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Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Rock Bluegrass


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"Cecil’s plays host to FearMia this Friday night"

Southern Humboldt native Jesse Olema’s band, FearMia, will be returning to Cecil’s New Orleans Bistro on Friday, Oct. 9.

FearMia has been exploring musical genres for the past six years. An adept styling of bluegrass, rock, reggae and funk, this Los Angeles-based band thrives on inventiveness and a breathtaking sense of play.

More than just catchy melodies, FearMia has a story to spin. They continue to meld their lyrical musings with social awareness and intelligent songwriting.

Each member of the band is a force to be reckoned with. Frontwoman Abby Posner deftly alternates between the guitar, mandolin, banjo and harmonica. Frontman Jesse Olema maneuvers with skill between classical and electric violins, and guitar. (Olema and Posner formed the band in 2004 at California Institute of the Arts, where their artistic minds collided.) Leo Costa (drums) is a powerhouse of complex rhythms; his Brazilian roots add fire to the mix with funky back beats. Graham Chapman (bass) is an expert soloist over the groove, navigating his way across genres.

One thing is not to be mistaken: The band members’ roots may be disparate, but their talents merge into a unique, cohesive sound. FearMia welcomes you along for the ride!

http://www.redwoodtimes.com/ci_13505962 - Redwood times

"Curve Magazine Review"

A truly eclectic mix of bluegrass, funk, folk and acoustic rock, FearMia defies categories and creates a sound all its own. The band formed at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts and has made a name for itself in Los Angeles. Front woman Abby Posner's voice is throaty, heavy, and simply intoxicating. With instrument list ranging from electric bass to mandolin, cello to violin, you know you are in store for a lively cutting edge listen. Lyrics about love, relationships, and heartache are sincere and relatable. FearMia's sound is fresh, addictive and destined to have audience on their feet. Mix Dave Matthews with a heavy dose of Ani DiFranco and add a whole lot of fun and that's FearMia. - Katie Kaapcke

"Fearmia @ the Palms"

~Russo on the road - band review

One of the coolest things about being a part of the AIDS/Lifecycle community is the people you meet during the training season and on the ride. As a second-year ALC participant, I enjoy getting to know the new riders and being infected by their enthusiasm. As a “veteran,” I offer any advice when asked about how to prepare for the event and I try to support new rider’s fundraisers. This evening I went to hear fellow cyclist and incredible musician, Abby Posner and her band, FEAR MIA, rock it at The Palms in West Hollywood to raise money for ALC.

There was an intimate, friendly crowd of friends and fans who danced and sang along to the groovy folk-rock bluegrass infusion. Abby led the group, switching from acoustic to electric guitar and was accompanied by a tight band of musicians on violin, bass and drums. By the end of the set, I was dancing to their improvisational jam, and was reminded how much I appreciated seeing live music and just being able to let go and move my body and get funky. I bought a couple FEAR MIA CD’s and was instantly a fan! Abby and I met on a training ride in Malibu a couple months ago, and as soon as I heard she was a musician and from Colorado, I knew we would have a lot in common. Since then, we have made plans to collaborate on the soundtrack for my upcoming short video, which I am really looking forward to. Check out FEAR MIA at www.myspace.com/fear - Chris Russo

"No Worries for FearMia"

Fear might be nature's way of scaring us, but FearMia is a half-dozen people's way of doing that edgy folk-rock thing — which they'll be doing tonight at It's All Good, where things just might very well be, well, great.

Once upon a time Mia, but now FearMia, the band will be returning to the place that also had prior IDs, like Good and a bunch of other names, but always with that great location on Main Street in Ventura between Ben & Jerry's and the movie theater. The Shelley Thomas Band will open this free show.

FearMia, originally from Valencia, has played Ventura numerous times since the band got started three years ago. The group used to be regulars at Selah Café's open-mic night, then moved on to Bernadette's. The band's new home away from home is It's All Good, which should be packed tonight. Clearly no slackers, the band members have released two albums and are threatening a third, maybe by the end of the year.

If strings are your thing, then FearMia could be your new soundtrack of choice. Frantic frontwoman Abby Posner wails away on guitar, ably assisted by Emily I. Corwin on cello and Jesse Olema on violin. The guys do all the heavy work, as it should be. John Castorina, all the way from Santa Paula, is the percussionist; Ira Miller is the drummer; and Otis Lande plucks the bass. Posner discussed the latest during a recent phoner.

Q: Hey, Abby, how's everything?

A: You know how it is — it's all about the creative process. And how can anybody be a rock star in Los Angeles? That's the question. We've decided that more of our music and more of our scene is geared toward the Bay Area for an acoustic rock genre.

Q: So you guys are heading north?

A: We actually are. At least three members of the band will probably be taking off.

Q: To play there or move there?

A: To move there.

Q: Tell me about the rungs on your creative process as it relates to your particular scene.

A: I think we've just discovered a little bit more about creating a new sound for ourselves because we definitely hit a point a few years ago when we needed a drummer and a bassist to fill in some holes.

Q: The band had holes?

A: We had two percussionists back in the day — one a kahon, which is a box from Peru — and also a cello, violin player and myself. It was a drier sound; we've branched out into more of an eclectic rock sound, I think. That's really fun — experimenting with all the different genres the band members are inspired by and combining our styles to see what sort of ruckus we can stir up. We've got six in the band, and it's a very full sound now.

Q: And what does all this sound like?

A: Sounds like lovin'. You know, we've had some funny comments. Someone said we sound like Jethro Tull meets Ani DiFranco. I think that's pretty ridiculous, but I always say we sound Dave Matthews-ish. People compare us to him because he uses a violin consistently at his live shows, and not a lot of bands do that. People that don't know a lot about modern female singers compare us to Alanis Morissette. So it's kind of like, "Oh. Alanis Morissette — she's a female.''

Q: So she's a girl, so are you, and that's that?

A: Yeah, she's a girl, so we must sound like her; and a little Indigo Girls in there, too.

Q: Your 805 adventures started at Selah Café?

A: Yeah, we played in Ventura a lot, but we play in L.A. even more. It's All Good is one of our main venues up there. It's a great place for us. We play on Thursday nights and pack the place — people are starting to know who we are and it's a really friendly community.

We like it there because it's more of an authentic scene than in Los Angeles.

Q: How many albums so far?

A: "Breaking Through" is our last album, but we're going into the studio to record this week. Our first one is called "The Stamp Album" — that was our five-song EP and we really sold a lot of those. We want to do the new one as quickly as possible but we also want to spend a lot of time mixing it. There might be some live bonus tracks on it.

Q: And the band plan is ?

A: Being in a band is difficult; everyone has their own ideas of how we should be going about this because it is a business. But I think the bottom line is to never forget why we started playing in the first place, and that's because we love writing, playing music and collaborating. We would ideally like to be touring in the next year. That's our dream — recording and taking our music elsewhere.

Q: What is the best way that music works its magic on you?

A: It's knowing that you have something to use if you're having a bad day or want to document your life in some way. And I always feel really comfortable when I'm in my own little studio, releasing my energy and all my junk from the day into my music. I also enjoy collaborating and meeting other people through music, which is one thing people in L.A. forget about because there's not enough networking here.

Q: That's because they're all from somewhere else and nobody knows anybody else. How many people in L.A. do you know that are actually from L.A.?

A: There's only one person from California in the band and that's Johnny, and he's from Santa Paula. So we're from all over the place, and coming to this giant city, it's difficult. - Bill Locey - VC Reporter

"FearMia in Eugene"

FearMia - a Los Angeles-based jazz, funk, salsa, bluegrass and rock band - caps off three local shows this week with a performance tonight at Luna.

You might have caught FearMia Monday or Wednesday at Cozmic Pizza or the Black Forest, respectively, but tonight is your last chance until the budding band comes back through town.

The group formed in August (2004) at the California Institute of Arts. In its first tour to CO, the band opened for Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars.

FearMia is: four young musicians performing what a bio calls "accessible upbeat tunes." The band's songs are arranged for guitar, violin, and voice, and they feature male and female vocal leads.

The show starts at 9 p.m. at Luna for a $7 cover. Luna is at 30 E. Broadway. - Serena Markstrom

"A Baffling package - Ventura Star"

Fear Mia toss their influences into a blender for one wicked funk-folk-rock-bluegrass cocktai!

If you’ve never seen a white girl with a mohawk grooving a funk solo on electric guitar, you should get to the next Fear Mia show early enough for sound check. As we grabbed beers from the bar at Bernadette’s, I watched Abby Posner’s mouth contort along with the notes she coaxed out of her guitar, and I couldn’t help but think, “I thought these guys were supposed to be a folk band.”

In fact, that initial impression got to the heart of the quintet: you can’t quite wrap your head around their music. They may look like your standard rock outfit — bass, acoustic and electric guitar, drum set — but then Jesse Olema picks up his fiddle and it becomes clear that the word “eclectic” is going to be popping up in conversation for the rest of the night.

Electric bluegrass, acoustic funk: As the set went on, my mind wandered, as all music reviewers’ minds must, to potential comparisons, but none seemed to fit just right. The moment I thought of Tegan and Sara, or of the Duhks, a solid bass solo would leap forward, or drummer Ira Miller’s rolling, insistent percussion would kick in, erasing any memory of barn-dance folk-rock. The fiddle, although at times sending bluegrass shivers down my spine, was dark and haunting, more suited to a Canadian winter cabin than a Tennessee hootenanny. The impression of a darkness just beneath the surface was only highlighted by the stunning introduction of lead singer and guitarist Abby Posner’s vocals. The easy sultriness in her rough-edged voice completed the baffling package, and I was lost; Fear Mia are simply too much acoustic to be funk, and too much electric to be folk.

Wonderful confusion: Much to my relief, when I interviewed Posner later, even she had a tough time categorizing Fear Mia’s sound, and that’s what she loves most about the music she and the band make. “I know that each member brings something different,” Posner says, “and all of that adds emotion and flavor to the mix.”

What began as a jam session among fellow CalArts students has grown over the years, expanding and contracting with a slightly shifting lineup and refining their sound. Fear Mia — with the return of cellist Emily Corwin to further complicate the sound — will be touring the Northwest later this summer and promoting their new album, to be released this fall. They’ve come a long way since playing on the Third Street Promenade to fund their first recording session, but Fear Mia hope to continue growing and stretching their musical muscles.

The only way to describe Fear Mia’s sound is with a blend of words as varied as their inspiration. Despite their youth, the band has successfully merged folk music instrumentation and soulful, moody intensity with a touch of jam. Keep your eyes open. In a year or two, Ani DiFranco or Dave Matthews will ask Fear Mia along as an opening act on their national tour, and Fear Mia’s diverse compositions will confuse critics all over the country. - Marissa Landrigan

"You'll be in safe musical hands tonight when FearMia plays the Good Bar"

What’s the occasion? Well, it’s a prerelease CD party. What does prerelease mean? Well, it means they won’t have the real discs in hand until Thursday, a couple days before the official CD release party at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles on May 8. Band members will, however, be selling demos of the new CD “Frying Pans and Freeways” as well as all sorts of new merch, sure to please their ever-growing frantic 805 fan base.

The band’s been around for a while, long enough to have played at those open-mike things held at the long-gone Selah Café in Ventura. Abby Posner is still fronting the band, and she’s still perkier than a ferret. She had this to say about all that.


How’s the FearMia biz?

We’ve worked really, really hard the last few years and we’ve been working on this album for about a year.

How long for the band now? There used to be a lot more of you, yeah?

There used to be a lot more of us, yeah, and we started to evolve about 2004 with our first album, “Breaking Through.” Then as the years went by, the music started to develop and change, inspired by different things. Eventually we evolved into just four people as opposed to when we started out with six.

How many albums so far?

This one, “Frying Pans and Freeways,” will be our third and our second full-length. We have an EP out right now titled “You Do,” our 2008 release.

Where does this new one fit into the previous efforts?

It’s really exciting because we’re definitely continuing to cross genres. I think that’s what we’ve been known for. We definitely are very rootsy. We go from bluegrass to rock, definitely jam and reggae — but I think the undertone of it is bluegrass rock.

That’s a good thing.

It’s been really, really fun and we’ve had a blast. It’s very different. Every song is a surprise.

Tell me about your long connection to the 805.

It started when we played with some people from Ventura a long time ago. Then we developed a community there because Ventura is such a great place for artists, which makes it easy to establish a connection with the community.

And every time you play, you have fans.

We do and it’s mostly people in that community. We really love to play in Ventura. We love L.A., but Ventura is such an authentic vibe.

And L.A. works for you guys as well?

We’ve been playing down here for so long that we’ve also established a residence here on Friday at Neo-Meze in Pasadena.

What’s the deal on that AIDS charity bicycle ride you did?

I did the whole thing from San Francisco to L.A.

California’s uphill. If you go north from here, it’s uphill, isn’t it?

Not necessarily. There’s many climbs going both ways. For that ride, you do the coast but also the back hills. Highway 1 is really intense — a lot of head winds. I really got into biking a year or so ago and it helped me to reach my fundraising goals. We went from 80 to 100 miles a day. It makes you feel like you’re immortal. And the biking community has been really supportive of the music.

How come they dress so weird? They look like electric potato bugs.

It makes you go faster, man.

OK. Who goes to see the band play?

It’s a wide demographic. That’s what’s so fun about the music. We have people of all ages. It definitely reaches out to a wide, wide group of people. At every show, there’s always this crazy person that just loves the music and is just dancing. We love crazy people.

How does an indie band make it in an indie world these days?

It all has to do, now, with online, social networking, distribution and I’m not really good with that stuff. I actually come from the generation that is used to actually holding the product. Then there’s the generation that came pretty quickly after me that got automatically enthralled with the Internet. So now it’s like, “Oh, YouTube — that’s how Justin Bieber got famous.” That’s so foreign to me. I started making my own records when I was 13 out of Scotch tape and Polaroid pictures. Indie bands don’t need labels anymore because there’s online distribution.

Exactly. All these labels offer to send me these downloads and I think, “Why? I won’t listen to it. I know how to play a CD.’’

We’re still printing our albums and vinyl is still hip and I like that vintage, here-is-the-product-that-I-can-hold feeling. It’s not just online distribution.

I went to the record store at Coachella and they had an album by my new favorite band, The Avett Brothers. I have the CD, which made me a fan, but the vinyl album was $32.

For an album? I love The Avett Brothers. They’re a huge inspiration and I love them, but 32 bucks? Get out of here. If you love The Avett Brothers, then you’re going to love our new album.

How do you get amped up for a gig?

That’s funny you asked that because I actually teach music with the other lead singer, Jesse (Olema). The students are from, like, 3 to adults.

Three years old? Justin Bieber’s little brother?

Right. We’re the reason he’s famous. We teach adults as well. It’s called Music Stars and Masters.

So you do music 24/7?

Pretty much. We go from our job right to the gigs, so our job is almost our prep and we get to share our passion with kids.

Who would you pay to see?

I played at South by Southwest with a number of people. I was sort of the hired gun because I do a lot of different stuff on the side besides FearMia. I got to see one of my favorite bands, Steel Train. And, recently, I went to see one of my all-time-favorite singer-songwriters, Sean Hayes.

What do you tell people who say, “Abby, that looks like fun. How do I get into the music biz?”

I would definitely say you have to keep on following your dream. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. If you feel like your wheels are spinning and you’re getting nowhere, you still have to push because you’re doing what you love. Also, you can’t really put other people on a pedestal. That’s a lesson I need to constantly repeat to myself because they’re working just as hard to get from the bottom to the top. If you love something, you need to put your heart and soul into it continuously.

- Ventura County Star


• Frying Pans and Freeways, 2010

• You do, 2008, EP

• Breaking Through, 2004

Fearmia has played 3 live radio shows at KHUM radio, and one live radio show/interview at the Stanford College Radio station.



"...with beautiful female and male lead vocals, and tantalizing fiddle and banjo lines, Fearmia is the ultimate package!"

Fearmia pushes the norm of how we perceive pop music today. This band remains catchy and accessible while continuing to create eclectic arrangements that generate into a mixed genre frenzy! From rock to bluegrass, and reggae to funk. Fearmia is not afraid to be different, and certainly not afraid to take it's listeners on a journey!

"I never get sick of hearing this band! Their new album frying Pans and Freeways has been on repeat since I got it, I simply cannot get enough!"
~J.D. music reviewer

Katie Kaapoke of Curve Magazine says, “Fearmia’s sound is fresh and addictive…”

Marissa Landrigan of the VC Reporter writes, “Fearmia has successfully merged folk music instrumentation and soulful, moody intensity with a touch of jam. Keep your eyes open…”