Familiar Things is a punk band from Philadelphia who just released a new EP called Fade into the Scenery. Their sound reflects their surroundings: thoughtful, raw and emotive. We got the chance to talk to them about their new EP, touring, and much more!
You just put out your, Fade into the Scenery EP, it’s very clear and crisp sounding for being a debut EP. How was the record process for you?
We are very fortunate enough to have an extremely talented producer, as well as a musician in our band in Ty, as he has his own home recording studio setup at his house. Since we had this resource, the recording process was great for us. We were never on the clock or had the pressure from anyone else on our music production, so we had the time and freedom to take our time with our music, experiment with many different things, and make the exact sound that we wanted on our own accord.
What’s one song that stands out the most for you?
The track the stands out to most of us is Tourniquet. Each of us love particular things in each of the songs, but this was the only song whose structure was written collaboratively. All of the other songs had frameworks when brought to the band, but tourniquet had a chorus and a first verse. Jon and I wrote the rest of the song together, with different suggestions, and leads being added in by Ty and Kevin. This was Familiar Things first musical fusion which is what makes it special.
In both “Okay, Then” and “October” tracks you start with acoustic melodies that fade into a full band sound, what is the inspiration in doing that?
I think that choosing to start a song with acoustic guitar, or any musical decision you make for that matter, is done for the purpose of telling a story. For example, in “Okay, Then”, the story begins with the main character feeling broken about being abandoned. After a bit of development in the verse, the chorus can be heard again full band with electric instrumentation, because the characters feeling has changed. Instead of being sad, and feeling like the victim, he is angry. That helps lead him to his final point “My pen has run low, and my notebook is filled, so why don’t you move along.”
One track that showcases your creativity is “First Times and Forced Rhymes.” There’s a unique use of a piano against your punk sound, what was the thought process behind this song?
Interestingly, when the song was written years ago, the riff was played on the guitar. Once the full band became involved with the song, it switched over to piano, and played in conjunction with gentile harmonics on the guitar. These sounds together play incredibly well with the emotion of the lyrics, which reflect a couple’s first time together.
What is something you hope fans take away from the lyrics in Fade Into Scenery?
I think what makes us stand out as a band is our way commenting on familiar emotions in a way that is unique, and comes to a conclusion. In each of our songs there are aspects of growth, be it moving on, self reflection, or overcoming fears. Personally, as a songwriter, I always try and look at both sides of the story to get a more profound understanding of the situation I’m trying to portray.
Who are your biggest influences?
As a band our song writing is reflective of an early 2000’s mainstream pop-punk sound. We take inspiration from heartfelt lyricists and music makes such as Mayday Parade, The Starting Line, and Yellowcard. Individually, our influences vary from one person to the next slightly, with some of us even finding our muse in singer/songwriters of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Whatever we listen to, one thing remains the same, we all like well written songs.
You’ve played many shows, what has been your favorite to play so far?
The show that stands out most to me is our third ever show at The Voltage Lounge in Philly. There was a problem with the PA during sound check, and we ended up starting about 40 minutes late. It was a shit-show from jump street, but when the drums kicks in and we rang out our first powerful chord, all of the worry faded away and we just played. It was tight, and it was heartfelt, and it was the first time that I felt like we could really make something special. It was the first time in a long time that I forgot I was in front of a crowd, and just played.
Is there any band you’d wish to tour with in the near future?
It would be a dream come true to tour with Mayday Parade. They are one of the mainstream bands from our youth that are still together, and it would be epic to play with them.
Let us know what you think of Fade into the Scenery!