Openfire caught our attention with their funky blend of indie pop and electronic so we decided to have a chat with the band to see what’s up.

There’s no shortage of talented artists in Australia but Openfire are a band that certainly caught our eye with their unique mix of indie, pop, and electronic music.

Having made a splash with their 2019 album, Reverie, the Adelaide-based quartet – Harry Van Der Lende, Luka Sandeo, Anthony Donato, and Rosh Ibrahim – keys, guitar, saxophone, vocals. are back with their latest single ‘Wonderland’, which feels like sometime taken from the pages of a book written by Tame Impala, Matt Corby, and Paramore.

Since Openfire are a rising band to definitely keep an eye on, we decided to have a chat with them as part of our popular Get To Know series.

How did your artist name come about?

We really put our heads together after jamming for a while together and two things became really apparent about our band dynamic. We as individuals, and in our message as a band, were fierce and unapologetic.

But also, our sense of family is really important to us and creating that warm space for people to come to and belong to. The double entendre of Openfire being a command to relentlessly unleash everything you have but also a light and warm place that people share stories around and experience family, seemed perfect as a band name.

How would you describe your music to your grandma?

“Imagine if Prince made friends with Led Zeppelin and then time travelled to the future to hang out with Billie Eilish… No grandma, Led Zeppelin isn’t the devil’s music.”

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Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

‘Wonderland’: ‘Wonderland’ was written as a question to the band – would you give anything for your dream? Using themes from Alice in Wonderland and envisioning the Cheshire Cat, we really tried to create the uncertainty and unpredictability of ‘Wonderland’ in the song – to have it illustrate itself. The song for us and we hope for the listener, doubles as a warning and as a mantra to live by – you’ll make it if your will is strong. Ultimately, it’s a reminder to chase what matters and don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

‘2am’: The first single we made and the first song we completely trusted. ‘2am’ was the product of Anthony and Luka meeting at university, and just jamming on the first idea that they had… and it became our lead single! It’s a song about running after relationships that only serve to hurt you, rather than help you, and musically it seemed an appropriate place to start our journey as a band.

‘Colours’: ‘Colours’ was the first song we properly worked on as a quartet, with the four of us really speaking into the song and it’s direction from the get go.

What do you love about your hometown?

There is something so special about being able to go 30 minutes in any direction from the heart of the city and you’ll be in a completely different landscape, whether than be an awesome beach, the
middle of a small forest in the hills or out in the country!

Nature is still so present for us here and it’s easy to just get away when you need to breathe! A wonderful, close-knit community of musicians here that are all killing it in their own ways.

Career highlight so far?

By far and away it was our first gig, at the Chateau Apollo. To have finally been able to show our fans, friends and family what we as a band had been working on for so long felt oh so rewarding to

It was a night that really cemented in our own minds that we had to be making and playing music for the world.

Fave non-music hobby?

Anthony: None!

Harry: A day playing cricket with the team, followed by a trip to the pub.

Rosh: Basketball.

Luka: Cooking and styling or altering clothes.

What’s on your dream rider?

Purple Rain on vinyl, some peppermint tea, and glitter makeup (since Luka keeps losing his).

Dream music collaboration?

Lady Gaga. She thinks in a visual way, she would vibe with us throughout the whole music creation process.

Visuals matter so much to us, including concepts, music videos and costumes – she’s so inspiring. She helped Luka come to terms with his sexuality and so holds a special place in his heart.

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Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

An end goal for us is Glastonbury. Whether that takes 10 years or 30. We also want to be working with the people that inspire us and helped us get to where we are now and where we will be.

We want to be a vision and a light for everyone, to see people step into who they were always meant to be.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

The Fugees’ ‘Killing Me Softly With his Song’ or ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince HANDS DOWN! Send the power ballad after a couple of drinks, I can’t promise it’ll be in key and I cant promise we’ll do it in unison but damn it’s a good time!

What’s on the cards for the future?

Honestly it looks like touring FINALLY! We have so many people keen to play with us and so many places we’re keen to play. Obviously we’re releasing a stack of music and just living our best life together. Watch this space!

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