The Frights at the Catalyst 05.20.2017 Interview

Written by: Serena Ozonur / Audio by: DJ Maladroit

On Saturday May 20, 2017, The Frights played at the Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz, touring with Hunny and King Shelter. As their tour came to an end, I had the opportunity to interview The Frights. The sold-out venue had excited fans lining up to the see the band before the doors opened at 8:00pm. In our interview, we talked about their song writing process, how it feels to be on the road, the difference in albums (in terms of sound), what the band is listening to, and upcoming projects fans should be on the look-out for. The Frights began by discussing the new album, “You Are Going to Hate This.” As Richard Dotson (bass/vocals), stated, “The album cover’s art is 80s’ inspired, particularly Black Flag Covers…really violent, but colorful images.” Their previous self-titled album carries a different sound from “You Are Going to Hate This”. This difference essentially came from the help of Zach Carper of FIDLAR who helped produce “You Are Going To Hate This.” Mikey Carnevale (guitar/lead vocals) commented “he [Zach Carper] was the Dragon Force behind this… he was very influential on this album”.

We then went into the song writing process in which Mikey stated, “What I’m doing now is that I record the melody on phone, take it back, play it on guitar, separate verse/chorus, then put everything together, and if I’m lucky I do a bridge. Then I write lyrics, right before recording the demo.”

The Frights are San Diego Natives, and believe that if they were from anywhere else they would just get blended in with everything else. The Frights were considered to have a “Doo-Wop” sound in their previous record. However, now they don’t consider themselves to have that sound anymore. Mikey believes, “early on in the band, I really liked the “Doo-Wop” sound, but now I don’t even think about it…I wouldn’t say we are a “Doo-Wop” band anymore, definitely not surf-punk. I guess we are just a rock n’ roll band.”

I asked The Frights how it feels to be on the road. They think Vegas being the first stop of the tour was a big mistake. Mikey jokingly stated, “It was super fun, but I feel so bad… the shame is real.”  Marc Finn (drums), added, “We just eat worse and drink more. I mean we are scarfing down some pizza right now.” I asked them who they look up to now, in which  Mikey responded, “I look up to most people, since they are taller than me…” I also asked Richard about his YouTube Channel “Here Lies Music” and I’m sorry to say to the fellow fans that it’s not looking like that channel will be up and running anytime soon. However, when I asked them if fans should be on the look-out for anything new Mikey told me to “tell them yes.” So keep an eye out fans! The Frights, still get very excited and anxious before a performance, which brings us to the actual show. 

This show probably had more people in the air than the ground. The crowd surfing was real. I positioned myself at the very front, right by the stage (big mistake on my part because I left the concert with a mild concussion). Like I said, those crowd surfers were wild, but it was an amazing concert with mosh after mosh. What else would one expect from a rock concert? The band performed hit songs, and a new song at the end of the concert so keep an eye out for that! Songs such as “You Are Going to Hate This”, “All I need”, “Afraid of the Dark”, and “Crust Bucket”. The crowd had amazing energy and so did the bands with incredible opening performances from King Shelter and Hunny. Don’t miss The Frights live, it’s definitely an experience of a lifetime.

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