Although frontman Chris Anderson moved to Boston last year, indie-rock outfit Fierce Bad Rabbit, originally from Fort Collins, hasn't broken up. On the contrary, the quartet is busy making music and playing gigs across the country. Even so, distance has affected the dynamic of the band and its members in serious ways . Since Anderson and his wife moved to the East Coast, the group has had to find new ways to coordinate writing, rehearsals, gigs and recordings between Colorado and Massachusetts.
Much of that work will come to fruition this summer with the release of Living Asleep. We're pleased to premiere "Crystal Ball," a song from that record, here on Backbeat.
"Last summer, we did a lot of flying back and forth," says Anderson. "We started meeting on planes. It's a whole different beast.... I think in a way, it has made us work more independently. We're playing this show and this show, then going back to our lives."
The new arrangement hasn't dimmed the group's creative capacity, however. In January, Fierce Bad Rabbit gathered at Sonic Ranch studios in El Paso to record Living Asleep, the followup to 2012's The Maestro and the Elephant. That record caught the ears of high-profile national outlets, earning a nod from NPR in its guide to up-and-coming acts at the 2013 South by Southwest festival.
The band hopes for an even bigger response from the new release -- including "Crystal Ball" -- which they plan to drop toward the end of the summer.
According to Anderson, the tune wasn't part of the band's original plans for the recording. It was one of three additional tracks Fierce Bad Rabbit produced off the cuff in the studio.
"We were sound-checking that first day. The first day in the studio is always a bit slow; there's always the drum sound check and the guitar sound check," says Anderson. "I just started playing that opening riff." The lick caught the attention of producer Danny Kalb. Anderson wrote the rest of the song's structure on the spot. "We completely stopped what we were going to do, and in one day, we tracked that song," he says.
"Crystal Ball" came so quickly partly because it deals with the kinds of challenges that face any band trying to make a name and earn a living. "I think we've been doing this long enough that there are times when we feel that we've been beat up trying to make it," says Anderson. "It's tough. There are a lot of distractions, disillusionment and concerns. I feel like that song was a broad stroke; it was talking about the struggle of touring and failing and being excited and trying to focus."
After five years, all of those challenges haven't derailed the band. And judging from the way they've thrived with their guitarist and lead singer living on the other side of the country, Fierce Bad Rabbit has the kind of constitution it takes to weather the storms of the music business.
"We've been together long enough that I feel like being apart doesn't keep us from connecting easily," says Anderson.
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