Nashville band Fable Cry, made up of vocalist/guitarist Zach Ferrin, violinist/vocalist Jo Cleary, bassist Scott Fernandez and newest member, drummer Nic Giordano, are currently riding high on a wave of success following the release of their album We’ll Show You Where The Monsters Are and are looking forward to their Halloween spooktacular, The Festival Of Ghouls. Before that, though, with his dreams of sharing a stage with Bowie (RIP), front-man Zach kindly agreed to this interview to talk song-writing, favourite songs and future plans.
PW: How would you sum up the band and your music in a couple of sentences?
Zach Ferrin: We are a handful of characters and instruments here to entertain you and indulge your dark desires by showing you what you didn’t realize you wanted. It’s a bit dark, it’s a bit twisted, but it’s welcoming and fun in its fiendish glee, and we warmly invite you into our world.
PW: Which bands and artists did you grow up listening to, and how did they influence you? Have such influences changed over the years?
ZF: As a really little kid, I watched a lot of musicals and listened to a lot of Weird Al before I was even aware that his songs were parodies. I just thought it was funny and catchy music. Eventually, that opened the door to lots of bands for me that I’ve gotten into over the years -- like Queen and Michael Jackson! Then, once I began playing guitar at age 11, I started getting into all of the bands you get into when playing guitar: Metallica, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Nirvana, etc. I always had an inclination for the theatrical, dark, and bizarre, so bands that took that to a new level always excited me. The evolution of my music tastes and how they may have affected my playing/writing is far too long and probably boring to explain here in its entirety, but there is A LOT in there. The way bands influence me varies from band to band as well -- some musically, some poetically, some visually.
PW: When did you first realize you wanted to be part of the music industry?
ZF: I always thought bands were cool and to be in one would be fun. Who wouldn’t want to travel the world with their buddies, seeing new places, meeting new people, and being cheered for every night!? But it wasn’t until I actually performed on stage when I was 14 for a school talent show that I realized how much I wanted to do it. All of the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that I eventually learned comes with it was all worth it to get to continue creating what I loved, and performing it for people.
PW: Is there a band or artist out there you might say you're similar to, or do you make a determined effort to be something completely fresh?
ZF: I don’t mind comparisons because, as I mentioned, our influences are sure to show through at least in places, even if subconsciously. But, usually, we write without too much intention. Obviously we want to be original, but, at the same point, being different for the sake of being different feels disingenuous.
PW: You recently dropped the video for "Dead or Alive (For Now)". How did you come up with concept for the video, and is being creative in that way something you enjoy?
ZF: I LOVE it. When I write songs, I always imagine them playing out in my head. That song was ALWAYS in B&W to me, like a moving painting. I knew it was the only way we could do the video, too. I feel like the music, our videos, and live show are three parts to the whole of what we are. If you took one of these elements out of Fable Cry, we wouldn’t be the same band -- and I wouldn’t enjoy doing it nearly as much.
PW: The track is taken from your album We'll Show You Where The Monsters Are. How would you sum it up?
ZF: Infomercial version: We’ll Show You Where the Monsters Are is a one way ticket to send you down a spooky path to your Grandmother's house of nightmares. Along the way, you’ll hear tales of revenge, horror, heartbreak, robbery, love, life, death and reanimation!: a ride packed full of suspense and surprises and tasty morsels that you are sure to enjoy.
PW: Do you have a favorite track on the collection, and, if so, which is it and why?
ZF: For sake of picking a favorite and answering the question, I’ll go with “Onion Grin.” We got really experimental with the recording, and it really set the tone for the way we approached the rest of the album. I’m really proud of the way that song turned out.
PW: How easy/hard do you find the song-writing process, and who/what most inspires you?
ZF: Every song is different. Sometimes they’ll pour out of me faster than the green goo from Dr. Dreadful’s Food Lab. Other times, it takes me months of picking up and putting down a song before I’m fully satisfied with it. Honestly, just about everything in life inspires me -- it’s picking exactly which thoughts/experiences/emotions to cover and how to wrap it up in a whimsical narrative full of metaphor that can get a bit tricky at times.
PW: Which song, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written and why?
ZF: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen -- because it’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
PW: If you could play one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?
ZF: The Palais Garnier in Paris, France to perform “The Phantom of the Opera” in its original location.
PW: If you could share a stage with three other bands or artists (who can be living or dead), who would they be and why?
ZF: This would make for a bizarre show ... David Bowie, Queen and Danny Kaye.
PW: What are your touring/performance plans for the rest of the year?
ZF: We have some weekend/regional tours throughout the Autumn/Fall. Our next big show that we are doing, though, is our Halloween spooktacular, The Festival of Ghouls here in Nashville on October 30th. It’s an annual event that we host that involves music, sideshow, dance, contortion, fire, puppetry, and other delightful freakery. The show will be surrounded by some regional shows that we’re doing. If you didn’t guess it already, October is when we thrive, so we’re extremely thrilled for those thrilling times.
PW: You've been featured on the likes of Fangoria and Absolute Punk; how much does support and praise like that matter to you?
ZF: It’s exciting, and flattering, for sure. The biggest thing is that, any time we get featured somewhere, it has the potential of reaching new fans that otherwise may not have found us and gives our own fans something new to see or learn about us. We’re grateful for this very interview, for example!
PW: What are your thoughts on social media, and do you agree that it's necessary for bands and artists today? How has it helped you establish yourselves as a group?
ZF: I think it’s great. We’re all about bridging the gap between the audience and the stage during our live shows, so it’s also great that social media gives another opportunity to directly speak with our fans. A band’s success is a direct result of their fans’ reactions. Getting instant feedback on what you’re doing is extremely helpful -- and, honestly, gratifying.
PW: What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
ZF: Several shows, some videos, a lot of writing, some recording, some tour van modifying, and a lot of planning.
PW: Finally, then, what's your ultimate ambition as a band, and whose career would you most like to emulate and why?
ZF: Just like our music, I think we’d like to borrow bits and pieces but not emulate completely. No one has done it quite in the way that we want to, and the ultimate ambition for this band has no ceiling. We want our live shows to be enormous with lights, sets, dancers, huge puppets, pyro, fog, smoke, magic, mirrors -- the whole bit. Much as our shows are now, just turned up to a grander scale. Similarly with our videos. We want to continue to entertain as many people as possible for as long as possible!
Check out the video for “Dead or Alive (For Now)” below, and, for more information on Fable Cry, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Their album We'll Show You Where The Monsters Are is available now on iTunes.