To create Face the Fire, you must melt components from multiple genres. Start with the driving drums and bass from active rock, throw in the guitar riffs from metalcore/punk. Top it off with some vocalmelodies/screams from all of the above and put it in the urban blender that is Chicago, IL.
Brandon Hammond (vocals), Matt Balhan (lead guitar), Josh LeGrett (rhythm guitar), Kevin Maclean (bass) and Mike Kozlick (drums) came together in the summer of 2015. They started putting together some riffs, some melodies and some choruses. This evolved into an EP. But they needed something to tie it all together.
In stepped Jose Urquiza (3 Years Hollow) and Morgan Rose (Sevendust). The dynamic duo of production worked with Face the Fire and put together a killer debut album, Built to Burn in 2017. “Both of the guys worked together with us on songs from the album and it turned out to be an awesome, educational experience.” Says Brandon.
Educational indeed. So much so that the band wrote their latest release, “Remember What You’re Made Of” in their studio/practice spot in Mokena, IL and picked up Jordon Popp (Seven Day Sonnet) for some finishing touches and production. The song drops on June 11, 2021 and many have said it’s the band’s best work yet.
We chatted with Mike Kozlick, and we got a good answers below…
Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
So we are an active rock/metal core band that is based out of the Joliet IL area. We have been a band for roughly 6 years now.
What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?
My Dad has been a musician his whole life, growing up he had me try every instrument. So he was really the driving force behind getting into music. Honestly, we’ve yet to do an actual tour, but just shows in general, the crowd is the ultimate reward. The adrenaline, you can’t beat that feeling.
So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?
We actually just released our new song “Remember what you’re made of” on June 11th as well as a music video for the new single.
If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I would have to say a sportscaster. HUGE sports fan!
What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?
I really wish I could answer that… But I’ve had many questions that are hilarious and weird. I can’t just pick one. Lol.
If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?
As a band, just how grateful we really are for the ongoing support.
On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
I laughed. Lol. That’s one heck of a scale! They’re both different in a good way. I’m proud of both songs! But we really nailed this new song on the head. “Drowning” is a great song regardless though.
What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?
I would have to say our newest single “Remember what you’re made of”. From the lyrics, to the melodies, to the riffs, to the drums. Just all-around very well put together.
Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?
I think we all can, it’s just about really honing in on your craft and constantly learning.
If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
That’s a good question! Well I was adopted as a baby, and I actually just recently after 27 years, found my biological family.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I’ll say Midnight Green because I’m a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan. GO BIRDS!
Who are you inspired by?
I am inspired by my Dad & Morgan Rose (drummer of Sevendust)
What’s an average day like for you?
I really don’t have an average day, everyday brings something new to my life.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
We interact with our friends through social media. That’s usually the best way to get a hold of us and where we are most active!
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Of course! It’s a mix of anxiety and an adrenaline rush for me personally. But once you get through that first song, it’s usually smooth sailing from there!
Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
Bottom Lounge in Chicago is a personal favorite of mine. House of Blues, LEGENDARY. Great venue!
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
DON’T DO IT! RUN! haha. In all seriousness, just make sure to stop and really take life in. It goes by quick. Also with whatever career path you choose, make sure you put your all into it. Hard work and hustle pays off in the end!