Formed in 2004, The Conniption Fits create their own ear catching mix of alternative, progressive, and indie pop; rock ‘n’ roll which rouses the senses and imagination and has so across a host of releases. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Silversun Pickups, U2, The Police, and David Bowie and having shared stages with artists such as Weezer, Panic at the Disco, Kings Of Leon, Train, 3 Doors Down, Fastball, Mighty Bosstones, 7 Mary Three, Blue Oyster Cult, Mountain, Warrant, and Cinderella among many over time, the New Hampshire hailing trio make a noise which easily sparks the appetite. Grabbing the chance to learn more about the band, we had the pleasure of chatting with member and The Conniption Fits co-founder Stevens.
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?
That’s a long story. I’m Stevens Blanchard, lead singer guitar player for The Conniption Fits. The drummer, Shawn Snyder and I met back when we were kids. My current band needed a drummer and he was a friend of a friend, not to mention a fantastic drummer with tons of attitude. When that band broke up, we founded The Conniption Fits. Jamie Hosley, or bass player, came along when we were looking for a new bassist. Again, he had a reputation as being “the man” when it comes to bass, naturally we had to have him.
So The Conniption Fits is not the first band for you? Has previous projects had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
I think I just answered that above, but yes. We had a previous band, Motorplant, which did quite well for about 8 years. You can still find all of the music that Motorplant produced all over the web including iTunes and Spotify. When Motorplant disbanded, we wanted to head in a slightly more alternative direction.
What inspired the band name?
If the conniption fits, wear it.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
Far from it…We just enjoy playing and entertaining. As far as the sound goes, I just want to create ear candy. Songs with depth sonically and lyrically that are accessible and a bit unpredictable at the same time.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
Always evolving…You can tell album to album. Every record seems to represent where our minds were at musically at that period of time. I’m always hearing new bands that are doing really cool things that we want to incorporate into our own stuff. I’d say we listen as much, or more, than we play.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
We deliberately try new things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. On our second album, A Heaping Helping of Perspective the guys thought it would be cool if we recorded live without a click track. I hated the idea, being a stickler for tempo. It led to a different album and different songs for sure.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
Too many to mention, from Jazz to Metal…Speaking for myself I’d say bands like Nothing But Thieves, The Shins, Bear Hands, Coldplay, Eve6, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Kongos… I love creative rock/pop/alternative songs that still have a hook, but avoid the same four chords and progressions that are so typical.
Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?
I am usually the idea man then we flush it out as a group. Sometimes I’ll record the whole song then we will replace the drums and bass later. I’m into results; I don’t care how we get there.
Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?
Life; I’ll sing lyric variations to a demo while I’m out for a run. I usually find cool ideas that way. I also hear the parts that suck and need to be changed.
Can you give us some background to your latest release?
I Need You (Ay-O) is an old relate that became new again when it started treating on-line. We’ve always loved the song and are happy to have it finally breaking through the “clutter”.
Give us some insight to its theme.
I need you is about wanting to leave a relationship, but continuing to be drawn back in; then dealing with the fact that needing somebody can be for very different reasons.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
I own the studio we record in. It’s an amazing luxury because we are not “on the clock” burning money. So we just show up with nothing and play. Often I’ll have scraps of ideas ready to jump off from.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?
Yeah, live is where we bring it. We entertain. We always have a great time and that usually transfers to the audience. It’s also the only real way we’ve made any money. So we play live to survive, and we love it.
It is not easy for any band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?
Not easy, but work hard and offer something great. It doesn’t even have to be unique, just great. Make people say “holy shit!”, and you’ll do fine.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?
The internet grants everyone access, even the garbage. I think we handle it well, but there is that constant drive needed to stand out in all the noise.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Check out our website, http://www.conniptionfits.com/ to listen to all of our songs for free and look for our new EP this summer!
The Ringmaster Review 01/07/2016
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