Trascript from an Interview with Steve Cooke
'Friendly fire' started out in 1991, initially as a band based in Aberystwyth and later as a recording project in Teesside for singer-songwriter Steve Cooke...
"I am a songwriter, performer and producer based in north-east England and have recently returned to music-making after several years pursuing other projects.
My music combines quirky and thoughtful lyrics with elements of funk, acid jazz, electronica, blues and post-punk alternative rock.
I regularly perform live, including at open mic nights. For news of gigs, appearances and releases, please follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thestevecooke. My gigs are also shown in the Songkick feed below. To enquire about my availability for a show, please drop me a line via SoundCloud or any of the social networks listed above.
"I enjoyed every track you made and will be playing them also on my radio shows. 'Agree To Differ', 'Cop Car Chase', 'Teardrops', all of them [are] funky for me and I will let others feel the vibe of your music." Afrika Bambaataa (via SoundCloud)
"Some of the most exhilarating indie tunes I've heard. It takes something special to blend intelligence and critical wit with this degree of catchy songwriting mastery." Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough)
"The title track 'Alright For Some' [is] a very Stranglers-influenced song with a really catchy hook-line that cries out to be a single. ... this is one of the best tapes I've heard in a long time." Evening Star (Ipswich)
Why this name?
'Friendly fire' was very topical at the time, with the first Gulf War taking place the same year that the band was formed (1991). It's also a peculiar phrase - an oxymoron and ironic in its original use, humorous and tragic at the same time. And people who don't actually realise the intended meaning of the term - i.e., accidentally firing at your own side during a military conflict - sometimes imagine all manner of alternative meanings.
Of course, a similar name has been used more recently by a band that's had rather more success commercially. And good luck to them.
My influences include Alabama 3, Lo-Fidelity Allstars, Sly and The Family Stone, Us3, Luke Haines, Carter USM, Howlin' Wolf, Eels, Propellerheads, Gang of Four, Tindersticks, Stereo MC's, Randy Newman, Devo, Leonard Cohen, The Clash, Massive Attack, Aimee Mann, The Chemical Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, Herbie Hancock, Primal Scream, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Black Grape, Mark Eitzel, American Music Club, Mr. Scruff, David Bowie, Jimmy Smith, Kraftwerk, Frank Tovey (aka Fad Gadget), Ian Dury, Shriekback, XTC, The The, Elvis Costello, PJ Harvey, Japan, Fila Brazillia, Television, John Cooper-Clarke, Adrian Mitchell, Attila the Stockbroker and John Carpenter's film soundtracks.
Do you play live?
Friendly Fire is not an active project at the moment. The last FF recording was made in 2000.
There are more FF songs, plus more recent material, available at SoundCloud.
Equipment used: Most of the Friendly Fire tracks featured here were recorded at 16-track analogue studios in Hartlepool (north-east England) and Lampeter (mid-Wales), circa 1992-3. The only synths used on those recordings were a Yamaha QY10 'walkstation' sequencer/tone module and a Casio CZ1000.
'Blister My Paint', recorded on a digital eight-track in 2000, features the Yamaha QS300 synth and an SU10 sampler.
Further songs by Friendly Fire, and also from more recent projects, can be found at SoundCloud.
Official Steve Cooke's website: http://soundcloud.com/stevecooke