FAN FILM FRIDAY: INTERVIEW: Sci-Fried

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

With us today, we’ve got Sci-Fried, a science fiction-themed band out of Florida. Guys, thank you for being with us today.

JIM FREDERICK:
Thanks for Having us R3. It is really great timing, since we just finished our "2010: the Year We Make Con-Tact Tour," and right now we are putting the finishing touches on the last few songs for our new album "Future: Tense," which should be out in early in 2011. We are actually all at the studio right now, so you caught us at a great time.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
First things first: Which of you does what in the band?

JIM:
I play drums at live shows, and on the albums I play Drums, Keyboards, and Occasionally Bass Guitar and Rhythm Guitar

CHARLES SILVER:
I Play Lead Guitar

SUNNI SIMMONS:
I play Bass Guitar

VERNON LOYED:
Lead Singer

MIKE (KSV) JENSEN:
Vocals

JIM:
When we play live we use the following set up: Charles Silver - lead guitar; Sunni simmons - bass guitar; Me on drums. Vernon Loyed and Mike Jensen on lead vocals. In the studio however Sunni, Charles, and I are multi instrumentalists. Also, we have Nash Dent who runs live sound, and Rafi Levin who is our studio engineer.

REPUBLIBOT:
Thank you. Regular readers of our site might remember when we featured your song PX75309 a little while back in our “Song of the Week” feature.

So tell us, how did you get involved in this? Did you just wake up in the morning, sit bolt-upright in bed, and say “I must make Science Fiction Music!” or did it evolve over time? How did this come to pass?

CHARLES [Laughing]:
Almost

JIM:
I have played in rock bands all my adult life, and was always being laughed at about my passion for things geeky, such as Star Wars and Star Trek. I used to scheduled gigs around the Star Trek conventions that I would attend. Now I schedule shows *at* Conventions. [Laughs] The crazy part is Charles and I started this band, and we were friends for years before we started doing this. Charles makes comedy videos. He had this production company that made 'The Wookie and the Ewok' on youtube. I'm sure you have seen it. If not, stop reading this and GO WATCH IT!

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video involves some bathroom humor. Literally.

JIM:
Anyway, like I was saying we were friends for years, and he always told me that he played guitar, and I always told him that I played drums, so one day we had nothing to do and thought that it would fun to jam a little music together... we decided to record a live song for one of his videos ("White Targ" actually) and in the process of recording that song... well Sci-Fried was born.

REPUBLIBOT:
Was it hard to sell other people on the concept? I ask because I’ve been in and out of bands for 23 years now, and I couldn’t even sell people on the idea of a Ska band. It’s just amazingly difficult to talk people into anything slightly offbeat, so I can only imagine how rough it must have been in your case.

JIM:
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. We got involved with the nercore scene, which is HUGE in orlando, the home of nerdapalooza, so we try to book gigs with other local acts and bill it as a 'geek night' and we usually get a good turnout.

CHARLES:
Actually it's the best of both worlds.. because when it comes down to it we are a rock band. We can play at cons or we can play at bars. It depends on how we want to present ourselves to our fans or to a venue.

JIM:
True. we have played at events ranging from Nerdapalooza, to a battle of the bands, to a tatoo convention, to saturday nights at local bars... we always win the crowd over in the end.

REPUBLIBOT:
For the benefit of our Florida readers, were any of you in any other local acts prior to this one? What were they? (One of our occasional contributors was in “Cold Water Army” and “Bag we Bag,” both out of Tallahassee, and we interviewed “Black Stabbath” a while back)

JIM:
Black Sabbath? Sweet... Love Ozzy. [Imitate's Ozzy's voice] SHARON!!!!

REPUBLIBOT:
Republibot 3.0: "Stabbath - with a "T" - not 'Sabbath.' It's a funny name written, but if you say it out loud it makes you sound like you've got a speech impediment." They're a Noise act out of Gainsville. http://www.republibot.com/content/interview-patrick-hughes-talks-us-abou... They appear to be defunct, but at least I got a band sticker out of it for my guitar case.

JIM:
Stabbath. Very funny. kinda sounds like something khan would have said. From hells heart I stabbath at thee. [Laughs]

I have been in 10 bands... The longest tenure before Sci-Fried was with the now defunct "Sinister Bob: out of Lakeland, Florida. I still have the tatoo ([Laughs] Our bass player, Sunni, plays in three other bands: "Lunatic Candy," "Kreep," "Fine Lady Mustache," and "Cleetus Axle."

Our lead singer, Vern, hosts Karaoke in Lakeland at several clubs, our other singer, KSV, is part of a podcast called "Slacker and the Man," and has a segment called "song of the week." We are all very much active in the local scene.

REPUBLIBOT:
You do a lot of original songs as well as parodies, I noticed, all pretty darn good. Which do you prefer? How does the process differ, making one versus the other? How do you go about writing and selecting material for an album, in general?

JIM:
We actually started out doing parodies. That was what Chuck's video production company did. We gave out some demo discs at local cons, and people were asking for more faster than we could make them. While we were recording parodies,well, the original songs started coming on their own. Now we do parodies for fun to put on the website for the fans for free, but we enjoy creating out own music MUCH more.

When recording a parody, we have to learn someone elses song, then change the words. When we write a new song for an album..sometimes we come up with an idea we want to write a song for, sometimes we come with a riff, then put an idea to it. The fact is we are prolific writers, and we usually come up with songs faster than we can record them. Our new album has something like 16 tracks at the moment. A disc can hold up to 80 minutes, and I think we are going to put 79 on it. [Laughs]

REPUBLIBOT:
Which ones go over best live? Any major audience favorites?

CHARLES:
"Ninja Drinking Song," and probably "LV-426" and "Evil Dead Guy" and "Rebel Cry." The thing is everyone has a different favorite so it's hard to say 'This is the ONE song that Everyonee likes the most'

JIM:
we try to change our setlist every show. Our first two albums have thirty plus songs on them, and our new one has...uhm...16? we never play the same show twice in a row, that's for sure.

REPUBLIBOT:
Any overtly SF covers in your live shows? Maybe something from 2112 or something early and proggy by Yes, or "Rapture," by Blondie - uggh. Wow, those are all pretty terrible examples. Now that I think about it, *are* there any good SF songs to cover?

JIM:
We have been doing a live cover of MC Chris' "Fett's Vette"
our crowd seems to love it, so we are trying to get the right to record it...

REPUBLIBOT:
As I write this, you’re in the studio recording your third album. Where are you doing it? What town, what studio? When do you anticipate it being released?

JIM:
We are in Oveido, Florida, our studio is Charles' House. He head to get rid of all his furniture and big screen TV for this [Laughs] We call it 'Sci-Fried Command.' This is where the magic happens. Charles and Sunni are local, live here in Orlando. The rest of us are scattered across the state, so when we come here to record we usually stay for a few days. Kind of like band camp.

REPUBLIBOT:
How does this album differ from the first two? Anything new you’re trying, or really proud of?

JIM:
Well... we added a band member: Sunni Simmons. The first two albums, all the instruments were played by Me and Charles. The biggest difference - and immediately noticeable - is the sound quality of our new disc. Our recording Engineer, Rafi Levin, was living in Amsterdam when we recorded our first two discs, so we did all of mixing and mastering via Skype and the internet. He moved back to Florida after the first two albums and before we started the third, and so has been personally involved since the begging of our new disc. The difference is OBVIOUS! Just listen to any song on the new disc!

REPUBLIBOT:
And once that’s done, what happens next? What’s your tour schedule like? What’s your stage show like?

JIM:
Right now we are in the planning stages for next year. In 2010 we played something like twelve shows at conventions all over Florida. It was our "2010: The Year we Make Con-Tact" tour. We are taking couple months off right now to finish the tracks for the new album. Next year we are planning on playing more clubs and less cons, because our fans were complaining about paying $30-40 to get in a con to see us, so we are gonna play less convention shows and more local clubs and bars where the cover will be $5-7. Our first show of next year is churchillspub.com in Miami on January 7th.. we are trying to pick a good Olando venue for our CD release party in February along with Vulcanevents.com and nerdapalooza in June or July. Those are only confirmed shows at the moment, but we are working on our schedule, trust me.

REPUBLIBOT:
Tell us something cool about Florida audiences, versus audiences elsewhere.

JIM [Laughs]:
Florida audiences require less driving. Orlando is where we play the most, and honestly there are a LOT of geeks here. A huge nerdcore/geek music scene. A comic shop (The sponsors/brains behind nerdapalooza) actually built a venue for live music because there are so many local geek acts here! We are very fortunate to be where we are.

REPUBLIBOT:
Last question: As a band, what’s your finest moment? What is the thing, performance, song, backstage antic, whatever, that you are absolutely the proudest of?

CHARLES:
Nerdapalooza I think was pretty dope.

JIM:
Yeah, Nerdapalooza for sure. 700 people jamming out throwing up their Spock signs, hanging out in the green room with all the other geek acts from all over the country, like "The Protomen," and "MC Frontalot." It was amazing. My favorite show of the tour.

CHARLES:
Celebration 5 was cool too. hanging with Seth Green.

JIM:
Yeah, 1000 Star Wars Fans, pretty damn cool.

REPUBLIBOT:
I don’t want to eat up your studio time, so I’ll let you all get back to work. Again, the band is Sci-Fried, definitely worth checking out. Thank you very much for talking to us today.

JIM:
Thanks for having us on your site!! It was a pleasure.. good questions.. made us have to think about it.. [Laughs]. Be sure to keep listening for our new Album "Future: Tense". It will be available the end of January on our website Http://www.sci-friedband.com as well as CDBABY.com and amazon, itunes all the usual places

Check out their website at http://www.sci-friedband.com

Tags: