Why FIDLAR is Important
Throughout the years, punk has branched out into so many different styles and sub-genres. Punk continues to emerge and transform alongside it’s environment and under the influence of the political and social conditions of the world. Since the beginning, punk culture always has something to prove and loves to piss off the general public by challenging orthodox ideologies. Challenging the structures of society, anti-conformist views, and cheap beer, it’s all still present in the punk music of today.
While there are definitely some OG punks still out there skanking through the system, today’s developing 21st century punk in comparison holds a few key differences. Straight out of your local second-hand store, the present-day punk’s overall style and general attitude is more apathetic, stripped down, and more low-key than previous generations. Just like classic punk rebelled against the state of the world then, the modern punk resists the popular culture we experience today. They defy the status-quo and chronic narcissism associated with millennials and replace it with existential nihilism and a Goodwill outfit that says “f*ck it”. Punk’s not dead, it just is being delivered to and from an entirely new era, and the men of FIDLAR are some of the few musicians responsible for reshaping it and keeping it alive for future generations to come.
FIDLAR has been grinding the scene since 2009 and their name is actually an acronym for “F*ck It Dog, Life's a Risk”, consider that their kind of mission statement. This gnarly foursome is made up of Brandon Schwartzel (bass), Elvis Kuehn (lead guitar, vocals), Max Kuehn (drums), and Zac Carper (rhythm guitar, vocals). Los Angeles brothers Elvis and Max Kuehn are the sons of punk legend, Greg Kuehn, T.S.O.L. keyboardist. Bassist Brandon is from San Diego and Zac was born in Hawaii and son of famed surfboard designer and shaper, John Carper. From the Kuehn’s classic punk influences to Zac’s surf lifestyle, their combined backgrounds lay a foundation you can clearly hear in almost every song of FIDLAR.
Cocaine, depression, and alcoholism—the songwriting of FIDLAR is genuine and that’s what makes them so important; they speak for those who have been through hell. Plenty of artists write about having a great time and partying but not many that will also reflect the come downs that usually follow. FIDLAR can effortlessly go from party-mode in the track “Cheap Beer” to casually discussing what it’s like coping with depression in tracks “Bad Habits” and “I Just Wanna Die”.
So when it comes to freaking out about getting older, hangovers, being broke from buying drugs and alcohol, or failing out of school, FIDLAR is there to relate to during those hard times just as much as they are during the good times. They keep it real and don’t sugarcoat anything for anyone and that’s something powerful listeners should take away from their music. Whether it be through social media or news, most of us are constantly exposed to fabricated content and relatable artists like FIDLAR remind us that we’re not the only ones going through it and at the end of the day, we’re all only human.
P.S. Zac Carper hates seeing phones out in the crowd. So when you catch them on Day 3 of Coachella this year, try to not document the entire show for your Instagram story and instead just be present & enjoy!
Coverage by Sade De La Espriella
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