Fighting for Frequency contacted me about doing an interview around the same time a few other bands emailed me with similar inquiries. It was a very exciting (and challenging) time. I had to figure out how to balance my graduate classes with my music writing.
However busy I might be, Fighting for Frequency’s members are much busier. The band consists of several very talented veteran musicians who have other musical commitments and day jobs. Their bass player, Chris even teaches at a university. Needless to say, they are all busy individuals. And, they are talented. If you have not read my review of their EP, A Million Miles Away, please do so here. Then, go listened to their music and support them.
• So, let’s set the stage for those who are not familiar with Fight for Frequency. How would you describe your sound?
Energy-infused, ’90s-based, anthem-heavy, radio-friendly rock. Our songs cover a wide spectrum, but as a listener, you’ll usually hear bits of pop punk, hard rock, grunge, post-grunge, and classic rock. It’s what we grew up listening to and shows in our songwriting. We write songs that you’ll hopefully want to sing along to.
• Fighting for Frequency is an indie band with a very polished, radio-friendly sound. Did you produce your debut EP or did someone else help out?
We produced 99% of it, with some suggestions and cool ideas coming from Ryan Toussel, our talented friend who recorded, mixed, and mastered our album. We have several great song writers with good ears in the band, but Adam has a real producer’s ear, seeing the full potential in each song that we write. We rely heavily upon him to flesh out the skeletons of the songs and bring them up to that polished level.
• I noticed on your bandcamp page that you are on a “crusade” for rock ‘n’ roll. Are you guys planning on taking your crusade on the road or is it too soon to talk about touring?
We’ve played some out-of-town shows, but now that we have an actual EP to promote and merch to go with it, we’re aiming to take F4F as many places as logistically possible. We’re currently booking a tour for late summer that will take us to various cities in Louisiana and other states along the Gulf Coast.
• You released your enjoyable debt EP A Million Miles Away recently. What does the band have planned for the rest of 2019?
Touring and then preproduction of our next album. We have lots of songs written (more than we’ll ever get to in our lifetime and we’re still writing), so we’re even thinking of doing a full-length album since we’re old school and like that approach. We’re even considering shooting a music video.
• Now, one of my favorites, and most difficult questions. At the moment, what are your favorite albums?
It was hard for everyone to choose because we all listen to everything, but here are some that came to mind for each person:
Adam’s Picks – Devin Townsend’s Accelerate Evolution, Metallica’s S&M, The Butterfly Effect’s Final Conversation of Kings, Chris Stapleton’s Traveler, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime, and Jar of Flies by Alice in Chains.
Chris’s Picks – Dark All Day by Gunship, Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright by Ashes Divide, Chrome Neon Jesus by Teenage Wrist, (copying Adam’s answer) Dead by Sunrise’s Out of Ashes, anything by The Midnight, Foals, and Jimmy Eat World, too many local artists to name, and (incoming controversial pick) Greta Van Fleet’s EPs and album
Randon’s Picks – Issues by Korn
Chuck’s Picks – anything by Devin Townsend
Dave’s Picks – Broadway show tunes, Beatles Remastered
• There are five of you, according to your Facebook. What kind of musical experiences do each of you bring to Fighting for Frequency?
Chuck and Adam had been jamming since high school and were in a melodic metal band for years. Playing together for so long gave them the natural chemistry that helped make a tight core in Fighting for Frequency. Dave’s experience was with cover bands and alt-rock bands, and his long-time friend Chris had played together with him years ago in a funky blues rock band, but in 2016 when Chris moved into the neighborhood by Dave and expressed a desire to write songs and start another band, Dave suggested joining forces with his long-time friend Adam who was also the neighbor sharing a fence right behind him. The amalgam of influences from those four made for a potent combination already, but when the band met Randon, they knew he would be a perfect fit for the F4F rock sound, enhancing the already strong core with extraordinary talent, creativity, and a natural energy that is contagious. We’re all experienced musicians with wide-ranging influence and comfort as performers, so our songwriting doesn’t get stale and our live show is full of energy.
• I have a couple of questions about streaming services. I know Chris has an interest in these things, I know I find them to be a mixed bag, but what does Fighting for Frequency think about streaming services, in general?
We’re not big fans honesty. Streaming services compensate bands poorly for the product, making it difficult for struggling bands to gain a foothold in an extremely competitive market. Moreover, streaming has created the age of the “single.” Whereas you used to have to buy a band’s album, now people hear a song on a show or movie and stream only that one song and never dig into a band more. Years ago, part of the experience as a music lover was taking a chance on an album to help support the band, and you’d get a glimpse of where the band was artistically in that period. You could see growth, influences, and changes from album to album. You checked out lyrics, album art, pictures, and made a real connection with the artists. It was all more personal and less superficial. You were more emotionally invested (remember arguing which song on an album was best or who liked a band more?). Sure, you ran the risk of buying an album with only a couple of good songs, but that was part of the fun and experience, and you sometimes became an invested fan that explored all the B-side songs and wanted more information about the band. Most of us remember at a young age knowing the band members’ names, where they were from, what the songs meant (or what you thought they meant), and so on. Nowadays, part of our consumer culture is the quick consumption and throwing away of art, so bands are chewed up and spit out by the consumer and industry alike. Some die-hard fans still exist, but the vast majority of listeners don’t go on the journey with the artists anymore. Sure, we don’t have to spend our hard-earned cash on a terrible album just to get one or two good songs, and that is good from a consumer’s position. But artists suffer, and in some way, the listeners might not realize what they’re missing by not getting that deeper experience and connection.
• Are they good for indie bands or are they a hinderance of some kind?
Adam believes it’s definitely a double-edged sword. Home studios and streaming have allowed many talented musicians that would normally go unnoticed to get their music into the hands of fans. However, it has flooded the market with competition, so the “fight” for frequency has become more difficult.
Chris agrees 100% about the over-saturated market and with it being a double-edged sword. On one hand, streaming gives the most motivated indie artists a chance to make it with the DIY approach, and that’s liberating in some ways. After all, it’s miraculous that artists can have fans listening to their music all over the world while retaining creative control without a record company controlling which song is the “single” or pace of release. However, he has concerns about whether or not musicians can make a living from it. Even famous musicians make so little money from their album streams, and that makes being a full-time musician tough. Plus, in the past, a record label would invest in a band long term and would help them get on the road, but in this era, it’s up to bands to fork up the money for recording, touring, promoting, etc. and they make little money back from streaming. While the cream would proverbially rise to the top in theory with the middle man record companies and distributors out of the way, some really talented bands out there might actually just be lost in the over-saturated market and won’t make enough money to push through the clutter. There’s lots of music out there now and ways to access it, but not many ways to make money from it. It has been said that music has no inherent value as opposed to physical goods, but this era has trained listeners to feel as if music should be free, and indie bands need the money more than bands with labels because indie artists use the DIY approach. Half a penny for every stream isn’t sustainable.
•Lastly, what do you think about bands shifting to releasing more singles or shorter albums, rather than crafting a traditional record? I think there’s a certain beauty to a well-sculpted album. It’s an art form in itself. What are your thoughts?
See question 7. Also, we talk too much. But yeah, we want to record a full-length album because like you said, it’s an art form, and we want to be proud of our art. Chris says that he believes it might be because of growing up in the age of the cassette, where you were mostly forced to listen from start to finish, and now he can’t imagine not listening to an album front to back, at least the first few times. Albums are musical journeys, and the best albums have songs that enhance each other or talk to each other in some way. It’s the old adage about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Until a record company is running our business end, we have the creative control to put out music the way we want to, and we’re always going to gravitate towards putting out EPs and albums, not singles. It may be impractical, but art isn’t always practical. It’s a struggle and a labor of love–a fight to leave something special, something beautiful behind. If there is one thing Fighting for Frequency doesn’t mind, it’s the fight.