New bands sprout up in New York, likes weeds through the cracked cement. They grow out, gnashing their lo-fi fangs, strangling their nemeses: bands who genuinely think about their lyrics. Musicians who know how to play the guitar beyond a screeching fuzz of feedback and thick fingers. Bands that want to perform for you, the audience, and not for the rail thin chick in black, hoping she might sleep with them at the after-party.
Fighting those weeds is the up-and-coming band, FABRIC, made up of scenester band alums Chris Burke, Warren Stubs, Joel Veach, Sara Nelson and Sam Stuckey. If you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry… They haven’t played yet. But that’s all about to change this Thursday and Friday, when the band hits the stage at Glasslands and Mercury Lounge, respectively.
So, why am I writing about this mystery group? What do we have to go off of? Without an EP, or any shows, they’ve already caught the attention of some heavy hitters in the music industry. The two shows they’re playing this week are not the easiest venues to book for a band’s first gig. They’ll be opening for The Suzan at Glasslands (1/12) and Country Mice at Mercury (1/13). The pre-release demos they sent us radiate The Strokes of yesteryear. The Walkmen of today. Dreamy power chords and a lethargic voice. But a voice you can hear.
Behind that voice is lead singer Chris Burke.
How’d FABRIC come together?
Chris Burke: I quit my old band and started working on a lineup, this was in May. It didn’t feel right. I ended up moving out to Rockaway Beach for the summer. I worked on it over the summer and came back in September or October and it all just sort of worked itself out.
CB: It just popped into my head one night. I texted our drummer, Warren, who’s British, and he’s like, “Well it’s a huge club in London, but yeah.” That made it even better. It was the only name that brought everyone together. Everyone threw out names that were awful. One of the members offered Big Winter and White Cannon, both of which sounded to me like dildos. I wanted to be The Idiots but no one seemed to go for that, which made me know it was right. But FABRIC is good
Why’d you quit your previous band?
It was time to do my own thing. It’s everyone’s fantasy to be the lead singer of a band. I was the guitarist, so I was like, “Time to live my fantasy.” So I went for it.
How is FABRIC different from other bands you’ve been in?
This band is more rock ‘n’ roll. Definitely more aggressive, vocally. We’re not screaming, but it’s not surf-rock or lo-fi.
What steps are you taking with an EP/CD?
We’re gonna play this round of shows, get that under our belt. I really want to have a great show. In March we’re gonna try to record a demo EP to shop around. All the demos I have now aren’t good enough quality. I don’t want to do an EP other than the preview. At this point we almost have enough content for a full album, so I want to perfect our sound and get the right producer so we can solidify our sound.
What makes a great show for you?
It has to be entertaining, but more than that, what I really want from a bands performance is a vision. Some kind of individual message I can relate to and enjoy. I feel like that’s been lacking on the music scene lately.
What is FABRIC’s message?
It’ll change over time, but right now it’s a reaction to the lack of vision I see and the lack of engagement with fans and a real community. We want to imprint culture as deeply as possible. I want to confrontpeople. I’m a critical asshole and I want to have a microphone in my hand. Music is a cultural position.
How do you think the music community has gotten where it is now? I get that same sense, where the fans feel too cool to like anyone, and the bands feel too cool to prove anything.
Other people have talked about this recently, but a lot of it for me is vocals. Either you can’t hear what people are saying, or it’s incredibly generic. No one’s giving you anything you can take away, put in your pocket and walk around with. No one’s setting the world on fire. Something’s gotta change, otherwise things are gonna get real shitty [Laughs].
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