by Matt Kelchner
When asked what their current plans were after the release of their debut self-titled album back in late January, Max Kuehn, one of the four members of Southern California’s FIDLAR, responded with “TOUR TOUR TOUR TOUR TOUR TOUR TOUR home TOUR TOUR TOUR”. So far they have been living up to that.
FIDLAR (which stands for Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk) teamed up with Mom + Pop Records and came out with their first full-length album back on January 25th. It was in a number of major publications’ “most anticipated” albums lists early on. Since the release, the Los Angeles-based band has toured through Europe, played a number of at SXSW and are now currently out on the road with Wavves (who has a new album out this year as well). Their current tour has them driving across America until April 21st.
At first listen, bands like Blink 182 and The Offspring quickly come to mind when playing through FIDLAR’s new album. But Kuehn describes it as “just a lot of punk and garage stuff. There wasn’t any real specific influences, we all kind of have eclectic music tastes”. Earlier this year they paid homage to one of the most influential and earliest SoCal punk bands, The Descendents, when they released their cover of “Suburban Home”.
Other often cited influences include growing up in the skate culture of Southern California, idolizing skaters like Andrew Reynolds, Eric Koston, Jim Greco “and basically anyone on Baker 2G”. Growing up the band looked up to “all the late 70’s early 80’s punk dudes” as well.
With living in LA and the number of different deeply seeded music scenes out there, FIDALR mention that “it’s easy to get turned on to cool stuff” and in general “there’s just a lot of rad shit going on in LA” that helped shaped them into what they are today.
Going through each track on their self-titled release is looking into the every day lives of FIDLAR. One could almost make a drinking game (and a good one at that) to every time beer or drugs are mentioned on the album. It’s just a part of living up to their band names true meaning. Kuehn’s choice of drink on the road? Budweiser. But that was months ago, who knows if it’s still the same.
The band also keeps a lot of hometown pride with them. When asked about their favorite taco shops in LA, they respond with a list that includes “Gorditas Lupitas” and “Tacos Leo” as well as with the neighborhood to find them in. Back in January, I asked them what was going on with the Los Angeles Lakers; their response was “I don’t want to talk about it”. It was clear after just a few questions that the band’s hometown play a huge part in who they are.
Their songs are fast, messy and unapologetic. Lyrically, they are not the deepest but overall it’s about that feeling of just going out and having fun and doing what you want to do. It’s about not taking life for granted and cherishing what you already have; not trying to live a life that’s not really there.
Fidlar will be in Philadelphia on April 9th, at Johnny Brenda’s