Introducing: Fixit Kid

With their new album about to drop next month, Bearded decided to catch up with Fixit Kid's vocalist, Mat, to get ourselves reaquainted with the band, and find out just why we're all so excited about Fixit Kid Three.

Posted on Apr 8th, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Fixit Kid, Fight Me / By Peter Clark
Introducing: Fixit Kid For those of us new to Fixit Kid, what do you want to tell us about the history/formation of the band?
We formed in 2000 as a three piece with our original drummer Alex, we wanted to start a noisey obnoxious band that would just play frigging loud! We did it for the fun of it really, we had all come from bands that had strived to get signed and it was only when we stopped caring and doing what we wanted that people started taking notice of us. We got “signed” to the Norwich label Sickroom GC after we played a show at the Art school for them, the venue got shut down after our set because we were far to loud and they got a ridiculous amount of complaints. The label liked us though and we put out our first few 7"s with them, they also put out Bearsuit and Kaito’s first singles. That led to us doing a session for John Peel back in 2002. We released our first album The Gracious Art Of Breaking Limbs in 2004 on our own label Fight Me Records, did another radio 1 session but this time for Huw Stephens. We did another album The Easy Way Out in 2006 (which none of us really like now to be honest. We were smoking a lot at the time and its wasn’t 'till we revisited it that we realised the production was pretty messy, the song are good though) after that we released 'Whiskey Pit' on 7" and did a video that was way to violent to get on any of the music channels who wanted it and as a result it go banned by MTV. We recorded an album that never got released, then Alex left the band because he couldn’t tour any more.
Then it all went a bit quite for a while,
Me and Jay thought it was pretty much over until we ended up drunkenly getting the unreleased album out and deciding to give it another go with a new drummer. We borrowed Ryan from You Judas (who are also on our label) We also recruited Olly from You Judas/ Wander Phantom / The Swarm on bass and i moved on to just being the frontman. We did a few gigs but then Ryan couldn’t play with us any more so we where drummerless again, but only for a few weeks, then Dan came along, he used to play in Terrashima and The Swarm and has been our mate for years. He added the perfect style of full on drumming to our sound. As soon as Dan joined we pretty much started writing and we started all over again, since late last year we have done two singles and a video which got on SCUZZ TV. Just cant wait for the new album Fixit Kid Three to come out now.

How was growing up in Derby in terms of musical influences and finding something to rebel against?
Only Dan comes from Derby, the rest of us just ended up here. Olly is from Croydon and me and Jay are from Nuneaton. Where i am from is a pretty small town with a small town mentality. Dont get me wrong i like it there now but as a teenager there was not a great deal to do there, you would get shit from people for carrying a guitar through town or having long hair or what ever. Derby is pretty similar, there is plenty to rebel against anywhere you grew up.
You’ve been going as a band for 10 years now, how do you feel you’ve progressed over this time? What have been some of the highs and lows of Fixit Kid?
Having Olly and Dan has defiantly made our sound and band stronger. We sound the best we ever have at the moment, the album is great and it feels like “this is what we are supposed to sound like!” when i hear it. It's the closest thing to how it sounded in my head when we first thought about being a band, but it took us ten years to get there. Low points would have been when we didn’t know what was going to happen when Alex left, not having as much money as we would like so we can do more stuff but to honest its mostly just been fun. We don’t take our selves too seriously but a lot of hard work goes on.

Are there any themes/concepts behind the songs on your forthcoming third album ‘Fixit Kid Three’? Does the record capture a new direction for you guys?
There are a lot of themes going on in ...Three. I tend to write horrible short stories, lots of violence and horror going on. 'Release The Dogs' is about Chris Benoit, he was a famous wrester who killed his family in their home and then hung himself on a multi-gym. There is also songs about cannibalism, stalking and the like. Lyrically its a very dark album and the music is a lot more solid than the first two albums. Plus there are a lot of weird segways in-between the songs on ...Three which makes it flow really well. Between us we recorded a lot of “field recordings” on our phones and MP3 players whilst out and about, we have a street preacher that Jay recorded in L.A, drunk conversations allsorts really. Its a new direction but its exactly the same if that makes sense? We have done something different and better but it still sounds like Fixit Kid.

Will we be able to see you guys out on the road with ‘Fixit Kid 3’?
Yeah, we have a few things in the pipe line, we are doing a UK tour in August with a few festival dates. We will be playing before then I should think. We are also planning our first European dates and we are supposed to be doing a few shows in Italy at some point this year. The best thing to do is keep an eye on our facebook or twitter page.
Fight Me Records is your own label. Why did you choose to set this up and release your own records?
We started the label when Sickroom stopped putting stuff out, we had the first album ready to go and had the money we got paid for doing the Peel session so we just did it ourselves. We looked into distribution and used the same guys who had put out the Sickroom stuff at Backs and Shellshock. Its good being in control, but as we do everything ourselves and it can be hard work some times.

Are you looking to extend your roster at the label, or is it merely a way to get your own voice heard?
We have released a fair bit of stuff for other bands, we have just released an EP for Bad For Lazarus from Brighton, ex members of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. We have also released stuff for You Judas, The Swarm and Grande Duke. We will be putting more stuff out as and when it comes our way. We did start the label just to put out our own stuff but all the other bands are good friends of ours and in the same boat so we put their material out so people can get it. Its all on itunes and Amazon and loads of other places so its easy for people to find.

Is DIY a big factor to you as a band when creating your punk sound? What does ‘punk’ mean to you?
“What is punk?” what a question.
I think it's the way we do things, we have a very DIY ethic. Jay records all the stuff, I sort out the press and hassling people, we book our gigs and handle pretty much everything ourselves. Thats what punk means to us, being able to do what you want for yourself and still get your songs played on the radio or TV.

How do you see the band evolving and adapting to a music scene where sales are down and bands are struggling to make a living? Does it make you wary of what you’re doing, or simply want to make the best music you can and make the most of every minute?
We wont adapt to anything for anyone. We make the music we make and thats it, we may evolve within ourselves but not because we need to or are forced to. The way fashion and trends work, the best thing to do is stick to what you do and believe in it, and the time will come when what you are doing is current again and people will think you are cool again. Its happening now to us! The industry has adapted to bands like us and the DIY scene if anything, five years ago, you would never have heard Pulled Apart By Horses on daytime radio one!
Bearded is an avid supporter of independent records, labels, and stores. What’s your favourite independent record store from where you grew up or live now? Do you see a resurgence in the business, or has the internet taken it beyond the point of return?
When i was growing up i used to go to Coventry to Spinadisc, it was awesome. Pretty much all punk, metal and rock on vinyl. I remember buying Creep Diets by Fudge Tunnel and getting it home only to find it had been signed! Winner!
I think people will always buy records, itunes and things like that are handy but there is nothing like reading the sleeve notes to an album and having something physical in your hand.

Where do you hope to see the band heading in the next 10 years? Do you think you can become a hugely popular record selling band and retain your DIY ideals?
Firstly i hope we are still alive!
I can't say we have a plan but as long as we enjoy making records and playing gigs together and it doesn’t go stale we will keep going.
I do think it is possible to be big and still retain the DIY ideals yeah, it just takes that lucky single or video or whatever to get you noticed. Being popular is not a bad thing. You make a record so people can hear your music, if you can do it on your own terms and become big then you have cracked it.

Fixit Kid Three is released May 2nd through Fight Me Records. Single 'Dredge The Lake' is out now.