F2F: Setting Ablaze the Music World
by: Jeff Hightower
Rock has no fury like that of a rouge squadron of musicians. Using the power trio combination and refusing to be less than their best, they take the name that gives power to their music - Fuel to the Fire. Members, Jon Grisham (guitar, lead vocals), Bruno Jones (Bass, background vocals), & Taylor Jones (Drums) play music as if they were a major storm roaring down on you. Whether it is a cover of some of their favorite bands or original material, they have only one speed…full throttle. Because of the diversity of influences, it’s almost impossible to classify the sound of Fuel to the Fire; this is also what they consider to be one of their biggest strengths. The varying influences they each bring to the band has forced them to explore different styles and learn from each other. This blend gave them first place in the John Lennon battle of the bands competition held at Rocket Town in Nashville. Since then, relentless touring has help evolve them into a cohesive unit that is very much, in your face and damn the torpedoes. You can always be sure that Jon, Bruno & Taylor will give rock-n-roll a huge shot of “fuel to the fire”. ___________________________________________________________________________ HM - Explain the evolution of Fuel 2 Fire. How did the band come together? JG - We started off as a five piece cover band that was just trying to have some fun playing the songs of our heroes. However, what I truly wanted to do was play all original material. It was tough for me to get Taylor and Bruno on the same page with me, I actually had to quit playing with them for a little while, which was hard but was necessary, I think for our own sanity and personal growth. It didn’t take long before the three of us kind of agreed that we had the talent and motivation to make something special. From then on we worked as hard as we could to progress and find a sound we were comfortable with and here we are today still growing and still changing, playing the music we love. HM - As a band, what is your main goal in the music industry? TJ - I would say our goal in the music industry would be to play the music that is in our hearts to as many people that want to listen as we can. HM - What sets you apart most other bands playing the local circuit? JG - Our sound is what sets us apart the most. The three of us were blessed to grow up on similar but completely different musical genres. While Taylor and Bruno were brought up to appreciate the jam band sounds of The Allmans and the Big Band sounds of Chicago, I grew up to love the rawness of ZZ top and the Dynamic/Progressive style of Tool. Throw all of that in a blender and I am sure you will have something similar to Fuel to the Fire. HM - What has been one of the most important issues when trying to hold a band together while putting in your miles? TJ - We are all three really close. Bruno is my brother, and we have always gotten along really well. Jon and I have become the best of friends since this thing started. We have a lot in common and just really enjoy each others company, and hang out all the time. All are 100% clean in that we don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. We just simply feel like those aspects do nothing but cause trouble and make you play worse than your best. HM - You define your music as "Like a damn freight train". With this type of description, what type of music impression do you want to come across to your fans? BJ - Well, we are huge Gov’t Mule fans, and when I coined that “like a freight train” sound description, we found it appropriate because of Allen Woody former bass player of the Mule. He played like a freight train, and he is one of my biggest influences. Our sound is heavy, fast, and rumblin’ at times and can seem like a southern fried alternative rock freight train. All three of our playing styles are aggressive, heavy, fast, and grooving. We want people when they leave one of our shows to feel like they saw 3 musicians that more than hold there own on there each instruments, and that they liked the songs that we write and arrange. HM - What percents originals and covers do you do, and how does this type mixture fit the band? TJ - That depends on the gig with us. Some gigs are more originality based and others are more cover based. We sometimes will do half and half on covers, and some times we do only a few covers. We enjoy doing covers, and take pride in doing a good job on the covers that we do. We want to do more than justice to any song that we cover. HM - Most lessons learned in the music industry aren't pleasant. So far, what has been the biggest lessoned learned for F2F? BJ - For me it has been just to be patient, and to not get big headed. There’s been couple of times when we have been on a high horse , and then knocked off so to speak. Those have been the best learning experiences and have totally kept us humble and I value that lesson very much. HM - For a power trio, what are the main differences between recording in a studio and playing live with the bare minimum players (aka - Cream, Gov't Mule, etc...)? JG - The Studio is a completely different monster than live performance. When it comes to studio recordings sometimes we like to keep the raw sounds of a trio with nothing more than some basic overdubbed guitars. However, other times a song needs more parts and instruments in order to bring it to life, and bringing that to a live setting is nothing more than another challenge to overcome. A recording is forever but the live renditions of songs never have to sound the same every time. So that takes some of the pressure off. HM - What type of rig (guitar, bass, drums) does each member of the band set up with to combine for the best possible sound? TJ - I use DW drums and hardware, Zildjian and Sabian cymbals. I feel like that your equipment needs to be at a certain professional level to sound professional. As far as drums go, tuning is a big part of your sound. I have spent a long time learning how to tune drums and how to get an overall good sound out of the drum. With drums, good technique in the way you hit them helps in your sound. JG - What type of rig (guitar, bass, drums) does each member of the band set up with to combine for the best possible sound? I play with Gibson and Fender guitars, through a peavey/ marshall rig with very minimal effects, I keep a wah-wah and delay handy. BJ - I play a 62 reissue Fender jazz bass through a 1976 Ampeg SVT head running into a brand new Ampeg 8-10 cabinet. 3 piece rock sometimes doesn’t sound as full as it needs to. I feel the Ampeg SVT brings a lot to our sound. Its loud and has great tone when I play my fender through it. HM - At the end of the day, after someone has seen your show, what is it that you would want them to say about you and your show? TJ, JG, & BJ - We would hope that they would say that they saw a great show and that they can’t wait for the next one. *ALM would like to thank Jon, Bruno, & Taylor for taking time to give us their insight into the music industry and for keeping real music alive.
Fuel 2 The Fire
Jon Grisham - Guitar & Lead Vocals
Bruno Jones - Bass & Background Vocals
Taylor Jones - Drums
Click here to hear Fuel to the Fire's music
Back to the nest...