FIDLAR (Pre-ACL Interview 2013)
In preparation for ACL we spoke with Brandon Schwartzel from FIDLAR, an LA-based punk band that is ready to get loud, rowdy, and reckless.
First posted at The Horn publication.
Lee: So what is FIDLAR up too at the moment?
Brandon : We are in Phoenix, Arizona right now ,we played here last night, and we’re playing Tuscon next. We are just started off our whole US tour with ACL tied in there. I’m the only one up right now though, the rest of the band is still sleeping(laughs).
Lee: You guys usually get up around 2 o’clock, right, that’s the norm?
Brandon: Sometimes. We usually have to check out of the hotels by 11. Its really around 11am. Its not by choice though, its because they kick us out of the hotel.
Lee: So who else is on your current tour?
Brandon: The Orwells, they’re a great band out of Chicago, they’re really good.
Lee: Anything you like to do in particular while you’re in Austin?
Brandon: There is just really good food in Austin, so we usually just eat. We actually have only been there during SXSW, so we haven’t really gotten to be in Austin without it being crazy. So I’m excited this time around.
Lee: You play both weekends of ACL. What are your plans for the days in between?
Brandon: Were going to Houston, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Ft. Worth and then come back. So we’re playing a bunch of shows in between.
Lee: How did you come up with the name FIDLAR?
Brandon: Well it stands for ‘Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk’ but no one knows the true origin. We came across it because Zac was living with these pro skateboarders that would say it to each other all the time. Like when someone would be like “Dude I don’t know if I should try these sick stairs.” Someone would be like, “ You got to do what you got to do, FIDLAR dude” You know something to pump you up, and we kind of just adopted it to life. Like partying, music, and everything. So it just kind of became this mentality of do whatever you want, and have fun doing it.
Lee: So, you’re saying YOLO ripped you off?
Brandon: I like to say YOLO is the not as badass version as FIDLAR. FIDLAR is just like fuck it, its got a little more to it.
Lee: What’s the last situation you just said FIDLAR too?
Brandon: It’s become more unspoken. When there’s a situation, we won’t even call it on each other anymore. Its just like, dude-you know- you know what’s going on- you know you have to do it- so you might as well do it.
Lee: How is the punk scene in LA these days?
Brandon: The punk scene in LA has always been there, its just fluctuated with it’s popularity over time, but it will just still always be there because its such a big part of LA. Bands like Black Flag, and the Adolescents were all big. For us it was kind of like where we lived, there was a lot of super Indie bands that sounded Arcade Fire-ish, and that was the scene. We just got bored with that sound. These bands were trying so hard with synths and sleigh bells and all kind of shit onstage, and we just wanted to play rock music. We wanted to do something that was loud, rowdy and reckless.
Lee: What are some California bands that influenced you?
Brandon: Definitely Black Flag, Circle Jerks and, the Germs mostly because those are just seminal bands. But even some of the other skate punk bands like NOFX and Blink 182(laughs), those were the bands that we listened to in junior high and high school, and then we’d dig deeper into cooler punk bands from there.
Lee: I hear you’re Lakers fans, what do you think of the team coming into this season?
Brandon: Its not looking good. I’m a huge Lakers fan and have been forever. I almost every night will get drunk and play NBA video games. The Clippers look good though, I’m a Lakers fan first, but the Clips look like they have a shot.
Lee: You guys have gotten a lot of buzz through your web presence, what is your favorite thing to do online?
Brandon: I play this game on the iphone called Clash of Clans. Its super nerdy, I know. You build these villages and attack these clans. It’s funny because all the guys in the band used to give me shit for it and say like “What are you playing? What are you casting spells, nerd?” And then were recording with Rob Schnapf, a pretty well-known producer, and were recording our new single in his studio and found out he was playing it, and now we are in a clan together(laughs). And another crazy thing, Shaun White is in my clan as well(laughs). We’re always looking at weird stoner shit and stuff.
Lee: Your original band name was Fuck the Clock,. Do you guys feel any pressure to push out music?
Brandon: I think the only pressure is what we put on ourselves. The label kind of just lets us do whatever we want. For us, we like putting out a lot of musicand don’t sit on things too long. We just have been touring so much that we haven’t been able to be home and record. As soon as we can, we want to put something else out.
Lee: What is your favorite song to play as a band?
Brandon: We have a song called “The Punks Are Taking Acid”, it’s on the internet but its not on the album. And also “Cocaine” is really fun to play.
Lee: So is Max as bad at surfing as you say in the song?
Brandon: That’s the thing. He kind of gets shit for it, but I cant surf either, and neither can Elvis. Zac is the only one who can surf really. The song is kind of more about Max in general, he kind of got the shit end of that stick.
Lee: Do you have a favorite cigarette, beer, or method of smoking weed?
Brandon: We have a one-hitter that looks like a cigarette that we use in the van all of the time. I also like the new G-pens that have like hash wax, those will do the trick too. I actually really like Shiner Bock, which is from Texas, I know. I also drink Miller High Life at home since I’m trying to live the high life.
Lee: You recently toured with Wavves, how was that tour?
Brandon: We definitely had some fun nights with those guys. It was a tour that totally made sense and we had really fun venues. It was a tour that everyone expected to happen and it finally came together. There was one night in Milwaukee, where there was a weird venue with a Juggalo show in the room next to us and then Big Sean, the rapper, was also playing a room in the same venue. So it was the weirdest mix of people and we got kind of fucked up and just watch this Juggalo band just get surrounded by demonic clowns. I started freaking out a little bit and had to get out of there.
Lee: Do you have any bands that you’d like to see at ACL?
Brandon: I’m a pretty big Jimmy Eat World fan, which I guess is weird, but I like them a lot, so I’m stoked to see them I guess (laughs).