RVA’s power pop/grunge band Fat Spirit to drop new record ahead of spring tour, catch them 4/14 at Hardywood

by | Mar 28, 2017 | ROCK & INDIE

A splendid mix of dark power pop, shoegaze and grunge, Fat Spirit’s newest record is one you need to add into your rotation if you aren’t hip to them already.

The four-piece, which consists of Ian McQuary (guitar), Matty Seabass (bass), John Graham (vocals/guitar), and Robert Lindstedt (drums), will drop their new album Nihilist Blues April 16 via RVA label Citrus City Records and follow it up with a slew of Richmond shows and larger tour.

Fat Spirit recently released the teaser track “Cave” off the upcoming nine-track release. The teaser starts out very grungey, giving you all the 90s Nirvana feels, but as it progresses, it gets a little more upbeat and catchy. As for the album, Seabass said listeners can expect a few different sounds.

“There’s three very chill, ’60s, ’70s-inspired psych songs and then there’s some heavier ones, darker,” he said.

“Easter” gives listeners their post-punk fix and the track “Dagger” (probably one of my favorites on the album) stands out with its psychedelic intro and chill vibe. “Outside” is another ripper that is sure to get your blood pumping.

There’s definitely a lot going on in this album, and it switches up every few songs with a different sound so I can’t wait to see what these guys bring to the table live. The album ends on a seriously shoegazey, gritty note which pulls it all together, but doesn’t pack it up in a nice little bow which makes it all the more appealing.

“{We’re} pulling from a lot of post punk, a lot of psychedelic, a little bit of kraut rock and shoegaze,” said McQuary of the forthcoming album.

The band has been cranking out tunes for the last seven years and Nihilist Blues will be the followup to their 2013 release Super King, released via Bad Grrrl Records.

The group has been rocking out as Fat Spirit for the duration, however you might recognize a few of the band members, (McQuary and Graham) who previously performed under the name Heavy Midgets.

Graham and McQuary were the founding members along with Charlanne McCarthy and a few lineup switchups over the years.

Under the name Heavy Midgets, the group released the split LP Sisters with Tungs in April 2012 (again via Bad Grrrl) and Something Terrible, their debut EP, in January 2012.

They decided to change their name around the time Super King was coming out to book more gigs.

“We tried to book a tour and people were like, ‘are there any little people in your band and we were like, ‘no, it’s not really about that’, but there was no justifying it so we were like, ‘fuck this name!,” said Graham. “It’s not worth having people question whether or not we’re good people or if they should book a show for us.”

Not to fret though, McQuary said the new material isn’t that much different from the band’s previous releases.

“We never really felt like we shifted bands, we just changed names,” he said. “The influences remain the same…”

Fat Spirit recorded the album at the end of the summer with James Seretis at Virginia Moonwalker in Mechanicsville.

“We recorded most of the music live… the drums, bass, guitar at once and then did overdubs later not at Virginia Moonwalker,” McQuary said.

Seabass, who came in as their new bassist a year before they recorded the album in 2015 said Nihilist Blues was mostly fleshed out during practice sessions.

“[A] majority of the songs on the album were written during our acoustic practices,” he said. “We played acoustically to really hear the different parts.”

Newest member Robert Lindstedt came on to play drums in the fall after McQuary saw him play one night at Gallery5.

“It was Sports Bra’s last show at Gallery5 because that’s when I met {him},” McQuary said. “Afterwards we were supposed to meet Rivanna {Youngpool, Gallery5 Booker}, for a drink at GWARBar, she didn’t show up and I was kinda tipsy talking to Robert and he was great in the show.”

At the time, Fat Spirit was looking for a new drummer and Lindstedt said he showed McQuary some material he happened to be working on and the rest is history.

The band is releasing the new record through Citrus City Records (Young Scum, Lance Bangs), but they aren’t signed to the local burgeoning indie label. They did, however, give props to co-founder Manny Lemus for being instrumental in helping to push their album.

“He just kind of stepped up and has become the new local label that’s helping smaller local bands get their stuff out there outside of Richmond,” said Seabass.

They were in the middle of recording their album when Lemus reached out to them about working together and the partnership has flourished from there.

“He hit me up on Facebook and was like, ‘I’m a fan of your music, when is the next album?” said Graham.

Citrus City Records is handling promotional materials for Fat Spirit and will put out all tapes for the band.

Music videos for “Easter” and “Dagger” will drop sometime before the album comes out on April 16 according to the band, so keep an eye on RVA Mag for details on those.

In addition to a new album, Fat Spirit will also embark on a mini-tour in May so be sure to check out those dates below. In the meantime, catch Fat Spirit in Richmond April 14 at Hardywood with Spooky Cool and Zula, April 16th at Gallery5 with You’re Jovian and Basmati, May 5 at Gallery5 with Slump, and May 6th at The Camel with Night Idea for their homecoming show.

Tour Dates: Follow the band on Facebook for additional details on tour info

DC May 12
Philly May 13
NYC May 14
Pittsburgh May 15
Columbus May 16
Cincinnati May 17
Louisville May 18
Nashville May 19
Atlanta May 20
Athens May 21
Charleston May 22
Raleigh May 23

Amy David

Amy David

Amy David was the Web Editor for RVAMag.com from May 2015 until September 2018. She covered craft beer, food, music, art and more. She's been a journalist since 2010 and attended Radford University. She enjoys dogs, beer, tacos, and Bob's Burgers references.

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