It's not often that talented musicians from successful out-of-town bands move into our jurisdiction, so imagine our surprise when we discovered that Adam Rupert Fisher, guitarist of post-hardcore juggernauts Fear Before the March of Flames, was not only working at a wine bar in Long Beach, but that he was releasing an album of mellowed-out songs under a new project called All Human.
All Human was once Fisher's name for some solo things he had written and recorded after Fear Before went on hiatus in 2009 (the band had by then dropped “the March of Flames” from its name). Without immediate plans to release the album, however, he moved to Long Beach on a whim last year and has since then kept a low profile, picking up shifts at music-friendly wine bar 4th St. Vine and quietly making friends with some local players in the hopes of eventually bringing All Human to life.
Two weeks ago — more than a year after recording the album at various houses around Denver — Fisher's one-time bedroom solo project was pressed and released as a full-length, titled Catholic Guilt or the Queerest of Thoughts. And last Thursday night, Fisher and the rest of the now-four-piece All Human played their second live show ever — for their record release party at the Prospector in Long Beach.
With the album finally available and the first few nerve-wracking shows out of the way, All Human is gearing up for an upcoming stint on the Inked Music Tour (alongside Vampires Everywhere!, Alesana and In Fear And Faith), where Fear Before fans will likely flock to watch Fisher's anticipated new act. But what Fear Before fans probably won't know when watching their favorite hardcore songwriter sing and play keyboards to these songs is how his project came to be a product of Long Beach, the city whose music community embraced Fisher and made the last few months of All Human's forward momentum possible.
We sat down for some beers with All Human frontman Fisher the day before his record release show to talk about his move to SoCal, his finally-released album and his love of dogs. Check out our interview after the jump.
OC Weekly (Sarah Bennett): So how the hell did you end up in Long Beach?
Adam Rupert Fisher: The opportunity to move here arose at a time when I was willing to go just about anywhere. I didn't know much about Long Beach–I had only been here one day ever. I had a buddy already living out here who had toured with Fear Before. My roommate had been planning on moving out here and I didn't really have anything keeping me in Colorado at the time.
But you already had the All Human album recorded?
Yeah, I made this record in Colorado. There's a couple of songs that I intended to be Fear Before songs and we recorded them when we all lived together in the Fear Before house in Aurora. Coming out here didn't have anything to do with All Human or Fear Before, though–I just needed a change. I was going to pursue All Human wherever I was at, but I needed a change. I love Colorado and I miss it and I'll probably go back at some point, but for now I needed something way different. It got a little too comfortable. When Fear Before was a band, we all looked out for each other and there was someone who took care of all the adult stuff. It was too easy and I felt like I needed to grow up a little. I had two friends out here, which was cool, but I had to find a band and start from scratch and I think it was better that way.
What do you think of Long Beach now that you've been living here for a year?
It's definitely an interesting city. Moving out here and not really knowing anything about Long Beach–but knowing Southern California as Southern California and Los Angeles as L.A.–it's different. It's a lot more chill here, I think. Someone told me the first week I was here that it's a giant city with a small town vibe and it's totally true. I bumped into someone at the farmers market the other day and he was a friend who I toured with six years ago. It was really weird. We were picking out tomatoes and it's like, “Oh we went on tour together in 2006.”
All Human is more mellow and has less screaming than Fear Before. Was that part of the whole "growing up” thing?
I think it's just where I was at the time, but I want to play some thrashy stuff again. It was just something new. It's exciting. It's a lot less mellow live, too, now that I have a band. I just wrote those songs in my bedroom so some of them have 17 keyboard parts and at the time, it was like, "Who cares?”–I didn't know I was ever going to get to play this live. I knew I wanted to put it out, but I didn't know if it was going to happen. I definitely didn't know I was going to have a band and that we would become such close friends.
[Dog approaches interview in progress on patio of restaurant. Adam pets it.] Are you a dog person?
I love dogs. There are multiple songs on the All Human record about dogs. The first song on the record is about a lot of things but one of the main things is losing my dog of 13 years. He was my best buddy. He's taped to all my guitars. The song called “Jack Off Capital of the World” is also about choosing my dog over getting married to a girl. It's about wanting to move to a cabin in the mountains and just live with my dog and write.
That's refreshing because so often, we assume lyrics are about the artist's relationships with significant others.
We actually have a new song that isn't on the record that is kind of about a girl for just part of a song and it feels weird. I'm not used to writing music about girls. Dave and I split lyric duties for Fear Before. Maybe when we were younger, there were songs about girls, but this All Human record is definitely not a pick-me-up record. It's definitely not about relationships with women. I think a lot of it is about going through losing Fear Before and not really having anything and trying to figure out what to do next. Even singing one line about a girl, actually thinking about what I wrote it about and knowing it was about a person that I knew in my life that was a girl–I feel so cheesy. Thank god it's only one line in a song. I just can't do it.
Is it a weight off of your chest now that the record is out?
Definitely. It came out last week, but I just got the physical copies today and I was so excited I was just walking around with a copy of it in my hand. My roommate was like, “What are you doing?” It's finally became a real, physical thing.
And it's so cool that even though this wasn't written out here, you chose to do a local show with local bands to release it.
Yeah, I think it'll be cool because people I've met through 4th St Vine are going to come. It's really exciting. I've been here for a year and I'd say I've been tapped in with the Long Beach music scene for about 9 months now. I've been a quiet observer and no one knew I had an album or was in a band that toured. For me, it's kind of breaking out and saying, “Hey guys, I do this, too,” because no one knew. I don't go out of my way to talk about it. If I had a few beers in me, maybe. But when some musician friends found out, they were weirded out. People ask, “What do you do besides bartend?” but that's only 20 hours out of my week.
Was there ever a thought to have the show in LA?
Long Beach is the place where I finally feel–I don't want to say home because I don't ever really know where home is–but it's the place I've been accepted into over the last year. It would almost be a fuck you to everyone. Like Jim, my boss, who's really helped me out. It would be a middle finger to all the people who have helped make me feel at home. So I never considered it. Of course we'll play L.A., but for now, to have the release show, it should be here. As far as this goes, I want the release show to be with my friends and the people who have supported me over the last year. As far as the last year of my life, being here has been so supportive.
How has the community supported you?
[Catholic Guilt] this record I made kind of by myself with songs I wrote and it's really extended beyond that now in a totally new place. Something I never thought would happen. It's crazy that it's a Long Beach project now. What'll I do if I move? That's a weird thing to think about–moving again. You just collect all these people only to leave them behind. What an awful thought.
Were you aware of the music community when you moved out here?
I knew about Snoop Dogg and Sublime. And it's funny because not a week goes by where I don't hear somebody blaring Sublime out of their car or out of their house. All I can think is, “Are you serious? Still?”
Sarah Bennett is a freelance journalist who has spent nearly a decade covering food, music, craft beer, arts, culture and all sorts of bizarro things that interest her for local, regional and national publications.