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Don't fear the Fearies
The tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top rock of North Little Rock’s Flameing Daeth Fearies.
Jo Bob Thorndyke is not who he says he is. He’s not a former employee of a Kum & Go in the Carroll County burg of “Podunk” who the Flameing Daeth Fearies drafted into their good-timing band because they liked the way he drummed pens on the convenience store counter. And he didn’t suddenly leave “Podunk” for North Little Rock just over a month ago because the Fearies came calling.
But this is the story Jo Bob delivers when asked how he became a member of the band. It’s a weird tale, but these Fearies often peddle in peculiarities, first names and personas.
Doesn’t some pop music need a little humor? Certainly. And the cabaret punk rocking Fearies — new drummer Jo Bob along with Rusti Majere on vocals and guitar, Ginger Hiro on bass, keyboards, horns and backing vocals, and Mjr. Frel E. Cracklins also on drums — deliver a healthy dose of humor in their poppy anthems. There are double entendres and witty lines galore. Tons of pop culture references. Internet-meme jokes. All this fun ends up in the songs. Perhaps a parody called “Bad Bromance” or a true-life-tale-turned-jungle-punk-rager titled “Stole My Bike.”
While Jo Bob has only been a member for just over a month, Ginger is also relatively new, having first joined the group back in February 2012. He doesn’t really have a story about how he became a member. “I found them because they were looking for a bass player at the time,” he says. But Ginger is responsible for bringing back the band’s flash. He’s the one who sports a Viking helmet with a rainbow horn on stage. And he also brings a load of Mardi Gras beads for throwing out to audience members.
A Fearies live show is more than just music. It’s a ton of visuals, including lights by Zombie Hunter V, who also serves as the band’s manager, and bubbles and lots of gags onstage, including over-the-top costumes like fuzzy, pink angel wings. And don’t forget the band’s dance team, The Feary Doom Squad.
“Music before comedy, I think, but we like to party, and we also like our tongue-in-cheek humor,” Rusti says. “We’re always poking fun at something. It’s almost like we are a viral YouTube video on stage. At least that’s what we try for, I think.”
The Fearies have been performing since June 2003 in one incarnation or another, with Rusti the only constant member, and releasing music since 2008’s Mispelling is Intenshunal. But after a few albums and EPs, the band decided back in May it would rerelease its entire catalog and whatever new tracks it was recording by releasing a tune per a week. There are about 55 total songs in the Fearies’ catalog and more are being written weekly so the song-per-a-week plan will keep the Fearies releasing music well into 2013.
What has since been delivered ranges from a cover of Daft Punk’s “One More Time” to the radio-friendly, punk rock ode to furries — and inspired in part by Feary Doom Squad member Vixxy Chan — “Fuzzy Love.”
“Fuzzy Love” is a perfect example of the Fearies’ songwriting approach. The tune’s rhythm is poppy punk rock. Rapid, down-stroking guitars. A sing-along chorus. And the lyrics are fun loving: “I’ve got my fur suit and I’m ready ... And I feel you so fuzzy/Deep inside my heart.” Yes, this is a song about furry fandom. But for Rusti, it makes perfect sense one should write a song about this subculture. Why shouldn’t there be a sweet love song with good production about furry fandom?
“These people need a love song,” he says. “Furrydom is about love. These people are struggling to be the person who they feel as though they are inside.”
Corners of the Internet where many don’t explore lead to other song inspirations. One tune Rusti is currently working on uses the flow of Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A ...” and discusses Bronies, a fandom of adult males (and some females) centered around the animated TV show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
Neither “Fuzzy Love” nor the as-yet-completed new Brony song intentionally mock these subcultures. Instead, the songs are more homages. As Rusti says, “We’re all about the love. And if we’re making fun of you, we like you.”
The Internet is a well of inspiration for Rusti. “It’s cool to see the support you can get from the Internet,” he says. “It’s cool seeing the Internet crossing over into real life.”
Transsexual pornographic actress, adult model and Internet sensation Bailey Jay is the latest inspiration for a Fearies track. It’s a tune the band will debut Wednesday at Stickyz.
“She’s a handsome woman,” Jo Bob jokes. Perhaps it’s best Jo Bob gets the last line.
SEE THE SHOW
The Flameing Daeth Fearies are the opening act at Stickyz on Wednesday for an appearance by NoBunny, the garage/punk bubblegum pop artist who hides behind a bunny mask. The show starts at 9 p.m. with tickets $7 in advance and $10 day of for the 18-and-up show. Bad Sports, a power pop-loving punk rock trio from Texas, also plays.
Hit www.flameingdaethfearies.com for much more from the band, including free music.