FIRES WERE SHOT
Reverently expanding the rules of tradition, experimental acoustic guitar duo FiRES WERE SHOT engineer a spectrum of tonal odysseys while elaborating American folk roots. For over two decades, Clay Walton and John Wilkins have embraced abstract methods to compose transformative six-string instrumental duets that range from Appalachian ragas to textural collages. Fusing classic fingerpicking with modern effects and unorthodox techniques, Walton & Wilkins breach the expectations and limits of guitar playing to spring forth new pan-genre horizons. Walton & Wilkins are both native Texans who started playing music and studying various instruments at an early age. As adults, they became friends in college and eventually settled into the musical hub of Austin in the mid-’90s. After years of divergent musical paths, the pair bonded over the tactile physicality and pure sounds of the acoustic guitar, forming FiRES WERE SHOT in 1998. Applying Walton’s education in classical guitar with Wilkins’ experience in shoegaze and post-rock bands, FiRES WERE SHOT began constructing unconventional songs fundamentally rooted in the traditional. Their sound became defined by radiating hints of folk and bluegrass processed and looped through heavy delay, developing layers of depth within cascading cycles of melodic progressions. Skillfully orchestrating everything from delicate pad swells to thick percussion, Walton & Wilkins use devices like slides, bows, screwdrivers and even power tools to play the guitar, building a variety of sounds from one instrument. In addition to their lengthy discography of LP’s, EP’s, cassette releases and film scores, the duo have archived over one hundred hours of demo work on four-track tapes, forming a distinctly timeless aesthetic that merges eras and genres. Drawing from an array of influences, FiRES WERE SHOT have continued to proliferate their mystique with an unflagging dedication to their inventive process.