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The Backfires: New Song "Joyride", Band Origins, and Ghosts

The Backfires are an up-and-coming rock band from both sides of the Atlantic. They came together in 2018, when Alex Gomez, frontman, went to study in London. Prior to leaving the states, Alex had talked with childhood friend Matt Walter, bass, about finding British musicians to play music with. Growing up, Alex had always loved listening to British bands. He figured if he could play with Brits, maybe he could make music just like the bands he looked up to as a kid. After being in London for a month, Alex met Harry Ruprecht, lead guitarist, and Max Wanduragala, drums. They began writing music and kept Matt in the loop over FaceTime while they continued their time in the UK. As the pandemic began winding down, the band wanted to take their next step and start playing live. At the beginning of 2022, they started living together in New York. Now, they have just released their new single Joyride, and will be playing at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on February 22nd.

We wanted to reach out to them because our Chief Editor, Grace, has been a fan of their music for awhile. They were very much giving indie rock band vibes, like a younger version of the arctic monkeys. If you’re looking for upbeat and energetic rock music to take you back to your tumblr era, make sure to listen to their music down below.

Where do you find inspiration for your songs?

It’s never anything too specific. If there’s something going on in any of our lives we might use that as a starting point to base a few lines off of, but for the most part it’s just a spontaneous thing, and inspiration comes from anywhere whether it’s a line in a book or something said on a night out.

What three words would you use to describe your band?

Rock and roll.

What’s your favorite song that you’ve put out?

It’s got to be Joyride. Find out why by listening right now!

Listen to the new single, Joyride, here:

How did you come up with your new song “Joyride”? Is there a story behind it?

Joyride has been in the works since January 2022. The song came to be just as we moved from England to New York City. We were really inspired by the rock scene in the east village and lower east side and all the bands we started going to see. That’s not to mention the rich indie rock history that’s left its mark across the area. Bands like The Strokes and Interpol are still, obviously, very inspiring to many of the young bands in Manhattan today and it comes out in the music. Joyride itself was one of our first true attempts to write a song that could fill a room with energy. Unlike most of our previous material, which we had written and recorded to sound good in the studio and on a record, we started writing it to sound great live first. The finished version we came up with was a turning point for our band. The start of a new direction for our band, one that was focused on writing songs to fill New York’s clubs and help expand New York’s indie rock scene. Before Joyride, we wrote songs for the studio, but since Joyride, everything we’ve done has been designed to add something to our live show.

What was the first concert you went to?

As soon as I started seeing bands live growing up I knew I wanted to be in a band. There were loads of records in my parents' cars including the Arctic Monkeys, the Killers, Foo Fighters, and Metallica. Listening to albums like “Whatever people say I am that’s what I’m not” and “Hot Fuzz” left me desperate to go to any concert I could. The first band I saw live was the Killers in 2009 and I was hooked. The way they could fill a room with sound, without backing tracks, was truly inspiring. I knew that's what I wanted to do if at all possible. That being said I took my time getting into it and it wasn’t until 2018 when Alex, Max, and I started the Backfires that I was actually going for it. The Backfires are my first band and none of us would be doing what we’re doing today without each other. We’re all in this to play live and we will be playing as many shows as possible this year - Harry Ruprecht

Who’s your celebrity crush?

Dave Grohl - Harry Ruprecht

In your song “Reflections On My TV”, you say “You haunt my thoughts and I take the blame”. Do any of you believe in ghosts?

We were definitely going for a metaphor with that lyric, but yeah we probably believe in ghosts.

What other bands do you listen to?

We all listen to a lot of different bands and have different tastes. The only band that we all agree on is the Arctic Monkeys, but other band favorites include Fontaines D.C., Sam Fender, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Idles, and Oasis. Of course, we all like lots of bands from the 70s too like Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Pink Floyd

What’s your favorite place that you’ve been to on tour so far?

Think playing a show in London to kick off 2023 was very special. Everything had started there years ago, and to go back and play a show finally after all of this time was really special. The crowd was loud and energetic in a way that we hadn’t experienced yet. It was also very cool for Harry and Max to get to play a hometown gig while we were there. We all had a great time.

Thank you so much to The Backfires and their team for taking the time to answer our questions and work with us. Stay tuned for our pictures from their concert at Baby’s All Right on February 22nd! There is still time to get tickets! Doors open at 9pm and the show begins at 9:30. See you there!

Interviewed and Written by

Grace Bugin and Sophia Querrazzi


Mark Bluemle

"The 70's Issue" Creative Director

Ashley Murphy

"The 70's Issue" AD

Sophia Querrazzi

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