PHOTO CREDIT: Avalon Mohns
I have been speaking with The Fame...
about their debut single, Wide Awake, and what its story is. They tell me how the band formed and what we can expect from their approaching E.P. – the guys reveal albums important to them and rising artists that are worth a shout.
I was keen to discover which artists influence them and whether there are upcoming tour dates; what they would like for Christmas and which artists they’d support given the chance – they select some cool tracks to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Really busy. We just released our debut single - and we’ve been swamped with lots of things that need to get done. But, other than that, it’s been good.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Yes. We are a four-piece Indie-Rock band from Toronto, Canada. We have been around for about two years, and we all come from different backgrounds and walks of life.
Wide Awake is your debut single. Is there a story behind it?
Not really. It’s just a song about how people perceive themselves and the world around them. The happenings of everyday life; walking around in your own shoes...especially during hard times or the periods in your life when you feel like you have nothing good or redeeming to grasp onto.
I know an E.P. is coming next year. Can you reveal any themes or ideas behind the songs?
The songs are just about real things. Real emotions, real feelings and real thoughts; stuff everybody goes through. Besides that, there isn’t really a theme behind the E.P.
What was it like working with Brian Moncarz on the E.P.?
It was a great experience. Brian saved us as a band. We had tried recording about seven or eight times before working with him and it was going nowhere until we sent him our demo tapes - and he loved them. He gave us a new perspective and did an amazing job with this E.P. He’s experienced, and knows what he’s doing. Can’t say enough good things about him.
When did The Fame get together? How did you find one another?
We were four best friends in high-school who grew up on the same street together and decided to form a ba…nah. Our story is far from that. I, Brandon answered an ad on Craigslist looking for a rhythm guitarist for a new band and, in that band, I met Yu, who was the lead guitarist. We became friends and, when that band was falling apart we decided to leave and start our own band. We put ads up online looking for a bassist and, through one of the people who answered the ad, we met Andrew who joined the band full-time after subbing in on bass for our first show.
After trying out a succession of drummers, we met Rodrigo who had just moved from Chile to Canada and became roommates with Yu in the same house. He was a music educator in Chile. Our current drummer at the time quit and the rest, as they say, is history…
In terms of music; which artists are you drawn to?
We all have our own preferences and influences but, as a band, we’re most drawn to artists like: The Beatles, Velvet Underground; Neil Young, Nirvana; Oasis, White Stripes; Strokes, Arctic Monkeys; Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
As Christmas is coming; what one present would you each like if you could have anything?
I think we would all like some new amps and some Long & McQuade gift cards. Haha.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Yeah. We’ve got two more singles to drop in the New Year and then the full E.P. which we are expecting to release around March/April. We’re also starting to line up a bunch of shows for the New Year as well.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Touring is always the most fun but also anytime we’ve got to play at the Horseshoe in Toronto is great. Especially the time it was nearly sold out; that was incredible.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
There are SO many albums we could name but, for the sake of this interview, four albums that are important to each of us are: The Beatles - The Beatles (White Album); Oasis - Definitely Maybe; Nirvana - In Utero and Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
Each of these albums has its own distinctive identity - and that’s part of the reason why they are so important to us. Each has inspired us as composers and as musicians. There are so many more we wish we could mention like The Strokes, Velvet Underground; Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins; Sonic Youth, White Stripes etc., but we’ll save those for the next interview sometime down the road.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Paul McCartney or Neil Young, for sure. Who knows how much longer they will be touring, so we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to open up for one of them. They are both huge inspirations for us. Oh...and definitely NO brown M&M’s.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Write lots of songs and play as many shows as you can.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Nothing we can announce yet, but lots of dates in the works. We are just coming off a sold-out show at the Cameron House in Toronto.
IN THIS PHOTO: Crown Lands/PHOTO CREDIT: Kurt Cuffy
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We each have our own ways of unwinding. But, mostly, just hanging with friends or family. Going to shows or concerts; taking in the art/film scene in Toronto. Music is an important part of each of us, so we never really get away from it.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Sounds good! Here’s what were all feeling today:
The Strokes - Automatic Stop
Red Hot Chili Peppers - My Lovely Man
The Beatles - I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Black Sabbath - Hole in the Sky
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