Fair to Midland
|Fair to Midland|
|Origin||Sulphur Springs, Texas, United States|
|Genres||Alternative metal, progressive rock, art rock, progressive metal|
|Labels||FTF, Serjical Strike, E1 Music|
|Past members||Nathin Seals
Fair to Midland is an American progressive rock band that formed in 1998 and is based in Dallas, Texas. They are currently signed to E1 Music. According to the band's official website, their name comes from "...an old Texan play on the term 'fair to middling'." The band produced two self-released albums and one album and an EP under Serjical Strike. Their latest album, fourth in their discography, entitled Arrows and Anchors was released in July 2011. In 2012, the band released two independent live DVDs and is currently writing material for a fifth studio album. However, as of June 13, 2013, the domain for both the band's website and forum page have expired and are no longer active.
Beginnings and independent releases
Fair to Midland was formed in 1998 by friends Andrew Darroh Sudderth and Cliff Campbell, both of Sulphur Springs, Texas. After their independent debut album in late 2001, The Carbon Copy Silver Lining, original drummer Jason Pintler left the band and former percussionist Brett Stowers took over drums. For their second album, 2004's inter.funda.stifle, keyboardist Matt Langley, who was a guest musician on "The Carbon Copy Silver Lining", joined the band. Though independently released, both albums were critically acclaimed, and the band toured extensively to promote the albums, becoming extremely popular in Dallas, Texas' Deep Ellum scene. In 2005, bassist Nathin Seals left the group and was replaced by another Sulphur Springs native, Jon Dicken. In 2009, inter.funda.stifle, was re-released through their online merchandise store.
inter.funda.stifle and Fair to Midland's lively concerts attracted the attention of System of a Down's Serj Tankian, who in 2006 signed Fair to Midland to his label Serjical Strike. The Drawn and Quartered EP was soon released on the label, featuring demo tracks from inter.funda.stifle, live recordings, and a mini-documentary titled "The Drawn and Quartered Kinescope", which included concert footage and interviews with the band. Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True, Fair to Midland's major label debut, was released in June 2007. For it, the band chose to re-record many of the songs from inter.funda.stifle which they felt could benefit from the bigger production values art-rock mega producer David Bottrill brought to the table. Like their previous releases, Fables From a Mayfly garnered much critical attention and acclaim, and also helped widen their fanbase.
Live at Coachella 2007 the band performed a live improvisational version of their song "The Walls of Jericho" featuring the guest vocals of Serj Tankian. Through the first half of 2008, Fair to Midland toured the USA with acts including 10 Years, Chevelle, Flyleaf, Dir En Grey, as well as several US and European dates with Serj Tankian. They performed alongside acts such as Rage Against The Machine, Queens of the Stone Age, Smashing Pumpkins, and Muse and at sister festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, two notable concert events, in both 2007 and 2008.
Fair to Midland were the winners of the Dallas Observer Music Award in the Best Metal category for both 2007 and 2008.
"For What It's Worth"
On January 9, 2010, the band was in an accident, forcing them to cancel their show at the Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe, Arizona. Bassist Jon Dicken was airlifted to the hospital as a precaution, but shortly released with no major harm. The members of the band were unharmed, but the crash, which included their van and trailer being flipped, left much of their gear destroyed. Four days later the band released a short video involving post-accident footage, entitled "FWIW" (standing for "For What It's Worth") which includes a short clip of a studio demo of a new song called "A Loophole in Limbo".
Arrows & Anchors
In August 2008, Fair to Midland began writing their fourth studio album. In October, drummer Brett Stowers stated on the band’s official forum that the band had so far written about 4-6 songs that were in "various states of completion". He also wrote that the band wanted to take their time and release the record when it’s done. On November 15, the band’s Myspace page was updated with pictures of the band in studio. As written in the blog post: "The sound so far seems to be going in a little bit darker and more cynical direction, probably a result of 2 years of roughing it on the road, but it's not without some cool tongue-in-cheek moments as well".
In more recent departures from the band, lead singer Darroh Sudderth over Facebook claims that "a new album is on the horizon."
Tracks considered for the record included "Musical Chairs", "Pour the Coal to 'er" (both recorded in demo form during the sessions for Fables from a Mayfly), "Rikki Tikki Tavi", "A Loophole in Limbo", "Bright Bulbs and Sharp Tools", "Uh-Oh", "Coppertank Island", "Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow", "Golden Parachutes" and "The Greener Grass".
On November 8, 2010 it was announced that the band had signed a worldwide deal with E1 Music and that the album was scheduled to be released in the spring of 2011. The album will be produced by Joe Barresi. The official pre-production started on November 15. On November 23 the band announced they were moving on to tracking drums, and the recording was announced to be done on December 19, and in a recent newsletter the band announced that Joe Barresi will mix the album during the first half of January, while the expected release is due in late Spring or early Summer. The band also stated it would be "the darkest and heaviest record" they have ever made.
On December 10, the band announced they have decided on the name of the new album, but did not disclose it. On March 4 it was announced to be "Arrows & Anchors". The record will be released on July 12, 2011, with a handful of special CD release parties being held. The first will be July 12 in Dallas, Texas at the Curtain Club.
On April 18, "Musical Chairs" was released as a single on iTunes, with a music video announced to soon be following. In May, the studio version of "Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow" was offered for free download on the band's website.
On June 9, a music video for "Musical Chairs" was released, featuring the band performing the single in beaten up house while destroying a grand piano. It is the first video by the band that has the members performing in it, as opposed to the "Dance of the Manatee" which was animated.
On October 26, it was announced that Jon Dicken had decided to leave the band. His last show was at the Rockin Rodeo in Denton, TX on October 24, 2011. Ryan Collier, previously with Opus Dei, was announced as his replacement for the following tour.
On November 4, "Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow" released as a single on iTunes, along with live versions of "Rikki Tikki Tavi" and "Uh-Oh."
On November 26, Brett Stowers announced that he is no longer a member of the band. Logan Kennedy has been announced as his replacement.
In November, the band released their first DVD, Welcome to the Dirt, consisting mainly of band shots and fan footage of live shows. The DVD is distributed exclusively through the band's merch site. The profit from this release helped fund a professional video recording of the band's show at The Machine Shop in Flint on December 17, which was later released on the band's first official DVD release, "Live at the Machine Shop" in March 2012. Simultaneously, the band released a limited vinyl pressing of "Arrows & Anchors".
As of September 2012, the band has finished touring in favor of their fourth studio album and is currently working on a follow-up.
On October 9 the band announced the release of their second DVD, combined with an audio CD, Live at Andy's Bar, consisting of footage of an acoustic live set performed by the band in March 2012, including behind-the-scenes footage as well as three acoustic studio renditions of "Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow", "A Loophole in Limbo" and "Musical Chairs" recorded for the Violinitionist Sessions the same year. The DVD/CD package will be released on November 12.
- Darroh Sudderth — vocals, banjo, mandolin, bass
- Cliff Campbell — guitar
- Matt Langley — keys (2002–present)
- Ryan Collier — bass (2011–present)
- Logan Kennedy — drums (2011–present)
- Nathin Seals — bass (1998–2005)
- Jason Pintler — drums (1998–2003)
- Jon Dicken — bass (2005–2011)
- Brett Stowers — drums (2001–2011)
- 2001: The Carbon Copy Silver Lining
- 2004: inter.funda.stifle
- 2007: Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True
- 2011: Arrows and Anchors
|2007||"Dance of the Manatee"||19||Fables from a Mayfly|
|"Tall Tales Taste Like Sour Grapes"||38|
|2011||"Musical Chairs"||—||Arrows and Anchors|
|"Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow"||—|
Awards and nominations
|2007||Dallas Observer||Best Metal category||Won|
|2008||Dallas Observer||Best Metal category||Won|
|2009||Dallas Observer||Best Rock category||Nominated|
|2010||Dallas Observer||Best Metal category||Won|
- Official website
- Official Fair To Midland Street Team on Fancorps.com
- Official Forums
- Official Merch Site
- Serjical Strike Records
- Fair to Midland Myspace
- Kyte TV Channel