Burn Fetish: "Punk Rock Is Where the Money's At"

Burn Fetish | Kitty Cat Klub | Saturday, January 10
Some people think that punk songs ought to be three minutes long, and others say that punk should follow no rules. Minneapolis band Burn Fetish is in the latter group. Steeped in classic fury from many decades past, the band's third album, ANIMAL, builds, drops and repeats with consummate ease. It's as sharp as you'd wish for.

Before their album release at the Kitty Cat Klub on Saturday night, lead singer Sam Frederick sat down with Gimme Noise and chatted about how they've welcomed a new band member and the story behind their title track that may not be suitable for parents.

Gimme Noise: It's been a while since the last time we spoke. What have you guys been up to?

Sam Frederick: It has been a long time! Lots of shenanigans; this past year has been a chaotic one to say the least. We went through a lineup change towards the beginning of 2014 when Jack joined the band. There's always a period of adjustment that comes along with establishing new musical relationships. Most of 2014 was spent experimenting and sort of "re-discovering" the artistic process, as well as the group's musical direction; it's been an exciting time.

You've been releasing albums once a year. Is this something that you strive for, or do they just happen to to turn out that way?

We try not to be too overly conscious about the consistency of our releases. Recording is such a delicate process, and speaking from personal experience, trying to rush through that process can be both immensely frustrating, and creatively stifling.

That being said, we've gotten lucky in the sense that everyone we've recorded with so far has been super accommodating and easy to work with. I'm certainly proud that we've been able to do at least one release a year over the course of the group's existence, but I'm also glad that it wasn't too forced -- it just kinda happened naturally.

How do you think the sound has evolved from year to year?

We've been fortunate in that we've been able to work with a lot of different musicians -- each of whom have left their own distinct impact on our sound as a whole. We've always placed a certain level of importance on the collaborative aspect of being in a band, and in the scheme of things, I'd say that's probably the number one factor in the way our music has evolved over the years. We're always looking for new musical voices to contribute to this project.

Your sound is reminiscent of noise rock of the past. What draws you to this music? 

We are old guys trapped inside of young bodies. If we could play ragtime, we would. But everyone knows punk rock is where the money's at.

Tell me the story behind the song "Animal." What played into the sound when you were writing this track?

Actually, that one does have a story behind it! Without getting into too many details, I wrote the lyrics to the song "Animal" after a particularly dicey sexual encounter that I had a while back. The lyrics touch on how it feels to be a puppet in the fulfillment of someone's sexual fantasies, only to eventually be spat back out without any regard for your humanity.

Are there any tracks on the album that you gravitate toward?

It's hard to say, but if I had to choose one, it'd be the last track on the record, "Quicksand."

What's the goal with this album? Do you want to tour?

I'd say the goal with any album is to push ourselves into new musical territory, and to hopefully open up our musical perspective during the process. As far as touring goes, plans are currently being made... so keep your eyes peeled!

What are you excited to share at the album release show?

January 10 will be the first in a string of shows that we're doing with our good friend Alec Tonjes, who will be playing a second drum kit alongside our current drummer Jack. We've toyed with the idea of doing some double-drummer shows for a while now, so I'm excited that this idea is finally reaching fruition. We'll also be debuting some new material, which is always exciting. A lot of it sounds pretty different, I think people are gonna dig it.

Burn Fetish will release ANIMAL on cassette at the Kitty Cat Klub with New Wave Hookers, Tso Big, Disasteratti, and HHRRIISSTT. 21+, free, 9 p.m., Saturday, January 10.


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