NRP Interview: Mike Fabiano of BERMUDA

I love when I get to interview friends, especially friends who are in bands that I couldn’t support more and who are actually doing something with themselves rather than just being all talk. I had a very fun interview with my close friend Mike Fabiano, lead guitarist for Mediaskare Records band, Bermuda. I know you all will get some enjoyment out of reading what this New York bred trash talking punk has to say. Enjoy!

Nefarious Realm: So tour has been going well except for the whole van breaking down in the middle of bum fuck nowhere America?

Mike Fabiano: I guess tour has been going well aside from that; turnouts haven’t been as great as I would like them to be, but what can you do. But all the bands on the tour are all still up and coming so we don’t really have our names out yet. We’re on tour with Aera and Elitist is headlining.

Nefarious Realm: How would you describe “djent” and what role does “djent” have in Bermuda?

Mike Fabiano: Well, despite popular belief, Bermuda is not a djent band. Djent in my opinion is the trend setter of little scenesters where remember back in ‘ah la’ 2006 when the big deathcore movement jumped up and everyone decided they wanted to be deathcore. Then rewind two years prior to that to 2004 when the trend was ‘I want to be a Christian band.’ Every three or four years when the new trend comes out the world and Youtube and Facebook just poisons it and pollutes it and just completely ruins the scene in terms of people thinking that this is what is what. And djent is a guitar chug it’s not a genre of music, which is what all these “djent bands” do. I prefer to just call it groove metal, ya know Meshuggah is a big influence on us and bands before all this djent movement came in.  What’s really big on us, Corey and I are really big Ion Dissonance fans, and such, bands like that are what we really draw our inspiration from not like the “djent” club and stupid facebook fans like. Ya know they’re wrong , you’re not going to tell someone who’s been in the scene as long as I have that what they perceive as djent is djent is just the end of it. It’s not.

Nefarious Realm: So would you say you’re a djent band or heavily djent influenced?

Mike Fabiano: Not at all, no.

Nefarious Realm: How would you describe your sound?

Mike Fabiano: Well the EP before I joined was very heavy and was very loud and angry and pounding, that’s what kind of drew me into it and you know I thought I could get into this band and shape the sound on the album, because I basically wrote the whole album, but I could try to bring more of a melodic influence into it because in the bigger picture, you could be the heaviest band in the world but you need to have a little bit of diversity by throwing a lot more of a melodic side into it and a lot of a technicality because everyone just wants to hear chugs for 45 minutes. And if that is your thing, than more power to you bro, but I’m just seeing the bigger picture and wanting to change our sound up. If you’ve heard the new song “In Trenches,” it’s a lot different and its still heavy, it’s still Bermuda, but there is a lot of melody aspects to it and still very catchy aspects to it.

Nefarious Realm: “In Trenches” is an amazing song, extremely heavy and technical and actually features Kevin McCaughey of Ion Dissonance, whom you have admitted to admiring. How was it collaborating with him?

Mike Fabiano: Ok, how would you feel if you got to do PR with your most favorite band on this entire planet? I can always remember rewinding back to 2007 and a friend of mine showing me Ion Dissonance, and the first thing that came to mind was, “Holy fuck their singer is amazing!” And everything about that guy, I’ve just stuck by it as a fan, and this being my first album, this is my baby and Corey gave me the call and said, “You’re never going to fucking believe who is going to guest vocal on the album.” I was so ecstatic and shitting my pants it was so unreal.

Nefarious Realm: Were you all fan boy around him?

Mike Fabiano: Well no because we actually never got the chance to be in the same room together, he just did his thing at the Ion Dissonance studio, and I believe his guitarist records all their music, so he just sent us the tracks and we collaborated from there back and forth.

Nefarious Realm: Not sure if you’re allowed to say due to contracts with the label, but when the hell is “The Wandering” coming out?

Mike Fabiano: April 24th. All the preorders should be up, but you know bands are always in the dark about these sorts of things, but preorders should be up soonish.

Nefarious Realm: Great I can’t wait to pick it up.

Mike Fabiano: Why thank you, I look forward to the 20 cents I’ll make off the album sale. [haha]

Nefarious Realm: [haha] Good point, so how do you feel about Spotify?

Mike Fabiano: Spotify is a great thing, it actually caught me out of the loop because I’m not very technical, I don’t use the computer much aside from checking emails and talking shit on Facebook. But I just found out about Spotify a couple of days ago when we were broken down and staying at a friends place in Arkansas. I asked if he had Youtube on his iPhone because you know how it is when you are getting shitfaced you want to exchange music. So, I asked about Youtube and he said, “Fuck Youtube, it’s all about Spotify.” And of course I was like “WTF is Spotify?” But it’s a really cool thing and it’s a lot better than having people be able to rip your music off Youtube and I like the fact that you pay a small fee for the premium app where you can get all the music and where the customer can check out your full album. Kids now can listen to full albums and rather than stealing it they have the opportunity to listen to it for free and if they want it on their iPods or whatever then they can go out and buy it. I myself don’t download music, I personally go out and buy CD’s, but if a friend gives me a burned copy then I’ll check that out ya know?

Nefarious Realm
: I fully admit that I do download music [hah], which is sad because I work in the music industry as my day job.

Mike Fabiano: Yea well you’re just a fucking jerk then [hah].

Nefarious Realm: So this is sort of a personal question, since I know you well enough. This album is predominantly a product of your hard work and talent with little help from your band mates, at least from what I understand. Care to comment?

Mike Fabiano: Well basically, how can I describe it? I guess when I came into the picture Bermuda sounded the way it did and I completely respect what they did, and I liked their music from what they sent me to learn. It was just completely melodic and heavy as hell as all the “insert whatever you would say to whatever turns you onto a band,” had all the elements. I guess when I joined, I came from a more technical background, I’m used to playing more difficult music, but I guess when I began playing in Bermuda I started writing the album and it was challenging because I had never really written music that was more rhythm oriented as opposed to not jumping on the riff and sweep wagon and all the bells and whistles and shit that go into playing more technical music. It was a little different for them too, picking up on it, for instance it was a lot different for Corey, but I kind of helped him develop the sound he was going for on the album. He basically just walked into the studio with a composition notebook filled with notes and lyrics and him and I would just bounce back ideas. I would say the most key element to this album was Dan Braunstein of Volumes; he just came in and was the biggest key element to the album sounding like it does. I owe a lot to that guy.

Nefarious Realm: So you’re from NY, everyone else is from Cali, how did you all end up on each others radar and eventually leading up to you joining Bermuda?

Mike Fabiano: My buddy Alex hit me up and told me to check out this band called Bermuda, and my first reaction was ‘oh that shitty deathcore band from Australia?’ Of course he replied with, no they are a djent band. So of course I rolled my eyes as I agreed to check them out, “Beggar” was the first song I heard and I just couldn’t believe it, it rocked. The rest of the songs were pretty good too, I ended up hitting them up on Facebook because I was new to the area and really didn’t know my asshole to my elbow, nor did I know anybody. I saw that they lived in Oxnard, CA, which is about 20 minutes from where I live, so I hit them up asking when their next show was going to be. The guitar player privately messaged me mentioning they were looking to replace the other guitar player, we got gear, we’re signed to Mediaskare, and he said if I was interested in trying out to come on down. So I learned the shit, came for a tryout, had my first practice on a Wednesday, came in on Thursday and then the guys said I was playing a show that Friday. So I nailed the show, they were happy, then said ok I’m going on tour next week. So, it was definitely a humbling experience, and probably one of the best moves I’ve made in my life, of course there are ups and there are downs just like any other band. But whenever there is bullshit we end up playing a great show, I guess it just gets everyone energized.

Nefarious Realm: Cool, at what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a musician and in a band?

Mike Fabiano: I actually gave up on music when I moved to CA, I didn’t want to do music anymore, I actually wanted to do the 9-5 and blah blah blah “insert whatever sounds like growing up bullshit” and I didn’t want to do music anymore. Then shit just changed, and I realized I was an idiot and had to just keep doing it and creating music.

Nefarious Realm: I noticed that you guys where broken down in the middle of bum fuck nowhere America. As I understand from Facebook posts, Mediaskare bought you guys a new van? Is that right?

Mike Fabiano: Well, they were nice and did throw us a couple of bucks towards a new van but we were still left with our dicks in our hands, so we didn’t know what was going to happen or what the future of Bermuda was going to be. We ended up staying at a buddy’s house, he’s in the band, Such Creatures Exist, so insert promotional nonsense here [hah]. I remember it being a Friday hanging out with them, getting shitfaced and they could see we were hurt for cash so they actually threw a benefit show for us. They let us keep all the money from the door, and we made about $500 bucks from merch and door deal, and they all pulled together and gave us $700. So we fucking lucked out big time, I owe a tremendous amount to those guys. So, be sure to check them out they are great guys and a really great band. Best dudes ever.

Nefarious Realm: So I’ve also noticed that your booking agent sucks. [hehe]

Mike Fabiano: [hahaha] No comment. However currently we are looking for new management and new booking I will say that.

Nefarious Realm: So you guys have a tour coming up in April?

Mike Fabiano: Yes ma’am, it is our first headlining tour. You can just feel and smell the wave of anticipation for Bermuda a new band that is headlining a tour. We’re hitting all the standard markets, San Diego, Portland, Washington. Then we’re going to the east coast and I’m a little butt hurt because we aren’t passing through my hometown, we’re actually playing in Buffalo, and if anyone knows Buffalo then they know it fucking sucks dick. But whatever you have to do what you have to do.

Nefarious Realm: Well great success is soon to come.

Mike Fabiano: Aw, thanks that means a lot. I’ve worked very hard, I know you personally and you know me personally so you know how hard I’ve worked on this album and how stressed out I was writing it in the short 2 months we had to write it.

Nefarious Realm: Oh yes [haha] so final words or thoughts?

Mike Fabiano: This has been a fun interview I had fun. But yea, listen to the album when it drops and buy some merch and come out and support the scene. Thank you for reading, if you have something bad to say then suck my dick and thanks anyways. “The Wandering” drops April 24th and will more than likely disappoint, kidding of course, it will be a good one. Thanks everyone for the support on the road.

Interview conducted by Stacey Heath