Fightstar are a British alternative rock band from London, England, formed in 2003. The original lineup consists of lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Charlie Simpson, lead guitarist and vocalist Alex Westaway, bassist Dan Haigh and drummer Omar Abidi.
During the band's initial emergence, they were faced with much scepticism due to Simpson's former pop pop music career. However, they began to receive positive reactions to early live shows and their debut extended play, They Liked You Better When You Were Dead (2005) was a critical success. Indeed, debut album Grand Unification Grand Unification (album) (2006) was regarded as "one of the best British rock albums of the past decade" by Kerrang! editor Paul Brannigan.
The band went onto receive nominations at the Kerrang! Awards for 'Best British Newcomer' and 'Best British Band', before releasing second album, One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours (2007). The follwing year a compilation album including b-sides and rarities titled, Alternate Endings (2008) was released. The four-piece then self funded and co-produced third album, Be Human Be Human (album) (2009), which heavily featured orchestral and choral elements. It became their highest charting album after peaking at number twenty in the UK Albums Chart.
Origins (2003 - 2004)
The band formed in the latter part of 2003 during a party at Simpson's London home. He was then still an active member of chart topping pop band pop music Busted Busted (band) . Drummer Omar Abidi had been completing a sound engineering diploma at college, whilst guitarist Alex Westaway had recently moved down to London after dropping out of university. Westaway had also invited old school friend, bassist Dan Haigh, who at the time was based in London working for a game development company.
Due to Gut Records going into administration at the end of 2008, Fightstar decided to put out their new album Be Human on their own, in a joint venture with their management company Raw Power on a label called Search and Destroy. The new record was distributed through PIAS Records Play It Again Sam (record label) . In an interview Charlie Simpson said "This was something that we had always wanted to do and figured this would be the perfect time to do it. It is an exciting prospect to be able to own the rights to our own record with the music industry changing at such a rapid pace, I think it's something that more bands will be looking to do in the future."
Be Human (2008 - present)
Fightstar released their first single from the new album Be Human Be Human (album) , "The English Way", on 3 November 2008 and it reached number 1 in the UK rock chart. The video was played on Kerrang! and Scuzz T.V. stations and also reached number 1 on the MTV2 top 10. The album was co-produced by the band along with Carl Bown, in Bown's state of the art Chesterfield based studio; Treehouse Studios. In interviews leading up to the album release, the band commented that the new record would be "quite different" from their previous releases. Charlie Simpson stated they wanted to experiment with more of a "rock opera" sound including full strings and choir. However, he also pointed out that although it may be different, it will remain Fightstar and still include their trademark dark and heavy elements.
The band supported Feeder Feeder (band) for the first part of their UK tour, which started on 21 October 2008. Drummer Jason Bowld had filled in for drummer Omar Abidi on their UK tour, while he recovered from a broken wrist. Abidi returned to touring with the band early in 2009. Due to Abidi's hand injury, Simpson filled in to play drums on six tracks for the new album.
It was then rumoured that, Be Human, would be re-released in late 2009 and it is believed the new, deluxe version could contain four or five new songs. One of the new songs could be a cover version of Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield," which the band performed informally earlier in the year in the BBC Radio1 Live Lounge. The cover was met with great approval and Sparks herself said on radio that she was a fan of Fightstar and believed they should cover the song.
On the 12th October the band posted pictures on their myspace site from their latest music video shoot for new song "A City on Fire". The song subsequently was played for the first time during Fearne Cotton's show on Radio 1 on October 19 and the offical video premiered on the bands MySpace on October 24, which was directed by the team at Sitcom Soldiers. The single was released as a digital download music download on December 20, peaking at number 116 on the UK Singles Chart, and number four and number ten on the UK Rock UK Rock Chart and Indie UK Indie Chart charts respectively. The band have since re-released the deluxe edition of Be Human on March 1, 2010.Fightstar's sound has generally been regarded as post-hardcore. Charlie Simpson has echoed this sentiment by describing the bands musical aim as trying to "combine the light and dark shades, to make something utterly brutal and really heavy, and on the other side have something really delicate and beautiful. The fusion of those things is what Fightstar does."
Their music has also been labeled as alternative rock, emo Emo music and more recently, containing "experimental experimental rock " tendencies with third album, Be Human Be Human (album) (2009) implementing choral and orchestral elements. The band states they are largely influenced by film scores,
During 2009, Kerrang! Magazine Kerrang! wrote about the band, "Backed by bassist Dan Haigh, guitarist Al Westaway and drummer Omar Abidi, their first EP Extended play demonstrated a love of post-rock, a sound that has shaped their subsequent releases despite moves into more metallic heavy metal music , hardcore and now inventive rock rock music territory with an orchestral twist. It's been an impressive journey for Simpson, first regarded with scepticism to one that is now thought of as the leader of one of the country's finest rock bands. It's been a voyage achieved through the sheer love of what he does, combined with hard work and a thick skin.";Official Members
*Charlie Simpson — lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keys keyboardist (2003—present)>
*Alex Westaway — lead guitar, vocals (2003—present)>
*Dan Haigh — bass guitar (2003—present)>
*Omar Abidi — drums Drum kit , percussion percussion instrument (2003—present)>
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