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Fighting with Fire to light up the music stage
On Stage at the Lee Burrows Center for the Arts: Fighting with Fire.
Tickets: Can be bought for $10 at the Yuba-Sutter Regional Arts Council office or at the door on Thursday evening.
Fighting with Fire, made up of four Yuba City High School students, moved into studio space at Art-O-Culture in downtown Marysville last year to begin to develop their sound. Frequently walking by local artists' work to rehearse their tunes, one piece consistently stood out to the group.
Guitarist and vocalist Wayne Gray said he noticed local artist and Yuba City native Don Payne's abstract piece "Dance on the Film," because it reminded him of night terrors he had at a younger age. The colors, Gray went on to say, were dreamlike and the shapes of the piece looked like "smoky and hot figures."
The chaos of the painting resonated so much with the group that the piece will be featured as the album cover for the band's EP, "Dangerous Moonlight," set to be released this summer. The piece can also be heard at 7 p.m. Thursday evening as Fighting with Fire performs as part of the Yuba-Sutter Regional Arts Council's On Stage series at the Lee Burrows Center for the Arts.
The band, which says their influences range from The Strokes to Buddy Holly, is made up of Christian Abshier on drums, Deven Pike on bass, Rex Smith on lead guitar, and Gray on guitar and vocals.
With four concerts scheduled in March and a show at The Cave Live in Yuba City in April, the band has come a long way from playing gigs like an event in a supermarket's parking lot.
"It's a reality check, it really is," Pike said. "It goes from us being a garage band to actually being something."
Much like the chaos and drama in Payne's painting, the themes in the band's songs often draw from struggle in personal experiences.
"Not a lot of people realize it, but teenagers go through some of the hardest relationship problems. Everything hits you harder because its your first exposure to this kind of stuff," Gray said.
Songs like "Surface Cracks," which deal with a roller coaster relationship, to "Mrs. Lullaby," a song that is an homage to Gray's mother when she would calm him down from dark dreams, are songs that will be on the upcoming EP. Rounding out the album will be an untitled song and the band's single "Stay on the Screen."
Being able to translate their experiences into unique sounds for others to connect with is something the band sees as worthwhile.
"It's all about the American dream. It shows that you can literally take a couple of strings on a guitar and some words in your brain and make a life out of it, and you can make something new," Gray said.
Chasing the Russian opening
Saying "we be jamming" to describe their ambient, progressive rock sound, Yuba-Sutter band Chasing the Russian will open Thursday evening's concert. Made up of Cameron Cavsos on guitar, Steven Basse on drums, and Kyle Montgomery also on guitar, the band has played shows in the Yuba-Sutter area for a few years.
"It's a good opportunity, good exposure," Basse said of being able to play at Lee Burrows this week. The group often performs with Art-0-Culture house band Fighting with Fire at the downtown Marysville gallery.