Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with New England’s own Fat Randy! Together we discussed the origin of their name, their newest album “Randy (Alex G)” which is out today, student loans, and so much more! Check out the interview below!
You can stream their newest album “Randy (Alex G)” here
1. Hello! Mustard would like to thank you for joining them. How are you?
Steve: Bloated, but in a good way.
Steve: My veins are coursing with Ritalin and I still can’t focus on anything.
2. Every band has an origin story. Could you share yours?
In 2013, Steve met Connor via his ex-girlfriend at UConn and won Connor in the divorce. In 2014, they took vomit-inducing gravity bong rips outside of a dining hall and recorded 20 minutes of guitar noise; the file has since been compromised. In 2015, Fat Randy formed and played their first show in Stephen’s basement, Shaq Efron. We met Steve when he was an impressionable freshman, groomed him into a pedal dork and he joined on bass later that year. We started drafting the tunes for what would become their multi-platinum, #1 debut album, Reggaenomics. Evan joined on sax and Sarah joined as our very part-time chanteuse during the recording of the aforementioned album.
3. Mustard wonders if anyone in the band is related to the real human Fat Randy. What are your thoughts on couches? What inspired your band name?
Steve: I am a huge fan of napping on couches. I hate futons, however. So, jot that down. Our name was chosen on a couch (presumably) while ripping gravity bong and watching Trailer Park Boys. This impulsive decision made in the midst of teenage debauchery haunts us to this day.
Steve: No one is related to the real human Fat Randy, but Steve often gets called Randy because he is the fattest in the band.
4. Could you share more about your podcast? Where can readers listen to it?
Steve: Fat Randy the Podcast has gone through so many thoroughly unfinished (and commensurately bad) iterations: an interview podcast for local artists, a Comedy Bang Bang-esque improv’d interview podcast for local artists, and a podcast where Steve just gives up and eats chili into a microphone with his guests (special shout-out to YouthXL). We have 3 episodes left and can’t wait for this collective nightmare to be over. Readers can find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and wherever listeners get their podcasts.
5. You’ve got a song called Connecticut. Nothing unfortunately rhymes with Connecticut. When do you see this issue being addressed? Is this something Dan Malloy can fix?
Steve: Dannel (correct spelling) Malloy is the president of the University of Maine school system, so that guy is ch-ch-checked out. Fuhgettaboutit.
6. Mustard loves the humor infused in your lyrics. What is Fat Randy’s writing process?
Steve: Thank you! Humor helps to obscure (or perhaps illuminate) the fact that I am so very sad.
The writing process depends on which band in the Greater Fat Randy Extended Cinematic Universe we’re talking about. (Randy) Alex G material is sonically and lyrically related to the title of a given song and executed with the intention of reining in our most atrocious, maximalist impulses – less jazz chords (and chords in general), less noise, shorter song lengths, etc.
Randy Proper is more complicated. Sometimes, Steve will write songs stream-of-consciousness in the span of an hour or two, or over the course of one night with a midi keyboard, guitar and microphone. More often, songs will not be demoed until they’ve been exhaustively fleshed out in his head for months, at which point he’ll present the demos to the rest of the band and they’ll tinker with them, putting their idiosyncratic twist on the original parts. We don’t do a lot of re-writes because this process is so convoluted and long.
7. Your upcoming album, Randy (Alex G) comes out next Monday. It features such songs as “Is This a Phoebe Bridgers Song…or a Fall and Winter Car Commercial.” What can fans of Fat Randy expect from this album? How does it compare to your first release, Reggenomics?
Steve: There would have to be fans of Fat Randy in order for there to be fan expectations for our upcoming album, (Randy) Alex G, due for release on Monday, 5/23/22 on Coffin Flop Records.
It sounds nothing like our first release, Reggaenomics; it just sounds like Alex G, Phoebe Bridgers and car commercials.
This album is also different in that with the exception of 3 tracks co-written with Steve, Steve wrote and played nearly everything on this record. Steve and producer Zack Abramo (Mesmer fka Crag Mask, Vundabar) opted for a more lo-fi, bedroom pop kind of approach to the recording. Overall, it’s more minimalist than Reggaenomics, but still has a lot of instrumental variety; the theremin, Omnichord and auxiliary percussion were used for the first time in our recorded history on this record.
8.Mustard has heard a lot about student loans. In “DIY Show” it is mentioned “I have so much debt in student loans, and when I die, it goes to my parents, which would be such a dick move.” What solutions can be put in place to avoid this from happening? Even with FAFSA, are student loans designed in a predatory manner?
Steve: All Federal Student Loans are forgiven in the event that you die before they’re paid in full. So remember, everyone, there is always a way out!
Steve: What Steve said. Also, student loans are just another instrument of class warfare, a way for a dying generation to exercise power for a period that transcends their remaining time on this god forsaken planet.
9. Does Fat Randy have a favorite venue to play? Could you describe what a Fat Randy show looks like?
Steve: My favorite venue is one we played in Murfreesboro, TN. I ate the most delicious baked potato of my life there. No venue has ever offered us baked potatoes, let alone such delicious ones, so all the other venues we’ve played are, by default, inferior.
Steve: Some of Fat Randy’s favorite venues include: The Crossroads at Trenzilore in Murfreesboro, TN; the State House in New Haven, CT; Sun Tiki Studios in Portland, ME; Trans-Pecos in Queens, NY; and O’Brien’s Pub in Allston, MA.
10. Where can readers find your music?
Steve: You can find Fat Randy on essentially any streaming platform, but Bandcamp is preferred because it’s a direct through line to our merch, which includes the most delicious pickles you will ever have in your entire life (Dr. Randall’s Pickles), t-shirts that say “Vape God,” and high-quality CDs and stickers.