“We’re essentially a rock band, with a touch of scary, a touch of circus, a touch of gypsy, and a touch of something you don’t know if you want to touch or not (but you secretly do – it’s okay).”Zach Ferrin of Fable Cry
Fable Cry is easily one of the most imaginative and fun bands that I have ever come across. I had the delight of reviewing their latest album We’ll Show You Where The Monsters Are last year, an album that I still listen to on a regular basis. I recently caught up with the band’s frontman, Zach Ferrin, and took a peak behind the curtain at what makes whimsical Fable Cry tick.
What (who) does your act consist of?
Zach: Four human characters. Four instruments with nearly the same amount of personality. And an open revolving door of puppets, dancers, and other frightful people.
How did you and your band meet?
Zach: We each met at shows and jams, playing our own separate music, until we decided it was silly to solely play separately when we could just get married and spend our lives together. So I asked them each to join Fable Cry, and whoa! The bliss.
Where are you and your band from?
Zach: We all came to Nashville for different reasons from different parts of the Continent. Nashville is the band’s home.
Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music?
Zach: My whole family is very musical. My parents played music and performed together when they were first married, and never stopped playing and singing around the house. I learned to play guitar from my dad and brother and played music with every one of them. I’m fortunate to say there has never been a time that I haven’t been surrounded by music.
What type of music did you hear the most growing up? Is it different from what you listen to now?
Zach: My dad mostly played/listened to John Denver, Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, and irish folk tunes. From my Mom: Loreena McKennitt, Celine Dion. From my big sister: Enya, No Doubt, Ace of Base. From my big brother: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dio. While me and my little sister watched musicals. My tastes have definitely expanded and leaned in different directions but, given these beginning roots, I’m not surprised my tastes are still all over the place.
What was the first song that you ever sang?
Zach: Only assuming the most likely here: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, three days after I was born. #xmasbaby
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Zach: The first time I saw Back to the Future. At the end when Marty Mcfly plays “Johnny B Goode” and melts everyones’ faces. I knew I wanted to do that too.
How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing now?
Zach: It’s the soundtrack to the things that I like to write about. I like horror, myth, fantasy, placed in a modern world. To me, there’s really no other way that the songs could sound.
For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you describe your music for the public audience?
Zach: We’re essentially a rock band, with a touch of scary, a touch of circus, a touch of gypsy, and a touch of something you don’t know if you want to touch or not (but you secretly do – it’s okay).
Would you rather play live performances or be in the studio?
Zach: Live performance, for sure. I love the studio, and I love bringing a song to life, and adding all of the nuances and layers. I absolutely love it. But performing live is when I am the most alive, and ultimately why I do this.
Have you ever entered any contests to enhance your musical career?
Zach: Little to none, to be honest. However, we were just nominated for three different awards in this years tenth annual Nashville Industry Music Awards (NIMA).
Have you been involved in any benefit performances?
Zach: We have! Among those, we did an anti domestic violence benefit, and a benefit for Launch Pad, that provides a safe place for the homeless youth in Nashville, specifically those of the LGBTQ community.
What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been so far in your musical career?
Zach: “Accomplishment” is really subjective. But the fact that we’re getting to creative, play, and perform original music the way we want in front of audiences that really dig and support what we do is an huge accomplishment.
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
Zach: We call it Theatrical Scamp Rock!
What are your songs about and what general themes do they talk about?
Zach: Most of the songs are personal thoughts, emotions, or stories that I wrap up in the guise of something whimsical and scary. I let the monsters do the talking.
Why do you choose to focus on these themes?
Zach: It’s more interesting to me to tell a story and paint a picture. We all often amplify and exaggerated our experiences because they seemed so much more intense being able to live them first hand. In order to get people to understand what you were feeling, exaggerations are often needed. I could tell you I just ate a nice cake, or I could tell you that I just had the best cake of my life and compare it to making love to a cumulonimbus cloud.
Many of your songs on We’ll Show You Where The Monsters Are sound like they are inspired by folklore and fairytales. What inspired you to write songs about these stories?
Zach: Real life lessons being acted out by animals, gods, and monsters: that’s basically all myth has ever been. I love that style of story telling and always have. There are a few songs that were directly inspired by previously written stories (“The Good Doctor” from “Frankenstein”, and “Onion Grin” from “Little Red Riding Hood”), but most of the songs from the album are original, while they do borrow from that style of storytelling.
Are there any background stories surrounding your songs that you’d care to share?
Zach: There’s a story behind every song. Even if it’s just a line or two, I’m always saying something personal. I like that they are also usually abstract enough to be translated a bit differently by each listener. So I refrain from dissolving too much mystery here…
You’re music videos are very grand and involved. What goes into making them?
Zach: Since the songs are all very visual to begin with, the video ideas really arrive in tandem with the songs themselves. Bringing them to life is the tricky part! Our number one video partner in crime has been Ryan Rehnborg (Surly Urchin Studios) who has a great eye for capturing the ideas and bringing them to life. The costumes, makeup, and sets, are all created and done “in house” by ourselves and a small production team of like-minded artists. We’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with some of the best Nashville has, who also happen to be our favorite people and best friends.
I absolutely love your band’s image and costumes, it fits so well with your music. Can you describe for the readers why you chose to adopt such a style?
Zach: Thank you! It’s a whole world that we’re trying to create. We want people to see an image of us and get an idea of what the music might sound like, and visa versa. So much of the time, I see bands whose esthetic doesn’t fit their music, and it’s disappointing – and misleading.
What has been your strong influence to continue performing?
Zach: The audience. As long as there are people to listen and watch us perform, we will keep doing it.
Does anyone in particular influence you?
Zach: I try to avoid too much “influence” from anyone, but there are definitely people who inspire me. Danny Kaye, Cirque De Soleil, Tim Burton, Queen, Ghost, Charlie Chaplin, Clopin Trouillefou and everyone who is in my closest circle of family and friends.
What are your immediate music career goals?
Zach: Why not… Hit the big time with our next release! (hopes, dreams, and hard work)
What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?
Zach: Learning how to roll with the punches. There is a level of idealism that I think a lot of bands go into the music business with and, while it can be helpful to have a certain level of fool hearty resolve, nothing can really prepare you to the difficulties of not getting equal results for equal work. This band has gotten extremely close as friends through the roughest patches, though, and we’ve discovered the things that work and that don’t. It has all been well worth it.
What type of fan base do you have?
Zach: It is extremely varied. But all in all, it’s absurd how nice most of our fans are. We’re pretty nice people on the whole, but jeeze. It’s absurd.
Music tends to appeal to everyone, young and old. Do you have any advice for the youth of today?
Zach: For those pursuing music, be confident, but realistic. Enjoy what you do, and find people who you enjoy being around. I think the biggest flaw I’ve seen in others’ mentality is having a “once we’re big” outlook. Understand that the second you name your band and decide to put your work out there, you’ve begun. It doesn’t start when you’ve reached a certain abstract goal like “making it.” Work NOW like it’s your job, enjoy every second of it, and enjoy the results as they come in. Hope for the best, but don’t expect unrealistic results to happen immediately, because you will most likely be disappointed.
Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
Zach: There are so many things that I’m interested in that I would love to do more of. I love to dance, juggle, tumble, act, box, sail, paint, read, write, and on and on. One day I’ll have/make more time for some of these things, and it will be exciting. Or I’ll just find excuses to incorporate them into the band so I HAVE to learn them.
What do you do with your time away from music?
Zach: I work at my brother’s company, Ferrin IronWorks. We do metal art, welding, forging, fabricating, etc. It keeps me physically busy between shows and tours and provides another artistic outlet.
As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
Zach: If I can give people an imaginative distraction from their lives, or a way of seeing their lives in a new light through the lyrics, music, and artistic entertainment, I am more than pleased.
Please feel free to add any other information you want to share with fans
Zach: Thank you for reading. I must admit, this is my longest interview I’ve ever done to date. So, Reader, thanks for following along and being great. It makes me feel good.
Samantha: I want to take this opportunity to thank Zach Ferrin of Fable Cry for answering all of my questions, and Meijin Bruttomesso at Effective Immediately PR for facilitating this interview.
To learn more about Fable Cry and their music, check out their website: http://fablecry.com/index/