Catch up with alternative rock band The Real Fits and listen to "Sideways" off their latest EP, Drown In Gold, out now.
What got you interested in starting The Real Fits?
Jared: Well, me and Blair - The Real Fits is me, Raquel, Nick, and Blair and we also have a fifth member currently, his name is Joel and he's playing some keyboards for us - are brothers-in-law and we've known each other since we were, like, four years old and we'd been in bands together in high school and stuff. And then we parted ways and I went to California, he came down here, and then, after a while, we got back in touch and he said, "you know what, I really want to play music," so I moved down here to start a band with him. Then we found Raquel and Nick on Craigslist, actually. That's a short history [laughs].
Where does your name, The Real Fits, come from?
Raquel: When I first joined the band, the boys wanted to name it Fox In The Sea and I didn't like it very much, but the acronym was FITS so we just agreed to name it Fits. We were Fits for a while and when we were trying to upload on Spotify for the first time there was another band named Fits so we were like, "dang it, we gotta get a new name". But all of our Instagram and social media handles were 'therealfits' so we were just like, "whatever, let's just use The Real Fits," and it stuck [laughs].
Which musicians have you been influenced by, individually or as a band?
Jared: We all come from different backgrounds musically with what we're into but then, when we got together, we all started showing each other stuff and developed our band's style of music by doing that. I'd say some of our favorite bands, that we can agree on as a whole band, would be Tame Impala, for sure.
Raquel: Alabama Shakes.
Jared: Alabama Shakes, we all love. Local Natives, alt-J. All of these bands we listen to and I think have developed our style a little bit.
If you had to pick your favorite current artist or band, who would that be?
Raquel: Angel Olsen.
Jared: That is a tough question.
Jared: I'm just trying to think about all of the music I listen to and what I listen to the most. Probably Tame Impala. Or Local Natives, for me, personally.
How would you describe your own sound to someone who had never heard your music?
Jared: I can speak for specific things that I do within the band. I know for me - and even Blair, our drummer - we're influenced a lot by Local Natives and Thom Yorke who's in Alt-J, who we're both obsessed with and we kind of mimic some of the things he does [laughs] in a polite way and we really admire his style. The whole band, that's really hard for me. The comparison that we get the most is Fleetwood Mac.
Raquel: In a general sense, indie or alternative rock. I feel like every time I try to explain it to someone I just throw out as many adjectives as I can think of [laughs] and I'm like, "I don't really know".
What were your inspirations behind your song "Sideways"?
Raquel: For "Sideways", I remember, when I first joined the band, the guys sent me 3 songs that they had recorded that were just instrumentals. A couple months after we finally got into one of the songs that they originally sent, I was writing it and I was having a hard time coming up with lyrics but then, one morning, I put my headphones in and went to a coffee shop and sat there and I was just journaling; just through the process of journaling, I stumbled on these lyrics. Basically, I guess at the time I was pretty frustrated because I felt like no one was listening to what I was saying and everyone was disregarding me, so it came from the process of journaling through feelings and then, once I did, I just had such a strong connection to that feeling that I wrote those lyrics about how I felt.
Could you tell us more about your EP Drown In Gold and what people can expect to hear?
Raquel: As a collective, I'd say it's five very different songs that all have a similar vibe.
Jared: I feel like there's definitely a theme. Raquel writes all of the lyrics, basically, 100% herself. I've noticed stuff between this common theme, but it's really hard to say exactly what it is; a lot of them can be similar to the "Sideways" theme of not being heard and frustration with yourself or with your situation.
Raquel: Lyrically, as a whole, it's talking about, pretty much, my life. A couple of songs - "Wild Wild West", "Sundown", and "Sideways" - are songs that I wrote about reflecting on myself and the relationship I had with myself and what I wanted to be like. And then, "Feels Like Mine" and "Tides" were about a relationship and they were both the end of a relationship, but one was an angry, frustrated one and one was more of a moving on one. I guess it's just 5 songs that are very story and lyrically driven with beautiful instruments in the background [laughs].
Jared: Yeah, I'd say she's a storyteller.
If you had to pick one song off this EP that you were most excited to share, which one would it be?
Jared: I think we're going to have different ones, for sure. I always go with "Sundown". I think it tells the best story and it's probably my favorite song to play.
Raquel: For me, it would be "Tides". It's always my favorite one to play because I get to rock out to the instrumental part with the guys, but then it's some of my favorite lyrics that I've written. Usually, that's one that has a ton of energy when we play it, so it's always super fun to play and get into.
In one sentence, how would you sum up Drown In Gold?
Jared: It's a good start.
What's your favorite place to get coffee or lunch?
Raquel: Oh, yes! My favorite place to go is Peixoto, it's local coffee shop in Chandler and I like to go and hang out there.
Jared: I like to go to Chipotle.
Cold War Kids or Coldplay?
Raquel: Cold War Kids.
Jared: Easy. Cold War Kids. Both me and Blair have loved those guys for a really long time.
Twenty One Pilots or Panic! At The Disco?
Raquel: Panic! At The Disco.
Jared: Yeah, I'd probably say Panic! At The Disco.
Raquel: Their first album!
Jared: Their first album was cool.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
Raquel: I'll just say a connection through music. I hope that we're able to create something that makes people feel and makes them happy. I know that, whenever I have a favorite song that I love so much it can change my mood and it's like a sense of comfort, so I'd love to do that as well and make people feel.
Jared: I'd say don't forget to rock.
Jared: Some people forget about it, some people never do it, and maybe people think that society and music genres are moving into different directions with a lot more electronic stuff, but the most important music for us, period, is just down and dirty rock and roll. We think that deserves to stay around and we're going to try and carry that torch.
Is there anything you want to add?
Jared: We've got some good shows coming up. We play at The Walnut Room in Denver on February 18th; this is actually only our third show outside of Arizona. Then we have a show at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix on March 24th and that's one of our personal favorite places to play in Phoenix 'cause it's an awesome venue. And we're actually releasing two singles that day!