Skate punk meets classic rock
When L.A. rockers FIDLAR hit the High Noon Saloon on Nov. 1, don't be surprised if something outrageous happens. After all, the band's name is an acronym for "Fuck it, Dog, life's a risk," a phrase picked up from one of their skateboarding friends.
I talked to bassist Brandon Schwartzel about their rebellious spirit and their most daring music video.
Isthmus: You've mentioned that skateboarding and surfing go hand in hand with FIDLAR's punk influences. How so?
Schwartzel: I myself, [drummer] Max Kuehn and [singer-guitarist] Elvis Kuehn all grew up in Southern California, and [singer-guitarist] Zac Carper was in Hawaii. Where we grew up, we didn't really have football or lacrosse. We all skateboarded in high school and went surfing. Because those sports are kind of alternative sports... they were rebellious. At least skateboarding was. It was these kids who made their own skateboards, [with] this punk attitude. So punk music went hand in hand with that. A lot of the bands I found out about growing up were from watching skate videos.
There's also a classic-rock element to your music.
Once you get a little older, you start exploring music more. For us, that was listening to old records and our parents' records, getting into the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Band and Neil Young.
You got Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson on NBC's Parks and Recreation, to star in your video for "Cocaine." How did that happen?
He's been a family friend of Max and Elvis for a long time.... One day he was at the dentist, looking at a music magazine, and he saw some write-up about us. He went home and listened to our music and liked "Cocaine."
He actually came up with the whole idea for the video. He sent us one of the funniest emails I've ever read, like, "I want to get a prosthetic penis and piss all over Los Angeles." We were like, "Let's make it happen." We filmed it all in one day.... I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.