by: Amanda Savage
Los Angeles-grown FIDLAR is a reckless production of guitar and screaming vocals presented through the careless demeanor of Zac Carper, Brandon Schwartzel, Elvis and Max Kuehn.
Some people call them garage punk, skate punk, bad or good. Whichever you prefer, sold-out shows and die-hard fans around the globe are proving that FIDLAR is definitely something. Maybe it’s not universally definable, but a distinctive spirit and sound is usually a good thing.
When I first heard FIDLAR their music immediately reminded me of songs like “TV Party” by Black Flag and “Everything Sucks” by the Descendants. Their lyrics and sounds are all wrapped up in a confident “fuck you” attitude that levels Sid Vicious — before heroin completely took over his life. But to confuse your stereotype, some of their music has this California surf rock influence that adds melody and at times mellows-out their intensity.
FIDLAR plays at Crescent Ballroom tonight with The Orwells and Playboy Manbaby. Azfoothills.com submitted a Q&A to the band a few months ago, Brandon Schwartzel responded. . .
AFM — So FIDLAR, where did that name come from?
Brandon—It’s actually the Navajo translation of “one with limp sword”
AFM — How did you guys meet?
Brandon— We all met at a all-inclusive resort in Aruba while attending singles mixer.
AFM — How did the band form? Were you just messing around making music and were like, we should post this online and see what happens?
Brandon— Yeah that’s pretty much how it happened.
AFM — I know Brandon played in Rooney. What other bands or projects were guys part of before you got together to create FIDLAR? How were your previous projects different?
Brandon—We all had hip hop projects when we met, as well as playing in other bands. Mack and Eli’s was called Headhunters, Caz was Dirty Nasty, and I was Trick Tracy.
AFM — I originally heard you guys on BBC Radio 1, you seem to have a strong following over seas and one that’s just now catching on in the states. Why do you think that is?
Brandon— I don’t know, our music just spread really fast over seas.
AFM — Do you guys have similar or different tastes in music when it comes to what you listen to?
Brandon— For the most part its pretty similar, but we all have our individual guilty pleasures.
AFM — You guys sing about drinking beer, being stoned and not giving a fuck. Is this pretty much how it is, or do you guys have more to you than your music?
Brandon—I think there’s more to it. Those are just the things that seem to pop out at people. If you really listen to the songs there’s more going on.
AFM — So the song, “Cheap Beer,” why the angst? Were you guys judged for drinking cheap beer?
Brandon— I just remember going to parties with a 40oz of Highlife or something (because I couldn’t afford anything else) and would sometimes get looks from the smug craft beer hipster kids, who’d say, “how can you even drink that shit?” or something to that effect and so I think that’s where the angst is from. We’re not against any beer, we love it all, it’s just fucking annoying when people give you shit for something like that.
AFM — Are you guys more liquor or beer guys?
Brandon— We’re actually more of a Merlot kind of band.
AFM — Speaking of beer, what’s your favorite drinking game?
Brandon— Drink until it’s finished and then drink more.
AFM — So you guys have a big tour set for the fall, what are you most excited for? Any venues or cities?
Brandon— It’s a first real headlining tour so just excited to get to play for as many people in as many places as possible.
AFM — Anything you’re not excited for? Any crowds that suck?
Brandon— Not too excited about driving from Arizona to Texas, that drive is the worst.
AFM — Are you guys in a bus or van? If you guys fight at all, who is usually the one to instigate that?
Brandon— Van. We don’t fight too much, usually it’s between Mack and Eli since they’re brothers.
AFM — Can you tell us a PG-13 story from tour?
Brandon— I was molested and robbed by an unsolicited prostitute in Memphis, Tenn.
AFM — Who’s the ladies man of the group?
AFM — What’s the craziest thing a girl has ever done to get your attention or go backstage?
Brandon— One time this girl got on stage, poured gasoline all over her body, and lit herself on fire to try to get Mack’s attention.
AFM — Did it work?
Brandon— It got his attention but unfortunately she was hospitalized shortly after.
AFM — Pick three words to describe your music. To settle the “which genre are you” debate once and for all.
Brandon— Hot, Dark, and Strong
AFM — Do you think punk will have a comeback? Or are you guys digging the whole house music thing?
Brandon— I feel like punk hasn’t ever really left, which is kind of what’s awesome about it. As far as house music, we’re more into trip hop.
Follow Amanda on Twitter @Amanda_Savage