|April's Featured Artist is:
FIERCE BAD RABBIT
out of Fort Collins, Colorado
Lead singer of FBR is moving to Boston!
Music of Colorado's exclusive interview with Fierce Bad Rabbit
Where can readers learn about the history and achievements of your band?
www.fiercebad.com , as well as reverbnation.com/fiercebadrabbit . We also have a Facebook page, Twitter handle, and info on Bandcamp.com .
You’ve recently released a new album “The Maestro and the Elephant”. Would you categorize this as a continuation of your style on previous records, or a departure to a new sound?
Our new album definitely has some "signature FBR" sounds here and there, but this album definitely moved us in a new direction. It is the first FBR release not written entirely by Chris Anderson. On this album, Chris collaborated with other writers, including some veterans in Nashville and Colorado (Shane Keister, Skylar Wilson, Jordan Lehning, Femke Weidema, AJ Masters), as well as Alana Rolfe and Max Barcelow from FBR. Max wrote "Apple In Your Hand" and also performs the song on the album and in live shows. Alana wrote "Devil Smells Like Country," "Until We Are Dust," and co-wrote "Better Days" with Chris.
We've stretched into experimenting with more angles to our music---influences of old country, folk, classic rock, and pop.
What can you tell us about the songwriting process for this record?
It was fun, it was high energy, and it was really incredible. Chris journeyed to Nashville last summer and spent a week there, working with industry vets to write "Shooting Stars," Time Machine," and "Carry On." Meanwhile, other band members were busy crafting their contributions to the album. It was collaborative and really open in terms of communication about what we wanted the album to be, how it would carry us forward, and the message we wanted to deliver to our listeners and fans. When we're in "writing mode," it's exhausting, but in a good way. Every day is filled with creative energy and that's amazing.
How about the recording process?
Our recording process was incredible. Working again with Andrew Berlin at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO was an awesome experience. His knowledge, insight and expertise tailored our album into exactly what we wanted, even though some of his tweaks to it were things we couldn't even envision until he did them. Being in the studio every day was really fun, and although the days are filled with long, intense hours, it's what we do and what drives us. We love recording and working with people who understand our vision and know how to deliver it in the best way possible.
What are the most important steps Fierce Bad Rabbit has taken in the past two years to get where you are now?
We've gone through tremendous growth and change in the last two years. Max Barcelow joined us as our new drummer in January of 2012 and that was a huge and very positive change for us. We hired a manager and a publicist in 2012, signed with a booking agency, worked alongside industry vets in Nashville, put out an EP and album, continued national tours, played numerous regional venues and festivals, and did our third SXSW showcase performances this year. We graduated from the SpokesBUZZ program, sold a song to New Belgium for a national commercial on NBC, and are just finishing the contract on a major licensing deal out of NYC. We have had a "live keys" player added to our live show lineup recently and that has been a welcome addition. We have just announced this week that Chris Anderson, our lead singer/guitarist, will move to Boston in April with his wife. FBR will remain very much together, continue recording and touring, and Chris will bridge between Fort Collins and Boston, traveling frequently and keeping the FBR calendar expanding and intact. We have gone through major moves to get to this point and are aggressively pursuing the next chapter of FBR.
What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made in that same time period?
We rented a not-so-safe location as our previous rehearsal space and ended up having our gear stolen at the end of 2012. That was a tough blow, but the music community rallied and loaned us gear until we could replace everything. Luckily, we had insurance and were covered for the losses and we have a new (safe) rehearsal space out of the deal. We don't tend to look at this type of thing as a mistake, but just a learning experience and something that we use to make us grow and learn to operate this business more effectively.
What advice would you give to new bands?
Rehearse regularly, be generous and kind to other musicians, and always be respectful of the venues you play. This industry is so tightly-knit and competitive; there will always be thousands of people ready to replace you if you mess up, so always remain conscientious of other people in terms of respecting your set times, equipment, venues, etc. AND REHEARSE REGULARLY...did we say that already?!
Since you’ve toured a lot around the country, how does the Colorado music scene compare to other states?
It's extraordinary. Colorado is the most communal, supportive, and openly-communicative in terms of musicians forming a "collective" of sorts. We definitely feel the sense of strong community amongst musicians here and there is a close tie with the business world in Colorado that is exceptional. Many places in the country still operate as a "them versus us" mentality and Colorado's music community has worked tirelessly to change this in our state, and successfully so.
Who are your favorite local Colorado bands or musicians you all like who are currently undiscovered?
We have great respect for our music peers in our area. Some that come to mind that we've played with are Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, The Photo Atlas, The Yawpers, Sour Boy/Bitter Girl, and Paper Bird. We have also worked with really young musicians/bands like Bladeyarder and we see great promise in them. They're energetic, talented and ambitious.
Is there anything you’d like your fans to know that isn’t already on your website?
We like to have fun with what we're doing and occasionally do crazy shows like "Fierce Bad Bowie," (all David Bowie songs), and Zombie Crawl, where we dressed in zombie drag costumes and our drummer performed "Sweet Transvestite" to a sold out crowd at the Aggie Theater. We are very serious musicians, but we're quite "un-serious" people. We like to have a fun time together and with our fans.
We heard a rumor that Fierce Bad Rabbit's lead singer Chris Anderson is moving to Boston. What does the band plan to do after this?
First, here is the link to the story that ran last week in the Coloradoan re: Chris' move to Boston:
Chris will move in late April to Boston, due to his wife getting a new job there. This has always been part of the FBR plan for the past year or so and we are confident that this will be a really wonderful next step for everyone. Chris will split his time between CO and Boston, keeping all of the FBR tour and calendar dates as is, i.e. we are not canceling anything or rearranging whatsoever due to this move. We are continuing to rapidly add more dates to the event calendar, and will go on Midwest tour next week, followed by an east coast then a west coast tour, stretching us through June. It's business as usual, basically; Chris will just be flying back and forth a lot, staying in Fort Collins with his family and also with friends when he's here (he's a Fort Collins native, so mom and dad are here), and during those times, FBR will practice together as much as possible. Everyone in the band will continue to write as much new material as possible and share it with one another actively. The really great part of all this is that with advanced technology, we can do this effectively, whereas even five years ago, this would have been very challenging.
Photo credit: Darren Mahuron, 2012.
Fierce Bad Rabbit's latest album, The Meastro and the Elephant. Album artwork by Susanna Dominguez.