Interview: Through Fire guitarist Justin McCain wants to get a positive message across in the band’s music
“It doesn’t matter what anyone faces in life, whether it’s a relationship or drug addiction, anything can be conquered,” says Through Fire guitarist Justin McCain. It’s a message of hope and resilience that’s prevalent through much of the Omaha, Nebraska’s rock band’s music. McCain actually wrote Through Fire’s latest single, “Breathe,” about a close friend who was dealing with drug addiction.
Through Fire – which includes McCain, vocalist Grant Kendrick, drummer Patrick Mussack and bass player Jesse Saint – are currently on tour with Black Stone Cherry, and McCain took some time out from the run to talk with Anne about the band’s music and message.
Anne: Through Fire’s latest single, “Breathe,” is a powerful song. What is the message you’re trying to get across in “Breathe?”
Justin: I wrote “Breathe” about a person who is close to me and was struggling with a drug addiction. It was really hard for me to watch that and go through experiencing that pain of not being able to do much to help. Everything we tried didn’t do any good. That’s lyrically where it all stemmed from. It was me screaming out for help. It’s also supposed to be a positive message that you can always reach out and ask for help.
Your previous single, “Stronger,” carries a powerful message, as well.
That’s another song I wrote about someone who was close to me. As far as writing, that’s my true passion, and every song I write is based upon my own experience or the experience of someone close to me. For “Stronger,” a close friend was going through a bad relationship, and I felt like, “You’re better than this, and you don’t need to feel so beaten and broken down.” It’s one of those songs about victory. If you’re knocked down, get back up, and you’ll be stronger because of it.
“Breathe” comes off your debut album on Summerian Records by the same name, and you’re releasing a Deluxe Edition of the album on April 7. Tell me about that set.
We’re very excited about that! That will include the extended version of a few of the songs, acoustic versions of “Breathe” and “Stronger” and a cover of Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.” For “Jar of Hearts,” I’ve always liked that song. We had a lot of different ideas in the pot when picking a cover, and we asked our fans, as well. We wanted something that was a little different, as far as the genre, and we wanted to make it our own.
You’re currently touring with Black Stone Cherry.
Yes! With Black Stone Cherry, we’ve known them for several years, and it’s always cool to be on tour with bands that are not only great but also family-oriented people. They make us feel at home and welcome.
You also have dates with Seether and Art of Anarchy up ahead.
We’re really stoked about Seether. We’ve never played with Seether and really dig that band, so it was cool to get the call and find out they picked us to do the West Coast dates on that tour. Art of Anarchy is a cool band and has so many members of different bands – Scott Stapp of Creed, members of Guns N’ Roses and Disturbed – so I’m looking forward to those shows, too. It’s turning out to be a great year.