Fedd Up Interview

Fedd Up is a band from Lancaster, Ohio that has just released their Dark Days EP.

Can you give us a little information about each member? What is the history of Fedd Up?

Jake Smith is one of the lead vocalists and the lead guitarist for Fedd Up. Jake has been through many original bands in the past with rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist, Nick Alvis, since they both started their first band together in 2006 while in high school at Lancaster. Eric Merz is the bass player and newest member of Fedd Up when he joined in December of 2012. Nick, originally a drummer, joined in March of 2012 through the coercion of Jake introducing him to Fedd Up as a guitarist. Fedd Up has been around since Jake and drummer/other lead vocalist, Dirk Crist, began the project in 2009 with two other local musicians. Dirk owned a pizza shop and bar in Sugar Grove called Roxy’s Pizza. This was the headquarters for Fedd Up until the spring of 2013 when the shop was sold. Fedd Up built a large fan backing, wrote a good amount of original songs, and formed today’s lineup of the band all at Roxy’s Pizza.  Fedd Up knows that there is a slim chance of becoming big and quitting our daytime jobs. We just want everybody to hear our original music.

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Which acts have influenced the overall sound of the band greatest? What is a dream lineup (of living/dead, current/past) of bands that you would want to play alongside?

All the songs written during the time of the current line-up of members has had very equal creativity distribution. But, we all have our differences in specialty tastes. Jake vibes off the music of Black Sabbath and The Doors. Nick is partial to The Mars Volta and Pink Floyd. Eric likes Social Distortion and Dirk is all about KISS. These bands and a few other legends like Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, and Deep Purple would be a dream lineup to play alongside.

How does the studio Fedd Up differ from the band that one sees when the band plays live? Do you have any stories about live performances?

Our Dark Days EP does the band’s sound a lot of justice. When people see us live they have the added effect of entertainment. We like to get into the music while we’re playing and really interact with the crowd. The whole band is comprised of many years of jam band talent. Before recording a song there is little that remains the same each different time we play it. Including at times; different lyrics, different solos, and different breakdowns. It just depends on the current mood. You never know what you are going to see at a Fedd Up show. We have played in front of hundreds of people at once and a handful of people at other times. It’s all about having fun playing our original songs. And an occasional, eventful Tee Jaye’s run at two in the morning after a show.

Fedd Up works a lot with local (Lancaster/Columbus)-based bands. Besides yourselves, what acts are doing something interesting down in the central Ohio area?

We have a lot to say about the local musicians here. We have always been in cahoots with a handful of groups. Currently we play shows and promote with a Gypsy band from Lancaster called Fisher, a hip hop artist from Lancaster named Sam Rothstein, a folk band from Lancaster called The Shonk Brothers, and have done several shows with the rock band from Lancaster called Cross Solder. Fisher is currently recording a new album. Sam Rothstein just released a visual EP called Blood Orange on Youtube. The Shonk Brothers are looking at studio time soon. And Cross Solder just released a new album called Chapter 2: The Rebound Effect.

The band has worked hard by word of mouth and online interactions. Have you noticed any differences in terms of the fans you’ve accumulated through each type of service?

Word of mouth is definitely the cheapest form of advertisement. In the beginning this was a huge factor. We still place great importance on word of mouth advertisement but also we have been stepping up our game with online presence. We got into all the music pages like Facebook, Reverbnation, Purevolume, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, CDBaby, and have our own Youtube channel. The internet is such an effective tool at spreading information that it would be ignorant not to try and maximize the potential of this marketing tool. Our online following has greatly grown since the release of our Dark Days EP on August 14th, 2015.

What goals/plans does the band have for the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016?

Fedd Up plans on spreading the Dark Days EP and trying to have everybody give it a listen. We are not trying to convince people that our music is their style. We are trying to find people that like our music so we can connect and network with them. We are looking to go back to the Sonic Lounge Studio in Grove City towards the beginning of 2016 for at least putting out a nice single. We have over thirty original songs that we’ve accumulated in the past six years. We are hand selecting our best ones and adapting to our own change in style of playing music to better suit what we want to do as original musicians. We have come a long way since the origin of Fedd Up in 2009. This is especially due to our taste in music, our new lineup, and the new found chemistry with the new lineup that holds Fedd Up together.

What steps do listeners need to take to have Fedd Up’s music played on Columbus radio rotation?

CD102.5 and 99.7 the Blitz have our music. We have not been released on CD102.5 yet. We urge listeners to call into the stations and request the local music of Fedd Up from Lancaster. Most importantly, stay in touch with us on Facebook for all the latest news. We will always need to support of others to do anything great with our original music. We just want everybody to hear it. We are very proud of the music we make and the new EP we just recorded.

Do you have any other thoughts for us at NeuFutur?

Keep doing what you are doing. Nick has been following NeuFutur since 2006 when he started playing music out. It’s a great thing what publicity can do to an unsigned band trying to promote their music. It’s practically priceless.

Thank you so much for your time.

Interested readers can purchase their own copy of the Dark Days EP at CDBaby.

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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