'Music Domination is Now Fair Game'
New just in: Dallas based quintet FAIR TO MIDLAND have inked an exclusive deal with SERJICAL STRIKE RECORDS, the label headed by System Of A Down frontman, Serj Tankian.
Founded by members Darroh Sudderth (vocals) and Cliff Campbell (guitars) and later solidified by Brett Stowers (drums), Jon Dicken (bass) and (keyboards), FAIR TO MIDLAND has been working diligently with a D.I.Y. ethic since forming in 1998 and have released two independently recorded and distributed albums with 2001’s The Carbon Copy Silver Lining EP and 2004’s inter.funda.stifle.
FAIR TO MIDLAND are a unique musical force that you will be hearing more buzz about and new music from starting with their first Serjical Strike release The Drawn and Quartered EP on November 7 and FAIR TO MIDLAND’s next studio offering due in March 2007.
The Drawn and Quartered EP will feature original demo versions of “Orphan Anthem ‘86” & “Kyla Cries Cologne” as well as live versions of “A Seafarer’s Knot” & “Abigail” from the inter.funda.stifle disc. In addition, The Drawn and Quartered EP will feature a 12 minute EPK titled, The Drawn and Quartered Kinescope . The EPK will include live performances of “Intro,” “A Seafarer’s Knot,” “Kyla Cries Cologne” and “Dance of The Manatee” as well as in-the-studio interviews with the band taped in their home turf of Dallas, TX.
Congratulations on your exclusive deal with Serjical Strike Records, but how did you get involved with owner Serj Tankian in the first place? Darroh Sudderth - "Well, during one of our independently funded tours of the west coast we became good friends with Mike Haytayan, who just so happened to be Serj's cousin. Mike coaxed Serj into coming out to a couple of shows; and it was at our second show in Malibu that Serj was kind enough to offer his help."
Being that you've done everything yourself to get where you are today, this new situation must be luxury to you. But what does it mean to you the most having now signed to Serj's label? "We've been extremely fortunate and couldn't be more grateful to Serj and Universal for giving us this opportunity. I would have to say them giving us this opportunity means more than anything to us!"
Your new EP, 'The Drawn and Quartered EP' is an interesting title, but does it mean something more personal to you, perhaps? "I was familiar with the term draw-and-quarter, which was a means of extremely harsh capital punishment practiced up to the early 19th century where the body was divided into four parts. The 'Drawn and Quartered EP' is four previously released tracks off of our independently released full-length album 'inter.funda.stifle,' hence the title. It was also a title that easily conjured up imagery to aid us in coming up with artwork for the EP."
Yes, please tell us more about the CD artwork and the meaning behind the Fair imagery "Armen, a good friend of ours, is responsible for the artwork on 'The Drawn and Quartered EP.' All we really did was give him a general idea of what we wanted and let him know we trusted his judgement, and he did a great job."
Being that this is a sampler for the new forthcoming album in early 2007, how many of these songs will make it onto that CD? "Well, it's really too early to tell. We're recording 17 tracks that will be slimmed down to around 11 or 12. I would think both 'A Seafarer's Knot' and 'Kyla Cries Cologne' would make the cut, although if they do they will be different versions than are available on 'The Drawn and Quartered EP'."
And just where does the bands name originate anyway?! The phrase 'Fair to middling' is about all I can come up! "That is the phrases most common spelling. It can also be spelled 'Fair to Midlan' or 'Fair to midlin.' More than anything I liked the name because it poked fun at my lyrical tendencies, in that I'm always using cliches. It was also one of the only names we all came to agree on."
For those out there that wish to buy your new EP and upcoming CD, but have not heard of your work before, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Well, I'm not the best salesman and even worse at knowing how to describe our sound. There's always someone whose said it better, so I'll offer up one of my favorite descriptions of our sound: "It was though I was listening to the mutant offspring of Rush, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, The Mars Volta, Gary Numan, and Pantera; grown up and having run off to start their own volcano-worshipping doomsday cult in the desert" - Rob Gary."
Tell me about your craziest touring experience to date thus far! "We're not a big party band. In fact, most of us are pretty big homebodies. I know one of the funniest things I remember is we were just gearing up to do a show and about to get off our bus. See, we obviously don't have the kind of financial backing an established band does. Therefore, we don't have a bathroom and while we're usually forced to have to "let the dew of the lilly" in a bottle to keep from having to continually pull over at gas stations and rest stops. Anyways, as we were on our way out of the bus, our drummer grabbed a bottled of my finest and took a big swig."
For fun, if you were asked to cover, in your own style, any cheesy) '80s pop song which would it be ... and why?! "Maybe R.E.M's 'The One I Love." We'd never be able to out do the original, but I've always loved the song. It's just a great song!"Exclusive Magazine like Penguins, do you?! "Sure, why not?!"