MEET THE BAND
From This Fire hails from Clearwater, Florida. The band describes their music as theirs and theirs alone. You hear hints of Metallica's aggression, Sevendust's syncopation, Breaking Benjamin's hooks, and Stryper's twin guitars. It's a holy alliance of riff rock and open, melodic choruses. Officially starting in 2007, the band gained serious momentum in 2009 when the band was asked to open for the Sick Puppies at the historic State Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL. Since then the boys have rocked such venues as Hard Rock Live in Orlando and Jannus Live in downtown St. Pete, among others. They have played alongside such acts as Candlebox, King's X, Framing Hanley, Filter, Saliva, and Adrenaline Mob. You are the only thing that's missing. You are the fifth member of this band. If you're looking for extreme passion and the flame of the indomitable spirit when we come together as one, then come to a show. If you're on the prowl for energy and mayhem then come to a show. We are waiting…
With the right spark, a fire can catch, and in minutes spiral out of control. With the right precision, this blaze can be controlled and honed and pushed in the direction it needs to go. Drew Bell brings his passion and vision to From This Fire with a seeming reckless abandon. He has a specific plan for the group, however, and to speak with him, you would be able to share in the sheer excitement of the music, from his perspective.
Drew’s beginnings in music formed early on. From two hand-me-down cassette tapes supplied by his brother, he would listen to Stryper’s “Yellow And Black Attack” and “Soldier’s Under Command” over and over. Something about the blazing guitar work and the message convinced him that this is what he wanted to do.
In middle school, Drew formed his first “band.” Sure, no one knew how to play anything or sing a note, but that didn’t stop him from drawing logos all over his notebooks and using art class to perfect the album covers he had in his mind.
Then the real test came. Once in high school, Drew was called upon by his church’s youth group to play drums. He had only to this point played his brother’s set a total of probably two times, and pretty much air-drummed to all of his favorite records. However, he had such a curiosity about different rhythms and drum fills, that he would often painstakingly rewind the CD he was listening to multiple times to hear the fill correctly. He played drums in his youth group for years and still plays drums to this day.
Around twelve-years-old, Drew picked up his brother’s classical guitar, learned the D-chord, and played that one chord for about a year. The large frets proved no match for his smaller hands, and he believed he would stick to pursuing drums. He gave up the guitar, but eventually returned to it a year or so later when his father bought him an acoustic-electric Takamine. This guitar, which Drew still has to this day, is the main guitar he uses to write on.
It was also during these formative years that Drew discovered Metallica’s “Black Album,” and the rest is history in the making. Drew honed his songwriting skills and played with different friends throughout high school. When he was 21, he formed his first “real” band and played guitar and sang lead vocals. Drew continues to focus on his skills to bring the band to the next level. The band, his passion and intense vision, of course, is From This Fire. He continues to write for the next album, and with Brian Bell adding to the low end of the bass guitar, the foursome is back, allowing Drew's passion and intense vision to continue to grow.
DREW BELL STATS
Birthday: December 18th
From: St. Petersburg, FL
Instrument: Guitar, vocals
Inspiration can come from nearly anywhere. Sometimes the influence is closer than you think. Such is the case with Ben Bowman. As From This Fire’s lead guitarist and one of the background vocalists, he doesn’t subscribe to any particular band or style, yet his direction has been clear for some time now.
With a wisdom and maturity beyond his years, this youngest member of the band grew up listening to bands such as Rush, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and AC/DC. Having been raised in church and possessing a strong belief and firm foundation nearly from the start, Ben went through a “formative stage” where he picked up the bass guitar to start playing in local bands in the area. Instead of going for the easy route, he was particularly drawn to the riffing and lead-style bass of Rush’s Geddy Lee.
Ben has a natural ability to learn something and commit it to memory. This, coupled with his constantly-expanding horizon, led him to move easily to the guitar. This occurred around his freshman year of high school, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Looking up to such formidable guitar-driven acts as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains, and even Dream Theater, Breaking Benjamin and Steve Vai, Ben – in such a short time – has become the consummate guitar player.
Largely self-taught, Ben gladly confesses that the single greatest musical influence in his life is his father. Whenever a question arose on technique, phrasing, chord voicing, etc., his father was there to push him past whatever hurdle it might have been.
After playing guitar in many local acts, ranging from scream to punk to contemporary, Ben has developed a versatility that he takes full advantage of. Deciding between two bands that kept pushing their “auditions” off for him, the call came that From This Fire was looking for a guitarist. Being one of the few bands that had a clear purpose, direction, and an absolute agenda, he joined up, and after two weeks, played his first show. The rest is history in the making!
Ben is a riffmaster, adding to the FTF vault at a terrifying pace, allowing Drew Bell plenty of puzzle pieces to get the right song completed.
A proud endorsee of SGC Guitars, Ben has certainly secured his place in the band, and continues to hone his chops in preparation for the next album and the road.
BEN BOWMAN STATS
Birthday: May 18th
From: Tampa, FL
Instrument: Guitar, BGV’s
From This Fire would not be the same band without the thunderous talents of Gabe Higgins. More than just a back beat, Gabe provides the entire backbone of the group and although confined mostly to the drum riser, he manages to push his personality to the front of the stage. The band as a whole pushes to a new level when they feel the excitement and charisma Gabe brings to the table.
The influence of rock’n’roll started early for Gabe, and apparently, hasn’t left him since. His earliest memories include riding in the car with his father while the Rolling Stones or George Thorogood blasted through the speakers. Nothing like driving around town with his dad with “Bad To The Bone” on 11!
When Gabe attended middle school, he began playing the drums and practicing in earnest when he joined the school’s band class. Having a natural ability to play the drums, He was soon asked to play the drums for his youth group. This was where he was able to develop his skills on the drum set. He didn't have drums at home though, and his family wasn't wealthy enough to buy any. However, Gabe’s passion for drums was too strong to let the lack of having money to buy drums keep him from playing. So he took it upon himself to fashion a makeshift drum set at home out of boxes, basketballs, and tin can lids. He even fashioned a working foot-pedal out of home-made materials. Eventually his passion and talent at the drums was more then evident and someone at church took notice. They saw the potential and anonymously donated an entire kit to Gabe. This was a sure sign from above that this is what he was meant to do and since then, playing music has dominated his life. He even took up playing guitar early on just to expand his abilities in playing and writing music. Even joined his first band "Limbo" with some friends at the age of 12. Since then, he has played with many different artists running the genre gamut from blues, to pop, to rock, to country.
Now Gabe is focusing on the style he enjoys to play the most while striving to be the best he can be in doing what he loves. Gabe's larger-than-life stage presence may seem overbearing for other bands to have their drummer become such a personality, but with FTF... it's a perfect fit.
Through a perfect storm of events, an unbelievable game of chess has moved the pieces so undeniably deft that left an opening for Brian Bell to come back. Now that he is once again in the rhythm fold of the band, Gabe is looking forward to locking in for the next album and, ultimately the road! He shares this longtime vision with Drew Bell, and is stoked that this vision is being brought into fruition.
GABE HIGGINS STATS
Birthday: March 23rd
From: Long Island, NY
Instrument: Drums, Percussion, BGV’s
Sometimes the calling is deeply ingrained sometime before birth. It just gets solidified during one’s formative years. Brian Bell’s earliest memories are of being raised in a very musical church. This was his first brush with that calling. Since then music in all forms became an influence on his life.
A normal Friday night would consist of his parents breaking out the 45s. Brian gravitated toward the music of Elvis, as it flowed from the record player and into the house. There was a fun energy and a passion that was there that seemed to stay with him.
Middle school brought Friday night videos and Van Halen’s “Jump,” and the soaring guitar and drumming acrobatics stood out. This opened the floodgates. Brian pretty much taught himself how to play drums and had one of Drew’s elementary school teachers show him some guitar chords. He busied himself playing drums. He was prolific in Rock House, the church band, and formed a local band called Sapphire, attempting to get something off the ground. Mostly big sounding ‘80s rock! The Scorpion’s “Love At First Sting” and Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” paved the way for Stryper.
Brian saw a bonus in Stryper’s music: not only was the playing stellar and the harmonies and hooks intact at a superb level, their lyrics were faith-based. And so it began – a journey with the yellow and black attack that has lasted to this day. Other like-minded bands he was into at the time were Whiteheart, Whitecross, Barren Cross and Bloodgood.
Brian formed another band with Drew: a power trio called Arrival. Brian was vocals and guitar, Drew was on drums and another buddy was on bass. With all the rock, he also finds himself in awe of the vocal stylings and techniques of Take 6 and the high level of musicality of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.
While he enjoys everything from jazz to club music, he always returns to big guitars and big drums and big vocals. Bands like Guns’n’Roses, Warrant and Queensrÿche will always be part of that genetic makeup.
Brian subbed in for bass guitar during the two years of Drew’s first serious band, started in 2001. In 2005, the brothers joined forces with Gabe and attempted again. After these two false starts, Brian and Drew made a demo, calling themselves From This Fire, and the rest is history in the making. After courting Gabe back into the fold, all of the ingredients were almost there.
Brian left to become foster parents with his wife - a full-time job in and of itself. But, through time and patience, Brian hit his stride with the family side of things and was able to come back to the fold. It’s full circle: some of the greatest memories one can have is with family. He recounts hanging with Drew and going to see Rush during their R40 farewell tour, Dream Theater, and with Drew and Gabe at Alter Bridge and Tremonti and Trivium. And now he’s back like a prodigal returned home, to have a strong hand in the musical force that is From This Fire. As one of the founding members, he is more than happy that the door has been opened. He’s definitely back in that proverbial saddle again.
BRIAN BELL STATS
Birthday: July 2nd
From: St. Petersburg, FL
Instrument: Bass guitar, BGV's