Earfull: A Fire With Friends




Something has been swirling in the ether around the area for longer than a year, popping up here and there in front of audiences, and occasionally, alighting to be captured one bit at a time. Now it’s time for the spectre to fully materialize: Ghost House is the third EP from Scranton-based A Fire With Friends. To find out more about the album and its creation, we caught up with Daniel Rosler (vocals/guitar) and John Husosky (bass) during a rehearsal break. The band is finishing up rehearsals for the Ghost House release party this Saturday, Jan. 25 at TwentyFiveEight Studios, 703 N. Washington (Rear), Scranton.
“Ghost House is one of our longest EPs, with the most tracks on it,” said Rossler. “It took a little longer to put together, conceptually. It’s a little moodier, darker.”
Rossler said the album has been in the works for nearly a year and a half, including pauses to restart or refocus the band’s energy and ideas. “I’d rather it take a little longer and have a good product.”
A Fire With Friends also incorporated a different writing approach for Ghost House. “A lot of the times I’ll write a song and then work on it with the band as a collaborative effort,” said Rossler. “So this time we wrote a few songs together, and they came out well.”
The album has a consistent tone and mood, but falls shy of having a particular overarching theme. “I don’t think we necessarily sat down and talked about what we wanted it to sound like,” said Rossler. “We’ve been kind of arranging songs that we thought fit together well conceptually. It isn’t necessarily like a concept album in the specific sense, but the flow is right.”
Recording was a bit of a road show by itself. The band often wrote and recorded material in pieces, but the album did benefit from some marathon creative sessions. “We did a couple weekends out at a studio we rented in Reading,” said Husosky. “We had 24 hour sessions, overnight just writing and writing. One of our friends, Sean Davis, helped us do some pre-production and helped get a whole bunch of ideas down.”
With many of the foundations for Ghost House laid in those early sessions, A Fire With Friends then floated around the area fine-tuning and recording material. Some of the songs were played live at shows around the region, even as they were being recorded at locations like a building in West Scranton converted by the band into a makeshift studio. “It was very scenic tracking, I guess you could say,” Husosky said with a chuckle. “We finally got together all of our bits and pieces and passed them on down to the studio, and they were able to take all that madness and form it into actual tracks.”
The album takes its name from a track written by pianist Chelsea Collins. “Chelsea wrote the song, she had a piano line and ideas,” said Rossler. “I worked on a melody with her and wrote the lyrics, and we worked on it with the band. She wanted to call the track “Ghost House,” and then I think it was [guitarist Brian Errigo] who suggested we call the album Ghost House, and I liked the idea of that.”
As for the actual ‘ghost house’ itself, Collins said it refers to the band’s previous rehearsal space.
“We used to practice and record in an old basement … it was definitely haunted,” she said. “Equipment wouldn’t behave, the settings on the amps would go haywire, things like that.” While the title doesn’t relate particularly to the mostly instrumental track, Collins said the name just stuck.
The band’s plans for the album aren’t finished just yet. While they’ll likely play a few weekend dates in the area, there isn’t a major tour to support Ghost House in the works just yet. First, Rossler says A Fire With Friends be working on a video release for the title track.
“My friend, Jamie Sutor, wants to work with us on a video,” said Rossler, “We’ve got a couple locations in mind and a few ideas. I think we’re going to start shooting in February — we’re letting him have creative control on that.”
Promoting the album is also a priority, said Husosky. “The next step is to get it out there. We’re doing the whole SoundCloud, Facebook, YouTube thing — I wouldn’t mind sending copies to labels the old fashioned way.”
The band is proud of Ghost House and the effort that went into creating it.
“We worked on it so long, we’ll sell it ‘door-to-door’, so to speak,” Husosky said. “The songs speak for themselves; they just need to get out to the right audience to enjoy them. I don’t even think we’re targeting a certain age group or a specific style — we’re just trying to blanket everything we can. I think a lot of people will enjoy it.”
EC23EARFULL_1_WEBFor now, the CD release party is a highlight for the band and marks a milestone in the long production process.
“I’m pumped, I’m really happy to get out there and play,” said Husosky. “And just to get the album out there — we did kind of a little pre-order a while ago, and a couple people pre-ordered it. Every now and then, we’d have people ask ‘when is it actually coming out,’ so it has been kind of a daunting task. It’s great to finally have a product to hand people, something tangible.”
It wouldn’t be a proper celebration without some other friends, and the band is excited to welcome We Were Templars, Shorthand, Esta Coda, and A Social State to share the stage at the show.
“I think it’s the fact that we’re getting such great support from other bands and the community, and to be able to share a stage with everybody,” said Husosky. “A lot of them are close friends; we tried to pick bands that we grew up with.”
Rossler agreed.
“I’m just really, really excited to play with some of my favorite bands in the area and having a nice time,” he said. “It’s something to look forward to, and it’s what we all care about the most: trying to make music a career, playing shows and having fun together. I’m particularly excited to play with some of my best friends’ bands that I think are great.”
— tucker hottes


If you go:
What: A Fire With Friends Ghost House EP release show with We Were Templars, Shorthand, Esta Coda and A Social State.
When: Saturday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m.,
Where: TwentyFiveEight Studios, 703 N. Washington (Rear), Scranton
Information: Visit afirewithfriends.com.