So one year ago around this time there was still quite a bit of uncertainty about the band’s future. Shortly before 2017 began.. We got the news that our good friend and founding band member, Derik, was leaving the band. He was such a force to be reckoned with both on stage and off. So what were we to do? Could we keep FCF going? Could we really call it the same name even though we felt such a huge change in our identity? Well I don’t know, but we did and I’m glad for it because this year has been special. I’m going to do my best to do a concise recap about what happened in FCF world this year!
We began rehearsing multiple times a week as a 3 piece as we auditioned guitar players. We had a fierce determination to find ways to maintain our sound the best we could… even being short a member for an undetermined amount of time..
- In early February we added phenomenal guitar player, Jeremy Stein. We were back in business. The dude could shred. Shred city, USA
South By Southwest in March of 2017 was a busy time with 7 shows all over town. We were busy and we were motivated more than even to show off our new sound. Our week included a very flattering writeup on Cuepoint ranking “The 30 Freshest Sets at SXSW”. https://medium.com/cuepoint/the-30-freshest-sets-we-saw-at-sxsw-9914d5812546. SXSW came and went with Jeremy Stein on guitar and he was killing it, but unfortunately we had different goals and values that didn’t quite line up with what he had in mind so we split ways, very amicably of course, but it was time to start auditioning more players.
- Clint Manning stepped up and won the job handily. He came ready to go with lots of experience with previous bands, tours and countless releases over the span of his personal music career. Not to mention… the dude is a guitar wizard who is always performing “with lightning shooting out from the frets of his machine” (Nathalie Phan, Vinyl List) and he can sing with the best of em. We are so happy to say that we found a winner and that he’s still in the band and on board with plans set for 2018. He performed his first show with us at our tour sendoff at Stubbs which also marked the release of our first single of the summer, “Attack”.
We embarked on “The Radio Attack Tour” in June as a 3 piece. It was a great time out there on the road. We missed Clint, but we had this tour planned for shortly after he joined. It was just too short notice to ask someone to uproot their life and tour for over 2 weeks. We had great shows in all 10 (maybe? Who counts anymore?) cities. Including, but not limited to Nashville, Charlotte, Carrboro, Philly, NYC, Binghamton, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, etc.
- Something absolutely worth mentioning is the progress the "Say It Loud" podcast has made. Not only have we had some incredible guests... we seem to have just gotten better at it. It feels that way when I listen back to them anyways. Matt Jones is the man for running that show. http://www.faircityfire.com/podcast
Next came the second annual “Too Damn Hot Affair”. This time it fell on August 18, 2017 and it was to be held at THE LEGENDARY ANTONE’S!!! Seriously, it was such an honor to be on that stage and to think we got to orchestrate an event that took place on a Friday night there was quite an honor. We had a great bill again with Finite Fidelity, That Girl Dre and Dr Joe. It marked the release of the 2nd and final single release of 2017, “No Promises”. We also raised some money for one of our favorite nonprofits in Austin, The Sims Foundation. Check out what Vinyl List had to say about the event! http://vinyllist.com/2017/08/antones-too-damn-hot-affair-fires-up-the-end-of-summer/
- After the big Antone’s show we decided to focus our energy on writing and finalizing songs for the next album. With the fairly quick progress of the writing.. We were able to start the actual recording a few weeks ago. We’re looking at an April 2018 release! Please keep an eye on all of our social media stuff for more specific announcements. All I can say is… we are in for a hell of a year in 2018!
End of Year Questions for Each Member
What was your favorite moment in 2017?
Joe: Playing a venue we had never played before, Antones. It was amazing to partner with Sims and have a great crowd at a legendary venue. 2017 was also the year of adjustment for us but we came out the other end a more cohesive and better band.
Brian: Had to be at Craft Pride when that guy yelled “Free Bird” like a jerk and I Game of Thrones style shamed him and the whole place started waving their hands and this guy and yelling SHAME!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!! There was something special about that level of support for us from mostly strangers who were only connected to us through enjoying the night and the show.
Brett: Writing our second album as a band
Clint: Playing the first show with FCF at Stubbs on June 16!
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
Joe: I can't wait for our new music that I think showcases our changing direction and of course hitting the road again 🙂 I'd also like to check out more shows in the next year because there is some great talent in this city.
Brian: I’m just generally excited to see where all our hard work in 2017 leads to. We really made it a point to redefine ourselves this year. Of course, I’m very excited to take the show on the road again after we put out this new record.
Brett: Releasing a new full length album and touring in 2018 with Brian, Joe, Clint and Matt Jones as we document this tour and record podcast all over the country.
Clint: Looking forward to the album and tour, thats prob the same for all of us.
What was your favorite album in 2017?
Joe: Malibu by Anderson.Paak, (it didn't come out in 2017 but I discovered it this year and it was the one I listened to the most all the way through)
Brian: Prisoner by Ryan Adams. Got to see him perform a lot of the songs at Austin City Limits this year too and it was amazing!
Brett: I don't have a favorite album that came out in 2017 but I do have one that came out in November of 2016 that i must have listen to about 200 times in 2017. The Canvas People : City Boy Slump.
Clint: Mr. Finish Line by Vulfpeck