Photo by: Molly Shores
Some bands are better live, either by necessity or choice. Having heard the new EP from Fire Marshal Bill, they are live-oriented by choice. These 9-5ers are rambunctious and talented, in and out of the studio; they are friends first and musicians second. I got a chance to be one of the guys and ask them about the ins and outs of their band. While Carolina played Pittsburg in the background, we talked about how they met, what they enjoy, and how they manage being basic-bros in a badass band.
These fellas are the grooviest rock-unit playing this side of I-85. Their organic musical goop is something beautiful, primordial even; a fusion of so many genres is born from this goop. I sat down to talk with them at their practice space about how they “get the suck out” and the methodology behind Fire Marshal Bill.
(Edit: Fire Marshal Bill, not Fire Marshall Bill)
“It’s the theory that suck is something that builds up over time, that’s why if you haven’t done something in forever you’re awful at it — you gotta get the suck out.” Adam Petaccia
With no full-length releases up until now, and the talk of a new demo being dropped, I asked them the details about that first.
S16: What can you tell us about this demo?
Brett: “It is a 5-track ‘this-is-what-we-are’, something to take home and listen to when you’re on the ride home if you want — to give to venues if they haven’t heard us before. Something to tide us over until we have a 12-track CD out (to be released next year).”
Adam: “I wanna get in the studio before the end of the year, but last time we got into the studio at the end of the year and the end of March the next year.”
Zach: “And I was working UPS at the time and they wouldn’t let me off any day in December.”
Throughout the interview, I learned each player’s musical background. Zak ‘the sac’ (bass) Ferrell took multiple classes in chorus, jazz band, music theory and piano, which was similar to Joey Prater (guitar) who tried his hand at so many instruments: trumpet, baritone, tuba — ending up enjoying the guitar the most.
The second half of Fire Marshal Bill, Brett Butler(drums) and Adam (vocals) had their disagreements on how they wanted to pursue music early on. Brett was enjoying marching band up until they told him he needed to march, at which point he dropped it. Adam was a part of church choir quite young until his voice changed, when he took up violin in middle school and seemed to fall out of choir rotation.
Now they’ve all come together as a funky unit bent on Charlotte destruction. They’re typically found at Tommy’s Pub, but when asked about the most fun venue to play in town, they were torn:
“Common Market comes to mind” — “Yea, between Common Market and Tommy’s.”
“The Plaza Midwood area, Rabbit Hole, Tommy’s Pub, Common Market — haven’t got into Snug yet.” – Brett
Like with any band, I was curious as to the origin of their band-name, but more than that, the other options they came up with: Chastity Hillshire and The Daisy Dukes or The Slot-eaters were also considered. Black Hand was a band that Zak and Joey formed around 2005 — “We played one show in the back of a shed.” Hungry to perform, they admitted to enjoying live performances most, although they do have 24 songs in the works.
Zak: “We have them all written down.”
Adam: “No we don’t, we have all the names written down.”
Zak: “I actually wrote tabs for one, but…” The rest of the band assured me that the tabs weren’t all there, and everyone laughed at the memory.
Their upcoming shows are sure to increase, those listed so far are found on their Facebook page.