Almost 10 years ago, Phil “Moon” Sneed and Ryan Phillips of Story of the Year joined Johnny Venus and Mark Joseph Roth of Maybe Today and they made something new and exciting. Greek Fire was, and still is, modern arena rock with a dramatic flair that would make 30 Seconds to Mars jealous. When the band started, we expected them to do amazing things. When “Top of the World” got synchronized with a Big Hero 6 trailer we thought they were going to take over the world. Only that didn’t happen. Almost ten years now and short of some great sync licenses there hasn’t been a ton of things happen with Greek Fire. In our opinion, at least not to the point that the music deserves.
That’s partly because of things just not working out with the climate of the business and that’s partly because of life. Alternative Addiction talked with Greek Fire’s composition mastermind Ryan Phillips about the band’s state of mind going into their new record, BROKEN, what happened to the second part of the two-part “Lost/Found” EPs, and the admiration he has for Moon for what he did on the upcoming record.
“The way things happened over the past year or two we realized that the band was in a dark place,” said Phillips when asked about the second part of Lost/Found. “’Found’ was supposed to be about finding happiness, peace, and calm. We realized we were none of those things. This record is called ’Broken’ and it reflects the lyrics and the state of mind the band was in. I’m proud of it and I think it’s legit art.”
That quote from Phillips makes it sound like walking away from the Lost/Found concept was easy – it wasn’t. The band had been working up to that for years. Walking away from the Found side of things was a decision they felt that they had to make because of both personal and professional turmoil that everyone was going through. On that subject Phillips gave as much information as he could.
“It was hard – obviously I can only speak for myself – but I almost quit the band about ten different times. I wondered if the grind was worth it. I felt that there were weeks and months where I was cranking out songs and trying to make stuff happen and answering emails – really giving it hell. Nothing was happening. Then when there’s strained relationships and stuff within the band and the band dynamic and non-activity/non-productivity; it’s hard. Long periods where you’re dead in the water are demoralizing. I’d like to think of myself as an insanely optimistic dude. But it was hard to keep going at times. Like I said, I almost threw in the towel. I’m glad I didn’t. I’m proud of the record. I write the music and Moon writes the lyrics and it’s very honest and very raw and I don’t think there’s anything else out there like it right now.”
“I can’t speak for Moon but he had some strained relationships and some stuff go on in his personal life. If you listen to the lyrics it’s direct. He had a tough year and good for him putting the pen to paper and turning it into art.”
Read Part Two.