In the half year or so following the release of the band’s sophomore album Too, FIDLAR’s Zac Carper is as good of a place as he’s been in years. The album was well received by fans and critics, and represented a solid step forward for the garage rockers.
Though they’ve spent their 2015 on the road, this year has allowed the quartet to hunker down a bit. Carper, for the first time in a while, has a place he can call his own, albeit out in East Los Angeles. He has a small studio setup in his new warehouse living quarters, which has been conducive for Carper to begin writing and working on new FIDLAR material.
“There’s been a lot of cool ideas,” he says. “It’s the very beginning stages of the ideas and stuff. I’m trying to take my time with this one instead of rushing through like last time when we had six months to make the record. The past couple of years, I haven’t had a place, and now I’m not crazy broke. This is the first time I’ve had a place to work in a while.”
Recently, to give the new space a test run, FIDLAR recorded a cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” The song took a few hours to record and the band threw it up on YouTube, where it garnered a good number of views without being to heavily promoted. The song sounded strong sonically to the point where they may end up staying home to work on the album instead of traveling like they did to make Too.
As happy as he is to be in a new crash pad, being in deep East Los Angeles has afforded Carper to see things he hadn’t seen while staying in Silver Lake. With chickens running around in the road, it’s long way from living in the hipster haven.
“There’s a Superior market down the street and this kid saw me and was like ‘You’re that dude from FIDLAR,’” he recalls. “I told him we moved over to Gage St. and he’s like ‘That’s gnarly dog!’ I’m trying to figure out if what I’m hearing at night are gunshots or fireworks.”
Much of the story surrounding Too was Carper’s bout to get sober. He acknowledges it was a part of the narrative, at this point, though sober, he’s tired of it being a talking point. Carper is ready move on.
“The interviews have all been all the same,” he laments. “I got really sick of talking about being sober and talking about my past and rehashing all of this bullshit that happened. I want to write about real shit and living in a gentrified hipster area [that] didn’t feel real to me. I wanted to get back to singing about doing speed at house parties in Glassell Park, even though I’m still sober.”
Attributing some of his drug use to being bored while off the road, Carper has found inspiration by producing SWMRS and the Frights. Also, the band explored creating their own curated show before realizing the massive undertaking it would be before tabling it for another time.
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FIDLAR’s first shows of 2016 are at one of their favorite venues in the form of the Observatory this Friday and Saturday. Having been playing it since the early Burgeramas, FIDLAR has built up enough cache locally to be able to sell out the room multiple nights as a headliner.
As for the rest of this year, FIDLAR is going to be on the road in Europe this summer before heading back Stateside for more dates with SWMRS and The Frights. For now, the band’s focus are those shows with a longer eye of getting some new songs cranked out at their own pace.
“Producing other bands has been great for me,” Carper says. “I’ve been learning a lot of what I’ve seen from them. The things I’ve done with working with them with production—helping them develop—made me realize that I need to do that with FIDLAR. It’s a lot more than me sitting down with an acoustic guitar anymore. I want to try to collaborate with other producers or bands, and people, and I think that’s going to be good for FIDLAR."
Fidlar performs at the Observatory on Friday and Saturday with SWMRS, The Frights and No Parents. 8 p.m. $22, all ages. For full info, click here.