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Fightstar interview 

Submitted by Tom Spinelli on 2007-11-14
I started following the band Fightstar ever since I heard their song "Mono" from their first EP "They Liked You Better When You Were Dead." I was instantly blown away and new they had something special. Being one of my favorite bands now, and after the release of their debut album "Grand Unification" and their recent sophomore release "One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours" the band is making waves in the Rock scene and making headlines with the very first ever Vinyl CD for their new single being released on December 3rd called "Deathcar." I got the chance to catch up with their guitarist Al Westway to chat for an interview.
So what does Fightstar actually mean? Is there a story behind the name?

Al Westway: At the time we were obsessed with the film Fight Club, its author Chuck Palahnuik and the Lord of the Rings. I think we ended up merging Evenstar and Fight Club together. Mix violence with beauty and the bastard child of which is hope, That is our aim with song writing.

I read you guys met at a party and started jamming together. Is that true? Can you tell us a little bit about how that came about?

Al Westway: Charlies girlfriend moved in with my sister. They had a dinner party. I was down in London doing some recording with some friends so i had a couple of guitars. We started playing and didnt stop till 3 in the morning, just jamming old songs. A few months later I moved in with Charlie for a few months which is where we started writing songs.

I must say I love the dynamic of the very melodic sound, the emotional vocals mixed with the heavy backbone. Can you walk me through the songwriting process a little bit?

Al Westway: Our sound pretty much represents the wide range of influences we all have. The most important thing to us is the song/melodies, then the musicality and then the lyrics. We normally start off with an idea of a riff or melody which will then evolve when it is taken into a full band set up. We will make rough demos then go into pre-production where the producer has his input into any small structure tweaks and then record the song properly.

So how was the response in the United States when you guys toured here, compared to the response you get back home?

Al Westway: We have only toured the US once and its a really big place so it think we made a small dent. I think the key to cracking the States is relentless touring with a lot of luck. So in that sense we have only just started.

Any plans of heading back to the United States any time soon?

Al Westway: As soon as we can, we are planning to tour Europe, Australia and Japan sometime in the early new year so it will be after that.

I noticed you have Daniel Conways amazing artwork in your booklets?

Al Westway: I think Dan discovered him on His art work fit our music so well so Dan got in touch. He has become a good friend of ours.

Can you explain the story behind the new album "One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours"?

Al Westway: The title was inspired by a picture Charlie found of a young boy holding an assault riffle holding his fathers hand looking out over a war stricken city.

So how is being on Gut/Institute Records now different then being on the Major Label Island Records, Is there more creative freedom?

Al Westway: I think the main difference is the enthusiasm. We have never been restricted from creative freedom, we are too strong minded for that. But the pressure of unit shifting has been lifted slightly.

The production on both albums "Grand Unification and One Day Son…" is very similar almost like a trademark sound for you guys. Very well produced, clean and pounding drums, an almost Deftones style production. Do you guys have a certain way of recording to get the sounds to be similar?

Al Westway: We found the heavy guitar tone that we love when we were making Grand Uni and stuck with it. We went through a lot of different amps. Personally i was not that happy with the clean guitar tones on Grand uni, which we rectified on One Day Son. It is a learning curve.

On the DVD that came with your new album, I noticed that there are some songs on it that arent on the album. Can you give us some details on what those are and if they will be released to the public?

Al Westway: They are b-sides. Two of which will be released with Deathcar on the 3rd of December and the other one along with some new tracks will be released with Floods next year.

Speaking of your new single "Deathcar," Its coming out soon on the first ever Vinyl CD, can you elaborate a little bit on what thats all about?

Al Westway: We had a great response to this song when the album came out so decided to release it as a limited release over Christmas. We wanted to make it as special as possible, we discovered this new Vinyl/CD format and decided on printing 4000 copies all of which we have signed.

Now, You can pre-order that on for those of you that want to. Signed to Trustkill Records in the United States, is there a plan to release the new album "One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours" here soon?

Al Westway: Definitely. Its all a matter of timing and paperwork. We are desperate to come back.

For each member in the band … Can you tell us your favorite band or band that has influenced you the most?

Al Westway: Charlie: Deftones - Al: Mono - Dan: Machine Head - Omar: Dillinger Escape Plan.

If you had could pick the ultimate bill to play what bands would you want to perform with?

Al Westway: It would open with Jeff Buckly followed by Pink Floyd followed by Led Zeppelin followed by Deftones. Not sure how to fit us in on that bill, happy anywhere.

Great bands! I wish you guys the best of luck and we will continue to support the band and keep people posted. Thanks for your time and best of luck with the group!