Through Fire’s Justin McCain: ‘Breathe’ Has the Ability to Speak to People on Many Different Levels [Interview]
Through Fire have emerged over the past year-plus as one of the bright, rising new bands in the rock world. Their Breathe album has taken off thanks to the success of the lead single "Stronger" and the title track, which is currently commanding the airwaves. The band just released a deluxe edition of Breathe and recently visited Los Angeles to shoot some new videos.
Loudwire recently spoke with guitarist Justin McCain, who beamed about the success of the Breathe album and title track, discussed the journey from the pre-Through Fire band Emphatic and teased their upcoming tours with Seether, All That Remains and Otherwise. Check out the chat below:
You were recently in Los Angeles for video shoots. What can you share about what you did and what we should be looking for?
We first set up at the label office [Sumerian Records] and shot some bonus acoustic footage for our current single "Breathe" as well as our song "Stronger." Then we went to our first movie screening for American Satan [an Ash Avildsen/Sumerian film] that was fantastic, keep an eye out!!
The main reason we were in Los Angeles however was to shoot the video for our next single. Unfortunately other than telling you there was lightning, fog and a bad ass set, I can't reveal what song it's for just yet ... but stay tuned!
“Breathe” has done incredibly well for you as a band, following on the heels of the success of “Stronger.” As an artist, how enjoyable is it to see the steady rise of your music up the rock radio charts and see it being embraced by radio and fans?
Honestly, it's a dream come true. We're so grateful for all the support from radio and our fans! It's an awesome feeling to know our music is truly resonating and connecting with people. Bands and artists always hope for the best but nobody ever really knows how something will react. Fortunately for us things keep moving in the right direction and we're going to continue to work hard pushing forward!
Let’s talk a bit about “Breathe.” Where did the song come from and where was it in the process of putting this album together? Why was this the song that also became the title for the album?
I wrote lots of songs for this album but "Breathe" is one that was closest to home for me. My sister was going through some struggles in life so the lyrics we're literally me screaming at God, saying if you're really there, please help. I basically said everything in that song that I thought she wanted to say but couldn't. It's a song about desperation but hope, as well. It's a song about not being afraid to reach out for help. We decided to do the video about our homeless community and homeless vets because we wanted to create awareness and make a positive difference. That's what I love about music, one song has the ability to speak to people on many different levels ... it's universal but still personal.
The band recently issued a deluxe edition of the album, complete with acoustic and extended versions of the two hit singles, along with a cover of Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.” How did “Jar of Hearts” become the cover? Who brought it to the table?
I brought "Jar of Hearts" to the table. I've always liked that song and I knew we could do something different with it. It felt great giving it a new bite and edge while still keeping key elements of the original.
Though Through Fire is a new band in terms of the moniker and releasing an album, the roots of this band date back to Emphatic. What did you learn from the Emphatic years that helped propel Through Fire forward and honed in on what you wanted from the new iteration?
When Emphatic first got signed it was a shock to the system. It was a total lifestyle change and it was a lot to process for everyone at that time. I truly believe that Emphatic was my test. Was I going to give up when things fell apart? Did I have the strength and passion to keep moving forward no matter what? Did I have the talent? Did I even deserve the opportunity? I answered all those questions. I had something to prove, first to myself and then to my family and every fan who stood by me through thick and thin. I wanted to show everyone that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Nothing good comes easy in life. Through Fire was founded on those values -- hard work, being truly grateful, never giving up and being good to others. I'm proud to say things are going better than ever and I can't thank everyone enough for joining us and supporting us on this incredible journey.
There have been a number of cool associations since things began breaking in 2016 – ties to the WWE, UFC and NHL – as well as a lot of solid touring and performing experiences. What have been some of your favorite moments of supporting the ‘Breathe’ album and tour cycle?
There have been so many and all of them are special to us! From landing the No. 1 song on iTunes, No. 2 album, No. 4 New Artist on Billboard, being played on tons of sporting events, TV and movie placements, touring coast to coast, winning Breakout Artist of the Year on Octane, nominated for Best New Artist at the Rock Radio Awards for RadioContraband, meeting so many amazing fans, going into all the different radio stations, and now on the verge of having our first Top 10 single in the country at radio... it's honestly all surreal but absolutely incredible!
Speaking of touring, there is plenty of it on the horizon. What can you share about the bands you’ll be touring with in the coming months – Seether, All That Remains and Otherwise? Do you have past relationships with these bands? Will this be a first meeting in any of the cases?
We're so stoked about our tour schedule! Hitting the road with bands we love always makes touring even better! We just recently met All That Remains in Phoenix when we had the honor of playing KUPD's Brufest and they we're great guys. Seether have always been a band we love and I've known the Otherwise dudes for a while. All three tours are going to kick ass!!
With the album out for over a year, and I realize this may change daily, but do you have a favorite song to perform live and why is that song sticking out for you?
We have fun with all of them. It's cool to see so many people not only singing the singles but other songs on the album as well. Playing live is the ultimate adrenaline rush so whether it's "Breathe," "Stronger" or "Where You Lie," playing out live is like therapy for us.
What is on the horizon for Through Fire? What do you envision for the rest of 2017?
As I mentioned earlier, there's definitely another single coming later this year as well as a video. We also want to start doing some cool different things with social media so make sure and follow us everywhere -- @TFIREMUSIC on Twitter and Instagram, Through Fire on Facebook and at www.throughfiremusic.com.
We don't plan on slowing down any time soon on the tour front either. In fact, don't be surprised if we announce some European dates later in the year! We're going to keep working hard earning our place in the music scene. I think this is an exciting time for rock music because there are no boundaries and there's a new energy. We're proud to be a part of it... TFIRE NATION is growing STRONGER!!
Our thanks to Through Fire's Justin McCain for the interview. The band's deluxe edition of the 'Breathe' album is available now via Amazon and iTunes. As stated, you can find Through Fire doing separate tour legs with Seether, All That Remains and Otherwise in the next few months. Keep up with the band's touring here.
Through Fire, "Breathe"
Through Fire, "Stronger"