Today’s alternative rock bands want to have their cake and eat it, too. They strive to appear enigmatic and arena-ready. Consider 30 Seconds to Mars, whose last album tried, embarrassingly, to carry post-grunge’s emotional baggage with lofty hooks and choruses shouted at the rafters.
Fighting the Influence aims to step up to the stadium as well with their single “Come Alive.” Anthemic and angsty, their sound shoots beyond small-town airwaves; yet unlike 30 Seconds to Mars, who are all sound and fury, FTI signifies something.
FTI formed in 2007 in Providence, RI, and soon found themselves carving their own pop-rock niche in the middle of Providence’s hard-rock and metal scenes. The band also took flak for their Christian faith, from Christians and non-Christians alike. After a few years of doggedly walking the fine line between good music and sincere faith, FTI released “Come Alive” and its parent album of the same name in April 2011. “This new record represents who we are as a band better than our other records,” declares FTI singer, songwriter, and guitarist Josh Pereira. “It captures our live sound so well.” If the album’s big riffs and big themes are an indication, the band is ready to take that live sound to larger audiences.
Indeed, “Come Alive” manages to sound vibrant with its crunchy guitars and huge drum sound. The tight, impeccable production packs a punch, too. And that’s the point. “Come Alive, as the first single, is the concept of this concept album,” Pereira explains. “It’s about becoming who you were created to be, and fighting against the influence of anything trying to make you who you’re not.”
“Come Alive” has given FTI exposure to new audiences, and Pereira says the band is excited to broaden its horizons. Case in point: they’ll be opening for classic-rock stalwarts Styx at an upcoming festival in Connecticut. Perhaps alternative rock can be soul-searching and stadium-ready after all.