FIDLAR, Ready to Bring a “Sick Lineup” Back to Philly

As a rule, I’m not generally a fan of bro bands… However, years ago I made an exception for LA skate punks FIDLAR… largely in-part to their connection to...

As a rule, I’m not generally a fan of bro bands… However, years ago I made an exception for LA skate punks FIDLAR… largely in-part to their connection to post-riot grrrl ultra-vixen and one of my own personal heroines, Kate Nash… who, it was confirmed for me in a recent interview, is the longtime girlfriend of rhythm guitarist/vocalist Zac Carper (In our recent chat he seconds my admiration of Ms. Nash: “She’s a fucking badass.  She’s the most DIY punk I know.”)  FIDLAR’s self-titled debut LP dropped in 2013, which boasted a combination of exceptionally heavy surf rock, garage rock, and sludgy pop punk.  In 2015 the band released their sophomore record, Too, which had them expanding their sounds and ringing of more references to proto-punk and ‘90s alt rock.  They also played insanely beautiful and chaotic shows at Union Transfer that Summer and Fall.  They’ve been on the road for much of the time since and in the downtime from that Carper has found himself in the role of producer for a plethora of bands.  Well, FIDLAR are currently back on the road in the US and will be headlining Union Transfer this coming Saturday, November 12th, accompanied by tourmates and fellow California punks SWMRS and The Frights, both of whom have had their most recent albums produced by Carper.  In my recent chat with the FIDLAR vocalist/guitarist, I ask Zac what the band thinks about Philly and he tells me that he has very fond memories… as far as what he can remember.

“Philly’s always been a blur [laughs].  There’s so many bars and so much nightlife.  Actually, I do remember one time when we played the First Unitarian Church this girl was sitting on the stage and eating a banana and she put the banana peel on Brandon’s pedal.  And I mean, Union Transfer is one of my favorite venues ever.  It’s just such a cool vibe and there’s such cool stuff around there.”

I ask what can be expected of FIDLAR’s upcoming date at Union Transfer and Zac tells me that all of the touring they’ve done over the past several years has certainly had an impact on the band (who were initially heralded as charmingly sloppy skater boys with an admirably punk degree of abandon): “Through this massive touring, we’ve gotten much tighter as a band.”  But he also tells me that he’s really anxious for audiences to see their Cali punk peers: “I’m excited about the openers. It’s such a sick lineup.”  When I ask him if there’s a song he’s most excited to be playing, he tells me it’s actually FIDLAR’s ridiculously great [my words, not his] cover of “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys that he’s most amped to play for fans.  But when I ask what he’s most excited about once FIDLAR’s dates wrap toward the end of the month, Carper tells me he’s really looking forward to having a short break from touring and producing before getting back to working on FIDLAR’s own new music: “Writing! I produced [SWMRS’ and The Frights’] records this year, but I haven’t had time to do anything myself.  I’m going to take December off and not touch a guitar, but then in January I’m going to start writing again.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.