Metal From U.S. Of A. still fascinates me immensely so the honor and pleasure is all mine to have a talk with New York based Flames Of Fury, a five piece female fronted band, formed back in 2009. They carry the status of an unsigned band, they've unleashed a demo in 2011, a five track EP saw the crack of dawn two years later on. To find out some background information I had to traverse the Internet and quickly came to the conclusion, FOF deliver a high level type of Heavy/Power Metal music... my alley for sure. A new album will be launched soon, in the meantime I'd like to have a word front lady Angelica Vargas.
Q: Well hello Angelica, welcome here at Metal To Infinity webzine Belgium! Let's start at the beginning, by whom and when FOF was established?
A: Hello Stefan, the pleasure is all mine! So Flames of Fury was started by Jason Perez and myself back in 2009. Jason was working on a couple of songs that needed female vocals so I came into the studio and started working with him. I showed him some song lyrics I was working on and the idea to write songs together came about mighty quick. We wrote a ton of songs and started performing later in 2010. We’ve been rocking out in NY ever since.
Q: Did you formed the band with an eye for professional ambitions or not?
A: Yes, we both are highly ambitious and want to take it to the limit. Once we started writing, we knew that we have some great music that people in the metal community will value and enjoy for years to come.
Q: Tell us something about your musical background and your personal inspirational sources.
A: I’ve been singing since I was a kid but I didn’t take any formal lessons until high school. I later studied Music Performance for two years at Concordia College. During that time, I studied classical music and also performed in a jazz band. After that, I was in a rock band for a little while but, in the end, my heart was always into metal. As far as singers that inspire me? I’m a big fan of Iron Maiden and I love Bruce’s voice. I’m also a big Dio fan; he’s a big inspiration, both as a singer and as a songwriter.
Q: Is it possible to provide us also with an individual list which relates to the former musical activities of the current members?
A: I would but there would be too much to list! I would safely say that the individual members of my band have all been very active and well known in the NYC metal scene. The most noteworthy band would be Symphony X, to which Mike LePond is playing with right now. Like all the members of our band, Mike is a Beast on Bass and we are very happy to have him with us.
Q: I would like to know more about Flames Of Fury's first self-titled EP, loaded with five songs. Define the style and with which bands you can make a comparison - who should definitely buy this piece?
A: The EP contains five songs that are all very different form one another. “Take it to the Limit” is a cool power metal song which could be compared to Helloween and many other classic power metal bands. “Save Yourself” is in sharp contrast as a head-banging groove song. “I Burn” is a heavy melodic song that clearly calls out to classic Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell. “No Mercy” is all-killer-no-filler; it’s a Thrash/Speed Metal song with the blasting drums and head-banging style. It’s good music for moshing! It ends with “End of the Road” which is more progressive in nature. In short, anyone who is a fan of Power Metal, Speed Metal and Heavy Metal will enjoy this album.
Q: What subjects are mapped when creating new songs?
A: Anger and determination are a recurring theme in our songs. We’re inspired by many things, like current events, comic book and fantasy stories. Much of my lyrics are about taking control your life and not letting anyone stand in your way. Or else you show them No Mercy!
Q: What about Flames Of Fury's live activities so far – gimme an overview of the most interesting live performances you've done up until now? What makes these so unique?
A: Well we have had the privilege of sharing the stage with some amazing well known bands. Some of the heritage acts include, Kings X, Sebastian Bach, Stryper and especially Doro. Some more recent bands are Kill Devil Hill, Kobra and the Lotus, Primal Fear and Amaranthe. Each show was unique in its own way and I think the energy that’s from the fans influence that.
Q: I have watched the video-clip for 'No Mercy' (taken from the EP) and was immediately grabbed by the throat as a typical US Metal sound smashed me in the head. How the global metal community has responded to this clip?
A: Nice! That is EXACTLY the kind of reaction we are looking for! And yes, I would say that a majority of people reacted in that way when they saw that clip. But there is also a strong message behind that video. It is about beating up the bullies, not waiting around for someone else to take care of them for you. It is about standing up for yourself.
Q: And there is more good news coming, more specifically Flames Of Fury are pretty busy making a brand new album. I'm very curious and like to ask for some more detail regarding the new “Firestarter” effort. First on, who wrote the songs?
A: Similarly to the EP, the songs were written by Jason Perez and myself. It contains songs we have performed live over the years and also a few more recent songs that have never been heard.
Q: Who's the one behind the mixing, producing, mastering duties?
A: Everything is home grown in this album and Jason Perez is taking those duties on himself. If you love the sound on our EP, then you’re going to be completely blown away when you hear this album. This is FOF at our absolute best!
Q: Do you have a release in mind and have you been approached by a particular record label that'll bring out the album? Finance an album itself is very costly, that's why i'd like to ask – is it an attainable objective to bring out an independent release?
A: We are still working on the upcoming album; aiming to release it in the next 1-2 months. We have been approached by a couple of labels, yes. While we are open to hearing any offers, we like the freedom that releasing an album independently has to offer.
We want to be able to release what we like and how we like it and I think the fans appreciate that authenticity in our sound. And in today’s digital world, it is much easier to release a new album to the public than it was 10 years ago.
Q: Prior to almost everything else will be the new album I guess, still I like to know if Flames Of Fury have some more concerts in promotion during the upcoming summer season.
A: Right now, most of our energy is going towards finishing up the album. But by all means, stay tuned to our website and social media pages for any new announcements for shows.
Q: One last question Angelica, what is your knowledge in the Belgian Metal scene? Maybe some bands you're familiar with?
A: As most women in the metal community, I do follow the Metal Female Voices Fest. I think it’s a wonderful thing to highlight women in metal at such an amazing event every year. I would love to go to Belgium one day and check out the scene there. I’m sure there’s a lot of inspiration for good metal music lately. As far as bands are concerned, Magic Kingdom caught my ear immediately. I also really enjoy the music from Thurisaz. Very atmospheric.
Q: To end this conversation I would like to express my pleasure once again having a band like FOF on board at Metal To Infinity webzine Belgium. We're totally US Metal minded for several decades and still fascinated to meet new bands like yours, troops delivering US Metal in its purest form. Send us a physical copy of “Firestarter” when the time is right – we definitely look forward to spread the word of by a discussion. One last word to our visitors? Go for it Angelica... Thanks by the grace of US Metal !
A: Yes, thank you so much for having me on board and we will definitely send you a copy as soon as it’s ready to go! To your visitors, please check us out at www.flamesoffury.com. You can also find us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/flamesoffury.
A talk with
Angelica Vargas - Vocals
Questionnaire by Stefan