Monte of UN vs. Kenny of FISTER
Monte (Un): Outside of your history of releases, I don’t know much about the band. Can you tell me a little bit about how Fister came to be?
Kenny (Fister): I was pretty much hanging it up. I just quit playing with Ashes And Iron and wasn’t sure what I wanted to shift my creative focus on. Marcus (guitars) and I were roommates and started Fister out of boredom. We just wanted it to be a recording project at first.
I know a few of you are also in other projects. How does that affect Un?
Monte (Un): Currently, I am the only one involved in any other active musical projects (Samothrace), but Andrew writes rad electronic stuff that sounds a bit like Japanese ice cream truck music. It’s weird. I have always encouraged my bandmates to stay as musically active as possible. Un is a very serious endeavor, so I think it benefits us all emotionally and creatively to branch out whenever we can.
You guys are getting ready to release your 2013 album, Gemini, on vinyl for the first time. It is obvious that the album is heavily influenced by David Cronenberg; what are some of the band’s other major influences? Are these recurring themes among the rest of your releases?
Kenny (Fister): I think it’s easier for us to go with conceptual ideas for each release. I’m not really sure why. I guess we are just one of those bands. Yeah, Gemini is mostly focused around Cronenberg’s work. Namely his film Dead Ringers. We try not to stay on anything too long. We aren’t trying to recreate the same albums over and over again. That’s why the last album ‘IV‘ is different from Gemini, Violence, and Bronsonic.
I’m sure you understand that. Your album The Tomb of All Things is a complex work. In one aspect, it has everything I love about classic funeral doom records, but it branches out past that in many ways. I guess I’m just going to fire back the same question: what inspires Un?
Monte (Un): We all have vastly different creative influences, which I think gives us an interesting edge in the genre. The atmosphere of TOMB was largely influenced by my battle with cancer. After I went into remission, I was really scared it would come back before the record was finished, so we ended up rushing certain aspects of it. I was so aware of my mortality at the time that it ended up becoming a very anxious record, and a lot of people seem to pick up on that.
You guys have a serious catalogue of splits with some of the heaviest bands around at the moment, including Primitive Man, Norska, and most recently, Dopethrone. How did these come about? Are there any specific bands you hope to work with in the future?
Kenny (Fister): It depends. Jon from Primitive Man asked if we wanted to do a tour or a split one day. Naturally we agreed to do both without hesitation. We met Norska when we opened for them and Yob a few years back and kept in touch. Black Bow Records originally contacted us about doing a split with a UK band that couldn’t commit to the release, so they asked if we had a band in mind we’d like to do it with. We have a few more coming out soon. Failed, Chrch, Beneath Oblivion splits should all be happening in the near future, but we also need to hunker down and finish writing our next full length.
What are you planning to do for your next release?
Monte (Un): For me, the art is in the process, so we are writing all the time. We have some new material that we are hoping to release as an EP or a split if we can find the right band. Hopefully that will see some light by next Spring!
As we gear up for our tour, I am getting really excited to finally see you guys perform. What can a new fan expect from your live show?
Kenny (Fister): That’s an interesting question. I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before. We have some cool looking lasers that we get to use sometimes. How about you guys? Any fire breathing or dragon slaying on stage?
Monte (Un): Hah, I wish! Performing is a really emotional and personal thing for me, so our shows tend to kind of change from night to night depending on what exactly we are dealing with at the time. We’ll also probably be using a lot of fog.
Tour can be a lot of fun, but it can also be fucking terrible. What is the worst experience you all have had on the road?
Kenny (Fister): A lot of the time some of the worst parts of tour are something we can bond over and overcome together. Happiness in suffering. I try to keep positive out there because there are so many reasons to be miserable. You don’t want to be the guy that brings the mood down when you’re already cramped in a van. I know we have some grueling drives on this run, but we are still looking forward to getting out there and making dumb memories with you guys. Our second show together is in Vancouver. It’ll be our first time playing Canada. What can we look forward to?
Monte (Un): Canada is great! It seems to be a very involved community. The DIY culture is really strong, which I love. We’re all out here doing the same things, so it’s really important to support each other and they seem to be doing exactly that. We’ve always been treated great and I think they are going to love you guys too!
What’s next for Fister after the tour? Anything else you feel like sharing?
Kenny (Fister): We are all getting married and doing grown up career shit next year, so we’ll definitely be touring less than we normally do in 2017. We’ll still do one or two and we have a few releases planned. 2018 we’ll probably start hitting it hard again.
It can be tricky trying to juggle real life and music. How do you manage?
Monte (Un): Between jobs and family, it is always a struggle. We just do whatever we have to and make it work and try not to hate ourselves too much for choosing a path that society generally deems worthless. So far though, it’s been worth it.
11/06 Seattle, WA at THE HIGHLINE
11/07 Vancouver, BC at ASTORIA
11/08 Olympia, WA at CRYPTATROPA
11/09 Portland, OR at HIGH WATER MARK
11/10 Sacramento, CA at STARLITE LOUNGE
11/11 Oakland, CA at THE GOLDEN BULL
11/13 Long Beach, CA MIDNITE COMMUNION FEST (early show)
11/13 San Diego, CA with Un at TOWER BAR
11/14 Tempe, AZ at THE ROUGE
11/15 Santa Fe, at TBA
Additional dates (only Un):
11/17 Denver, CO at TBA
11/18 Colorado Springs, CO at THE FLUX CAPACITOR