(the) fundamentalists
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(the) fundamentalists

Ferndale, Michigan, United States | SELF

Ferndale, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Alternative EDM

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"Keeping It Fun(damental)"

Keeping It Fun(damental)
Metro Detroit 'queerwave' band leader Chris Taylor remembers Pride 10 years ago, and looks forward with a new group and album
By Chris Azzopardi
(Originally printed 6/3/2010 (Issue 1822 - Between The Lines News)
Chris Taylor really wants you to know something: He's in bed, wearing only underwear, next to a large, hairy male with beautiful green eyes. And it's his cat.
He's sick on this particular afternoon, just over a week before his band - local electro-dance makers (the) fundamentalists - perform at Motor City Pride, and he has a hunch that this bout of bronchitis has been making its group rounds. Could be since he, Angie "Wings" Miller and Oscar Alejandro perform in a dinky practice area
set up in Taylor's Ferndale home. But at least new music's finally on the way, as they prepare to release the
tentatively titled "Agenda" in, they hope, September. "I'm guessing it will be similar to what we put out in 2006 ("Exiles in Clubland"), a collection of things - uptempo
stuff and slow creepy-crawly things," Taylor says, then explaining the name with a walloping laugh: "Because everybody always talks about the 'gay agenda,' so we thought, well, our agenda is to make you think and maybe make you move your ass."
Look to do both when (the) fundamentalists take the stage during Pride at 3 p.m. June 6, which makes this the band's 10th year playing gay festivals. In 2000, the group - with a different name (The Crucible) and lineup,
Taylor being the exception - performed at their first local Pride, then in Royal Oak. The gig was also their first
live outing - ever.
"It was funny because some other gal in another band, we were talking backstage, and she said, 'This is the
first gig you've ever played? There's like 2,000 people here! I would never do that to myself,'" Taylor recalls. But he wasn't anxious, just on a total high the entire time. It helped that queer-punk band Pansy Division was there, too.
"They were really down to earth," Taylor says. "The only thing I regret was that I didn't bring my Pansy Division CDs because I didn't want to look like a geek."
(the) fundamentalists will get their Pride fill this year when they play not only Motor City's, but also West Michigan's and the Metra Picnic. The band hopes their music - described as "queerwave dance-rock," and
never square - resonates with whomever's listening, especially youngsters looking for a sound that's all their own.
"There was nothing on the musical landscape (where) I grew up in this tiny town Up North," Taylor remembers. "All the music was heavy metal, country or Top-40 crap that meant very little to me as a gay person. When I wanted to get this band started, I said I wanted to do stuff that was genuine. And everybody in the band is on
the same page."
Taylor also wants your underwear. He jokingly quips, "I will say that we're a little disappointed that no one's thrown underwear - jock straps or bras. We always tell them, 'Bring underwear to throw. And if it's dirty, throw it at Angie.'"
She's single, whereas Taylor and Alejandro are both partnered. Their relationships, or lack thereof, are the muse for "Agenda." "We're working on one song now about the end of a relationship, and a lot of our songs do tend to do deal with relationships coming to an end, which I guess probably says something about us as
individuals," he says, laughing.
The end of Taylor's relationship with Jim Marker in 2007, four years after they launched the official fundamentalists, and Marker's decision to leave the group is what led Taylor to his new bandmates (Miller's a longtime friend, and he met Alejandro while volunteering at Affirmations Gay and Lesbian Community Center in
Ferndale). After their split, Taylor considered going solo, but says he would've missed working with a team:
"It's more fun being in a band. It's not about one person; it's about the music."
Music that he began making some 20 years ago, with many band-name changes and member swaps since. The latest trio - with a fourth on the way - shares many of the same smorgasbord of musical influences: The Cure,
Melissa Etheridge, Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath and Sam Cooke.
If there's been a lot of shake-ups in Taylor's band over the last couple of decades, some thing's never change: They're still as gay as ever.
"For the past 20-something years, that's been my goal," Taylor says. "We ran into this so often, especially when I lived in Saginaw and I was trying to get this going: Somebody would be like, 'I'm cool being in a gay band,' and then it would be time to perform somewhere, and they'd be like, 'Oh, I don't want somebody thinking
I'm gay.'" Now he doesn't have to worry. "We don't have to change pronouns or any of that," he says, happily. "It's just more real for me. For everybody."

(the) fundamentalists - between the lines/pridesource


Discography

Track "wWjd?!?!" on Woobiebear Music's "Bear Tracks #3" Compilation 2005
Self released cd "exiles from clubland" 2006

Photos

Bio

(the) fundamentalists, spawned in Detroit in 2003 and led by multi instrumentalist Chris Taylor and joined by singer, keyboard player, James Taylor, Jr, and Drummer Jess Wojcik have their feet firmly planted in both the electronic and raw rock heritage of their home city. Their sound, infused with an unapologetic queer intensity, has been variously described as: “uplifting, world-weary, bludgeoning and ethereal; in short, both the silver lining and the dark cloud around it.” Whether performing one of their smart, thought provoking or body moving original songs or re-interpreting something from the past in venues across the USA and Canada; (the) fundamentalists are a musical revelation that stays with the listener long after the last note has been played.
Standout past live performances include:
Absolute Fringe Show-Elbo Room (Chicago)
Skyline Lodge ACA getaway weekend (Detroit)
BearFest III (Detroit, MI) Northern MI Pride (Traverse City, MI)
Blue Note Caf¨¦ (Pontiac, MI) Milwaukee Pride (Milwaukee, WI)
Blue Water Pride (Port Huron MI/Sarnia ,Ontario) Outfest (Ann Arbor, MI)
Cleveland Pride (Cleveland, OH) The Flesh Hungry Dog Show (Jackhammer©\Chicago, IL)
Diamond Jim's Saloon (Detroit, MI)©\Multiple Performances Washtenaw Pride (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, MI)
Just 4 Us Bookstore©\In store Concert (Detroit, MI) WCBN©\Live on Air Performance (Ann Arbor, MI)
Metra Picnic (Detroit, MI) West Shore Pride (Ludington, MI)
Michigan Pride (Lansing, MI) Western MI Pride (Grand Rapids, MI)
Motor City Pride (Detroit, MI)©\Multiple Performances