Smoke or Fire is an American punk rock band from Boston, Massachusetts.
The band originally formed in 1998, when western Massachusetts natives Joe McMahan (lead vocals and guitar) and Jeremy Cochran (guitar) got together with fellow Boston University students Ken Gurley (bass) and Nick Maggiore (drums), hailing from New Hampshire. Originally calling themselves Jericho, the boys released their debut album, When the Battery Dies, in 2000. Their fan base grew as they played DIY basement shows and small clubs throughout the Northeast.
When living in Boston proved too expensive, the quartet moved to Richmond, Virginia to explore the punk rock scene and to work on their second album.
It was at about this time that band was contacted by a 1970s-era Christian rock band from Australia, also called Jericho, to inform them that the name was already taken. To avoid confusion and legal action, the boys politely amended it to Jericho RVA. The initials were a nod to their adopted hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
Jericho RVA is the name that appears on their 2003 EP Workers' Union. An older version, released under the original name (Jericho), does not include the song "Oxygen" that is on the Jericho RVA release. The other 6 songs of the EP are the same on both records.
Worker's Union caught the attention of reviewers and established bands interested in taking them out on tour. Due to pressure from Deep South Christian fanatics that complained about the religious "blasphemy" of a bible-derived name, Jericho RVA changed their name again to Smoke or Fire.
Due to the strength of the Worker's Union EP, Smoke or Fire were approached by esteemed California punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords in late 2004. Their debut album, Above The City, was co-produced by Fat Mike of NOFX and was released in March 2005. Since then the band has toured the US and abroad many times over. The band released their second album This Sinking Ship on February 20, 2007.
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