Disgusted with the re-election of George W. Bush, in 2005 Firewater ringleader Tod A left New York — where he'd lived for the previous two decades and where he'd fronted Cop Shoot Cop — and headed out of the country on a three-year journey that took him to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Along the way, he wrote songs for Firewater's sixth album, 2008's The Golden Hour, and two years ago, he moved to Istanbul. He recorded Firewater's new album, International Orange, there during the Arab Spring, while bombs were going off around the city, as well in Tel Aviv, where the record was mixed. Tod A says that some of that energy of change seeped into the record; he also harnesses a bit of fiery punk vigor and injects the songs with worldly flavors, from bhangra to Turkish rhythms to ska, dub and mambo. Visit backbeatblog.com for a full Q&A with Tod A.