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Fist Fight Interview

18 January 2019 No Comment

Fist Fight CoverFist Fight have landed on our first cover of the new year! This is their second cover appearance which as you know is a rarity reserved for the truly awesome. Fist Fight just dropped their sophomore album Notebook Full of Hate which is just blistering hardcore metal co-produced by Ahrue Luster of Ill Niño. Fist Fight will be hitting NAMM with a vengeance so if you see them at the convention give them a high five and get your CD autographed.

Hello Gents, congrats on being our poster children, whoops I mean cover artist, again. So how has Fist Fight progressed and evolved since the last time you were on our cover?

Dustin: We found our sound.  We have had 8 years to grow and mature as musicians, and we brought in a different drummer in Joey Cushman.  His influence has made us step up our game, not just in musicianship, but also in communication and organization.  We took our time developing the songs and paid attention to the details this time.  We didn’t force the songs to go a certain direction and let them flow organically.  This is definitely a brotherhood.

Your new album Notebook Full of Hate just dropped. I guess the title “Twinkly Fuzzy Bunny Stuff” was already taken. So, the album is killer what was it like recording that beast?

Adrian: Thank you so much! Well, it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure (laughs) but we did learn some new tricks in the recording process. We learned so much since our last album so we came into it with a good idea of what we wanted it to sound like. All the pre-production, getting levels right, re-recording everything, scrapping a bit here, and writing a new part there. I think it took us almost 2 years before we could release anything. That said, it was the most fun I’ve had and I can’t wait for us to start on the next one!

Jon: Recording our new album Notebook Full Of Hate was very challenging. We had a lot of life events that slowed the whole thing down, with two members having major surgeries and a big car wreck thrown on top definitely set us back a little bit on releasing the album. However, we had Ahrue Luster from the band Ill Niño/Machine Head co-produce and handle the mastering on this album. It’s been a long ride but it created something amazing.

Did Notebook Full of Hate come together exactly as you planned or are there some songs or parts left on the cutting room floor?

Notebook Fist FightJoey: Nothing in this band really comes together as we plan (laughs), but I think we ended up getting everything we wanted onto the album. We played some of these songs live for a while and thought that we had them finished, but after we started recording with Ahrue, and he gave us some pointers on arrangement, we had to re-write and re-record probably half of the songs. Small parts and sounds may have been cut on the final mix, but in the end we all agreed that we had a great album regardless.

Nick: Nothing was left off. We got just about everything we planned on in there, in some way. We did talk about splitting the whole thing into 2 EP’s at one point. But we really hated that idea. It just felt too half assed doing it that way. So, I think I got about 2 hours of sleep every night that last month. The joys of having a full-time job & full-time band. I threw everything I had at it to finish the whole project on time.

What things that you hate do you address in the lyrics? And what things don’t you hate?

Dustin: I hate the general unrest in the world.  It is hard to understand why people fight so much. I don’t like being hit, (laughs), it sucks. I use music to vent my frustrations and connect with others through my stories.

Adrian: The things we address include the usual daily bullshit we all have to deal with, political discord, and the unstable maniacs that we all seem to have in our lives. We absolutely don’t hate watching people standing up for what they believe in, taking charge of their lives and not making excuses.

What are your favorite songs on the album right now?

Dustin: “In This Life” is gaining some traction on radio, and that is exciting! Yeah, I would say this is my favorite.

Joey: My 2 favorite songs have been “28 Days” and “Occam’s Razor”. Both of those songs are pretty fast and just slamming on the kick… 1+1= happy drummer guy

Adrian: My two faves change daily, but right now I’d have to say “28 Days” and “Out for Blood”

Jon: A couple of my favorite songs are “Dirty Glass” and “Out For Blood”. Those songs stand out, and I love to see the reactions of our fans when we perform them.

Nick: Mine are “28 Days”, “Notebook” & “In This Life”.

Musically how did you challenge each other to make the best album possible?

Joey: We tried to really examine what we did on the first album, Conflict, take the best aspects of that and build on what we already had. Dustin can’t get much more perfect for the band or music we write than he already is, the dude was born for this. But the rest of us kept jamming and hashing it out, trying to make something heavier and meaner than the last album.

Adrian: Well, we made it more of a point to put more guitar solos into our songs, so Nick and Jon really stepped up to the plate. I’m really proud of them. Overall we just wanted more substance and depth so we really took our time in the writing process to make sure that came across. Not sure if it did, but I’m satisfied regardless.

Jon: On this album we pushed each other to the fullest. We wanted it to be faster, better and tighter then the last album. Every time we thought we had a song complete one of us would push the limits and add more to it. This album really explains why I do what I do. It’s a well-put together piece of art.

Nick: I think in the middle of the writing process I felt like I needed to improve on, well, everything (laughs). So, I started taking a few lessons from Greg Burgess in Allegaeon. Not only is he an amazing player, he also a great teacher and his band is badass too.

The album art is sweet. Who did the layout and design?

Joey: The design credit goes to Dustin and his little shed in the backyard. When we first decided to name the album Notebook Full of Hate he was already describing what he wanted to see, a gun here and the casings there and some brass knuckles there…he turned into an interior decorator for a day. Our good friend David Burke at Mammoth Metal hooked us up with the sweet pictures.

Jon: The layout and design was done by us all in the band. Nick Rich had most to do with the production side and creating the artwork. He worked together with David Burke at Mammoth Metal to get the best photos possible for the album.  Shelli Kinneberg also got a great photo of us that we did use for the centerfold on the album.

I’ve heard there are some different political leanings in the band. How do you keep from killing each other in practice?

Joey: Hey, I just love hanging out and playing with these dudes. I don’t care if we voted the same way, or if my guitarists have a different opinion on an issue that I care about. We’re all pretty open-minded and welcoming of new ideas, and we let us humans be humans.

Adrian: We have Conservatives, Liberals and Anarchists so we are radically different to a degree. However, we always act like adults and respect each other’s point of view. Wish the rest of society acted the same way.

Jon: Well, we keep from killing each other by standing together. We really do have a strong family bond as a band. Don’t get me wrong, we fight like brothers. We love each other and hate each other. We always make sure to push each other but also know that we care for each other. The future holds great things for us.

So, Fist Fight is finally coming out for NAMM. What are you guys most excited about at the convention?

fist fight stairwellJon: I wish all of us we’re going to NAMM. But unfortunately we all can’t make it. I really want to meet up with my sponsors “EMG Pickups” and “Xvive”, but I can’t make it out this year. Both companies so far have been awesome. We recorded with EMG pickups on the new album. Xvive is a new company I found for my wireless systems. They also have a neat little mini amp I use for warm-ups before a concert. Both are amazing companies. Can’t wait to see what the future holds with our partnership.

Adrian: I am stoked to see all the newest gear of course but I am really interested to see all the new recording techniques and music business lectures from the pros. And to check out the new Bass lineup from Schecter and Fender.

Nick: Dude, I’m fired up as this is my first time going! I wanna check out as much as I can. It’d be cool to run into like Ola Englund, Keith Merrow or Bobby Owsinski, but if not, that’s cool too. I’m really gonna geek out on all the studio production stuff, and check out the new boards from Allen & Heath. See if Kemper has anything cool in the works. See what new trends are coming for the audio world. I’m really interested to see what this new immersive audio format ‘360 Reality Audio’, Sony has is about or is it just more “hype” from Sony. Just get there & learn as much as I can… and have some fun.

What manufacturers are you going shmooz into some sweet, sweet sponsorships?

Jon: I really hope the guys, Nick and Adrian, talk to some guitar companies at NAMM. I would really love to have a sponsorship through Jackson or ESP guitars. Can’t disagree that an ESP guitar that Gary Holt from Slayer uses is not badass guitar. I love my custom Thor Jackson V guitar. Oli Herbert and Mark Morton loved the Jackson brand. If only I was going, we would party hard. They don’t call me Metal Maggard for nothing. Resident rockstar here. Ha ha. But, I know my sponsors EMG and Xvive wireless systems along with my brothers from Fist Fight will be representing.

Adrian: Well, Jon is already working with EMG pickups & Xvive audio, but the obvious ones are ESP, Fender, Schecter, Ampeg, and Mesa Boogie just to name a few.

Nick: All of them (laughs). If I could pick though, ESP Guitars would be pretty high up on the list. I’ve used Seymour Duncan pickups forever, love them. But those new Fishman Fluence pickup have really peaked my ear. Any & everything from Jim Dunlop. Mesa Boogie, Radial, Boss, Shure, EV… this list could go on awhile. Look out NAMM, Fist Fight is coming!

What will Fist Fight be up to in 2019?

Fist fight Pinball smallDustin: I want to write 30 songs in 2019.  I haven’t started yet, but I’m very motivated.  Can I borrow a pen?

Jon: In 2019 we plan on doing many more tours to spread the word of the new album. We have sponsors that are going to be helping us out this year. We have new videos that will be coming out soon. We are working with a company called Digital Myle here in Denver to produce a couple videos for us.

Adrian: We will be working this album, getting a new line of merch, getting more visible on social media and doing some touring, west coast and southwest mainly. Later in the year we will start writing for the next batch of music!

Last thing. Here’s a soapbox to stand on. Rant away about whatever you want. 

Dustin: I don’t stand on things.  I’m old and I might get hurt.  Happy Day!

Joey: Although I’m not old like Dustin, I second his sentiment.

Adrian: I am really overwhelmed with how many Tribute acts that are out now. I am not saying I dislike what they are doing or anything. It is just alarming how many musicians are giving up on being original and just trying to get easy crowds and easy money. I believe it hurts the scene more than helps it. It takes money out of the mouths of hardworking original acts because promoters and venues only care about the bottom line not necessarily the music scene itself. So they are booking more and more of these tribute acts and the original bands are finding it harder to get booked for good venues. We are not affected but I do see a lot of up and comers having a harder time, but to each their own. That is the way I feel.

Nick: Well, if I get blasted for this, oh well. But do not find the new Star Wars entertaining at all, on any level. If you like the new stuff, cool, no hate on my end. But it just bores the hell out of me. I do feel we all deserve better than what we have got so far. Ok, old guy will stop yelling at clouds now.

Jon: We work our ass off in this band. We don’t see that a lot in the scene anymore. There are some bands that do, and it shows. But, the only way to get what you want in this world is to work hard and be the best that you can. Help the scene as much as you can and do your work, but what do I know (laughs). Hope to see you in a town near you soon. To see or receive any and all products from Fist Fight go to www.fistfight.biz

Fist Fight is:
Dustin Hollmer: Vocals
Joey Cushman: Drums
Adrian Montoya: Bass
Jon Maggard: Guitar
Nick Rich: Guitar

Notebook Full of Hate Streaming Links

Fist Fight Band Links:


 

 

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