Travis James/ Hillside Fire
"Everything you do is up to you," sings vocalist Sebastian Nau, on the song "Designed for this."
This is just one of the many positive, independent messages the band Hillside Fire tries to promote in its eclectic style of music.
Hillside Fire's most recurring song theme seems to be one of perseverance and questioning, something essential to their success in the music industry.
Besides Nau the band consists of (The "James Brothers") Travis James, Taylor James and Shane Schlick.
The band excels at writing songs that have a familiar pop-rock sound with utter originality – from the intricate mandolin playing on “Up From the Ground” to the Santana-esque percussion in “Designed for This.” Though Hillside Fire digs into hard rock, funk and blues, the group’s guitarist's Travis and Sebastian stitch together these different elements with lots of clean solos.
Hillside Fire’s diversity of sounds – which sometimes occur in the same song – can be attributed to the musical influences of songwriters like The Beatles, The Grateful Dead and Jimmy Hendrix.
The Sonoma County-based musicians started writing songs under the band name The Inner Course. “It got us popular around the bar scene,” Nau says. “People were yelling, ‘I love Inner Course!’, we changed the name because we we're coming from the hills trying to bring fire into peoples lives." Deciding to go with the better fitting name Hillside Fire. Since then, the quartet has opened for bluesman Johny Winter, Tommy Castro, jam band ALO, reggae dancehall legend Pato Banton and rockers Blue Oyster Cult. Multi-instrumentalist Nau says the album has a “rock and roll vibe to it with no one specific element holding it all together."
The scorching guitar solo cuts boldly through the drums in the raging song, "Enough Is Enough". Even the vocal style models the varying tempo, modulating from relaxed mutters to strong choruses.
"We want to make it something we can do for a long time, have songs we can sing both now and when we're 45 years old” Nau says about 'Avoid the Rush' “It’s got this wide spectrum, It’s gonna make you feel good. It’s gonna make you feel great. And it’s gonna make you feel horny."
“A hard pumpin refreshing blend of Rock to revitalize any soul.”
Hillside Fire realeased their first full-length album in August '09 and have already completed their 7th D.I.Y. tour of California and beyond...