FAMES is a Los Angeles based pop band consisting of Ian Johnson, Wesley Chandler and Blair Heumann. The band’s music is a modern update on 80’s pop with big synthesisers, catchy guitars, unforgettable hooks and groove driven drums.
Having just released their new single 'scared of the dark' we had a chat with the band as part of our Get To Know series...
Hello and welcome to The Lowdown! How are you guys doing?
"We're all doing well and healthy. we had the longest break we've ever had between releasing songs so far as a band but it turned out to be really really good for us." Introduce yourselves to our readers! "The three of us goes like this. ian johnson sings and puts down the words, wesley chandler plays guitar and the majority of what you hear in our songs, blair heumann hits those drums and creates all the visuals you see from our band." Where are you from? "Ian is from California, wes and blair are both from illinois." How did you meet each other? "Wes and i (ian speaking) met in nashville tennessee about 5 years ago. we were both doing different projects at the time but felt a spark working together so we kinda left everything else we were previously doing. once we were in LA we met blair through a mutual friend and it was like the missing piece of our band had been found. everything started moving quick from that point." How long have you been making music together? "A couple years now as the 3 of us." What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not making music? "We're all into watching and playing different sports, skateboarding, spend time with friends and girlfriends. we work and hang out with one big giant crew of our best friends all the fucking time which is amazing to have in LA."
Are there any artists who majorly influence the sound? "Keane, the boxer rebellion, the killers and coldplay are bands that really inspired us creatively early on when we started this thing. the big arena ready/anthemic sound always got us excited to write songs." For those who haven’t listened to your music before, how would you sum up your sound in the form of a hashtag? "#melodramatic" You recently released your new single ‘scared of the dark’. Tell us a bit about the writing / recording process! "Song came pretty quick into quarentine writing via zoom. we all dug the almost hip-hop groove it had and it felt fun and totally different from anything we had put out. we had it done months ago and once the time was right to put a new song out we freshened it up a little and dropped it first in a handful of releases we have coming."
Is there a story behind the track? "It's a simple story of the insomnia that can come when a relationship ends. you toss n turn replaying old memories and missing the life you had before."
You played a sold out show at the iconic Troubadour earlier this year. What’s your favourite thing about playing live? "Our live show is what showcases our band the most. we'll tell anyone even if they don't really listen to this kind of music to at least come out and see us play it. everything gets turned up a little extra, we get locked in, and from our experience people are pretty shocked by the intensity." What are your essential items to take on tour? "Healthy things!"
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of the year and into 2021? "We've got more songs on the way for the rest of the year. We can say whole heartedly these next few songs are our best. they have energy, emotion and are alotta fun. scared of the dark music video is coming out and we'll have videos for every release. gonna make the best of 2020."