By Isaac Rodriguez
Rock Legends Photographers
I had the pleasure today of meeting and watching the band Firefall perform. Firefall delivered an awesome concert which had the crowd cheering and singing along. This performance was at The Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida on November 12th. This is an awesome venue with very reasonable prices for their events, and a very friendly and helpful staff. I also had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Jock Bartley, one of the founding members of the band. A special thank you to Michelle and Lisa for making this possible.
Q: What music or musician did you listen to that inspired you as an artist?
A: The main group of course was the Beatles when they came out, and they changed the world. Beatlemania took over! They were great song writers and
singers, but when I heard Eric Clapton play for the first time the heavens opened up and I said “I want to do that”.
Q: Do you have a favorite city you just love to play in?
A: We live in Colorado, and outside of Denver is Red Rocks which is an outdoor amphitheater. It is beyond belief, it is gorgeous, mother nature at its finest. Also Maui in Hawaii is not bad, but I would say near my home town of Denver at Red Rocks is my favorite.
Q: Do you have a favorite song that you just love to play?
A: The two favorite songs that Firefall plays that I absolutely love is “Cinderella” because it sounds so magical when we play it. Also the song “Mexico” where I get to play lead guitar. Rick Roberts wrote that song , and I was pretty much born to play that tune. It just really fits with my style.
Q: Do you have any tour plans outside the U.S. ?
A: Right now we don’t have any. We have been to Japan a number of times, have played in Germany and France a few times. Right now there is nothing planned outside the U.S. I’d love to go, so if you know of anyone that wants to book us let us know.
Q: What would you say was your most embarrassing or funniest moment on stage?
A: ( laughter) We toured a lot with Fleetwood Mac during the Rumors tour in 1977. The last gig we played with Fleetwood Mac was front of 75,000 people. I had just bought a pair of really tight black satin pants. I was dancing around playing lead guitar, and on the very last song I split my pants, and there was no underwear underneath. So I kind of just backed up into my amp, I don’t think anyone out front saw anything, but there was a couple of hundred people backstage that did. So that was an embarrassing thing.
Q: Is there a group or individual other than your current band members that you would just love to jam with?
A: There is a lot of people, and I have been really fortunate to have been able to sit in with a lot of great bands like The Doobie Brothers, Heart, John Mayall and the Blues Breakers. I would love to play on stage with Ringo Starr of The Beatles. That probably will never happen, but it’s a good dream to have.
Q: Do you have any new projects in the works?
A: We are going to be making a new album in the next three to six months. It will be out sometime in 2014. So we are working on a new Firefall record. I have a couple of projects including I wrote a song a number of years ago called “Walk more softly” which is about people being nicer and more respectful to each other. It’s also about taking better care of the environment. I also do a lot of work in elementary and middle schools giving assemblies and playing songs. I am teaching kids about being more respectful to each other and also the planet. That really feels good and hopefully changes a few kids’ lives.
Q: Is there a question you would like to answer that no interviewer ever asked?
A: No, can’t think of one.
Q: We have asked them all?
Q: Is there a favorite band that you just love to tour with?
A: Back in the day it was really fun to travel with The Doobie Brothers. Also Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t think we are that level anymore. I would love to play more shows with The Doobie Brothers.
Q: Have you heard of the Rock Legends Cruise?
A: I have.
Q: Is that something that, if contacted, would interest you?
A: Yes, and we would love to go on a cruise where we go to Belize or the Caribbean. We would play one or two shows, do little seminars, and whatever,
we would get close to the fans. Sign us up, we would go on the first cruise offered. So yeah we would love to do it.
Q: What would you say is the difference between the original band and the Firefall of today?
A: The original Firefall was very magical, and the sound we made which people still hear on the radio today is what we sounded like, and was what people came to know and love. It was the 70’s so we had a couple of guys in the band who did not take care of themselves in terms of drugs and alcohol. So one of the main differences is that in the current band we are all adult grown men. We know how to take care of each other and be responsible, and pull off the gig every night. One of the main differences is that now we are in top shape every night.