Interview: Hello Fiasco
Photo Credit: Jsenftphotography
The Sanctum is honoured to have you, Hello Fiasco! Before getting deeper into the band and your work, why ‘Hello Fiasco’? Can we have the story behind the name?
The band’s name has to do with welcoming the challenges and fiascos of life. We have all been in bands before and this time we wanted to do it all and really make a stamp on the scene with our music. To do it all, you can’t be afraid and you have to hit the storm head on. It’s the old adage of “Do you want to be the cow who always runs away from the storm and suffers longer every single time, or do you want to be the buffalo who runs into the storm and gets through it faster?” The music business, just like life, is constantly filled with unexpected challenges so the whole experience gets so much better when you just dive in instead of running away. On the flip side, we also loved the name “Hello Fiasco” because it was simple, memorable and above all, it rhymed! Marketing 101!
How did Boss, Fash, P, Ivan and Guy come together? How was Hello Fiasco created?
Fash, P and me used to play in a Canadian Rock band named The Mailman’s Children. We released 4 records together and had a bit of success. But we grew up playing with other great musicians from Winnipeg and in particular, musicians from the French quarter…which is called St. Boniface. All of us speak both English and French. At the tail end of The Mailman’s Children, Fash and P had a session player named Ivan Burke fill in both on tour and in the studio for the last record we did. We loved playing with Ivan so we asked him to be a part of our new venture, the band that ended up being Hello Fiasco. Once we had recorded the first tracks for Hello Fiasco, we decided that we needed to fill out our sound with more keys, synths and vocals, to help it be more friendly and commercial, so we then asked Guy Abraham to come out and record with us. Both the producer and me knew that Guy was a great fit for the band right away, so the band invited him to become our fifth member.
Are you all full-time musicians, exclusively occupied with music (recording, performing, touring)?
We are about 80% of the way to full-time musicians right now, but we are hoping that our music will soon be able to fully sustain us year around.
Cover Art by Ivan Arenas
When did the conversation for Find The Shoreline begin and how long did it take to complete this body of work?
Hello Fiasco stems from The Mailman’s Children, a rock band that Fash, P and me used to all play in together. In 2015, after having released a 4th album as The Mailman’s Children, we decided to change things up. Although we loved TMC, the band wasn’t really getting much traction because our music was generally too complex and not commercial enough. We decided to simplify the music and not only make it for ourselves, but to start also making it for the listener. 50/50 became our rule. 50% for us and what we love, and 50% for the listener and what they love. We were pretty much just making music for ourselves before Hello Fiasco, and as you know, it’s not easy to change. In 2016, we took the plunge.
We re-entered the studio with John Paul Peters of Private Ear Recording, who we had worked with before. He is amazing! As we recorded, we kept having meetings about things like shortening the songs, making the hooks even simpler, making the lyrics aesthetically pleasing, making sure the lyrics rhymed well, etc… We wanted what we were doing to be highly comparable to the charting Pop Rock part of the music industry. One of the most important moves we made however, was enhancing the band’s sound, which is where Ivan (drums) and Guy (keys, synths, backing vox, Ableton) come into the picture. They really changed the game for us. These were all important decisions and they proved to be good ones too because when we tested the new music, people really seemed to love it. And the best part is we were still writing music that we loved. We learned that you can change what you are doing and still really love the music. Long story short, between 2016 and 2021, and before anyone even heard of Hello Fiasco, we recorded a total of 23 songs in secret. And of the 23 songs we recorded, we ended up keeping 12 songs to make our debut album FIND THE SHORELINE.
Can you name a song from this record you feel closer to for some reason?
I would have to say that “Before Time Leaves You” has the deepest personal meaning for me. Not just because the song is an important reminder to enjoy life and do the things we love to do with the little time we have on this earth, but also because of the challenges we experienced as a band in recording this particular song. We literally ended up having to record it in 2 countries because of the COVID outbreak. I’m the only member on the US side, and it ended up becoming nearly impossible to cross the border in the early days of the pandemic; as a result of varying restrictions between the US and Canada. I had to record the foundation and bed tracks of the song alone in Helena, Montana (USA) with a new producer named Lenny Eckhardt (Dead Dinosaur Productions)… whom I didn’t know at all. Then, after emailing everything over, the guys had to record all of their parts without me in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) with our regular producer, John Paul Peters of Private Ear Recording. There were so many highs and so many lows in recording this song and putting the whole album together, but in the end, it all came together…just like the song “Before Time Leaves You.”
Your visuals and online presence have a strong oceanic theme. In what ways are you connected to water/the sea?
Although we are all from the Prairies and the Midwest, we all grew up being around water a lot; swimming, canoeing, skiing, fishing. We love it! A few of us also really love the vastness and beauty of the ocean, so it inspires us. We always try to get out to the ocean as often as we can. We felt like the ocean really best described that place of being lost and trying to find one self…trying to get through life’s challenges, which is much of what the album is about. Sometimes we are all caught out at sea and just trying to find our way to the other side and to the shoreline. I think we can all relate to this.
Photo Credit: Jsenftphotography
Are there any artists or specific albums that have inspired you to make music or even influenced/shaped your own sound as a band?
Our band has a range of influences including anything from The Killers, The Strokes, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, all the way over to Arkells and Coldplay, and even acoustic artists like Jim Croce or Simon & Garfunkel. This for sure colors the sound and style of Pop Rock we produce. But for me personally, I often have a mix of Vedder, Cornell, and Springsteen dancing around in my head when I sing, and I think this shapes my vocals quite a bit…even though what comes out might not sound like them.
If you had the power to choose one track from your debut to offer the band worldwide success and recognition, which one would it be and why?
We would love to see “Hold Me Close” have worldwide success because it seems to represent the sound and Pop Rock side of our band the best. It’s why we released that track first. It’s a song that has a strong set of lyrics and belting vocals, it has driving bass with a bit of distortion, it has wailing electric guitars and whammy bar that catch the ear, it has memorable rim shot clicks and smashing drums to boot, and it even has super powerful harmony and synth to it. Also, the timing of the song is pretty good because COVID really changed a lot for us, locking us all in for a while. A lot of people can relate to being locked in with their partner for longer than normal, and this threatening their relationship with that person. And then, you end up with that feeling of wanting to get outside and be free, so that you can actually do something meaningful with your partner. I really enjoy watching the official video for the track, where I feel this was depicted well.
Will you take some time off to rest and admire your work now that it’s out? Are there any plans for touring or future releases?
No rest for the wicked! Now that the album is out, we are planning Canadian and international touring for 2023, which is a full-time effort in itself. Leading up to that, we are doing lots of PR, marketing and interviews. We are also planning a few selected performances in Canada for the next months, as well as a few live, recorded sessions.
Where do you see Hello Fiasco 10 years from now?
We’re not shy to say that we expect to have 3 more albums out by then and be playing really big stages, all across the world. Music is our thing and we would love to share it with as many people as humanly possible.
Enjoy Hello Fiasco here: