We conducted an interview with Aaron Hindorff of Philadelphia progressive rock band FAST CAR on January 17, 2012.
“That Just Happened” (2011) – play it and take a read:
Hey! Thanks for taking this interview. Please, introduce yourself and give us a quick description of the band and its music.
Well Hi!! We’re a band called FAST CAR. We’re 3 close friends who grew up together in the suburbs of Philadelphia. We play in a predominantly pop/rock style, but we consider it pretty classy pop rock with all the different styles and instruments that we incorporate. We put all of our effort into our music and we think that’s apparent in our musicianship, melodies, lyrics, and performance.
What’s progressive about FAST CAR? How do you understand the progressive rock concept?
I’m not sure I know the definition of progressive rock music, or if anyone does for that matter. Music that sounds a certain way always eventually gets some specific word associated with it over time i.e pop, punk, emo, indie, progressive etc…
It’s difficult to deal with having a general label slapped onto the music you’ve been crafting your whole life but the best of artists seem to handle it pretty well.
My older brother did blogs and reviews on live bands for campus philly and he once said he considered us progressive. I’d like to just be considered good music, but I’m more fond of the term progressive in music than most. It makes me feel like the music is moving forward, evolving, progressing, and I think in one way or another, ours is.
We keep it Pop yes, we love memorable, infectious melodies. We grew up on it and we love it.
Also we keep it Rock, der… we play guitars with distortion, rip solos, and play big loud fast drums, it’s tradition….
That’s not where it ends though, we’ve got pianos, violins, synths and organs backing us up via samples both in studio and live.
If you listen to “That Just Happened” our live album, you’ll hear r&b inspired tunes like “Story Ever After”, Motown styled tunes like “Leave You Now”, club bangers like “What You’ve Been Waiting For”, and blues ballads like “We’d Have The Road”, all that on top of our energetic Pop/Rock tunes like “Careful Who You Wave Your Guns Around” and “Until You Go”.
I guess in our case, not being afraid to play 5 different styles of music at the same show is how we understand the Progressive Rock concept.
How’s Philly these days? Tell us more about your local music scene.
The scene is pretty divided these days, but it’s coming back together right before our eyes which is pretty exciting. We’ve seen the punk scene come and go, which used to be insanely huge with bands like the Low Budgets playing out more often.
The Pop/Rock scene came and went, and took with it VALENCIA who blew up pretty big. We used to play with them in previous bands that we had which is crazy.
The skate rock/skate thrash scene seems to be standing the test of time with bands like MCRAD still playing regularly, also FDR locals like THE TROWELS and Zwaanendale keeping things just as exciting as they’ve ever been. Just the other week I was at a show with all three of those bands and there were at least 3 jumps off the venue’s balcony into the crowd. That scene isn’t going anywhere!!!
It’s just a shame that’s not our scene, given our nicer presentation, what with the Pop singing and all… Our scene is coming together though, it’s just a matter of time.
You released your first live album in September 2011. Please describe “That Just Happened” and tell us what can we expect from it and where can they get it. How do you distribute your music?
It’s a great live album and for only 10 bucks. It has 16 songs in total and the quality is really exceptional for us doing it ourselves. I listen to it every once and a while and it never seems to get old. On top of that it’s a really good indicator of or live skills. We definitely pride ourselves on being able to play just as well live as we do on our records. There really isn’t enough of that these days.
The live album as well as our two singles “Careful Who You Wave Your Guns Around” and “Until You Go” can be purchased online for digital download at www.fastcar.bandcamp.com.
We prefer that platform over itunes because aspiring artists like ourselves can earn 100% of their sales.
Also we have a pressed copy of our studio recorded Singles which are free if you come out to a show!!
It’s pretty awkward to first capture your live skills before even thinking about releasing a studio album. How did you decide to do that?
Well we didn’t have the money to record a whole album in the studio, but we had like 20 songs that were studio ready, so we decided to put on our own show where we could play as long as we wanted for friends and family. I decided to bring my laptop which has pro tools LE, and we did a pretty decent recording of our live set that night this past July. Doing a live album, I felt like there wasn’t as much pressure to have amazing production value, and we definitely didn’t have the budget to be putting that kind of pressure on ourselves. Fortunately, the album came out very clear and plenty worthy of distribution.
We’re definitely not afraid to show that we can play our songs live. In my opinion, if you can’t play your songs well live, you shouldn’t be the one playing them in the first place, stick to being a writer or something if you can’t hack it on stage…
I guess touring is very important for you? How many shows have you been playing so far? What are your future touring plans? What can people expect from your live set?
I mean getting the sound out there to new ears is definitely very important. We’re currently planning some traveling gigs including NY, Virginia, Baltimore, NJ and wherever else will have us.
It’s hard to “tour” tour when I myself have a dayjob and a nightjob [laughs]. Most of my money goes into promoting our band though and I believe it will pay off and we’ll hit the road sometime in the near future.
More than ever I really feel that me and my bandmates are seriously on the brink of something that could be huge, and with that will come extensive traveling for sure. As for right now we play out 2 to 3 times a month tops.
What are your future recording plans?
Right now the Idea is to record a really solid 8 song studio e.p. which will include all of the songs that we’re playing at our next show Feb. 5th at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. It should be a nice teaser and plug for the e.p. that’s coming. We’re going to be recording out of a studio in Springfield PA that’s owned by a friend of a friend. I’m pretty excited to get started!!
Is it your first band? What other music activities have you been involved in?
This is definitely not our first band [laughs], far from it. I myself have played in Pop/Rock or Pop/Punk bands such as THE SELLOUTS, FIVE PIE, BELIEVER, KID ONE and Punk bands WILD IN THE STREETS, and MCRAD.
Anthony played in KID ONE with me.
Matt was actually signed with a band called HERO FROM A THOUSAND PACES and also played with me in FIVE PIE and BELIVER.
So no, not our first band but undoubtedly our last!!! We’re gettin too old for this starting fresh bullshit…save for any trippy side projects we decide to mess with for self amusement [laughs].
Thank you! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Yes!! One thing, and this is news that you are hearing first, before anyone else as we are announcing it at our next show Feb. 5th.
Until now the bands line up has been myself, Aaron Hindorff (guitar/vocals), Anthony (Blue) Carnevale (drums) and Patrick Bickel (bass).
Patrick has been having trouble with availability due to work/school and as much as he wishes he could play all of the shows, he hasn’t been able to. We’ve come to a mutual agreement that we should search for a new and more permanent member, and remain great friends. Patrick still works closely with the band giving feedback on bass ideas, production ideas and tons of help with repairing/building gear (Aaron’s amp, guitars and pedals etc). He is extremely talented and loyal and we appreciate everything he’s done for us in the past year and a half.
Our new bass player is long time childhood friend Matt Bates, former bass player of FIVE PIE, BELIEVER, and HERO FROM A THOUSAND PACES!! We’re so insanely excited for Matt’s debut performance with us on Feb. 5th at world cafe live!!
Current line-up is:
Aaron Hindorff (guitar/vocals)
Matt Bates (bass/backing vocals)
Anthony (Blue) Carnevale (drums)
FAST CAR – “Until You Go”: