Punk-rock FIDLAR is making waves while living on the edge 

click to enlarge COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo

If you couldn't tell from songs such as "Cocaine," "Blackout Stout" and "Wake Bake Skate," Los Angeles punk quartet FIDLAR wants to celebrate the joys of a gloriously misspent youth on its self-titled debut album. The chorus for the opener "Cheap Beer," as woofed by manic frontman Zac Carper (who is quite comfortable with the fact that he barks instead of sings), is a straightforward "I! Like! Cheap! Beer! So! What! F---! You!" And the band's Cramps-meets-Black-Lips sound is given added oomph by Max and Elvis Kuehn, on drums and guitar respectively, who happen to be the sons of veteran T.S.O.L. keyboardist Greg Kuehn. Carper, 26 — the offspring of surfboard designer John "J.C." Carper — hopes FIDLAR never grows up.

You just walked in your door, back home from playing Britain's Leeds and Reading Festivals. And you're already smoking a bowl and drinking a beer? Yeah! I'm actually drinking a Lagunitas, because sometimes you've just gotta go expensive with the beer. Plus, we don't need to drink cheap beer anymore!

Didn't FIDLAR have a tie-in with a taco chain recently? Yeah — Taco Bell, the Taco Bell. They didn't hire us, exactly, but they sponsored us, and they gave us a hundred $5 gift cards. It's all gone. We would just hand them out at shows to kids, because we figured that if we ate that much Taco Bell, we'd probably die. And we're more kind of Del Taco people, anyway.

So your dad designed all these amazing surfboards, with names such as White Fang, Flying Pig and The Enabler. Yeah. So I'm no hodad! I grew up in the surf world, on the North Shore of Hawaii, which is the most surf-centered area in the world, pretty much. And I was like Spicoli back in the day — tie-dyed shirt and board shorts, and I would just hang out at the beach.

How did you wind up in California? I got into some trouble with the law in Hawaii. I got into a crazy car accident there that I just don't seem to remember — it was a total blackout. And the cops said "OK, you need to either leave, go to rehab, or go to jail." So my friends threw me on an airplane to L.A., where I got a $1,200 trailer, got a job, and went to AA meetings for two years.

FIDLAR is an acronym for 'F--- It Dog, Life's A Risk.' Are you still living on the razor's edge? This record is pretty true to itself, regarding the time I spent in L.A., where I went through some benders. But I've started drinking again. I never had a booze problem — I just stopped doing hard drugs.

IF YOU GO

FIDLAR

Where: Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Thursday

Tickets: $12 to $14

Contact: (415) 626-4455, www.bottomofthehill.com

About The Author

Tom Lanham

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