The White Like Fire Interview
Meet White Like Fire, a great example of one Pittsburgh-based band doing it right. After getting billed during last year’s CMJ festival in New York, the trio finds themselves fresh off a seven-show run at SXSW, a journey made possible due to the solid support they garnered as a result of a Jansport Battle of the Bands. Winning the contest landed them a slot at SonicBids’ Official SXSW Party, a three-day stay in Austin and $5K for travel expenses. We got to speak with Tyler Clawson, 1/3 of the trio, about their recent excursion and what’s ahead for the young band who has positioned themselves to do quite well both here and beyond.
The opportunity to appear at SXSW has generated great opportunities for the trio, whose music has been compared to the likes of Phoenix and Two Door Cinema Club, blending catchy riffs with a DIY pop sensibility.
“Winning that contest was really unexpected and very motivating. It’s definitely opened some doors for us, added some legitimacy to what we’re doing. The people at JanSport and Sonicbids were really good to us while we were down there, can’t thank them enough. We’re going to be touring a lot more frequently now.”
Two of the band members are brothers and met their drummer, Joe, while at Pitt studying Architecture, where their beginnings lie in the South Oakland house party scene in 2012. And despite gaining substantial momentum, they see the advantages remaining grounded in Pittsburgh.
“We think a band can get a solid start in Pittsburgh. Cost of living is clutch, it’s not a pretentious scene, but it is a hard to please scene. So if Pittsburghers like you, you’re doing something right. Once we had that local fan base going, we just decided to get out on the road and grind it out in a van, experience the other scenes out there and make friends with every single band we met.”
Unfortunately, due to no fault of their own, their album release show this Friday got cancelled, but this won’t be slowing them down. They’re set to drop it Friday regardless, on both Amazon and iTunes. Peep the song below for a taste of what you can expect.
They had assembled a doozy of a local lineup, too, bringing together pals and other bands they admire or have crossed paths with before.
We’ve played with Dazzletine before, very talented with a killer live show. Good Thing is a new project by our friends Brittany and Ryan, haven’t seen it live yet but as a duo, they’re powerful. Andre Costello and the Cool Minors have an awesome psych folk-rock vibe. Josie McQueen are old buddies of ours that play classic hard rock.”
The next time you catch these fellas in town, expect a solid lineup with a cast of talented local bands. You can catch them in South Oakland on April 17, or you can stay tuned to our event listings for their next big show.