FEARING on the Bay Area Community, Their Influences and Admirations
Kristina Esfandiari (MISERABLE/KING WOMAN) interviews FEARING
What compelled you to start FEARING?
I had spent like 5+ years obsessively making music in my room and never really gained the confidence to show anyone besides a recent out of state pen-pal at the time, Brian Vega. He was in the same situation, so we would send our music and motivate each other to take it more serious. Brian ended up moving to Oakland, where I lived at the time, and we started Fearing together.
How does this compare to past projects you’ve been involved with?
One way to compare is that I’ve always been a drummer in my previous projects. I love drumming, it’s really a thrill, but as I got older and our shows got bigger, my stage fright got worse. Towards the end of Creative Adult I couldn’t comfortably play drums in a lit room or without my eyes closed, literally. I think only drumming for almost 10 years made it so I never really had to face a crowd. This was a huge hurdle I had to jump for the first few Fearing shows, as the vocalist, but I feel like it has changed me as a person. I am like… comfortable with myself now, it’s crazy.
What are you most looking forward to in 2019?
I think we’re most excited about doing the first Fearing album, which we hope to start recording later this year. Beyond that, we’ve all got a number of other hobbies, bands and relationships to keep crafting, you know?
How do you like working with Funeral Party?
I couldn’t be happier with Funeral Party! I emailed Brian our first EP as a stranger and now we talk as friends every day. Without his input A Life Of None would have been called Demo and never made it off bandcamp. As you know, he is riding in the van with us on our upcoming tour and we couldn’t be more pumped.
Can you tell me about the writing and recording process for your latest EP ‘Black Sand’?
This EP was pretty spur of the moment. We knew we needed something but didn’t have songs, so we just booked recording dates and started writing at home. We actually had only played Black Sand a couple times, we tried to get through Rose & Web but it didn’t really work out. Other Life and In The Fog were just ideas and ended up coming out way different than they started haha. Our engineer, Scott Goodrich, is awesome and was really patient with us and let us experiment and write most of it there.
How do you feel you’ve evolved as a band / artist since your previous EP ‘A Life of None’?
Not to sound too cliche, but A Life Of None was definitely just a warm up. The four songs are all different styles, we didn’t really know which was gonna be our sound. With Black Sand we had a much clearer idea of how we wanted it to feel. Also, 3 of us aren’t playing our usual instruments in this group, so I think Black Sand has a bit more actual talent in it; we had been playing together for about a year at this point.
I find your voice to be incredibly distinct & melancholic. Who are some of your vocal influences?
Thank you! I really love how harsh, pronounced and confident Nick Cave sounds. Huge fan of Andrew Eldritch from Sisters Of Mercy, he just sounds so damn cool. My first singing project, Teal, was heavily influenced by Robert Smith, I love how he could just talk and whine over some of the most epic music. To be honest, my biggest overall influence has been Marilyn Manson – it’s not that every song is great, but the great ones are out of this world.
I’ve been listening to Black Sand nonstop! What does this record mean to you?
It’s hard to gauge whether you’re on the right track with just one release, so Black Sand was kind of scary, for me. We gave ourselves very little time to work on the material and weren’t even sure if it was the right style. The way it came out surprised us and defiantly assured us that we can go with the flow and it’ll all work out.
You live in the Bay Area. I’m curious, how do you feel the music scene out there has evolved in the past five years?
Just speaking for my own little pocket I think it has gotten to be really diverse, musically. At one point, everyone I knew was in a hardcore band… and now I barely get a chance to share bills with most of my friends because it doesn’t make sense. I think it’s a great thing, everyone is out here just being themselves.
Do you feel there is a strong sense of community in the Bay Area?
I feel like there must be… at one point I felt a part of it, but you really have to BE a part of a community, you know? I recently moved to a smaller town outside the tri-city area, so from my perspective when I go to shows it’s a huge room full of strangers. But as we know, these communities are tight knit and don’t die, they just grow and shrink.
What Bay Area artists are you excited about at the moment?
I’m really into Houses of Heaven, Acrylics, Marbled Eye and Spiritual Cramp, of course. Also, I hear All Your Sisters is writing new material so that’s something to look forward to!