Meet FUBAR - The Hunt For Inspiration (INTERVIEW)
Jake- Guitar/Vocals Matt - Bass Dave- Guitar/Vocals Jordan- Drums
Since their debut in 2011, Pittsburgh PA's FUBAR have been keeping the vibe of the reggae/ska rock sound alive and kicking proving that punk and ska are far from dead. Similar to bands like Authority Zero, Less Than Jake and Sublime, the band blends reggae-rock chord progressions with up tempo and feel-good melodies fused with harder punk rock overtones.
With nearly a decade of shows, tours and albums under their belt, sharing the stage with national acts including Authority Zero, H.R. (of Bad Brains) and the Dubb Agents, Death by Stereo, 40 Oz to Freedom (Sublime Tribute), The Supersuckers and Polkadot Cadaver, just to name a few and recently performing on the last cross-country Vans Warped Tour in their own hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
The guys dropped a new album in October of 2018 entitled THE HUNT FOR INSPIRATION which is now being praised on local publications and has been added to rotation to local radio stations. You can check out THE HUNT FOR INSPIRATION on all digital streaming services. CLICK HERE FOR SPOTIFY!
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Jake from FUBAR while in-between the new year about their latest album THE HUNT FOR INSPIRATION, experience on Warped Tour, having a line of Tech-Dech toy merch +MORE!
TPPD: So does the band's name come from the acronym "Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition"?
FUBAR: Yes, it does. Mostly referring to our state of mind when we started the band back in 2011 and the state of the world all the time.
TPPD: Other band names tossed around?
FUBAR: Oh man were there... We didn’t even name the band until we had 5 songs and a show booked. So we had several full sheets of notebook paper, front and back, 3 columns per page. All of them equally as terrible as the last. We crossed them all off till we were left with FUBAR, which we realize is still not a great name but at this point we’ve gone too far. Some of the rejects included Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Free Beer, Larry Lightweight and the Lager Boys, The Illuminati Puppets and hundreds of other disasters.
TPPD: You guys played the last cross country Vans Warped Tour, what was that experience like?
FUBAR: Dude it was so surreal. And hot, very hot… We were treated pretty well by the staff but the crowd was super kind to us. We got to bring our friends in the HABATAT horn section to perform with us and it was amazing. These guys played on 4 tracks of our new album so we were very happy to be able to bring them out to Key Bank Pavillon to do a memorable set at the final Pittsburgh stop of Vans Warped Tour. It was crazy to be playing a festival that I had attended several years in a row back in the early 2000’s when every Warped lineup was stacked! Oh and our set landed at 4:20 which we all got a good chuckle out of!
TPPD: Thoughts on Warped Tour continuing?
FUBAR: I heard it might continue in just a few cities doing a west coast warped festival and an east coast warped festival and maybe something in the midwest. If that’s true I hope they bring back some of the classic acts that made Warped Tour popular to begin with. If not I hope they at least bring us back!
TPPD: Any other dream festivals you'd like to play?
FUBAR: We have always wanted to play at Badfish at Nelson’s Ledges in Garrettsville, OH. It’s been something we have hoped to do for a while. We actually met our drummer Jordan there through a mutual friend of ours… We would also love to play Freakstomp hosted by Tropidelic, Weekend at Wolfies hosted by the Bumpin’ Uglies and many others like Reggae Rise Up, Cali Roots, Garefest, Funky Fest, Larrypalooza, LionFire and many many more. We are hoping to get the opportunity to make our way into the lineup of some music festivals this year so keep your eyes peeled!
TPPD: You guys dropped a new album The Hunt for Inspiration in the latter of
2018, what was that recording process like?
FUBAR: Yes, we did. The recording process was, uh… long! We spent 3 years prior writing, perfecting and playing these songs and working through line up changes so we were ready to get these songs out when we finally got to the studio. Between our last minutes changes, perfectionism, adding horns unexpectedly and the massive amount of editing it took for us to be pleased with the album it took over a year to complete everything for all 11 original songs.
TPPD: Reception to the album so far?
FUBAR: We think the record has been received pretty well for a small unsigned band from outside of Pittsburgh. We have sold a decent amount of copies at our shows and have had a surprising amount of streams on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, etc… We have also been lucky enough to have our songs featured on several smaller radio stations, podcasts, playlists and blogs! I feel that the more people that hear it the better it will be received!
TPPD: Who produced/engineered your guys album? Do you guys DIY for your album or go to a studio?
FUBAR: We have always been DIY since we started but we broke down and went to the School House Studio in Ambridge, PA. Recording with Daniel Blake Production was a treat. The guy knows what he’s doing and is very easy to work with. I can’t say enough about how cool Dan is and how much fun we had making the album. There were definitely days we were over it but it worked out very well and the end result is something we can all be proud of!
TPPD: You guys had a CD Release for The Hunt for Inspiration at Cafe Supreme, is there a particular "hometown venue" you guys love to play?
FUBAR: Yeah, I would say that Cafe Supreme in Irwin, PA is probably our hometown venue. Some of our shows there get pretty crazy and we can definitely pack the house. It’s always fun to have a local show there with a few of our friends bands. We can fill the room up pretty quickly and then getting home is literally 5 minutes so the party continues!
TPPD: You guys recently dropped a line of tech-deck skateboards, how did that idea come about? Where can fans get them?
FUBAR: Our lead guitarist Dave has always been into finger-boarding since he was a teenager. He’s pretty good at it and can lay down some cool tricks on them. He had been toying around the idea of building them again like he did in high school and college and he came up with the idea of selling custom fingerboards with our logos on them. Now they are a thing and can be purchased at any of our shows!
TPPD: What's the most unique/obscure piece of merch you've ever seen a band sell. (KISS selling coffins and Fall Out Boy selling bath bombs with download cards in the middle is mine.)
FUBAR: I couldn’t really think of anything to crazy but Dave mentioned KISS, fingerboards and a band he digs called Full Service sold branded kazoos at their shows that they got their fans to use in a song that they played. That;s a pretty unique idea and a cool way to engage the crowd.
TPPD: It's early into 2019 and not a lot of music is out, what's currently spinning on your playlist?
FUBAR: As far as albums go, I’m kind of on a kick of new 2018 music! I have been listening to ‘Persona Non Grata’ by Authority Zero from Mesa, AZ, ‘Beast from the East’ by the Bumpin’ Uglies from Annapolis, MD, ‘Heavy is the Head’ by Tropidelic from Cleveland, OH, ‘Detonate’ by Ballyhoo! From Aberdeen, MD, ‘Homestead’ by HABATAT from Greensburg, PA, ‘First EP’ by First Hit from Connellsville, PA and many more including the only 2019 album I’ve checked out so far ‘LandLocked’ by Keystone Vibe from Pittsburgh, PA!
TPPD: You guys have kids? Are they into your music? What music are they into? My kids hate my songs haha.
FUBAR: I am the only one with kids (so far). Don’t tell them I said that last part… I have a 2 year daughter and 10 and 12 year old stepsons. My daughter loves all music but thinks any band with a male singer is ‘Dada’s band’. It’s pretty damn cute to be honest. The older boys could usually care less but occasionally they pretend to be interested. They have actually listened to the album and I think they enjoy one song each out of eleven so not too bad! The 10 year old loves all kinds of music too. I know he has an eclectic mix on his mp3 player from Blake Shelton, Queen and Imagine Dragons to Authority Zero, Sublime and Ballyhoo! His brother on the other hand is not that into music but mainly just video games!
TPPD: Do you want your kids to learn how to play music/ be in a band?
FUBAR: Yeah, I’d have to say that I would. I have had some of the best friendships and most fun times in my life playing and creating music. Both of my stepsons have a guitar and touch it maybe once a week max but they do play trumpet and violin in the middle school band. While I have showed them a thing or two and gave them a nudge by having guitars available I won’t push them towards it because it’s definitely something you have to truly want to do and enjoy. If that’s the case they’ll get there on their own.
TPPD: What are your interests outside of playing in a band?
FUBAR: I love spending time with my family and teaching my daughter new things. I’m also pretty big on traveling, concerts, music festivals and riding motorcycles. I have a Yamaha Bolt that I zip around on and Dave has an Indian Chief, both briefly referenced in our song ‘No Beef’ on the album. I’m a pretty big fan of poker, pool and hockey as well. As I mentioned Dave is into finger-boarding and motorcycles but he also likes collecting vinyl records, asian cooking, thrifting, building things and anthropology. Matt is big on books and reading, music, sports and video games whereas Jordan is into knives, fireworks, cigars, spicy food and youtube.
TPPD: What does 2019 look like for FUBAR? Plans/Goals/Aspirations?
FUBAR: We are in the process of trying to add a full time horn section to the band. After having the Habatat horns on the album it’s something we would really like to add to our live show… We would like to book some bigger local shows this year and maybe start developing some other markets outside of Pittsburgh. It would be great to get on some music festivals and start doing some weekend gigs in surrounding areas like Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, New York, etc… Another goal we have in 2019 is to get more press about the band and our music so many thanks for helping us out with that one!
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