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A Dirty Dozen with ERNIE FABIAN from IDLE THREAT – August 2020

| 20 August 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Nashville, Tennessee trio idle threat have signed to Tooth & Nail Records. The band will drop their label debut, the Nothing Is Broken For Good EP, on August 21. For over half-a-decade, idle threat have organized and hosted the two-day musical festival, Threat Fest. The goal is to bring artists together via collaboration, not competition, and allow musicians the chance to feel both inspired and supported. The motive sheds light on idle threat’s greatest conviction: creativity should always be communal.” We get Ernie to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest single, “Empty House”, is specifically about chasing after stuff (i.e. worldly possessions, instant gratification, money, materialism, etc.) and coming to the realization that those things ultimately leave you feeling empty and longing for more. The song ties into the main theme of our EP, Nothing is Broken For Good, because even the things that we collect for ourselves here don’t last forever. I’d say the biggest “hidden nugget” about the song is that it’s actually a re-recording. We were planning on releasing “Empty House” as a stand alone single, but as we were writing the EP, it fit so well with the rest of the songs that we decided to retrack the song and release it again on the record. The original version is slightly different in a couple areas, but only to help aid with moving the record along. Also, the intro and outro tracks of the EP are the same instrumentally but with negative, followed by positive, lyrics.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I think a lot of people have a gradual realization that they would like to be a musician. For example, our bass player Zeke and our drummer JJ both had parents that played musical instruments and played in bands so they were always around it as kids. That wasn’t really my story. For me, it was very much a string of a couple individual instances that opened my eyes to the possibility that I could do this with my life. Until middle school, I didn’t even care for rock music at all. In the sixth grade, I had a buddy named Blake that I thought was really cool. He wore skinny jeans and listened to crazy music. He showed me a couple bands, and after sticking through the initial distaste, I grew to love some of them and started going to shows. From there I was in and out of bands through high school, and the rest was history.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

The most influential albums for me at that time were Catch For Us the Foxes by mewithoutYou, They’re Only Chasing Safety by Underoath, All’s Well That Ends Well by Chiodos, and Redeemer by Norma Jean. My first show ever was actually a Chiodos/Motion City Soundtrack tour that came through Nashville.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Each of us in the band probably has several different influences musically, with some that overlap. Personally, my main five influences mewithoutYou, Manchester Orchestra, The Chariot, Underoath, and Norma Jean. Our band doesn’t really sound like any of those bands, but each one as performers/songwriters has always motivated me to write.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Josh Scogin of ‘68/The Chariot/Norma Jean for sure. I have never witnessed someone who is as much of an enigma as he is. Everything that he does is pure musical genius and is 100% rock n’ roll, yet he is incredibly humble and almost seems to avoid the pedestal on which our community tries to place him. It also just seems like it would be such a fun time.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We tend to just tell people that we are a rock or alternative rock band. I keep it as vague as possible, honestly, because it’s sort of exhausting trying to explain sub-genres. We usually get placed as post-hardcore. I don’t really get caught up in comparisons because generally all of the bands we get compared to are much more successful than us, so it always feels like a compliment.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

This couldn’t be an easier question haha. I am the one who cooks, JJ and DJ are the ones getting the drinks in, and Zeke is the first to crack out the acoustic guitar for a singalong. Every single time.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

The weird thing now is that all of our heroes are becoming human, but I’d still say the last time I felt a deep admiration for another musician was when we played with Cory Brandan of Norma Jean for the second time early this year. It’s just always cool to brush up against someone you’ve looked up to for over a decade.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is the process of creating the music itself. It’s fun to play shows, tour, and make friends along the way, but I’ve always loved creating something from nothing, naming it, and thinking through all of the artistic details. I actually only turned to being a musician because a career as a professional athlete didn’t pan out for me. I always wanted to play in the NBA, but when I stopped growing at 5’4” and everyone else around me kept going, I quickly realized that it wasn’t realistic.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

We honestly haven’t done enough of these to answer either of those questions. All the questions are cool to me. I know that’s not the fun answer, but I’m sticking with it.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I’d love to have a do-over with recording this EP. I believe in the songs and am satisfied with the end result, but it was a tough journey. Knowing what I know now, that journey could have been a little less difficult. I’ll just leave it at that.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d love to sit in on the recording of They’re Only Chasing Safety. It’s safe to say that without that record, bands like mine wouldn’t even exist. It came along during the formative years in my life and will always be one I listen to and feel emotions from that age. It’s a truly important record in our genre’s history.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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