Brian Fair (SoundWave Sydney 2008)
|Birth name||Brian James Fair|
|Born||May 30, 1975|
|Genres||Thrash metal, melodic death metal, metalcore|
|Instruments||vocals, guitar, drums, bass|
|Associated acts||Shadows Fall, Overcast, Death Ray Vision, Transient|
Brian Fair (born May 30, 1975) is an American musician from Massachusetts, best known as lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Shadows Fall. He graduated from Milford High School in 1993 and went on to study literature at Boston University.
From a young age, Brian Fair had always been known for his affinity for a wide range of music. In seventh grade he had his first visit to a recording studio after he and two friends won a radio jingle contest (sponsored by Mass Electric) with a Beastie Boys-inspired tune "The Energy Conservation Rap Song." In high school, he played bass and sang in a punk band called Frenzy that performed at local underage shows. In the summer of his sophomore year (August, 1991), Fair co-founded Overcast, an influential hardcore band in the Worcester music scene. While Fair was on vocals, Scott McCooe and Pete Cortese played guitar, Mike D'Antonio played bass, and Jay Fitzgerald played drums. Overcast's first 7", Bleed Into One, was released in 1992 through Exchange Records. The band's first full-length, Expectational Dilution, was released in 1994 and is considered a groundbreaking effort as many claim that Overcast are the pioneers of the metalcore scene. Their final full-length, Fight Ambition To Kill, was released in 1997. This release was followed by nationwide touring with Shai Hulud and Disembodied. Overcast eventually split up in November 1998.
Soon after Overcast disbanded Fair joined Shadows Fall in place of Phil Labonte who left due to creative differences. Soon after the band signed to Century Media Records. The band recorded its second studio album Of One Blood with Fair on vocals in 2000, the release included re-recorded songs from Somber Eyes to the Sky.
The Art of Balance (2001–2003)
Due to repeated comparisons with Gothenburg melodic death metal bands, Shadows Fall decided to change its style to find its own sound. Inspired by more thrash, hard rock and power ballad influences, the band recorded its third studio album, titled The Art of Balance. Released on September 17, 2002, the album peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Top Independent albums chart. Shadows Fall released three music videos to promote the album; "Thoughts Without Words", "Destroyer of Senses", and "The Idiot Box". The Art of Balance featured a cover of the Pink Floyd song "Welcome to the Machine". Andy Hinds of Allmusic stated the album is "a modern heavy metal album that is both brutal and highly musical, traditional yet forward-thinking", but criticized the placement of "Welcome to the Machine", stating the song "is stylishly well-executed, but seems a tad out of place nonetheless." Shadows Fall supported The Art of Balance by touring on Ozzfest in 2003.
In January 2003, a new space rock project called Transient was formed. Transient saw Fair taking a break from vocals, this time playing the guitar and the drums instead. Fair was reunited with Overcast member Scott McCooe, who was now playing bass. Transient released a three song demo, whose tracks were recorded by Pete Rutcho of Blistered Earth, in November 2004. This is Transient's only material to date.
Fair continued with Shadows Fall as his main priority, and the band released several more records. On April 29, 2006, Overcast reunited to play at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. The band then announced and re-recorded archive material and two new tracks, produced by metal producer Nick Raskulinecz, under the name Reborn to Kill Again.
Shadows Fall's fifth record, Threads of Life, was released on April 3, 2007 through Atlantic Records and Roadrunner International. Fair has also recently worked with Necro, an underground hip hop musician and producer, on his upcoming album entitled Death Rap. Fair appears on Death Rap's fifth track, "Suffocated to Death by God's Shadow", with Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Mike Smith (Suffocation), and Steve DiGiorgio (Death).
Fair is most known for his dreadlocks that have been known to be a large part of his stage show. Fair shaved his head in 1992-93 with a 2 guard and has grown his hair into dreadlocks, which he says he has had ever since making them when he was almost 16 years old. He uses them in a windmill fashion to whip fans during shows. He also is a proud fan of the Boston Celtics, wearing a jersey at many shows. Another commonality in his show is to stagedive, even though his locks frequently get pulled by fans.
- Overcast - Bleed Into One (7") (1992)
- Overcast - Expectational Dilution (1994)
- Overcast - Stirring the Killer (7") (1995)
- Overcast - Overcast/Arise Split CD (7") (1996)
- Overcast - Begging for Indifference (7" EP/CD) (1996)
- Overcast - Fight Ambition to Kill"(1997)
- Shadows Fall - Of One Blood (2000)
- Shadows Fall - Deadworld (EP) (2001)
- Shadows Fall - Fear Will Drag You Down (Compilation Album) (2002)
- Shadows Fall - The Art of Balance (2002)
- Shadows Fall - The War Within (2004)
- Transient - N/A (Demo) (2004)
- Shadows Fall - Fallout from the War (Compilation Album) (2006)
- Shadows Fall - Threads of Life (2007)
- Shadows Fall - Seeking the Way: The Greatest Hits (2007)
- Overcast - Reborn to Kill Again (2008)
- Shadows Fall - Retribution (2009)
- Death Ray Vision - Get Lost Or Get Dead (EP) (2011)
- Shadows Fall - Fire From the Sky (2012)
- Death Ray Vision - We Ain't Leavin' Till You're Bleedin' (2013)
- Shadows Fall official website
- Shadows Fall on Myspace
- Death Ray Vision official website
- Transient official website