In the modern world, the individual is more powerful than ever before. Today, one person is able to accomplish what used to require many. This is one reason why we admire Los Angeles-based multi-disciplinary artist Chad Fjerstad. With hands in everything from solo projects to directing to video-editing, Fjerstad has created a very impressive artistic portfolio. A member of several different music projects from The Primals, Children and Ass Life, he has also directed a video for Bustié, penned a novel and runs a multimedia production house called Ephemerol Night Terrors.
Today we feature his music project, More Ephemerol. A synth-based offering, More Ephemerol has a debut LP entitled Fractal Bath and just released a new video directed and edited by Fjerstad himself. We are pleased to debut the video as well as present an insightful Q&A with the artist ahead of his live show this coming Friday, March 11th, at Basic Flowers in Los Angeles. Please find the video and Q&A below:
The Brvtalist: You are involved with multiple different projects. Tell us a little bit about More Ephemerol. Where does it fit in and what is the idea behind the project?
Chad Fjerstad: More Ephemerol is my open-ended synth baby. I have an affinity for so many different sub-genres of synth-based music, I didn't want to be tied down to just one - so M.E. started as an expansive exercise for me. If you listen through the debut LP, "Fractal Bath", you will hear that every single track could be categorized in an entirely different genre. While this could be seen as either a flaw or a quality in the context of an album, I was happy to allow this versatile approach for the first release. "Fractal Bath" is more so a collection of my earliest works and experiments, rather than a traditionally focused album. When I created the initial 4 or 5 tracks, I had no idea I would be turning it into an LP, but it just ended up feeling right. Through this release, I've learned a lot about which approaches work best for me, and I look forward to doing a more honed-in release perhaps later this year.
TB: I have to ask if the name is a Scanners reference.
CF: It is absolutely a Scanners reference. Scanners is one of my favorite films and Cronenberg is one of my favorite film directors - his work has always been a huge inspiration to me, no matter what format I'm working with. In the film, Ephemerol is a suppressive drug used to disable scanners of their psychic abilities. There are intense moments where they are testing doses on the scanners and it never seems to be enough. I was just pulling from that moment, from that feeling, of something never being enough. As a metaphor, I generally think of stimulation first. I'm always looking for more stimulation.
TB: Tell us about the concept for the "Tomb Shaker" video.
CF: I wanted to do a very straightforward video for "Tomb Shaker", so that's what I did. I've been producing a fair amount of music videos the last 6 months or so, a lot of them with my friend Londry, who works at a very impressive video production studio just outside of Hollywood. We shot the performance footage there. I've been doing visual manipulations myself for years now but decided that for this video I'd like to collaborate with a visual artist whose work really floors me, instead of doing it myself for once. At first I was talking to Andrew Means (drummer of 3TEETH) who is an all around amazing musician, producer, an artist - he is an absolute madman with the software VDMX. But, then they landed their huge Tool/Primus tour and a ton of other crucial projects fell into his lap - he wouldn't have the time. Then, I discovered Jeremy McKeehen (@jmckeehen) whose style of impressive CGI visual art really went swimmingly with the aesthetic I had in mind through the entire process of creating the "Fractal Bath" album. He was the right man for this collaboration - I'm very happy with it.
TB: You have a live show coming up this Friday, March 11th, with a few other great local acts, including one of our favorites, Kanga. Talk about your approach to the More Ephemerol live show and what you want to do with it.
CF: More Ephemerol has generally only performed 2 or 3 times a year since it's fruition. For the first year and a half, I performed as a solo act. Recently, I've brought a rhythm section to the live show in the form of the talented John Kyle on drums and Josh Beck on bass. We played our first show as a three-piece at my ridiculously self-indulgent birthday party in January, and it felt fan-fucking-tastic. When I composed a lot of these songs, I was most inspired by groups like Goblin and Zombi - two groups which are primarily about rhythm and groove. There will always be an edge of prog in my compositions, and in my blood, and I think the rhythm section is exactly what this project needed to function as an effective live show. I am excited to move forward with that in mind and I'm looking very forward to the Basic Flowers show on Friday, with a lineup full of brilliant L.A. up-and-comers.
TB: What's next for Chad Fjerstad?
CF: I'm always working on a few things at once. It's the only way I can function. I have a few things in the works, 1. I'm operating a multimedia production house called Ephemerol Night Terrors. So far, I'm putting out literature and music cassettes. I am honored to be putting out the new album, "Technophelia", by one of my favorite artists in L.A., Geneva Jacuzzi. It's my favorite album of 2016 thus far, easily. Tapes are arriving this week. 2. I am producing hard electro tracks under the moniker Fiercedad. I have been working on the debut music video for my track, "Portland Fuckboys". If it turns out the way I want, it may very well turn some heads. It might gross a few people out. I need to shoot a couple more things. I'm looking forward to wrapping that up soon, 3. I'm currently slaving away at my second fictional novel, which in summary is about touring in a death metal band, working in the porn industry, general ignorance, dependence, and the generally vile nature of human beings. It's going to be called Warship Satan. I put out my first novel, Popping Cherries, in 2014, under the pen name Cetus Revok (another Scanners reference). If you're in the mood for something a little juvenile but very perverse and very surreal, check the book out. I've always thought of it as a Goosebumps book for adults. 4. I want to start one more music project this year! I have a vision for something extravagant. I can't say much as I haven't even begun writing the songs yet, but I want a full ensemble - probably a seven-piece. The idea is to not be able to categorize the band by genre. But some of the biggest influences coming into writing from the beginning are going to be: Human League, Scott Walker, Uriah Heep, YMO, and Queen.
We would like to thank Chad Fjerstad for these great responses and excellent video. The Brvtalist is always a fan of artists who are not confined to any particular medium and Fjerstad is a great example of this. We encourage you to check out all of his other great projects. For more information please visit Facebook.