Burns Like Fire Punks Just Wanna Have Fun Talking on the phone with the members of Burns Like Fire while they're on the road is strange. It's hard to imagine the scene on the other end of the line. They're probably sitting outside a smelly van, exhausted and hungry, waiting to play for the sixth night in a row. But when you hear the little chuckles and jabs at each other between responses, that image is totally obscured by another: four guys driving around the country, playing music and genuinely enjoying life. Tyler Capehart Burns Like Fire Smith and Co. Have been out on the road since July 1, hitting bars and small clubs across the Southeast, in preparation for the release of their first full-length in August. That path is pretty well worn for the Burns Like Fire guys. Reading the list of BLF members' previous bands-Guff, Community Chaos, Celerity, Karbomb-is like reading a "Best Athens Punk Bands of the 2000s" ballot. But projects come and go, and in 2009 the soon-to-be members of Burns Like Fire found that their current projects were sort of stalling. "The flame was dying on 'em," says Smith. "So, we just found a new project." That "we," includes Smith, former Celerity drummer Parker Bradshaw and Karbomb guitarist Web Couch. A couple of months later, Guff's Charley Ferlito joined temporarily to fill in on bass. Or, if you fast-forward to 2011 while the guys are wandering around Mobile, AL, you can get Ferlito's version: "Their bass player sucked, so I was like, 'Hey, let me play bass,'" he says laughing while his bandmates undoubtedly snicker in the background at his smartass comment. Ferlito quickly corrects himself. He hopped onboard initially as a short-term member and, as he explains, "I liked it so much I wanted to stay, and they were nice enough to let me stay." While this may seem entirely too sappy for a punk band, it's hard to ignore that these guys really do enjoy hanging out together, and that's why they keep playing and play so well together. But it's not their friendship that books shows. No, for that a punk band needs years of experience on the road, musical chops and a kick-ass live show. Oh, that's right, Burns Like Fire has all that, too. "You have to play the really crappy show," says Smith, speaking on something everyone in BLF has done many times. "Get to play that first one, then everybody knows who you are and then you make friends, and the more you're able to do that, the more you can get out on the road." With years of touring experience, each of Burns Like Fire's members have made connections like that. And with their amped-up alt-pop-punk and energetic, unpredictable live shows, they can make the most of those connections. That means booking shows with bands like old-school punk rockers Sloppy Seconds later this month and getting the opportunity to work with big names like Roger Manganelli (Less Than Jake), who produced their upcoming LP, and Stephen Egerton (Descendents, All), who mastered it. But don't worry, they're not getting big heads. Burns Like Fire is still a good ol' bunch of Athens punks enjoying every show they get to play. "We're all smilin' at the end of the night," Smith says. "Or throwing up on something."