LA surf punk outfit, FIDLAR are hitting our shores for this July’s Splendour In The Grass and Spin Off festival. These dudes dropped their self-titled, debut album in late February and have scored themselves a spot as Triple J’s feature album with their songs ‘No Waves’, ‘Cheap Beer’ and ‘Wait For The Man’ receiving plenty of airtime.
Their DIY philosophy and not giving a shit about any expectations has resonated with the Australian crowd. Can we finally teach Max how to surf?
Here we’ve got a chance to chat with bassist, Brandon Schwartzel about their beginnings, band life, partying and prostitutes in Memphis- best read with cheap beer!
How did FIDLAR meet?
We all use to train at the same karate dojo under the legendary sensei Yoshitaka Funakoshi.
What’s the story behind the name FIDLAR?
It’s an acronym for “Fear In Death, Love Always Reigns”, which is one of the four pillars of our martial arts practice. (Or an acronym for “fuck it dog, life’s a risk!”)
It’s been said some of you have experimented with hip-hop? Did you know FIDLAR was going to be a garage-punk band from the beginning?
That’s true, the four of us suffered from Hip Hop addiction for many years. FIDLAR was a path out of that addiction.
Have you considered incorporating this genre into FIDLAR?
We haven’t considered it yet, but open to the discussion/possibility.
What bands influenced you while creating your own sounds?
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees, The Stooges, Ty Segall, Rolling Stones, FEAR, Blink 182, Eagles of Death Metal, etc.
You have recently announced to be playing in Australia at Splendour In the Grass and Spin off. Is this your first time in Australia? What are you hoping to see whilst being here?
It is our first time and we’re very excited!! I hope to see all the biggest, most poisonous, most deadly animals in the world, because they all seem to be from Australia.
You released an impressive debut album this year and apparently you produced it yourselves? Why did you decide to do this?
we’ve just always produced ourselves. We recorded the album at our house in L.A. in a studio that we built ourselves (for the most part). The band started in the studio and we all really like recording music and experimenting in the studio so it just felt natural.
Your album has been the feature album on Australian radio station, Triple J. Did you ever think your music would travel so far? What are your thoughts on the Australian music scene?
I never thought we’d do anything, we just wanted to make songs and play shows. It’s amazing that our music has reached that far out. I don’t know much about the Australian scene, but excited to check it out. I know Bleeding Knees Club and they’re rad.
There is a huge focus on partying throughout the record. Was that a big part of your lifestyles at the time that you were making this record?
Not so much when we were making the record but definitely when we wrote those songs. It’s more just stories about us and our friends and being broke and young in L.A.
What are your favorite songs to party to?
Almost exclusively Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”
The song “No Waves” is extremely dark lyrically. Can you tell us what’s it about?
It’s about rehab and when people, in general, try to help you by asking how you feel, and to be honest sometimes you feel like getting fucked up.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on tour?
I was molested and robbed by an unsolicited prostitute in Memphis, Tennessee
What’s next for FIDLAR?
Europe, Australia, Japan, then Europe again, then tour the US, then maybe sleep.
FIDLAR AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
Friday, July 26 – 29
Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay
Monday, July 29
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Wednesday, July 31
Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
Friday, August 2
Spin Off Festival, Adelaide
Saturday, August 3
The Bakery, Perth
Words by Imogen Archer