Fuck It, Dog. Life’s a Risk. The acronym was first a skateboarding term, and bassist Brandon Schwartzel explained that “If someone was unsure [about a skate trick], we’d be like, ‘FIDLAR man!’ and they’d be like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna go for it!’”
Schwartzel and the friendly hooligans who make up FIDLAR – vocalist/guitarists Zac Carper and Elvis Kuehn, as well as drummer Max Kuehn – grew up in skate-influenced regions like Los Angeles and Hawaii. The soundtracks that accompanied Tony Hawk and other skate video-games were a big influence on the band’s sound, which is often described as garage, pop and punk rock. Schwartzel improves the description by adding in that they’re “loud and rowdy.”
Although they’re not big skaters anymore “because you just get hurt too much,” Schwartzel shared that the name FIDLAR was appropriately adopted by band members. The philosophy of the acronym follows the band members as they bump around North America in their tour van.
“[FIDLAR represents] not caring so much about what you’re going to do with your life, just living in the moment and being like, ‘Fuck it, fuck what people tell you to do and what they think you should be doing.’ Just do what you want and have fun doing it.”
FIDLAR’s new album bottles the wild child and chill vibes of life rolling down sunny L.A. streets, then moving into nights, drunk and drugged. Each loud and upbeat song is drenched in their carefree attitude and touches upon youthful misdemeanors and intoxicated endeavors.
Their shows stay true to this as well: Schwartzel explained how the intimate feel of their early shows in empty parking lots, basements, and warehouses is still preserved with growing crowds.
“We’ll invite kids on stage to come up and hang out with us while we’re playing,” he said. “People who came to see you play are actually on stage with you, bumping into you.”
Schwartzel went on to highlight how during their rowdy warehouse shows, “Our shit gets unplugged or your gear breaks or someone steps on your pedals or knocks your amp over, so it can sometimes become difficult to play.”
Shows in concert venues are sometimes appreciated by the band because “[their] stuff doesn’t get broken.”
On a past tour with Swedish rockers The Hives, after a show at Montreal’s Metropolis venue, the bassist shared the events of a wild night when “we got these kids into the show, and they brought us some questionable substances […] We went pretty big that night, and the skateboards came out of the van which is never a good thing to do when you’re really wasted. So everyone just started falling and eating shit, but no one could feel it, we were all just laughing.”
The next morning was characterized by deep gashes, scratches and extensive bruising.
“That was a pretty good one,” Schwartzel added, laughing.
When questioned about the rumor that the band has Justin Bieber’s phone number written on their amps, the bassist confirmed this.
“I can’t say particularly where we got it […] We found it through different connections. Hopefully he’s getting a lot of calls […] We always say to text him racy pictures.”
FIDLAR spends their unglamorous touring days driving in their van, listening to podcasts, playing shows and “sleeping on people’s floors, and eating shitty food ‘cause there’s nothing else.”
In essence, the band “[follows] no guidelines, we just do whatever we want. We have no one telling us what we need to be doing,” Schwartzel happily explained.
As the crowds continue to get larger while they grow in success, Schwartzel remarked, “I don’t think we were ever really grounded […] It comes down to making music we want to make, and playing music we want to play.”
As a final note, Schwartzel sends a message to all the ladies reading the article: “Max is single. He’s our drummer and he’s always interested. So if you come to a show, harass him.”
FIDLAR plays La Sala Rossa with Wavves on Saturday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m.