Them Fantasies Are 'Saucy' And Not Shy About It
In conversation with the Berklee band heading to great heights.
In conversation with the Berklee band heading to great heights.
Fusing together elements of pop, rock, jazz and blues to create the distinctly contemporary sound. In their own words, they are an alternative indie/rock trio "w the sauce" — the intricate, palatable, objectively unique and creative music with cool chord changes and "saucy" rock roots. Find out more about how the band is planning their move to sunny Los Angeles, their dreams of working with Tyler, the Creator and their vision for what's to come in the future in the interview below:
V Magazine What are your names, ages and where do each of you go to school?
Them Fantasies What’s up! Dominic Cannarella, Eric McCoy, and Max Meizlish. Everyone is 21 but Max, who is 22. We all go to Berklee College of Music, where we’re graduating in just three weeks! Crazy!
V What roles or instruments do each of you play?
TF Dominic sings lead vocals and plays bass, Eric plays guitar and sings backing vocals and Max plays drums/electronics! The roles for songwriting usually differ, but it's typically Eric and Dom writing chords and jams, Max locking in with a groove, and Dom putting melodies put on top.
V Where are you all from originally?
TF Dominic is from Madison, Wisconsin. Eric is from Hanover, New Hampshire and Max is from Columbus, Ohio.
V You announced the band is moving to LA— exciting! What prompted the move?
TF Crazy right? Well, apart from some of us having family out there, we also have more work opportunities out there than anywhere else because of the people we’ve all played with/for at Berklee. So luckily, it makes the most amount of sense! Works out well cause we’ve always wanted to get out there anyways.
V How has adjusting to the current climate of COVID-19 impacted your schooling and your lives?
TF The current pandemic has greatly affected our routines and artistry for sure. Berklee canceled all our classes, so it’s all online now. Graduation is now “virtual”, as well as our commencement ceremony. I think the biggest impact for us though, as a band, is that we no longer have access to the studios or practice spaces. We had a bunch of successful shows in February, building momentum, blah blah, and then all our future gigs were canceled. We’re starting to find new ways to be innovative though! We’re finding time to be creative and write more music, as well doing live streams with some alternative/electronic set-ups we’ve been ironing out!
V How have you been coping during this time? Is there anything that’s keeping you guys grounded?
TF Haha… well, it’s not easy. Luckily we all live close to each other and we’ve still been able to write and record new demos. It’s a super liberating process to sculpt each sound you like and choose what you want to incorporate into your new music. The possibilities are endless! That and well, Netflix and video games are a godsend!
V Can you tell us a little bit about each of your backgrounds in music? How did the band first get started? Could you tell us about the name?
TF Totally. So, we all bring a pretty eclectic blend of influences to this group — Dom comes from alternative rock, grunge and pop, while Eric is stemming from a mix of everything jazz, blues and classic rock. The two of us met in the Berklee dorms while we were 1st semesters, and began writing because of our weird blend of influences! We officially became a band in late 2017 and played with a variety of different drummers before finding our boy Max, who is super overly-enthusiastic and it SHOWS in his drumming. “Them Fantasies” is taken off one of our songs about us doing *things* we shouldn’t be doing while on the Boston subway, the T… let’s just say we were a disturbance!!
V How did you hear about Quadio? Can you tell us about the relationship you have with the platform and your music?
TF A nice dude named Jack Keating reached out to us on our Insta, and told us that we should get on this new website/app! We’ve uploaded 2 of our songs so far on it and it’s awesome. Love discovering other young people doing similar things as us. It’s such a cool community and the support on there is genuine, unlike a lot of platforms nowadays that artists feel obligated to upload their content on. Spotify and Apple Music are just so giant and have so much traffic of people trying to get discovered through them, while something like Quadio can connect you with real people and real ears.
V Who are some artists that inspire your sound?
TF Well, we have a pretty wide array of influences. Our main ones we usually say are Thundercat, The Strokes and Red Hot Chili Peppers. We’ll draw from rock artists like Young the Giant, Pink Floyd, or The 1975 while also taking in a lot from the funk and jazz world. We love everyone from Parliament-Funkadelic and Vulfpeck to Pat Metheny and Weather Report! We think it's important to keep your ears open to everything and anything.
V If you could work with anyone musically (past or present) who would that be?
TF Oof! If Tyler, the Creator produced a record for us I think we would die. As far as other collaborations go though, probably Thundercat and STRFKR. For past musicians though, probably some legends like Chris Cornell or even Afrobeat godfather Fela Kuti.
V How do you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?
TF We want people to relate to what we have to say! Or if not, just to enjoy what we’re bringing to the table. We’re pretty proud of our mix of influences and live show (even though that’s postponed until Dr. Fauci says to bless up) and hope you can vibe with it. Dance, cry, headbang, laugh out of pity… whatever!
V Can you tell us about your single, “Nothing But the Screen”? Who is it for? What was the inspiration for that track?
TF Sure! "Nothing But the Screen" is one of our favorite songs that we’ve written. We started writing the music while we were studying in Spain, but it wasn’t finished until after we got back to the States. The lyrics were written by Dom, but we all really liked the topic of technology addiction. We felt the tone of the music we had written was very somber and nostalgic, so the idea of commenting on the increasing technology dependency seemed fitting. We wanted to really paint that picture of how kids used to play outside and enjoy childhood, but are now completely glued to their screens and not living life.
V Tell us about your genre. On your Instagram bio, you say you’re an “indie rock trio w/ the sauce.” Can you explain what the “the sauce” is or how it sounds?
TF Haha. I think the legendary Gucci Mane was the first to use the word “sauce” as a musical term. But it’s so real! If something’s “saucy” it knows what's good - intricate, palatable, and objectively unique and creative. We don’t think the music we’re making fits into the main sub-genres, so we have to say what we can to make sure a newcomer knows that this isn’t your normal serving of alternative/indie rock. Cool chord changes are a key ingredient to the “sauce”!
V You have some new music dropping on Friday 4/17! Can you tell us what listeners can expect? What’s the vibe?
TF Totally! Well, we’re releasing our first professional-quality video for “Bastard Too”, one of our singles off of our debut LP “ Caffeine Queen." It’s one of our faster songs with some clunky bass, intricate guitar, and a super hard-hitting chorus - so it’s pretty fun to sing along to! You can watch it on our IGTV, Facebook and Youtube.
V Do you believe music is important especially during a time where the world is in crisis?
TF Oh, Absolutely! 100%. In a crisis -- especially one like this, where our best course of action is to stay inside all day — people consume lots and lots of media. Music is one of the few things that we rely on, not only for entertainment but for connection. With social distancing, the physical connections we used to enjoy are no longer present, online concerts and shows can not only allow people to connect online and through music, but also to help support one another in difficult times like these. We can see from the musicians in Italy, who were recorded jamming with each other from different apartment balconies, that music is one thing that the virus can’t beat.
V Where do you see yourselves and your music career 5 years from now?
TF Dang, it’s hard to see where live music is gonna be even in 1 year from now, so 5 years is suddenly weird to think about. But we’d love to be opening or headlining on a few tours, which we’ve luckily had the experience to do so already. It would be sick to be at the forefront of a new genre - our new music post-Caffeine Queen is definitely getting funkier and poppier but still keeps the integrity of our “saucy” rock roots. Hopefully with a bunch of more ears to sing, cry, and dance with as well!
V What are some of your goals this year?
TF We’ve always said that one of our biggest goals is to reach 100,000 plays of a song. That’s totally an achievable goal nowadays. At the moment, everyone's kind of halted due to the pandemic. We originally wanted to release some music later in fall 2020, but it’s harder to get legitimate studio time now. That will clean up soon, but for now in quarantine, we’re starting to hone in on our online presence, and growing our following through platforms like Instagram and Quadio! We also JUST made a Tik Tok so be on the lookout for goofy musical content there too.
Thanks for having us for this interview! We’re so grateful and hope you enjoyed asking us questions. Hope to see you real soon on the road, but for now, keep your hands clean and your minds filthy!
V and VMAN are honoring charities that have only amplified their mission statements to ensure that those most affected by COVID-19 are supported. For those in the position to, we have included links in which you can lend a helping hand. Check out some more charities to donate to, below.
Boys and Girls Club of America: Click here to help keep kids in a safe environment that allows for learning, playing and growing during the coronavirus.
CDC Foundation: Click here to help the CDC be prepared to strengthen security needs and immediate COVID-19 responses.
Ronald McDonald House Charities: Continue supporting families who have children with serious illnesses. You can donate here.
First Book: Click here to ensure kids are engaged in learning by providing with e-books and books to enjoy while out of school.
Meals on Wheels: Click here to lend a virtual hand and assist vulnerable seniors who are at higher risk of catching the infectious virus.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: With people confined to their homes, victims are more susceptible to domestic abuse. Click here for different ways to offer support during these times.