We're having our first show at Westside Bowl, and we're playing with one of our favorite acts, the SexyPigDivas! Filling out the night will be Mike Leko (of Speedo Agreedo) playing all new music, and The Vvilderness with his unique style of electronic music. Hope to see you there!
You may not have noticed, but Frederick Fleet has been pretty quiet this year. We haven't played any shows; we haven't posted on social media (something Facebook won't let me forget); we haven't jammed regularly. We haven't done much of anything that makes a band a real band. I would like to provide an explanation. Fair warning, you might find this post somewhat lengthy. If so, skip down to the TL;DR section.
In order to provide a meaningful explanation, I need to provide a little background information. So, a la ghost of Christmas past, let's journey back through time to nearly one year ago...
It was Sunday morning. Frederick Fleet performed a show at Cedars with the nomadic TGTG the night before, so Tomás, Becca, and I were lounging in my dining room and working out some rough plans for the next few days. If you don't know anything about TGTG, you should check them out because they are pretty rad. A musical duo comprised of Tomás Gorrio and Becca Trevathan, TGTG travels the continent to perform their unique brand of nomadic rock. In between shows, they produce high-quality, professional-sounding recordings of their own music using little more than a laptop and random basements. And like many traveling musicians, TGTG needed a place to crash for a few days after our show but before their next gig. Having accounted for all the must-see places in Youngstown, their plan was to spend a few nights at my place, and a few nights at the apartment of my girlfriend, Bernadette Lim (Bernie), before heading to their next destination.
After a few days of sightseeing and egg-boiling, Tomás and Becca loaded their hatchback and transplanted themselves from my place to Bernie's just a few blocks away. Coincidentally, Khaled Tabbara and Katianne Timko (K&K) of Munnycat, were also in Youngstown for a few days on business. Currently situated in LA, but originally from Boardman, K&K are a pair whose talent for music and videography is outshone only by their genuine warmth and kindness. What's more, they are longtime friends and bandmates with Bernie- the three perform in a supremely sweet band, The Zou. Not coincidentally, Bernie lives in the apartment above K&K's Youngstown base of operation and is herself a phenomenal musician and songwriter.
On one of their last nights in town, TGTG met K&K. Glued to their computers, K&K were editing some video footage from a shoot earlier that day. TGTG, Bernie, and I, after resolving to be only a minimal distraction, decided to pay them a visit. Shortly after introductions, a conversation about music and careers began, and upon request, Khaled played a few of The Zou music videos on YouTube: Soon, Ok? and Holy Moses. After seeing the videos, Tomás exclaimed to K&K (I'm paraphrasing here), "You guys did exactly what we're trying to do! You lived the dream!"
I didn't know it at the time, but this was the birth of Frederick Fleet's first album. Even though there were five people conversing, there were now six voices speaking. The new voice, sounding within my head, whispered, "You know these people. They are real. If they can do it, you can do it." I had become inspired.
Not long after this fateful meeting in a Boardman apartment, everyone went their separate ways. TGTG continued their tour through the US, Canada, and beyond; K&K went back to LA to produce music and videos; Bernadette and I started performing and producing music together; and Frederick Fleet started making a record. Let's fast-forward to the present day. In a serendipitous turn of events, the very same people who helped inspire the creation of this record will also help christen it before its maiden voyage into the musical universe. I've danced around it long enough, so it's time for an official announcement:
Frederick Fleet will be releasing their first album, The Vanity Suite, at our reunion show with TGTG on August 3rd at Cedars (event details to come). Personally, this is an accomplishment worthy of remembrance, but not one I can solely claim- I had the unwavering support of my bandmates, friends, family, and most of all, my girlfriend, Bernadette. Without any of them, I wouldn't have been able to make this announcement.
To me, The Vanity Suite is more than just a collection of songs- it's the culmination of countless hours of work and the realization of a dream. Thanks to everyone who helped make it possible! I'd also like to send a special 'thank you' to Tomás and Becca of TGTG, Khaled and Katieanne of Munnycat, Trevor from The Long Hunt, all of Speedo Agreedo, Mara and Billy of Cedars, and Heather (our #1 fan) for, at one time or another, giving me the motivation, information, or platform I needed to take the next step.
See you at the release!
Here's one of my favorite songs to perform! This is (most of) No Black Hole.
This was a good year for Frederick Fleet. Compared to last year, we had more gigs and bigger audiences. We developed a longer set. We started (and will continue) recording. It might not seem like much, but I'm proud of these accomplishments. I'm thankful for my bandmates who stuck it out all year through rushed rehearsals, traveling gigs, and tight schedules; I couldn't have done this without them.
But this year had its trials. We didn't rehearse as much as I wanted, we didn't learn as much material as I wanted, and we didn't perform as consistently as I knew we could. We had too many rushed rehearsals, too many gigs that felt thrown together, and too many performances where we lacked confidence and command over the music. Most importantly, we struggled to keep a consistent rehearsal schedule.
While I'm proud of what we were able to accomplish this year, Frederick Fleet still has a long way to go. Our shortcomings are truths that we, as a band, must reconcile. I am confident, however, that we can effectively address these issues. Strategy and patience are key, but equally important is how we treat and respond to each other. I believe that we can't get without giving and that we can't improve without love.
Going into next year, I've got some ambitious goals- promises to myself for which I am taking responsibility:
- Practice more consistently as a group
- Perform with more confidence and command
- Finish recording an album
To my bandmates, I promise:
- To always try to meet you halfway
- To always show understanding and appreciation for the fact that making music is a group effort
- To always be a friend first and a bandmate second
And finally, to the Frederick Fleet fans, I promise:
- To always put myself out there and give my all during performances, be it on stage or on a recording
- To show my appreciation in as many ways as I can for those who come out to shows
- To never forget the friends, family, and fans who have done something extra to enable us to play music
Here's to a productive, successful, and musical 2018. Happy New Year!
It's a little hard to believe that we are finally releasing this track. So much work went into this single, and so much time has passed since we first decided to record it. But it was worth it. We are all incredibly proud of this track. Enjoy! And if you like it, please share :)