Interview with 'The Fill Ins'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Alex: My name is Alex Stiff and I’m the founder and frontman of The Fill Ins. It took the band a while to get some footing as the band was conceived in VA of 2010, and it took until mid 2013 and a relocation to NC for the band to finally become a real band. Since then, we’ve had the honor of opening for some of our favorite bands like Koffin Kats, Reverend Horton Heat, Wednesday 13, Joe Yourself, GBH and many others.
James: My name is James Nunn, and I play bass guitar. I met Alex, Mikey (Guitarist) and Matt (Drummer at the time) after a show they played opening for Wednesday 13 when Alex was still playing Bass for the band; I had just moved from TN to NC and that was one of my first "local" shows I had attended. I was looking for a band to play guitar with in my new town, and after pestering Alex enough to help find me a band, he told me that they were looking for a Bassist; it just so happened that I had a Bass and the rest was history!
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Alex: Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be an entertainer; I loved being in school plays, making people laugh.. I think deep down I wanted to be a comedian. Years past and I got a guitar for Christmas, though it still took me a year or two until I picked it up and really started trying to play something. After dipping my toes in the water, when I was 16 I joined up with a band and I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
James: I was always playing in groups before joining this band, but this has been the first group I’ve ever played in where there has been a following, and where content is consistently generated. As far as other aspirations, my favorite job I’ve had before now was a DJ in Knoxville. That’s another skill I’d like to revisit at some point.
Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.
Alex: The single “Hit The Gas” is a rebirth for the band in many ways. 2016 was pretty rough for us when it came to content creation and playing shows; eventually ending up in a lineup change. With our new drummer Adam Patterson, he took to the old material like a duck to water and immediately started working on new material with us. The single released a month before “Hit The Gas” was titled “Saturday Night” and was a perfect appetizer to what was to come; as 'Saturday Night' was a bit more Pop-Punk than we usually tread down, though still a really fun song. With “Hit The Gas”, we knew that was the direction we wanted to go sonically as it was pretty different for us but also just a natural progression for us. So we decided to give the band a new look and attitude to go with it; redesigning our logo from the ground up, giving us a stage uniform, new custom stage equipment, the works. The band may have been around for the past 3-6 years, but 2017 will be the year people find out just who The Fill Ins really are.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why.
Alex: I’ve never really gotten starstruck.. In another group I played with, we got flown out to Cincinnati OH to open for Slash, and when we met him, he was just a cool and down to earth dude and he hung just like the rest of us. Probably the only person I’ve met that made me a bit nervous was Ace Frehley; to me, he is / was a rock GOD and ultimately the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place. So when I got to meet him, I was stumbling over my words and smiling like a complete idiot.. haha.
James: Charlotte band ANTiSEEN has always been a factor in our career, and even though they’re friends, I always see them as one of the great all time live bands, and it always leaves me inspired and intimidated at the same time.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
Alex: Expect to have a great time. For me, music cleanses the mind and soul and when you come to a Fill Ins show you aren’t going to get a political agenda shoved down your throat. We sing about stuff that everyone from every background can understand and rally behind; we sing about love, hate, rock n roll, sex, partying, the annoyances of social media and the people that make it unbearable. Life is pretty crazy right now, so why not get away from it all, at least for an hour or so? That’s why we’re here.
James: Just nonstop energy and fun.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Alex: CJ Ramone, The Dwarves, Supersuckers, Danko Jones, Metallica, Airbourne, Alice Cooper… I can keep going. All those bands have played such a big role in shaping me into the musician I am today, so to go out and play with any of those bands would be an absolute dream come true.
James: Cheap Trick or Black Star Riders because after playing a set, I would get to hear my favorite songs every night done by the masters. You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Alex: Johnny Ramone. He may not be the most loved person in Punk Rock history, but that is one of the reasons I admire him so greatly. He turned The Ramones from a band into a 4 piece musical army and I’d love to discuss with him what was going through his mind during certain periods of the band’s growth and how he managed to accomplish what he did.
James: Lemmy, because he was my hero, and I would have so much to ask about.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Alex: Yippie-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker!
James: Of course, but Lethal Weapon is a far superior Christmas movie.
Website - http://thefillins.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheFillIns/?fref=ts