Quest For Fire turns into trip for stone(r)s
In the current age of Myspace and blog hype, it’s important for a new band to have a reference point. Toronto’s Quest For Fire has three: The Deadly Snakes, Cursed, and No No Zero. This is an impressive musical pedigree for a fresh group hoping to get heard, but in the case of Quest For Fire, at times it’s something best kept quiet.
According to Andrew Gunn, former drummer/guitarist of The Deadly Snakes and current lead guitarist of Quest For Fire, the heavier, druggier direction of the new project wasn’t immediately accepted with open arms.
“There were some people who were genuinely pissed off about it,” he says. “I know like a million guys are that are just really strict garage rock dudes, and some of them were seriously angry that we weren’t trying to start a new Deadly Snakes.”
While both bands cultivate a sound firmly rooted in the past, all of the familiar ’60s Nuggets reference points have been replaced with ’70s prog-metal and modern psychedelia, wafted in a healthy dose of heavy-riffing stoner rock haze.
Rather than a conscious stylistic shift, however, Quest For Fire’s sound evolved organically. “As The Snakes were breaking up, I just wanted somewhere to go and hang out,” admits Gunn. “There was never any calculated plan to sound a certain way. It was just the natural product of us jamming for months and months on end, long before we ever considering rolling it out and playing it for people. It started out very very casual, but then after about 8 or 9 months, we started thinking ‘what the fuck are we still doing here?’”
Dragging their new sound out into the public sphere may have alienated some of the band members’ former fans, but it has also opened them up to a previously untapped market of tie-died, red-eyed headbangers.
“Well there are more dudes for sure,” Gunn laughs. “At Snakes shows there used to be a lot of serious record collection kind of guys, but with this band there seem to be a lot of people who just want to get shitfaced and smoke a lot of weed with the band.”
Not that this is necessarily a complaint. Take the band’s recent Ontario mini-tour opening for the band Priestess, for instance: “We just did the usual – drank a million beers and acted like idiots. But that’s what we’re good at.”
Well, that’s not all they’re good at. They’re also quite a prolific live band. Since the June European and American release of their debut record for psych-metal heavyweights Tee Pee Records, Quest For Fire have found themselves catching on beyond just their hometown, likely aided by a surprisingly favourable (6.9) Pitchfork review. A new record has already been recorded, but won’t be released until spring of 2010.
In the meantime (provided you don’t totally space on the date), you can catch Quest For Fire this Thursday, November 19 at Sneaky Dee’s with guests SPORTS, JEFF The Brotherhood, and Songs From a Room in what’s sure to be a blistering earplug-burner of a live performance. – RT