Contributor’s Note: Fisk is one of the most interesting bands in Brooklyn. Their hard and heavy riffs are reminiscent of King Tuff or Ty Segall but they elevate the whole experience by bringing a level of DIY theatricality to their music. I talked with Freddie about the band, his stage persona, and a few other things, but the raw power of FISK can only be experienced through their music.
Fans can also find FISK at the following locations:
Do you have a distinct stage persona you adopt when you play? Or do you feel that you’re simply being a heightened version of yourself?
I feel like internally I can be an incredibly critical person, in terms of judging myself and my interactions with the people around me. So surprisingly, when being on stage, I find myself just sort of entering a fugue state but in a good way. When the music lines up, the nagging little judgmental voice in my head shuts up for once. So I guess I end up being a less inhibited version of myself on stage. Which is really refreshing.
But the minute I get off and the adrenaline begins to wear off, I’m right back to asking “Was that okay? Did we sound alright?”
So, it’s a heightened truer version of myself but it’s fleeting.
What was the genesis of your crazy stage attire? Were you always a very theatrical performer or did you gradually ramp it up?
Coming from a background in performing comedy prior to FISK, either in improv or stand up, a flair for the dramatic and weird has always been there. In terms of the attire itself, the war paint that we often wear started as a Halloween gag when I suggested we dress ourselves like Mad Max rejects. But it kind of stuck and evolves depending on our moods. I feel like with aggressive music, you want the audience to connect to you but how do you balance that out with an antagonistic nature or sound? I think the war paint gives the audience the ability to see that wall or distance between you and them but to also realize it’s okay to let go of your inhibitions and just let loose.
Every show you’re going to war with an audience by vying for their validation while also fighting against their preconceived notions of how the show will go. So why not wear war paint?
How do people usually respond to your performances?
We get a lot of goofing around usually. Which is rad, usually dancing, people starting circle pits or singing along lyrics. I was actually super sick before our last show and vomited right before I went on stage, so I had to mention it to the crowd which inevitably lead to everybody in the venue chanting ‘Throw up! Throw up!” But my favorite is when people ask me to put war paint on them before our set. We kinda look like a little apocalyptic gang. And getting drinks together after the show makes us like completely insane.
What’s it like being an openly bisexual frontman? Do you feel like you ever run into difficult situation because of your sexual preference?
To be honest, in NYC, it’s not that big of a deal because there is so much diversity in the local scene and being punks, we understand the plight of being a marginalized misfit. However, outside of NYC and our scene, things can be much different. Part of the punk community, a long time ago, in some circles developed this unfortunate machismo that when taken too far can lead to homophobia and violence. So, it’s funny to see the reaction when I preface a song like ‘Dance Machine’by saying it’s about doing narcotics and having anonymous sex in a gay night club. True story. People love it, hate it or assume it’s a misguided joke. But it’s my life.