The Grassroots Project That Continues to Win Over the Music Industry
SXSW is one of the most inspiring places on earth. I know that sounds like an overstatement, but there really isn't anything like it. To have so many artists, writers, creators, visionaries, entrepreneurs and startups in one place for two weeks of showcasing... it's a dream come true for any music or tech nerd.
It couldn't have been a more perfect setting for catching up with Bobby Duque and Gabriel Guardian aka FYER. As a Texas-based act, the live electronic duo has played SXSW for four years now. It's their stomping grounds! It was actually a few SXSW performances that landed them their first big gig at WMC in Miami a few years ago. But on top of all this, FYER perfectly emodies the spirit of SXSW, which at its core is all about finding the intersection between passion and innovation.
Bobby controls the drum pads and launch pads which he runs through Ableton live while Gabriel plays keyboard and guitar simultaneously. Together, the two have developed their own unique combination of electronic production and live instrumentation. About 50 percent of their live show is improvisation, meaning there are few songs that they ever play the same way twice.
You'd think these two were brothers or something. They are like yin and yang from the way they create and perform music to even the way they look. Bobby sports ice-y blue streaks in his hair while Gabriel rocks fire-y red. Even though they aren't biological brothers, their chemistry on and off stage is tangible. As most know by now, Bobby's biological brother is Sonny Moore aka Skrillex.
What makes Bobby and Gabriel's story even better is the fact that they actually met by complete chance standing in line at a bank one day. They realized they lived right down the street from one another. Their fateful encounter led - at first - to just a few collaborations before it turned into a full-blown project.
FYER is a grassroots project built on hard work and the kind of persistence that verges on craziness. They're team, which includes their manager Brett and their tour manager and photographer Ricardo, is small but strong. From the booking to the sponsorships and everything in between, they do it all themselves. They've adopted the mantra that "If you're scared that this is so different that it might not work... keep going." They support each other professionally and believe in each other as people and creators, and it shows in everything this group does. You can literally feel the love and energy put into every moment of every show whether it's for an audience of 50 people or 50,000. And because of all this, FYER is earning the kind of loyal fans that are allowing them to grow at a steady yet forcible pace.
Watch the full Periscope interview with FYER at SXSW below to hear more from the guys. You'll hear about everything from their biggest influences to their advice for aspiring artists. Watch as Gabriel describes how it felt going from touring with a metal band to performing at his first rave, and Bobby talks about the time they were almost thrown out of a club for bringing live instruments.
Keep a close eye on FYER because they have some big surprises in the works.