Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

LOCAL SCENE [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

LOCAL SCENE [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

White Like Fire greets the 'Apocalypstic'

* White Like Fire made it to SXSW in the best way possible -- with a little corporate money.

The Pittsburgh trio, formed in Shippensburg three years ago, beat out 7,000 other bands to win the SonicBids JanSport Battle of the Bands, giving the group seven showcases and $5,000 in expenses.

"Even if we had to pay for gas and sleep in the van all week, we still would have done it -- it is such a rad experience," says guitarist/backing vocalist Blake Clawson. "We got some cool opportunities to perform in front of some cool people, partied a lot, did not sleep."

It's easy to see how White Like Fire took the prize as the three guys look the part and come at you with waves of hooks and a catchy power-pop sound you can file with Phoenix, early MGMT and Two Door Cinema.

The SXSW trip was a nice set up for the band to follow last year's EP with the new album "Apocalypstic."

"The new LP is more [ticked] off while keeping the same emotive pop hooks and disco beats that made us a party band to begin with," the guitarist says. "People in Pittsburgh, or any local scene, don't want to be inspired, and they don't want to hear shallow love songs either for that matter, but everyone wants to forget about their [stuff] and party."

The lead-off track, "See How Far," snagging a riff from Phoenix, is the best showcase of the band's shimmery guitar work, percolating energy and the excitable vocals of singer/bassist Tyler Clawson (Blake's brother).

" 'See How Far' was actually more inspired by Oberhofer and his glockenspiel lines. We wanted to make a guitar riff that sounded like bells. That's the riff I wrote. Then we ended up getting a glock anyway for the chorus build, funny enough. But it does sound like Phoenix. We've been compared to those Frenchmen before."

The song "Witness" will be featured on the CMJ April 2014 Mixtape. The band built these little walls of sound with producer David Klug (not the Hector in Paris drummer/illustrator).

"David Klug is an OCD detail-oriented freak with a metal background," Mr. Clawson says. "He has a basement studio in Mount Washington, where we argue and fight over how to mic guitars and how loud the drums should be, and in the end we come out with a product we are proud to put our names on. …

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