L.A. band FIDLAR doesn’t hold back when it comes to making expressive music. With song titles like “Cocaine” and “Cheap Beer” and a distinct garage punk sound on every track, FIDLAR’s music isn’t for the faint of heart.
Instead, they have worked hard to create a discography that is equal parts honest and angsty. Currently on tour opening up for none other than punk legends The Pixies, FIDLAR talked to Emertainment Monthly via email about what they’re up to and where they’re heading.
Emertainment Monthly: First off, with all of the different music genres readily accessible today, what attracted you guys to the garage punk scene?
FIDLAR: We weren’t really looking for a scene. We just started making music together and then kind of found the garage punk scene naturally. I didn’t even know there was one in L.A. when we started out.
EM: In some of FIDLAR’s songs, the lyrics can be very raw and open. Do you as a band ever feel weird exposing so much of yourselves to your audience?
FIDLAR: Not really, we’ve always been pretty blunt and honest in our music/band/lives. People try too hard to be really deep or profound or conceptual or arty, we kind of just say what we feel.
EM: So how exactly did you guys manage to land a spot opening for The Pixies? That must feel awesome.
FIDLAR: Apparently, according to The Pixies’ manager, he was looking over all the bands that submitted for the tour and his 17-year-old son looked over his shoulder and pointed to us (I guess he saw us at the Leeds Festival in England), then they listened to us and I guess they like our stuff and boom!
EM: FIDLAR has been signed to Mom & Pop Records for a decent amount of time now. What was it like adjusting to being on a label after being such a D.I.Y. band at the beginning?
FIDLAR: We’re still just as much of a D.I.Y. band as before, we just now have some help, so I guess we’re more D.I.Y.W.O.P. (do it yourself with other people), but we still make a lot of our own merch, record our own music, plan our own tours, make our own videos.
EM: Do you ever experience backlash from people for your more explicit lyrics? If so, how do you respond?
FIDLAR: Usually with a “that’s cool, don’t listen to us then.” FIDLAR is definitely not for everyone and I think that’s how it should be. If everyone liked us it’d be kind of weird.
EM: What bands are some of your biggest influences? Any unexpected ones your fans might be surprised by?
FIDLAR: Black Flag, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wu-Tang, Beastie Boys, Elton John, The Band, Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, Jay Reatard, The Pixies, Everly Brothers, Sam Cooke, Toto.
EM: Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation was featured in FIDLAR’s music video for “Cocaine.” How did that come about?
FIDLAR: Max and Elvis are old family friends with Nick and Elvis showed him our music and he came up with that whole video idea. Our friend Ryan Baxley directed it and we shot it in one day in L.A. and paid all of our video budget to have the fake penis made and operated by a licensed penis wrangler.
EM: Your shows can get pretty rowdy. Can you describe what an ideal FIDLAR show and crowd would be for you?
FIDLAR: Naked stage diving, fireballs, smoke bombs, trap doors, and possibly David Copperfield performing illusions as we play songs. (I’m a sucker for theatrics.)
EM: What’s your craziest story from being on tour with FIDLAR?
FIDLAR: Probably last night hanging backstage with Black Francis and talking about Repo Man. Fucking surreal!