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We're Not Listening

Light Me Up - Fire Motion, pt. 1

This isn’t always the case, but there don’t seem to be many bands out there who don’t start out with a vocalist. A lot of the time, it seems like a band is formed by the singer, and by default they become the frontperson. Obviously, this isn’t a blanket statement, and you’re about to find out why with an example of the very first band that was signed to Not Listening Records.

Fire Motion was a band that had built itself over a pretty long period of time. Four of the five members had known each other in high school, and that’s when they started to jam out together. They played a weird kind of music that probably wouldn’t have been accepted anywhere other than Gainesville, which they hailed as their hometown, and they didn’t even get their name until they finally got a vocalist.

Johnny and Sam Howard were brothers, and they were the official “root” of this band. Both of them had grown up together with guitars in their grubby little hands, Sam being the older and wiser of the two despite only being a year ahead of Johnny. They had an interesting dynamic. When they played their guitars together, their personalities had come through – Sam’s style was more organized and technical, dreamlike twangs contrasting against Johnny’s more punk-influenced power chords and heavy riffs.

They never really set out to be in a band together. It just sort of happened. They seemed to be polar opposites and bickered like brothers would, but at some point when Johnny was in eighth grade and Sam was in his freshman year of high school, it was accepted – they were born to make music together. Fate is a strange thing, whether you believe in it or not.

Another thing they never really intended to happen was meeting two other kids in their high school who seemed to share a love of music with them. Their names were Anthony Tomlinson and Gunner Bell, a drummer and a pianist respectively, and Sam met both of them when they were all in the jazz band at their alma mater, before Johnny had even entered high school.

They grew up on southern rock and the classics, and Anthony even dabbled in punk rock, evidenced by the attitude he sported and the way he always worked off of Johnny with their energetic antics, onstage and off.

These four boys never really called themselves a true band, though. It was strange to think about, how they could all meet up at one of their houses one day and rock out to their favorite songs, and then a week later they’d just wave to each other in the hallways without even acknowledging the musical chemistry they shared.

Nobody ever really had their feet firmly on the ground. None of them really knew what they wanted to do in life. They didn’t want to go to college, they didn’t have hobbies other than the music they played on their own time, occasionally they’d go to parties and end up stumbling drunk back to their houses, desperate for their parents not to find out (Sam had a bad habit of being more sarcastic when drunk), and…well, there wasn’t really a big bang that started their band.

It was more of a buildup. Many small factors came together, some all at once.
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And we're on to Fire Motion! :)