What’s new in The Fish Bowl? Well, lot’s actually. New Album, new drummer, new computer (typing on a Macbook Pro these days ……:), new niece, our first annual 3 Falls Festival coming up Sept. 30th in Hampshire, TN; which we have been asked to coordinate by the fine folks at Blue Heaven (world famous restaurant in Key West we play at), and finally new songs……..always new songs.
I guess I should start with the new drummer. Stephan Burns fell into the lap of F.O.W. literally two days after Mike Turco announced he wanted to take a break from the road and try an endeavor with his friend in L.A. First, let it be clear we are on good terms with Mike and that Brandon and I cannot deny his work ethic when it came to drumming with us. Without his dedication to our group, we would not have been able to make this next step forward…..so THANK YOU Mike for your hard work bro. It did not go unnoticed.
We auditioned Stephan one day later and fell in love with his easy groove and similar sense of pocket tightness. To me, a great drummer is someone who understands they are the back beat, the bus driver……I heard this early in my career but it still holds true, “your band is as good as your drummer.” When record execs are looking at a potential artist, I guarantee they want to know if the drummer is steady, good, and driving the bus. If not, the other musicians can’t play guitar, bass, etc. unless that foundation is solid. Our music always takes a small turn when we have drummer turn over (ha ha ha ha, that sounds like F.O.W. is corporate). We usually adapt our style a little bit, but that wasn’t so much the case this time. Stephan plays what I think fits our music, not so much what he wants to play from a personal stand point, which is huge. Great music takes listening and sacrificing ego to benefit the whole. I think we are at a point where all the players are trying to do that in this band. We understand our moments to shine and our moments to support and direct the light elsewhere.
Which leads to our new album. For three years I have put this band on the road. Healing from a very broken heart and telling myself that not succeeding at music wasn’t an option, we set out to get our music into the faces of everyone and anyone willing to look past the fact we didn’t play covers, or have a million likes on Facebook. Recording an album was always seemingly impossible due to needing to play to survive. We originally recorded three songs in San Diego at Signature Sound Studios (Chicken & Blunts, Up All Night, and Sanity). It wasn’t until two years later that we met the finely distinguished and highly talented Nick Romanelli at Romanelli Studios. We finally got an engineer who understood us, worked as hard as us, and invested his heart into the project, which was evident when it came to putting in more hours than he charged us.
“Like any industry there are individuals who stand out from others in that industry. In the recording game there is no better choice than Romanelli Recordings.” That would be my testimonial on his commercial 🙂 We brought Nick to Ramble Room Studios in Key West, FL to do the tracking with us and a typical day would look like this:
10am-2pm = play brunch show at Blue Heaven.
2-3pm = break down and pack up.
4-6pm = nap.
7pm-12am = set up, play, and pack up at The Porch.
12:30-4am = record in studio.
4-9am = sleep.
9:30am-11pm = record in studio.
This went on for essentially two weeks at Ramble Room Studios and Nick’s place when we mixed it. We had help, but for the most part, this album was fully funded by… our funk thumping, road wrecking, hard-ass work. We would be exhausted looking at each other going crazy the last few days of the mixing. Crazy, but everyone just kept plugging away until we came away with our proudest work ever. I can never call something a masterpiece, but when I hand this CD to people, I know they will enjoy it, not just because of Nick, but also from all the beautiful musicians on this album whom I respect tremendously.
One amazing side note was my baby niece Bella was born during this recording session. My sister is 46 and it’s her first child!! Bella was healthy, happy, and I think it is a great story to share with those who want to still be a parent but may think they are too old. It was a good feeling knowing that my niece will have this album one day and making my family proud is a big deal to me. My nephews are 21 and 18 and I want them to see me doing something I love, but also making something that will stand the test of time :).
Those that have followed us over the years know we don’t play a ton of festivals because……well……….festivals are clicks really; people that know people and gate keepers in the music industry that pick and choose who they want. I have always been frustrated with this process and decided to focus my efforts on making my own events. Key West’s Food Trucks in Paradise was our first success. It was small but mighty and the folks at Blue Heaven came to Brandon and I and asked if we’d be interested in putting on a music festival out at their property in Hampshire, TN (2 hours south Nashville).
Hmmm… can I organize a festival, promote a new album, and tour three to four days a week? They say don’t bite off more than you can chew and perhaps I have, but I don’t think so. I think when we fail, we like to make excuses why. But what if you didn’t have an excuse? What if you did do everything you possibly could to make the best outcome possible? POSSIBLE, not 100% sure, but you have to take big risks to reap big rewards and being afraid of your dreams is a real thing. I didn’t understand that until taking on this festival. It is my dream to bring together great bands based on talent and nothing else, not their stature online, CD sales, or who they know or pretend to know. I assembled musicians I respect and trust will put on a kick-ass performance, including our friends The Copper Tones, Paper Work, and Brandon’s brother Kyle J. Moon’s band Stratton 13 to name a few. (Pic below is what we call Paper Fish (Fish Out of Water + Paper Work) w/ Rick Elliot and J-Sneez]
They are like us, under the radar but ready to be above it and this will be a great event to showcase that. I couldn’t ask for a more ideal location to throw this Party!!! The main site of the festival is probably the size of about 10 football fields with a tree line and 3 waterfalls that feed into a fresh flowing creek, hence the name 3 Falls Festival. If you don’t have plans Sept. 30th, you do now 🙂
Written by Kyle Daniel Moon