With the release of their new album Pillars, Fairgale is standing tall. This 4-piece indie rock from St. John’s are both thrilling old fans and gaining new ones with their latest release. With a strong start to 2018 and an even brighter looking future, this group has shown that they aren’t just another drop in the ocean. I’ve had a chance to catch up with Fairgale and discuss the new album, influences, the importance of their fanbase, plans for the future, and more.
Question 1: So far, how has the year 2018 been for Fairgale?
Andrew: Great! We did a province-wide tour after the release of our sophomore album “Pillars” which went well. We travelled to the ECMA’s and played a showcase on the “Rock Stage” which was also a great gig and networking opportunity. We’ve been picked up by several radio stations nationwide in 2018 which has helped to spread our music outside the local market.
Stephen: Absolutely. And we’re really excited about what’s to come through the fall and through the rest of 2018. To be a part of the George Street Festival and also the upcoming Iceberg Alley Performance Tent is a huge honour for us.
Question 2: How has the response from fans been to Pillars?
Brad: We’ve been thrilled with the fan response to Pillars. One of the most interesting things about the release is that every fan seems to have a different “favourite song” which is a really cool thing for us because it shows that that album has depth.
Stephen: The response from the album has been great. It was really great to finally release it and get the feedback. When you sit on an album for a long time you lose a little of touch with how you first felt when you wrote the material. Getting the initial response from fans and listeners lets you relive that all over again.
Question 3: What were some of the group’s inspirations and influences when making Pillars?
Brad: We’re influenced by bands such as Kings of Leon, The Killers, Oasis, U2, Coldplay, etc.
Andrew: Anytime I hear a song I really like, no matter what genre, I become inspired to write.
Stephen: Writing is an interesting process. Ultimately, it starts with an idea that makes you feel something. I can’t pinpoint any specific themes or ideas on what lead to the songs being what they are, outside a lot of writing, jamming and finding ideas that resonate with us as a band.
Question 4: Has this new album helped in expanding your fanbase?
Brad: Very much. We’ve watched our reach expand with the release of the new album. We’ve been getting much more radio play both locally and abroad.
Andrew: I’ve had several people come up and request tunes from the new album when I play solo gigs around the city which is cool. That didn’t really happen last time around.
Stephen: Certainly the traction and buzz have grown over the years and we feel like Pillars has helped grow that fan base, and presented us with some really unique opportunities.
Question 5: With the large fanbase and support in Newfoundland, has this helped you gain attention out of the province?
Brad: Yes. Working with local musicians and Producers such as Chris Kirby helped establish connections that led to us sign our publishing deal with Sound of Pop Inc. based out of Nova Scotia. We’ve also had some great radio success outside of Newfoundland in a number of commercial and community stations through a bunch of provinces.
Question 6: How was the most recent tour, and do you expect to be touring again soon?
Brad: We had a great time touring Newfoundland in support of Pillars. We officially released the album to a packed house at JAG Boutique Hotel in St. John’s, and then visited select locations around the Island such as Winterton, Gander, Twillingate. We also held a particularly neat show at the Port Rexton Brewery.
We expect to tour the Maritimes at the end of September or early October.
Question 7: What are some acts you would like to tour with?
Andrew: U2, The Shins, Arkells, Matt Mays.
Stephen: Billy Ray Cyrus (laughs). Honestly, to tour with like-minded artists with common goals would be great. So many great bands out there. The right opportunity comes in many forms.
Question 8: Are there any acts you would be interested in collaborating with?
Andrew: Mick Davis, Sean Panting, Twenty Dollar Pyramids, Kellie Loder, are just a few locals off the top of my head.
Stephen: I agree with Andrew on all of those. There are so many great writers that I’d love to write with. Rose Cousins out of PEI is a fantastic artist that I’d love to work with. Certainly a stretch from what we do genre-wise, but I’m a huge John Prine fan so that’d be a dream of mine to ever collaborate with him in any capacity.
Question 9: Any upcoming shows your especially excited for?
We are very excited to play at the George Street Fest on July 30th. We’ll be playing with Dear Rouge and Arkells which will be a great gig for us. We are also playing at the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent in September where we’ll be opening for Son Real and Coleman Hell. That’s an exciting gig for us as well. The venue is amazing.
Brad: We’ll also be travelling to Halifax on September 1st for the Halifax Urban Folk Festival.
Stephen: All of that, and we’re working on some things through the fall and winter.
Question 10: What have the members of Fairgale been listening to lately?
Andrew: Off the top of my head: Chris Stapleton, Foster the People, Bros. Landreth, Dawes, Jason Isbell, The Shins, Iron Maiden, Soap Opera, Twenty Dollar Pyramids
Stephen: Really loving Alvvays right now, Lord Huron, Vance Joy. There’s no much music out there right now, I can’t begin to know where to start. We’ve never had so much access to quality stuff.
Don’t forget to follow Fairgale on all social media and see them live July 30th at the George Street Festival