FIREHOUSE (1989–PRESENT). C. J. Snare (vocals), Michael Foster (drums), Bill Leverty (guitar), Perry Richardson (bass).
Firehouse found some success at the end of the pop-metal era, largely on the basis of solid, if cliched, songwriting craft that produced melodic commercial hard rock. Lacking the streetwise image of some of their contemporaries, the band also had a safer, more mainstream appeal that a broader group of fans seemed to connect with.
Formed in 1989, the band won a contract with Epic Records after a showcase later that year. The band’s self-titled first album, released in 1991, quickly went platinum on the strength of the singles “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “Love of a Lifetime,” both of which well represented the band’s ability to deliver solidly commercial, if somewhat corny, radiofare. The band rocked as solidly as many of their contemporaries but were the kind of metal band your mother could listen to. 1992 saw the release of Hold Your Fire, which went gold. In 1995, with popular tastes firmly established in alternative rock, Firehouse took a left turn into their softer more MOR-style leanings, delivering Firehouse III, which was a relative success given the musical climate of the time. The acoustic Good Acoustics album was released in 1996 and was a success, particularly in Asia, where the band would continue to build a strong following, even as their efforts in the states were not as rewarding. Signing with Japanese label Lightyear, the band released the album Category 5 in 1999. The live album Bring ’Em Out Live followed in 2000. With the revival of interest (at least in live venues) for eighties bands, Firehouse has increasingly toured with their former contemporaries, most notably on the “Rock Never Stops” tour with Slaughter and Quiet Riot.
Discography: Firehouse (Epic, 1991); Hold Your Fire (Epic, 1992); Firehouse III (Epic, 1995); Good Acoustics (Sony, 1996); Category 5 (Lightyear, 1999); Bring ’Em out Live (Spitfire, 2000); O2 (Spitfire, 2000); Prime Time (Pony Canyon, 2004); Here for You! (Collectables, 1998); Super Hits (Sony, 2000); Ultimate Collection (Sony, 2003); Firehouse/Hold Your Fire (Acadia, 2007).