NewsCarroll County


Singing with Asperger bringing hope center stage

Posted at 11:59 PM, Apr 26, 2019

CARROLL COUNTY, Md. (WMAR) — With Thousands of streams and more fans everyday, Ignite The Fire is burning bright.

“I’m in a band with four other equally passionate individuals who have the exact same dream as I do to become a musician and to change the world with our music,” Singer Jack Gurecki said.

Gurecki draws on the controlled aggression of Slipknot and the patience and emotion of Pink Floyd.

BUt before the spotlight and the music there were the questions as parents at daycare noticing something was off.

“They didn’t realize that I could hear their conversations some of the time,” Gurecki said. “Every time they brought me up, they asked me what was wrong with me.”

His mom read an article about a boy with Asperger's.

“When she read it, she broke down crying and said, 'this is my son.'”

Ignite the fire Guitarist Michael Nelson grew up with Jack. They bonded over their love of music.

“Kids are awful, so you know anyone that was different their going to get it,” said Nelson. “He took his fair share, but the thing was he just kept on doing his thing.”

Growing up on the spectrum isn't easy.

“One of the things that I’ve noticed about Asperger's is that sometimes I feel like what’s in here(pointing to his head) is common knowledge,” said Gurecki. “I’ve made that mistake several times, where I will say something that makes sense to me that may not make sense to somebody else.”

As Mike and Jack's musical literacy increased, their understanding of how "people" work grew through each other.

“Sometimes sarcasm is a little over his head,” Nelson said. “It’s helped me become a better person, though, definitely. It takes patience and understanding to deal with someone whose mind works differently than yours. You have to understand that and be able to work around that.”

Caelan Gregory is a founding member of Ignite the Fire.

A few years ago, they were looking for a new singer, and Jack responded to one of their fliers.

“We were looking for someone who was a mix between M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and I think Corey Taylor of Slipknot,” Caelan said.

In a band looking for a different personality-- Asperger’s didn't scare them away.

“It makes him special; it makes him cool," said Caelan. “What Jack can do with his vocals, what Jack can do with his Aspergers, is just absolutely incredible.”

Caelan and Jack wove lyrics together.

"I’ll come up with a melody, and I’ll go to Jack and say, 'here’s the song, this is what I’m thinking,' and just like that he can take it and take it to that next level, and he soars with it.”

As they soar, the fire grows, and Jack wants to show people who are having a tough time with autism that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I know how difficult and stressful and frantic this world can be, especially to somebody who's different,” Jack said. “Learn how to convey what’s in here through your language that will help you and save you in the long run. It’s one of the hardest fights you can have. "

The tough exterior of a lead guitarist breaks down when you ask about the journey that his best friend has been through.

"I’m really proud of him,” Mike said. “We annoy the heck out of each other, but we’re in a band, we spend way too much time together. I love the kid; he’s one of a kind.”

Ignite The Fire show that no matter what you’re like, if you believe in what you’re doing, you can make it work.

"If you are different, even if you’re not on the spectrum, if the world just affects you in a different way. Learn how to communicate how it affects you,” Jack said. “That will save you so much heartache. “

If you want to see Ignite The Fire performthey will be in the area on June 14th at Fish Head Cantina in Halethorpe.