December 20, 2012

Peta Petidis

Throughout our adolescent years we become destined to discover and attach ourselves to new things. A main aspect to us teens is music. We search high and low to find a genre or band to call our own. Well now I’ve just brought your searching days to a minimal halt because I can guarantee you’ll dig this new find my youthful homies.

Fly You Fools are a local high school band from Viewbank formed of Joey Sismanes (lead vocals/guitar), Artur Cichocki (bass guitar/vocals), Zach Sparke (guitar) and Oliver Doreian (drums). The boys first established themselves as a band in 2011 whilst studying in year 11, “It was just for the chicks.”

They have since written and recorded their own debut EP which you can find and download from Triple J Unearthed and Soundcloud. Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing these ambitious musos to better understand the formation of the group, their idols and future aspirations.

As we sat within a dainty, wooden gazebo amongst the lush, green surroundings of Warringal Park, I was intimidated to my very core; being in the presence of such beautiful and talented teenage boys is quite the accomplishment. Flustered and trying to keep up with a powerful and confident facade, the interview was off and I persisted to grasp onto all the intimate details of the band’s formation as any young writer would.

So how did it all start? Oliver explains, “We saw this band and we just figured we could do it better than them.”

“They weren’t very good,” Zach jokes.

“They were playing the crappy pop songs to a whole packed room and…They were gettin’ the girls.” Joey says with a smirk. “So we came back from the festival and we were trying to figure out our roles.” The boys all agree that Oliver is the better drummer over Joey. This went to show the beginning of new roles being recognised, Joey taking on the vocals rather than his original preference to play on drums, and a band was formed. In the long run it seemed to be a “bonding experience” for the boys.

Inspirational figures are often associated with new upcoming bands, and for Fly You Fools, this wasn’t a dissimilar case. When it comes to performing, these boys truly idolise bands like Bombay Bicycle Club and Foals. The whole group acknowledge these performers when writing music and being on stage. “If you ever watch Zach on stage he’s really influenced by Foals, and the energy that they have. So we bring that heaps when we play especially towards the end [of a performance].” Joey amplifies. “Whenever we have a gig we have people say to us that it was really crazy!”

When it comes to a similar sound, Last Dinosaurs, Dune Rats and the Smiths are mentioned. “What we’re doing now when writing new stuff is we’re finding our own sound a bit more. We have a more defined [sound], and with each of our roles we kind of bring something different.” Joey says.

But when the boys play live and at gigs they come alive with their own remarkable personality in unison. “In our live shows we are at our most awesome,” Artur intervenes as the others show a strong sense of agreement at their performance peek. “Especially at the end of ‘Space Song,’ we bring that up heaps!”

By bringing a high energy level to every gig, Fly You Fools have won several ‘Battle of the Bands’ locally and at school. “It’s mainly based on our energy – we may not have the best musicality.” Artur explains. Modest as they may be, I beg to differ.

But what happens when a group of high school boys are faced with the traumatic event of VCE exams whilst trying to build up their music name and playing gigs? “It’s affected us all really differently; Joey got caught up in exams.” Zach describes whilst eyeing Joey.

“If I had have neglected my studies I reckon we would be a bit further along at the moment,” Joey remarks, “We had to take some time off.”

“I don’t think it really affected me and Zach that much.” Oliver jokes.

“We had a point where we had to write one of our songs for a gig that was the next night.” Joey details, “I took one night off and managed to get a whole lot of lyrics down, so with that sentimentality we can carry that over to the amount of time we have now after school and we should be well on track.”

With their very own mini recording studio built into Joey’s house thanks to his father’s music background, the boys live a life style which very much, revolves around music, minus educational studies and work. Along the line of education, the boys have tips on surviving without music while enduring VCE and school. “Don’t crack a fit if you can’t play for a month.” Oliver advises.

“There’s only a certain extent you can gig around when you’re at school, we did most of our stuff playing at school this year, playing for battle of the bands, and school stuff. And it’s hard to look for gigs when we’re under 18.” Joey clarifies. But for those eager to search, “Facebook Inbox!” will help you through tough and thin when it comes to scoring gigs. But most of all get your priorities straight and “Be understanding.”

Fly You Fool’s ultimate goal gig would be to play at any festival of the sort and to feature as a headlining act. “Everyone that’s there is there to see you,” Zach exclaims. However, Joey on the other hand, describes his perfect gig scenario, “I would be content with just a packed room full of all of our good friends, a lot of fairy bread and a good set up. We could really slam stuff out.”

If not a headline show, the boys would love to support their great heroes, “Bombay or Foals!”

Eager to recognise how they write their music and lyrics, I ask Joey to talk of his own experiences.  “In terms of song writing as a whole, I’ve yet to really level out a specific way of doing it, I’m still changing a lot of things, I’m finding my own way of expressing myself.” The music the boys capture is put together using their own experiences.

“I come up with [lyrics] and this could happen anywhere but when it happens I have to get it down as soon as possible. There are so many songs I’ve had in my head walking home and I try to get it down on the guitar and try and write lyrics for it but it goes.”

“I have to get it right” Joey, being the perfectionist, always strives for the best words and musicality. “I come with just the frame work, the skeleton I would bring to the band, and we flesh it out a little bit, we’d bring our own skill to it and we play.”

With tonnes of support from their family and friends, the boys of Fly You Fools, are fresh graduates making the most out of the gigs they play and the music they produce. With intense energy as an indie/ rock movement the boys will zoom straight into the ears of many with their unearthed yet simplistic and melodic musical nature. An ultimate must see!

If you’re eager to see these boys in action you’re in luck, they’ll be performing at First Floor in Brunswick St on the 22nd of December. I can guarantee you will be free of any disappointment. For any of you newly found fans of FYF you can like their page on Facebook and get all the inside info on new gigs.

Peta Petidis

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