“It’d be really easy to sit here and tell you how much I like Gang of Four and Mdou Moctar,” guitarist Jeff Barsky says, “but I really feel that the way we write is like news reporting, where the influences aren’t things you love — you’re influenced by everything you hear.”
For Barsky and the band, those influences are the literal sounds of car horns and trucks of Washington, but also the psychic screams that emanate from the city’s political engine.
“Obviously, the last three years in America are probably more of an influence than any record I’ve heard in the last couple of years,” Barsky says.
The day-to-day reality of souls glowing and being crushed, in the District and globally, is translated into music as the band extracts ideas from improvisation. Along with Barsky, Time Is Fire features guitarist Matt Perrone, bassist Kai Filipczak, drummer Jim Thomson and vocalist-lyricist Kamyar Arsani.
“Every band I’ve been in is a type of group therapy, no matter what is happening in my personal life or in the world I live in,” Thomson says. That’s no different in Time Is Fire, where he and the other members look to instigate personal and political change with their music.
“We see what is happening, and we already have the power,” Arsani explains, “but what we need to do is to get up, we need to dance and snap out of the question — we already have the answer — it’s acting.”
Show: Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW. dc9.club.com. $10-$12.