Fireflight’s new album, “Innova” came out a couple of weeks ago, but like a lot of independent self-released albums there was a time when the band didn’t really know if it was actually going to come out. During the group’s PledgeMusic drive they were at a point where they didn’t know if they were going to get the amount they went after to make the album. Obviously, the group met their goal and they had a blast making their latest record. We talked with Fireflight’s lead vocalist Dawn Michelle about their first Pledge campaign, why they make music, and making their first independent release in almost a decade.
“It was crazy,” she began. “We’ve been a band for fifteen years, and we were signed for eight and a half of those. Our very first album and our first real touring has been head when we were under a label. With us going independent, it was super-fun, and super-exciting, but also really terrifying because the label is a bit like the bank. When you don’t have a label anymore - you have all of this freedom, but no money. It was scary because we put ourselves out there to see if the fans would support us and get behind us, thankfully they did.”
The modern system of releasing music seems to be pledge-driven campaigns. Some bands self-produce music and release it a song at a time and others go with the crowd-funded approach and make an EP or an LP after they’ve reached their goal. If you’re going with fan-funded approach it can be a nerve-racking process. That was Dawn Michelle’s experience with it.
“With the pledge campaign, it was pretty much make or break. It’s going to go through or we’re going to have to get new jobs. You know how fan-funded things are, about half way through it doesn’t look like they’re going to make it. That was what happened with us… When you’re looking at your future and you see that it has a chance of not happening – it’s pretty nauseating. BUT at the last minute things came through.
“It was a big leap of faith, but our fans came through for us and they really supported us. Of course, I believe that our belief in God had a hand in it too. So after all that - here we are, we have a new album. Making the album our own way was pretty wild, but it’s been a great time and honestly - it’s caused each of us to fall back in love with music.”
In the fifteen years that Fireflight has been a band they’ve toured relentlessly, especially while they were on a label. It’s a big accomplishment to be in the game that long. We asked Dawn what the most rewarding part of the past fifteen years has been, and her answer made complete sense.
“It goes back to all of the fans who come up to us and tell us how our music has made an impact in their lives,” she explained. “I’ll be honest, we’re not rolling in the dough - we’re not Lady Gaga. We’re making of a living, we’re doing okay and we’re doing what we love to do, but it’s hard. It’s hard to be gone on the road. It’s hard to be on a bus with twelve other people. It’s like being on a vacation with your terribly annoying siblings but there are no parents there to make sure you don’t kill each other [laughs.] The only thing that makes a difference are the fans and the stories you get when you’re out on the road. Some people have told me how our songs changed their lives. That’s huge.”