FEAR ME DECEMBER (from l-r): Tony Small (drums), Victoria Cabanellas (vocals/bass), Stuart Woolley (rhythm guitar), Valentin Macagno (lead guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Back in 2012, two Argentinian musicians, Victoria Cabanellas and Valentin Macagno, decided to form a heavy rock outfit called Fear Me December.
After releasing a debut EP to an overwhelmingly positive response, the duo relocated to Manchester.
Having initially struggled to attract personnel to bolster their ranks, Victoria and Valentin eventually brought in two talented local musicians, Stuart Woolley and Tony Small, and since then, there has been no stopping the quartet.
Now, having just completed work on what will be their sophomore EP, entitled ‘Crystallized’ and coming out this September, Victoria spoke to me about what can be expected from that, as well as a journey that has taken them from north-east Argentina to north-west England.
How did the band form initially?
We knew each other from another musical project we were part of. That project didn’t work, got dismantled, but we were really good friends and had great chemistry as musicians, so we decided to keep playing together and that’s when Fear Me December was born.
From where did the name Fear Me December originate?
It was Valentin who came up with the name. We spent three solid days trying to find a name that we would all like but couldn’t find any, so one day Valentin was listening to ‘Apocalypso’, a song by Danish band Mew, where at the end of the chorus it sings, “Black waves come, so fear me, December“, and he thought it was a cool idea.
Funnily enough, a lot of the big things and changes in the band have all happened during December.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
Musically, every song is born out of a jam, whether it’s a full band jam, or Stuart or Valentin on their own. We always try to write for the song, and we always prioritise the structure and the song as a whole. That’s why most of them don’t have a solo, even though sometimes a solo may be needed.
We are extremely lucky that we found each other, as there are no egos within the band.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Our own experiences. Every lyric we write comes from somewhere, either it’s something that has happened to us or to a loved one. Music is our catalyst, our personal shrink, and that’s why it’s always full of emotions.
After bringing out a well-received debut EP, ‘Who Cares’, yourself and Valentin decided to relocate from your native Argentina to Manchester. What were the reasons behind that decision?
You could say it was a business decision, and it was a good one, as the music scene in Argentina is quite different from the scene in the UK, especially for our genre of music.
Having played there since we were little kids, right from the start, we knew that relocating to the UK was our best option, and that was the aim from our very first rehearsal.
Looking back, we can say we made the right choice, because we love it here, and we’ve met some amazing people and bands.
Was it difficult at first adjusting to a new country and a new music scene?
Really difficult. The way of life and the music scene here is almost the complete opposite, so we had to adapt to a whole new culture, a new way of doing everything, even the accent, as we learnt English through watching American TV!
However, we spent a lot of time talking with people who were kind enough to explain us how things worked, also, we made a lot of mistakes, but we have learnt from them.
We were really lucky to find such nice people, and we still feel like that!
You’ve just completed work on ‘Crystallized’, which is coming out this September and will be the band’s second EP. How has the recording process been for that?
Really good. We worked with Matt Elliss at Axis Studios again, so it was super relaxed, but also very demanding too, as we pushed ourselves a lot harder, but the chemistry as a band and as friends is undeniable, so that made everything easier.
For some of us, it was actually the first time recording in a studio, so that was quite exciting as well!
And how different will the upcoming release be to ‘Who Cares?’ and first album ‘Between Violence And Silence’?
Well, if you compare ‘Between Violence And Silence’ to ‘Who Cares?’, you can see the band’s progress, as we found our sound with the debut album. The quality and production improved, as well as our songwriting.
With ‘Crystallized’, not only have we kept pushing in developing our sound and the production, but we have also added different influences, as Tony and Stuart brought all of their influences and magic into the band when they joined.
We all listen to different bands, but we also share some common ground, so the songs get richer in sounds and styles. We are all aware of what Fear Me December is, but we love pushing barriers, and you will be able to hear that with songs like ‘Crystallized’, ‘City Lights’, and ‘This Is Not Okay’, all of which are completely different, but a result of us working together as Fear Me December.
How is the experience, for the band, playing live?
We love playing live, as it’s the thing we enjoy the most, therefore, we give it our all!
It’s really energetic, as for some magical reason, we’ve had chemistry since our very first show, and it has only improved since then. Our fans are awesome and they show it at every gig we do, so that makes thing easier for us as well.
The EP aside, what have you got lined up over the next couple of months?
We’ve got a few new videos coming up! We also have a proper tour lined up of which we cannot give any details just yet, but we do have some shows coming up where you can hear some of our upcoming material:
July 22 – RS Bar, Sheffield (Tramlines); August 11 – The Bobbin, Lancaster; August 17 – Cotswold Inn, Cheltenham; August 25 – Sanctuary, Burnley; Sep 1 – The Northern, Bradford (Lizard Fest).
And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?
To conquer the whole world and save every dog and cat we can!
Seriously though, we want to keep on growing. Our current line-up is still quite fresh, so there’s plenty of room to keep growing more and more as a band, and write better songs. This is a new chapter for us, and it’s really exciting.
Also this year, we started working with Reaction Management, and so far, it has been amazing, so for us, the future looks extremely promising.
‘CRYSTALLIZED’, THE SECOND EP FROM FEAR ME DECEMBER WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 7.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.