If you like Rap-Metal, Fatal Switch will turn you on with their rebellious lyrics and dirty guitar riffs….
How would you describe your music?
FS: Our music is where heavy loud instruments meets thought-provoking hip-hop storytelling. With grooves that range from hard rock to metal with hints of industrial and thrash, we offer an eclectic mix of songs on our debut album Doctors & Demons.
We offer our listeners a door into a universe that is filled with cyborgs, demons, war, domestic abuse, parallel dimensions, creatures and much more.
Tell us about the history of the project?
FS: The very beginnings go really really really far back. Talking like at least 13/14 years ago when it first hit me. As far back as my first demo track. Actually no, even further like 20 years ago.
It was a typical summer night just nearing the end of my high school days when I was chilling with my crew smoking on the porch getting insanely blitzed. At the peak of my buzz, my music aficionado friend suddenly pulls out a CD and he’s like, “You gotta check this out man,” and he starts spinning The Black Trash album.
I can still remember feeling my mind melt as I watched the trees dance, swaying to the music. We listened to the whole thing front to back without barely speaking a word. The music paralysed my psyche and from that day on that record became a part of my musical identity.
I made it my mission to carry the spirit of the Autobiography of Kirk Jones deep within my artistry. It is a cinematic masterpiece, where every song ties together in a captivating narrative. To me it is the most underrated album of all time.
Fast forward to my first demo some 5 or so years later. My friend and I booked a studio with our illusions of grandeur, thinking we would get big off recording a few tracks. Hahaha. Too be young.
Anyhow we each had enough money for 1 solo song and 1 collaborated song together. So, my friend chose two beats, one for his song and one for our shared song. But for MY song I made the sound engineer work on one from scratch. It was the only original song on the demo and it had a story and concept planned out that extended into other songs. Those unrecorded songs continued on with a main character that travelled on an epic journey but I never got around to completing that particular concept. But that was my first step into weaving the ethos of Fatal Switch, whether or not I knew it at the time, I was beginning to develop my signature artistry. But perfecting this vision took a very long time.
Fast forward again to some ten years later and I find myself out of the hip hop scene and into the metal scene making new friends and connections. About to record my first studio album I was short a guitarist and a drummer so my bassist and I hired session players for the record. Now I finally had an album filled with intricate stories mixed with heavy metal and rock. Fatal Switch was finally born!
However, my bassist left the band shortly after and I had to find the official members of Fatal Switch to continue the project. As the concept grows from the tales on album 1, album 2 is on the way with more character development and clever twists.
We continue to let the tale of young girl named Sian who runs away from home unfold. The first album lays the ground work for her and her alter ego named Hyde to exist. And with new songs on the way we are finally ready to unleash her dormant super powers. We have a lot in store for our listeners and we are really excited to keep building on what we started.
What are your influences/ musical heroes?
FS: This list can go on forever. More than half the band are die hard Metallica fans while others like Children of Bodom, Tool, In Flames, Pantera. For myself , band’s that stick with me would be Radiohead, The Roots, Nirvana to name a very few.
What inspires you?
FS: Lots of things can inspire me. Being a musician, you have to be open to many different forms of inspiration. Imagination is big, watching others people ideas and creativity and allowing it to influence your own is something I am never ashamed of.
The mysteries of life, science, nature. Emotions, scares, pain, love, joy. When I write it always starts from my heart before I let it hit my head, I first have to feel it then I can put it into words. If I don’t feel it the song writing process becomes very difficult.
What else? Movies, podcasts, conversations, inebriations. Poetry, memory, moments in time that stand still.
Do you write on the road? Or do you prefer to write in the studio?
FS: Whenever we are not in the studio we are always creating in our heads. Coming up with riffs, beats and verses. Working on material we started on, trying to prefect it in our minds. We are musicians, we never stop living and breathing music, creating musical blocks. But the studio is where we put everything together. That’s where all the real hard work and building usually happens, once each member brings a piece of clay for the rest of us to work on.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
FS: Grow a Spine is our best live song. We really changed our songs to give the best live performance and this one has really been tweaked to have fun with the crowd. It has a little bit of everything you want in a song, it’s our big fun moment filled with jumping, crowd chanting and it usually ends up with me in the mosh pit.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
FS: That can be a big list as well lol. I guess Metallica with Eminem, Slipknot and Rage Against the Machine would be pretty dope!
What are you current thoughts on the music industry?
FS: That’s a loaded question lol. I think the same oliguric problems that plague society also plague the music industry. The same platforms that would never survive without artists are the same ones that abuse and pillage their livelihoods as they cannibalise their hard-spent dollars for their own profits. Why do we let them get away with this? I don’t know but I would have thought that the government would have stepped in by now and served the people, using the money they have taken from us through taxation. Proper regulation would only result in more wealthy artists, who would have more disposal income therefore pay more taxes and… but what do I know?
And what do we even get out of these platforms? Spotify or YouTube can be as amazing as they can be detrimental for artist discovery. Giving direct access for the general populace to upload their music without vetting or having some form of quality control leaves a highly saturated market of overall lower quality sound recordings.
One after one they flood the market as they bury professional artists under all the noise. It takes away the opportunities for those who have actually invested in their careers a chance to recuperate on the immense expenses releasing a record takes. When you have an individual who spent 10k (for example) to create an album in a real studio with a real producer to get real quality results, why should they have to fight against someone who has invested next to nothing to create a track in their bedroom?
Not to say that the individual in the bed room might be talented but they are not maxing out their potential. Even platinum artists still rely on producers to bring out the best in their work and I feel like this is an important step being missed all too often. And I think this just scratches the tip of the iceberg really. I could go on but I’ll digress.
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
FS: Tours usually consist of less than humane hours of sleep and the loopiness sets in rather quick. My cheeks typically hurt from laughing so much from delirium. We end up cracking joke after joke and having a great time but nothing super crazy has ever happened so far. I mean there’s always something that kind of goes wrong.
I remember one gig we had the house tell us they would provide certain gear so we packed up the car accordingly. But when we got there, half of us who brought our gear didn’t need it and the other half of us were missing gear for the show that was supposed to be provided. It was definitely stressful but with the genius of the sound tech and other bands lending us stuff we managed to play our set without a hitch.
It was pretty comical to have lugged so much gear we didn’t need and leave the stuff we actually needed behind, traveling over 7 hours for a gig and not even sure if we were going to be able play. Was definitely a funny and weird dynamic.
What are your future plans?
FS: We’ve got lots in the works and with COVID stopping tradition, we are trying to find new ways to promote our debut album. We are also getting ready to go back into studio early 2021 for our second album so we have a lot to digest and work on. Really excited to have our music out into the world. Go give us a listen!
Thanks for having this chat with us. And thanks to your readers for taking the time to get to know a bit about us!
Much love and noise – Fatal Switch.