Miami Ex-Pats, L.A. Transplants People on Fire Play Polish American Club Tonight

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Miami natives Erik Slemon and Matt Gardner first started making music together more than a decade ago, when they were still apple-cheeked students at Coral Gables High and Columbus, respectively. Perhaps those early attempts were humble -- "We played, like, Nirvana covers at a couple of house parties," Gardner recalls recently, laughing.

But when high school ended, the two ended up far-flung -- Gardner at Florida State, and Slemon in Colorado, where he wound up in a hardcore band that toured nationally and started its own label. But perhaps it was kismet, then, that they reconnected in Los Angeles a couple years back. Gardner was working as a comedy writer there, and Slemon had moved his his hardcore act to the city in an abortive attempt to strike it bigger.

The longtime friends realized the music they made together was better

than anything they had done with their respective projects. Thus was

born People on Fire, originally conceived as a two-person deal, but

later rounded out as a full band. With Slemon on bass, guitars, and

vocals, and Gardner on  the same -- plus synths --  they began to weave

a multi-layered tapestry of indie pop and electronic experimentation.


don't sit down and try to write, say, shoegaze space rock one day. We

write a lot of different things, and we're still refining our sound,"

Slemon says. Be that as it may, the shoegaze tag isn't inappropriate --

there are plenty of wall-of-sound sonic theatrics for people into that.

Interpol fans will find much to like in the driving, dark synth-driven

hooks of songs like "Statues." Above all, though, Slemon's vocals are

sweet, and keep things anchored in pop.

Check it tonight at the Polish American Club, in a Miami-tastic lineup that includes punk rock lifers the Crumbs, and up-and-coming bratty space-riffers Rebel.


on Fire, with Rebel and the Crumbs. Friday, July 3. Polish American

Club, 1250 NW 22nd Ave., Miami Show starts at 9 p.m. 305-635-2240; thepolishamericanclub.com

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.