LM vs. White Fang: 'You Gotta Get In Where You Fit In.'

LM vs. White Fang: 'You Gotta Get In Where You Fit In.'

Alex Capper


There’s just something charming about White Fang.

And I don’t really have the words about why I find the LA underground punk rockers so appealing.

Thankfully, they know exactly why.

'We’re just big fat fuckers in a band that kicks ass who rub their man titties everywhere and still get the pussy and have the best time.'

*

Originally from Portland, White Fang moved to LA after finding that the crowds were much more responsive to their style.

'The scene here likes us. In Portland I think we burnt our bridges; we played too much. It’s a small scene. People were tired of us,' explains bassist Chris, aka Uncle Funkle. 'We had shows when 20 people would come for a 10 dollar cover, we play in LA we would sell out with a 15 dollar cover.'

At first they were able to stick it in Los Angeles due to some White Fang-style connections.

'We were able to stay in LA because we were banging these chicks; they let us stay at their house for free cause we were banging them... well, I stopped banging one of them so they let me stay on the floor, so then we got a studio apartment which is where we are now,' lead singer Rikky elaborates.

Inspired by their underground roots, the members of White Fang began their own label, Gnar Tapes, which is dedicated to the medium of cassette tapes.

'Cassettes are cheap to make and cheap to sell. We can keep our shit boutique-y,' explains Funkle. 'We can get away with making 100 and it's not a huge investment. It’s like a business card. People recognise our brand 'cause we’re distributing in this boutique, niche market.'

As I don’t think I know anyone who listens to cassettes anymore, I ask White Fang if they are worried about closing off potential new fans by going through this antique medium.

'Well, that’s part of the boutique experience.'

However, White Fang are quick to explain how much they adore the modernity of the Internet.

'I live on the Internet, man; I’m living in the weed, I’m living in the Internet, I’m living in the studio. I’m 100 per cent pro-digital. Internet is a full time thing,' says Rikky.

'You gotta get in where you fit in, that’s the rule of underground music. You gotta put your shit out there.'

'The Internet is the main reason we have been successful by far,' admits Funkle. 'If we didn’t have our website and our Bandcamps, we wouldn’t nearly be making the income that we do. The Internet plays just as vital a role in keeping White Fang alive as anything else.'

The website Funkle refers to is whitefangsucks.com, a punk statement perfect for 2015 if I’ve ever seen one.

'It’s for the haters,' quips Funkle. 'It used to be whitefang420.com, but we forgot to renew the domain name...'

'People probably say it, like, "Oh, you’re in White Fang? Oh yeah, White Fang sucks!"' chimes in drummer Jimmy on the bottom left corner on my screen.

'Well, people haven’t said that in years… hopefully,' Funkle interrupts.

White Fang are renowned for their lo-fi recording sound that attracts fans out of every kooky corner. I read that they prefer to use a four track to achieve this sound, so I asked them why they love it so much.

'Recording with four track sucks.'

'We haven’t used a four track in years.'

Damn…

'We used to record four track all the time and the White Fang album Positive Feedback is our four track masterpiece,' Funkle quickly explains, trying to pick my shattered confidence up. 'For a long time we only recorded with the gear that we had.'

'Four track defined our sounds; it’s a mixture of the digital and analogue world. We have fully transitioned to recording digital, but you wouldn’t notice 'cause we aim for lo–fi.'

White Fang hold Garageband as the band’s preferred digital recording platform.

'Garageband is the digital four track to me,' Rikky justifies. 'There are so many albums that have been made on Garageband. That album Grimes got famous off? Garageband.'

But don’t mistake White Fang for amateur recording artists. They’re deadly serious about their gear and their music.

'Every project we work on has its own idea, its own concept,' elaborates Funkle. 'We do recording in every method. All of us are engineers.'

'We use the shit Led Zeppelin were using in 1979!' Rikky shouts into the camera.

'We make all different kinds of music on this stuff; we just did music for some soft-core porn.'

*

It quickly becomes clear to me that White Fang really love what they do and they do it with a ton of fun. With all the bands out there so focused on being 'professional', I ask White Fang if they think that too many bands take themselves too seriously, rather than just enjoying it.

'Fucking A!' replies a chorus of voices.

'The number one most common denominator, if there's anything you can say about bands, is that most of them take themselves too seriously,' Funkle says.

It seems that this question really struck a chord with the ever-so-slightly intoxicated lead singer Rikky.  

'We barely put on our personas at all,' Rikki declares. 'We’re pretty much just eating tacos, puking on each other, having sex with the same girl, wearing pyjamas to an Yves Saint Laurent party 'cause fuck that shit.'

'Fuck being cool, fuck just standing around watching a show. If you’re gonna get, get drunk. Don’t be like, "Oh, Eric got so drunk last night it was stupid." Well, that’s what you’re supposed to get drunk for: stupid.'

'I’m a pretty progressive guy but I hate left-wing fascists as much as I hate right-wing fascists.'

... I wasn’t entirely sure where Rikky was going, but I loved every second.

'I hate Subaru-driving motherfuckers who think I’m a freak 'cause I like to cuss and say fucked-up shit like faggot and pooping and all kind of shit that pisses people off.'

'But we do it anyway, 'cause someone needs to do it. Nobody else is doing it; nobody else is ballsy enough to be themselves.'

Then, all of the sudden, the conversation takes another left turn.

'I fucking love the Eagles, I fucking love Britney Spears, I love Sade. I want all the fans. I want them all.'

Thank God someone else loves Britney as much as I do. 

Fortunately for all the White Fang fans this side of the Pacific, the band are stoked to be heading over to Australia for the first ever time at the end of September.

'I heard the most economical way to get pissed there is some shit called goon? Is that right?' asks Rikky. 'I hope that the people want to drink with us.'

If there was one Australian band that White Fang remind me of, it’s Brisbane stoner-pop trio Dune Rats. After showing the guys Dune Rats’ infamous 'Red Light Green Light' video, I ask who would win in a bong off.

'If they want to go, we will go, dude,' exclaims Rikky. 'If we lose, I’ll eat out of my own ass. I don’t give a shit.'

'We would win. No band has ever beaten us. We would beat anybody, even fucking Parliament. Bring it on.'

White Fang are coming in hot. Whether we’re ready or not. 


White Fang Australian Tour 2015:

Saturday 26th September - Secret Party, Sydney

Sunday 27th September - Sounds of the Suburbs, Cronulla

Thursday 1st October - The Curtin, Melbourne

Friday 2nd October - Chopped Festival, Newstead

Saturday 3rd October - The Eastern, Ballarat



Alex Capper, once affectionally called by Ross & John of 3AW as the '7 foot fucker', loves the Essendon Football Club, stalking reddit and dabbing. He thinks he can speak French, but he can't.