Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Thank for your providing this opportunity I appreciate that.
I am Zeeshan a.k.a Zee. Fire Garden is a Chicago based Progressive Rock project by Zeeshan Baig (Zee). I am originally from Pakistan and been playing music for a while. Before coming to USA permanently in year 2011 I was living in Kazakhstan for about 6 years on a project deputation. There I started ‘Fire Garden’ project with some talented musicians. We wrote few songs and performed live in some shows and festival there.
After getting settled in USA, I wrote new material and decided to resume ‘Fire Garden’. So the search ended meeting Barry Kleiber (Bass) on Facebook. Barry introduced me to Frank Lucas(Keys), Chuck White (Drums) and Chase Carter (Vocals) and we recorded the 3 song EP called ‘The Prelude’ which came out in December 2012.
The response of the EP was great and i felt great chemistry between us. With all creative vibe going I ended up being writing 7 new songs and these days we are recording our first full length debut album which as per plan to be release by later this year.
What your genre means to you, or why you chose this genre basically?
Our music style fits into Progressive Rock mainly, but I don’t think about genre or force it while writing music. I listen to all kind of music but i have been into progressive rock for a long time so the elements of prog rock comes naturally in my music. In other way prog rock gave me full opportunity to experiment with sounds and styles. Our upcoming records got some rock ballads and heavy metal songs as well
How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
It usually starts with the small idea and if i have guitar nearby i try to figure it out or if there is no guitar then i sing the ideas and record video of myself on cell phone afterwards i work on those small ideas complete them and write some kind of musical score with tempo and experiment with time signatures once i feel the song is complete then i move on to next song. I keep the song dynamics open enough so all other guys can put some of their flavor which makes it unique in a way.
Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspect of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
We have a 3 songs EP ‘The Prelude’ out at the moment which turned out greater than my initial expectation. The boys did amazing job on it. I think it is just a start there are lot of things to improve and you should too unless it would be boring doing the same thing. On the full length record i see definite improvements in terms of my songwriting and production. The recording of EP also helped me a lot about learning quite few studio techniques.
How has the overall reception been?
Reception has been great which led us to do a full length record. It is growing day by day, Beside US we got following in Europe, Mexico, South America and Asia as well.
Is the band going to get more involved in performing live at some point? What’s next? Album? Touring? Any international tours?
Yes we are almost done recording full length album and planning to start performing live once it is finished. At the moment the record is coming out huge and epic, I am also working on song artworks for CD booklet and this will come out as full package, possibly with a video as well. I can’t really wait to share it.
What do you see for your future? How is it looking?
I see great potential and have believe in our music. In the start I see us opening shows for some established bands in USA and playing local shows and festivals. On the other side we will be continue making records every other year.
Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process?
The lyrics usually got their influence from things happening around us, sometimes based on novels, movies as well. The song ‘Time Machine’ on our EP inspired by famous novel of H.G. Wells. ‘Far from Grace’ idea came while i was watching Sir Ken Robinson talk on TED platform and ‘Forsaken’ is a hate song which i thought everybody writes a love song why not write a hate song. On the full length record we have lyrics on many different themes including person experiences, moments, movie characters, extremism, fictional stories etc etc.
Which is more exciting? being on the road or studio?
Both got their own taste. We enjoy both worlds. We haven’t started playing live shows as a band yet but we got road experience with other projects. Road gives you opportunities to interact with people and studio is whole creative vibe.
Who is composing the songs? Writing the lyrics?
I (Zee) compose songs and write basic lyrics later vocalist Chase Carter tune them as needed.
So what bands do you guys draw your inspiration from?
I listen to all different kind of music but primarily i am into classic, progressive rock and metal bands like Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Steven wilson, Frank Zappa, Rush, Megadeth, Meshuggah and many more.
What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
I think music as a form of art and source of communication. So, it is music first. On the catering side i see us doing projected, slides, videos kind of things during our live performances so we can convey the message to audience.
In addition to that i think if music for catering only then i think it is not pure, in my opinion you cannot force art on someone it is gifted. Think how funny it would be if a painter thinks to draw a painting that he or she can sell it to thousands of people. i think what comes from heart finds its way. I read someone said difference between an artist and comedian that is comedian is aware of his audience.
The beauty of progressive rock is that it has something for everyone. Our record contains from epic soulful moments to skull crushing riffs and ballads which make is quite versatile.
When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Fire Garden is just a start of a new beginning for all of us. I think the upcoming record we are doing is something we can really proud of it. I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Anything else you think your fans should know?
I am thankful to all for your support and believing in our music. I am really excited with the upcoming record. The album got some great songwriting and production and it is something different to experience.
The record will be released on CD with a 20+ page booklet containing artwork of every song and digitally on all stores like iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify. The album will be mixed by well experienced professional all details will be revealed soon.
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Official Website: www.firegardenmusic.com
The Debut EP is digitally available at following