Dutch based rockers Fantosh have released its first single ‘Dirty Stars’ last friday. The song appears on their upcoming debut album “On The Verge” which will be released on March 10th. via GunMan Records. The album is produced by Travis Warwick. He is particularly known for his work with bands such as P.O.D., Pillar, 10 Years, Nine Lashes, and Disciple, and artists such as TobyMac and Dolly Parton.
The official lyric video for ‘Dirty Stars’ can be seen below.
Take one look at the cover image for Fantosh’s latest project “On the Verge” (below) and you will immediately get a very accurate picture of the band’s work ethic, energy and approach to this record.￼
Each member of Fantosh, which includes Steff (vocals), TimQ (guitars, keys and loops) and Leo (drums), is completely immersed into this debut collection of music for the band that has been together in different versions for nearly a decade.
What has emerged after years of writing, touring, learning, exploring and growing is a strong friendship and tight musical collaboration that is ready to blow your mind.
Steff and TimQ found each other in the Netherlands and bonded over their mutual intense passion for music. A band emerged out of this meeting, but was outlasted by their friendship and writing collaboration skills. It is also the backbone of Fantosh.
For years, as a two-man band, Steff and TimQ toured Slovakia, Austria and Switzerland playing unplugged shows, but with a goal of keeping the intensity of a rock band. Through those years, TimQ says the two learned despite all the uncertainties of those tours, their connection and friendship would survive rough circumstances.
So they decided to build on that foundation.
In 2014 Leo joined the duo as a bassist-turned-drummer. TimQ knew Leo had an uncanny ability to lay down a groove as a bass player and encouraged him to transfer that to the drums.
With musical influences ranging from Korn, Linkin Park, and POD to U2 and Johnny Cash, it made sense for Fantosh to record “On the Verge” with Knoxville, Tennessee-based producer Travis Wyrick, who is known for pushing rock bands outside their comfort zones.
In August of 2015, Fanstosh began working with Wyrick at his Lakeside Studios.
“Travis wasn’t satisfied with a 100-percent performance during tracking, he asked 110 percent,” TimQ said. “As he stated once to Steff, I don’t care if you have to throw up because of the intensity of tracking this part. I will clean it afterwards, but just give it all right now.”
Wyrick would encourage TimQ to break all of his strings while recording intense guitar parts. TimQ would play so hard he’d have to take a break to relax his hands after a few passes at a song.
“As a good producer, Travis kept the integrity of the songs,” TimQ said. He challenged the band to rewrite some of the parts. But at the end he was all about the concept of the songs. He liked the diversity of the material we brought to the table. He demanded us to breathe the songs, to let him feel the emotion of the songs.”
TimQ remembers one time while recording vocals, Steff’s emotions almost made him unable to continue. “The emotions of the song he was singing hit him so hard, but he decided to continue and what came of that was one of the most awesome, raw, and honest vocal performances we’ve ever heard.”
Wyrick said it was the sonic vision of the band that got him excited about this project. He knew the collective goal musically was to stay a band with drums, bass and guitars, but add a unique punch to the bassline.
“We wanted it heavy and powerful but we definitely wanted to incorporate techno and industrial and dance music into that,” Wyrick said. “Both the band and I love those types of influences, so it just seemed like a fit. That’s the overall concept we were looking for as a whole and I think we totally achieved it.”
This record wouldn’t have turned out to be what it is if it weren’t for the songs. Fantosh never produces cheap answers to life’s tough questions, but instead digs deep into personal experiences to reveal honest struggles and real issues.
“When listening to our songs, we want audiences experience that same feeling of a good friend who listens to your story when you go through hard times,” TimQ says. “It’s that same vibe with our songs. When being with a friend, you don’t expect him to give you a cheesy answer when your share your personal story. That recognition of your circumstances might give you a glimpse of hope to carry on.”
And they know it happens because they hear it from their fans.
“Those moments when fans describe how a particular song touched their lives are when you realize what we are doing does matter,” TimQ said. “It’s awesome to impact someone’s life with art that you’ve created. All those hours of writing, practice and rehearsing are worth that one comment that someone gives to your music.”
Fast forward to today, after nearly two years of writing, recording and post-production, Fantosh is emerging with a new collection of music, a new record label GunMan Records, JOT agency for media help and a distribution deal to boot.
The band continues to hone their unique blend of European rawness infused with heavy guitar riffs and well-produced keys and loops into a recognizable sound and look forward to taking it around the world.
“After a journey of many years we realize that “On The Verge” is just the starting point for this band,” TimQ says. “The future seems to be bright. Be prepared for some big things that will come.”
01 The Bullet 3:38
02 The End 4:35
03 Walk Away 3:35
04 Dirty Stars 3:33
05 My Own Prison 4:18
06 Broken 3:52
07 Revolution 3:50
08 Losing It 4:10
09 Haven 5:22
10 Awake World 4:23
11 Fantoche 4:10
12 Immortal 4:28
Lyric video: ‘Dirty Stars’