The Raw Movement is back. In a world where technology is dominating sound, Vancouver based grunge band Fey, are inhabiting disparate worlds of thought and making it their primary place of residence. It's refreshing, it's brutally addictive and it's a place you'll wonder how the hell you ended up in. While most ache for the commercial security of safe sounds, Fey is a short ride into a long abyss of deeply resonate and emotionally driven rock. This is music to make you think, feel or release your inner angst – and perhaps do it all over again. After all, we're all yearning for the catharsis that great music brings, right?
Fey is vocalist Sam Caviglia, guitarist Jeff Wang, bassist Taylor Compo and drummer Scotty Miller. Off the back of their recent album 'Bye Bipolar', drummer Scotty Miller chatted to me about all things Fey. The band is definitely a throwback to the 90's when it really was about solid, raw sounds that created epic waves through fans of 'grunge'. I remember being in high school and voraciously buying and listening to this style of music, as many did. Perhaps it was misspent youth!
On the topic of school, I listened to the album 'Bye Bipolar' on Bandcamp and was really drawn to the composition and guitars of the track '14 years'. It was a clear stand out for me, and asked what the driving force behind the song was. "14 years was basically about us having known each other since elementary school. As for the composition, we didn't have a set map or anything and it really just grew organically. I can't really speak to the guitars other than to say Jeff did a kick ass job to really create the feeling that Sam was going for with the lyrics."
I asked Miller what is it for Fey that makes them sit in this style and, deliver it so evocatively? "We were all raised on 90's music and maybe it was just us being nostalgic but we wanted to hear that sound again, with a modern twist. We have a ton of different influences from that era and like to incorporate them with our more recent influences. I think this might be part of the reason that it works so well, because the 90's is really something that has shaped us each musically."
Band members Sam, Jeff and Scott all have known each other since elementary school. They were introduced to Taylor through Perry Neufeld (a former Fey guitarist) a couple of years ago and all the musicians were active in the Vancouver music scene prior to the band forming. To paint the landscape for Australian audiences, Miller shared what is happening there musically at the moment, the challenges, changes and opportunities the guys are seeing, and also what are audiences into. "Vancouver has a lot of great bands located in and around the city. However, as with anything there are still challenges as you mentioned. I think one of the biggest frustrations is with some of the venues. There is a club-scene-mentality several locations have that cater to the top 40 crowd. This can make it hard when putting on a show, as lots of times bands need to be finished at 10:30 or 11 PM so a DJ can go on. Super cool right…? That being said there are still some venues that treat bands right – The Media Club, Rickshaw Theatre, and Railway club to name a few."
When asked what are the main focuses for the band in 2015, Miller advised, "over the next 6 months we are releasing our CD, Bye Bipolar, and doing the CD release January 10th at the Railway Club in Vancouver. Then in February we are hitting the studio again to record a couple of new tracks and will be doing small tours here and there to follow up." Needless to say the band are suitably ... "Stoked!"
The stills photography from the behind the scenes shoots of the film clips, is another layer of 'raw' the band have carefully crafted against their impenetrable sound. Debut albums are typically longer in the making now for artists and I asked Miller about this process. Especially how is everyone feeling now it is released and importantly what has the response been like at gigs and from the all-encompassing social media channels. Fey fans are unabashedly loyal and very happy about it! "The debut album was actually around 2 years in the making. Part of the reason for this is we were almost finished and then decided to record an additional 3 tracks. The whole project just sort of kept evolving and we continued to add elements in. Eventually we reached a point where we were like, "Okay, we could keep doing this but we need to release it soon and need to draw a line". We are all busy with other projects too and so time is generally of the essence."
He explains, "We are all very stoked about the response to the album and live shows. We are trying to use social media more and more because it is just such a powerful tool to market anything with whether it's a product, service or a band. All of the reviews on the record have had some if not many great things to say about it and we are very excited about the future."