Neil Sabatino: Vocals & Guitar Andy Applegate: Drums & Percussion Christian Kisala: Pianet, Synths & Percussion Sam Carradori: Backing Vocals & Percussion
" Life Begins on the other side of despair." -Sartre "We must be dead because this sure feels like hell" - N. Sabatino
THE (obligatory and pretentious) BAND BIOGRAPHY
This all sounds kind of nice, like maybe there was a plan, but in actuality it all played out more like Spinal Tap.Neil Sabatino started playing guitar in the early nineties, before myspace hit counters and “LOL OMG I LOVE [Insert Band Name Here]” Facebook Groups. Those were the days (supposedly) of street cred and artistic integrity. Neil found himself with plenty of both those thing, playing with a couple of popular bands with people that would later make lots of money. He first established himself in punk outfit Stick Figure Suicide (who appeared with the Bouncing Souls, Saves the Day, AntiFlag, H20, blah, blah, blah) and played on the Vans Warped Tour. Eventually, he joined NJ indie rock staplesPencey Prep, playing alongside future My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero. It wasn’t long before they were signed to Eyeball Records and playing high profile shows with Thursday, Nada Surf, and The Strokes. They also played the inaugural New Jersey Surf and Skate Fest with New Found Glory and Brand New in front of 4,000 fans. Basically, they were starting to feel like rock stars and had a nice list of names to drop. But just as they could taste success (oh, sweet success--it melts on your tongue!) the band began to fall apart. Touring, disputes within the band, tensions with the label,all embittered Sabatino as he watched Pencey Prep implode.
From the burning wreckage of Sabatino’s former band a phoenix arose, and while Neil scoffed at this imagery, he named this fledgling bird Fairmont. Neil wrote songs thematically influenced by his disillusionment and began to experiment and grow musically, applying ideas he learned at art school to his music and developing his philosophy of “less is more.” It was this technique that allowed him to create material refreshingly different from the three chord and melodic emo being recorded at the time. Fairmont (which was at that point a solo acoustic project) was signed to Reinforcement Records in August 2001.Once a band was assembled, Fairmont released their debut LP Pretending Greatness is Awaiting. Their second album, Anomie, appeared in 2003 and featured current drummer Andy Applegate. It received some local airplay anddid well online, but it was Fairmont’s 2005 album Hell Is Other People (produced by New London Fire/Sleep Station front man Dave Debiak) that received the most attention. The album’s adoption of existentialist philosophy ironically garnered them the most popularity; it was in regular rotation on several college radio stations and received the occasional spinon huge commercial stations like Q104.3 in New York and even a live set on G Rock 106.3 in New Jersey. Some people in the press wrote about Fairmont like they were some new pantheon of indie rock gods. Case in point:
“A strong confident, self-assured, commercially accessible effort from an outstanding young band just beginning to hit its creative stride…” -The Aquarian Arts Weekly
“The only good thing to come out of New Jersey (other then Bruce Springsteen).” -The Portland Phoenix
The band was flattered and made these quotes readily accessible . 2006 saw Fairmont on the road, playing in progressively larger rooms throughout the Northeast and Midwest and venturing to the West Coast for dates in Seattle and Portland. After releasing The Subtle Art of Making Enemies, an EP, Fairmont decided to work with producer Dean Baltulonis (TheHold Steady, The Explosion, Paint It Black) to record their next album Wait& Hope. This LP was an autobiographical history of Fairmont’s career reflected in dark pop songs about revenge and bitterness, love destructed, and confrontation with one’s demons and enemies. It was also the prelude toa darker time.
In 2007, Fairmont was looking back on a productive year. Touring more then ever before and even headlining at the famed 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Fairmont continued to build a following of loyal fans across the nation and put together their first street team. Highlights of the year included many successful radio appearances along with taping an episode of FOX TV’s Fearless Music. The band also put out buzzworthy music videos. “Suspicion Haunts the Guilty Mind” portrayed a stalker situation; Nada Surf front-man Matthew Caws responded: “Rocking, paranoid, I love it”. Their second video was an epic sock puppet Bonnie and Clyde story which ended with a puppet massacre. Oh yes, gentle readers, a puppet massacre.
After a series of near-disastrous events, including tornadoes on tour and the departure of a long time band member, Fairmont regrouped and started fresh in 2008 with a new lineup and a new sound. Fairmont was joined in themidst of writing their next album Transcendence by veteran percussionist and keyboard player Christian Kisala (The Finals). Envy on the Coast, Straylight Run producer Bryan Russell would also come and guide the record to its final form. Violinist, violist and cellist Clancy Flynn, who recently recorded with Ours, also came into the studio to round out the bands sound. With guests including Suzie Zeldin of The Narrative and Teeter Sperber of Ladybirds offering their vocal talents, Fairmont headed into the studio in April of 2008 with renewed energy and recorded their most ambitious record to date. Live all the female vocal parts are covered by Fairmont's newest member Sam Carradori who made her debut with Fairmont on the earlier records Anomie and Hell Is Other People. Fairmont looks forward to sharing Transcendence with everyone.
Do we have any other names to drop?
Somebody get us famous.