If you conduct a Wikipedia search for “Fair to Midland,” you find…well, the facts. Just the facts. And, in your wee hours of MySpace music hunting, you find that Fair to Midland is a band. A “Progressive / Folk / Metal” band with 38,812 fans, a partiality to swamp-pants and a handful of cryptic, chromatically de-saturated videos to visually narrate its sepulchral lyrics.
If you research further, here, in this verbal writhing, you discover that Fair to Midland, a Dallas heavy rock unit, is a genuine collaborative-creative-success story …and for most “bands” attempting to stake their flagpole in the music industry moon rock, that’s a pretty big deal.
After eight years of grinding the axe in efforts to actualize the collective dream of rockin’ the fuck out, Fair to Midland recently consummated its rock ‘n roll fantasy by signing to Universal Republic records via the personal enamor of System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian to release the LP Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True. The combination of diligence, a brutal touring schedule (including a 2007 Coachella appearance) and the metaphorical lubing of the industry bigwigs has created quite the vertiginous woo for one of Dallas’ most commercially successful seedlings.
Driven not by intimate brethren, but, rather, a loyalty of proximity, these five North Texan musicians have found a way to maintain their musical stamina and bring their vehemently sweet metal anthems to fanatics worldwide.
So, cheers to you, Fair to Midland. Despite the esoteric nature of their rugged sound, the band has found a way to continue its grassroots efforts to gain acceptance not only form the honchos with the money, but its hometown patrons. Making a sweet yuletide homecoming at the House of Blues on December 26, we checked in with the humble lead singer Darroh Sudderth to evaluate Fair to Midland's 'holidaze' state of being; a state of blessings and gratitude. Hallelujah. (Q&A after the jump.)
How long have you guys been on tour this time around?
In the last year, grand total, we’ve probably been on tour 11 months, and, probably, been off a grand total of, maybe, one.
Are you tired yet?
A little bit. But it beats the 9-to-5 lifestyle and we’re very blessed to do this and this be our jobs. So we’re milking it for everything we can.
…We do everything we can to hold on to the dream. Job security is not common in this industry .
You’re right, it’s all very ephemeral and nothing is guaranteed, so it’s challenging. So, you have a lot o gratitude for where you guys are at right now, yes?
Oh, absolutely. We’re extremely fortunate to be where we’re at and we just hope to stay here.
Can you tell me a little bit about the relationship between you and the other band members?
We all respect each other enough to give each other space and we all from small towns in northeast Texas and got together out of necessity because there were no other musicians in the area that were interested in playing something that was more rock driven.
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Tell me about your appearance at Coachella and how it has affected the band.
It was great to be such a part of an eclectic bill like that. I mean, we are a hard rock band and that being the case, a lot of people will, right off the bat, put you into a meathead category. It’s hard to get a sort of credibility in this genre being a harder rock band. It’s really hard to get accepted… and to be a part of a show like Coachella did that for us to some extent.
So with this recent success, has the past year been a whirlwind?
It hasn’t been so much of a whirlwind. In many ways we are still struggling to make a name for ourselves just on a larger scale and with us being such an acquired taste, left of center, it takes a little longer for people to warm up to us and it’s going to take a little longer for us to break. -- Krissi Reeves