AN INTERVIEW WITH FASCINATIONS GRAND CHORUS
Fascinations Grand Chorus is a magnetic New York duo made up of friends Stephanie and Andrew. Equipped with a refreshing time capsule of 20th century-inspired tunes, Fascinations Grand Chorus, despite their small size, bring pop to a new level. Their newest release, Anglesea, a crunchy addition to their focus on constantly-released, dense EPs and singles. They've even got plans on a new full album!
TELL US ABOUT THE BIRTH OF FASCINATIONS GRAND CHORUS.
Fascinations Grand Chorus is Stephanie & Andrew. We are rival songwriters that came from different projects and started after an argument at the Pompton Queens Diner in Pompton Plains, NJ where disco fries were thrown and the cops were called.
WHAT ARE EACH OF YOUR ROLES IN THE DUO?
We are both primary songwriters and both perform the music. The Kasenetz to each others Katz.
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO BEGIN WRITING YOUR LATEST EP, ANGLESEA? WHAT WERE YOUR MAJOR INFLUENCES WHILE CREATING THIS EP?
With Anglesea, there was a wide range of musical influences from Raspberries to Quasi to Bobby Rydell. We wanted it to be moody and harsh. Thematically, the EP was inspired by the Wildwoods in NJ. A little relationship arc set in the Wildwoods.
BASED ON THAT, WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO YOUR WRITING + RECORDING PROCESS? HOW DOES EACH ALBUM OR RELEASE TAKE SHAPE?
We take fragments that we both have and combine them to the best of our ability. We edit each other and veto bad inclinations we each have. We then pray that the song we are working on is under three minutes. We’ll get the structure of the song and record drums and bass or synth and go from there. We have melody from the start but will finish tweaking that and writing the lyrics at the very end.
THROUGHOUT ANGLESEA, THERE’S A GREAT BALANCE OF GENTLE LYRICS AND DARK PHRASES. COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS? FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT IS "HEREFORD INLET" ABOUT?
We both like opaque lyrics and things that are a little dark but always things that are simple. We both promised we would never try to be poets. Hereford Inlet could be interpreted either as gentle or aggressive. We see it either as setting up a meeting and the fear of expressing yourself and your feelings to another human being or meeting to participate in a physical conflict resolution.
TELL US ABOUT HOW THE MUSIC SCENE IN JERSEY/ NEW YORK CITY AFFECTS YOUR CREATION! DOES IT SEEM EXPANSIVE, OR HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR MUSICAL NICHE IN THE CITY?
We reside as a band in Jersey City. While there are definitely some cool bands in NYC the scene there is actively terrible. It’s conglomerates for big acts and disappearing indie spaces. Not to mention the over saturation of bands in general and the lack of camaraderie among bands. For us specifically as a band we’re always going to be oddballs when it comes to a niche scene. We embrace that. We’re not going all-in on any one aesthetic or genre (despite how many times reviews liken us to doo-wop, which is beyond baffling time and time again). Jersey City is a beautiful place though and people are excited by bands and music and the scene is growing.
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A MUSICIAN IN THE 21ST CENTURY? OVERWHELMING AMOUNTS OF TECHNOLOGY? HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR NOSTALGIC AESTHETIC IN IT?
It’s overwhelming but we use what’s needed to function and reject whatever is a waste, whether it’s social media or recording. You can’t avoid social media and expect to be acknowledged but we’re happy posting non-musical things that influence our whole being as a band from Ziggy comics to the Country Bear Jamboree and video game artwork.