Fiddlehead discusses 8 albums that influenced their new album ‘Between The Richness’
Get Fiddlehead’s new album on white vinyl in purple.
Last week, Violin head released their second album Between wealth on Run For Cover, and it’s one of the best post-hardcore albums of this year so far and also a highlight in singer Pat Flynn’s rich discography, which also includes Have Heart, Sweet Jesus, Free, Clear, Wolf Whistle and The Action Taken. (If you are not completely familiar with Pat’s many groups, this new primer by Hugo Reyes is a great way to familiarize yourself.) As we mentioned in our review, the album explores the lighter side of post-hardcore, emo, and indie rock compared to some of the more aggressive hardcore records from Pat, and to get a better feel for the specific influences, we spoke to four Fiddlehead members of eight albums that influenced Between wealth.
Drummer Shawn Costa (also of Have Heart), guitarist Alex Henery (also of Basement), guitarist Alex Dow (also of Big Contest, Intent) and bassist Casey Nealon (also of Youth Funeral, Death Injection, etc.) have all contributed to the roster, which includes an array of artists, from classic bands like Magazine, Sebadoh, The Clean, Slint and Guided by Voices to more recent bands like Fontaines DC. Read on to see their choices and what they had to say about each of them.
To pick up Between wealth on white vinyl in purple (and Have Heart’s What matters EP on 12 “white vinyl) in our shop.
DC fountains – Dogrel
It’s pretty rare to find a current band that creates a sound that sounds fresh and exciting, but Fountains DC have captured exactly that. The guitar sounds on this album are rich and cut through the songs, the lyrics are thoughtful, witty and biting. This whole album has so much character, a style that you can’t recreate. A confident swagger without being off-putting, they perfectly balance melody and punk. I love the dynamism of the songs, with a strong ability to increase the intensity, but also to write ballads and to touch a calmer sound. I listened to this album a lot and was really inspired by the energy and the raw sound, it certainly had a huge influence on the writing of some of the songs on the album. (Alex Henery)
Sebadoh – Sale of pastries
This record is effortless, it just has a natural sound of a band playing in a room but it’s not lo-fi or garage rock sound. It’s actually crystal clear. I’m definitely influenced by this style of writing – little riffs, fun chords – it just has a really relaxed feel to it. Between wealth came together by just writing a song every practice and we just tried not to overthink it, but still be intentional. Sale of pastries has such a variety of song styles and it interests you when you listen to the whole album. There really isn’t a dull moment. (Alex Henery)
Guided by voices – Thousand bee
I must have spent a thousand hours with this record between 2018 and 2019. I had originally discovered it in high school, but I don’t think I was ready for it at the time. Maybe it was the recording quality or the frantic writing that baffled me, I don’t know. Now there is no doubt that this record is an all time favorite and has an influence on my guitar playing in general and for Between wealth. 20 songs… 20 scary songs without hiccups. Granted, I skip “Her Psychology Today” fairly regularly if I listen from front to back, but the rock boulder that is “Smothered In Hugs” in “Yours to Keep” in “Echos Myro” is probably my three favorite -song transition on any disc. I’ve always wanted to meet with a member to ask if all the little quirks were intentional or happy. It’s just pure emotional rock, it’s incredibly inspiring. (Alex Dow)
Fallen to the lowest – The Frontier Wit
I never got to see this band live, I feel like we were supposed to play with them a few times, but it never seemed to work. In 2012, when Flynn and I launched Fiddlehead, this record has been a constant source of inspiration. I revisited it during a weekend of shows we performed in Canada in the fall of 2018 and it held on for me. The songwriting is so unique yet familiar. Travis’s voice and lyrics are incredibly thoughtful, it’s not just a well-done technical emo (which it is), it’s way more special than that. The guitar always sounds great, from feedback to jangly riffs. While I don’t think we sound like Fell To Low much, I feel like when I heard this album I told it so sonically that it had a long-term impact on my way of approaching the guitar. (Alex Dow)
Slint – Spiderland
Britt Walford’s drums on this particular album have often been a source of inspiration to me. His use of plumage technique, unorthodox accents and drum dynamics are so singularly distinct and stylistically captivating. The drums on “Spiderland” are a classic example of how to rhythmically and empathetically serve a collective piece of music, without overplaying or straying from the overall instrumentation. This is exactly the rhythmic approach I try to use in Fiddlehead. (Shawn Costa)
The Smashing Pumpkins – Mélan Collie and Infinite Sadness
For a while I considered referring to my Tony Williams inspiration which has become quite ubiquitous in my drums lately. Instead, I included the drummer who I believe has been the most dominant rhythmic force in rock music for the past 30 years, Jimmy Chamberlin. His hybrid jazz / rock approach is undeniable and immediately recognizable. I am very regularly inspired by the JC catalog of well articulated trailed rock grooves / single-stroke rollers. The snare work in “Joyboy” is a prime example of my attempt to channel my inner Chamberlin. (Shawn Costa)
The clean – Anthology
When I was writing music for Between wealthI still lived in Boston and listened to The Clean every Saturday morning while rolling the blinds on my windows. One of those afternoons you might have found me learning the bass lines from “Anything Could Happen”. “Loverman” may even be a close relative of this song. After all, both tracks satisfy my obsession with cyclical music with a strong and subtly shifting bassline as the basis. (C Nealon)
Magazine – Real life
You can trace a direct connection between Barry Adamson’s catchy rhythms and melodies to any point in my bass work in Fiddlehead. I could talk about the profound influence his work with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds had on me, but the material on Real life is more relevant in this context. There is a confidence and poise to Barry’s play – always there, sometimes blazing his own trail but always back in the pocket when needed. I try to achieve this in Fiddlehead by bouncing between emphasizing Shawn’s drum patterns, harmonizing with guitars, or hammering my own singular melody into a song like a nail. (C Nealon)
To pick up Between wealth on white / purple vinyl here.