Fair to Midland
|Fair to Midland|
|Origin||Sulphur Springs, Texas, United States|
|Genres||Alternative metal, progressive rock, art rock, progressive metal|
|Years active||1998 – 2013 (Indefinite Hiatus)|
|Labels||FTF, Serjical Strike, E1 Music|
Fair to Midland was an American progressive rock band that formed in 1998 and are based in Dallas, Texas. They were signed to Universal Republic, Serjical Strike, and later 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 2011, 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 However, as of June 13, 2013, the domain for both the band's website and forum page have expired and are no longer active.
- 1 History
- 2 Band members
- 3 Discography
- 4 Awards and nominations
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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.
Media Hiatus and Break-up Rumors (2013)
With only two postings in 2013 on the band's Facebook page (the most recent being March 25), and the fact that the band's website and forum page are no longer active, former drummer Brett Stowers posted the following statement on his personal Facebook page:
"Lately, a lot of people have been asking me if I know anything about the current situation with Fair To Midland. I'm by no means an official source of info, but i'll tell you what I know because I feel like the fans deserve to know what's up.
First off, even before I was no longer in the band, FTM was in quite a bit of debt. This, I'm certain, only got worse as time went on. Second, as far as I know, FTM currently have no label or official management. Third, without getting too much into anyone's personal life, I can say at least a couple members have expressed to me their frustration about lack of communication by certain other members of the band. Finally, the current members of FTM are spread out all over the country at this point. I would imagine that would make getting together for rehearsals/writing prohibitively expensive. (Plane rides, gas, accommodations, etc... you get the picture. Hell, it was hard enough when we were all in the relatively small area of Dallas/Commerce/Sulphur Springs.)
Read into the fact that nobody bothered to renew the band's domain name what you will. (which actually kind of upsets me. there was a lot of FTM history on those forums)
With all that said, like most of you, I sincerely hope that the guys are able to turn things around. Even though I was a member for 10+ years, I was a fan first. I'll be cheering alongside you if a new tour/album/whatever is announced, but i'm not holding my breath."
Touring with 10 Years and performing at the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan on May 20, 2013, bass player Ryan Collier had "RIP FTM" written on his bass.
On November 19, 2013 the Dallas/Fort Worth group In Memory of Man announced keyboardist Matt Langley as it's newest member
- Darroh Sudderth — vocals (1998–2013)
- Jon Dicken — bass (2005–2011)
- Brett Stowers — drums (2001–2011)
- Cliff Campbell — guitar (1998–2013)
- Matt Langley — keys (2002–2013)
- Ryan Collier — bass (2011–2013)
- Logan Kennedy — drums (2011–2013)
- Nathin Seals — bass (1998–2005)
- Jason Pintler — drums (1998–2001)
- 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
- FTMfans.com - Fair to Midland Fansite