Fairmont (band)

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Fairmont live 2017.jpg
Fairmont live 2018.
Background information
OriginNew Jersey
Years active2001–present
Associated acts
MembersAndy Applegate
Mike Burns
Christian Kisala
Neil Sabatino
Matt Cheplic
Lisa Grabinski
Past membersSam Carradori
John McGuire
Bruno Rocha
Dave Caldwell
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Kevin Metz
Clancy Flynn
Corneilius "Corn" Moore

Fairmont is an American indie rock band based in northern New Jersey.[1] The band is fronted by longtime indie/punk music veteran Neil Sabatino.[2] They have done several US tours and released ten full-length albums as well as six EPs.[3][4]


Early years[edit]

After leaving Pencey Prep, Sabatino signed with Reinforcement Records in 2001 under the moniker Fairmont, initially an acoustic project he compared to Dashboard Confessional.[1] The debut sixteen track album Pretending Greatness Is Awaiting was released on 3 December 2001.[5] Work on the second album Anomie was delayed in March 2003 as three of the members quit the night before recording began.[6] Soon after former Pencey Prep bassist John McGuire joined Fairmont, as well as guitarist Kevin Metz.[1] During that year Fairmont performed locally, at Manhattan's Arlene's Grocery with groups like Fighting Gravity and Val Emmich,[7] and by 2005 Fairmont had done three tours across the United States, again performing locally with Nada Surf and Ted Leo, among others. They also released their third full-length entitled Hell Is Other People, an album heavily influenced by McGuire's fondness of bands like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü.[1] The content of the album was conceptually based on Jean Paul Sartre's play No Exit.[8] It was released jointly by Reinforcement Records and Renfield Records.[9]

Fairmont at Rent Party in South Orange, New Jersey; from left to right: Christian Kisala, Neil Sabatino and Sam Carradori.

Fairmont's fourth full-length Wait & Hope, an up-tempo indie rock album, was released on 12 June 2007.[10][2] It would be the last to feature McGuire.[10][1] Longtime friend Teeter Sperber provided vocals for three of the songs; "Fredo," "Dahlia" and "Yearbook." In an interview with Deborah Draisin in Jersey Beat, Sabatino described it as a "very minimal[ist] album,"[1] and Jo-Ann Greene of AllMusic called it their "strongest album to date;" going on to say that "...regardless of the downer lyrics, the music within takes the band to never before reached heights."[10] Wait & Hope would also be the last album Fairmont released under its previous indie labels; in 2007 Sabatino founded Mint 400 Records, retroactively releasing earlier Fairmont albums.[11] Keyboardist Christian Kisala joined the group shortly after, while Sabatino was working on new material. Wishing for a female counterpart in the band Sabatino contacted friend Suzie Zeldin, and again Teeter Sperber.[1] Both would appear on the 2008 release Transcendence, produced by Grammy nominee Bryan Russell.[12][13] The album appears at no. 52 in Gary Wien's book Are You Listening?, a comprehensive list of the top 100 albums of a decade which was compiled from a six-month review of over 2,220 releases. It was followed by a national tour supporting Life Of Agony frontman Keith Caputo starting in August 2008.[14][1]

Recent work[edit]

In 2010, Fairmont released Destruction Creation, and the following year Mint 400 Records compiled a retrospective collection on the first decade of Fairmont releases. The Grand And Grandiose was released in 2013, followed by a live acoustic EP in 2014. Their 2015 album "8 1/2" had Christian Kisala moving from Malletkat to Xylarimba and Vibraphone and as they finished work on 2017's "A Spring Widow" Kisala has switched solely to Vibraphone. The band also saw the addition of Matt Cheplic, a current member of and founder of The Bitter Chills and bassist Mike Burns who formerly played with Sabatino in the 90's group Little Green Men. Their tenth studio album "We Will Burn That Bridge When We Get To It" (2018) featured the addition of Lisa Grabinski on keyboards and vocals as Kisala moved to drums while drummer Andy Applegate was experiencing health problems.

Other work[edit]

Sam Carradori, Christian Kisala and Neil Sabatino also record as Ted Dancin!.[15] Neil Sabatino has recorded under the moniker Shallows and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Band members[edit]

Current members

  • Neil Sabatino – lead vocals, guitars (2001–present)
  • Andy Applegate – drums (2003–present)
  • Christian Kisala – Keyboards, Malletkat, Xylorimba, Vibraphone, drums (2008–present)
  • Mike Burns – Bass guitar (2015–present)
  • Matt Cheplic – guitars, backing vocals(2016–present)
  • Lisa Grabinski – Keyboards, backing vocals (2017–present)

Former members

  • Sam Carradori – bass guitar, backing vocals (2008-2015)
  • John McGuire – bass guitar (2004-2007)
  • Bruno Rocha – bass (2001-2002)
  • Dave Caldwell – drums (2001-2002)
  • Scott Wyden Kivowitz - Keyboards (2002-2003)
  • Kevin Metz – guitars (2003-2007)
  • Clancy Flynn – violin, viola (2008-2009)
  • Corneilius "Corn" Moore - drums (2002)



Full-length albums[edit]

  • Pretending Greatness Is Awaiting (2001)
  • Anomie (2003)
  • Hell Is Other People (2005)
  • Wait & Hope (2007)
  • Transcendence (2008)
  • Destruction Creation (2010)
  • The Grand And Grandiose (2013)
  • 8 1/2 (2015)
  • A Spring Widow (2017)
  • We Will Burn That Bridge When We Get To It (2018)

Extended plays[edit]

  • The Hand That Holds The Knife Must Be Cold And Steady (2002)
  • LeMal (2003)
  • Subtle Art Of Making Enemies (2006)
  • The Meadow At Dusk (2009)
  • The Valentines Day EP (2010)
  • Live & Acoustic From The Forest Of Chaos (2014)


  • A Retrospective 2001-2011 (2011)

Appears On[edit]

  • "Mint 400 Records Presents Our First Compilation" (2011)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents A Very Merry Christmas Compilation" (2012)
  • "Independent Clauses Presents Never Give Up, A Tribute To The Postal Service" (2013)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents The Beach Boys Pet Sounds" (2013)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents Patchwork" (2014)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents Transformed: A Tribute To Lou Reed" (2014) appears as Neil Sabatino
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents 1967" (2015)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents In A Mellow Tone" (2015)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents Guitar Rebel: A Tribute To Link Wray" (2016)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents Nirvana In Utero" (2017)
  • "Mint 400 Records Presents At The Movies" (2018)



Online sources[edit]

External links[edit]