from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and on. The live show played for two years and was extended twice due to its popularity and appeal to audiences.
The Fireturtles satirize all genres of rock, sending up the music industry, technology, fame and other ridiculousness and currently have a monthly showcase in LA at The Nue Studio Café on the first Fridays of every month.
Connect With The Fireturtles Here:
Learn more about The Fireturtles in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016? What were some of the highlights for the band? What are you all most excited about for 2017?
2016 was like an avocado. It started hard, stayed hard for longer than I thought it would, got really nice for a few days, and then it just got completely rotten.
As for the band, we’ve just been having a lot of fun making people happy when they needed it most. Fans in need are fans indeed. With all the heaviness in the world, you know, all that hate-mongering and arguing and avocados that rot when you leave them out for a year, it’s still important to laugh at ourselves and our culture. For 2017, we have a new album out and we plan to follow it up with a video album. It is going to be epic in a very modest, DIY way. Also, we’re excited that Alro Sanders is joining the lineup. He brings a lot of good energy to the project and he’s just ridiculously funny.
How did The Fireturtles first form? How did you come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
It’s a long story, but in brief, the Fireturtles was one of 12 fictional bands in a comic rock musical I wrote called The Untold Story of Indie Rock. The original cast was all Second City comic actor improvisors who could sing and play music. As for the band name, well I kind of realized I just needed a name for an indie band, and I basically just wanted something that sounded like the opposite of The Arctic Monkeys. Real Dragons, Dave Dull and the Hyperbolic 5, The Story of Myself, and Captain Fail were all some other name ideas that I kicked around.
How often is the line-up of this band changing?
Honestly, the lineup can be very fluid. Everyone is an actor and a musician and they’re all killing it, career-wise. I am always both happy and sad when someone books a movie or another tour.
How does that affect the overall sound and style of the music that you release?
Everyone brings something special to the project. But at the end of the day, The Fireturtles is a creation whose whole is larger than the sum of its parts. The change in lineup always leads to improvements and growth.
Can you talk about “The Untold Story of Indie Rock” and how it all came together?
Yes. The Untold Story of Indie Rock started when Jason McNichols and I were talking about how fun it would be to bring our two worlds together: rock music and sketch comedy. It actually wasn’t intended to be a Rock Musical. I asked the Second City Hollywood art director if I could do a show on their main stage, or if that was just for the heavy-hitting SC alumni from Chicago. He didn’t really answer, he just asked what the act was called. I honestly just made up the title on the spot. He said it sounded cool and booked the show 3 months out. I had 3 songs and one cast member, that’s all, so I had to work overtime to cast the rest of the show and write it too. Essentially, it was a mock history of Rock n’ Roll from 1950 to the present. We only had a small cast, but we had all these other bands that wanted to work together. We performed the show around LA, and even in Vegas, until Second City gave us the Saturday night spot. The show sold out and was extended for a year. After that, we formed The Fireturtles.
How is your monthly showcase at LA’s Open Space Café going? How long do you think you will continue it?
Our Monthly showcase at The Open Space Cafe is working out better than we could have imagined. Jonathan Klein (who owns the venue) is really cool, the space itself is great and the sound is fantastic. Each month, we’ve been able to build our fan base. The shows are so much fun and have a great energy, we’re lucky we’ve been able to collaborate with really cool guests, like J.R De Guzman, Brett Riley and Morgan Jay.
What can you share with our listeners about your recently released self-tiled album?
What can I say, it was made fast and fun. We tried to keep some of the spontaneous feeling of the live shows and not do too many studio tricks.
Joyous! Hard work but joyous. The best kind of hard work.
How long did it take?
I want to say it took a month and a half? I set a crazy deadline on Feb 15 to have a record release party April 1st.
Did anything surprise you about the process?
Tracking and mixing with Emo Emad Alaeddin was wonderful. The man is as tireless as he is talented.
Who are you all listening to these days?
Mostly I listen to our album while driving around naked in my car. I can’t wait until our fans get ahold of the album and get to sing along. I recommend they do so while driving around naked in their cars as well, it’s really the best way to enjoy the album.
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music?
I love Flight of the Conchords, Tenacious D, Eric Idle and Steve Martin.
Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
The Beatles and The Who would be great. I know the Beatles are missing a guy but I think we could make it work.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope they laugh and I hope they think about how silly life is.
What do you hope is the message of your songs?
Human beings are more important then the things we invent and abuse. Also, don’t be a douche.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves and your music?
Join the Burning Bale! It’s a slow burn and it’ll make you feel funny, but The Fireturltes will light it up for you!