Fang Island

Fang Island Talks In Tampa

Fang Island

Fang IslandThere has come a time when we’ve all wanted our own musical score to accompany our lives. The mundane being jazzed up by our theme song. Epic encounters backed by frenzied guitar riffs, video game-esque music mashing all climaxing into a heart-wrenching crescendo. If there ever was a band that could be the soundtrack to your life, Fang Island would be it.

Fang Island, a self-proclaimed instrumental band from Rhode Island began at the Rhode Island School of Design featuring guitarists/vocalists Jason Bartell, Nicholas Andrew Sadler and Chris Georges, and drummer Marc St. Sauveur.

The Minaret got to speak with Georges before the band’s first ever Florida show, supporting the Joy Formidable on Sept. 25 at the Orpheum.

The Minaret: How did Fang Island Come Together?

Chris Georges: I started the band when I was in college, initially to fulfill a class credit. We decided to take a class called Rock Band class. We just recorded an album and then it started to get more serious and we started playing outside of school events and then became a band.

Did art school have an influence over 
your music?

Art school just gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted to kind of f*** off and be creative so it kind of lends itself to that. We wanted to make fun music because there’s really nothing else to do.

You’ve described your sound on MySpace as everyone high-fiving everyone. Can you explain that analogy a little bit?

At parties, me and my good friends would stand around and get excited after a couple beers and we would stand in a circle and all high-five each other and we would call it a circle clap. When MySpace first came out, we wanted to make a band page we decided to just throw that up there ‘everyone high-fiving everyone’ and it kind of ended up sticking…I think it describes it accurately.

How would you describe your sound if it were an ice cream flavor?

Oh I’m into this. If I had to describe our sound as an ice cream flavor, I would say it would be every flavor ever piled on top of itself reaching out into infinity. It’d be really creamy.

Why make instrumental music?

Originally we wanted to be instrumental because we couldn’t sing, we didn’t know how to sing. And we were nervous about singing so we would sing together because it would make us feel more comfortable if we just chant all together. Slowly we became more interested in writing and performing music. We wanted to expand our horizons and our skills so we decided to try to start learning how to sing and practicing singing. The new album’s going to have a lot more singing, but we’re still going to have some instrumentals. I really like instrumentals because it allows the listener to kind of make what they will of the song mixed with their own scenario to it, or create their own story instead of actually dictating it to you through the lyrics. After people listened to the record, people started creating all these stories about what our music is about and that was pretty excellent. Anything from the guy getting the girl to unicorns fighting over rainbows, all sorts of really interesting stories came out. That made me really excited about instrumental music.

Who’s listening?

Who listens to Fang Island? Everyone! It’s for everyone. Everyone high-fiving everyone. We have young kids, babies coming to our shows in our t-shirts and stuff to older folks who are interested in progressive rock from back in the 70s and then lots of kids. Everyone is super-nice and always try to come out after we play. We do our merch and stuff so we end up meeting a lot of people. It’s a good crowd, everyone’s positive, fun and down to high-five us. It’s great.

What was your first show like?

The first show we played in my living room for our first CD release and we had some beers, made friendship bracelets for everyone that came, and it was fun. We played like four songs and it was great.

Who are your influences?

We all come from very different tastes in music, we all have very diverse tastes. Our drummer Mark is really interested in metal. I think Nick is interested in death metal as well he grew up on that. Jason is into Weezer and all sorts of rock-n-roll.
We’re all into all sorts of 70s rock-n-roll, Thin Lizzy, progressive rock. We all listen to all sorts of fun party music with mostly a lot of electronic party music and Andrew W.K. was a big inspiration for us. We listen to too much music. We’re all over the board. We’re big music lovers.

How are you feeling about your 
Tampa show? Fang Island

We’ve never played in Florida before so we’re really excited to get down there. It’s our first time being there. We’re excited to be doing it with the Joy Formidable as well. I think it’s going to be fun. We’ve toured in the south a lot; for some reason our tour never ends up in Florida.

In your music videos, a lot of special effects and strange objects are used. Can you talk a little bit about your process for each one?

“The Careful Crossers” video was a lot of fun, it was really last minute. We just wanted to make a video and we had some friends over, and it ended up just being kind of like a party and we filmed the party. It was just kind of off-the-cuff and interesting what happened got a lot of lights made it real crazy. Some of the other ones, the Daisy one, our buddy Carlos he trained some dancers to dance to our song. We were kind of hidden in there. We’re in masks. I think that one was more based on “Point Break.”
The ones we have right now are pre-summer. I think we’re trying to do some new ones for the new album. Definitely want to blow up a guitar for one of them. That’s my dream. We need some more pyrotechnics, we need more fire.

Do you have any words of wisdom for college musicians trying to get their start?

Just keep playing, tour, keep practicing your trade. Enjoy school because school is awesome. You get to f*** off for four years and that’s pretty incredible, and just keep playing and play loud and if you’re passionate about it it will show and people will find you.

An interview by AMANDA SIERADZKI