Interview with Fathom Farewell
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
What initially got me into music was watching 3 drummers play a free show in a park syncopating with each other when I was 8 years old. From then on I tried learning to play drums for a solid 8 years, doing it solely for fun because I didn’t quite have the space to comfortably practice every day. Then at 16 I was hanging out with some friends and sang some sublime songs around a campfire. I had always been obsessed with A Perfect Circle, Linkin Park and Incubus through most of my childhood and began writing vocals attempting first to implement those influences. I decided to pursue music as a career while in college majoring in Psychology so had I not switched paths to music I was aiming to become a forensic psychologist.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Since music is both my full time job and something I deeply love doing, it really does consume most of my time but outside music I’ve always loved gaming and martial arts.
How long has your band been around?
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Massachusetts. Never really considered where I was when writing music though. A lot of the impactful experiences I had that inspire my writing come from leaving the area I’m from.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Originally the band was called A Fathom Farewell. This name was created by a long prior member and essentially is a metaphor for a watery grave. We’ve always written about the potential consequences of humanity being careless with the planet and in general with each other so the watery grave is a metaphor for those consequences. It also could mean comprehending goodbye, fathoming a farewell so to speak which is also a metaphor for grave potential consequences of humanity’s carelessness. Of course there are many people out there who aim to make a positive impact and we have a great deal of hope for the future, but reminding humanity that we must take care of the planet and each other to live peacefully has always inspired us a great deal. We have since changed the name to Fathom Farewell since it makes the name easier to identify online without the A and also is what most people called us anyway.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We opened Sevendusts 20th anniversary tour in the main room at the Worcester Palladium. Absolutely biggest crowd we’ve ever played to. Whole floor and balcony were packed and people were excited. 2nd to that are definitely our 4 times performing at the MA date of Warped Tour 2015-2018. The Worcester Palladium also provided those opportunities. The Palladium is our home venue and the place where most of our pivotal moments as a band have occurred. However I don’t know if anything will ever compare to the first time we headlined the upstairs Palladium room. 400 people, wall to wall, every band crushed.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Worcester Palladium is our favorite venue. Aside from that we also love Alchemy and The Strand, both in Providence, RI. Absolutely dying to play Red Rocks one day.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Linkin Park, System of a Down, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Incubus, Sevendust, Fathom Farewell opening.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Unless you are 1000% all in on doing whatever it takes to make music your career for life, do not waste your time trying to make it anything more than a hobby. Nothing short of the purest of intentions and undeniable passion will ever render anything past the bottom floor of this industry, unless you’re related to a famous musician or industry professional, or have a very rich family. Of course talent being a pre requisite for even those to work. At the same time, if you have a deep feeling that this is your calling and nothing that happens or anything anyone says can change that, simply follow the path before you and never give up on yourself and you will absolutely find success. Also please don’t waste time comparing yourself to other people. Take notes from others success but don’t ever get down on yourself on things like age or not being able to pull off something within the timeframe someone else did. Do your very best in your lane and you’ll be fine.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
For the first maybe 10 years of music it was very hard to truly believe that anything would come of it. I would definitely go back to my past self and reassure that all I need to do is take it seriously and practice daily.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Honestly we haven’t dropped it yet :P however of the songs we have released, Kraken I feel most clearly communicates what’s in my head when I’m at my worst and expressing that has made it easier to identify when I’m headed down that path and course correct. Writing that song has honestly made it easier to make improvements on my mental health. The music video is also super cool because our videographer at the time came up with this amazing concept of having Sid from Toy Story grown up, still doing his thing and having become more nefarious as an adult and then finally hitting a breaking point and reflecting on what he’s done. But also Save Your Breath. So many living things are misunderstood. I was specifically thinking of Pit bulls when I wrote that song. I’ve known so many pit bulls in my life that were raised by good people and they are so precious to me. The fact is every year nearly 1,000 families lose their dogs, a high percentage of these situations occurring with pit bulls, because police kick down their door on a false tip, effectively breaking and entering into an innocent civilian’s home in many cases because they got the address wrong. The reason this ties into the dogs is in many of those cases of false tips or miscommunicated addresses, there is a dog present, and with the law the way it is currently all the dog has to do is bark in order for the police to legally murder them. This law needs to be amended so there are consequences for police who murder dogs without cause because it is a much more common occurrence than it should be. The Save Your Breath music video features one of those precious pit bull babies in my life as the main actress and we portrayed one of these scenarios in the video along with how it can affect the person or people involved. Of course she was given all the love and attention all day through the shoot and was a very good girl.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Still haven’t released the ones that we enjoy playing most yet (we like to throw an unreleased one or 2 into our live sets to see how they do). Of what we’ve released the most requested are definitely Save Your Breath, Eulogy, Kraken, Mutiny, Soul Within The Shadow and Decomposition.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We essentially begin from an instrumental that gets written around a riff and go from there with structure and everything else. Most times it’s one member that writes an instrumental that’s mostly structured and maybe a few tweaks get made in the room, but more often than not the structure is more than sound enough to work with. Then I write lyrics and melodies myself, typically while listening to it on long drives. Having to focus on the road while listening makes it harder to overthink what I come up with. The more I write the more quickly the lyrics and melodies just kind of pop into my head. I always naturally hear melodies or scream patterns that can occur and then widdle down until I pick the best of the best.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The consequences of mistreating the planet and/or ourselves. We as a species can do better and it gets me all fired up.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Absolutely. There is absolutely no way you can get 4-5 people that are this serious about music to always have the same opinions and thoughts about proposed ideas all the time, and since everyone is so passionate, it can create tension. When I started in this band multiple lineups ago I was considerably less good at navigating that tension and would often give into my negative feelings. However now that I’ve learned and grown quite a bit since then and have a lineup of mature adults who can communicate their feelings effectively, disagreements are considerably easier to get past because we all understand that cooler heads will prevail, and issues aren’t allowed to build quietly until they become a not so quiet problem. Of course every now and then there’s still an obstacle that’s less easy to get over than others, but again since everyone including myself are compassionate adults who have love and respect for each other, we always make it through.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Music music music. Lot’s of new music. Bigger and better shows. Touring. Everything anyone who enjoys what we do could possibly ever desire. We are dropping a new single on June 13th called “Vitriol” (pre-saves available now!) and we will not be slowing down any time soon.