It must have been frustrating at the time to have to wait. I guess it makes sense because you can better concentrate on the release and promoting it.

I don’t know any musician who likes waiting for a record to come out because it represents where you’re at in that specific point of time, so the quicker it can be out and heard by the public, the better. Then you can move on and get on with doing your new music. So we were kind of in limbo in that regard, and as happy as I am with the album, it represents us then and not now. If we went into the studio, it would be quite a different record we’d make.

How so?

Well, we’ve had even more time together as a band. Obviously Ludwig and I have been in the studio many times, but with Smok, this particular amalgamation of the three of us, that was the first time. We did okay given the circumstances, but I just know that next time it will be even better and I think generally we’re looking to make a more varied album next time. We’ve been talking about this a lot over the years and for one reason or another, we’ve never really tackled it, mostly due to time constraints. If we have a limited amount of time in the studio, the one thing we know we can do very efficiently is record a whole batch of riff rock tunes in that kind of old school style. That tends to be what we fall into doing. It’s fairly risk-free, but I think if we’re organized this time, we’ll probably work on a lot more material in advance, so we’ll probably have an album and a half, maybe two albums, of material. If we can demo some beforehand, even better. We’re definitely going to play as much live as we can. Yeah, we’ll probably try and at least take a step outside the comfort zone on a few tracks. It’s just the only way to get better, is to test yourself and try different things.

You can hear growth and change from album to album with Firebird, but are you conscious of keeping the sound within the parameters of what the band does? Or does that kind of thing not matter?

That is a very good question, because when I started the group, at the back of my mind was the thought that we set it up so if we did try certain things, for example some acoustic music or tracks that are a bit softer, that it wouldn’t be a problem. I was hoping when we did our first album we got that vibe across to some degree, like yes, it was a predominantly riff rock band heavily influenced by some of that music from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, but sometimes we just have a track which was more like conventional songwriting. Chord sequence and a melody. Even a track which might be considered by some as a ballad. Whatever. On the five records we’ve done, we’ve only just hinted at that, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to say about the next album. I think we just need to be a little bit bolder. It’s good to have limitations, we clearly do have limitations because we’re a three-piece. When you play live, there’s so many things you can’t do for that reason, and it’s quite important to just have those kind of parameters sometimes. But yeah, I would like to stretch it more than we have so far.

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