So far, 2019 has been quite a ride for the Bay Area indie funk band More Fatter. After playing countless shows across San Francisco, releasing single after single and putting together their first headlining tour, the young musicians are more than ready for the hard work to pay off.
“The past three years, it really was just hustle,” band member and UC Berkeley student Theo Fedronic said in an interview with The Daily Californian. “It’s just kind of persistence, and it’s all really a momentum thing — it’s building on past successes.”
These past successes have come in many forms, from thousands of Spotify streams to wild live shows. But Theo, his brother Mark Fedronic, Tommy Economou, Justin Palaad and Anthony Puducay are staying grounded and focused on the new music the band is set to release this month.
“We’re definitely looking forward to being able to focus a little more on the music,” Theo said. “The process of having to get all that stuff together ourselves has really given us an appreciation for what it takes and an understanding of the process.”
More Fatter has been playing countless live shows in the Bay Area this year, at venues ranging from Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco to Cornerstone right here in Berkeley. The group has been putting in consistent work to get the ball rolling, but for the past month, the members have settled down in preparation for the next big release — tentatively titled Fatterludes 1.
“We’ve been playing and performing so many songs — as you perform them, you figure out ways to make them better, and you just love them more and more,” Theo said. “We just want to get this stuff recorded just to have it out.”
The band came together in 2016 after a group of friends who jammed together decided to start a full-fledged band — the “five-man squad,” as Theo jokingly labeled them. Theo and Mark have an especially close bond, as they began playing music together at a very young age. Theo plays the trumpet and Mark plays the trombone in their musical mix, leading to the self-assigned nickname of “the brass brozos.”
“It definitely is something special that we spent so much of our early years playing music together,” Theo said. “We really understand each other as musicians. Whenever we’re either writing trumpet and trombone parts or improvising onstage, we have a really good understanding of what the other person’s going to play.”
Originally born in France, Theo and Mark moved to Northern California’s South Bay when Theo was 2 years old. Theo said the global musical upbringing he and his brother received has impacted the overall flavor of More Fatter.
“I think our parents’ international backgrounds really gave us a pretty cool spectrum of music that we, whether we know it or not, kind of dip into as our influences,” Theo said.
Being a musician, of course, has its struggles. More Fatter, in particular, finds it difficult at times to bring the same energy and intention from live shows to recorded music. That doesn’t mean that live performances don’t inform the band’s work in the studio, however.
“At the end of the day, playing music for people who have never heard of you, that’s the coolest thing to do,” Theo said. “It’s the most honest way to gauge if what you’re making is compelling and engaging.”
This process definitely came into play with the new album, which has been teased over the year by the release of singles “DTR,” “Yeah You” and “Silly Goose.” As Theo said, this album captures the essence of the songs the band has been playing for the past two years.
Considering how busy the band is, fitting in time for other obligations can be tricky. For Theo, the production of this new album and other band pursuits have proved a balancing act, as he simultaneously attended classes and finished assignments between gigs.
“I’ve gone on BART more times than I’d like in my life, to be honest,” Theo said with a laugh. “It’s one of those things that’s definitely become more challenging over the past year as I keep getting more and more involved.”
However, the pros of the straining work can outweigh the hardships faced. “At the same time, it definitely keeps me sane, in a sense,” Theo said. “It keeps me feeling alive, and it feeds my spirit — it allows me to be who I am.”
Hopefully, 2019 will continue to feed the spirits of the members of More Fatter through this summer, as the band embarks on a California-wide tour, releases its album and makes a few festival pit stops along the way. To see More Fatter for yourself, catch the band’s performance at The Independent on June 27 for a funk ‘n’ roll kind of night.