Band to Watch: FIDLAR - Rolling Stone
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Band to Watch: FIDLAR

D.I.Y.-or-die surf-punks show ambition with slacker-themed debut

Hometown: Los Angeles

Backstory: Elvis Kuehn was working as an intern at L.A. recording studio Kingsize in summer 2009 when he stumbled upon a path for his future – namely, Zac Carper, who worked (and slept) at the studio as an engineer for producer Rob Schnapf. After an impromptu jam session felt right, singers/guitarists Elvis and Zac each recruited a member (Elvis’ brother Max on drums, Zac’s friend Brandon Schwartzel on bass) and debuted live as FIDLAR in spring 2010. Their raw and rambunctious shows have given way to EPs and now a self-titled LP, out January 22nd on Mom & Pop.

Wake Bake Skate: Elvis and Max, whose father Greg was a member of T.S.O.L., cite skateboarding culture as an influence on their sound. “I personally found such good music from watching skate videos as a kid,” Max says. And their name (which stands for “Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk”) was a phrase Zac gleaned from some skater kids he lived with. “They’d always say ‘FIDLAR’ before they’d do a crazy trick, like to pump each other up,” he says. “One night we got really wasted and tattooed it on our knees. That shit’s pre-YOLO.”

All Play And No Work? Not Quite: Snap judgments of FIDLAR’s song titles (“Cheap Beer,” “Cheap Cocaine”) promise party themes, and the songs deliver. But don’t discount the band’s hustle just because they sing about getting wrecked. “People don’t see a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff, just the videos of us partying,” Max says. “But there are long gaps of time being on our shit, like recording the album ourselves. We work really hard, but sometimes we do get labeled as slacker-punk-retard-people.” Zac adds: “The reason why we’re D.I.Y. is because no one else will do it for us.”

In Good Company: FIDLAR recently wrapped back-to-back stints on tour with the Hives, Delta Spirit and fellow compatriots-in-party JEFF the Brotherhood. Things may have gotten out of hand on the tour, with the guys recounting a long night in D.C. that ended in a hotel wrestling match and one member (Brandon) pissing all over the others’ stuff.

In This Article: FIDLAR


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