Raw Fabrics
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Raw Fabrics

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Rock

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June 22nd 2014, The Viper Room, West Hollywood CA: Based out of Los Angeles, Raw Fabrics is a rock trio comprising youngsters Jack B. Franco (guitar/vocals), Justus Dixon (bass/keyboards/samples) and Jon Fredrik (drums), who came together in 2012 and began their journey. They recently self-released a new single and have been cutting their teeth into the LA rock scene with live gigs on a regular basis. Last night they played as one of the opening acts for a show at the Viper Room. I was asked to come check out this band, which I did despite being completely unfamiliar with them, and as it turned out, I didn’t regret it.

Raw Fabrics took the Viper Room stage at around 9:25 on a typically subdued Sunday evening on the Sunset Strip and livened up the atmosphere with their brand of high-energy punk-infused stripped-down modern rock. They built up momentum and grew in confidence through the first couple of songs they played in this set, but in the middle of this 30-minute performance, they did a song with Jack B. Franco putting down his guitar and playing bass instead while Justus Dixon temporarily discarded his bass to delve into keyboard and samples, and this guitar-less song was the turning point of the set in my opinion as their excellent layering of the instruments to go with the usage of reverb interestingly substituted the guitar and caught my attention.

Following that, they switched back to their regular choice of instruments as Jack stepped off the stage and set up his mic stand on the floor in front of it to expand his territory and interact even more closely with the crowd. In the initial phase of their set, i.e. the first two songs, I somehow felt that the band was easing into the performance and shifting through gears. I was waiting for them to explode, and they sure did during the last two songs, specially the final one wherein Jack snatched a drum from Jon Fredrik’s kit and started beating on it with unbridled fury even as he continued singing and playing guitar, attracting more and more people nearer to the stage in the process. With this display of boundless youthful energy, Raw Fabrics ended the set on a high and left the crowd not only impressed but wanting more.

All three members gave an excellent account of their individual and collective talents as musicians and brought forth an intriguing approach which came across as minimalist on the surface but over a 30-minute period made the listener realize that it successfully blends the heavy, the mellow, the fast and the slow passages that constitute any form of well-written, compellingly worthwhile music. With that being said, I must also point out that while this was the kind of performance that garnered attention and appreciation from first-timers in the crowd, I undoubtedly feel that this band has it in them to reach higher peaks, specially in front of bigger crowds to feed energy off of. But, Raw Fabrics did succeed in proving that they’re a band to watch out for in the near and distant future.
- See more at: http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2014/06/23/raw-fabrics-perform-at-the-viper-room/#sthash.pUy4xilY.dpuf - Andrew Bansal


Raw Fabrics are an L.A.-based trio of 21-year-olds with an armload of anthemic songs that mix the driving bass lines of modern dance-punk bands with production sheen of modern radio bands. The new single “Down the Drain” sounds like something Franz Ferdinand might’ve tried in another life, with its insistent chorus and hook. Raw Fabrics (Jack B. Franco, Jon Fredrik and Justus Dixon) have been working on their new music in the U.K. with noted producer Stephen Street — yes, the fellow who produced the Smiths’ final album, Morrissey’s “Viva Hate” and Blur’s “Modern Life Is Rubbish,” “Parklife” and “Blur” (and more recently, Kaiser Chiefs). The single is out next Tuesday. - See more at: http://www.buzzbands.la/2014/05/21/ears-wide-open-raw-fabrics/#sthash.LItC8i8z.dpuf - Kevin Bronson


“Down the drain we go/ so why do we fucking care”

This new trio out of LA makes a powerful entrance into the rock world with their equally catchy, driving and uniquely crafted sound. Jack B. Franco’s vocals carry a very special type of rasp that swiftly takes the encompassing music for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. The Stephen Street produced track (Blur, Kaiser Chiefs, Babyshambles) carries a ruby red shine throughout until it explodes into a chaotic symphony of fury as Franco wails, “Down the drain we go/ so why do we fucking care” in the bridge. The lyrics reflect an honest call for a sense of belonging and in the case of Franco, this belonging seems to come in many different forms – most notably his innate necessity to be heard. The lyrics plus the energy of the music transmit a type of pure sincerity that is hard to come by. Raw Fabrics carry the charisma and energy of the Clash and the Sex Pistols, but somehow still reach the modern production eccentricities of Gorillaz and Muse. Truly one of the most unique bands that my ears have feasted on in recent days, Raw Fabrics are surely going to make a big splash that could easily turn into a tsunami. Check out their debut track below and follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out about their upcoming releases, including a soon to come music video for “Down the Drain”. - Heez De Paula


LA-based newcomers, Raw Fabrics create the impression that it's facile to get respected producers on both sides of the Atlantic from Britpop maestro Stephen Street to the Grammy-winning Joe Chiccarelli to consider working with a new band such as themselves.

LA newcomers with their Stephen Street-produced EP, 'Gold Handcuff'
Courtesy of Raw Fabrics
On their debut EP, "Gold Handcuffs", Street whose biggest credits have been The Smiths and several of Blur's biggest albums including their debut (Leisure) and breakthrough single (Boys & Girls) may harbor a soft spot for new acts but he saw something worthwhile in the trio of 21-year-olds.

Perhaps it was the charm of a young talented band showing promise coupled with an unabashed, wide-eyed enthusiasm. Raw Fabrics is led by frontman, Jack B Franco; with bassist, Justus Dixon; and drummer, Jon Frederik. All three have wanted to be in music since they were knee-high to a grasshopper and spent their teenage years in bands.

Or their strong DIY ethos which afforded them the tenacity to jump at the opportunity - making the trip from the California to London without the strength of a record label to see this producing partnership with Street through fruition.

Most importantly, Raw Fabric's musical DNA is an interesting blend of bubblegum punk and art school rock. The four-track EP's most catchy song is "Pissin on the Dancefloor". Infused with a frisson from its acerbic lyrics, it is also crafted with a a thrashing punk pop danceability that could make it a hit. Street's polished producing packages it all nicely with a bow ready for the radio.

They are the prototype new band that the current climate has bred - not concerned with the baggage of having a label, they thrive in the margins without label execs and excess. They employ the millennials mastery of social media to an art form using it to find, grow and stay in tuned with their audience. Consider that their band Instagram account already boasts 10.6k followers. You wonder what they can achieve with some credible label backing?

Their performances have a dynamism and sheer energy that is by all accounts utterly infectious with the lanky Dixon's swooping fringe echoing the bass stylings of Alt-J's ex-bassist, Gwil Sainsbury as the Norwegian-born Frederik pounds the drums. Sartorially, Franco adopts the rock n roll identikit of leather jackets and jeans but has an eye for Warhol-inspired tones and pop art colors.

In true DIY fashion, they shot their own video for "Pissin on the Dancefloor" in Franco's parents' garage complete with a Stephen Sprouse-inspired punk couture, graffiti backdrop and glossy Pop Art cut-aways they printed at their local Kinko's.

The band are performing in San Francisco's SubMission Gallery next Tuesday, Feb 3 in support of this EP. Ahead of their show, Franco spoke to Examiner.com about the different producers they got to meet, how punk and DIY influences them, and what we can expect from their San Francisco stage debut.

Okay first thing’s first – why Raw Fabrics there’s a fashion connotation to that name and there is a sartorial edge that comes across in your music videos?

We didn’t name the band that as we were interested in clothes or what looks good. It was about taking the raw elements from different genres of music and not being afraid to combine them. Obviously, everything else just makes better sense now.

You worked with producer, Stephen Street on your first EP – how did that come about, did you pick a handful of dream producers and send all of them your demos?

Yeah. That’s kind of how it happened a little. It started like that, us sending these demos out, then our manager contacted Stephen Street and he was the first that responded to it. We were extremely humbled by the fact that he didn’t just laugh at us. We love The Smiths and Blur and we were like ‘oh wow, if that could be the way forward for us, we should go with Stephen Street.

You also sent your demo to hip hop producer Dan-The-Automator (Gorillaz and Kasabian)?

We met him actually. But it was a scheduling issue as well. As a band we got really antsy about wanting to record something and have our EP done. Stephen was also more excited and seemed to really like the idea of working with a new, unknown band. We did also meet up with Joe Chiccarelli (Frank Zappa, My Morning Jacket and The Strokes) and really got along with him. But he was busy with producing and mixing Morrissey’s last record (World Peace Is None of Your Business). However, he did engineer some new music for us. It’s not on this EP and nothing fully-formed yet but we have been working on new music.

And you went to London to record with Stephen Street – not many new bands can do that on their own steam for their first EP, how did it all come together?

I totally see how that would seem weird. It worked out because our manager took us on and she was a vital piece of the puzzle that got us to London. We also wouldn’t have been able to do it if we had to stay in hotels for the week but as it turned out I have some relatives there, so we were lucky and got to stay at my cousin’s place.

That was fortunate – how long were you guys there?

A week. Stephen is a guy with so much producing experience so it was fast. What could have taken a new producer a week, Stephen can do in two days.

“Pissin’ on the Dancefloor” there’s a bit of British slang there? That line ‘…your hotshot identity doesn’t mean a thing to mean’ is that referencing someone in particular?

It’s not referencing anyone in particular. The song is a little bit complicated as we wrote it in a couple of different stages over a period of time. Basically the song is about how sometimes you can get so engrossed in your own world that even if you’re in a positive and exciting atmosphere you can’t be happy. That’s why the song begins with “Tonight's a celebration, get out of my way…” it was really important to me that we say, sometimes you just have to have a good time.

You’ve said in the past that ‘To make it as a band you have to do it the old school punk rock way – you just get up in the morning and make your career’ - what does the business side of the music entail for young bands such as yourselves?

I think it’s a weird time in the music industry at the moment and everyone’s trying to figure it out. For a band to actually make it, it’s a tricky situation. But we run our own merch store. We drive ourselves. We don’t bring a tech on tour but sometimes if we have a friend that can help us out, we do. When it comes to releasing music our manager helps us with the finance and staying focus with everything that we have to do. It’s very much an independent way of working.

It sounds like you’ve got a great manager, how did you find her?

Yes, we are very lucky. We put in a lot of work into our shows and music and that really impressed her so she decided to take us on.

Is it a goal for Raw fabrics to be on a big label?

It’s not something I really want, I don’t think… I don’t like too many people involved creatively with the band. Doing it indie, is definitely a lot of work but it’s great to have that control.

What’s it like to part of this LA scene where you must know so many friends/people who are in their own bands – and do you ever feel disheartened by all that talent out there? Or is it great to be part of this creative community?

It’s a little bit of both. As we are involved in the business side of things, it’s not always a fun feeling when you see another band opening on TV or getting a good supporting slot. We have friends who are playing all the festivals as well as those that are just starting out. On the business side it can get disheartening. However, when it comes to the music – it’s somebody else’s story so I don’t see it as a competition. I am also not naturally competitive but since I’ve been around all these musicians – I too have been prompted to spend 10hrs a day on our music and even on a Saturday. I don’t think that’s really healthy though.

As a band, you guys are also very visual and shoot your own videos, tell us about your inspiration for these videos?

That happens sporadically. We wanted to do music videos so we were naturally drawn to certain Pop Art colors that we feel makes it look exciting and full of energy. I also feel like lately it’s been all black and white, like ‘hey look at us and our music – it’s so dark.’ We feel Pop Art gives it that energy. Sometimes, it’s a vision of something I see. Sometimes the lyrics call out to make it into a story that makes more sense for the music.

Tell me about the Raw Fabrics logo - the pink girl, is it an art piece by your dad?

Yeah, my parents are kind enough to let us have band practice at their house and my dad had this painting he had done in their garage. I asked him if we could use it and he said yes. Then I took a photo of it. It was originally a square painting but for some reason we made it into a circle, changed a few things until it had that vibe we thought represented our band.

You seem to have a supportive relationship with your parent, how has it affected your ability to pursue a music career – apart from letting you guys shoot videos in their garage?

Obviously that’s a plus! I got into music at a really young age. When I was 12, 13 – I knew I just had to be in a band. My parents knew this and I guess they were like, ‘are we going to help make this work?’ or ‘are we going to try to dissuade him?’. My parents chose to encourage me.

So you were in a punk band, what about your bassist, cause I recall you said in an interview that you wouldn’t know how to classify the kind of music they were playing – was it more experimental?

Hmm… rock I guess. Foo Fighter-esque. But I’m not even sure about that!

And your drummer is originally from Norway – how did you guys hook up?

About two years ago, I was developing the idea for Raw Fabrics. I knew I wanted to play with other people so I was asking around if anyone knew of any new drummers and a friend introduced Jon to me. I sent him a song first. And he said he really liked it and we should work together. At that time he was still living in Norway but looking to come to music school here so he moved out here soonafter. He just knew since he was a kid that he wanted to come out to Hollywood and be in a band.

You’re all the same age – were you all listening to the same kind of music growing up – or are the differences in your musical tastes what inspires your music as a group?

There are definitely differences in our tastes and that was important. We wanted to keep it interesting. If we were all into the same thing then it would get pretty boring, pretty quickly I think. But there are some bands that we can all agree on such as U2, The Beatles and Green Day. Justus and I both grew up in the States so when we were younger we were both more exposed to sh**ty rock bands I guess. Whereas in Norway, Jon only got the really good US bands. Justus is a bass player so he is also into some Jazz and stuff. We also like hip hop.

Have you played in San Francisco before – what can we expect?

No we haven’t. We are an energetic band. It’s a 3 piece but we probably make music like we were a 5 piece. On stage we are always changing it up – sometimes I’ll play bass and we put a guitar loop on. On one song, Justus plays the guitar and there’s no bass. On our newer stuff we will be testing out who’s doing what. Sometimes, I’ll also take my drum out into the audience and that’s just fun, for me to be right in it. That also comes from being into punk rock when I was younger. Punk bands are about the showmanship. They care more about putting on a show and less about the playing. We like that energy at our shows.

For tickets to their show at SubMission Gallery, please click here. To purchase their EP, "Gold Handcuffs" please click here. For further tour details, see dates below.

Tour Dates

Feb 5 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon

Feb 6 Portland, OR @ Analog

Feb 7 Boise, ID @ The Crux

Feb 8 Reno, NV @ Jub Jubs

Feb 10 Vacaville, CA @ Theatre DeVille

Feb 11 Fresno, CA @ Peeve's Public - The Examiner


Some bands, like the Arctic Monkeys and Nirvana are timeless symbols of grunge rock that will live in infamous lyrics and events that leave fans asking "Do I Wanna Know?" Other bands, like ACDC and Aerosmith have that same hint of endlessness, but with a zest of rock n roll. Raw Fabrics, however, gives listeners a new , out of take ordinary on the classics: tie dying the artistic grunge of modern favorites with legendary sonic sounds. Songs such as "Down the Drain" and "Every Single Time", exemplify their unique taste for reality and raw emotion. - Local Wolves Magazine


Discography

Debut Single "gethappy" released in June 2013

Second Single "Pissin on the Dancefloor" Released in July 2013

3rd single "Outlaw" Released in August 2013

EP with 5 songs titled "Blitz the Queen" released in August 2013

Photos

Bio

What do you get when you throw three punked-out rockers with an Andy Warhol fixation and a penchant for slithering dancefloor grooves in the same room? Well, the answer is Los Angeles trio Raw Fabrics a.k.a. Jack b. Franco [vocals, guitar], Jon Fredrik [drums], and Justus Dixon [bass, mpc/synth]. 

Since first forming in 2013, the boys have one critically acclaimed EP to their name, 2014’s Gold Handcuffs, and they’ve shared the stage with the likes of Alt-J and Weezer. However their follow-up EP serves as something of a clarion call for the group, unveiling strains of soul through a siphon of sizzling electronic textures, throbbing distortion, and hypnotic crooning. 

“Sonically, we always aim to take raw elements from different genres and combine them,” explains Jack. “That’s our approach, and it’s even the idea behind the name.”

Following a fiery first national headline tour, Raw Fabrics hit the studio with legendary producer and engineer Joe Chiccarelli [Morrissey, U2, The Strokes] in early 2015. They tracked the majority of their upcoming EP in one day with Jack adding flourishes of electronics and finishing up the vocals. The singer’s lyrical intensity bristles throughout these sonic backdrops, emanating palpable emotion. Breaking the mold, his delivery functions as an instrument in and of itself. While recording, words and phrases sporadically came to him, punching in tandem with the tribal-inspired percussion or what the band likes to refer to as “jungle drums.”

Stay up to date on upcoming shows and new releases from Raw Fabrics here: http://www.rawfabrics.com

Band Members