It didn’t take me much more than a few seconds to appreciate Fist City. The music’s immediacy combined with some undeniably catchy tunes (yes, the ones that stick in your head all day) is a match well made. I got a hold of Fist City and asked them a few questions. Here’s what they had to say about their new record, their new single and a little something about Loretta Lynn, racist bigots and satanic reptilian cults.
1) First of all, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. As you might (or might not) have been told Lappland is a Danish blog. What 3 things do you associate with Denmark?
Danishes (the pastry), Lars Von Trier, and Aqua (the band)
2) The four of you have been playing together since 2009 so quite a while some would argue. What have these 6 years together given you as a band?
We have definitely learned how to communicate effectively with each other. We all have very different communication styles which in the past have led to misunderstandings and hurt feelings but now that we all know each other very well, we know when to back off and when to talk about where we stand on different issues. We certainly have had a lot of time over long drives on tour to get to know each other very well. I consider every member of the band to be part of my family. And we bicker like family too but now we know what we can get away with.
3) You probably get this a lot but I gotta ask: Why Fist City?
Fist City is the name of a really great song by country singer Loretta Lynn. It’s a bad-ass song about a woman basically threatening to send another woman to “Fist City” if she tries to steal her man. I was listening to it with a girlfriend while we were painting our nails one day and I just kind of thought that it would make a great band name. When we formed a few months later I suggested it to everyone and we all thought it was cool and so we stuck with it.
4) ‘Everything Is A Mess’ is your second release (since ‘It’s 1983, Grow Up!’). How is the sound and the vibe on this release compared your last one?
For starters this is the first record we’ve ever recorded in a professional studio so it made a huge difference to the overall sound quality. You can actually hear every little detail which was a huge step up from some of our earlier lo-fi basement recordings. We also feature a lot more back- up vocals in this album which were completely absent in ‘It’s 1983, Grow Up!” In terms of the vibe of the album, we wrote a lot of the songs in response to serious things that were happening at the time in Ferguson and we were just getting fed up with constantly seeing news stories about racist bigots just saying and doing terrible things. The song “Fuck Cops” for instance was written directly in response to the events in Ferguson last year. Other songs are more laid back and inspired by some of our “dirt bag’’ friends and are about being bored in a small town and finding ways to amuse yourself which was also a theme from our last album. We were also conscious to break up the album in terms of pacing with interludes since we don’t have any ballads or slow songs to change things up.
5) If you had to choose one activity to do while listening to this record what would it be?
Riding bikes into the sunset.
6) Did the release turn out the way you’d envisioned it?
It turned out better than I originally thought. When you are so involved in something it’s hard to step away from it and listen with a critical ear. I didn’t listen to the album for almost 6 months after we recorded it. We brought back a couple copies of the album to take home from London and had the chance to listen to it on a proper stereo which is always a bit nerve-racking because you’re always listening for what’s wrong but I didn’t find much I didn’t like about it. There’s always going to be little things you wish you did differently but overall we are very happy with this album. We had Ben Greenburg record for us and he was amazing and helped us out with all the interludes! The whole experience recording in Chicago was pretty magical for all of us. Plus Kier did an incredible job designing the album art so that always helps when the whole package looks great and sounds cool.
7) You just premiered the video for ‘Hey Little Sister’ telling a story about a girl that joins a cult of some sort. Why this story and why for this song?
We originally wrote “Hey Little Sister” about inducting your little sister into your girl gang so it made sense having a video about a young teen being inducted into a weird lizard cult. The main character in the video is actually played by my and Kier’s little sister and everyone in the video are close friends of ours so the filming of the video was kind of like inducting her into the gang in real life. Plus we have a bit of a history of being accused of being involved with satanic reptilian cults in the past, mostly in response to a music video we released over 5 years ago for our song “Debbie Get Yr Boa,” so it was kind of fun to play on that idea and revisit some of those themes for this video.
8) You guys are touring in the Netherlands and Belgium with Girl Band in October – any plans of travelling a bit more around Europe this time around?
Yeah we’re currently sorting out the details for that tour but we’re hoping to hit a few countries in Eastern Europe as well as Germany, France, hopefully Spain, Italy and Iceland, and some more dates in the UK. It will be our first time touring around continental Europe and we’re all very excited about it!
9) I always leave some extra room for shout-outs at the end. Let it rip:
Well none of this would be possible without the wonderful people at Transgressive Records in London! All our love to Rachel, Tim, Toby, and Lilas at Transgressive and Johanna at Pias. Xoxo
Responses by Brittany Griffiths
/Q&A by Kim Ambrosius