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The Royal Family Clothing Tour has been hitting cities all over the U.S. for the last month, and Fango was given access to two of the bands on the bill—Confide and headliners From First to Last—on the last date of the tour in Richmond, VA. This writer set out to investigate what kind of tour a clothing company can put together, and how these kinds of bands manage to draw hundreds of screaming girls to their shows without messing up their perfectly achieved sideswept hair.
Confide is comprised of five bright-eyed young men from different parts of the globe who have recently decided to call Orange County their home. Promoting their soon-to-be-released album RECOVER (Tragic Hero Records, May 18), they are currently busy on a long string of tours taking them through 26 days in Europe and a national headlining tour, all culminating at this year’s Warped Tour. Fango spoke to Joel Piper, who sings and plays drums for the band, and guitarist Jeffrey Helberg.
The members of Confide are devout Christians who are known to lead their audience in prayer before ripping into their set list; however, a question about the role that spirituality plays in their music is met with a strong stance against being known as a “Christian band.” “This is what we like to do: We like screaming heavy music and we’re just Christian dudes,” Helberg says. The group is adamant about not pushing their beliefs onto others, and these “Christian dudes” play a brand of music that is accessible to fans of “Paramore and Slipknot,” according to Piper, and they definitely brought the breakdowns to the diverse lineup presented by the Royal Family Tour.
This writer was admittedly not ready to meet From First to Last, as it didn’t meet preconceived notions of what a band of the “screamo” genre looks like. Fango was pleased to meet three of its members: Matt Manning (bass), Blake Steiner (guitar), and Derek Bloom (drums); the group recently released its fifth studio release, THRONE TO THE WOLVES, on a new label, Rise Records, and their singer was busy getting an inverted cross tattooed on his hand! This year, From First to Last is preparing to tour overseas in places like South America, Japan, Australia; as well as doing a couple of national tours in the coming months promoting THRONE. Dubbed “electro-thrash” by Alternative Press, the band’s members prefers to call themselves “power slop” as a salute to one of their favorite movies, AIRHEADS.
Among stories of sketchy happenings during a recent Central American tour, talk of penis art on the walls which haunt their shows and a growing cloud of smoke, Bloom remembers the first issue of Fango he received after subscribing: “It was the one with the guy from BRAINSCAN on the cover, and I took it to the theater with me to go see the movie. [Screenwriter] Andrew Kevin Walker was in the theater, and I got him to sign the issue for me—and then I lost it.”
From First to Last put on a powerful show. The years they’ve put into the genre—reportedly over a decade—were evident, as their fast-paced music seemed to command that their audience sing their songs back to them word for word. Upon leaving, they had a message for us at FANGORIA: “Keep up the sick gory shit!”
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