Long Island NY’s The Fad was one of the most fun bands I ever saw in the mid-2000’s. With a lightning quick attack and a ridiculously high stage energy, 4-piece punk-ska band tore through sets in some of the stickiest, grossest rooms I have ever had the pleasure of entering. You know you had fun if you find yourself wringing out your nasty t-shirt after a show.
Featured on the inaugural installment of Apple Stomp, performing on May 31st alongside The Suicide Machines and many more, expect old fans and new ones to spring to life when The Fad takes the stage, and learn every word to “Vinyl Paradise” if you don’t already, because Irving Plaza is going to erupt when they play it!
I got in touch with singer Jimmy Doyle prior to the event to talk about the group’s history and formation, the current state of LI Ska and side projects, and who they’d get back together full-time to go on tour with.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Introduce the members in the group… Who is everyone, what do they play, and where does everyone come from?
J- At The Apple Stomp, The Fad will be Adam Foster on drums, Cody Klein & Tom Malinowski on guitar, Danny Sabella on bass & Jimmy Doyle (that’s me) on vocals. We’re all from Long Island originally, but Cody moved to Florida a few years back, so this will be a treat even just to hang with him.
G- That’s awesome! And is this the original lineup of the group that will be playing at The Apple Stomp?
J- This lineup is the first one (that) most of the country would have been introduced to back in 2005-2006 when we were touring constantly. (Quit Your Band & Join The Fad-era)
G- Right on. Now, how excited are you guys to be a part of such an awesome festival?! What band(s) are you most excited to see before/after your set on May 31st?
J- We are thrilled to be a part of this festival & I can easily say we’re all excited to scratch off “Playing with The Suicide Machines” from our bucket lists. I could personally give you a story about every band on this festival, but none other has had as much influence on us as a group as those boys from Detroit.
G- Here here! Destruction By Definition is, in my opinion, the best punk-ska record of all time, so I know what you mean!
So, to get into your history a little bit, when did The Fad first get together and when did you guys play your first show? Do you remember the moment that you really felt the group “click?”
J- The Fad began in 2000 as “Death 101” with two guys I befriended in the high school musical. We played our first show as The Fad in April 2002 & I’d say it took 3 years to really click, because we never had a steady drummer until we met Adam in 2005.
G- Right on, and you made some serious waves when that happened. The Fad was a beacon of Long Island Ska and made quite a name for yourself around the East Coast and beyond with your frenetic live shows and ridiculous energy! Tell me a bit about where you are from… How is the scene now, and how are the responses at shows out your way?
J- Finding a place to play was always our biggest obstacle out here on Long Island. There are a lot of bars that have live music but odds are, they won’t allow you to have an all-ages event, or parents simply won’t leave their kids there.
When mid-sized venues like The Downtown in Farmingdale were thriving, so was the all-ages scene out here. We have some of that in clubs like Revolution & 89 North nowadays, but we aren’t an active band anymore so we don’t get to reap the benefits of that.
G- Understandable. So when you were writing consistently, what was your writing process like, and who in the band typically came up new music? Did you have a primary songwriter, or did you write music more organically through jamming during rehearsals?
J- All of the songwriting was done by me in the beginning, (but) Tom became my partner the second he joined this band. Kill Punk Rock Stars was half songs I had written years earlier & half songs the guys in the band arranged together musically, that I then stepped in later to write lyrics for.
G- Dig it. So what is everyone in the group doing musically right now in addition to occasional performances by The Fad? Any other projects we should be on the lookout for?
J- Danny & Cody are pursuing careers as tattoo artists, Adam plays drums in a group called The Inbetweens, and Tom & I play together in a band called Jimmy Doyle & The Engineers. Tom can also be seen taking his shirt off and playing guitar in Barnaby Jones and formerly in Bomb The Music Industry! JD+E, Barnaby Jones & BTMI!
All have free music available at QuoteUnquoteRecords.com
G- Nice! There you have it, folks… Free jams for reading!
I know what it’ll be like when you guys hit the stage at Irving Plaza (fucking nuts,) but what should some of the first time listeners and those who never got the chance to see you back in the day expect to see when you take the stage?
J- Less talk, more rock. If we’re bullshitting on stage, please let us know we’re wasting time. We have some surprises in store for fans old & new, but we’re the first band playing the whole festival, so we understand there really isn’t any time to waste.
G- Are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could put together a feasible 3-band dream bill for The Fad to be part of, who would you select and why?
J- All five of us would have very different answers to this question because we all have very different tastes in music. My favorite band is The Specials & I feel lucky to have been able to see them a few times in a lifetime, forget about sharing a stage with them. A few bands we could probably all agree on would be Bad Brains, Assorted Jelly Beans & Descendents.
However, I would say our dream bill would be one stacked with friends’ groups like Stuck Lucky, Murphy’s Kids & We Are The Union.
G- Right on. Having personally played shows with the latter 3 bands, it was always a good time and fun hangs!
So let’s dive a little bit… What is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
J- The first time we played The Knitting Factory alongside Arrogant Sons Of Bitches & The Matt Kurz One was an unreal experience… One of those tipping points where we thought to ourselves ‘This is actually working!’
But the Larry Dubey Benefit at Sinclair’s Pub on Long Island was a reunion show we did to raise some cash for our friend’s father (at the time recently paralyzed) & was the best response we’ve ever gotten. Plus, we were doing a good thing! All the bands were friends with the affected family and each other, so everyone participating and attending had a really positive attitude.
G- Very cool. Music’s ability to bring folks together for a good cause never ceases to amaze me, and kudos for lending your time and talent to help out. More bands should be willing to do the same thing for those in need.
To finish up today, The Fad did very well during your tenure, but never really found mainstream success to the point where you could make a living by playing music… It was all heart.
What advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
J- Don’t start a band, don’t go to college. Learn how to fix cars in high school & get a job fast. Odds are, “making it” in music takes a lot more money than you’ve got. Play music, hit the road, do whatever you gotta do, but never plan on being successful.
There are millions other guys out there who won’t hesitate to throw you under the train to get a better seat, and that goes with anything creative. I’m not saying don’t pursue your dreams, (but) just realize that there will always be people who want you to fail. I know that’s pessimistic to say, but it’s also realistic & I couldn’t sleep at night thinking someone might ruin their lives based on me just saying something like “reach for the stars”.
G- Truer words have never been spoken. Until The Apple Stomp, Jimmy… We can’t wait for the show and thanks again for catching up with us today!