Austin’s Fair City Fire catch a spark —
August 11, 2020

Austin’s Fair City Fire catch a spark

By Cat Cardenas

Fair City Fire

In the year since forming their band, Austin-based rock group Fair City Fire has released their debut EP “Say It Loud,” embarked on their first tour and began recording their first full-length album.

Before the four piece band formed in July 2014, guitarist and vocalist Brian Wolff, bassist Brett Winning and drummer Joe Valadez got to know each other while playing with an Austin-based cover band. After leaving the band, Wolff invited friend Derik Kroeze to join what would become Fair City Fire.

Though none of the members were Austin natives, they had moved here to pursue their careers in music. Kroeze said upon arriving, he thought getting a group together in the live music capital wouldn’t be a problem.

“I think the hardest part of being a musician in Austin was forming a band in the first place,” Kroeze said. “There are so many singer-songwriters or other bands out there, that it’s hard to get started.”

Now that the band performs regularly at venues such as Lambert’s, Blackhearts and Rattle Inn, Wolff said setting themselves apart in Austin’s highly saturated music scene has become their biggest challenge.

“There’s a lot of good and bad that comes with being musicians in Austin,” Wolff said. “We can see great music any night, but the drawback is everyone has a million options. It becomes difficult to try and capture their attention.”

The group has collaborated together on more than 20 original songs, and play a different mix of them at every one of their shows that Wolff said keeps the crowd on their toes.

“It’s hard to say what you can expect from every show because we try to keep it different every time,” Wolff said. “We like to mix up our sets and play all original songs — you’re not going to find any covers at our shows.”

If there’s one thing the band can almost guarantee their listeners it’s a high energy show. From jumping off equipment to accidentally breaking off a piece of the ceiling at Lambert’s, Kroeze said the band gives it their all during each of their shows.

“When people tell us that they enjoyed our show, they usually give one word as their reason — energy,” Kroeze said. “Playing live in front of people is one of the best feelings in the world. There’s nothing quite like it, and that’s why we keep doing it.”

With three of the band members acting as songwriters, Wolff said their influences came from their own personal experiences, giving each song an individual style and different inspirations ranging from relationships to experiences performing on 6th Street. Koreas said as they’ve grown together and written more songs as a collective group, their band’s overall sound developed with them.

“Initially, we had three different songwriters and no matter how you spun it, you could tell who it was,” Kroeze said. “Now, we’ve kind of honed our sound, we’re developing through this collaborative process that gives Fair City Fire its own sound as a band.”

The band wrapped up their first tour in September, traveling around the country and making stops in Cleveland, New Orleans and New York. After returning, they finished their last recording sessions, anticipating the release of their first full length album in the spring.

“Everything seems to move really quickly with this band,” Valadez said. “We already have our EP out and we’re looking forward to this new album. You can expect a little bit of a darker tone from these songs — they take you to a different place than our older songs.”


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