San Francisco rock band The Trophy Fire will be heading out on tour shortly, including a stop at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on June 23rd. To get yourself in the mood, watch their great music video for “Spinning” which is off their latest album Directions For Daylight (Greyday Records).
San Francisco, California-based trio The Trophy Fire prevails at balancing full-bodied guitar hooks with delicate synth-centered melodies. Formed by Ben Flanagan (vocals/guitar/keys), The Trophy Fire at its core is a musical combination of the ‘90s alt/indie rock scene of his formative years and the ‘80s synth-pop of his early youth. It’s a sound that the group (rounded out by brothers John Schuman on drums/vocals and Adam Schuman on guitar/vocals) further expand upon on their third full-length, Directions For Daylight, to be released May 21 via Greyday Records (I Was Totally Destroying It, The Heligoats).
The Trophy Fire is comprised of seasoned touring musicians, with the Schuman brothers joining after the demise of San Fran rock unit Cold Hot Crash, and Flanagan playing guitar in such notable groups as The Actual and Dredg. As a member of The Actual (who was signed to Scott Weiland’s Softdrive Records), Flanagan played coast-to-coast arena shows touring with Velvet Revolver and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Weiland and Slash. After moving to the Bay Area, he became casual drinking buddies with members of Dredg and was asked to join them for live tours. By 2009, though, Flanagan decided to work on a studio project that would eventually become The Trophy Fire. Flanagan recalls, “I originally had the idea to make electronic pop-type songs, but I couldn’t put down my love for playing big sounding rock songs. That’s how it morphed into what the group is today.”
After releasing 2010’s debut album, A Lifetime In The Middle Of The Ocean (re-released the following year by Greyday Records), Dredg offered Flanagan the opportunity to have The Trophy Fire open an upcoming tour. However, Flanagan realized that his original rhythm section couldn’t commit to touring full-time. It was then that he recruited the Schuman brothers, who proved to be the perfect element to making what The Trophy Fire is today. “Even though my last name isn’t Schuman, the three of us have become brothers,” Flanagan says of the partnership. “After touring and writing songs together, the band has gone from a solo recording project to having its own entity.” With a stable lineup intact, The Trophy Fire would go on to release the six-song EP Armor and its 2011 sophomore full-length, Modern Hearts. The trio has since taken part in multiple national and regional tours with such acts as Far, The Dear Hunter, I Was Totally Destroying It, Fair To Midland, Balance And Composure and Ozma. Last year’s BFD Fest in Northern California also saw the group share the stage with such notable acts as Jane’s Addiction and Silversun Pickups.
Looking back is a prominent lyrical subject throughout Directions For Daylight, with Flanagan relating how “there’s a theme of nostalgia and how looking back affects you in the present and the future.” A prime example of this is the centerpiece of the album, “Kids,” with its chorus: I wish that we were kids getting high for the first time/but we are just waving goodbye for a lifetime. “There just came a point in my life recently when I realized that as adults, there are no longer many strong first time things to experience. Like first kiss, first love, first highs. You still yearn for that first, but yet it’s not the end of the world for you. So you’re essentially looking back with fondness, but at the same time moving forward with hope,” Flanagan shares. Meanwhile, Flanagan tackles the feeling of being displaced and alienated from modern culture on the upcoming single, “Spinning.”
The album’s first track “Hey Dreamer” just received a world premiere on Bay Area radio powerhouse Live 105 last week and will make its online premiere shortly. The group is also currently working on a music video for “Spinning” to make its online debut in the coming weeks. Dates for The Trophy Fire’s upcoming summer tour for North America can be seen below (with more to be announced shortly).
North American Tour Dates:
6/13 – Oak City 7 @ Raleigh, NC
6/14 – Radio Room @ Greenville, SC
6/15 – The Masquerade @ Atlanta, GA
6/16 – The Milestone @ Charlotte, NC
6/18 – The Whiskey @ Wilmington, NC
6/19 – The Casbah @ Durham, NC
6/20 – 447 @ Cambridge, MD
6/21 – The Cave @ West Haven, CT
6/23 – Knitting Factory @ Brooklyn, NY
6/26 – World Café Live @ Philadelphia, PA