It's not everyday that FIDLAR, a straight-outta Los Angeles skatepunk band tipped for 2013 greatness, sit in the Hawley Arms discussing their disastrous prom nights, but today isn't everyday. "Mine was held in the Shark Encounter of Seaworld," laughs bassist Brandon Schwartzel. "I remember some chick trying to make me dance with her, but I was like, 'dude, there are f*cking sharks to look at.'"
Vocalist Zac Carper (demonstrating an impressive trick of downing a pint of cider before the rest of the round of drinks have been set down) muses on how he regrets not going to prom, while brothers Elvis and Max Kuehn – FIDLAR's guitarist and drummer, respectively – have awkward stories of their own. Elvis was too busy getting drunk to notice when his date was crowned Prom Queen, although the afterparty at Harry Houdini's house in the Hollywood Hills was "pretty rad." Max's own coming-of-age dance was "at the f*cking Sony studios film lot. That was way not cool."
A few years later, they have all shrugged off the disappointment of youth and held their own, now legendary, parties at their shared house in a "slightly sketchy" neighbourhood in LA, a converted car dealership with a recording studio that they moved into with zero belongings. Along with being the venue for a gathering of 500 close friends, which inevitably got so out of hand that they went to a movie and cried rather than attempt the clean up, this is also the place where FIDLAR recorded their initial videos and songs, as well as made merch and wasted hours watching their favourite skate videos. "If someone puts one on, we'll all gravitate towards that room and then we realise how long we haven't been practising for…" explains Elvis. Their all time favourites are Misled Youth, Yeah Right, That's Life, any of the 411s; in fact, it's hard to rein in the enthusiasm when these boys get onto one of their favourite subjects. Skating is part of all of their lives, although Max wryly observes that "at some point in a musician's career you have to choose: music or skating. Aged 14 I dislocated my elbow the day before our band had a show booked with The Germs, I still can't straighten it properly. I realised that I am a way better drummer than I am a skater."
Later, at London's Dingwalls, District MTV witnessed that Max can indeed drum with prowess (from the safety of the back of the stage), while the rest of FIDLAR are equally proficient at playing whilst being attacked by an army of hyped, crowdsurfing boys. Four security guards struggle to hold back the crowds at their first ever UK show, a sure sign that 2013 is going to be a very good year for this band. Their genuine DIY approach, insistence on working only with their close friends and 'no plan' attitude has sent waves across the Atlantic.
One of FIDLAR's first music videos, for the track Wake, Bake, Skate made a lot of people get all kinds of excited: a psychedelic clip featuring the Grim Reaper casually sandboarding over some dunes. Directed by David Black and Brendan Donnelly, it's the realisation of a childhood dream for the latter, an artist obsessed with reapers. The video totally captures the spirit of FIDLAR (their name, by the way, is an acronym for 'f*ck it dog, life's a risk'). The comments below the YouTube video also sum up this band's ability to incite instant, awestruck loyalty. User Kristie Fitsall writes, "at first I didn't know what the shit was going on, but then I knew that shit was going on."
Fidlar's debut album is out 22 January 2013
Watch FIDLAR perform live for MTV
Follow @fidlarLA on Twitter