Fiasco's name seems to appear on every lineup we're interested in around town, so it's about time we got to know them a little better. Comprised of Jonathan Edelstein (guitar/vocals), Julian Bennett Holmes (drums), and Lucian Buscemi (electric bass/vocals/and yes you know his dad), the trio channels some noisy muses; OMR boils the backbone down to "Sonic Youth's feedback madness, Lightning Bolt's distorted bass messiness, and Shellac's scratchy rawness." They just finished recording a new full-length upstate, tomorrow night they'll play Williamsburg's Death by Audio, and recently they told us about their influences, alien encounters on the subway, and playing Pratt illegally.
Park Slope and band camp doesn't exactly seem like a recipe for hardcore garage punk, yet I read that's is exactly how Fiasco began. Can you elaborate on the band's formation? Lucian Buscemi: I think our band could have formed anywhere in New York or the United States. Any place in the world with internet really. We basically all got into hardcore punk via word of mouth and the internet, and then we wanted to play that style of music. Kids getting into that style of music could happen anywhere. Our first show was just all punk and hardcore covers.
Julian Bennett Holmes: We were really into Rage Against The Machine, and on their cover album they covered a Minor Threat song. We checked them out and then found out about all sorts of hardcore bands like Black Flag etc.
How has the band's sound changed throughout the years? And what do you hope to explore musically in the future? LB: It got noisier and more complex I guess. We started to play in odd time signatures and the riffs we started writing became harder to play. I still say it's basically punk though. It's still just loud and pretty fast and full of energy. In the future we've decided to become an a capella jazz fusion band. Just kidding.
JBH: Originally we were just a punk band. When we started getting into more complex music we took out the vocals and experimented with instrumental music. Now that we got better at doing that, our new album has vocals.
How has recording upstate been going, and what can we expect to hear on the new release? LB: Recording upstate is officially done. All we have to do now is mix it. We have no idea when this record will be released. I'd say the earliest will be the fall/winter of this year, or sometime in early 2010
JBH: Our goal is to do one full-length record each year.
You've played at a lot of New York venues, which is your favorite? And if you could play anywhere here (traditional venue or not), where would it be? LB: I can't name favorites, but my top three are Market Hotel, Silent Barn & Death by Audio. If I could play anywhere it'd definitely be a basement of a house party or house show. Those shows are the best.
JBH: We once played a really fun illegal show in a classroom at Pratt. We snuck all the instruments in and the security guard didn't hear us because she was listening to her iPod.
Which musicians (dead or alive) would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock? LB: Christ almighty that's a tough question! There are so many crazy musicians. Maybe: Brian Gibson on bass, Brian Chippendale on drums, Tony Iommi on guitar, and Nolen Strals from Double Dagger singing. They'd have to play some sort of metal though.
JBH: The Beatles are already it.
What bands are you currently listening to? LB: Health, Wives, Jay Z, R. Kelly, Pissed Jeans, TURBOSLEAZE, TLC, Kiss, Double Dagger, Pterodactyl, DD/MM/YYYY & Deerhunter, Black Sabbath
JBH: Dirty Projectors, Drake, Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, MIA, Maino, Plies, Pterodactyl, Rick Ross, Turbosleaze, and Young Jeezy.
Please share your strangest "only in New York" story. LB: Once while taking the subway i happened to be on a train with this crazed homeless dude with a saxophone who couldn't play for shit. He was just making these loud crazy sounds. I thought it was hilarious so i didn't really mind it, but other people on the train hated it. Then the saxophone player started to say, "I AM AN ALIEN! IF YOU GIVE ME MONEY I WILL REPAIR MY SPACESHIP AND GO BACK HOME. I WILL TAKE GEORGE BUSH & DICK CHENEY! WITH ME!" Nobody gave him money so he started to play the saxophone even louder and more obnoxious and he said, "IF YOU GIVE ME MONEY I WILL STOP PLAYING THIS SAXOPHONE!" it didn't really work and he left the train empty handed. It was so funny.
JBH: Probably playing at Pratt.
Which New Yorker do you most admire? LB: Larry David is fucking hilarious and he's from Brooklyn so I guess him. Larry David or Biggie Smalls.
JBH: Woody Allen, Biggie or Swizz Beats.
Given the opportunity, how would you change New York? LB: 1. Make it way cheaper; 2. Make all the boroughs their separate cities. That might cause huge problems though.
JBH: I wouldn't change it really. A perfect city wouldn't be interesting.
Best cheap eat in the city. LB: This place called Eden or Eden's or something on Bedford & North 7th in Williamsburg. $1:50 for one slice of pizza. There's also one dollar grilled cheese at this place on Broadway near the market hotel called like the JMZ deli. A small coffee there is also 50 cents. A huge can of Arizona for $1 also never fails.
JBH: Get your lunch at a grocery store.