There’s no shut-eye for us when it comes to sludge. And sludge is what Fister knows best: playing slow, playing low. Its citadel of vicious riffs and disturbing imagery – their very first full-length released two years ago, “Gemini”, was based on Cronenberg‘s “Dead Ringers”- is one of our greatest and latest finds. Dissociating Primitive Man from all this would be rather unfair, though: it was their split, released last November through A389, which introduced us to Fister‘s unsettling macrocosm. Both will together tour Europe in Abril and both are an assured presence at this year’s Roadburn. Since we’ll be in Tilburg as well, we wanted to know a little bit more about what the near future holds for the Saint Louis, MO band.
“Life Is Short Life Is Shit And Soon It Will Be Over” – that’s a damn good statement. I’m into pessimistic stuff, but, from my personal experience, I know that usually negative sludge/doom bands really like to have a good time and a good laugh. Does this happen with Fister?
The song title is actually a “Kids In The Hall” reference. Yes, most of our lyrics are very pessimistic and I prefer it that way. That being said, we all have a sense of humor. None of us are depressed or miserable on a regular basis or anything like that.
Bleak music goes well with bleak places. How much life in St. Louis influences your rage? I don’t know the city and I’ve never been in your country, but I’ve read that it’s not the most pleasant city in the US.
It’s not nearly as bad as the media likes to portray it as. The cops are definitely horrible here, but I guess everybody knows that by now.
I’ve read as well many people commenting that Missouri will probably be one of the last states to legalize marijuana. Perhaps a tight race with Kansas, Oklahoma and Alabama. Is it tough to live in a place that close minded and backwards?
We live in a very liberal part of the state. Marijuana legalization is definitely not in our near future, but they give you a ticket for possession now instead of arresting people. Either way, I prefer to avoid cops altogether, so it doesn’t really make a huge difference in my daily life if it’s legal or not.
Music gives you this chance to travel the world and experience in first hand very different realities. Does touring work as a relief or do you tend to be homesick real soon?
We love it! We aren’t typically out on tour long enough to get very homesick. For us to be gone for a couple weeks isn’t a huge deal so we tend to enjoy every second of it.
I believe some of you might be fathers already, so how do you manage to be far from home and deal with those feelings, like it will happen this spring when it’s time to hit Europe?
I’m a father. So is Kirk [Gatterer; drums]. We love our kids, and I talk to mine as much as I can when I’m out there. But my son is eight and doesn’t really like to talk on the phone much. I guess it’s that age. He doesn’t usually get very sentimental, and like I said before, we are usually on tour for a couple weeks at a time so we aren’t gone very long. At least it doesn’t seem like we are gone long enough for anyone to really miss us.
Do you feel that people are starting to notice Fister a little bit more after this recent split with Primitive Man?
Definitely. It seems every time we release something new, we gain a little more attention. This split has done a lot for us. I know that we definitely have them to thank for this European tour as well.
Are you already crafting your next full-length? If there’s something in there in the vein of “Flail”, it will easily be of the best doom records I’ve heard lately. That song is nothing but great.
The new full-length is already recorded and should be out in April. If you dig the song “Flail”, I think you’ll be very pleased with the new record. We recorded with Gabe Usery again. He did our “Gemini” record and the Primitive Man split. It’s one 44-minute long song called “IV”. Crown and Throne LTD is releasing it and Aaron Edgedid some killer artwork for it.
For “Gemini”, you’ve picked a concept from “Dead Ringers”. Is there any chance of exploring another Cronenberg’s work in your next LP?
I love Cronenberg. Obviously I’m a huge fan of the movie “Dead Ringers”. But I doubt we do another Cronenberg theme for a full length. We already did that. The new record has a different theme altogether. I’d say it is equally, if not more, disturbing than “Gemini”.
How stoked are you for Roadburn? What do you expect from Tilburg and the Netherlands, since it is a highly regarded festival?
It has been a dream of mine to attend Roadburn for some time. Getting the chance to actually play it is indescribable. We couldn’t be more excited, and what a line up this year!
What Fister records will you take with you for the whole European tour?
Well, we hope to have our new full-length record with us. Definitely some copies of the Primitive Man split, and we will probably also pick up a few copies of our split with Norska to bring with us. We will definitely bring “Gemini” CDs as well.